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STIHL MS 260 Pro or Husky 346xp

Discussion in 'Chainsaw' started by CountryGuy, May 10, 2006.

  1. CountryGuy

    CountryGuy ArboristSite Lurker

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    Last fall I got 18" Pulan Pro 345 (or something similar) from Sears. It didn't last long and now it's back to Sears for warranty repair...

    I don't make living with chainsaw but I do cut some trees on my property and help neighbors. Then we cut all trees down to 1' - 2' logs for firewood.

    I know I am going to keep only 1 saw and it has to work with 16 - 20" bar.

    I don't know much about chainsaws and I hope that somebody will point me in the right direction.

    Should I consider buying Stihl MS 260 Pro or Husky 346xp?

    Thx. :chainsaw:
     
  2. wagonwheeler

    wagonwheeler AboristSite Guru

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    I wound up w/ a MS361/18" using the same criteria... but either of the two saws listed w/ a 18" bar would be a good choice as long as you're not making a lot of full bar cuts. Even a 20" bar would be fine unless you're making a lot of full bar cuts. In other words - a 16", 18", 20" bar is gonna be essentially the same 'speed' in 12" wood.

    Check out the saws w/ different bars in place and see what 'feels' right. Nose heavy isn't a bad thing cutting firewood.

    Find a dealer/source you like. Sales price isn't everything - you're gonna need oil/filters/chains/files/ppe...

    Chaser
     
  3. CountryGuy

    CountryGuy ArboristSite Lurker

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    Thanks for a prompt response. Yes, majority of cuts will be around 12" - 14" and 16" bar would be great ... but quite often I need 18" to cut some big trees down, and few times I wish I had 20" bar ;)

    I went to a dealer last Friday and I liked MS 260. Now I am hoping to visit a Husky dealer later this week.
     
  4. Mr_Brushcutter

    Mr_Brushcutter ArboristSite Operative

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    346xp

    Love the saw really fast cutting and low vibration and loads of power. Its much better than the 260 IMO. Ours has a 15" bar on it and we have an 18" for bigger stuff.
     
  5. computeruser

    computeruser Addicted to ArboristSite

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    Those are both excellent saws. For general use, I might consider the Husqvarna 353, also, as it has a more forgiving powerband than the 346 and will save you a few dollars. And you may also want to look at Husqvarna's 359 or Dolmar's 5100s, if you want a saw that will be even more comfortable with a 20" than the 260 and 346/353.

    Of the two saws you originally mentioned, I would go for the 260 for its less-peaky powerband. But that's just what I prefer; some folks absolutely thrive on the peaky powerband and would not want to have anything else. Of all the saws suggested, I think that the 353 would likely be my choice - 346 quality/durability, a bit more forgiving powerband, and it can be had for about $350.

    Regardless, any of the saws should meet your needs very well, all without breaking the bank.
     
  6. lovetheoutdoors

    lovetheoutdoors Addicted to ArboristSite

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    If that is the size of saw you want, you cant go wrong either way. If it was me i would looke at the 361 and the 357 or even the 372:D
     
  7. CountryGuy

    CountryGuy ArboristSite Lurker

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    Thank you all. Now it comes to the price/availability in my area. I'll keep you posted :biggrinbounce2:
     
  8. West Texas

    West Texas AboristSite Guru

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    I'm partial to the 260 Pro because it has an adjustable oiler and a decomp valve; ;and, I run a 16" bar on my 026 and an 18" bar on the 260 Pro. I have an 16" bar on one of my 361's and a 20" bar on the other.

    I use 16" bars for limbing and clearing all the 'frog hair' off of the dead oaks that I cut down. I use the larger bars for 'felling' the trees and chopping up the trunks.
     
  9. JPP

    JPP ArboristSite Operative

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    I like my 260 Pro very much. Don't have any experience with the Husky.

    Just curious...what went wrong with your Poulan. I have a 12 year old 38cc Poulan that I have cut 7-10 face cords of firewood with every year and the thing still runs GREAT!!! It is now reduced to limbing and pruning after I bought the 260.

    If you are an occasional user, Poulans are a great deal for the money, IMO.

    Key with any saw (or any tool) is to maintain them and make sure your gas/oil mix is correct.
     
  10. Mr_Brushcutter

    Mr_Brushcutter ArboristSite Operative

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    The 346 has an adjustable oiler but no decompression valve, think the 353 does though. The oiler is a great feature but don't be put off by lack of decomp valve. The 346 isn't to hard to start i don't really use the decomp. value on my 365.
     
  11. wagonwheeler

    wagonwheeler AboristSite Guru

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    Look at the 359 husky if the majority of cuts are 12"-14".

    About the cost of the 260 pro/346xp but with more grunt. Which is why I wound up w/ the 361...even though it cost more.

    Once you get your Craftsman back it can be your frog hair saw unless you can unload it or get money back. But it's worth keeping if you can only get $50 for it. It can be your loaner...

    Chaser
     
  12. mikey

    mikey ArboristSite Operative

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    Be Careful or you will end up with several saws like many here have.The saws you mentioned are excellent in quality,however the engine size dictates how easy it will cut the big stuff .It sounds like you might be better served with a larger saw (60 -70 cc) with a 20" bar.
     
  13. SawTroll

    SawTroll Information Collector

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    Ditto!
    The best advice so far in this tread so far, I think.
    The "3 cube" saws are at their best with 16" or less, with the possible exception of the Dolmar PS-5100.
    Also good advice imo, but even though I like it, I would rule out the MS260 because of air filter and anti-vibe issues.

    The availability of good servicing dealers (or not) is often more important than which saw brand, and it often rules out Dolmar......
     
    Last edited: May 11, 2006
  14. lawnmaniac883

    lawnmaniac883 ArboristSite Member

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    I just bought a MS361 last week. Am an occasional user but wanted to buy once not twice. I will never look back now :chainsaw:
     
  15. wagonwheeler

    wagonwheeler AboristSite Guru

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    Yeah...I hear ya...and I even said "I only want to buy a saw once" before getting my 361, which was followed by an 025 and now an 066...

    Granted, if I only kept 1 saw it would be the 361. No question.

    Chaser
     
  16. rbtree

    rbtree Addicted to ArboristSite

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    Get a 346 or Dolmar 5100S. Both will outcut the 026 and are better saws, imo.... though I hear the new 026 has a bit more power than the old one, but only if you open up the muffler and retune it..
     
  17. pinus

    pinus ArboristSite Operative

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    You need not a pro saw for occasional using but you can crab it:laugh:
    So, choices are wider from 260/346XP
     
  18. SawTroll

    SawTroll Information Collector

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    I have also "heard" that (from Stihltech, I think), but the published (US only) specs did in fact drop by .2 kw/.3 bhp some time in 2oo4 .....

    At the same time the displacement went up to 48.7 to 50.2 cc (the bore changed from 44 to 44.7 mm).
    That also happened here, but the specs are still the same as before.:help: :confused:
     
    Last edited: May 12, 2006
  19. Lakeside53

    Lakeside53 Stihl Wrenching

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    Roger is saying there is more "potential" in the saw. The displacement was increased to overcome the loss of power by the EPA stuff. Mod the saw and you now have a saw that will perform better than the original. I've done a couple of mufflers on the new version and they really come to life. Haven't compared them side by side but IMHO, they cut and work really damn well.

    As for which is the best saw across the brands, it's hard to argue with an 18 year track record of reliability and sales... and for the fix-it-yourself-types, the availability of cheap new (aftermarket and NOS) and used parts if ever required. I can lay my hands on dozens of 026 crankcases, cylinders,carbs etc in a few minutes and that's without even asking anyone on AS; where do I get a 5100 for parts?
     
  20. THALL10326

    THALL10326 The Champ

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    I'm with you Lake on the 026. Its hard to beat the reliability of that saw. Some judge saws based solely on how fast they cut and thats ok but the true test of any saw is how long it will last all toll in service. The 026 has a proven record of being able to last 15 years or more and thats a pretty impressive record to stand on....
     

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