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Looking to buy new saw, Husky or Stihl

Discussion in 'Chainsaw' started by Information, Feb 1, 2010.

  1. Information

    Information New Member

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    Folks -
    New here, looking for some advice. I am going to purchase a new chainsaw and I am having a difficult time trying to chose between a Husqvarna 455 and the Stihl MS 290. I know the models are not 100% comparable but the local Stihl dealer wants way to much for a MS 310 ($429, 16"). From browsing online, they both seem to have their issues. The common complaint I find about the Husqvarna is there seems to be issues with the oiler. The issue with the Stihl seems to be arounds cranking it and idling. I assume these issues are not wide spread with either product. I have local dealers and service for both brands. I am looking for anyone who has had a good or bad experience, knowledge, or a suggestion for either product. I am open to different models/brands but would like to stay 400 or below. I think I would like a 18" or 20" bar for some of the larger hard woods. I had a Poulan Pro with 16" bar but had major issues with the chain coming off. I am not sure if it is a user error or the device. I used it pretty hard but I have grown tired of the chain becoming very loose or completely off every 5-10 minutes.
     
    Andyshine77, isaaccarlson and dh1984 like this.
  2. JohnnyBoy1986

    JohnnyBoy1986 ArboristSite Operative

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    depending on how much cutting you are going to do you should know both saws are semi-professional (or occasional use) saws. For a $400 budget and seasonal firewood cutting they would be fine but for anything more they are not. Between those two I would go with the husqvarna, the stihl is a cheapened saw that has alot of different issues, not to mention comparably pricier parts. If i was to buy a husqvarna and i were you and money was not too awful much of a factor i would reconsider and go for a more professionally oriented saw, possibly a 357XP or one closer to your pricerange, a 346XP. I think either of those would be very satisfactory to you and way better than the 455. JMHO
     
  3. southbound

    southbound AboristSite Guru

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    Welcome to the forum!!!!!!:cheers:

    Does it have to be new???

    See I went and bought a new MS 290 to replace a cheap saw I wont even mention the brand...:blush: Anyway if I knew the what I now know then I would have bought a used Stihl and had less money in it and a better saw...Like a 038 mag or a 044...

    Good luck.........
     
  4. climber338

    climber338 ArboristSite Operative

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    455 rancher will do you just fine.
     
  5. southbound

    southbound AboristSite Guru

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    O and for the record I haven't had any trouble out of the MS290 it is a great saw.. Starts every time and idles all day too... The muffler mod helped out a lot also..
     
  6. flyboy

    flyboy ArboristSite Operative

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    I have run the 455 quite a bit. I liked how well the engine ran. It was a reliable saw. I did NOT like the anti vibes though. They were so squishy that I did not feel like I had proper control of the bar/chain.

    The oiler constantly left me with large amounts of oil on my stomach but oiled the bar well.

    That is one heavy saw for the power output as well. I could not actually safely run a 455 all day long. The combination of weight and poor balance was too much for my 6 foot 190 pound frame to handle all day. I say poor balance because I am pretty sure my old 031s are actually heavier, but much less tiring to run.


    The 290....I only ran one for about 3 minutes....not long enough to give a review.


    I do have an 026. I would prefer a decent used 026 to either of those saws. It is much lighter but with slightly less power. It has better anti-vibes than the 455. It is a very reliable pro-level saw that can be had for about $200 on the used market. It has more power than the MS260 (current model that replaced the 026).

    All of those saws are about the smallest that can effectively run 3/8 chain vs the smaller .325 chain. I personally feel 3/8 is much easier to hand file. In addition, the file itself is fatter for the 3/8, and flexes less when using it.

    Either the 290 or 455 will likely be a fine choice for the average homeowner. The 290 got a lot of votes for the most underrated saw on a recent thread here.
     
  7. SergeantG

    SergeantG ArboristSite Lurker

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    Chainsaw purchase

    I'm pretty new here too, but so far I've been made welcome so now I welcome you! I have been impressed with the knowledge and experience that I've found here. I've owned a Husky 455, 257 and 353, and I thought they were all good saws until I bought a Stihl MS 270 Woodboss with an 18 inch bar a few weeks ago. This is one great saw! It starts easy, slices through any kind of wood ( hedge, locust, etc.) , and seems to be built very well. I really love it. I paid $449.00 for it and I found that all the Stihl dealers in my area have the same prices on all of their saws. I at first balked at spending the money, but now I feel that it was well worth it. Hope this helps you.
     
  8. Hlakegollum

    Hlakegollum ArboristSite Operative

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    Try to find a used MS260. My 2 cents.:cheers:
     
  9. dh1984

    dh1984 Hard worker

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    welcome to the fourm

    i woud go with a stihl 441 magnum like i got a week ago brand new. it will cut anything you put it up to depneds on your bar. i cut a tree today that the snow got and laid down and it was twice the bar i had on it. and it still done better then my 041 stihl. but it's up to you on what saw your goin to get tho.
     
  10. WoodChuck'r

    WoodChuck'r LOTR²

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    Get a 441, or a Husky 576.

    Welcome to AS by the way. :)


    Send the man some rep people!!! :chainsawguy:
     
  11. 02powerstroke

    02powerstroke ArboristSite Lurker

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    we've had great luck with our MS361. We do a mix of firewood cutting and felling dead trees. never had any problems with it knock on wood.
     
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  12. jd548esco72

    jd548esco72 ArboristSite Operative

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    for the money $299 shipped if amazon is still selling them the cub cadet 57cc is a decent mid range saw. maybe the makita 6401 for $499 if you need a real hoss/chainsaw?

    i have had a 029super and a 455 rancher. they do OK but i can think of a bunch of saws that have more grunt, hold up better and that cost the same or even less.

    i would grab a used pro saw any day of the week. have you checked out the trading post? :chainsawguy:
     
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  13. dingeryote

    dingeryote Blueberry Baron

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    Both are good saws, and neither should give a casual user or newbie more trouble than the other.

    It sounds like you are having more issues with bieng newish to saws than the saw itself. Everybody makes that revolution.

    That said, go into each dealer and ask if they will walk you through the basics if you bought a saw from them.
    Buy the saw from the better dealer that will, and pay the difference if it's the Stihl dealer. It's cheaper than repairs or bodily damage later.

    If all you are looking at is the price, refurbed 455's can be had for 300 bucks with full warranty and will do fine for most people.

    Neither are magic though, and if you do something silly, they both will be unforgiving.

    Stay safe!
    Dingeryote
     
  14. flyboy

    flyboy ArboristSite Operative

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    Whatever you buy.....leave $100--$120 for a decent forestry helmet and a set of chaps. The Husqvarna and Stihl chaps are quite nice. Labonvilles are supposed to be good as well. The Stihl forestry helmet has a nicer suspension system than husky. I have got many excellent years of use from that helmet. Do not run a saw without personal protective equipment.
     
  15. Information

    Information New Member

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    Newish

    I have worked alot with Chainsaws before but most of them have been my father's. He would swear is life by Poulan, no joke. So that was my first one. Not really new to using them, just new to maintaining or choosing which one to buy. I have been slowly clearing some land of smaller trees and some of the diseased larger oaks and pines (trying to leave most of the larger trees) and was looking for a saw that was more of a work horse with less issues. I am fairly certain the the Poulan's issues with the chain was a combo of ignorance and bad design on the tool free tensioning.
     
  16. roncoinc

    roncoinc Official Stihl Disser

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    :cry: Oh man ! another one !!

    If you can make the trip to several dealers go and tell them your budget and what you want to do with the saw and your experiance..test drive,handle,feel,talk,listen..check out the colors even..then go home and sleep on it and go back to the ones that made you feel comfortable and do it again..... it is NOT something to be taken lightly ,, you WILL need that dealer down the road..brand is NOT as important if you are new at saws as WHO you buy it from..
    BTW,,check out ALL the dealers you can manage to get to...now THAt information is "priceless" .. :)
     
  17. dingeryote

    dingeryote Blueberry Baron

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    OK then....

    Head over to the tradin post.
    Skip the 455 and the 290 and just step up to a used 361/044-440 or 357,359,372 Husky for about 4 Bills. You'll never wear 'em out with honest use, and can rebuild 'em after thrashing on 'em.
    More grunt, and lighter than the box store and homeowner saws to boot.

    If you're gonna be doing a LOT of cutting, either the 455 or the 290 will drive ya nuts for bieng slow heavy dogs in short order.

    Pics of the cutting site would be cool!!

    Stay safe!
    Dingeryote
     
  18. mechanizm

    mechanizm shimi super-pit

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    i've had about 15 chainsaws and never bought one new. the scrap metal yard has them CHEAP. my new "go-to" saw is a craftsman 36cc "husky" that was almost unused. i paid .40/lb for it, did a quick fix and now it's fine. there is no reason to buy a new saw....
     
  19. 2000ssm6

    2000ssm6 Stihl User

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    Good stuff right here.:hmm3grin2orange::hmm3grin2orange::hmm3grin2orange:
     
  20. dingeryote

    dingeryote Blueberry Baron

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    Yes, yes it is... in a sociopathic dark humor sorta way.
    Like a ball bat with nails in it.:D


    Stay Safe!
    Dingeryote
     

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