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  1. #1
    Bronze Member
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    Kioti ck20

    Default Chain saws.

    I've read a lot of threads on here about logging and splitting wood. Would like some opinions on best all around size and brand of chain saw. I have five acres mostly woods and currently use a Huskvarna Rancher 55. But was having problems with it and am in need of a new one. Don't know whether to get another Husky or get a Stihl also do I need a bigger one or should I just use a different type chain?

  2. #2
    Elite Member MotorSeven's Avatar
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    Default Re: Chain saws.

    Lb, that's a broad question with many answers and opinions. First, before you go out and spend $500 on a new saw, what is wrong with your Husky? The 55 is a well made saw and has a good rep. If it won't run it's almost always the carb or fuel line. If it has sat for too long the crap Ethanol will clog a carb in no time. Fuel and impulse lines degrade over time and crack. They cost about $6 a peice and a carb kit about $15. Use Marine Stabil (the green stuff not the red and Wallyworld carry's it) in all you small engines....it is one of the only fuel additives that kills ethanol.

    Some of Huskys smaller saws are re-branded Poulans and don't hold up quite so well. Stihl does not re-brand & I would say their smaller saws are of a better quality. Stihl & Husky's larger stuff is pretty much equal quality-wise so it comes down to personal choice.

    The first saw I ever bought was a Stihl 024Super in 1983 and I still use that saw today. Before I "saw the light" I almost sold it for parts. Then I found another website that has a dedicated saw forum and learned that I just needed some knowledge, a carb kit & a fuel line to make it run like new. I know own 7 Stihls(down from 12, and I heat with wood) and have bought and sold a few more that I rebuilt/repaired.

    So, if you want to try and fix your saw go here and post some questions. These guys will help you out and determine whether the repair is worth it, or to go shop for a new saw:
    http://www.arboristsite.com/chainsaw/

    Now for the opinion, fix the Husky, & buy a smaller saw for light work. I never go into the woods with less than 3 saws. One large, one small for limbing, and one Back-up saw in case I make a mistake like hit a rock or metal, pinch a bar in a limb(or heaven forbid in a tree).
    2008 KIOTI DK40Se Hydro
    1978 Sling Blade/wood handle

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Chain saws.

    Your post is a bit vague on what you really need to do. But as a rule something in the 50-60 cc range is a good all around saw. I would also look at Dolmar, Jonsered and Echo. Makita is the same saw as Dolmar only in Makita colors. I was at one time solid on Stihl but after some issues have moved away from them. By the way I own at least one of every brand I listed. The Echo's are the easiest starting saws I own. The Husqvarne 346 XP is the nicest "handling" saw I own. A good semi-chisel chain will probably be the best overall chain for your use but be advised they can cause more kickback than the factory safety chains. Can you work on your own saws or do you need a good dealer? Whatever saw you end up with will benefit from a proper tune. They are all set so lean from the factory due to EPA that a bit of richening the fuel mixture works wonders.
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  4. #4
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    Kioti ck20

    Default

    Really appreciate the advice, it sounds like my problems come from sitting too long. I was under the impression that the two stroke mix contained stable. That's my first mistake. I'll get a carb kit and install it today, as well as a new bar and chain. But as it's my only saw I believe I'll shop around for a back up saw. And in the future I'll do a lot more preventive maintenance.

  5. #5
    Elite Member MotorSeven's Avatar
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    Default Re: Chain saws.

    The better mixes do contain Stabil, but not the right kind for Ethanol. I had so much problems here with Ethanol that I switched over all my saw fuel to Race fuel...no more Ethanol related problems.

    Be very careful when cleaning the carb. My first attempt years ago on the 024, I screwed the H & L jets in too hard and punctured the carb wall...a $50 mistake. Take it all apart(don't mix up the jet screws some are different) and soak the carb in a quality carb cleaner. I then use brake cleaner to spray into each passage making sure it is clear. Carb cleaner tends to eat rubber/o-rings/seals, so I just don't use it much. When you get it back together gently seat the jet screws then back off one full turn. Fine tune from there once you get it running. There is a good video on the Arboristsite on how to tune the carb....watch & listen to it because you can score the cylinder if you either lean it out too much or make it too rich.

    Check the fuel line, impulse line and the fuel filter in the tank. Squeeze them, look for either brittleness or the opposite...gooeyness. The last 034 I fixed for a buddy had a collapsed fuel line...it was all gooey/soft.

    While you are in there clean it all up(I use Simple Green and a toothbrush). Check the sprocket, bar and chain.....replace as needed and learn how to "dress the bar". Like Storm said a Semi Chisel rocks....I hate safety chains.

    Oh, and a warning...this saw thing can be a bit...er...ah..addicting. Every time I am in the pawn shop I go right to the saw shelf and buy something I really don't need. Then the wife says..."you bought another saw?????"
    2008 KIOTI DK40Se Hydro
    1978 Sling Blade/wood handle

  6. #6
    Bronze Member slofr8's Avatar
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    Default Re: Chain saws.

    As has already been said, it might be from sitting too long. When I pulled my saws (a husky 266 and a jonsered 630 both from the early '80s) from storage 7 or 8 years ago heres what I had to do. I replaced the fuel filter, gas line, and carb. kit. One had a crack in the insulator block between the carb and head that alowed it to take in air.I had a spare and changed it. They ran like tops until one started acting up and it turned out to be a bad gas vent. Less then $10.00 I belive. I used to log back in the day and we would do our repair back at camp, after work on the tailgate of a pick up with no shortage of helpfull advice from other loggers I since blew the husky. Pruning a tree and while reaching over head, a piece of rusted out spark arrester from the muffler found it's way into the motor. I bought a husky 359. I like it I guess but I was used to working on the older ones. I cant seem to get it to start as good as any of my old saws did. I will.
    That 55 is a good size and unless it has a bad electrical componant or is taking air in from the crank seals it should not take a lot to fix it. (I have changed the crank seals before but it's a little more involved)
    Good luck. Dan.

  7. #7
    Elite Member teg's Avatar
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    Default Re: Chain saws.

    Quote Originally Posted by Leroy Brown View Post
    ...it sounds like my problems come from sitting too long...
    ...with leaving the fuel in. I try to *never* leave fuel in whichever engine I use. If I don't run it out of fuel.. I'll drain left over gas and restart it till it dies. Or I use a fuel cutoff and run until the engine just about dies, then I choke it a few times before it actually runs out of fuel. My vote is to rebuild it...

  8. #8
    Bronze Member
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    2011 Kioti CK20hst

    Default Re: Chain saws.

    I have two rancher 55's that I use. The only problem I have had is I had to replace the fuel line after about 4-5 years. And they do not lead an easy life I usually leave them outside rain or shine and they always fire up. But usually at least once a year I will go through the saw and clean everything. One thing about them is they are easy to work on. Just give it a good once over and maybe check the fuel line for cracks and I am sure it will be ready to go.

  9. #9
    Platinum Member xyz123's Avatar
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    Default Re: Chain saws.

    The husky 55 is a good saw and it would take a saw in the $500 range to replace it now days. Learn to repair it yourself and you will be way ahead of the game.

    The 455 replaced the 55. The 455 is a plastic crankcase saw like the stihl homeowner series 170-390. If you want to look at a husky that is same size range of the 55 and build, look at the 353 with magnesium crankcase like 55. Redmax has the 5300 which is a husky 353 also.
    Last edited by xyz123; 10-09-2011 at 11:46 AM.
    REDNECK Chainsaw Repair

  10. #10
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    Kioti ck20

    Default

    Oops! I just bought a rancher 455 as the tree was already down I had to do something quick. Just finished cutting it up and piling it for splitting.
    I do plan on rebuilding the 55 later this winter. I really appreciate all the help especially that web site.
    It dies sound like fun, I've rebuilt hundreds of motorcycle carbs. But never a chain saw. It also sounds like everyone has more than one saw anyway. Guess if the rebuild works I'll do the fleamarket thing too. Thanks again. Steve

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