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Chainsaws - Husqvarna or Stihl?

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11 replies to this topic

#1 of 12 Henry Gale

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Posted April 30 2007 - 01:13 PM

Lost a couple of trees last week to a strong wind.
Today, lost several more, three of which are leaning on the north side of my house. An old barn blew down also.
Anyway, it's new chainsaw time.
Any suggestions?
I'm way into good quality over price. It never helps, but I'm into it. Posted Image
"I was born to ramble, born to rove
Some men are searchin for the Holy Grail
But there ain't nothin sweeter 
Than riden' the rails."
-Tom Waits-

#2 of 12 KurtEP


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Posted April 30 2007 - 01:50 PM

My father heats with wood and has cut his own wood for decades. He's used Stihl's with good results, I think he has two of them right now. He's also a big fan of Echo Chainsaws. They're a bit cheaper, but seem to be practically indestructible. No idea at all about the Husqvarnas.
Lay down your law books now, they're no damned good -- The Eagles

#3 of 12 Jay H

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Posted May 01 2007 - 12:54 AM

For the short term, you really wont go wrong with any of the various brands depending on the size (diameter) and type of tree, are they hardwoods (oaks, maples, etc) or softwoods...

But for longevity and ease of maintenance, the better brands out there are of course, Stihl, Husqvarna. Echo has some good following, but there are also some not-so known brands that are fairly well respected. These would include Dolmar (Makita brand) and Jonsered. However, one big factor in your choice, like with automobiles and a lot of things, how good is your local authorized service dealer? Lowes carry Husqvarna, but only to the 350 or the 455 Rancher model. If you have a good Stihl dealership near you, then perhaps consider that. Stihl, however is pricier than a comparable Husky model, however, it probably is a slightly better saw.

I'm not an expert but I am learning quite fast right now, well into the learning curve as I'm a primary wood burner myself.

The size of your log you expect to buck would determine the power and size of the guide bar and base you should buy. The general rule is bar size x 3 == cc of displacement of the chainsaw. You can reasonably expect to be able to cut twice the bar size of your saw and of course, the usable length is less than the actual advertised length of the bar. There are of course ways to cut more than 2 times the length with skill and careful thought but in general, that is the idea.

So, if you want an 18" bar and be able to cut hardwoods with relative ease, expect to buy at least a 54cc chainsaw, such as the Husq 350. I bought a Husqy 359 which is a 59cc 3.9HP chainsaw with a 20" bar because I have some huge 36"+ oaks to buck..

If you are somewhat experienced and looking at price too, consider the Dolmar 5100. I've read a lot about the Dolmars in that they are Makitas but they are cheaper than the Husqy and Stihl, have a good reputation, but is just harder to find a dealership. With a Stihl, you are buying a great product but also part of it is the name.

If you're just bucking up these trees and don't expect to use it again, you can go with the craftsman and stuff with the right power, but expect to pay about $350+ for a decent chainsaw that can run an 18" bar properly. Most consumers that I know buy Husqvarna just because they are a bit cheaper than Stihls yet they still have a wide dealer base, although IMO, not as big as the Stihl dealerships near me.

Don't forget the file for the chain, eye protection, helmet, ear and kevlar chaps and the PPE (personal protection equipment)...

You are the crispy noodle in the vegetarian salad of life

#4 of 12 Hugh Jackes

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Posted May 01 2007 - 01:37 AM

I have learned that some pain cannot be healed, but must be endured. I believe our Higher Power will help us to endure and find peace. I loved the boy with the utmost love of which my soul is capable and he is taken from me-yet in the agony of my spirit in surrendering such a treasure, I feel a thousand times richer than if I had never possessed it."
-- William Wordsworth 1812


#5 of 12 Jassen M. West

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Posted May 01 2007 - 02:48 AM

I have no idea about chainsaws but someone has to point out that Henry GALE lost trees due to a strong wind.....

#6 of 12 bbristol



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Posted May 01 2007 - 03:09 AM

Jonsered or Husky,

Either will be more than enough for your application. I have always been a believer in buying something that lasts. My dad builds log homes for a living, not lincoln logs or some kit you can order in a magazine, but real cabins from real trees, Using a chainsaw. On average he puts probably 25-30 hours on a saw a week. He has tried them all and know only buys Jonsereds and Husqvarnas. That would be my recomendation, however I can not speak to the models sold at walmart,lowes, menards. Most of the time the chainsaws sold at these stores are the entry level or lesser grade of saw. There are also professional grade saws that will in all likelihood last you forever.

Anyway, Jonsered or Husky, IMO.

#7 of 12 Henry Gale

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Posted May 01 2007 - 04:05 AM

Thank you all for your imput.

Came home today with the Husqvarna 455. The local tractor store I bought it from will do any servicing.
"I was born to ramble, born to rove
Some men are searchin for the Holy Grail
But there ain't nothin sweeter 
Than riden' the rails."
-Tom Waits-

#8 of 12 Tim L

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Posted May 01 2007 - 11:09 AM

I picked up a Husqvarna 345?(I think thats it- 16") around a year ago- and have cleared close to an acre of trees-. I have had no problems with it- the only thing I would recommend would be to have at least 3 chains on hand at all times -when one gets dull-just replace it-that way you will always have a sharp chain to use..enjoy and be careful!

#9 of 12 Greg_R



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Posted May 01 2007 - 11:22 AM

Up here in the PacNW I've only seen Stihl and Husqvarna in the back of logger's trucks. The weight / cost vary depending on the engine and bar length. Both brands have different quality levels as well. Weight could be an important factor for you (depending on how long you're cutting and how in shape you are).

My Dad has had a large Stihl for ~25 years with zero problems (but we only cut ~10 cords of wood each year).

#10 of 12 Jay H

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Posted May 01 2007 - 11:45 PM

I believe that Stihls are slightly lighter than the comparable Husky, but might be more a factor for felling trees and climbing them, the differences don't seem much.

A lot of folks compare chainsaws by basic HP, but when it comes down to it, a lot of it is RPMs and top end speed versus low end torque. A professional lumberjack has different needs than the average home user cutting firewood... Different saws have different design goals and sometimes it's confusing, especially when there are two different saws from the same company that have almost the same specs in raw CC/HP figures yet the two saws can be different beasts.

I suggest one learn how to sharpen a sawchain using a filing and depth gauge, it is easier on the chainsaw motor and a LOT easier on you, the user. When the saw is putting out dust and not chips, it is definitely time to sharpen the chain. Flip the bar every now and then too, to prolong the life of the bar.

You are the crispy noodle in the vegetarian salad of life

#11 of 12 Jeff Ulmer

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Posted May 02 2007 - 02:16 AM

Just remember the basic safety precautions when cutting, which includes singing the lumberjack song...

"I'm a lumberjack and I'm okay..."

A good serving of back bacon and maple syrup beforehand is optional... Posted Image

#12 of 12 JJMJ71


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Posted May 02 2007 - 05:54 AM

You can't go wrong with either of those brand names. We have had 2 Stihls for over 20 years now and not had a problem with either of them. Our family would cut around 2 cords a year for heating the house. The Husqvarna should last a long time for you. You will probably run out of trees before you wear out that chainsaw.

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