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Novice requests advice on next chainsaw purchase

Zolton

Zolton

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I inherited a Poulan Pro Classic PP3816av about 12 years ago. It's served me well for cutting up many fallen trees for firewood at the cottage over the years but I would like to keep it at home for the odd job and get a new one for the cottage. The Poulan is a 38 cc unit with a 16 inch bar and weighs 12 lbs so I've read (could be wrong). I've done some homework and much of what I've learned comes from this site. I've narrowed my choices down to a few and would like some feedback.

-Echo CS490; 50.2 cc with 20 inch bar, 10.6 lbs. $391 USD (converted from Canadian dollars)
-Makita EA4300frec; 42.4 cc with 18 inch bar, 7.4 lbs? $325 USD. I've read it's the same as a Dolmar PS-421, which is unavailable in these parts but get high praise here. Made in China however I believe.
-Husqvarna 440e; 40.9 cc with 18 inch bar, 9.8 lbs. $338 USD
-Husqvarna 445e; 45.7 cc with 18 inch bar, 10.8 lbs. $393 USD.

Thanks.
 
Husky Man

Husky Man

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I inherited a Poulan Pro Classic PP3816av about 12 years ago. It's served me well for cutting up many fallen trees for firewood at the cottage over the years but I would like to keep it at home for the odd job and get a new one for the cottage. The Poulan is a 38 cc unit with a 16 inch bar and weighs 12 lbs so I've read (could be wrong). I've done some homework and much of what I've learned comes from this site. I've narrowed my choices down to a few and would like some feedback.

-Echo CS490; 50.2 cc with 20 inch bar, 10.6 lbs. $391 USD (converted from Canadian dollars)
-Makita EA4300frec; 42.4 cc with 18 inch bar, 7.4 lbs? $325 USD. I've read it's the same as a Dolmar PS-421, which is unavailable in these parts but get high praise here. Made in China however I believe.
-Husqvarna 440e; 40.9 cc with 18 inch bar, 9.8 lbs. $338 USD
-Husqvarna 445e; 45.7 cc with 18 inch bar, 10.8 lbs. $393 USD.

Thanks.

The Husqvarna 445 USED to be 45.7cc, but was upgraded several years ago to 50.2cc. I don’t recall which year the change was made, but my Wife’s 2017 is a 50.2cc model. I usually have a 16” B&C mounted on it, but the 18” B&C is the most common to find on the shelf

I wouldn’t Bury a 20” bar in Oak, but I have other saws that I would grab for that duty. I paid $305 for her saw in 2017. Will it keep up with my 353 or 550XP?, Nope but those weren’t $300 saws. I have been impressed with her 445, though for what it is, it does Well, I would recommend it, choosing from your list

Doug
 
Zolton

Zolton

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Now I feel like a REAL novice if you're recommending a saw your wife uses. ;)
I know that's sexist and not politically correct, but I'm an electrician with 43 years experience, so that's like me telling someone "yeah...those are good wire strippers. My daughter uses them". And yes...I'm joking here.
You're correct about the 445e being 50.2 cc. The ad that I got the pricing from showed it as 45.7. Thanks for pointing that out. That changes things quite a bit.
Being a trades person I appreciate good tools and know they are a joy to work with. That's why I'm upgrading from the Poulan Pro. I recently bought a higher end Husqvarna backpack leaf blower, so I know their stuff is highly regarded.
Thanks for your input Doug.
 
Husky Man

Husky Man

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Now I feel like a REAL novice if you're recommending a saw your wife uses. ;)
I know that's sexist and not politically correct, but I'm an electrician with 43 years experience, so that's like me telling someone "yeah...those are good wire strippers. My daughter uses them"
You're correct about the 445e being 50.2 cc. The ad that I got the pricing from showed it as 45.7. Thanks for pointing that out. That changes things somewhat.
Being a trades person I appreciate good tools and know they are a joy to work with. That's why I'm upgrading from the Poulan Pro. I recently bought a higher end Husqvarna backpack leaf blower.
Thanks for your input Doug.

Hey don’t take it wrong that my Wife uses a 445, if you look at my Sig Line, you will see that I have saws from the 38cc Top Handle 23 Compact, all the way to the 119cc 3120XP. Being a Tradesperson, you should understand the Right Tool for the Task at hand I don’t use the 3120XP with the 60” B&C in my avatar for limbing

The 445 is a Good Saw, and I have been Completely Happy with it for it’s intended use, but understand that it is a “Homeowners Grade” tool with the plastic clamshell crankcase, not a Magnesium crankcase Pro Grade saw, and is priced accordingly. The Husky 4XX series saws have held up very well from what I have seen and read, but for a Pro Grade saw, you need to look at the 5XX and XP saws to get the Magnesium crankcase. If the 445 is in your target budget, it is the one that I would recommend, from those listed.

If you don’t mind spending more, the 550XP is an Excellent choice in the 50cc class saws

When my Wife decided she wanted HER OWN SAW, I didn’t know how much she would really use it, and I felt that the 445 came in at the Right Price/Power/Weight balance for the cutting she is likely to be doing, it seems to have been the right choice

when she told many Family and Friends what she got for Christmas 2017, I got a LOT of Funny Looks, when she told them that is what She WANTED, She got a LOT of Funny Looks

Doug
 
Zolton

Zolton

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I read a post here regarding changing to a different chain/bar on the Echo CS490. The fact that it has a rim drive sprocket seemed to complicate things if I read it right. The one available to me here comes with a 20 inch bar and it sounds like I'd be better off with an 18 inch at the most.
 
cuinrearview

cuinrearview

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I read a post here regarding changing to a different chain/bar on the Echo CS490. The fact that it has a rim drive sprocket seemed to complicate things if I read it right. The one available to me here comes with a 20 inch bar and it sounds like I'd be better off with an 18 inch at the most.
An 18 is still pushing it. After running one I just don't understand the hype.
 
Franny K

Franny K

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You can get into a rim drive on the others most likely. I have on the equivalent of that Makita.. You can also get a shorter bar or even get some .skip .325 chain from Baileys. You want more complication, what chain do they come with? Which one has an inboard vs outboard clutch. The Makita might be 3/8lp? and what nose diameter.
 
Zolton

Zolton

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Is the current Makita EA4300 still the same saw as the Dolmar PS-421? Most of the posts I'm reading are from 4 or 5 years ago. Also...since they are now made in China instead of Germany, has the quality dropped off in peoples opinion?
 
cuinrearview

cuinrearview

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There was talk of the 421 being assembled there. I would buy with confidence. An OEM assembled in China vs them re-popping are completely different things. Just like the mid-sized sedans and where they're all made.
 
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