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New Saw Advice

Discussion in 'Chainsaw' started by Triumph65, Nov 25, 2019.

  1. Triumph65

    Triumph65 ArboristSite Lurker

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    I currently have the following:
    Stihl MS 192tc
    Stihl Ms 193tc
    Stihl MS290

    Primary use is cedar cutting in Texas hill country. We aren’t clearing, just cutting out dead cedar for firewood.

    I rarely use the MS290. It was purchased in a different locale for Hurricane cleanup and is rarely needed as most of the cedars we are cutting down are sub 14”.

    I have always loved the 192 and it has never let me down. The 193 on the other hand is a PITA and has been fickle since the day I got it. Three saws would be nice as we sometimes have 3 cutting and the third usually has to wait their turn. So I’m looking to add a third. If I get stuck with the 193 in the occasional 3 cutter scenario that’s ok

    Currently looking at Echo cs2511t or the cs361p, in 14”. The MS290 usually stays in garage as we just haven’t needed it out there in years. My attraction to the 361 is that I already have the two other top handles and thought it may be nice to have the rear handle when I’m being joined by a family member with less experience. It’s temping for the young adults and wife to one hand the top handle and do silly things;)

    Would you forego the 2511 and add a rear handle 361 to the mix? I’d give that one to the least experienced cutter, after they watch my collection of YouTube safety videos and get some instruction:)
     
  2. lone wolf

    lone wolf MS 200T King

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    A 361 is a good saw.
     
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  3. sb47

    sb47 Addicted to ArboristSite

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    I have the 362, 290 and the 261cm all with a 20'' bar.
    I like them all but the 261cm is the lightest yet still has enough power to pull a 20'' bar.
    Cedar is a soft wood and any of the 3 I have would be plenty to cut juniper.
    Light is easy on the back and makes long cutting sessions easier.
    I have not had any issues with any of them except for the 290 where I had to replace the oil pump, but that was an easy fix. I also had to replace the coil on the 362 once as well. The 261 has been flawless so far and is very easy to start. However the lighter the saw, the more I have to use the felling dogs as leverage where the heavier saws weight makes up for that and will glide through wood from just the weight of the saw.
    The lighter the saw, the more violent the kick back when it occurs so keep that in mind.
     
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  4. Colt Marlington

    Colt Marlington ArboristSite Guru

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    I have both the 2511T and 361P.

    The 361P is super lightweight for it's displacement and will get you up to 14" cedar at a fair pace.
    On occasion, I've cut hardwoods that size and a little larger with it. So I wouldn't mind subjecting it to more regular use in softwoods of that size.

    The 2511T is a nice little saw, and powerful for it's size, but a little light in the shorts for that size wood.
    I mean it would do it. Just not very quickly. And would likely stress the saw more than I'd prefer.
     
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  5. sunfish

    sunfish Fish Head

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    261 if stihl. But 545 or 550xp Husqvarna is what I'd get..
     
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  6. Triumph65

    Triumph65 ArboristSite Lurker

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  7. Triumph65

    Triumph65 ArboristSite Lurker

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    @sunfish - Thanks!! Certainly nothing wrong with Stihl. I own a bunch of their equipment. My MS290 and MS193 have unfortunately sent me looking for a different brand of chainsaw. Lots of repairs on the 290 and the 193 is just plain fickle.

    I’m sure my beloved 192 is getting close to end of life. I’ve used the heck out of that saw.
     
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  8. Colt Marlington

    Colt Marlington ArboristSite Guru

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    The 361P isn't a powerhouse in it's own right. But it'll woop a 192 or 193 nine ways to sundown.

    Another option could be the CS-352.
    A few more ounces and a little less power than the 361P. But easier to start if some ladies will be using it. And still beats a 192 for power.
     
  9. Triumph65

    Triumph65 ArboristSite Lurker

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    @Colt Marlington - I had a hard time finding comparisons on the 352 vs 361. The 352 is available at Home Depot for about $150 less than the 361 ($259 vs $409)

    Perhaps the 352 is plenty since we’ve been getting by with the Stihl 192 & 193

    Is the 361 harder to start? Also, is it $150 better than a 352? Thanks!!
     
  10. Colt Marlington

    Colt Marlington ArboristSite Guru

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    Not really harder to start. Just a little more effort to pull the rope.

    The 352 will start with the slightest of pulls. You could pull so slow and easy that you'd think there's no way it would start. But it does.

    To me, the 361P was better than the 352. It's lighter and more powerful. And I just wanted it.
    I sold my nearly new 352 to my brother. But I also got the 361P for 20% off, $320 plus tax with a 14" bar.
     
  11. EchoRomeoCharlie

    EchoRomeoCharlie ArboristSite Operative

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    IMO - Top handle saws are horrible ground saws unless you're doing the majority of your cutting over your head...which is a really bad habit anyway and not advised.

    If I weren't a climber, no way in creation would I own a top handle saw. Get whatever rear handled saw you can afford and has the power to do what you want to do.
     
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  12. Triumph65

    Triumph65 ArboristSite Lurker

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    @Colt Marlington - Perhaps I’ll pick up a 352 at retail for the holiday cutting and wait later for a $361 at 20% off. Unless there are any Black Friday deals. Need the saw before Christmas. If the 192 dies soon I’ll need both anyway.
     
  13. Triumph65

    Triumph65 ArboristSite Lurker

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    @EchoRomeoCharlie - can you elaborate on the top handle and ground cutting. That’s all we’ve been using the last 5-10 years. Most of the work we are doing is tight quarters cedar cutting, felling and limbing.

    But I’m very interested in your thoughts as I more frequently have lesser experienced cutters and am becoming more safety conscious in my old age.
     
  14. Colt Marlington

    Colt Marlington ArboristSite Guru

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    There's always the CS-400 also. Noticeably heavier than the 352 or 361, along with more power.
    But a lot smaller and lighter than your 290.
     
  15. EchoRomeoCharlie

    EchoRomeoCharlie ArboristSite Operative

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    I don't know your situation, and maybe it's so tight quarters you need the smallest saw you can get. If that's true, then the 2511t will probably be the ticket.

    Sawing on the ground, I like rear handled saws and long bars. Lets me reach and not bend over so much. Top handle saws on the ground force you to stoop and bend way over to cut logs on the ground. I hate it. Again, I don't know how y'all work. Maybe you're putting all your logs on saw horses and don't have to bend over...in that case, a top handle may work just fine. Doesn't get over the loss of control aspect though.

    Top handle saws require the hands to be very close together. That means you have less control over the saw and IMO requires a lot more skill and attention to detail to run safely than a rear handle saw. I would give a person new to saws a small displacement rear handle saw first, then move to a medium (50ish cc) displacement rear handle. Get them comfortable with all that before moving them to a top handle saw if they were interested in climbing.
     
  16. Triumph65

    Triumph65 ArboristSite Lurker

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    Unless there is a sale between now and Christmas the 352 may be the ticket. We’ve use the 290 once in the last 5 years to drop a freakishly huge cedar that was dead.

    So we use the 192 & 193 almost exclusively. I was leaning toward a small rear handle just to force my cutting companions to use two hands on the saw. Sounds like the 352 or 361 will out cut the 192 and 193 so that may be the way to go.
     
  17. Triumph65

    Triumph65 ArboristSite Lurker

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    @EchoRomeoCharlie - Perfect explanation. We are
    on the same page. I think I’ll move to small 14” rear handles for that reason. To discourage one hand and overhead use and add a little more hand separation.
     
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  18. ammoaddict

    ammoaddict Addicted to ArboristSite

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    I have a 352 with 16" bar. It's a strong little saw for it's size. I did remove the cat from the muffler and open up the outlet a little. It runs a little stronger and A LOT cooler now.

    Sent from my Moto G (4) using Tapatalk
     
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  19. LonestarStihl

    LonestarStihl Addicted to ArboristSite

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    Hey fellow Texan! I saw you’re looking at the echo saws but just a heads up I noticed tractor supply had some Husqvarna saws on sale. May be worth checking out. I’m over in the piney woods area and I know our echo dealer runs sales often. Have you contacted yours to ask about any upcoming sales?
     

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