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Advice Needed: Chainsaw for an older woman

Discussion in 'Chainsaw' started by frontier, Dec 27, 2019.

  1. buttercup

    buttercup Gone fishing

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    I like Makita for the quality myself, but if you're not happy with Milwaukee that is about as good as it gets, you not happy with that you not be happy with anything, mighty seagull spoke ugh, or "squeeek".
     
  2. Remle

    Remle ArboristSite Operative

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    By and large, I like their tools, but my tools tend to live in the bins of a service body truck and Milwaukee tools just have not held up to the elements. My Dewalt tools keep chugging away and I can’t seem to break my Ryobis, yet when it comes to Milwaukee I’ve worn out a drill, impact driver, vacuum and two battery packs.
     
  3. buttercup

    buttercup Gone fishing

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    All upside down to me... Dewalt is solid though not exactly precise when it comes to table saws, my bosch worksite table saw is another level for the furniture woodworking and the likes.
    That and the miter saw is really nice, wood or aluminum. All other tools I have is Makita, I wouldn't mind Milwaukee at all, absolutely top of the shelf as far as I know (knew). Ryobi is an old brand gone commercial, if futuristic plastic is your cup of tea.
    Else the Bosch pro line is kinda like Stihl - overpriced and flippy caps makes bad value.
     
  4. Brushwacker

    Brushwacker Addicted to ArboristSite

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    Stihl ms250 or ms180 with EZ START. EVERYTHING you have said I feel strongly 1 of those would suit you much better then any thing bigger. There might be similar newer models with EZ start i am not familar with. My dad was about 90 using and starting on his own an ms180 ez start start before he passed. I had bought him an similar sized Husqvarna with an compression release prior to that saw he could not cold start. Compression release isn't near the aid in making it easier on your shoulder. My neighbor at 92ish was admitted to a nursing home few days ago. I know he was still using an ms250 ez start about 1 year ago also. My shoulder is a bit lame and i have used both those saws my self. If you try to pull them over rapidly, they don't feel right. Give them a smooth steady pull and they will whip it over at the end of the pull plenty fast to start a well tuned saw. If you want to be safe and not in a very big hurry an ms 250 is plenty saw for average 14in diameter trees. MS 180 will get the job done but not as fast. If the 250 feels to heavy for ya, go with a 180, otherwise i believe the 250 would likely hold up better and longer cause of its size and may be built a little stronger structure wise.
     
  5. Remle

    Remle ArboristSite Operative

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    I’m a huge fan of Ryobi. Their tools are cheap, numerous and IME just keep going and going. No, they’re not professional grade, they tend to be bigger, plastikier and cruder than professional tools, but the only Ryobis that have let me down were an inflator that I repeatedly used on an 80 psi truck tire and a used blue drill that I bought for $5.
     
  6. Kyfan

    Kyfan ArboristSite Member

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    In my line of work I use about 6 different angle grinders on a daily basis I have found the following.

    Dewalt, their high end not big box store stuff is very good, I prefer makita but own a bunch of dewalt.

    Metabo, the best but extremely pricey.

    Makita, to me the best balance of value and quality plus insanely durable.

    Milwaukee, has a excellent warranty program I know this because their grinders love to burn up. For some reason the motors they use just don't hold up nowadays.

    Hilti, not worth the money for a grinder. Great for everything else though.

    I know this is off topic I just wanted to share my personal experience so no one thought I was just bad mouthing a brand. As for the electric chainsaw makita has a deal right now where you get the 36v that uses two regular 18v batteries at once with 4 batteries for around $400. I would think that is the best deal going. Plus it would give you alot of batteries towards any other cordless tools if you aren't already in a system.
     
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  7. Ryan'smilling

    Ryan'smilling Addicted to ArboristSite

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    First, I'm sorry for your loss.

    Your story is uncannily similar to that of a friend of mine. Minus the strong young son, and she has a Lucas mill instead of a band mill. Maybe I could give you her number and you can talk saws with her.

    Anyway, she bought a Stihl battery saw and loves it. I would say it's been an empowering tool. Since it doesn't use gas, she hauls it around in her minivan when she's out and about. Has used it to clear driveways a few times since she got it this summer. It's not gonna win any firewood races, but it's actually pretty strong in the cut for what it is. I'd certainly recommend checking one out. And I'd agree with the notion of a bigger saw for your son. I would STRONGLY suggest though that he take some formal safety training. He's at a great age to learn a lot and avoid developing some bad habits.
     
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  8. Ozhoo

    Ozhoo Addicted to ArboristSite

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    I too thought of a battery powered saw till I started looking for one that would hold up. Seems like every review that you see on youtube is biased one way or another.

    That said, IMO the one that provided the best bang for the buck was the Makita which comes with 4 batteries for the price of the Milwaukee. But again, finding an unbiased review is tough and the price of either gets into Easystart territory.
     
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  9. Broken

    Broken The Great White North...Eh !

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    He'll that bumps her up to at least a MS 660 ! lol .
     
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  10. jrwied

    jrwied ArboristSite Operative

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    Check out my 024 in the trading post it’s a good one in that category.
     
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  11. Broken

    Broken The Great White North...Eh !

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    All kidding aside , if you were the sole user than a Echo CS 400 would be all you would require for the firewood size and amount that you cut . However if your hulk of a Son is your taskmaster than a CS 590 is your best bets for New saws @ the best possible price point . Otherwise as Harley T advised a slightly used Stihl 029 or even 026 or perhaps newer MS 260 or 290 would suffice either you or your Son !
     
  12. Kyfan

    Kyfan ArboristSite Member

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    Online tool reviews are starting to get to the point of being useless. It seems like every review is a corporate shill for one brand or another
     
  13. anlrolfe

    anlrolfe Honor GOD, Country and Corps

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    When I first saw the title of the thread, I thought this was some kind of joke that goes like, "I got a boat for my wife. Good deal don't you think?"

    My sister(56) uses an MS260 on a regular basis. She buys her firewood tree length then cuts and splits herself. She's an exception to the rule. A force to be reckoned with.

    The 45-55cc saw out there can do most everything necessary for firewood. The 026, 260, 261 series of saws are my favorite ballance between size and power. The MS250 lower price point but very capable. If you equip these with 16" bar&chain they'll ballance out well and carry nicely.

    1st and foremost think safety. Get some instruction and safety equipment. Don't exceeded your qualifications. Work slow and methodical. Keep work area clear. Stop as you tire.

    If you put your mind to it I'm sure you'll be productive.

    Best of luck.
     
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  14. Broken

    Broken The Great White North...Eh !

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    Well Said !
     
  15. AmateurSawer

    AmateurSawer ArboristSite Operative

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    Since you have your son to help and cut wood to heat,I'll recommend something in the MS 261 category.If new is too much for your situation, a good used 026 or 260 would do well.If the used saw has been taken care of,you'll save a lot of money.
    One of the big concerns you need to think about is service.If you don't know anything about working on your own saw,a good reliable dealer or saw mechanic will weigh more toward what brand you buy.It doesn't do any good to have "the best saw" if you can't get parts or service.I like Stihl and it seems your husband did as well but if Echo or Husqvarna etc are simpler to get parts and service for you need to look at them closely.Most all brands make good saws.A lot of preference in brand is personal.
    I hear great things about Echo but here we don't have many dealers and I don't know how their service is.There are no Makita dealers nearby so.in my case,it's Stihl or Husqvarna.
    In my particular case,I was running two main saws.An MS 362 and an 026.When the 026 needed to be rebuilt,I was looking for something to use until I got to rebuilding it.My first choice was an MS261 and I also looked at a Husqvarna XP550 and a 545.I then looked at an MS250 and,since I would have the 026 again,decided to buy it for about half the price. I have been very pleased with it's performance.It has an 18" bar and can handle 12 to 14 oak.Not fast but reliably.For the bigger pieces I saw for firewood,I have the 362.
    A 45 to 50 cc saw will do well for you at his time.Later,when your son gets some more experience, a larger saw will go along real well with this one.
    Two other thoughts. If you have a friend or neighbor who has a 50 cc saw,ask to use it and see how you like it.I was able to do that with a 250 before I bought mine.Secondly,learn all you can about safe operation.Saws can be dangerous.

    PS Don't overlook a good used 028 Wood Boss. A little heavy for it's size but tough and very reliable.About the same power as a 250. A lot of them were sold and are still in use.
     
  16. John Lyngdal

    John Lyngdal ArboristSite Guru

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    To me for current production saws it would be a tossup between a Stihl MS251 "Easy Start" and a MS261.
    My mid-sixty model wife doesn't have a large number of chainsaw hours on her, but she can start and run an easy start Stihl.
    I've had no issues with my Mtronic saws, but the common failure point according to my dealer is dirt in the fuel fouling the fuel solenoid.
    For remote location reliability, a chainsaw with an old school carburetor might be the better option.
     
  17. chainsawchap

    chainsawchap ArboristSite Operative

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    I would say a 025 with a assortment of bars or a 026 stihl there pretty handy light saws that can run a 18 inch bar. should be able to score a used one in good shape for around 200ish
     
  18. holeycow

    holeycow Addicted to ArboristSite

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    I like the ms250 idea, except that a Makita ea4300 (Dolmar 421) is a much nicer saw for less money. It has a little more power and a LOT better antivibe, as well as a LOT better construction overall. It also starts easily. More easily than any other engine I've ever had.

    Makita 4300 and an Echo cs590. An awesome 2-saw plan for about the price of one ms261...

    It's almost a no-brainer.

    The used ms250's I see advertised are overpriced for what they are. And a person would be a fool to buy one new for the price when several much better options exist for the same or even less money.

    Mho
     
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  19. Cycledude

    Cycledude ArboristSite Operative

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    If your not going to do a lot of cutting I highly recommend a good battery operated electric chainsaw, I used one for the first time a couple weeks ago and was impressed.
     
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  20. TheTone

    TheTone ArboristSite Guru

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    Cautions about the 025 and 028: For some reason the 025 is very difficult to pull start. Don't ask me why because I have no idea. But if you search the archives , this comes up again and again. The 028 is a good saw, but the last time I tried to cut with an 025, it wouldn't start (carb trouble), so I grabbed my 028. It started fine, but felt like it weighed a ton compared to the 025.
    Admittedly anecdotal, so take it for what it's worth.
     

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