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  1. #1
    Bronze Member wotalota's Avatar
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    Southwest NH
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    BX24

    Default Clearing saw advice?

    I have what by these forums will be a minor job but big enough for me of cutting down and disposing of small trees perhaps up to 2 1/2 inch trunks and some brush. About an acre worth on a wet somewhat rocky hillside to stop it getting out of hand. I can't (dare not) get the tractor in there but will use a DR cutter where I can.

    So I'm going to get a clearing saw or higher end brush cutter. Looking at alternatives to Stihl and Husky to keep the price down. I had decided on a Tanaka TBC-600 @ $670 but the order was rejected because that model has been discontinued. No replacement yet announced. I am looking on ebay if something there might work out.

    If I buy new does anyone have experience using the Shindaiwa C344 with a 34cc hybrid 4 engine. The price looks attractive at around $440 and there is a local dealer. Will it be strong enough to not struggle doing the kind of maintenance I'm looking to do?

  2. #2
    Elite Member whistlepig's Avatar
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    Preble County, Ohio
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    Kubota B7800 with FEL

    Default Re: Clearing saw advice?

    Maybe I was doing it all wrong but I never cared for brush cutters with saw blades. The saw blade on the brush cutter was constantly getting pinched by the sapling and I would have to lay everything down to free the blade. For me a chain saw was easier. After owning 2 cycle brush cutters for decades I bought a Stihl 4 mix this past summer. I much prefer the 4 mix. A lot more torque.
    I used to do the Hokey Pokey but I turned myself around.

  3. #3
    Bronze Member wotalota's Avatar
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    Southwest NH
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    BX24

    Default Re: Clearing saw advice?

    I didn't know what a clearing saw was until looking it up after seeing it mentioned here a few days ago. Then looking at some of the youtube videos of people using them and just knocking over decent size saplings made it look like just the thing. Seemed so much more efficient than getting down with a chain saw each time and reaching in under overhanging twigs. I am planning on using the chain saw for the older growth, but all the smaller trees and bushes were more intimidating until coming across the mention of a clearing saw.

  4. #4
    Platinum Member
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    S. Central TX Hill Country

    Default Re: Clearing saw advice?

    I owned a stihl FS550. High dollar. It was productive but for the money I don't think it was all that fast and blade wore out quickly. It was heavy, hard to start.. not in pulling but awkward when it was on the harness. It was nice, though, and I miss it but at nearly $1,200 loppers or a cheaper knockoff weedwhacker with saw blade would do good.
    Brush Chipping and Tree Mulching Texas Style!

  5. #5
    Veteran Member robbyr's Avatar
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    western east central texas
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    ford and mahindra

    Default Re: Clearing saw advice?

    I have a Husqvarna ( what I've always called weedeaters, now there are all kinda names) that can put a saw blade on. So far have only used the little three bladed cutters on small stuff. I saw online last year there is a circular blade with what looks like a chainsaw chain around it. Not for sure but think it was called beaver blade. Also bought a DR brushcutter in 2010 and used it to cut mesquites up to 2" diameter and ten feet tall (waited for some regrowth to spray). Have to say I was pretty impressed with the DR. Good luck

  6. #6
    Super Member Coyote machine's Avatar
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    Southern VT
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    '10 Kioti DK 40se/hst KL-401 FEL, loaded tires, KB-2485 bhoe, Tuffline TB160 boxblade, Woods QA forks, MIE Hydraulic bhoe thumb & ripper tooth, Igland 4001 winch, & GR-20 Log Grapple. Woods BBX72" Mower. Diamondplate aluminum canopy.

    Default Re: Clearing saw advice?

    Quote Originally Posted by robbyr View Post
    I have a Husqvarna ( what I've always called weedeaters, now there are all kinda names) that can put a saw blade on. So far have only used the little three bladed cutters on small stuff. I saw online last year there is a circular blade with what looks like a chainsaw chain around it. Not for sure but think it was called beaver blade. Also bought a DR brushcutter in 2010 and used it to cut mesquites up to 2" diameter and ten feet tall (waited for some regrowth to spray). Have to say I was pretty impressed with the DR. Good luck
    Yes it is called a Beaver blade, and it does have a chainsaw chain wrapped around a circular saw 'blade' base. It can be sharpened and the chain can be replaced, and several companies manufacturer these type of blades. I like to call it a circ saw on a stick. I agree with those who don't like the heavy and unwieldy larger cc engine weed eaters. I also have a DR Brush cutter with the 15 HP Kawasaki engine, and a steel blade that will cut down up to 3.5-4" saplings. Its good to use on level ground but dangerous on a steep hill at times.
    I would invest my money in a high quality saw instead of trying to be cheap and buy junk. Note my signature below. Stihl and other similar brands are money well spent, otherwise go to Home Depot and buy a throwaway saw.
    2010 DK-40se/hst, KL-401 FEL, (reversible cutting edge), Titan Tree Shear. 72" Ratchet Rake. Fit Rite Top-N-Tilt hydraulics & diverter. HLA Series 2000 7' plow, Aquiline MPC rear chains. Samuri Sickle bar.

    2015 Husky AWD Rider 322T Combi 103 deck. Scag Wildcat: Kawasaki 26HP, bagger. Dr. brush mower, & 42" lawn deck, Dr. self propelled, 6.5HP Trimmer mower. Pro-Mow 3 gang, no HP.

    Bunch of STIHL chainsaws: 011x 2, MS192T, MS200T, MS180C, MS230, MS270 (Wood Boss), 038 Farmboss.

  7. #7
    Bronze Member wotalota's Avatar
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    BX24

    Default Re: Clearing saw advice?

    Not wanting to find the lowest cost there are $200 40cc to choose from on ebay. On the other hand the biggest commercial unit is not needed. Looking to select a quality, reliable easy to start machine with an appropriate power weight ratio for my use. Below is the list I'm working from with approximate pricing I have seen recommendations for all four brands. Shindaiwa have 20% off later this month.

    Stihl:
    FS250 $610+ 14 lbs, 40 cc
    FS310 $590+ 16 lbs, 36 cc
    -----------------
    FS360 C-E $950 19 lbs, 38 cc
    FS460 C-EM $1150 19 lbs, 45 cc
    FS560 C-EM $1400 23 lbs, 57 cc

    Husqvarna:
    336FR $600 16 lbs 35 cc
    345FR $750 18 lbs, 45 cc
    -----------
    555FX $1050 20 lbs, 55 cc

    Tanaka: psep.biz
    TBC-340PFD $480 16 lbs, 32 cc
    TBC-430PF $550 19 lbs, 40 cc
    ---------------
    TBC-600 $670 20 lbs, 47 cc discontinued!

    Shindaiwa: Bought by Echo. hybrid 4 (2/4 stroke), 72" overall
    C282 $460 16 lbs 29 cc commercial grade
    C344 $440 16 lbs, 34 cc

  8. #8
    Bronze Member wotalota's Avatar
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    BX24

    Default Re: Clearing saw advice?

    I went with a top end brushcutter the Husqvarna 345FR. Hoping that it has enough power and characteristics of a clearing saw and not too heavy/slow running to avoid some of the issues you have mentioned.
    Thanks for the responses.
    /Tom

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Clearing saw advice?

    I have both Stihl FS450 and FS250 Brushcutters. I run them both with either a carbide (non-Stihl) chisel blade or a brush knife blade which is a three blade device that is great on anything up to 3 to 3.5 inches. Above that I use the chisel blades. The FS250 is in most cases more than adequate but there are times that I need the power of the FS450. (Stihl has modified this to the 460 I think now). I used to use the Stihl chisel blades but while they are a great quality steel they have to be sharpened at times. I found the carbide tip chisel blade and it does not need sharpening but if you strike metal the carbide tips shred off and I find that after 25% of them are gone it is time to replace the blade. Convenience is why I switched to the carbide even though when they are damaged they can't be sharpened like the others

    Your description of what you are looking at is a great target for either of these units. Buy Stihl you will not regret it.

    I just noticed that you bought a Husky. It should do you well

  10. #10
    Elite Member whistlepig's Avatar
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    Kubota B7800 with FEL

    Default Re: Clearing saw advice?

    Looks like an excellent unit. I don't think you can go wrong with a Husky. I was reading about the X-Torq engine on this cutter. Sounds like the right kind of engine for the work you are wanting to do.
    I used to do the Hokey Pokey but I turned myself around.

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