New Chain Saw
#11
  
For Fathers Day I'm thinking of treating myself to a new chain saw to replace my ancient Poulan. My needs are occasional for cutting firewood and yard cleanup, but I predict the saw would get more use in the near future as I have a forest full of blighted ash trees. Thinking 18" bar.
There is a Stihl dealer in town, but I've lately heard some first hand stories of hard to start and unreliable performance from them, plus many on line reviews are not encouraging. I prefer to buy from a dealer who can service the tool as opposed to saving a few bucks buying from the Borg..
Any thoughts from the brain trust?
TIA.

Mike
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#12
  Re: New Chain Saw by Mking143 (For Fathers Day I'm ...)
No problems with my Stihl and it sits in a cabinet more often than not.
Gary

Liberty, Self-Reliance, Self-Responsibility
Say what you'll do and do what you say.
ServicePen 2014
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#13
  Re: New Chain Saw by Mking143 (For Fathers Day I'm ...)
(06-15-2018, 09:40 AM)Mking143 Wrote: For Fathers Day I'm thinking of treating myself to a new chain saw to replace my ancient Poulan. My needs are occasional for cutting firewood and yard cleanup, but I predict the saw would get more use in the near future as I have a forest full of blighted ash trees. Thinking 18" bar.
There is a Stihl dealer in town, but I've lately heard some first hand stories of hard to start and unreliable performance from them, plus many on line reviews are not encouraging. I prefer to buy from a dealer who can service the tool as opposed to saving a few bucks buying from the Borg..
Any thoughts from the brain trust?
TIA.

Mike

Look at two other brands----Husqvarna and Echo. My experience is from 15+ years ago, but the Husky and Echo brands back then were as good as Stihl. And that opinion was from industry pro's.




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#14
  Re: New Chain Saw by Mking143 (For Fathers Day I'm ...)
Best advice I can give:  Shop for the dealer and buy what they are selling.

Stihl does set some expectations for their dealers and if they hear to many complaints, it is not out of the question that they pull permission from that dealer to sell their products.  But there are certainly some dealers that are better than others!  Depending on what you want for your budget, there are 3 "lines" of saws:  homeowner, farm, and professional.  Overall, they tend to be more expensive than comparable Husqvarna saws.  Both make great saws...and both have some that aren't as great.  Keeping it running well and starting easy is about using the right fuel (ethanol free) with good quality oil and maintaining it well.  If you aren't going through a gallon or two a year, I'd recommend you buy their premixed fuels.  It is crazy expensive per gallon...but a lot cheaper than maintenance from bad fuel.

If you are looking to pull an 18" bar with relative ease, I'd recommend about 50cc.

I've heard very good things about the MS271 or MS261.  There isn't much rhyme or reason to their numbering system.  Those 2 are the same size, but the 261 is the pro saw with more power.

In the Husqvarna line, I have a 455 Rancher that has been very reliable.  There is a 550XP if you want a pro grade saw.  Their numbering system does have a little bit of logic.  The first number is the series.  3 are the oldest (but still good saws).  The last 2 digits are roughly the displacement in cc.  If it has an XP on the end, it is a pro saw...but there are some very good pro saws that don't  have XP.  They don't make the 359 any more, but that was one that would run with any pro saw, but didn't have an XP.

There are also some very good Echo, Dolmar and Makita saws out there.
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#15
  Re: New Chain Saw by Mking143 (For Fathers Day I'm ...)
(06-15-2018, 09:40 AM)Mking143 Wrote: For Fathers Day I'm thinking of treating myself to a new chain saw to replace my ancient Poulan. My needs are occasional for cutting firewood and yard cleanup, but I predict the saw would get more use in the near future as I have a forest full of blighted ash trees. Thinking 18" bar.
There is a Stihl dealer in town, but I've lately heard some first hand stories of hard to start and unreliable performance from them, plus many on line reviews are not encouraging. I prefer to buy from a dealer who can service the tool as opposed to saving a few bucks buying from the Borg..
Any thoughts from the brain trust?
TIA.

Mike

Caveat:  I don't own a Stihl chainsaw.  My comment is more about online reviews of late.

I think there are more Stihl chainsaws owned by suburban homeowners today than there was, say, 20 years ago or more.  Accordingly, a greater percentage of saws are likely to just be dumped into the corner of a shed or the garage for long periods of time with stale fuel, fueled with old fuel, run out of bar oil, improperly mixed fuel, and the attendant problems that come with power tool problems for a group of folks who just don't pay much attention to the maintenance needs of two cycle engines.  That may account for some of the numbers of poor online reviews.

I definitely agree with your preference for real dealers rather than the BORG.  I buy my small machines (trimmers/mowers/snowblowers) from a "real" dealer and not the BORG.  My preferred dealer carries commercial equipment lines; for example, his selection of Echo brand trimmers is definitely NOT the same line of Echo machines I can find for $100 at the BORG.  That dealer also services my machines, in the rare instance I need service.

Life is too short to deal with finicky machines...
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#16
  Re: New Chain Saw by Mking143 (For Fathers Day I'm ...)
I have had a Stihl 250 with an 18" bar for a few years now. I use it occasionally, and it's a workhorse. No problems at all.

To repeat and confirm some of what's been said already:
- Chainsaw performance relies heavily on good maintenance. The right fuel (90 octane or above, no ethanol!) and a clean air filter are especially important. And of course, never ever ever let it run out of chain oil.
- Keep the chain sharp, or replace the chain often. You can put a lot of strain on a chainsaw by trying to force a dull chain through hard wood.
- Run it frequently. Like most little engines, it doesn't like to start if you've let it sit in a cold garage for 6 months.
Steve S.
------------------------------------------------------
Tradition cannot be inherited, and if you want it you must obtain it by great labour.
- T. S. Eliot

Tutorials and Build-Alongs at The Literary Workshop
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#17
  Re: New Chain Saw by Mking143 (For Fathers Day I'm ...)
I have the Husqvarna 562 XP with a 24" bar. I have been very pleased with it. Easy to start even after sitting for 6 months. Have always drained the old fuel at the end of cutting season and fresh fuel at the beginning. Non-ethanol fuel is a must if you want the engine to last. I asked the local sawyers what is the chainsaw to buy and it was the Stehl or the Husky.
I don't understand it
I've cut it twice
And it is still too short
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#18
  Re: New Chain Saw by Mking143 (For Fathers Day I'm ...)
I don't own a Stihl, but can't recall ever hearing too many complaints from the guys I know that do use them.  I have a Husqvarna.  For my occasional use, it's been a good saw and I have no complaints.  I concur with the advice of buying from an OPE dealer.
If you are going down a river at 2 mph and your canoe loses a wheel, how much pancake mix would you need to shingle your roof?

http://blazinbladesscrollers.webs.com/
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#19
  Re: New Chain Saw by Mking143 (For Fathers Day I'm ...)
with what ya say id suggest something in the 50cc range. either the farm and ranch  271 or the pro 261.


reviews on the stihl website,too
https://www.stihlusa.com/products/chain-saws/

major problem with reviews is its hard to know what the experience is of the owner, how they maintained it, and how it was used. i know a man that works for a husky dealer and does the repairs. the homowner that had never used a chainsaw  was quite typical to see in for warranty work. most repairs  were/are operator error- mention straight gassing around him and a vein on his forehead bulges.
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#20
  Re: New Chain Saw by Mking143 (For Fathers Day I'm ...)
Thanks all,
I'm thinking budget around $400, don't mind going lower but don't want to go much higher- I'm not a pro.
I wasn't aware of non-ethanol gas being a necessity. Wow- $9.50/gallon. Still, that's cheap compared to an engine rebuild. I don't see myself going through more than a few gallons a season.
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