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  1. #1
    Bronze Member
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    New Holland TC45DA

    Default A few dumb chainsaw questions

    I've been using a borrowed saw lately (an old school Homelite XL 14") and getting some stuff cleaned up around our property. But the time is coming for it to go back and I should be ready for winter and the fall storm season with my own. I've researched a bit and decided that I'd like a mid-size all-around farm/ranch saw. I've also decided that for another $100 I would be willing to buy a full "pro" line saw if it will work better in my hands and last longer. Based on these criteria I have been looking at Stihl and Husqvarna.

    I will use it for:
    - Clearing fallen trees (oak, shagbark hickory)
    - Breaking down damaged oak pallets
    - Removing a couple of junk pine trees and heavy shrubs around the house
    - Firewood cutting, maybe. I have 4 acres of wooded land that I can consider for harvesting. Our forced-air allows wood burning or heat pump and I have a good cord of oak to try this thing out this winter.
    - For any felling of heavy trees I'll call my boss from work because he does chainsaw work for fun and he has experience with that stuff.

    So, some dumb questions:
    1) It seems I can get a midrange saw (MS271 or 450) for $400, or for $100-150 more I can get a true pro quality saw. (MS261, 346XP). While that difference is not chump change, if the saw lasts longer, is more serviceable, etc I think that it's a reasonable upgrade to consider. I sense that with what the EPA is imposing on small engines, the average cost of a good saw is going to increase even more rapidly in the future, so the later upgrade will come at a steeper cost. Is this worth considering?

    2) If I buy one of the "pro" class saws listed above, is there anything about it that is less appropriate for an occasional user?

    3) I have a Neilsen 100B chainsaw grinder in my shop left behind by the previous owner. It looks to be in good shape and very sturdy. While I plan to use a guide/files for most sharpenings, grinding is apparently still required sometimes. Will this grinder serve the purpose? Anywhere I can get a manual?
    -neilsen-100b-web-jpg

    4) I learned recently that outboard marine engines have a parts availability of about 10 years. Most engines last a lot longer than that, making life very difficult. Does this same crap happen with chainsaws? Between Stihl and Husqvarna, mid-range vs pro, is there a difference in long-term parts availability?

    Thanks in advance.
    Last edited by dgeesaman; 09-15-2013 at 09:05 PM.

  2. #2
    Super Member
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    International 2500a with Loader

    Default Re: A few dumb chainsaw questions

    that would work fine.i sharpen my chain to 30 degrees.
    ::welcome :::RON
    never stop learning.

  3. #3
    Bronze Member
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    Default Re: A few dumb chainsaw questions

    Referring to the grinder I assume?

  4. #4
    Veteran Member
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    Balls Creek, NC
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    New Holland 1720

    Default Re: A few dumb chainsaw questions

    It comes down to how much are you gonna use the saw, how big of a bar do you want to run, and how much do you want to spend...
    I personally look at the weight as the deciding factor...
    At my age I want a light and powerful power head...
    I would look at Stihl, Husqvarna, Echo, Dolmar, not in any particular order...
    Stihl has the most servicing dealers around here but I would not be hesitant on any of those I listed above...
    The homeowner type saws are fine for most folk...

  5. #5
    Super Member
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    Default Re: A few dumb chainsaw questions

    yes set the grinder to 30 degree angle to grind the chain.
    ::welcome :::RON
    never stop learning.

  6. #6
    Elite Member
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    Murray, KY
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    265 MF / JD 310B Backhoe

    Default Re: A few dumb chainsaw questions

    We picked up a used 360 Stihl and forget what I paid but could have bought some new in the 200 series for the same money.

    I just wished I had bought a professional grade chain saw when I bought my first one 25 years ago. I would have been $500-600 but it would have been worth it.

    Unprofessional or professional grade saws all have issues if only used for five minutes every five years.

  7. #7
    Elite Member newbury's Avatar
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    Default Re: A few dumb chainsaw questions

    Quote Originally Posted by dgeesaman View Post
    I will use it for:
    - Clearing fallen trees (oak, shagbark hickory)
    - Breaking down damaged oak pallets
    - Removing a couple of junk pine trees and heavy shrubs around the house
    - Firewood cutting, maybe. I have 4 acres of wooded land that I can consider for harvesting. Our forced-air allows wood burning or heat pump and I have a good cord of oak to try this thing out this winter.

    So, some dumb questions:
    1) It seems I can get a midrange saw (MS271 or 450) for $400, or for $100-150 more I can get a true pro quality saw. (MS261, 346XP). While that difference is not chump change, if the saw lasts longer, is more serviceable, etc I think that it's a reasonable upgrade to consider. I sense that with what the EPA is imposing on small engines, the average cost of a good saw is going to increase even more rapidly in the future, so the later upgrade will come at a steeper cost. Is this worth considering?
    When you move up to a "pro" saw you increase the chances of it lasting a long time. Saws won't get cheaper.

    Quote Originally Posted by dgeesaman View Post
    2) If I buy one of the "pro" class saws listed above, is there anything about it that is less appropriate for an occasional user?
    Not really. Just try not to put ethanol in it.
    Quote Originally Posted by dgeesaman View Post
    3) I have a Neilsen 100B chainsaw grinder in my shop left behind by the previous owner. It looks to be in good shape and very sturdy. While I plan to use a guide/files for most sharpenings, grinding is apparently still required sometimes. Will this grinder serve the purpose? Anywhere I can get a manual?
    -neilsen-100b-web-jpg
    Check on arboristsite.com, they have a sharpening subforum that's hard to find, it's under hot saws.

    Quote Originally Posted by dgeesaman View Post
    4) I learned recently that outboard marine engines have a parts availability of about 10 years. Most engines last a lot longer than that, making life very difficult. Does this same crap happen with chainsaws? Between Stihl and Husqvarna, mid-range vs pro, is there a difference in long-term parts availability?

    Thanks in advance.
    Stihl is very well supported. Parts saws are around for pro saws long out of production. I expect Husky is the same way.
    My rides - '95 Kubota M4700 w/ PEC, LA1001 FEL :'07 B7610, LA352 FEL, Bush Hog SBX 48 box blade, '09 Woods BH70-X w/ 16" bucket and thumb, 3pt pallet forks, Dale Phillips PHD, Jinma 8" chipper, 2 Piranha's, Winco 12KW PTO generator, Howse plow, 5' KK tiller, 5' Big Bee cutter, with a 2002 7.3L Ford F350 CC DRW 4x4 and '07 18' Hudson HSE Deluxe trailer - 5 Ton to haul it all

  8. #8
    Bronze Member
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    Default Re: A few dumb chainsaw questions

    Quote Originally Posted by Gale Hawkins View Post
    I just wished I had bought a professional grade chain saw when I bought my first one 25 years ago. I would have been $500-600 but it would have been worth it.
    That's what I'm thinking about now, and why I'm leaning toward the bigger purchase.

    Quote Originally Posted by Gale Hawkins View Post
    Unprofessional or professional grade saws all have issues if only used for five minutes every five years.
    Yes of course. Just like lawnmowers, string trimmers, and marine outboards. Just imagine how much less frustration would exist in this world if the gas had no ethanol and people would follow proper long-term storage methods.

  9. #9

    Default Re: A few dumb chainsaw questions

    Stihl is the best saw made, but the most expensive. Also get a big one, saves time and is nice. Some of the cheap ones work guite well, but you will buy several if you take that route. Also find a capble person to teach you how to sharpen with a file, saves time and trips! Good luck.

  10. #10
    Elite Member RobertBrown's Avatar
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    Florida
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    Bolens G192/TS1910 Ford/New Holland 1920

    Default Re: A few dumb chainsaw questions

    I don't think need to spend the extra money for the better saw. Doesn't soud like you are going to use it enough to matter.
    A home owners will probably last as long if it is maintained properly. There just isn't that much to a chainsaw, the design has been the same for decades. Parts are available.
    If you want to spend the extra money for the better saw that's fine but you could spend that money on some other stuff youll need.
    Life is like a dick, sometimes it becomes hard for no reason whatsoever.
    I believe that banking institutions are more dangerous to our liberties than standing armies. ― Thomas Jefferson

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