Best Chain saw for under $1200.00 to buy for cutting trees once a month or so, not every week?

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Husky77

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I got my own Ideals, but you guys/gals do more knowledge than I do, so am asking your HO.
No fighting, no wrong answer, just what you would buy & why.
The last three saws I bought where on sale & less than $350.00 & wore out in a year.
so your cheap saws didnt work out, lifes a learning curve. Personally I have huqvarna 254 that I had in 1980's and still runs like a swiss watch and cuts anything I can throw at it. Recently I picked up a husqvarna 365 and that quickly became my favourite saw which can handle anything I come across. I would say look for a good one of these it will cost less than your new saws on sale that dont last. These are pro saws and you will notice the difference. I am in the uk so s/h prices will be different but you get the idea.
 

fields_mj

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I wouldn't give $25 for all the saws on your list combined. At 62, my personal recommendation would be an MS261 with a 16" or 18" bar, but that may be because I don't have any experience with the other brands. It's on the small side for felling and bucking 25" trees, but it's light weight with plenty of power for that bar. The comparable home owner version is the 251 which weighs basically the same, but the 261 has 33% more power and will last a heck of a lot longer.

Normally the recommendation is to go with a saw that has good dealership support in your area, but I go the other direction in this regard. I've been to half a dozen Stihl dealerships in this area, and none are worth a darn. They can sell a new saw just fine, but they literally can't diagnose a worn out sparkplug. Stihl and Husqvarna Pro grade saws are easy to work on, and spare parts are easy to find. With a little mechanical aptitude and support from here and YouTube, you can fix about anything.
 

Campbellcontractlogging

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That sucks!

All of the saw makers have a dud leave their factory from time to time. I recently purchased a Husqvarna 550XP M2 that fortunately identified itself as a dud right away, and they replaced it with a great one. RE 661’s - my non-mtronic 661 has been virtually flawless, and I believe the 661CM tends to run lean as a general rule. A man line yourself, as a production logger, could easily put one of these on full tilt.

What saws are you running now as an alternative?
I run a 7310P echo as my back up and my full time saw is a 592XP husky they have both been excellent saws I have over 100 gallons run through the husky during its life and no problems mechanically and I’ve never had one issue from my echos the husky is my monster tho I put numbers up with that 592 I can’t say better things about it.
 

jolj

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Any professional saw in your price range and 60cc+ will do what you want it to do and do it for a long time as long as it's maintained properly.

Pick the brand that you have the most dealer support for in your area.
That would be stihl, then Echo.
I run a 7310P echo as my back up and my full time saw is a 592XP husky they have both been excellent saws I have over 100 gallons run through the husky during its life and no problems mechanically and I’ve never had one issue from my echos the husky is my monster tho I put numbers up with that 592 I can’t say better things about it.
I know nothing about husky.
 

Campbellcontractlogging

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That would be stihl, then Echo.

I know nothing about husky.
I would say the echo will last longer than the husky but the husky cut harder and faster than anything I’ve ever used that 7310 echo is fantastic tho I broke 2 fingers on my carrying hand and I’ve been using the echo because it’s so light and I forget how good it is for an 800$ saw it’s amazing.
 

jolj

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Torque​

The torque of a chainsaw is crucial for understanding the type of wood, trees, and brush the saw is useful for cutting. Stihl chainsaws tend to have a powerful low-end torque that allows them to cut through tough wood and knots without getting stuck or stalling. Husqvarna chainsaws don't have the same low-end torque, but they do have a more powerful high-end torque that helps improve cutting speed and efficiency when you are making clean cuts.


Generally, Stihl chainsaws are great for tough, dense wood and brush, though they may not be as quick as Husqvarna chainsaws. However, Husqvarna saws are not as effective at cutting through knots and tree joints, despite a higher cutting speed. Just keep in mind that these are broad brand comparisons and individual products can differ, so always take the time to research the specific tool before deciding on the right saw.
 

jolj

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Weight​

The weight of the chainsaws is relatively even when they are initially compared, but Husqvarna saws are known for having larger fuel tanks. Due to this difference, when a Husqvarna chainsaw is fully fueled and ready for use, it weighs more than a Stihl chainsaw, resulting in increased user fatigue. With this in mind, Stihl chainsaws are a better option for smaller users or users that have reduced strength or mobility.



Fuel Capacity​

It seems obvious to choose a tool with a higher fuel capacity, but there are drawbacks to larger fuel tanks, like the increased weight on the user. Additionally, if you don't have a lot of trees to maintain, then a larger fuel capacity doesn't come with any benefits because you would finish the work without needing to refuel regardless of the size of the tank.


A small fuel capacity isn't necessarily a bad thing, but it does mean that you will need to refill the fuel tank more often, increasing the amount of time it takes to complete the job. While a larger tank causes fatigue by increasing the weight, a small tank can also cause fatigue by extending the time it takes to complete the work. As mentioned previously, Husqvarna chainsaws typically have larger fuel tanks than Stihl chainsaws, so a Husqvarna saw is the right choice if you want to get through the job quickly without worrying about refueling, but a Stihl saw is better for smaller properties and users who don't mind stopping to refill the tank.
 

jolj

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Maintenance​

Due to the potential danger of using a chainsaw, maintaining the chainsaw by making repairs, sharpening the chain, cleaning the fuel tank, or oiling the chain is important and necessary for ensuring that the tool continues to work properly, reducing the risk of part failure during use.1 In general, Husqvarna chainsaws tend to require more frequent maintenance than Stihl chainsaws, widely attributed to superior Stihl engineering.


For DIYers and professionals who usually complete brief tool checks before and after use with more substantial maintenance at scheduled intervals, Stihl chainsaws are the best choice because the time between maintenance intervals is longer. However, this consideration doesn't apply to users who routinely check and perform maintenance on their chainsaws every time they use the tool. Also, certain tools can reduce maintenance time, like electric chainsaw sharpeners.
 

Campbellcontractlogging

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Maintenance​

Due to the potential danger of using a chainsaw, maintaining the chainsaw by making repairs, sharpening the chain, cleaning the fuel tank, or oiling the chain is important and necessary for ensuring that the tool continues to work properly, reducing the risk of part failure during use.1 In general, Husqvarna chainsaws tend to require more frequent maintenance than Stihl chainsaws, widely attributed to superior Stihl engineering.


For DIYers and professionals who usually complete brief tool checks before and after use with more substantial maintenance at scheduled intervals, Stihl chainsaws are the best choice because the time between maintenance intervals is longer. However, this consideration doesn't apply to users who routinely check and perform maintenance on their chainsaws every time they use the tool. Also, certain tools can reduce maintenance time, like electric chainsaw sharpeners.
I have not found this to be true. all the rest is to my experience with extensive use of both brands to be true I do not hafto maintain the husqvarna as much as I had to with the stihl saws although I do take care of my equipment to more stringent extremes than most do probably. In my experience I’ve had more stihl saws down than running compared to echo or husqvarna and I work my equipment hard.
 

sand sock

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I got my own Ideals, but you guys/gals do more knowledge than I do, so am asking your HO.
No fighting, no wrong answer, just what you would buy & why.
The last three saws I bought where on sale & less than $350.00 & wore out in a year.
i dont know your age or experience. i cut alot for 2 houses plus what ever i selll. i generally like a 60cc pro grade saw. they just last alot better. i have about 16 years on my 361, cutting about 20 -30 cords a year.

i had a few 56 cc farm grade sawsand those only last 8 to 10 years. [stihl 029/290s]


when you are looking at saws. look at the length of the motor block. a longer /streatched out saw is easieer on your body if your tall. you might want to figure out why your saws wore out so quick. dull chain/ didnt keep it clean/ missed simple maintanece
 

jolj

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At 62, my new saw will out live me, 1) I will not wear it out. 2) my trees are not so big.

i dont know your age or experience. i cut alot for 2 houses plus what ever i selll. i generally like a 60cc pro grade saw. they just last alot better. i have about 16 years on my 361, cutting about 20 -30 cords a year.

i had a few 56 cc farm grade sawsand those only last 8 to 10 years. [stihl 029/290s]


when you are looking at saws. look at the length of the motor block. a longer /streatched out saw is easieer on your body if your tall. you might want to figure out why your saws wore out so quick. dull chain/ didnt keep it clean/ missed simple maintanece
I am looking at 261 & 362, but we will see what shake out.
The only Maintenance problem is that a few family member used the saw & I was not there, but they learned from the same Father that I did.
You clean & sharpen,oil a saw before you put it up, just like a gun or ax.
 

fhursey2

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Poulan Pro 5020 ... takes a lickin keeps on tickin. Runs 24 inch bar full comp chisel no problems ... put a new OEM carb on it when you need too $20 off Internet. Beats my buddy's MS271 all day. I paid $169 for mine at Menards.
 

oldbuzzard

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Based on your age and saying you don’t cut big trees I recommend a Stihl 261 or 261C hands down. I’m seventy-three and you are going to find out saws get heavier every year. BTW I own around thirty saws myself and actually prefer sawing with Huskies but you can’t beat the 261s for all around saws. If you are primarily using the saw just on one property I would buy the straight 261 (No need for mtronic).
 

AmateurSawer

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I'll throw in my 2 cents.
First off, you need to find what works best for you. You are trying to do that.
I encourage you to look at dealer support very closely. The difference between Stihl and Husqvarna is similar to argueing over Ford and Chevrolet. A good helpful dealer close by is important. I don't have that problem here since Stihl, Husqvarna and Echo all have servicing dealers the same distance away.
For my use, I have an MS 362 and an MS 250 I use to cut firewood and whatever else needs sawing on my 400 plus acre farm and woodland. My 362 has a 20" bar. The 250 came with an 18". I would have bought an MS 261 but funds were tight at the time and it was going to be a saw for smaller wood. I've been pleasantly surprised at what the 250 will do.
I don't have anything against Husqvarna. It just I have more service options with a Stihl. I would also like to try a 50 cc Echo if their quality is anything like the Echo trimmer I have.
If I was looking today and could justify the price for me, I 'd look at the MS 400. About 440 power and 362 weight from what I remember. Some will say get an MS 462 or 572 Husqvarna. If that's what you want, okay. But, do you ever cut that much large diameter wood ? At near 65, I'm starting to think about lugging the extra weight around. I really like my 362 but the 250 is nice in small wood for the weight.
Go to to several dealers and handle the saws. Talk to them and see who's helpful and who just wants to sell a saw. Ask about parts. Does he carry the common stuff? How soon can he get something? I like the last dealer I bought from. I was looking at two similar models. He aked if I would like his advice. If so, set one down and take the other. He could have sold the one saw for more and I wouldn't have known the difference for a while, if ever.
 

AmateurSawer

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I've been felling, limbing, and bucking dead ash with my MS261c and absolutely love it. Just got a ms400c and it's simply amazing. Both would suit your needs. The 261 would be right at home with a 16-18" bar and max of 20, while the 400, would run a 24" from time to time with authority. The 3/8" chain stays sharp a bit longer than .325 so it's a little nicer in that regard. That's my only complaint is I feel I'm touching up the chain every tank of fuel on my 261, but that could also be my lack of sharpening skills too.
In my limited experience, the 261 and like saws do better with .325 pitch chain. My son switched to 3/8 on his Farm Boss and didn't keep it on long. The 3/8 LP on the small saws is a different matter. Narrow kerf.
 

AmateurSawer

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Based on your age and saying you don’t cut big trees I recommend a Stihl 261 or 261C hands down. I’m seventy-three and you are going to find out saws get heavier every year. BTW I own around thirty saws myself and actually prefer sawing with Huskies but you can’t beat the 261s for all around saws. If you are primarily using the saw just on one property I would buy the straight 261 (No need for mtronic).
I know what you're saying. I've sawed with an 026 and that is a nice size. In reality, I could do about all my cutting with one. The 261 is up about 4hp now.
 

jolj

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Do not have a Menards here that I know of.
My Father Had two Poulan bow saws years ago, they ran like champs.
He cleaned & sharpen them after every day of work.
I'll throw in my 2 cents.
First off, you need to find what works best for you. You are trying to do that.
I encourage you to look at dealer support very closely. The difference between Stihl and Husqvarna is similar to argueing over Ford and Chevrolet. A good helpful dealer close by is important. I don't have that problem here since Stihl, Husqvarna and Echo all have servicing dealers the same distance away.
For my use, I have an MS 362 and an MS 250 I use to cut firewood and whatever else needs sawing on my 400 plus acre farm and woodland. My 362 has a 20" bar. The 250 came with an 18". I would have bought an MS 261 but funds were tight at the time and it was going to be a saw for smaller wood. I've been pleasantly surprised at what the 250 will do.
I don't have anything against Husqvarna. It just I have more service options with a Stihl. I would also like to try a 50 cc Echo if their quality is anything like the Echo trimmer I have.
If I was looking today and could justify the price for me, I 'd look at the MS 400. About 440 power and 362 weight from what I remember. Some will say get an MS 462 or 572 Husqvarna. If that's what you want, okay. But, do you ever cut that much large diameter wood ? At near 65, I'm starting to think about lugging the extra weight around. I really like my 362 but the 250 is nice in small wood for the weight.
Go to to several dealers and handle the saws. Talk to them and see who's helpful and who just wants to sell a saw. Ask about parts. Does he carry the common stuff? How soon can he get something? I like the last dealer I bought from. I was looking at two similar models. He aked if I would like his advice. If so, set one down and take the other. He could have sold the one saw for more and I wouldn't have known the difference for a while, if ever.
I agree, I do not like Chevrolet, but a lot of people love them.
I never touched a Husqvarna, but never heard a bad word about it.
I have a new Kubota Tractor L4701, they sale Stihl, so that what I will more than likely go with, I have working relationship with them now.
They are across town, but I am retired. I have time to look at other saws, no hurry.
 
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