chainsaw recommendation? : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) : One Thread

What's the best chainsaw?

I am looking at a Craftsman 16" blade and 36cc engine for $149.

Anyone have a favorite axe? How about an axe-shovel combo?

Both for 4x4s. TIA.

-- Ann Y Body (, September 08, 1999


Stihl 026. Accept no substitutes.


-- Mr. Decker (, September 08, 1999.


Good tools will make your work easier, safer and more enjoyable. Don't buy junk -- a bad chainsaw can kill you quicker than you realize. Or make cutting wood so repellent that you won't do as much as you need.

We have a Stihl; there are other good brands. Figure $225 plus for a quality machine. I know, I know....we couldn't afford it either -- but it has paid for itself a hundred times over.

Anita E.

-- Anita Evangelista (, September 08, 1999.

Ken! I knew sooner or later we'd find our common ground! :)

-- a (a@a.a), September 08, 1999.

still! Best bet is to keep that chain sharp. Dull chain is more dangerous. Read the saftey precautions and practice them as though your life depended on it (chainsaw can do you in a heart beat)

-- lurker (, September 08, 1999.

Husqvarna is the brand I would recommend. Having lived in Oregon for many years, I knew many full time loggers. They used Husqvarna more than any other brand. For the past 9 years I've been using some cheap chainsaw (Homelite) and never realized the difference. This year I bought a new Husqvarna 550 and it was like night and day. A good chainsaw is powerful enough to cut wood easily. A cheap chainsaw, even if sharp, does not compare and in my opinion is much more dangerous because you have to "muscle" it to do the job. A good chainsaw slices through big and small trees like butter, very little "muscle" required to get the job done. Consequently you don't get as tired, you can cut more wood much faster, and you're not afraid to tackle bigger logs. I would definitely recommend you purchase the best chainsaw you can afford, Husqvarna or Stihl, you won't regret it years from now.

-- John Cutter (, September 09, 1999.

Absolutely Stihl or Husqvarna (sp?). Spent time as cook for a crew of Alaskan timber "cutters" (fallers) and that is ALL they used, with a majority choosing Stihl. Like anything else, though painful on the pocketbook up front, you will reap the rewards many times over as you use it. Learn about files, sharpening, and other maintenance. It will serve you well.

-- Kristi (, September 09, 1999.

Sorry I forgot the rest of the answer..... :)

Look at a "Pulaski" tool - an axe type blade on one side and a hoe/pick hybrid on the other- wildland firefighters are VERY familiar with it - great for digging/trenching and chopping through roots of manzanita, pine, etc. Do a search for Bailey's or Bailey - they have a decent catalog of timber related items. I really don't think you should try anything more "combination" than that .... if you want a shovel then get a GOOD one and store it with the Pulaski (or whatever). Good luck!

-- Kristi (, September 09, 1999.

all of the above, plus:

never cut wood alone.

-- no talking please (, September 09, 1999.

I just bought an ECHO saw. It is very well built, used by professional arborists, and is very light weight. I was told by several people that it is one of the three to buy, Stihl, Husquvarna, or Echo. The $199.00 I spent has already been recouped. I have cut six chord of cherry, and fir firewood in the last few days. Echo's can be found....where else... Home Depot. My home away from home. Good luck, and don't forget the wedges for any trees over 18" in diameter, if your a novice like me. Direction is everything, if your in close proximity to manmade obstacles!

-- Michael (, September 09, 1999.

1)NEVER SAW ALONE (at least until you've done it for a couple years).

2) Don't fell trees unless you have had some training or experience (cut with an experienced person for a few afternoons, bet the blisters and the bumps and bruises with someone who knows how to do it, as there ARE tricks).

3) I recommend Stihl as this is what we used reclaiming creek banks, where you build log cabins as it were and fill em with rocks. they will cut in virtually ANY position and water didn't seem to faze them.

4) Plan on spending 15-20% of the time cutting, sharpening the chain. You will cut a LOT more and you will be able to walk, talk and move your arms the next day.

5) SEE # 4.

6) SAFETY demands care, a sharp chain, and someone watching for you to do a "Chuck" errrr a stupid.

7) (have you caught the drift/trend on sharp chain yet??)

Chuck, a night driver who used to cut a few trees for a living

-- Chuck, a night driver (, September 09, 1999.

One of my businesses utilizes the chainsaw as the *main tool*. We have found, through cost accounting, the Husquvarna to have a slight edge over Stihl but all in all it really is a "Ford vs. Chevy" debate. Our line starts will the Husky 136 and moves up to the Husky 371. My personal favorites are the Husky 50 and the Husky 288.

The questions you need to answer are:

1. What do I need the saw to do?

2. What are my physical abilities?

Purchase from a *full service* saw shop or outdoor store only!

-- (, September 09, 1999.

Chainsaw???? for what???

A log cabin maybe?? Lots of wet firewood for the winter!!

LoL-- get a bow saw and do lots of bicep curls in preparation!

Or are you planning on having lots and lots of petro for that chainsaw.

-- David Butts (, September 09, 1999.

Stihl, get the model big enough to drive the "coarse", more agressive chain and buy an extra chain.

The small model with the less aggressive chain is a false economy.

I have used the small one with sixteen inch bar for eight years, no complaints but not productive enough for cutting firewood. Live and learn.

Make sure the bar oil you use matches the ambient temperature you are operating in. Oil is cheap and bars are expensive.

-- Tom Beckner (, September 09, 1999.

Buy a couple of extra chains, too.

-- Bill (, September 09, 1999.

The biggest secret about using a chain saw I have learned is to always use fresh gasoline. I recently had to have my 25 year old Stil's carb rebuilty due to using old gas. I had been 8 year since I had had it done. When I picked up the saw, the man said to use gas that is no older than 30 days. I have found this to be very wise advice. Some times I have only wanted to cut a branch or trim something very quickly, and have used the old gas that had been sitting for several months and my saw has paid for it. Remember, fresh gas. I take the old gas and just pour it into my truck's tank and it seems to burn it okay.

-- chicken farmer (chicken-farmer@, September 09, 1999.

Oh, Lordie, Chuck. You are so right. Be sure the saw is not too large, and never reach up too high with any saw. My son has 15 stichesjust above the knee from his first experience with the stihl. Praise God it was not worse. He was alone, also, had to jump in pick up and get himself to emergency room. I feel guilty because I was out buying more toilet paper and clorox.

-- Betty Alice (, September 09, 1999.

Decker's Stihl 026 is a good recommendation. I'd suggest replacing the stock blade with a longer 24" blade and chain. The engine can handle the added load OK, and it'll be much easier for you to use in falling, trimming, and bucking your trees; less reaching and bending needed. Don't forget to file down the "rakers" between the cutting teeth when you sharpen your chain. And if you want to keep both of your legs the same length for the forseeable future, get a pair of logger's chaps and wear them everytime, all the time; that chainsaw can turn on you in a second, faster than you can react.

-- Norm Harrold (, September 09, 1999.

I recommend the Stihl - two of them. One small for trimming and the large for actual cutting. Don't forget LOTS of extra supplies and fuel, files, chains,etc.

-- jeanne (, September 09, 1999.

I appreciate these answers. I purchased a 16" Poulan two years ago because it was inexpensive. So far I've cut up over 40 trees, adding up to more than 10 cords of wood (oak, maple and ash). I'm on my second blade, but other than that there has never been any problem with the saw whatsoever.

Have I just been lucky?

-- Flint (, September 09, 1999.

I've owned two Craftsmen saws and don't think they are worth the money. I live in deep woods and cut a great deal of wood. I build everything out of wood and use my saws constantly. I shopped and shopped last year and wound up buying two (yes 2!) saws, both of them are Johnsenred. Made by the same company that makes Husqavarna. Stihl is an excellent saw too. Any of these three brands are the only brands to choose from. You need to assess your needs first before buying any old saw. Not all saw are built the same, nor are they designed for the same type of use. I do not recommend a used saw if you can afford a new one.

-- Ray Shuster (, September 09, 1999.

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