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Three Saw Plan?

Discussion in 'Homeowner Helper Forum' started by Snakebit12, Nov 15, 2018.

  1. Snakebit12

    Snakebit12 New Member

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    Glad to find this forum - my 1st post.

    We live on 100 acres in rural Virginia and burn through 4-5 cords of hardwood every year. Currently, we have 2 saws:
    1. A Stihl MS-192/14" (the bosses) for basically trim work and
    2. A Husky 351/16" for firewood
    My friends are all telling me that I need a bigger saw....with a 20" bar. Having read numerous postings on this site, I have seen several references to a 2-saw plan: 50 cc and 70 cc. I have the 50 cc in the 351 which has been a great saw but sometimes does appear to be over-matched by some of the 15"-20" oaks that I tackle.

    If conventional wisdom suggests a 70 cc saw, I am open to either Husky or Stihl. Have reviewed both product lines and am no closer to a decision than I was two weeks ago when I started looking.

    My preference would be something that works well with a 20" bar and has a good power-to-weigh ratio. I am not getting any younger (62) so weight would be important.

    I would be interested in any opinions and I thank you in advance.

    Snakebit12
     
  2. derwoodii

    derwoodii Tree Freak

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  3. JTM

    JTM ArboristSite Guru

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    You’ve been effectively cutting firewood with these saws and now you’re listening to what your “friends” are telling you?

    A sharp chain on 50cc saw with a 16” bar is all you’ll ever need.
     
  4. Ryan'smilling

    Ryan'smilling Addicted to ArboristSite

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    If you want a lightweight and powerful bigger saw, wait for the Stihl 462.

    Personally for cutting firewood I use ported 50cc saws a lot. I appreciate the nimbleness and light weight. But, one the wood gets over 18" I reach for a 70cc saw.
     
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  5. Snakebit12

    Snakebit12 New Member

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    Sorry for the delays in responding - a local ice storm is gumming things up. Thank God for generators!

    For the record, I have a Husky 350, not 351. Not sure that there is much difference.

    The "friends" I mentioned are all local farm owners who run 20" bars on 4+ hp saws and felt that the 350 was over-matched from watching it work. The manual lists the 350 as 51.7 cc and 2.3 kW @ 9,000 rpm (I believe that is 3.1 hp).

    They suggested a 20" bar (with a 4+ hp saw) as that length will likely exceed the tree diameter (which I thought was recommended). As I mentioned in the original post, most of my firewood candidates (primarily oak) are between 15"-20" so my 16" bar requires dual cuts - not a huge deal.

    This could be a chain-sharpness issue - thinking about buying a kit from Husky with the guide, files, etc and doing it myself rather than taking them to a shop.

    The 350 has been good to me and, if I was to add a larger saw, I would lean ever so slightly to Husky based on prior experience.
     
  6. Bobby Kirbos

    Bobby Kirbos Scrounger of Cellulose Based BTUs

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    3 saw plan: 30-50-70
    That lineup should cut pretty much everything you would want to cut.

    It looks like you have the 2 smaller sizes covered. Look for something in the 70cc class with a 24"-30" bar.

    A longer bar will rob some power from the cutting (you're moving a heavier chain across a longer distance), but you will be able to cut larger wood, just a bit more slowly. Figure out what you think you will encounter the most and choose your bar length from there. You can always get a longer bar in the future if you need to.
     
  7. Duce

    Duce Addicted to ArboristSite

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    60 or 70cc saws will run a 20" bar with authority. Husky fan, 562.
     
  8. Ryan'smilling

    Ryan'smilling Addicted to ArboristSite

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    I'd probably go 365 and do the little grinding that's required in the transfer covers to convert it to a 372xp. You can be into a very well regarded brand new 70cc saw for not a lot of money.
     
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  9. jchipps

    jchipps Arboristsite Member

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    From the firewood cutting you’re describing and also wanting to stay fairy light, I’d recommend something around a 60 - 65cc saw with 18” bar. It should do everything you need, and not be overly heavy.
    You certainly do not need a 70 + cc chainsaw for what you’re doing, especially when you don’t want the added weight to lug around.
    Also no need for the 20 inch bar if most of the wood you cut is somewhat smaller.
    An 18 inch bar is a happy medium for most firewood scrounging.
    Something on the lines of a Husqvarna 465 Rancher would probably work nicely for you.
     
  10. cuinrearview

    cuinrearview Addicted to ArboristSite

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    There's one of these in the trading post right now for cheap!
     
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  11. Snakebit12

    Snakebit12 New Member

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    I greatly appreciate everyone's input. I am leaning towards either a Husky 562XP or 550XP. My local guy has the 550XP @ $490 through Thanksgiving. His price on the 562XP is not competitive (at the moment). The best I have seen on the 562XP is Bailey's (free shipping, no tax) @ $635. The $145 increment is nothing to sneeze at but I really like the idea of 4.7 hp vs 3.8 hp especially when I already have a 3.1 hp saw. Plus, I'd prefer to buy locally if possible.

    Ignoring ccs, the 562XP would give me a 4.7 hp, a 3.1 hp and a 1.7 hp. A saw for (hopefully) every job.

    The 562 also seemed like the midpoint of the recommendations here...some bigger, some smaller and one actually for the 562XP.

    Again, my thanks. It seems like nearly every internet search I ran brought me to these forums. Very honest and helpful feedback.
     
  12. Bobby Kirbos

    Bobby Kirbos Scrounger of Cellulose Based BTUs

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    Be sure to let us know what you ended up getting - so we can tell you why you got the wrong saw, what saw would have been better, and argue about the bar length you chose and the chain pitch on the bar.

    Because that's how we roll around here.
    :pingpong:
     
  13. JTM

    JTM ArboristSite Guru

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    I have a 562 and absolutely love it. After owning it a couple years a 550 would have been more practical (weight and handling) for my uses. Enjoy your new saw.
     
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  14. MountainHigh

    MountainHigh 45cc and 60cc

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    re 4-5 cords of hardwood every year.

    For cutting a few cords of firewood a year, you don't really need anything more than your 351, but a 562xp with a light weight 20 inch bar would sure bring a smile to your face when cutting with it :D

    My 60cc 562xp does most of my cutting on wood over 14" (I seldom take trees over 24") so I don't really need a 70cc saw, but sure would like a new lightweight 462 c-mr :yes:.... for a 70cc saw this new stihl 462 c-m is the lightest 70cc saw made and looks like a solid winner. Was at the dealer the other day flipping the 462-cmr around and it is very close in weight to my 562xp. :clap: Pricey saw but if they hold up well over time, I believe this one will be the new standard in 70 cc class.

    Bottom line if money is of no concern and some of your firewood comes from 30" trees or wider, then a 70cc saw with a bigger bar is great. Only downside is you will be finished too soon and your 70cc investment will be sitting there with nothing to do.
     
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  15. cuinrearview

    cuinrearview Addicted to ArboristSite

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    There's a red version of the 562 for sale in the trading post right now for less than the cost of the 550.
     
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  16. no tree to big

    no tree to big Addicted to ArboristSite

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    If weight is an issue, you want to keep to a 50cc range, and only cut a little you can put a longer bar on a 50cc saw. At work we run a 20" bar on a 261.
    yes it's not a speed demon but it does alright. We have put that saw through 4 years of abuse, used almost daily as a ground saw bucket removal saw climbing crane removal saw you name it it's done it

    Even if you stepped up to an 18" from 16" it would help you out.

    Sent from my SM-G930T using Tapatalk
     
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  17. MountainHigh

    MountainHigh 45cc and 60cc

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    I agree ... 50cc saw with 18" bar is the weight-to-power sweet spot for firewood as long as you cut mostly under 20" wood .
     
  18. Snakebit12

    Snakebit12 New Member

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    Any recommendations on a light-weight 20" bar?
     
  19. MountainHigh

    MountainHigh 45cc and 60cc

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    Here's a photo when I bought my saw and bar back in 2013. My 562xp and the Tsumura bar don't look so new anymore. I've filed the bar edges a few times, it is still holding up. I usually cut about 10 to 15 cords/year on average but also use my 346 and ea4300 on about 1/2 of this amount. The 20" Tsumura bar on the 562xp is perfectly balanced and shaves about .25 pound off the total weight compared to using a standard 20" bar, if memory serves.

    new-saw-bar.jpg
     
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  20. Ryan'smilling

    Ryan'smilling Addicted to ArboristSite

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    Tsumura would be my choice. If you go with the jonsered 2260 instead of the 562, it'll share bars with your current husky saw. The 562 uses the larger d009 mount. That said, if you ever want to run a bar over 20", it'll be much easier to find that in d009 than k095.
     
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