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Best stihl tophandle

Discussion in 'Chainsaw' started by Capitalist, Nov 14, 2019.

  1. Capitalist

    Capitalist ArboristSite Guru

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    Whats your opinion on the best CURRENT PRODUCTION Stihl tophandle and power pole saw?

    I have had it with husqvarna.

    Durability and parts availability means the most to me. Tired of constantly special ordering junk parts that break repeatedly.

    Just got done replacing the fuel tank on my t540 for the second time. Wish I had never bought it and just got another t435. T540 has been a constant headache.

    Their 327pt5s pole saw is the biggest piece of crap ever made.

    Mid size to small size saws stihl has equivalent or better.

    I love the 372 and 395 and will buy more.

    Actually I haven used stihl in years because I was loyal to husqvarna.
    Times are changing I guess so I will adapt.

    There is a stihl dealer on every corner and I have to hunt for a husky shop.

    Screw'm...
     
  2. MACHINE

    MACHINE ArboristSite Lurker

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    Best pole saw imho is a echo



    Sent from my SM-G930F using Tapatalk
     
  3. stihl86

    stihl86 ArboristSite Operative

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    MS 201 TCM. There’s nothing more to say about top handles.
    You’ll be very happy with either HT, with the older tube or the newer hex
    style tube. And make sure the engine has the updated
    isolator between the clutch hsg and drive.
    The older ones were way too soft and can cause drive misalignment.
     
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  4. stilh036prohog

    stilh036prohog ArboristSite Operative

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    Give me a ht101 that new 131 suchs
     
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  5. Colt Marlington

    Colt Marlington ArboristSite Guru

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    I got the Echo PPT-2620 with the loop handle and the 4 foot extension. It's pretty sturdy.
    The 266 has a bigger engine and is a foot longer.

    And the tiny terror Echo CS-2511T. It's fantastic.

    Both the 2511 and the 2620 use the same military grade magnesium 25.4cc engines, I believe. But maybe built for different rpm ranges.

    I'd take a Stihl MS 201T C-M in a heartbeat.
     
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  6. Capitalist

    Capitalist ArboristSite Guru

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    Thats two for the 201 tcm...

    Hadnt considered echo pole saw again though parts would be difficult to source for echo in my area so its a nogo
     
  7. Ryan'smilling

    Ryan'smilling Addicted to ArboristSite

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    Stihl makes 3 top handle saws. The 150 and 201 are "pro" saws. The 150 is teensie tiny. The 201 is full sized. They also make a 193t which is cheaper and lighter than the 201, but not "pro" quality. So, it's not really about which is best. There's not much to choose from. If you want an all around saw for doing removals, etc. the 201t is your choice. Unfortunately, many many guys hate them compared to the 200t, even to the point of paying crazy money to refurbish 200Ts.
     
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  8. Capitalist

    Capitalist ArboristSite Guru

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    Similarly the t435 husq was a cheap made saw that was not industrial quality supposedly but it was better than this t540.

    I used the heck out of the t435. Frankly though I husqvarnas days of greatness are over. The diversified into too much crap and saws have suffered.

    Can anyone comment on the durability of the 201's?

    That t540 gets so much as a tap and it splits to pieces. Heck... My chain hung at high speed and the dawgs snapped off at the bolts. Casting broke...

    I had that pos a month and it spent two months at a saw shop getting a crank seal and a carburetor under warranty of course but still....

    The screws are vibrating loose as well and thats a real pain when one falls out. Its just too tempermental to be my companion.
     
  9. Bob Hedgecutter

    Bob Hedgecutter ArboristSite Operative

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    Pole saw- don't know- don't use one.
    Top handle- current production- sure, put me down in the MS 201 TC admirers group- top saw in the current line up, own one, like it.
    BUT......... I like my MS 200 T better!

    My own 201 has a 3/8"muffler mod hole, lost the limiters on the carb and that is about it. It is good- but not exceptional.
    The 200T was built from parts, new Meteor P&C, spark arrestor removed, timing advanced and accelerator pump circuit closed- it will eat the 201 for dinner!

    If you like to tinker with saws, the 193 is a pesky wee thing to work on, the 200 & 201 are much better.

    Personal choice thing on new or rebuilt and what you are willing to do yourself, or pay for- but a remade 200T is a nice way to step into the top handle grey & orange groupie set.
     
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  10. catbuster

    catbuster Catskinner. And buster.

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    Top handle is the 201T. I don’t have or use a pole saw but my farm manager and landscaping friends sure really like the HT131.
     
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  11. CR888

    CR888 Addicted to ArboristSite

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    I have both the 'updated' 201 & older 200T & power is much closer than saw forum talk. The engines are totally different designs and have different personalities. What rarely gets mentioned about the 201 is how smooth it is with spring AV, how much more work you can do per tank due to 2mix (strato) fuel efficiency & given a climber will run a top handle at arms length distance at tricky positions the 80% cleaner exhaust is a benefit too. I think every climber needs a 35cc TH & definitely should consider a 25cc class super light to go with it. I have a rear handle ms150 & honestly its a turd in R/H configuration. Much better as a top handle. But the saw to buy in this class is the 2511 echo. Don't worry about the parts issue. Members (dealers) here can express post whatever you need within a day or two. Also they only cost a few hundred new so don't worry. You shouldn't rely on 1 saw when its your livelyhood. I have 2x23cc Makita 231t's (spare NOS in box) a NIB shindaiwa 25cc stashed cause I bought it cheap. Then the workers are a 231t, a 200t (kinda backup) & a 201t. As for pole saws, I feel the 4mix are too heavy and I just don't like them, I have a 131 but don't use it. You need to choose between dedicated pole saws (extendable) of attachment pole saws with fixed length extensions. They can be great as you can use them as a trimmer, hedge trimmer for high tall big hedges, and a pole saw that will break apart and fit into a Smart car boot. I'm not well versed in Stihl new dedicated pole saw offerings, I use a KM-94 2T power head with extensions & a Solo unit which is not really an option for the OP. Get a 201t & a either a MS150t or better still CS2511t echo. With good fuel & some luck you shouldn't have saw down time for at least 2 years.
     
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  12. AGoodSteward

    AGoodSteward Power Head

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    We have saw 200's, 193's, and 150's in service. A modded 150 is sweet, not a powerhouse, but the weight makes alot of difference when not cutting "12 limbs. I prefer the handle on the 192/3's for the contour. The 201/200's are more square. I find that they bother my wrist and hand more after alot of use.
    Huskies have a nicer grip and anti-vibe. Might take some getting used to if you switch.

    I tried out the electric stihl polesaw HTA 85. Didn't like the friction clamp on the telescope, but other than that, it was great. $500. Gonna buy one in the spring.
     
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  13. Capitalist

    Capitalist ArboristSite Guru

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    So far after two years my top handles are done. I focus on takedowns and lean on them pretty hard.

    I may buy an echo just to try it.
    My next top handle will be stihl though.
    I work on my saws myself. For some reason literally any time I take anything to a shop or mechanic I have to go back and redo their incompetency.

    I have only bought a couple of new stihls lately and both seem to be great so far. The collapsible/attachment stihl pole saws are very appealing as well. One of my biggest problems is not having enough room for my tools and a telescopic pole saw is a cumbersome pain to put anywhere. The damn things need their own ten foot sidebox. Regardless though I have to find places for my 8' manual poles.
     
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  14. KarlD

    KarlD ArboristSite Operative

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    My ht101 keeps on going, oils well and is strongly built. I’ve not had to replace it so cannot comment on the newer models.

    ms201 is a fine saw and will easily pull a 14” bar in any wood...two colleagues run them with 16” bars and say that they do ok. Saves on using a rear handle in the tree sometimes I guess. Most I know stick with a 14” though. Mine have needed minimum maintenance but I did have initial problems with the pull cords breaking and they don’t oil as well as I would like. Regardless, they are far superior to Husqvarna th saws and I think you’ll be pleased.

    Btw, similarly to you I have started to fall out of love with a brand I have always supported, except in my case it is Stihl and not Husqvarna. I will from now on be trying to find better alternatives when it comes to replacing equipment, instead of just defaulting to Stihl...but not wrt top handles. Top handles will remain Stihl based on the current market
     
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  15. KarlD

    KarlD ArboristSite Operative

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    The collapsible/attachment stihl pole saws are very appealing

    I have two km130r sets and they are very strong machines. The carbon extension pieces are much lighter than the standard ones and on occasion I have used two extensions but the machine didn’t particularly like it. The ht101 as a dedicated pole saw is much better as a pole saw, albeit as you saw a bit more awkward to store and transport
     
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  16. Capitalist

    Capitalist ArboristSite Guru

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    I think I need to do the same thing in buying equip.

    I had been breaking stihls left and right and happened upon my first 395 and just went all out. Big mistake.

    Hard body means the most and if those 201's are tougher then I will be getting one. Probably an echo too if I am feeling gay...

    Kidding!
    I remember back when the stihl and husqvarna barfights were getting heated up some guy in the back would always say, "Echo is better!"

    Then everyone would bust out laughing and someone would knock him out.

    I will try an echo after a 201.
    If I dont like it I can return it at Lowes or homedepot.... Lmao!
     
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  17. Justin Taylor

    Justin Taylor ArboristSite Operative

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    Ht 133 is by far the best
     
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  18. stilh036prohog

    stilh036prohog ArboristSite Operative

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    Just say no. Stilh discontinued for a reason. Junk
     
  19. Capitalist

    Capitalist ArboristSite Guru

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    I was just checking out the stihl top handles and I really cant see how the 201 is better than the 193 in terms of durability.
    It fact the handle on the 193 seemed more secure and less flexible. I also liked the slope angle, (of the handle) of the 193 a lot more than the 201.

    Is there that much of a power difference?

    I could not see $300 difference.

    One thing I do not like is the length of the body springs. It seems a little too bendy.
     
  20. Justin Taylor

    Justin Taylor ArboristSite Operative

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    the 201 is way better built has a magnesium case and has more power. The 193 has a plastic case and isn’t built as good
     
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