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Want to Buy assistance with choosing the right saw

trooper jd

trooper jd

New Member
Joined
Dec 4, 2021
Messages
3
Location
Minnesota
I'm looking at purchasing a 90cc class saw for felling and bucking and would appreciate input. Most of the larger diameter trees I will be dealing with are cotton wood so not particularly hard but there will be sizable oaks and silver maples in the mix as well. I am not planning on using the saw for milling.
I am considering between a Huqvarna 390xp and a Stihl 661 c-m . I would have to order the Stihl 661 c-m and wait 6 or more months for it, although with winter setting in I won't see much use for sever months anyway. The Stihl will set me back $1399 with a 25 inch bar, on the plus side I own a like new 32 inch rollomatic es from old 044 that did not pull it well. On the other hand I can get a 390 xp from a local dealer that has 2 in stock for $1059. One drawback to the 390 xp is that both models the dealer has only have half wrap handles and I would want full wrap. It might also be worth noting that the Husqvana dealer has a 395 xp with a 36 inch bar and wrap handle for $1350. From a pure torque and the ability to run longer bars everything I have read indicates the 395 xp is much stronger than both of the others, it is just more saw than I can imagine needing. That said if I would not have purchased to small of a saw last time (Stihl 362 instead of a Stihl 462) I might not be in need of advice. I'm just not sure I want to go back to a front chain tensioner and outboard clutch, it always annoyed mw on my old Mac Double Eagle 80. My guess is that even if I order the west coast kit from Husqvarna 390 xp it would still be less money than the Stihl. I have had good luck with both brands and I have good dealer and service support in my area for both brands, I just have much more in the way of Stihl bars and chains. My previous experience with larger displacement Husqvarna saws was that they tended to have more torque that a comparable Stihl and better anti vibration. I do suffer from white knuckle. The thing that I also remember is that Husqvarna saws have a tendency to rattle screws and bolts loose and not having captured bar nut is a bummer but definitely not a deal breaker.
If anyone could let me know if running the Stihl bars and chain on the Husky will cause cut or oiling issues I would appreciate it. My 32 inch Stihl and 28 inch es light bars and full house as well as skip chains are all .050 and the Husky come with a 28 inch (Oregon maybe) .058 bar and chain. I have seen people running Stihl bars on Husky saws using bar stud spacers I just don't know if the gauge difference is a deal breaker or if you also need to change the drive sprocket spur as well.

Thanks Jason.
 
Jacob J.

Jacob J.

Tree Freak
Joined
Aug 26, 2001
Messages
17,474
Location
Oregon
The fact that you already have circulation issues in your hands is a reason to choose a Husqvarna or a more modern Stihl. You have good dealer support for both, so I would say go with the one that really feels right in your hands.

Can you demo any of these saws through your dealer or people you know in the community? The Husqvarna 592 is on the horizon and it may be worth waiting for. I've yet to see any problems with the modern Husqvarnas rattling
fasteners out and I worked in the woods for many years and ran 372/385/390s as my main falling saws for a lot of that time. I also owned a 661 and was less than impressed by it. You can run your Stihl bars on modern Huskies with
a bar adapter.
 

J D

ArboristSite Guru
Joined
Apr 19, 2020
Messages
826
Location
NZ
If it were me & given the considerations you have mentioned, I'd go with the 390 & west coast kit... especially if you have reservations about the Auto-tune carb the 592 would come with.
If money isn't a major factor & all your servicing will be done by the dealer & milling isn't being contemplated a 592 will likely give you the power of the 395 & the weight/features of a 390 (& captured bar nuts)
With an adapter your Stihl bars will work on the husky & as long as the chain gauge matches the bar it won't make a difference. You may find you need a different drive link count as the Stihl bar with adapter will have less adjustment than a Husky bar would
 
Sandhill Crane

Sandhill Crane

AS Member
Joined
Mar 15, 2010
Messages
3,150
Location
Saugatuck, Michigan
I'm looking at purchasing a 90cc class saw for felling and bucking and would appreciate input. Most of the larger diameter trees I will be dealing with are cotton wood so not particularly hard but there will be sizable oaks and silver maples in the mix as well. I am not planning on using the saw for milling.
I would consider the Husqvarna 562xp or the bigger Stihl 500i. Both saws are very capable with a 25" bar. The Stihl 500i is heavier, so my go to saw is the 562 with 18" bar, and for me, a little easier starting. Both start with one pull. I also have the ms 661, and rarely use it. I had purchased the 661 prior to the other two saws when I had a two saw plan, and now it's a shelf queen. A friend has a 562 with full wrap handle. Very nice.
 

J D

ArboristSite Guru
Joined
Apr 19, 2020
Messages
826
Location
NZ
500i would be another valid option, just more expensive again along with being hemmed in to dealer only servicing/repairs
 
Ketchup

Ketchup

Professional Stick Picker
Joined
Nov 7, 2017
Messages
607
Location
Ward, CO
Ditch the the 362 and buy a 462. Wait for the 592. The 462 will see 5 times the work compared to any 90cc. If your dropping trees above 40” diameter you might still want the 395 in the end. It’s just a monster compared to 390 or 661. I do a lot of big cottonwood removals and even the 395 gets pushed to the limit.
 
ballisticdoughnut

ballisticdoughnut

ArboristSite Operative
Joined
Nov 4, 2019
Messages
127
Location
Tacoma, WA
If you can wait I'd suggest a 592. Husky rep came by my shop with one and it's a pretty impressive saw. Either that or pick up the 390 or 661 if you can't wait. They all have their pros and cons you just need to decide which you can live with. I've grown quite fond of the Dolmars, if you could get one I'd say pick up a 9010 but good luck with that. Parts availability could potentially become a issue in the near future as well.
 
Maintenance supervisor

Maintenance supervisor

Every 100yrs, All new people...
Joined
Feb 1, 2019
Messages
3,234
Location
South Carolina
With a 32" bar as your max length bar I'd be inclined to say buy a saw that has the smoothest feel as Jacob mentioned.
When I think 90cc 34" is the shortest bar I'm using, unless I'm playing around. The 395xp is one of the best saws I've handled and cut with and I have a good 394xp ,but they are BIG and the new 592xp definitely looks easier to handle if your already having hand issues.
 
Huskybill

Huskybill

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May 21, 2018
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Northeast
Always pick a big enough cc saw. You can use shorter bars and throttle it back. I always had 2100’s in my line up.(395xp).

Example, if I was looking for a bigger cc saw and looking at a 390 Xp I’d go with a 395 xp. Only if I had a 372xp /572xp in my line up.
 
Andyshine77

Andyshine77

Tree Freak
Joined
Jan 25, 2004
Messages
11,201
Location
Cincinnati, OH
If you're not going to be using the saw until spring, I'd wait for the 592xp.

If you want the saw now I'd lean to the 395. Now the 395 is a big saw! but I find it balances well and really is bad if you just plan on droppingand bucking a few trees.

That said if you want to pack a saw into the woods, fell and buck all day most days, go for something lighter, like the 390xp or 500i. The issue with the 390xp, it lacks power out of the box for it's weight, a 500i has equal in power but is much lighter. Ported the 390xp is a total animal, but that adds extra cost and time.

The 390xp and 395xp are also extremely simple and easy to work on, with the newer saws you will be more tied to your dealer if you have a failure in the fuel control system.
 
Huskybill

Huskybill

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I’m not sure about the newer 390 Xp but my older 575/385xp needed breakin time. Until they cut ten cords each the beasts started to roar. I thought my newer Husqvarna saws sucked over the older ones I had. Not so once there broken in.
 
Andyshine77

Andyshine77

Tree Freak
Joined
Jan 25, 2004
Messages
11,201
Location
Cincinnati, OH
I’m not sure about the newer 390 Xp but my older 575/385xp needed breakin time. Until they cut ten cords each the beasts started to roar. I thought my newer Husqvarna saws sucked over the older ones I had. Not so once there broken in.
The exhaust port on the 390 is usually too high, and exhaust to restrictive for that design, that's why the 385's were slightly better runners out of the box. Never ran a 575, the 576 I had made good power lots of low end grunt. Break in is nothing to overlook it can transform an engine.
 
Rodger Royle

Rodger Royle

ArboristSite Lurker
Joined
Dec 7, 2018
Messages
20
Location
Oregon
Howdy , i have a couple really nice 394xp's if your intrude , I've got both models a " Low Brow " and a " Too Tall " that is . That being said i don't know if your still in the market but i would whole heartedly buy a older Husky or Stihl before if evr consider buying a new saw with all the new school plasticy parts and micro processors and x-tourqes and m-tronic doo-hickeys on em . Call me ignorant or one sided or whatever you may . I am a fan of the older gems that are made to last amd made with quality plastiques and magnesium M-alloys and dragon teeth and jack-a-lope horns . Ya know to dawg kinda crap , like ol gran pappy used to dream about and tell ya stories about the saws that were coming someday and they'd change the world saws that cut monster mega redwoods and sequoia trees down like they were pecker poles ....
 

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