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Stihl MS 189 Chainsaw Reliability

Discussion in 'Chainsaw' started by Spoon Carving With Tom, Aug 16, 2019.

  1. Spoon Carving With Tom

    Spoon Carving With Tom ArboristSite Guru

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    Hi,

    I have an MS 180 for use a couple of times a year on green cherry 4-12” in diameter

    This occasion above is typically annually or biannually normally a days work each. This is however a very important time for me as I am out collecting a haul of wood for my business and which takes a lot of planning from renting a vehicle for use, organising set times with cherry orchards often with little notice, travelling between 1-2hours each way and ensuring that everything falls into place.

    I have been joking around on the subject of getting another chainsaw with no real intention of getting one, but it has just clicked that this whole days prep (which is of considerable importance and effort) is reliant on the one single saw (however it is always well maintained and using Motomix).

    I’m hoping for others with far more experience with these smaller models (who too care for them well) to chime in on their experience with them and their reliability.

    It’s one thing the saw stopping working on your land, but a whole new level if you are renting a vehicle and a lot rides on the day with long distances traveled.

    With this said I don’t want to buy another if they rarely ever have problems (that aren’t caused by the ignorance of the user, poor fuel or poor maintenance course)
     

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  2. Spoon Carving With Tom

    Spoon Carving With Tom ArboristSite Guru

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    Sorry I have just seen I wrote ms 189 in the title and not ms 180! Is it possible to edit titles?
     
  3. ironman_gq

    ironman_gq Addicted to ArboristSite

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    They're as reliable as any saw in that price range, long term it really depends on how well you maintain it. They are plastic bodied with not the greatest air filtration but they do work well for their intended use. If this is a critical element of your business I would spend more money and get a 261 and keep it full of canned fuel when not being used. Sitting will cause the carbs to gum up, running them once a week/month or so to keep new fuel in the carb will go a long way toward keeping it running well
     
  4. Spoon Carving With Tom

    Spoon Carving With Tom ArboristSite Guru

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    Thanks Ironman! Had a couple messages with the same response! Look after it well, use Motomix, test a few days before I go out and they should be spot on. Great advice re turning in on every so often! Thanks :)
     
  5. Bob Hedgecutter

    Bob Hedgecutter ArboristSite Operative

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    There you go Spoon Carving With Tom, you just gave yourself the perfect excuse to buy another saw! :baaa:
    All jokes aside- the 180 should last a long while doing the kind of cutting you are doing- as long as you are not stacking a huge pile of dry Cherry trimmings and spending several hours continuous cutting in typical Aussie temperatures, with the wee saw not getting a break.
    Think of it a bit like duty cycles for a welder. These wee homeowner saws are designed to have a small duty cycle- run maybe 10 minutes in the hour- rested for 50. Whereas the professional (heavier more expensive) saws are designed to run for 50 minutes- rested for 10 kind of thing.
    But what happens if you break something like a recoil starter rope? Can happen and not many carry a spare rope with them. Only one saw- your day ends there until a repair can be done. Have a second saw in the truck- work can carry on.
     
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  6. Spoon Carving With Tom

    Spoon Carving With Tom ArboristSite Guru

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    That’s pretty much exactly what I do. Run for a couple mins, turn it off and move the log before finding another and starting the saw for another couple mins. Nothing strenuous, less than the typical home owner i’d imagine haha! As for weather, it’s always winter when I collect as that’s the time the orchards pull trees out, so not hot, typically just comfortable. I treck around orchards searching for wood. In fact I spend more time searching than cutting haha
     
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  7. Nathan Graff

    Nathan Graff ArboristSite Operative

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    2 saws is one, and 1 is none in the real world. Spend time, and see what you can come across on the used market that's a good deal.
     
  8. trains

    trains Firewood hack

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    My 180s have been put to use and worked hard, only break they had was refueling and touching up the chain after storms went thru, spent the day dealing with 30+ downed trees.
    I would idle the saw and let it cool before shutting it down, should do that with any saw anyway.

    Yeah two is one, and one is none.
     
  9. Bob Hedgecutter

    Bob Hedgecutter ArboristSite Operative

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    Yep, I never said you could not thrash the tits off them- I said they were designed as low duty as such and designed around low timespan intermittent uses.
    The very fact they are orange and grey should help with the "they will handle it" way you used your own, try that with say a Joncutter or something and the results might not be the same.
     
  10. trains

    trains Firewood hack

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    Yeah, agree, their duty cycle is not up with the professional series, however for the hours they have done, they are still in good condition, piston is good etc.
    Chains kept sharp, allowed to warm up before cutting, cool down before shutting off, kept cylinder fins clean, air filter clean etc, suitably impressed.
     
  11. Nathan Graff

    Nathan Graff ArboristSite Operative

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    Just to throw something else into the mix for you, have you considered a battery powered chainsaw where the batteries are interchangeable with other tools, say Milwaukee, Makita, or Default? Those are fairly maintenance free, and as long as you have charged batteries, you can cut stuff, then you can use the same batteries for impact drivers, yard maintenance tools, etc.

    Generally, with those saws, you put the battery into it, put oil in the reservoir, and cut. No need to worry about starting, etc.
     

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