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Upgrade to a bigger saw, MS500i or 390XP

AussieFarmer

AussieFarmer

ArboristSite Lurker
Joined
Jul 18, 2020
Messages
20
Location
waydownthebottom South Australia
Howdy All,
Currently have a Husky 365 and it is running out of puff on a 28"bar. Don't want to abuse her as she has been good to me.
Need to run a 28" or slightly better to get rid of some cypress and radiata pines, and also probably put a 24/25" on for redgum and stringybark for firewood.
We have Husky and Stihl dealers close by and not much else.
Perhaps the Stihl MS500i or the Husky 390XP might be the next step up and was after feedback and thoughts.
Don't think i need a 395XP, and after hanging onto a mates I think it would be more weight than I want to swing around all day.
Possibly a 661 but thinking if I was going electronic may as well go all in with the 500i and save some weight.
Would like to hear from the lucky souls who have possibly used either rigs.
Thanks from SE South Australia :)
 
NIP Group
AussieFarmer

AussieFarmer

ArboristSite Lurker
Joined
Jul 18, 2020
Messages
20
Location
waydownthebottom South Australia
Have you modified the transfer port covers on that 365 yet?

Easy free mod for more power

Or send the 365 out for porting?

Unless you are just wanting another saw.

I can not argue with a 390.


Sent while firmly grasping my redline lubed RAM
Yes for sure wanted a second saw.
No modifications to the 365. Not delved into the intricacies of mods.
Not sure I wanted to head down that path as reliability and lifespan is primary concern.
I haven't heard of anyone down our way tinkering with much, everything seems standard.
I assume (set me right) the 390XP, or the other larger saws, would have larger bearings and therefore on higher loads last longer?
Thanks for the response, I think I got lucky with my first saw being a 365 and didn't want to pick a lemon next :)
 
AussieFarmer

AussieFarmer

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Joined
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Location
waydownthebottom South Australia
572xp has got that covered
Thanks Derf
At the dealers in aus, the pricing difference between the 572XP and the 390XP is only around $100au,
Most of the saws 500i,661,572xp,390xp, are very close to the magic $2000au +-$150, and as such the cost is not really a concern to me.
The cc capacity of the 572 seemed close to the 365 so I haven't really considered it, didn't think I would gain a lot?
Thanks :)
 
Bob Hedgecutter

Bob Hedgecutter

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The 390XP is a nice saw and capable of doing what you want.
I have only spent very limited time on a 500i, but if I was looking for a big pro saw and the cost for all the ones you mention were pretty close, I would be reaching for a 500i.
In saying that, I have orange and grey saws, orange saws and red saws- lots of bars and lots of chains. If you step away from the Husqvarna range, you also step away from parts commonality- Husqvarna bars do not mount up on Stihl powerheads- just something to consider- buy a 390XP and the 28"on the 365 will swap over.
 
AussieFarmer

AussieFarmer

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Joined
Jul 18, 2020
Messages
20
Location
waydownthebottom South Australia
The 390XP is a nice saw and capable of doing what you want.
I have only spent very limited time on a 500i, but if I was looking for a big pro saw and the cost for all the ones you mention were pretty close, I would be reaching for a 500i.
In saying that, I have orange and grey saws, orange saws and red saws- lots of bars and lots of chains. If you step away from the Husqvarna range, you also step away from parts commonality- Husqvarna bars do not mount up on Stihl powerheads- just something to consider- buy a 390XP and the 28"on the 365 will swap over.
Thanks Bob,
In your opinion is there much difference in the torque when your in say a 24" cut comparing the 500i and the 390XP, obviously the 500i is a little lighter
Stihl don't seem to publish torque, just power and my way of thinking the torque is the more important figure.
The cost of different bars is not really in the equation.
I am not brand loyal, just trying to choose a good fit for the job.
Cheers
 
Bob Hedgecutter

Bob Hedgecutter

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Thanks Bob,
In your opinion is there much difference in the torque when your in say a 24" cut comparing the 500i and the 390XP, obviously the 500i is a little lighter
Stihl don't seem to publish torque, just power and my way of thinking the torque is the more important figure.
The cost of different bars is not really in the equation.
I am not brand loyal, just trying to choose a good fit for the job.
Cheers
Cutting Radiata and Cypress up to 24" I do not know you would notice a whole lot of difference- both saws will handle that fairly effortlessly. Your Gums might test them a bit more.
As I say, I don't have enough time on a 500i to give a complete and honest rundown- I had the opportunity recently to run a couple of tanks through one and was suitably impressed- but that was all in Kiwi Radiata, things might grow a bit different your side of the ditch, might be denser timber?
Possibly the 500i wearing a 28"B&C is less likely to need leaned upon to cut most anything you ask it to cut, for some of the species you might encounter over there, the 390 might be a wee bit behind and swallow a bit more fuel to do it.
In reality, it might just come down to which feels best in your hands? They are both pretty good saws.
 
AussieFarmer

AussieFarmer

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Joined
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Messages
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Location
waydownthebottom South Australia
Cutting Radiata and Cypress up to 24" I do not know you would notice a whole lot of difference- both saws will handle that fairly effortlessly. Your Gums might test them a bit more.
As I say, I don't have enough time on a 500i to give a complete and honest rundown- I had the opportunity recently to run a couple of tanks through one and was suitably impressed- but that was all in Kiwi Radiata, things might grow a bit different your side of the ditch, might be denser timber?
Possibly the 500i wearing a 28"B&C is less likely to need leaned upon to cut most anything you ask it to cut, for some of the species you might encounter over there, the 390 might be a wee bit behind and swallow a bit more fuel to do it.
In reality, it might just come down to which feels best in your hands? They are both pretty good saws.
Thanks Bob
Another consideration would be tech electrics or basic carb.
I can see merit in fuel injection lighter and possibly better on fuel, but if anything goes wrong it could cost quickly, the 390xp carb wouldn't take much to keep going.
Still pondering the merits of both, jury is still out.
Cheers
 
Bob Hedgecutter

Bob Hedgecutter

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Thanks Bob
Another consideration would be tech electrics or basic carb.
I can see merit in fuel injection lighter and possibly better on fuel, but if anything goes wrong it could cost quickly, the 390xp carb wouldn't take much to keep going.
Still pondering the merits of both, jury is still out.
Cheers
There is that to consider with any auto tune saw on the market currently- including your hint at the 661- which was a saw that suffered from "teething"problems when first released.
Stihl learned from that and the 500i went through extensive testing in many far flung corners of the Earth to iron out and catch early any potential problems (they did not do that kind of lengthy testing with the original 661's), there were a couple of guys had 500i's here long before they were released on the open market and put huge amounts of hours on clocks and huge amounts of fuel through them- personally, I would have no qualms about running one based on the auto tune and injection system alone.
Like I said- personal preference as to which suits you better, both are good larger pro saws, both from good companies.
 
AussieFarmer

AussieFarmer

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Joined
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Messages
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Location
waydownthebottom South Australia
There is that to consider with any auto tune saw on the market currently- including your hint at the 661- which was a saw that suffered from "teething"problems when first released.
Stihl learned from that and the 500i went through extensive testing in many far flung corners of the Earth to iron out and catch early any potential problems (they did not do that kind of lengthy testing with the original 661's), there were a couple of guys had 500i's here long before they were released on the open market and put huge amounts of hours on clocks and huge amounts of fuel through them- personally, I would have no qualms about running one based on the auto tune and injection system alone.
Like I said- personal preference as to which suits you better, both are good larger pro saws, both from good companies.
Thanks
What are your thoughts on the light bars, most of my work will be with trees already on the ground.
I tend not to use the spikes and lever through, just use the weight of the saw/bar to work for me in the hardwoods.
Thinking the heavier bar say 24" would balance better in the cut?
Thanks
 
angelo c

angelo c

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I'm a Stihl fan through and through....but I love my 385xp's....and my 661's. If you like the feel of the 365 then the 385/390 is an easy step up....bars swap, no computers, literally few issues. Great saw....path of least resistance in my eyes. No brainer.....I've run a 500i and was very impressed but there is a different "feel" to the AV and there was a few bugs in early production runs.....as most early runs will.
 
Bob Hedgecutter

Bob Hedgecutter

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Thanks
What are your thoughts on the light bars, most of my work will be with trees already on the ground.
I tend not to use the spikes and lever through, just use the weight of the saw/bar to work for me in the hardwoods.
Thinking the heavier bar say 24" would balance better in the cut?
Thanks

The lightweight bars are great, cost a bit more, but are great for if you want the saw to sit on a shelf or ute deck without dipping forward on to the bar tip. Great for walking the trunk and nipping off the limbs as you go. Buried bar deep in a 30" log? No difference in my opinion.
Both of the powerheads you mention are a bit neutered by a 24" (or less) B&C, personally I would keep a 24" and less combo on your 365, run 28" and up on a 390 or 500i and not be too fussed if they were lightweight or not. A lot comes down to your arm muscles, the number of hours the saw will be used per day and your ability to have the chains in optimum condition for the timber you are cutting as to how fatiguing any saw is to run.
At the end of the day, we are talking about a personal use saw- not a forestry production saw?
 
AussieFarmer

AussieFarmer

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I'm a Stihl fan through and through....but I love my 385xp's....and my 661's. If you like the feel of the 365 then the 385/390 is an easy step up....bars swap, no computers, literally few issues. Great saw....path of least resistance in my eyes. No brainer.....I've run a 500i and was very impressed but there is a different "feel" to the AV and there was a few bugs in early production runs.....as most early runs will.
Thanks Angelo,
At the moment I am sitting on the fence and not sure which way to fall.
As it will be a keep it forever saw, its a thought worthy decision.
Have no experience with bigger saws, hence seemingly silly questions.
Cheers
 
AussieFarmer

AussieFarmer

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Messages
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Location
waydownthebottom South Australia
The lightweight bars are great, cost a bit more, but are great for if you want the saw to sit on a shelf or ute deck without dipping forward on to the bar tip. Great for walking the trunk and nipping off the limbs as you go. Buried bar deep in a 30" log? No difference in my opinion.
Both of the powerheads you mention are a bit neutered by a 24" (or less) B&C, personally I would keep a 24" and less combo on your 365, run 28" and up on a 390 or 500i and not be too fussed if they were lightweight or not. A lot comes down to your arm muscles, the number of hours the saw will be used per day and your ability to have the chains in optimum condition for the timber you are cutting as to how fatiguing any saw is to run.
At the end of the day, we are talking about a personal use saw- not a forestry production saw?
Thanks Bob,
I run a 20" on the 365, and I find that pretty much maxes it out in the dry redgum
I leave the 20" on it all the time, except when the 20" wont meet in the middle.
Think I will stick with the solid bar to start with, until my back and shoulders wont let me.
Unfortunately I am not build like a Maori, my mates son calls me " stick with gasses" haa!
Cheers
 
stihl86

stihl86

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The MS 500i has a long road to travel before you can consider it on par with the 1122 family.
Theres still no replacement for displacement.
When it comes to saws, ALL things considered, including longevity, a larger saw is better.

Just keep in mind, just how fast 13000 ~ 14000 rpms is.
 
holeycow

holeycow

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Alberta, Canada
Buy the proven platform.

that 500i hasn't been tested until it is working in numbers by perhaps less-than-highly-skilled owners (professionals with little experience or experienced pros who don't particularly treat their gear well).

get that 500i up in Canada in some -50 weather or leave it sitting out for nights on end in a rainforest or run it at over 100 degrees tank after tank after tank.

those pansies wearing the tights are not doing that in their "testing", guaranteed. Virtually every new platform released by Husky or Stihl over the past nearly 20 years now has been problematic. It's utterly ridiculous.
 
sean donato

sean donato

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For what it's worth. I've had my 390xp going on 6ish years. It has never ket me down once. I use it on my mill, and for felling/ bucking duties. A family friend has been in the logging industry his entire life and recommended it to me. Yes it's a tad heavy to run all day if your not used to it, but it pulls a 36" b&c with guts. I've had to use it for limbing a few time due to the smaller saw being down for rebuild. And it wasnt terrible running a 24" b&c. Its rock stock and has worked well. I have no experience with the 500i, stihl makes great saws. I would just opt for the ease of swapping bars around more then any other reason. Plus only one dealer to deal with.
 
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