View Full Version : okay..what chainsaw?

08-02-2013, 01:49 PM
i just got done with a friends tree party. we all attacked a downed tree and turned it into firewood. i had the only ECHO saw in the group. the ribbing i got from all my STIHL friends did not relent..brutal.

my saw hung tough, and i actually had to rescue a few of their's. i didnt see any real advantage to their tools. my chain was sharp , as was theirs. i do however think a stihl keeps the chain oiled better. mine is a tad drippy.

my saw is getting old. is a Stihl worth double the money (for a regular homeowner/camper?)

mark s
08-02-2013, 02:51 PM
Buy quality and cry only once. I've had my Stihl for 16 years and it is still going strong. I use it at the farm and for firewood at home. I have known many neighbors who have bought cheaper chainsaws that quit on them in one, two or three years.

08-02-2013, 02:53 PM
I had the same thought process as Mark S. Buy once, use forever. I have had mine for about half as long and use it for firewood at home, friends, camping, hunting, whatever.

08-02-2013, 03:17 PM
I've got a 20" Poulan, a friend has a Stihl. His runs like a Swiss timepiece. I would agree 100% with the more precise oiling, I'd also say better bearings, more machining, less casting. But that being said, I've had mine ( a factory refurrb) for 17 years and it still fires right up. I've replaced a drive cog and have several chains, I've beat up the bar, and fixed it with a screwdriver and a dremel, it leaks bar oil as if it was part of the design.... I don't need a race saw, or a penile replacement, which is to a degree how I'd describe my friend's Stihl. The big feature I also like about Stihls is the case, so it doesn't leak on the garage floor, back of the vehicle, but others come with cases that don't have the price tag.

If your echo wears out the drive cog (the part that spins the chain) the clutch, or the bar, those are the big wear items, then it may approach costing more to fix than it's worth, and that's the time to shop. Those parts wear out on Stihls too... Race saw or something you're not scared to cut roots with and beat on.

mark s
08-02-2013, 05:23 PM
I've worn out numerous chains and several bars. The place from which my wife bought my Stihl now also carries Oregon chains and bars. The Oregon bars and chains are half the price of the Stihl and have been working well for me.

08-02-2013, 06:21 PM
I've had several Stihls of different sizes, including a pole saw, and I swear by them. I ran a wildfire mitigation business on the side for a few years, and all of my tools were Stihl. They're also the standard with wildland firefighters, and that says a lot. Money well spent. IMO they last longer with less maintenance than Echo, Poulan, etc.

08-02-2013, 06:53 PM
This is the guy I use. Compact, fits in a large tool box and I keep everything in the box. Like the cursed wrench that if forgotten, makes it useless:) I believe the newer ones have one you can adjust without the tool.

08-02-2013, 07:24 PM
Like most replies, go with Stihl & you won't regret it. Years ago when I had to do side work to make ends meet, I cut grass. I had a decent weed eater that got me by until it burned up. I bought the bottom of the line Stihl professional model & that was 13 years ago. Side work isn't necessary anymore but I Stihl have that investment. About once a month I use it for roughly 8 hrs in one day with minimal breaks taking care of a very steep embankment. I also have 3 chainsaws & a polesaw made by Stihl, they don't get as much use as the old weed eater, but they're always ready to go when I need them. For my old 026 I have a 16" bar that I put on to either flush cut stumps or dog holes around them & hog them out below ground. So for saying not getting a Stihl down in the dirt when that's where the work is, don't sweat it just clean it up. That saw is over 20 years old! Buy once, cry once; no different than buying high end packs!

08-02-2013, 07:28 PM
You may want to consider Stihl or Husqvarna. Sort of like Ford or Chevy. I logged for years and also maintained multiple large children's camps. I have used both brands extensively and Husqvarna would get my vote. Stihl has more plastic parts to break than the Husky's. My current saw is a Husky that I have had for over twenty years. I have only had to do regular maintenance such as chains, bars and plugs. Both are quality units and would be much better than your current saw. The other questions is what size will get your jobs done most efficiently. I have one of the saws from the professional line as opposed to the homeowner line. More money up front, but more power and long term durability. Bar size is important. How big of tree are you going to cut. I run a twenty inch bar on my saw and it will handle anything I need now such as cutting firewood. The longer the bar, the more chain to sharpen and the more likely you will hit something you didn't intend to with the tip and dull the chain. Any way you stack it, it is always fun to get a new toy.

08-03-2013, 10:24 AM
Husky here as well. Between the two, it really comes down to personal preference and what you have experience with.
If you are looking for good quality but a little lower price tag, Jonsered has been pretty decent. Basically a rebranded Husky, but never had one crap out on me.


08-03-2013, 09:03 PM
Husky here too...that's what the local dealer sells. He used to carry stihls but stopped as they were too much money to sell. Husky saws cost less and cut the same.

08-04-2013, 01:03 PM
Like others, I own both Stihl and Husqvarna saws, and have been very satisfied with both. Both are "professional" models that have smaller displacement engines (hence lighter saws), but that are intended to be constantly run "full out" to get the cutting power. Many times I've thought to myself that running the saw full bore for extended periods was going to result in "something bad" happening, but I've had them both for years and never had either quit on me. I have 20 inch bars on them and haven't found anything I can reasonably handle that they can't cut. The way the Stihl is assembled, it seems to be a bit easier to replace parts. The Husqvarna seems to need a bit more complicated take-down to work on it or replace things like the safety brake, clutch, etc.) My "impression" is that the Husqvarna consistently starts a bit easier, and the Stihl is a little more "rugged." I also think that feature for feature, depending on where you shop, the Husqvarnas are a little less expensive (I sense that currently you're paying a bit of a premium for the Stihl name.). You won't go wrong with either brand.

Someone mentioned the Jonsered Brand. I think those are exclusively sold through Tractor Supply Company (TSC). I've looked at them at my local TSC, but never run one. I was curious enough to Google them and read comparisons, and my impression was that they didn't stack up very well against the Stihls and Husqvarnas. I'd read up on them before you buy.

08-05-2013, 10:48 AM
I own two saws, an old Homelite and a Husky. The Homelite is heavy and vibrates like crazy but always starts and has never let me down. The Husky is lighter, faster with less vibration but a bit more temperamental than the Homelite. I run 24" bars on both because I sometimes cut some bigger stuff. What I have found with any saw is keep the chain sharp and you are golden. Friends of mine with land run big Stihls and have good results. I have heard from an arborist friend that the small Echo arborist model is great.

08-09-2013, 12:14 PM
I work on a state forest and run saws a lot. In the fall and winter I have one in my hands almost everyday for eight hours. I would go with Stihl. We have inmates that work for us and abuse the crap out the saws. We have some that are 7 years old and still running. We do have to replace parts on them time to time, but that is mainly because of the total abuse they receive.

Having a chain stay sharp is more about keeping it out of the dirt, ice and snow. Also not twisting the chain as you are cutting. Touching up your chain as you work also keeps it in better shape.

NH Hunter
08-24-2013, 07:00 AM
Buy what you can get locally serviced and like the ergonomics of the saw. I have a Jonsered 2165 and a Husky 142 that I picked up for smaller work on Craigslist. I like both, but prefer the straight handle bar on the Jonsered when in wood.

I have a local shop that sells both Stihl and Husky. When I talked with them about their thoughts on the two brands, they told me that the Stihl is a little harder to work on than the Husky. Don't know first hand, but that's what their mechanic told me.

Also - someone posted that Jonsered is sold exclusively through Tractor Supply. This is not the case. I've bought my Jonsereds from a dealer for 15 years. They are husky's with different colors and ergonomics. I've also read that the ones sold through tractor supply are the same quality that you get in a regular dealership - not watered down box store versions like you may find in Home Depot husky's.

Jim N
08-24-2013, 11:01 AM
I have both Stihl and Husky saws. Both are great tools but I would give the edge to the Husky. A sample of two means nothing though. I do have a close friend who owns a tree farm in Western OR and has been logging for nearly 50 years. He is moving from Stihl to Husky in recent years and feels they now have the quality edge. His advice - buy an ornage saw.

08-24-2013, 07:38 PM
There is this saw:


And then there is everything else. Buy once, cry once.

10-17-2013, 09:39 AM
After seeing Take-a-knee's suggestion and talking to my local dealer, I got the Stihl ms 261 and I have been really happy. I replaced a very old Husqvarna with the 261 and wished I had done so a couple of years earlier. I highly second his recommendation.

10-17-2013, 01:19 PM
Buy based on the dealer you trust. You will need service occasionally and parts regularly.

261 is a great saw if you only have one saw. If you start to heat with wood, it is too small for production but still works for limbwork.

I am also getting carbide chains as I buy new bars for my machines. Yes, they need special sharpening, but they make the saw cut like one or two sizes bigger.