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  1. #1
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    Default Husqy 435 Cutting "on a curve"

    I have a Husqvarna 435 with a 16" bar that I bought new about two years ago. I used it for some very small branch cuts at the house and then took down a 30' pine. Seemed to be cutting fine.

    I then took down some sort of "shrub" type thing and that's where everything went off the rails. Cutting the trunk down close to the ground didn't go well as this thing was like cutting through stone. Definitely overheated the chain / bar.

    When I went to take down a 40' maple in the back yard, I absolutely could not get the saw to cut straight across the trunk. Every cut I attmped resulted in the bar "tracking" toward the left-hand side (when viewed from the top of the bar) and created a curved cut.

    I took everything apart and realized that the bar had some odd wear - one side had been been worn a bit and was allowing the chain to flop to one side on an angle. I replaced the bar with a brand new one and had the chain sharpened.

    It still cuts with a curve, although it may not be as bad.

    I have a MS290 already that I use for almost all cutting, but having a saw with a 16" bar could definitely be useful when having to do a lot of limbing (not a frequent occurrence).

    I'm wondering if I should replace the chain on the Husqy (and what the odds are that it will fix the problem), trade the saw against a new Stihl with a smaller bar (16"), or just sell it outright and use the Stihl for all of the cutting I do.

    Thoughts?

  2. #2
    Super Member s219's Avatar
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    Default Re: Husqy 435 Cutting "on a curve"

    Normally that problem is caused by uneven wear on the bar, or an asymmetrically sharpened chain. You said you got a new bar, which would eliminate that factor. I suppose if the chain was really out of whack, it may have not been sharpened symmetrically, or may have some worn links (allowing excessive slop). So either have it checked over and sharpened more carefully, or just get a new chain. That would be my approach before spending more money.

    Edit to add: be sure to flip your bar from time to time to help prevent uneven wear.

  3. #3
    Gold Member uglyboywith11fingers's Avatar
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    Default Re: Husqy 435 Cutting "on a curve"

    certainly a new chain will fix it up... since you have a new bar already.
    I suspect you've got one or more chipped or unsharpened teeth on one side of the chain, such that it's cutting better on one side, thus causing your curved cuts. Surprised whoever sharpened your chain didn't see the problem.
    Possible you touched a stone or piece of metal when you were cutting close to the ground ?

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Husqy 435 Cutting "on a curve"

    Quote Originally Posted by s219 View Post
    Normally that problem is caused by uneven wear on the bar, or an asymmetrically sharpened chain. You said you got a new bar, which would eliminate that factor. I suppose if the chain was really out of whack, it may have not been sharpened symmetrically, or may have some worn links (allowing excessive slop). So either have it checked over and sharpened more carefully, or just get a new chain. That would be my approach before spending more money.

    Edit to add: be sure to flip your bar from time to time to help prevent uneven wear.
    I have to pull the chain again and look at it very closely. I suspect that the chain guides suffered some wear along with the bar. It could be sharpened wrong, as you mentioned, but I don't know that it's worth spending the money to have it sharpened professionally since it could be worn / damaged on the guides.

    I hate to spend money on a chain only to find out that it's something else, though... I'd love to just buy another Stihl for limbing and smaller cuts, I just don't know that I need two saws at all. My MS290 is so versatile and tears through anything I throw it at....

  5. #5
    Super Member s219's Avatar
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    Default Re: Husqy 435 Cutting "on a curve"

    Well, I don't see how it could be anything other than bar and chain -- if it keeps cutting on a curve with all new bar and chain, then I think maybe you need to tighten up the nut who is operating the saw .

    On the other hand, if you're looking for an excuse to get another saw, I'm the wrong person to convince you otherwise. Problem is, there isn't a smaller Stihl that is all that great -- the smaller rear-handle Stihls are all homeowner saws for the most part (exception is the new 201 model, but it's teeny). Even the 290 is only mid-grade, and is heavy for it's capabilities. You could maybe get a Stihl MS-261 and have a pro saw that will out cut the 290 for 2 pounds less weight, and be slightly better for limbing. Then sell the 290 and 435 (though personally, I like having at least two saws myself).

    I'm up to three saws, and am thinking about a fourth -- maybe a Stihl 362 to either augment or replace my 261. I need to run a longer bar sometimes, and the 261 (as great as it is) can only go up to a 20" bar.

  6. #6
    Gold Member Avondale's Avatar
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    Default Re: Husqy 435 Cutting "on a curve"

    I have two Husqs and two Stihls and at one time or another, they have all had this problem. The fix is easy enough, as mentioned already, so buy a new saw if you wish but don't be too sad when at some point, it does it too.
    "Life is tough. It's tougher when you are stupid". John Wayne

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Husqy 435 Cutting "on a curve"

    Quote Originally Posted by s219 View Post
    Well, I don't see how it could be anything other than bar and chain -- if it keeps cutting on a curve with all new bar and chain, then I think maybe you need to tighten up the nut who is operating the saw .

    On the other hand, if you're looking for an excuse to get another saw, I'm the wrong person to convince you otherwise. Problem is, there isn't a smaller Stihl that is all that great -- the smaller rear-handle Stihls are all homeowner saws for the most part (exception is the new 201 model, but it's teeny). Even the 290 is only mid-grade, and is heavy for it's capabilities. You could maybe get a Stihl MS-261 and have a pro saw that will out cut the 290 for 2 pounds less weight, and be slightly better for limbing. Then sell the 290 and 435 (though personally, I like having at least two saws myself).

    I'm up to three saws, and am thinking about a fourth -- maybe a Stihl 362 to either augment or replace my 261. I need to run a longer bar sometimes, and the 261 (as great as it is) can only go up to a 20" bar.
    I've tried tightening that nut, and I think it's just too loose to be tightened at all.

    It sounds like there's a pretty decent chance that a new chain will fix the problem and I'm done. Having two saws makes sense to me, especially when I'm out doing stuff like I have been the last couple of weeks (over an hour from home, clearing areas and cutting up large trees). Having a second saw on hand "just in case" as well as for the other guy to run and limb the trees does have its advantages.

    The MS290 is a non-pro level saw, but it cuts quite nice. If you want to judge the saw's merits on its actual weight, I agree that it is seemingly heavy. However, allowing the saw to cut with only its own weight to guide it through the tree makes it a very well-performing saw. The only effort I put into it is to a) hold the handle to keep it from pulling forward and lift it onto the next cut. The saw does all of the rest of the work.

    I don't see ever needing anything longer than a 20" bar, and my 290 can do that if I need it to. At 18", it cuts through everything I need (even when tearing up these 20"-22" diameter behemoths of late) without complaining.

    Any recommendations on a chain for the Husqy (again, 16" bar)?

  8. #8
    Veteran Member Treemonkey1000's Avatar
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    Default Re: Husqy 435 Cutting "on a curve"

    Chances are the chain has some serious dings in some of the teeth so it would take a while to get all of them sharpened and at the same length as each other so that the saw doesn't "pull" The uneven wear on the bar doesn't help either. Make sure if you pull the chain off to get it sharpened you flip the bar over to run the other rails on the bottom side each time. Also take a guide cleaning tool or even a small screwdriver and run down the groove in the bar to clean it out. If you do that wear some gloves because the rails can be sharp. Clean out the oiling hole in the bar as well so that you are getting plenty of oil. You have good saws there just worn out chains and the worn out bar that you replaced.. Pro saws or Homeowner saws can get the job done with a good chain and bar and clean air filters. I have about 8 saws in Stihl, Solo, Husky and a Dolmar on the way.. They all need TLC no matter what...
    Last edited by Treemonkey1000; 09-10-2012 at 02:58 PM.
    1st Peter 1:6-9

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Husqy 435 Cutting "on a curve"

    If your bar is unevenly worn, you can grind it back to flat. Eventually, you will grind it down enough that it's not safe to use, but I have brought my bar back to life more than once this way. I find the best way is to just pass it across a bench grinder with the rest set dead-perpendicular to the wheel, since that's more or less guaranteed to hit both of the sides evenly.

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Husqy 435 Cutting "on a curve"

    Quote Originally Posted by joshuabardwell View Post
    If your bar is unevenly worn, you can grind it back to flat. Eventually, you will grind it down enough that it's not safe to use, but I have brought my bar back to life more than once this way. I find the best way is to just pass it across a bench grinder with the rest set dead-perpendicular to the wheel, since that's more or less guaranteed to hit both of the sides evenly.
    The wear is in the groove, not the outside of the bar, so this wouldn't apply as grinding anything in the groove would result in a larger groove and even more slop of the chain.

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