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Chainsaw recommendation (Stihl, Husqvarna)

Discussion in 'Chainsaw' started by tonydav, Aug 31, 2008.

  1. tonydav

    tonydav ArboristSite Lurker

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    Hi,

    I've read just about every message on this forum (and several others) on chainsaw choice. Think I'm more confused now than when I started so think I should just post my question.

    Just some background: My wife and I have a 2.5 acre block of forest style land that we're building on in the next year. I've organised it to be cleared with the contractor initially pushing the trees over then a mate and I will cut the roots and rubbish off, then the contractor will put them in two piles - one for burning, one for keeping.

    I estimate there is about 40-50 trees in the 3/4 acre we're clearing most about 8 inches diameter. There are about a dozen that are closer to 2 foot or bigger.

    So I need a chainsaw to do the initial trimming of these trees, and then over time I'll be cutting them up and splitting them for firewood.

    I'm looking at either a Stihl or Husqvarna chainsaw.

    Spoke to the local Husky dealer on the weekend who recommended a 365 with 20" chain. Think this is in their semi-pro lineup.

    Quite liked the look and feel of it but then I don't know much about chainsaws. Certainly started easily which I liked.

    There's 3 things I'm not sure on:

    1. Is the 365 too big for what I need. Whilst I think it will be good for the initial clearing should I be getting a smaller saw for my ongoing use over the next 20 or so years (I'm hoping in normal use it will last that long?)

    2. Is the 365 a good model or should I be looking at the pro lineup with the obvious cost penalty?

    3. What would be the equivalent Stihl and what advantages/disadvantages does that model offer (without starting a war...)

    Thanks,
    Tony
     
  2. meangreen92lx

    meangreen92lx ArboristSite Member

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    Stihl 361 would be a good choice. Light enough to do the small stuff and powerful enough for the dozen or so bigger trees you have to buck up. Great all around saw if you were to only buy 1.
     
  3. Erick

    Erick Addicted to ArboristSite

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    Tony, will you be heating this new house with wood or do you just need to get the initial job done and then some occasional storm clean up??

    What is your level of experience with a chainsaw and are you comfortable using one??
     
  4. SawTroll

    SawTroll Information Collector

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    :agree2: :agree2:

    Much lighter and handier than the 365 - if that one isn't enough saw, go with the Husky 372xp - but any of those are way overkill for the 8" trees......
     
    Last edited: Aug 31, 2008
  5. OLY-JIM

    OLY-JIM ArboristSite Guru

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    If you're just going to buy one saw for everything...then go with atleast a 70cc saw. Pick-up two or three bars with it; 20", 25", and 28". Depending on the type of wood, hard - or - soft, you may need to run a skip on the 28" bar. And yes...make it a STIHL!

    Best Regards,
    OLY-JIM
     
  6. SawTroll

    SawTroll Information Collector

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    Not really, 60cc and even some 50cc saws are able to handle 2' trees easily - just needs a bit more time on them.

    The only Stihl I will recommend is the 361, which is the 59cc Husky that Husky forgot to make.....:biggrinbounce2: :laugh: :laugh:
     
    Last edited: Aug 31, 2008
  7. tonydav

    tonydav ArboristSite Lurker

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    I'll be cutting up the wood for firewood each year. From past experience about 4 - 6 cubic metres (I think that would be 1 - 1.5 of your cords (we don't use this measure in Aust)).

    I've used a chainsaw in the past and am comfortable with it. Certainly no expert though.

    What is the advantage of the Stihl 361/Husky 357XP over the equivalent prosumer model (MS 390 for Stihl and 365 for Husky). Apart from the weight advantage. I'm sure there's more to it than this but they don't tell you anything on the company websites.

    What about the next size down? Or would that not do the job for my initial cutting requirements?
     
  8. SawTroll

    SawTroll Information Collector

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    The 365 is pro quality, and the 390 consumer quality - those saws are not comparable at all........:greenchainsaw:
     
  9. tonydav

    tonydav ArboristSite Lurker

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    What makes the 365 pro vs the 390 consumer?

    Husky list the 365 as semi-pro and stihl list the 390 as mid-range. Both put them in the category one down from pro.

    Unfortunately they don't explain why they're classified this way. I'm assuming better quality parts but again not clear.
     
  10. Tzed250

    Tzed250 Addicted to ArboristSite

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    The man has a dozen trees 24" or bigger...A 50cc saw is a joke in that application.

    BTW...Husky didn't forget to build a 60cc saw,they just couldn't do it right:cheers:
     
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  11. OLY-JIM

    OLY-JIM ArboristSite Guru

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    Point taken, but...whenever a person buys just enough to get the job done; something will always come up where they need more capacity / capability. One never know what future requirements / dilemas they might face (keep it within reason of course). Grant it, most of the trees it sounds like he'll be cutting would be served by a 361 or even a good 50cc saw; however, if a person is only going to buy one saw why not give yourself a little breathing room? Just my thinking.

    Just one saw...good luck if you hang around here! :cheers:
     
  12. computeruser

    computeruser Addicted to ArboristSite

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    Categories don't tell you much at all, frankly.

    H365 is an H372 with a slightly smaller bore. Same guts, different piston and cylinder. Pull four bolts, swap a 372 P/C on it, and you've got a "pro" saw. Makes you think that the H365 was actually a "pro" saw after all.

    S390 is a plastic cased saw with a horizontally-split crankcase that bolts into the plastic chassis. It is OK, and would probably get the job done for you as well as the H365 would, but simply put the H365 is a better saw.
     
  13. sloch24

    sloch24 ArboristSite Guru

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    Just one saw

    Out of all my saws, if I had to pick only one to own, and I owned a 2.5 acre woods, it would definitely be the Stihl MS440 (now the MS441). I'd keep a 20" bar on it, and buy a larger bar (28") to keep around for when the big stuff needs to be cut. I don't have a modern smaller saw, so I'm not as familiar with the weight differences, but my MS440 has MUCH more power than my 031, and seems to be lighter as well... I know that the 031's were tanks, but I've cut with the 031 for hours, and have not been overly fatigued

    Just my $.02
     
  14. Tzed250

    Tzed250 Addicted to ArboristSite

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    :agree2:
     
  15. SawTroll

    SawTroll Information Collector

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    I don't think that is a good ide (specially the over-heavy 70cc 441 that is), on mostly 8" trees.......
     
  16. davefr

    davefr Addicted to ArboristSite

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    You definately need the 2 saw plan.

    If you're going to be spending most of the time cutting 8" or less along with trimming then you should get a small saw for those tasks. (ex: Stihl MS180, MS260, Dolmar DCS401/PS5100, Husky 346XP).

    Now for the larger trees get a MS440/460, Husky 372XP or Dolmar 7900.

    I wouldn't want to lug around a large saw for little stuff nor would I want to tackle 24" with a small saw.

    It's also nice to have the second saw as a backup if one is down for repairs or if one gets pinched during cutting.
     
    Last edited: Aug 31, 2008
  17. sloch24

    sloch24 ArboristSite Guru

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    I'd just rather be over powered and able to do more with the one saw than under powered, and wishing I'd bought another one 10 years later. :)

    My father earned a living with a 031av he bought new in the early eighties... we were just talking about it today. But then again, he's also from the old school. He kept a 1 man crosscut saw in the truck to handle what the chainsaw couldn't finish. In all the years he cut for a living (firewood), he had nothing larger than a 16" bar on a 48cc saw. Just thought I'd share. :)

    If he keeps hanging out here, he might as well buy a 260 pro, and then in another 6 months, he'll end up buying something bigger... seems to happen to most people who hang around on these sites. All I had was a 012avp and an 031AV. Since then I've bought and sold a MS250 and 011AV, and bought a MS440, and a 088... I guess I should finally publicly admit that I'm addicted.... First step is admitting the problem, right? :)
     
  18. g.moore

    g.moore ArboristSite Operative

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    Sorry, but if you have the mechanical ability I'd go old school. I've had people run the Husky 455 then the XL12 (same cc's) and they all say the 455 feels like a toy with the vibration dampers and plastic everything. When I'm ready for a "new" say it'll definately be a pre-1965 Homelite in the 70cc area even the 660/880 feel like toys compared to the old iron.
     
  19. SawTroll

    SawTroll Information Collector

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    It is quite easy to fell trees up to 2 1/2 times the bar length, unless they are hazard trees close to a valuable object, and/or you are not in a hurry.

    I don't like to do it, but for a few sound trees it is ok.

    For mostly 8" trees, even a 60cc may be overkill (edit, it actually is!).

    A 50cc + 70cc plan probably would be ideal......
     
    Last edited: Aug 31, 2008
  20. ropensaddle

    ropensaddle Feel Lucky

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    Get a 372xp and never look back because everyone will be behind you anyway. It will take care of anything you need to cut, just watch the shins in small stuff it can throw pretty hard!
     

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