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Stihl MS 201T vs. Husqvarna 338XP T

Discussion in 'Arborist 101' started by blrobison, Mar 27, 2013.

  1. blrobison

    blrobison ArboristSite Lurker

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    I am doing a recommendation letter for a college class which wants us to determine which is a better quality chainsaw. I chose to do a comparison of the Stihl MS 201T and the Husqvarna 338XP T. I am not interested in the Stihl MS 200T since commercial distributors no longer sell them (I have seen though that it's much better than the MS 201T).

    What I am asking is for people who own these items or have heard pros and cons to reply and give some good advice on which is a better saw. I'm not looking for a brand war, but be honest with your experience on these products. Thank you for your help and happy posting.
     
  2. zapblam

    zapblam ArboristSite Lurker

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    Whenever I ask the climbers if the want the Stihl or the Husq, I get the same reply from all. The sharpest one, and whichever is ready to go. No real preference between 3 climbers but always have both brands on hand.
     
  3. cjtreeclimber

    cjtreeclimber ArboristSite Operative

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    Man don't forget about the Echo cs 355 t.
     
  4. KenJax Tree

    KenJax Tree Terraphobic

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    I just bought one Tuesday and for the 3rd day in a row my 201T is in the truck.
     
  5. miko0618

    miko0618 ArboristSite Operative

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    the 338 xp has great power. you can bury a 14" bar and it pulls very strong. its a little bit more sensitive to idle speed for starting and idling. I don't have a 201t but I do have a 192t. to 192t is much more comfortable to hold. the balance and grip is better. I had to open up the muffler and make a custom exhaust to be able to use the 192t. it really helped and the saw isn't bad now. but stock, its very weak. I also did a muffler mod on the 338. it gave it a boost but even stock it rips. the 338 is built better, heavier duty, no question. I really like the styling of the stihls. the ergonomics are great. I wish I had a 201t to compare the power for you. I use my 192t for pruning and trees with smaller limbs. but when I need power to make good cuts, especially when I am hinging a large branch under load, I use the 338.
     
  6. TheJollyLogger

    TheJollyLogger Addicted to ArboristSite

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    OK I'll bite. 338 is a great saw, but not great as far as maintenance goes. Nothing big, but always seems to need something, mostly primer bulbs and fuel lines, etc. I've been on the 201 for about a month now, and honestly feel like it's gotten a bad rap. good power, lots of torque. Long break in period, really needed 4-5 tanks. To me it's really chevy ford.
     
  7. miko0618

    miko0618 ArboristSite Operative

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    So which do you like? I mean if the 201t has the same power as the 338, it would be the better saw in my opinion.
     
  8. sawmanjw52

    sawmanjw52 ArboristSite Lurker

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    What are the price differences among the 201, 338 etc. I use the 192t, my dad got it at a very good price and fixed it. It seems to be a pretty good one.
     
  9. miko0618

    miko0618 ArboristSite Operative

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    the 338 is around $500. the 201 is around $600. 192 is around $300. echo's run between $300- $450.
     
  10. TheJollyLogger

    TheJollyLogger Addicted to ArboristSite

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    The 201, it just feels better
     
  11. KenJax Tree

    KenJax Tree Terraphobic

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    The Echo 355T feels better than my 201T
     
  12. Goose IBEW

    Goose IBEW ArboristSite Operative

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    So, how far off is the CS360T from the new CS355T?
     
  13. KenJax Tree

    KenJax Tree Terraphobic

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    Not sure, i've never used any other Echo top handle saw but the 355 is way better than the 201 outta the box and i don't think the little extra power from the 201 is worth the extra $250. I also have a 201. And i really think once the Echo is broken in that it will be right on the heels of the 201.
     
    Last edited: Mar 31, 2013
  14. Chappas

    Chappas ArboristSite Lurker

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    I haven't used the 201T, but if it is balanced like the 200T was, then that is a point in its favor. I like my 338xpt a lot, however it does have a couple drawbacks. The balance isn't the same as the Stihl MS200T's was, so it took some getting used to. The kill switch being mounted at the top of the handle can sometimes be activated by poor thumb position. Love the lanyard through handle mount, as opposed to the metal ring that the Stihl's have. The 338xpt, also seems to use less bar oil than the Stihls I've used in the past. I also like that it doesn't use the quick twist fuel and oil caps that the Stihl's have. Not once since switching has a groundie filled a saw and sent it back to me with an unsecured cap. That happened quite a few times with the Stihls. Don't know that I would say one is better than the other, both have their idiosyncrasies that you'll have to adjust too. Hope that helps you some....
     
  15. ducaticorse

    ducaticorse Addicted to ArboristSite

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    That may be all well and true about a stock 201, but twenty minutes worth of simple mods on the 201 and it will out cut a muff modded 200. I never even ran the one I got after hearing the reviews. It was brand new and I pulled it apart, did the muff and carb, and that thing is one bad larry now....

    You want to talk about a waste of money,, The Husky 338XPT is just that..
     
  16. AshTree

    AshTree ArboristSite Lurker

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    Hmmm... Should I add my 2 Cents

    Own a fleet a Stihls, used all the saws in question, had a 334t for a while and the horrendous 335xpt. 338xp is a decent saw but they are also no longer in production, now it is the 435t. I have seen them and they are totally redesigned. 201 are heavy, awkward and a real pain for the break in, which stays with the saw for a long time and takes 2-3 mins minimum of solid cutting time to get warm. 200T are the best by far with the 338xp close behind, whose design is good but not great. Plastic backing will break exposing the spark plug which can and will shock you, fuel line and carb issues are common also. I recommend the Stihls for something like a college class, who won't notice the weight or bulk since they are new anyways, what your going to need is the reliability and tank like build on a Stihl. Many a student will end up with a leg of gas or bar oil, but that is good for them, helps them learn about the caps... :laugh:
     
  17. TheJollyLogger

    TheJollyLogger Addicted to ArboristSite

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    Too funny, I'd forgotten about the plug issue until you said that! Glad I'm not the only one.
     
  18. ducaticorse

    ducaticorse Addicted to ArboristSite

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    I have a 338xpt and a 334t, both cracked by the plug as you have mentioned. As far as comparing the 338xpt to the 200T? you just cant. The saw is inferior in every way. I realize that the 201T may be a bit of a dog out of the box, but it absolutely DOMINATES the 338XPT in every way with two very simple, non time consuming mods.. I would go as far as saying STIHL actually INTENDED on the mods to be done at the consumer level in order to unlock it's true potential in a very easy manner just to get it past emissions. If you run the modded and tuned 201T against a similarly modded 338XPT and still feel the same way, then I guess you're a little Husky biased, because there simply is no comparison between the two at that level. With the same mods done to the 201T it will absolutely hang tight with a muff modded 200T no problem.
     

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