• ArboristSite has decided that due to the abusive interactions users are having with each other in the political forum, we will no longer be providing a place to talk politics on this forum. Any political posts will be deleted once discovered or reported to us. We are sorry for this inconvenience.

ArboristSite.com Sponsors
www.harvesterbars.com


Upgrade suggestion

Goingoffgrid

Goingoffgrid

ArboristSite Lurker
Joined
Jan 15, 2020
Messages
10
Age
41
Location
Usa
Hello, first post here, been reading a lot and still no further than when i started so here i am asking...

Currently running an Echo CS440 I've had since 2005 or 06, stock no mods other than dumping the original 18" bar for a 16". Been using this for several years to cut firewood for my dads outdoor furnace along with my wife and her Stihl MS170. Shes ready to step up and likes my CS440. Were planning on moving "off-grid" in the next year or so, so our saw usage will heavily increase as wood will be our source for, well.... everything! Home, sheds, heat, cooking, etc. Im not stuck to any brand specific although the Dolmar/Makitas have me intrigued, EA5000 or 5600, can only find new online around the $500 mark each +/- $30.
Locally on CL i can get used Jonsered 2172 Turbo $475, Stihl 034 AV $475 (looks the cleanest of the 3 going by ad photos), Stihl 036 PRO $450 (looks the most used going by ad photos), Ms290 or 291 for $350 ea, no photos on ad. Hisky 257 $300, no photo on ad.
The local farm store #1 has Echo, farm store #2 has Jonsered, local tractor store #1&2 both carry Stihl, and then theres Homedepot or Lowes. I would ASSUME the tractor dealers are the only true Dealers, but for chainsaws i dont know....

Can i post CL ad links here so others can comment or is that against rules?

Im not a big chainsaw guy so dont know the best options to go with, but i generally like the idea of buying new so im not getting someone else leftover junk their trying to offload onto a sucker. Also, if im moving off-grid, i need something that will be trustworthy and hard working. No idea of dealer support or wood types as i dont have the land yet, but were looking in the South Western Missouri or North Western Arkansas (Ozarks) area. I'm an industrial mechanic, so i can generally work on my own stuff as long as i can get parts online somewhere and/or youtube videos help. Dont want anything that requires special mods to "wake it up", just want a good, strong, trustworthy saw to stand the test of off-grid living and regular usage.

On another note, with my cs440 it felt weak until i dropper the stock 18" bar down a size to 16", is that a common situation with most saws, or is that an echo thing? But i also buck trees sometimes that i have to cut both sides, 24 - 30" diameter, and it seems fine, slower than my dads Husky, but it does the job.

I'm "thinking" for a general all around saw, i want a 50-60cc, 18" - 20" bar... .325 or 3/8? Or does it depend on the saw i get?

Thanks for reading!
 
Ryan'smilling

Ryan'smilling

Addicted to ArboristSite
Joined
Mar 1, 2013
Messages
3,088
Location
Western WI
Welcome aboard. It's gonna really depend how much wood you want to cut, and what size/species it is. I'd consider waiting until you buy a place and then finding a saw that fits what's on the property. If you're getting antsy though, I'd strongly recommend a 60-70cc saw from the classifieds here. I much prefer buying from these guys to buying on Craigslist.
 
babybart

babybart

ArboristSite Guru
Joined
Dec 2, 2014
Messages
791
Location
MD
All good advice there. Not knowing size or species of wood is the difference between a 70cc saw or going bigger, assuming for your home you will be milling. I think manufacturers sell bars that are to big for their saws. I use 16" on 40cc, 18" on 50cc, 20-24" on 70cc, 28-32" on 80cc and up to 42" on my 90cc milling saw.
 
Conquistador3

Conquistador3

Le Comte de Frou Frou
Joined
Dec 20, 2015
Messages
1,800
Location
Mrs Miggins' Coffee Shop
Just a few things on used saws.
First, those used prices are high even by our crazy local standards. $475 for a 034AV, no matter how good looking, is simply way too much and $450 for a 036 is just aspirational pricing. Either be prepared to haggle or consider buying something else.
Second, if you plan to buy a used pro-grade saw online have the owner send you a short clip of the saw running (and perhaps cutting) and a good quality picture of the bottom of the saw. The first is self-explanatory, the second is there's no cure for magnesium rot.
Third, no matter how good looking your new used saw, be prepared for something to go awry in the first year of ownership. Most saws that look almost new from the outside are indeed low hours... and spent the rest of the time sitting idly filled with old fuel. Very few people bother with draining fuel and running dry before storing their equipment. Budget in a fuel system overhaul (not expansive unlessthe carburetor is junk) and perhaps keep all relevant parts (fuel lines, fuel filter, carb rebuild kit etc) handy.
 
farmer steve

farmer steve

outstanding in my field, 5150
Joined
Feb 8, 2013
Messages
17,737
Age
65
Location
Stihl, PA
Welcome to AS Gog. All good replies here so far. No sure how far off grid you are going but having a good dealer for stuff is almost imperative unless you are a good mechanic. Stihl and Husqvarna are probably at the top of the list with Echo not to far behind. My recommendation would be to buy new only because you are going to be relying on it to survive. Probably something in the 60-70 cc range. Good luck.
 
rarefish383

rarefish383

Addicted to ArboristSite
Joined
Nov 2, 2009
Messages
8,129
Age
64
Location
MD
If I'm spending the money to buy a piece of property, I'd buy a new saw too. I'm retired from the tree business and had plenty of nice running older saws, but when I need a new one, I buy a new one. I used one of my old 100CC Homelites to mill with for several years. When I decided this was something I'd continue doing, I bought a new MS660. I pulled my old Echo's off the shelf last week and started 3-4 of them. Kind of forgot how much I liked them. I primarily collect Homelites, but my user saws are Stihl's, and all of my other 2 stroke stuff is Echo. Many years ago I was visiting my Brother in law in Ohio and he asked me to take down a tree for him, so I bought a 290 farm boss. It stays on the back of my truck in snow, rain, never bring it in, can't kill it. I also bought a little MS170 on the spur of the moment, I've been happy with it too. I'm 64 so weight is becoming an issue. When I bought my 660 I was surprised that with the 25" bar on it, it wasn't that much different weight wise than my 290 with a 20". I use my 170 much more than I ever thought I would so I'd keep it, probably keep the Echo, and drop the money on something in the 80-90CC range for milling and big bucking. My 290 with the 20" will buck almost anything the 660 with the 25" will, just way, way slower. On the other hand, you won't be pressed for time like a pro logger, so a medium size saw will probably fit your needs too.
 
LonestarStihl

LonestarStihl

Addicted to ArboristSite
Joined
Sep 12, 2016
Messages
7,186
Location
Texas
Welcome to AS Gog. All good replies here so far. No sure how far off grid you are going but having a good dealer for stuff is almost imperative unless you are a good mechanic. Stihl and Husqvarna are probably at the top of the list with Echo not to far behind. My recommendation would be to buy new only because you are going to be relying on it to survive. Probably something in the 60-70 cc range. Good luck.
My thought exactly...how far off grid? If you’re planning tos yay away from civilization then make sure you have a couple axes too. And some spare parts. If you still plan to go into town then not as important. And I’d personally go up to the 70cc range if you bought without knowing size of woods


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 
EchoRomeoCharlie

EchoRomeoCharlie

ArboristSite Guru
Joined
Jan 23, 2019
Messages
548
Age
34
Location
Midwest
If you're going to be keeping the current saws you have for small stuff, then I would suggest a 461 with a carb if you're going to be way out there and no dealers in the area.

If you'll have dealers close, get a 462. with a 24 or 28 depending on the size wood you feel you'll be into.

If you're going to be chainsaw milling, get a 661 or a 395.
 
holeycow

holeycow

Dirt, Air, Water, Sun; Seeds.
Joined
Sep 9, 2011
Messages
3,138
Location
Alberta, Canada
Get an Echo cs590

apparently you can steal them down there for around 300 bux brand new. No brainer for a decent 60cc saw

its not the fanciest, lightest, best handling or anything exemplary really, but it works well and for 300 can't be beat in a new saw, imo.

and then maybe you need a big saw (80+cc). Find a good used big saw. It will cost more than a new 60cc Echo.

my cs590 has not seen many hours yet (IDK, 75??), but they are reported to be durable. I see no reason to doubt that so far.

that 461 suggestion above is pretty solid too.

forget the autotune stuff. I don't think that's your style....to rely on others to fix your ****.
 

Evan

Addicted to ArboristSite
Joined
Jan 2, 2009
Messages
5,989
Age
37
Location
idaho
If I wasn't a saw nut and just needed a saw and didnt have the knowledge to fix and repair
I'd shy away from used. Wouldnt want to mess with leaking seals fuel lines and passed problems the saw has with it.
I'd just buy any 70cc saw new use and abuse it nut take care of it
372 461 would be on my list as the saw to buy to use as my main saw. I wouldn't even care the size wood. Toss a 25" 28" bar on it invest in 4 chains and cut wood. Wouldn't even mess with a shorter bar for it since theres other short bar saws floating around if I happen to get in a willow thicket.
Cad causes us to think to much and make bad decisions. Just cut the wood
 
holeycow

holeycow

Dirt, Air, Water, Sun; Seeds.
Joined
Sep 9, 2011
Messages
3,138
Location
Alberta, Canada
lots are afraid for no particular reasons then I take it?

sheesh. It's predictable the salesmen would show up in defense of packages that have for many been a complete and utter nightmare. Not most, but many. Many, many.

do you feel lucky punk? well do ya?....

:chainsaw::chainsaw::chainsaw:
 
farmer steve

farmer steve

outstanding in my field, 5150
Joined
Feb 8, 2013
Messages
17,737
Age
65
Location
Stihl, PA
lots are afraid for no particular reasons then I take it?

sheesh. It's predictable the salesmen would show up in defense of packages that have for many been a complete and utter nightmare. Not most, but many. Many, many.

do you feel lucky punk? well do ya?....

:chainsaw::chainsaw::chainsaw:
Just like anything else. Sh!t breaks. I watch threads on AT/Mtronic saws here all the time just to see if there is anything I need to be concerned about. Haven't seen many,many ,many threads here with any major problems. More carburetor problems on old style saws. Have run gallons and gallons through mine with no problems. Some people are just afraid of change. The OP came here for constructive comments. Nothing else.
 
Goingoffgrid

Goingoffgrid

ArboristSite Lurker
Joined
Jan 15, 2020
Messages
10
Age
41
Location
Usa
I figured those prices were high, glad i asked first. Dont plan on milling our own wood, but plans can change... and yes, im very antsy... been wanting to get away from regular society for years and the more time passes, the more antsy we get. Trying our best to plan ahead because we dont plan on having any computers, or anything once we get out there. Maybe just a cheap track phone for emergencies only. As far as waiting, Ha, the wife already has the house, garden, animal pens and pastures all planned out in her head. With my past motocross injuries and my back, i don't think i want a 18# 70cc saw. Anytime we look for property, we also look to see how far away the closest mill is. But we're "Hoping" that with selling our current small farm (only 10 acres) we'll have enough reserves to buy land and build a small (less than a 1,000 sq ft) "Little House on the Prairie" type house, but with lumberyard materials.

there is a CL ad for an 2019 Echo cs-680 thats "never had gas or oil in it", but seems high at $650. And i don't really plan on felling humongous trees, but again, i don't know where we'll end up yet either, but i can imagine if we end up in the Ozarks, there be hills, and i've got no tractor either, so a lot of stuff will be "man-handled" by myself, wife and kids. Most of my experience is with 12-24" tree's, Maple, Oak, Hickory, Ash (that's what is available at my dad's 40 acres), and the occasional over 24", but that's been few... My wife doesn't seem to understand the manufacturing process and costs of things, cause when i told her i was wanting a new $450 saw, she didn't look pleased, if i tell her i want $650, she'd probably send me to the duck house (our dogs sleep inside the house). I guess i'll try to calm my jets and keep looking on these forums.

I am also looking at better Axes than my Estwig camp axe, but again, trying to explain to the wife that i want to spend $200 for a Gransfors Brux axe that will stand the test of time Vs. the local Tractor Supply axe, and she'll hit the fan! I'm an industrial maintenance mechanic in a manufacturing facility, i understand the cost of things... She's a stay at home wife, raising the kids and farm animals and garden and doing a DANG FINE job of it, but just doesn't understand manufacturing costs.

again, i'm not looking to mill my own lumber for an off grid mansion, but i will be needing daily fire wood for the cooking stove, etc. so let's stick to under 70cc if we can, with what i've cut in my 40 yrs with a 45cc, i question if i even need anything over a 60? i won't be on a time clock when i get off grid, other than the weather clock...
 
Goingoffgrid

Goingoffgrid

ArboristSite Lurker
Joined
Jan 15, 2020
Messages
10
Age
41
Location
Usa
so what's the "autotune" stuff? i haven't bought a new saw in about.... well, a while, so what's autotune and what's not, do they specify that in the specs?
And i'm not afraid. I was back in my 1999 Kawasaki Ninja 600 Carburetor days, thought i was the man cause i could pull over on the side of the highway and swap jets in 30 minutes while i was moving to the higher elevations to ride the mountains. But then i got my first electronic fuel injected 2003 Ninja 636 and thought to myself i'm never going back!!!! maybe this is a new concept in chainsaws and they don't have the kinks worked out yet? if that's the case, i'll stick with the carb.
 
farmer steve

farmer steve

outstanding in my field, 5150
Joined
Feb 8, 2013
Messages
17,737
Age
65
Location
Stihl, PA
so what's the "autotune" stuff? i haven't bought a new saw in about.... well, a while, so what's autotune and what's not, do they specify that in the specs?
And i'm not afraid. I was back in my 1999 Kawasaki Ninja 600 Carburetor days, thought i was the man cause i could pull over on the side of the highway and swap jets in 30 minutes while i was moving to the higher elevations to ride the mountains. But then i got my first electronic fuel injected 2003 Ninja 636 and thought to myself i'm never going back!!!! maybe this is a new concept in chainsaws and they don't have the kinks worked out yet? if that's the case, i'll stick with the carb.
Not sure about auto tune but I think that's Husqvarna . Stihl has the Mtronic. Auto adjusting for conditions. Altitude, humidity, temperature and even less than clean air filter. I've been running 3 stihls with no problems so far. The oldest one is over 2 years old and the newest about 4 months. You mentioned an 18# 70 cc saw,my 462 is 13 lbs, powerhead only.
EDIT. Stihl has come out with a fuel injected saw but not available in th US yet. 500i,80 cc
 
Top