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First Time Chain Saw Purchaser Questions

Discussion in 'Homeowner Helper Forum' started by Robert11, Apr 3, 2018.

  1. Robert11

    Robert11 New Member

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    Hello,

    First time Poster.

    Want to buy a chain saw for very occasional use around house.
    Nothing big. Just shrubs, branches, etc.

    Have narrowed it down to a Stihl or the Husrvqua (apologize for the spelling ?).

    This has probably been asked a zillion times, but does one have a meaningfully
    better reliability record than the other ?
    Main thing for me is that it start, easily, after prolonged non-usages.

    Is the Stihl 170 a good bet ?
    Do they all come out of the box with a 16 inch chain ?
    So many Posts that it is great, and so many that it is junk.
    Any consensus on ? Caveats ?

    Does it make more sense to go to the Stihl 171 ? Why ?

    What does Husv. have that is comparable to the 170 ?
    A better choice than the 170 Stihl ? Why ?
    Couldn't see any in their abridged listings ?

    Much thanks.
    Appreciate the help,
    Bob
     
    Duce and Marine5068 like this.
  2. CacaoBoy

    CacaoBoy ArboristSite Lurker

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    For shrubs and branches I do not even bring out a chainsaw. I have an assortment of bow saws, loppers, and pruners for those things. I recently added to my collection a Fiskars 24 in. Titanium Anvil Ratchet Lopper bought at Home Depot, and even the senior citizen wife easily cuts through 2" branches with it. A lopper or bow saw always starts, never needs the carburator to be adjusted, and is not likely to kiill the operator.

    That said, for several years I got by with a Husqvarna 141 bought at Lowes at a good price. But I soon wished that I had spent more money for a Stihl. I have no experience with the Stihl models you list so will resist giving uninformed advice.
     
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  3. Mustang71

    Mustang71 Addicted to ArboristSite

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    Both will be fine in the size you are looking for. I would go bigger than the 170. Maybe a stihl ms250 or a husqvarna 440. A small saw is great until you need a bit more power. Maybe look at echo. Stihl is going to most likely be the most expensive.

    The 170 is something like 35cc which is fine for small stuff but the 40cc saws will give you much more bang for the buck. I have a 47cc stihl with a 16 inch bar and it pulls it great. I have a husqvarna 450 with a 18 inch bar and it works great. It was 300 ish dollars.
     
  4. dmb2613

    dmb2613 ArboristSite Operative

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    I expect that the 170 will do you fine. It is a cutting little saw for the money [ $175 or so ] I am sure a husky will do almost as well lol, we sell Stihls. Some will want you to buy a larger saw. It is EZ to spend the other guys money. for your first saw the 170 will be the cats meow
     
  5. Mustang71

    Mustang71 Addicted to ArboristSite

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    I'm not trying to get him to buy a ms441 and I get it it's not my money but I think the stihl ms250 is a decent saw for everything an occasional cutter will need. The 170 is the bottom of the barrel. Sometimes a bit more power goes a long way especially if you are going to have one saw for everything you ever need to cut. I don't know what a 250 costs but if price is an issue don't buy a stihl. A 40cc saw is the way to go.

    Is stihl the best? Idk. Do I prefer them? Yes. I also buy used because price is always an issue and their quality is decent.
     
  6. Sagetown

    Sagetown Farmer and a STIHL

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    Those small STIHLs will work just fine for around the house. Only reason I mention STIHL is we have a vast number of local dealers in my area. Don't know about up your way. Here, the dealers will check your new saw, fill it with the proper fuel mix, and chain oil. Show you the proper way to start it before sending you out the door. Happy sawing :chainsaw:......
     
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  7. Brian72

    Brian72 ArboristSite Guru

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    I'd say visit a few local shops and handle different brands/models. In your case, I'd say dealer support is more important than brand. Stihl, Husky, Echo, etc. all make reliable equipment. Use good ethanol-free fuel. I personally try to start and run my equipment once a month. Sitting for long periods just isn't good for small engines.

    Sent from my Moto E (4) using Tapatalk
     
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  8. Oldmaple

    Oldmaple Addicted to ArboristSite

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    The extended non-use periods on any saw concerns me, especially with the crappy fuels nowadays. I have recommended to a few of my customers that they consider the newer battery saws especially if you are only cutting small stuff. These saws have really improved lately. Granted you aren't doing an Oak removal with one but for the occasional user it might work out.
     
  9. NvrDwn

    NvrDwn ArboristSite Lurker

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    I've used a ms170 and if you are cutting things 8 inches and smaller it'll be everything you need in my opinion. I love it for limbing.
     
  10. sundance

    sundance ArboristSite Operative

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    I've never run an MS170 but have used a couple Echos in that size range. It should work fine for the use you've described. Echo has "one Day" sales at various dealers when their saws are 20% off.

    I would focus on a good dealer for whatever brand you select. Buy an extra chain (or two). I'd also suggest the use of Trufuel or one of the other pre-mixed fuels with an extended shelf life. It's pricey but avoids mixed gas that sits too long. Way cheaper in the long run that replacing/rebuilding carbs, etc.
     
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  11. dmb2613

    dmb2613 ArboristSite Operative

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    MS 170s are $159.99 tight now
     
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  12. sonny580

    sonny580 ArboristSite Operative

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    Well-----the ms 250 does work good, AFTER you fight them when new and finally get them broke in!! -- I LOVE mine now that I got it working!--NO thanks to dealers OR stihl company!!---Neither would help the guy that bought it new!--- I wouldn't put much stock in the dealers to help you with any saw, so for what it's worth learn how to fix the saw that you decide on getting and the best of luck !!! thanks; sonny580
     
  13. Ed Crawford

    Ed Crawford ArboristSite Operative

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    My dealer tells everyone that Stihl's warranty isn't worth a flip.
     
  14. Beetlejuice

    Beetlejuice ArboristSite Guru

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    I'm an equal opportunity Sawyer.. Trim with Stihl 170_ medium work Pm 55, and drop the big stuff with Homey 1050.. Never had a problem with the Stihl, and I run real rich oil mix in it cuz my bigger older saws drink 25 or 30-1, and got tired of different gas cans
     
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  15. dmb2613

    dmb2613 ArboristSite Operative

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    WE are a Stihl Dealer and I would like to think we help our customers all we can, Stihl has been very good about covering things that were not the saws or Stihls fault. Of course we are in the south and well, we treat people a little better than some parts of the country.
    Your warranty is only as good as your dealer.
    They covered 2 MS 661s that were plainly the owners fault new P/C in both after only ran for one day , straight gas is rough on a new saw
    David
     
  16. sonny580

    sonny580 ArboristSite Operative

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    I am sure that not all dealers in all parts of the country are the same!!! good ones, bad ones! here in central we got bad ones!---As far as the current sthil warrantys, I don't know if they are better or worse, since I can't afford a new one!---I should have stated in my other post that I was refering to Bloomington, Il. sthil dealers way back then!! --Was not trying to insult anyone!-- Please forgive me! thanks; sonny580
     
  17. dmb2613

    dmb2613 ArboristSite Operative

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    Not insulted a bit, just wanted folks to know that there are some good folks left lol
     
  18. Mustang71

    Mustang71 Addicted to ArboristSite

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    I buy stihl used and plan on fixing my own stuff. Around here the hardware store that charges more than anyone else sells stihl and so do a few tractor dealers. I wouldn't trust them for chainsaw stuff. There are no specific stihl dealers just places that also sell stihl. Does that stop me from buying stihl? No. I like to believe that they are built with a decent quality and are made to work for many years. I also can fix my own stuff.
     
  19. JTM

    JTM ArboristSite Guru

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    The ms170 is an awesome saw. Wish I had one. Trimming bushes with my ms660 is like well, running a hand held flail mower. Joking. I know a few arborists who like the 170.
     
  20. 1treeguy

    1treeguy New Member

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    Do you have a budget in mind?
     

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