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

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AmateurSawer

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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 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.
I was raised around Fords. Both autos and tractors. Still have Ford tractors and a Ford pickup plus our Explorer. My one ton and 2 1/2 ton trucks are Chevrolets. As much availability and price at the time as anything. Both good trucks. Would I buy a Kubota? If it was what I needed and the price was right, sure.
 

jolj

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I knew a guy who had one & could not stop talking about it.
But what got me was everything for under $50,000.00 no interests for 48 months.
Could not turn that down, every so often some loan sharp will mail me a flyer, to get me to consolidate all my loans at 28% or 35% for six years.
I have never in my live had a loan over 15% & that was my first credit card forty years ago.
My biggest bill is interest free, I laugh & just throw the flyer in the trash.
My brother has a Ford tractor, I have a 20hp OT-30 (same as 8n).
 

fields_mj

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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 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.
Do yourself a favor. See if you you can find a used Stihl that needs repaired and take it to that dealer and see what they say. If they offer to fix it, buy a new saw from them. If they try to sell you a new saw, walk out and never go back. They may be a great shop, or they may be lousy. Find out before you decide to let them be a major factor in your decision.

Between the 362 and the 261, start with the 261 and decide if you need more. If so, add a 60cc saw. If the 10lb, 50 cc, 4.0 hp 261 is enough for your needs, keep the rest of your money ;)
 

Colonel428

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I've got a Husqvarna 550xp, a 562xp and a Stihl 261. You can't go wrong with any one of them but the 261 has really impressed me with how light and nimble it is and with how it pulls thru logs larger than its bar size. A sharp chain on an 18"or 20" bar and it will do everything you describe as needing a saw to do.
 

jolj

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I checked I have ten stihl repair shops/ dealers in driving distance of my house, a few are on the edge, but all can be made in a hour or so.
I have five Husqvarna repair/ dealer in driving distance, three are stihl also.
 

AmateurSawer

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You may want to visit the dual dealerships first. Ask what their customers prefer and see what they stock. You can learn some just talking to them about which they prefer and why..
If you see a logger or landscaper in the parking lot, ask them about their choice. Some may be just brand loyal but others have experience that taught them.
 
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Do yourself a favor. See if you you can find a used Stihl that needs repaired and take it to that dealer and see what they say. If they offer to fix it, buy a new saw from them. If they try to sell you a new saw, walk out and never go back. They may be a great shop, or they may be lousy. Find out before you decide to let them be a major factor in your decision.

Between the 362 and the 261, start with the 261 and decide if you need more. If so, add a 60cc saw. If the 10lb, 50 cc, 4.0 hp 261 is enough for your needs, keep the rest of your money ;)
AND, there are plenty of 026's, and MS260's in service. Check eBay, and any other sales sites that work for you.

I agree here. ANY chainsaw that weighs 10 lbs, makes over 3 1/2 HP, and spins a 20" FULL Chisel set-up..........should be the choice, and first on the list.
 

fields_mj

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Full transparency, I've run (not all were mine) an 024, 3 026s, and and MS260 (all 18" bars, .325 chain), but I've never run an MS261. On paper, a stock 261 is a pretty decent step up from the older models. I cut a lot of 18" to 24" hickory, and I don't normally bother with anything smaller than 6". My older saws with 18" bars are a little anemic for most of my needs so I do the bulk of my bucking with an 036 and run the same bars on all of to minimize my spare parts. A 261 may be enough of a step up that with a 16" bar there may not be a noticeable difference between it and my 036. It would be interesting to see. Either way, the 261 with a 16" bar would be an excellent starting point. If you go that route and decide you need something more, come back and ask again :)

Also, don't loan good power tools to anyone. Most people don't understand or appreciate the value of good tools/equipment. They are used to the disposable crap you get from the box stores and will treat your tools accordingly.
 

jolj

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You may want to visit the dual dealerships first. Ask what their customers prefer and see what they stock. You can learn some just talking to them about which they prefer and why..
If you see a logger or landscaper in the parking lot, ask them about their choice. Some may be just brand loyal but others have experience that taught them.
I had my 9.97 acres cut & they used a large hydraulic shear to cut the trees, if they had chainsaw I never saw it.
 

lohan808

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I would highly recommend the 362c-m. Having an auto tuning saw is a boon if you don't have time to spare. That being said I would also recommend having a woods porting done on it. There are some great saw builders to be found on this and other sites. Trust me you won't regret it.
 

jolj

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I would highly recommend the 362c-m. Having an auto tuning saw is a boon if you don't have time to spare. That being said I would also recommend having a woods porting done on it. There are some great saw builders to be found on this and other sites. Trust me you won't regret it.
Had to google auto tuning & woods porting.
If it is so great why does the saw have to be improved after purchase?
 

lohan808

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Had to google auto tuning & woods porting.
If it is so great why does the saw have to be improved after purchase?
Needs no work. I like to run ported saws. I feel that anything can be improved on, saws as well. You would like a ported saw too. Try one and see for yourself.
 

jolj

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Needs no work. I like to run ported saws. I feel that anything can be improved on, saws as well. You would like a ported saw too. Try one and see for yourself.
So I ask the dealer for a pro style wood port saw off the shelf?
 

lohan808

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So I ask the dealer for a pro style wood port saw off the shelf?
Not exactly... If you mention ported saws in a dealership they will look at you like you are nuts. I recommend chatting here with guys like @huskihl. If you see any arborists and or loggers in your area chat with them as well. Porting is an after purchase item. You can buy saws from a saw builder like @Mastermind Worksaws ported while brand new. Woods porting is not for racing. My experience as well as the theory of woods porting is that itprovides a longer lasting saw that performs better over time.
 

husky455rancher

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I have some nice saws but my 562 is just awesome. So is the 500i but that’s over budget. I think the 562 is the way to go. My dad borrowed it a few weeks ago and he raved about how much he liked it. He’s 68 and can’t handle too much physically anymore and he was fine with the weight of it.
 

jolj

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I had a used Farm Boss that I inherited, it had a choke that worn out & the OEM part is not available, but we use it for about a year, maybe 18 months.
I bought a new Poulan Pro 18 in. 42cc 2-Cycle Gas Chainsaw, Effortless Pull Starting from Tractor Supply.
My son used it some, this was five years ago, so I am not sure how much work he put on the saw.
The other saw was seven year or so ago, do not remember much about it, it was used too.
You see a pattern, used saws do not last long, the Farm Boss was ready old.
I had a saw most of my life, but the Poulan Pro 18 in. was the last one I used.
 

Colonel428

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The saws people here are recommending to you are night and day compared to a "farm boss" Stihl or Poulan Pro. No offense, but those models are disposable, homeowner grade saws that are often times too expensive to fix for what they are worth. Saws like the aforementioned Stihl 261, 361 and 461 plus the Husqvarna 550xp and 562xp are professional models, which means they should last longer and are almost always worth repairing. And, even after years of use the pro models retain some value. With the throw away models not so much.
 

jolj

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The saws people here are recommending to you are night and day compared to a "farm boss" Stihl or Poulan Pro. No offense, but those models are disposable, homeowner grade saws that are often times too expensive to fix for what they are worth. Saws like the aforementioned Stihl 261, 361 and 461 plus the Husqvarna 550xp and 562xp are professional models, which means they should last longer and are almost always worth repairing. And, even after years of use the pro models retain some value. With the throw away models not so much.
This is the reason for the thread, to get more information on saws.
There is no way I can do everything suggested & most of the saws are larger than I need, but at least I have a better ideal of what to buy.
I worked with a guy, who deer hunt, fished & sold firewood, when not at work, he swear by the Farm Boss, but he only cut wood on the weekends.
I am thinking 18" bar on a Stihl 261 or 361, but we will see what the dealers have to say.
 

Colonel428

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I think you are right on the money with the 261 and 361. If you don't want to mess with tuning the saw get one that is an m-tronic model. Those have a self adjusting carburetor and the technology is very proven at this point.
 

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