This is cross posted, as I know between the flat and round side of
woodworking there is a quite a large population that use chainsaws.
I am looking at buying the Husky 460 with a 24" bar for general use
and to use in some of my woodworking endeavors. I want to use it to
harvest some wood for different small projects, but also for bowl
blanks as well as firewood.
In the past I have owned McCullough, Poulan, Echo, and Homelite.
There were OK for what they were (light homeowner saws), but I want
something that is heavier duty and more dependable. I need something
with larger capacity (don't need the 36" bar) and good power. After
using a pro Stihl for a day, you really notice the difference in the
equipment if you are used to one of the above offenders.
Around the house it is hard to beat a good electric, but I may be
coming onto a good deal of mesquite in the future as well as some nice
oak and ash. The electric won't fill the bill for some heavy duty log
sawing I have in mind as the logs I will be cutting are anywhere from
18" to 36" across, and there are a bunch of them. And if things go
well with my harvesting efforts I may be cutting bowl blanks to trade
or sell from time to time in the future, so I will be using the saw
pretty hard, off and on.
I can get this saw to the door for about $410 with three chains and a
bar scabbard. Before the posts start about getting a Stihl,
BUT the same setup would cost me almost double. Yep... double. I
thought I was going to choke to death on that one. You cannot buy
Stihl over the internet (only a private seller such as Ebay has) as
they are protecting their dealers and in fact protecting their price.
Northwestern Power Equipement sells both brands and they were the ones
that gave me the price comparison, but then told me they couldn't ship
the similar Stihl model. They were actually prohibited from selling
certain parts that are shipped as well. I am sure that there are
dealers that will, but a quick phone call to my local Stihl dealer
revealed the same story. No shipping of saws or certain parts.
I am used to repairing my tools, so I want to be able to buy drive
sprockets, OEM pro grade chain bars, primer bulbs, etc., without
thinking I could buy another saw for the same price. So Stihl is off
The guys at Northwestern told me that Husky was making a serious play
for the US market, and that is why they have improved their saw
quality and doubled their saw warranty to 2 years. Sounds good... but
I dunno. I am hoping the next saw I buy will be the last for the
forseeable future since I have pissed away enough money buying the
"home pro" saws in the last 10 years to buy the Stihl.
I would love any input on this, even some input on Husky saws in
Tricky question to answer. I have a Husky myself, a 60cc 'semipro' model that
hasn't let me down for the last 23 years. I used to swear by the brand.
However, lately I have heard from people whose judgement I trust (one of them a
chainsaw shop employee whose wife is friends with mine) that Husky have become
"price-driven" - in other words, that they are now selling cheap junk that
isn't even worth repairing when (not if) it craps out. Sooooooo ...
Pretty shocking what you have to say about Stihl though. I don't think they are
like that here in NZ. But I haven't tried getting one sent out. That'd
seriously put me off.
Alternative: you could look for a Dolmar. They are a smaller company, but they
are the guys who _invented_ chainsaws. They have been bought up by Makita a
number of years back, but the saws are still made in Germany a.f.a.i.c.t.
I have a 90cc Dolmar, this is a serious saw that cost me near $1600 NZ and it
is very, very, very good indeed. I crosscut and rip gumtrees with it with a
28" bar; that is *very* hard work, and it never misses a beat so long as I
remember to blow out the airfilter before the working day starts.
B.t.w. I haven't seen Echo saws here in NZ for some years. But before they
disappeared, Echo stood about half way between the cheap saws on one hand, and
the expensive (Husky and Stihl) on the other; their bigger saws were used by
professional lumberjacks and I didn't hear any complaints about them. Small
saws always have been problematic, though, never mind the brand :-). I used a
small Echo (not mine) for a while and it was fine.
Frankly, I'd hesitate to buy a light Husky these days that is not explicitly
one of the pro line of their production. I think if you can get a pro Husky at
2/3 the price of a Stihl and with a 2 year warranty it's probably worth the
The 359 and the 570 are pro models around the same size as the 460 you looked
at. I'd get a quote on those saws and see how the prices stack up then! The 570
must be seriously powerful if it can drag a chain around a 32" bar like they
specc., for a 68cc saw. Not that any normal person needs anything bigger than
24", like you said, it's just that I have all these huge gumtrees on my farm.
My 60cc Husky is struggling to drag its (larger) 20" bar through gum, it does
fine with the 16" bar or cutting softwoods with the larger one.
firstname dot lastname at gmail fullstop com
a chainsaw shop employee whose wife is >friends with mine) that Husky have
And this indeed points out the dangers of the international
conglomerate. The product sold in one country may be "made specially
for the XXX market" and might not be the same as another sold in the
YYY market. So the product we get (Husky is the largest outdoor
equipment manufacturer in the world so they could pull this off) we
get may or may not be the same as the one someone else gets. One
product might have more plastic parts, it may be assembled in a
different country to avoid tariffs and excise taxes, and that country
may not have the same quality as another.
It is another aspect of what is driving me nuts. I would bet the
Husky saw sold in Germany is not the same one made to go head to head
they are the guys who _invented_ chainsaws. >They have been bought up by Makita
a number of years back, >but the saws are still made in Germany a.f.a.i.c.t.
Boy are you gonna love this. Dolmar failed in the US market several
months ago with their big introduction by Bailey's. They are now
following the Stihl business model, dealer sales only, no shipping.
On another venue the folks that used them extolled their virtues as
being at least as good as Stihl, and comparable in price. But they
never caught on, so it is now a boutique saw, one that will require
too much time and effort to maintain as we don't have an authorized
Dolmar repair center in the whole state, and I couldn't find one in
one of the pro line of their production. I think if you can >get a pro Husky at
2/3 the price of a Stihl and with a 2 year >warranty it's probably worth the
Actually, the guy I spoke with at Northwest told me the same thing.
He thought the smaller Huskys were probably "bang for the buck" the
best homeowner saw around. They are made for someone that will help
the neighbor dispose of a tree, light trimming, and the once a year
He advised that I spend the extra $$ to buy the 460 instead of the 455
for the extra power. He was good with the 455 up to the 20" bar, but
had heard reports of the saw bogging down with the 24".
The 460 has a 60cc engine on it, and I think a different plug, and it
comes with a more expensive non laminated roller bar, which is
something I like a lot.
Thanks for the reply, Pete.
This just went on at a forum my buddy attends. Log building.xx.xx??
The consensus seems to be that if you buy either a Husqvarna or a
Stihl of sufficient blade-length and horsepower to suit your needs,
you can't go wrong.
He went for a Stihl, simply because of access to service in town.
His buying advice was: Select the best you can afford, then add $
100.00 and buy that one. *G* IIRC he bought a model 460-something. It
is supposed to have some features which make it work in cold weather.
I'll ask him.
buy that one. *G* IIRC he bought a >model 460-something. It is supposed to have
some >features which make it work in cold weather.
That would be interesting. I know that in the "frozen tundra of
Canada" (tip of the hat to Chris Berman!) you guys have a huge lumber
industry and lots of folks using larger chainsaws due to the amount of
useful tree wood you have.
You buddy is right. I already went from the 455 to the 460 which added
$60 to my original budget. It was pointed out to me that since I am
buying a good chainsaw with quality chain, I should plan on buying
some chain files, instead of sending out the chain to the local
chainsaw guys that burn off half the chain when sharpening. That
added another $20 from the "pro guys" since they sell them in packs of
This is the time to get a blow mold case as it will keep the fumes
inside the case, and any oil spills or pump dribble in the case long
with the extra chain and the lube. Also gives the saw a little more
protection when relegated to riding around in the bed of the truck.
But a case is another $75.
I'm already over what I thought I would spend, and now I'm trying to
minimize the damage. When the dust settles I'll bet I'm in for about
$550. For a damn chainsaw! (I am thinking that money should be in the
"upgrade the planer fund").
But if it lasts, it will be worth it.
Thanks for the input, and I will be looking for what you find out from
your amigo since I am thinking of purchasing next week.
Holy smokes! He dropped over a CAN$ 1000.00 for that thing, with a
spare blade and chain, a few other things. The handle is heated so it
is easier to operate with a thinner glove. The carb also has pre-heat
of some sort which makes starting real easy in the cold. He's a
surveyor and uses it to chop down stuff in the way of his instruments
when he lays out monument systems. He's often used another saw, a
Husky with similar features and liked it just as much. Must be a
Festool vs Fein thing. Good stuff is good stuff. Period.
Good luck with yours..and get some of those chaps, my buddy won't open
the case without them on his legs. Makes a whole lot of sense to me.
Thanks for the follow up. The particular model I am looking at
doesn't have any cool pre-heating, and I got a chuckle out of reading
about it. If it gets in the twenties here, it is considered a natural
disaster, so preheating isn't really necessary.
I was glad to see some good news on Husky.
For that price, I would want the brunette DOING the work, not just
It is a lot of dough, and closer calculations are letting me see that
I will be in at the $500 mark for the saw, a couple of extra chains, a
carry bag and shipping. I never in my life thought I would be
spending $500 on a chainsaw, and that is probably why I am laboring so
hard over this decision. I was likewise surprised to find that it
takes about $250 just to get a bottom of the list (12" bar, small
engine arborist model) saw that is considered a "pro" grade saw.
I noticed in a later post that you are a proponent of Stihl. I would
be too, except that the 24" bar 60cc model they sell is at the $1050
to $1100 mark from our local dealer, PLUS 8% state and local. And
that is for the saw only. Plus, I am still pissed off at the fact
that I would have to buy a Stihl saw and any OEM parts from a
certified dealer. I don't know how the parts costs compare to the
cost of parts on other saws, but if their dealer protected part
pricing is similar to their dealer protected saw pricing, it will be
Sitll, if I honestly used it hard every day, or used it as my method
of making a living, I might consider the Stihl. But as far as having
an expensive piece of equipment like that, I would be sick every time
I looked at is sitting, knowing that I spent $1100 to $1200 on a saw
that I didn't use that much.
Well - so would I Robert. I don't remember what I paid for my Stihl now,
but it was probably in the $300-$400 range 15 years or so ago. List price
was something else, but like cars nobody sold at list. There certainly were
other saws that would have served my needs at the time, but I could afford
what I was accustomed to and what I had come to consider the best of the
best, so I bought it. I've never regretted being a Stihl owner and highly
recommend their saws, but there really are some pretty good alternatives out
there for less. I just don't recommend big box stores for them. Local
dealers need the business.
They deserve our business. They're professionals, so are we. They know
what they're talking about (with a few exceptions of course.)
I have stopped asking questions at big box stores...all I get is this
vacuous look and I get to see the back of their heads through the
FRONT of their eyes. Again, there are exceptions.
IF the brick-and-mortar guy charges a wee bit more, he:
a) needs it to stay in business
b) deserves it for his knowledge
c) keeps an expensive inventory of readily-available spare parts
d) will often do trade-ins
e) will often sell your saw for you
f) will often have a good refurbished used one for sale.
On a tool of that class, you make 500 dollar decisions, not 50 dollar
I have a couple of 'Bigger' box stores as clients, and a nice group of
smaller guys.. I get up in the morning looking forward to that cup of
coffee with one of my small dealers, discussing a project; he's all
'up' because he sold a kitchen, I'm all 'up' because he's happy with
my service....the big box? Not so much. Just a stack of forms. And 60
to 90 days to get my money. (Again, one huge exception, but it is
It is time we took back our way of life. Train the kids in school to
be craftsmen. To be small engine repair specialists. Etc.
But I digress
Our local Husky dealers seem OK. But chainsaws are a ver,very small
part of their normal sales; they concentrate on all kinds of lawn
equipment to the pro and semi pro group. Leaf blowers to tractors is
To be a certified dealer (for just about any product these days this
is true), they have to be a certain size physically (no selling out of
the garage) and buy a certain amount of parts and new equipment to
maintain that standing. So they do indeed have a good parts supply
and they have factory trained repair guys. There is however, no pot
bellied stove in the corner of the store with the old men playing
dominoes to chat with while "Phil gets you fixed up". One has a
10,000 sq ft showroom (tractors inside) and the 3 Husky chainsaws are
on a shelf.
The other is much smaller, more friendly, but also 45 minutes away.
He has one factory tech trained guy, and carries as little inventory
as possible since he sells several kinds of lawn equipment as well.
For any major work, I would suppose a Husky purchase would go there.
However, both guys sell the same saw I am looking at all over the 'net
for about $115 more than I can buy it all day long. That means they
are about 20% higher than their on line competitors, and they won't
budge an inch. They would rather hang onto the saws they have or get
more for a "special order" than to leave the $115 on the table.
However, both cheerfully told me they would take care of any warranty
Not available here.
And a local dealer is something that is a big consideration. One
thing to definitely keep me from doubling my investment by purchasing
Stihl is that the ONLY local dealer we have is someone that is most
commonly referred to by his genital configuration. And that ain't
You said it. I think I may have this thing figured out. I can buy
from a monster dealer in Oregon and get the saw down here with a
couple of chains and a box for a little under $600. (Stihl set
factory price on their equivalent saw is $1100 for saw only). If I
buy with my AMEX card, AMEX will automatically double the
manufacturer's warranty. So the warranty goes from 2 to 4 years.
For any warranty repairs I can ship it back to Oregon for $25, or take
a drive and go see the guys in the country.
That could be a whole thread, right? I would love to see it, but....
I am signed up to be a guest demonstrator (probably woodturning) at
one of our local high schools - for free of course! That should be an
interesting morning. Just trying to do my part on that. Should be
Yep, get a bar at least two inches longer than the swing of your lathe so
you don't have to bury it in the length of log you're splitting up the
middle, with the danger that can pose. Then make sure you've got the
displacement to pull that length of chain.
I'm Stihl, second one, first having dumped its magneto after 15 years.
Trade was worth more than the cost of the part, and the parts on mine live
on in three neighborhood Stihls. FWIW, I'm in hardwood country, and the
piececutters are pretty much solid with Stihl. It has a "preheater" feature
which impedes the air intake for winter work. Never used it, having only
used the saw at -20 F, perhaps they mean colder than that.
Don't get safety chain for ripping turning blanks. Clogs too much. Get a
good chisel chain, or perhaps a skip-tooth. Skip tooth gives a bit more
feedback on crosscutting, so I'm staying with chisel.
Chisel is good for pine, willow, poplar etc. For hardwoods especially ones that
have a high silica content you're better off with semi-chisel which has a kind
of rounded over shape to the teeth rather than the sharp corner -- stays sharp
much longer. I also have no problems ripping with semi-chisel.
firstname dot lastname at gmail fullstop com
Thanks George. I didn't think to specify the kind of chain - I have
been totally focused on the saw and would have been totally pissed off
at myself when the saw came with three of the same "general use"
I'll weigh in on the Stihl side as well. I've had a few over the years.
None of them ever wore out. One was stolen, one suffered the misfortune of
an errant tree and I'm still cutting with the third. I'm in upstate NY and
99% of my cutting is hardwoods - mostly maple, cherry, beach. Friends who
log for a living have long been mixed between Stihl, Jonserd, and Huskvarna.
All equal tools in my opinion, as long as you stay in class. I got started
with a Stihl decades ago, having somewhat grown up with them, and have just
stuck with them.
Thanks, Ralph. The 455 is just a little smaller than the 460. What
bar length did you get? How long have you had it?
According to Husky, the 455 has been redesigned some time back and it
is now their best selling saw. The 460 was made to accomodate the 24"
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