chainsaw advice

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Blog entry by Mike R. posted 12-29-2012 10:46 PM 1576 reads 0 times favorited 15 comments Add to Favorites Watch

looking to buy a chainsaw for general use and also to cut up logs and tree’s into lumber prefer turning stock so any advice out there?> i kn ow nothign about chainsaws so thank you for any advice would be welcome


15 comments so far

View TopamaxSurvivor's profile


18599 posts in 4094 days

#1 posted 12-29-2012 11:22 PM

Love my Stihl

-- Bob in WW ~ "some old things are lovely, warm still with life ... of the forgotten men who made them." - D.H. Lawrence

View Chris Moellering's profile

Chris Moellering

227 posts in 3066 days

#2 posted 12-30-2012 12:26 AM

Having a rotary tool to do your own chain sharpening saves a bunch of time and money.

They are noisy and messy but a lot of fun if you are careful.

-- Grace & peace, Chris+

View Dallas's profile


3599 posts in 2905 days

#3 posted 12-30-2012 12:42 AM

Like TMS, I like my Stihl, but I really love my Husqvarna clone, the Poulan 5020a. It comes with a 50.2cc engine, 20” bar and plenty of power.
It is a clone of the Husky 450-455.

I wasn’t fond of the OEM bar and chain and changed it out for a 20 Oregon solid bar and an LPX chain. I put over 150 hours on the bar and 2 chains cutting up downed trees after a storm and harvesting lumber from the large logs with a chainsaw mill.
I was frustrated by the limited width of the 20” bar so I changed out to a 28” Oregon Power Match bar and a longer LPX chain, I still haven’t bogged it down.

I never use a power or electrical sharpener on my chains, no matter how light your touch, you are taking off too much.

I use a Granberg 106a that clamps on the bar. It worked well for me in the 70’s and still works nicely now, plus I get more sharpenings out of the chains and one sharpening only takes about 20 minutes with the long chain, 10-15 minutes on the short chain.

Good Luck to ya!

-- Improvise.... Adapt...... Overcome!

View TopamaxSurvivor's profile


18599 posts in 4094 days

#4 posted 12-30-2012 12:48 AM

I never use power to sharpen either. Just 2 or 3 swipes with a file is all it takes. When it starts to cut crooked, take it to the saw shop to sharpen on their machine.

Chainsaws can be hazardous to your health! Stand so you can control where it goes if it kicks back.

-- Bob in WW ~ "some old things are lovely, warm still with life ... of the forgotten men who made them." - D.H. Lawrence

View ZiggyZ's profile


65 posts in 2803 days

#5 posted 12-30-2012 01:15 AM

I second the Stihl. I love my Farm Boss with a 20” bar. Plenty of power for most tasks, starts easy, and very reliable thus far. Picked mine up new for less than 400.

View Don W's profile

Don W

19244 posts in 2985 days

#6 posted 12-30-2012 01:52 AM

Husqvarna for me. I have 2.

I’m a file guy as well.

It sounds like the Husqvarna 359 is what you want.

Like said above, the chainsaw isn’t like a skill saw, its got a long reach and a mind of its own. Start slow and pay attention.

-- - Collecting is an investment in the past, and the future.

View Fuzzy's profile


298 posts in 4406 days

#7 posted 12-30-2012 01:54 AM

I have a Husqvarna 455 Rancher and a STIHL .. don’t remember the model number … the 455 is my “go-to” saw … it’s just a matter of preference, but the Husq. feels better in my hands.

-- - dabbling in sarcasm is foolish … if you’re not proficient at it, you end up looking stupid … ... ...

View sprucegum's profile


324 posts in 2415 days

#8 posted 12-30-2012 02:37 AM

Husqvarna, Stihl, or my favorite Jonsered they are all good. Avoid buying from the big box stores try to find a dealer who carries a good parts inventory and will service your saw. If you are going to make lumber with it buy one with some power 50 cc or more. Also if you are going to make lumber you will need a ripping chain, trying to saw length way of the log with a standard chain is slow and the long shavings just plug things up. If you have never filed a saw before some sort of filing guide will be a big help Oregon makes a good one. Many dealers will sharpen your chains for you for a reasonable fee. I file my own but sometimes if I saw into something really hard like a rock or a piece of steel I have my dealer grind it for me he charges $4.00. You may also want to invest in a Alaskan saw mill lots of used ones on

-- A tube of calk and a gallon of paint will make a carpenter what he ain't

View sprucegum's profile


324 posts in 2415 days

#9 posted 12-30-2012 02:43 AM

P.S. buy the safety equipment before you buy the saw Steel toes, chaps, and a hard hat with face shield and hearing protectors and remember your thumb goes under the top handle

-- A tube of calk and a gallon of paint will make a carpenter what he ain't

View Grandpa's profile


3263 posts in 3093 days

#10 posted 12-30-2012 03:03 AM

+1 on the safety gear. Get the thicker chaps and plan to replace them every few years. The Kevlar will break down with age. That is why the police get new vests about every 3 to 5 years. I like the Sthil 310. It is a horse with a 20 inch bar. Start with the green chain. The yellow kicks back worse but it is a cutting machine. Remember there are 2 handles on a chain saw. They mean for you to put a hand in each of them!
Having grown up in the ‘50’s we did all sorts of things that you aren’t supposed to do today. I took a McCulloch to the woods when I was 15 years old. How else will you learn to operate one? No one in my part of the country had such a saw. My uncle brought this saw from Oregon when he moved. We were in tall cotton as the saying goes. Later I borrowed a Wright brand saw from a man. I was about 19 then. I got too cool for words. You could hold the saw over your head and throw it forward while holding the trigger handle in your right hand and the starter rope in the left hand. It would start with no effort….worked great until it kicked back one day and I cut the leg in my jeans. Scared me enough that I put my foot through that handle today to start the saw and I am 66 years old. I have operate little homelites and some Echo’s and a husquavara. I like the Stihl the best. The thing is the power in the big saws. I suppose that if I were using an under powered Sthil I wouldn’t like it so much. Underpowered tools are just not fun to use. I believe they are safer if they have ample power. Be cautious and don’t work into that safety mode. Do it from the begining. I didn’t mention that I cut my hand on a Mini Mac with about an 8 inch bar. That little dickens kicked back from a dull chain and …..I didn’t have my hand in the handle like I said. I have had 2 accidents with chain saws and both came from not using the handle to hold the saw away from me. I am not a poster child for chain saw safety. Keep your hands in the handles and hang on to them. Today I use a chain saw but I use the safety gear and hold them tight. I don’t fear them but have learn a healthy respect for them.

View lanternguy's profile


4 posts in 2426 days

#11 posted 12-30-2012 05:50 AM

Stihl is the way to go. They run better than Timex!

View BigYin's profile


421 posts in 2834 days

#12 posted 12-30-2012 08:19 AM

Husqvarna or Stihl Saws ONLY
Husqvarna or Stihl or Oregon roler tip Bars, Chains, Files, Oil, Greese etc
If you can afford it get the professional model rather than home model. (13 to 20 inch bar)
Get and use the hard hat fitted with visor and ear defendors – this realy matters

Husqvarna 353 or 555 should fit your requirenents or Stihl MS261 or MS362.

If you screw around with a chainsaw it will kill or cripple you, so get chainsaw pants to protect your legs and workboots for your feet. Chainsaws do not give a second chance.

-- ... Never Apologise For Being Right ...

View turnkey47's profile


307 posts in 3109 days

#13 posted 12-30-2012 10:18 AM

i have 3 husqvarna’s,266.288.and 570..all with 20 inch bars..i agree with sprucegum don’t buy from big box store .because sooner or later you will need parts or service…husqvarna or stihl is the way to go,just my own opinion

View Howie's profile


2656 posts in 3341 days

#14 posted 12-30-2012 11:52 AM

Remember to keep the chain out of the dirt. All it takes is an instant and you have a dull saw.

-- Life is good.

View Shanem's profile


130 posts in 2884 days

#15 posted 01-02-2013 03:23 AM

love my stihls
I have a ms170 and a 038 magnum second one is used for any of the big stuff and chainsaw milling, 170 for small brush and limbs. Would advise a lot bigger than 170if only getting one

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