Chain Saws

Inukshuk

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I'm needing to take down a small tree and was thinking - what a fun excuse to buy a small chain saw. It will likely get light use. I may also cut some firewood at a cabin I look after. Are there easy recommendations or is buying a chain saw an involved process? If I can't hit the easy button, won't do it.
 

DanielChase

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Jake Hamilton sells them at Jax. Not sure if he’s on the forum. He has much to offer on the subject!
 

Cocarlisle

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What Jax does he work at

Just get one a bit bigger than you think you will need

Cutting is addictive so you will most likely do more than you think

Get a good gas one not harbor freight type

I’m not a chainsaw expert in any way but have to clear my yard yearly

I have a craftsman and keep it it tuned and clean and it always starts

Also get a couple extra blades and plugs as well as oil

Pretty easy
Make sure you watch a handful of YouTube videos chainsaw for dummies and good eye protection and definitely good boots

Let her rip
 

subzali

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Milwaukee and Stihl and others make battery saws now. Great for truck saws cause they won’t leak gas and oil in your rig.

If you want a gas saw a 50-60 cc class will probably be a good fit for most work around here. Stihl makes great saws and has a good network around here. Them and Husqvarna are probably considered by most to be top tier. Broadway Total Power, Ace Hardware, Murdochs etc are all dealers
 
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rover67

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You looking to buy new or used? Also besides the tree you need to cut how much firewood are you realistically thinking you are gonna cut at the cabin?
 
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On the RX

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I love my stihl. Next saw will probably be battery powered.
 

coax

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If you decide its worth it monetarily, i'd go for a stihl or a husky. Have used both extensively and are great saws (and went through the s212 wildland saw class a while back). The Stihl MS261 is what I'd get for a high quality saw for cutting smaller trees, bucking firewood, etc. That would be the easy button in terms of buying. They seem to go for ~350 new which is pricey if you just use once but if you ever need for firewood, etc...should last years and years. I'd bet there are some smaller saws that would work pretty darn well also...but I would stick with a good brand.

Additionally...not sure much you have or have not used a chainsaw, but would highly recommend getting chaps and a helmet. Chainsaws will mess you up quick and I've seen lots of folks do some pretty risky stuff that they don't even realize. Chaps and helmet will at least reduce some of the risk but there is no quick "saftey" button w/ chainsaws. Training/instruction is a good thing, even if informal. How big is the tree you are cutting? Dead/live?

If you're new to chainsaws i'd be happy to chat and give you a few things to consider/pointers/etc on both saws and safety. I love using saws and its a blast...just stay safe!

And if you have some cash burning a hole this is an old but good book: https://www.amazon.com/Professional-Timber-Falling-Book-Douglas/dp/B00455VB4A

Oh and one last thought, you may be able to rent (or borrow) a saw for a day for not too much cash.
Corey

Also looks like the course material for that class is available online: https://www.nwcg.gov/publications/training-courses/s-212/course-materials
 

RayRay27

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I just use my hands.
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Inukshuk

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I think I'll just go this route. Thanks for the reminder about Jake. For my level of usage (low) electric makes sense. I have used them and while I may not use enough to go chaps and face mask, I always would do gloves and eye protection (and ears if gas).

Today/tomorrow's motivation is retail thereapy and a 6" live tree. Longer term is cabin firewood. Longest usage is truck saw.
 

Nemo

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Stihl and I keep mine meticulously clean so in truck isn't a problem. However, I bought a carry case for it so it's on roof when I go out now. I also run it on my Mountain Bike in the spring here in Crested Butte to clear trails. Has held up great and not much maintenance. Reminds me of good ole' Craftsman! Set it and forget it!
 

Corbet

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I’m a Stihl fan, if I were to deviate Echo or Husqvarna.

For a small tree and “some” firewood an electric would probably do the job plus you most likely already have batteries from your preferred cordless tool company. If that is the case do that first and see if it does the job. Buy chaps for sure. Helmet is good too. But to fall one small tree I’d probably skip it. Make sure you have a wedge and the tools to sharpen the chain.

https://www.makitatools.com/products/details/XCU07Z

If you’re future firewood plans involve falling trees get a gas saw. And the helmet. The MS261 is a really nice saw and would make an excellent choice. If going gas buying more than you think you’ll need is a good idea as it’s an investment. MS261 fits the bill.

Text me if you want.
 
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Woodsman

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For gas I'd recommend the small Echo over the Stihl. Can't remember the model but mine was under $300 and better warranty than Stihl. When working in coporate landscaping years ago we used mainly Echo chainsaws, weed trimmers and hedge trimmers. I've also had Stihl saws over the years and so far I am 1 for 3. The newest one starts well and works well. The first two were "buggy" and these were not the inexpensive homeowner grade Stihl saws.

I picked up a DeWalt 16" battery chainsaw last year. They had good reviews and I have lots of DeWalt 20V and 60V batteries. I use it in the shop mostly for cutting barn beams and fireplace mantles but also bought it for trips. Still have to bring bar and chain oil and make sure that doesn't leak. The big plus is that I can recharge batteries from the inverter.
 

FZJ Dave

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I have only owned 2 saws, a cheap Poulon and a Stihl when the Poulon died. I have had my Stihl for about 8 years now and it still starts repetitively easily for a chainsaw. It is an 18" bar, but I forget the model. It was sub $400 8 years ago but will likely be the last saw I buy unless something happens to it. I use it once or twice a year for trail maintenance and tree cutting and it's been fantastic, especially with a freshly sharpened chain.
 

OilHammer

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Is 110V available? I bought a Worx corded electric saw years ago and still use it every year. Just trimmed giant beams like James mentions above. Quiet, gobs or torque and zero starting or exhaust issues. If not needing to be way in the woods, these rock. Biggest tree I ever cut (and fell) was a cedar with a trunk about 18" across. It has a pretty good grip brake on it too. If you flip your wrist forward at all, the chain stops NOW.
https://www.homedepot.com/p/Worx-18...ERCH=REC-_-pipsem-_-202488903-_-203915984-_-N
 

Uncle Ben

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I use chainsaws a lot and have 10" up to my beastly 39". I will only buy orange saws! Husqvarna or Stihl. My beater saws are usually Huskys as they are cheaper and my good saws are Stihl. For light pruning I see no reason a cordless wouldn't work but personanly I wouldnt consider it a truck saw as I have had to cut beetlekill fallen tree's that have blocked the path and there is no way a cordless is going to cut multiple 16" trees 2 to 4 times each to get them cleared. Buck up a few extra dead presidents and get a good saw box too! Chainsaws are like a winch if they are in your truck! If a cheap Poulan saw and your Harbor Freight winch is all your life is worth then.....
 

Corbet

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For light pruning I see no reason a cordless wouldn't work but personanly I wouldnt consider it a truck saw as I have had to cut beetlekill fallen tree's that have blocked the path and there is no way a cordless is going to cut multiple 16" trees 2 to 4 times each to get them cleared.

My MSA200 would disagree with you. And now there is an even larger MSA220. What I’ve noticed is that allowing the bar to get pinched on the battery saws is the fastest way to a dead battery.

https://www.stihlusa.com/products/chain-saws/battery-saws/msa200cbq/
 

Uncle Ben

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Hmmmm. Interesting. How much is a second battery?
 

Corbet

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Hmmmm. Interesting. How much is a second battery?

Battery is nearly the same price as the saw. I have the “300” size. The Stihl battery saw is not a money saving option over gas. If one already owns a couple Mikita batteries then a cordless is a cheap expansion on that platform. But I’ve never used a Makita chainsaw personally. My cordless Stihl is pretty much my goto until it’s time to harvest firewood. I still take it with me but as a back up if the gas gets stuck and to do limbing.

On a 4 day wheeling trip with a fair share of trail clearing the saw lasted until mid day of the 4th doing firewood duties as well. I only take my gas saw wheeling if I’m going out to do trail maintenance all day. If it’s a precaution “in case” I encounter a down tree, I bring the battery unit.

On a side note have you run the new MS462CM? Pretty sure that’s my new saw by fall.
 
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