Chainsaw for under $250 for a Newbie??

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ReggieT

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As I've stated I'm new to all this, but I'm really stoked about buying, using and cutting some huge amounts of firewood...especially the famed "devils walking stick"...folks are nuts for em down here!!:msp_w00t:

My budget is $250 total...and the tree's I'll be tackling are less than 24 in diameter...it needs to be stout enough for felling, bucking, noodling, slabbing and fighting of Ferrell pigs!!:buttkick:


Here are the Positives - I'm a rather burly fellow 6'4 & 325 lbs...and pretty active...so the size & weight of saw want bother me.

There are tons of huge rolls for free locally and my uncle has about 20 acres of woods full of Oak, Hickory, Elm and Ash, Black Locust...and more downed/dead tree's than you can count!:chainsaw:

NEGATIVE - Other than a battery powered Pole Saw for pruning...I've never ran any type of Chainsaw...but I'm a QUICK study.

Uncle's land also has a good many coyotes and ferrell pigs running amok!!! lol:msp_scared::msp_scared:

He says whwn he was younger he kept his 12 guage and his 45 by his sides when cutting...and used on more than several occasions...resulting a dozen or so coyotes and a few impromtu Bar_B-Q's (ferrell pigs of course).:msp_rolleyes:


I'm open to suggestions...and I might even go up $300-350 depending on the saw or the deal.

Thanks again

Reggie
 

RandyMac

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find yourself a real saw.
 

ReggieT

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real saw???

Te me about that "REAL SAW"...or real saws...

I'm all ears....:popcorn::greenchainsaw:
 
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... some huge amounts of firewood... tree's I'll be tackling are less than 24 in diameter... it needs to be stout enough... I'm a rather burly fellow 6'4 & 325 lbs... tons of huge rolls for free locally... 20 acres of woods full of Oak, Hickory, Elm and Ash, Black Locust...and more downed/dead tree's than you can count!

... I've never ran any type of Chainsaw...

My budget is $250 total... I'm open to suggestions...

After reading that post (and I'm not trying to be a azz) my first suggestion would be to find someone in your area experienced with chainsaws to give you an instructional or two.

After reading that post (and I'm not trying to be a azz) my second suggestion would be to find a way to at least double, if not triple your chainsaw budget. Not being familiar with chainsaws, you should be looking a a new (with warranty) saw from a local dealer (not a big-box store) that will provide you with quality support... ask around.

And what about the budget for all the other stuff you'll be needing?... even putting personal protection aside, there's gas, oil, bar lube, extra chains, files, felling/bucking wedges, ropes, etc.... and some way to split the rounds, at a minimum a good splittin' maul and wedges.

Darn hard to "start-from-scratch" with only $250 now-a-days.


addendum: Oh, and no matter how "burly" you are, size and weight of the saw does matter.
 
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AIM

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I'd look for a good used saw. If you shop around you can get a good one for $150 - $250.
All of my saws were purchased used and so far all have served me quite well with no problems.
 

genesis5521

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After reading that post (and I'm not trying to be a azz) my first suggestion would be to find someone in your area experienced with chainsaws to give you an instructional or two. After reading that post (and I'm not trying to be a azz) my second suggestion would be to find a way to at least double, if not triple your chainsaw budget. Not being familiar with chainsaws, you should be looking a a new (with warranty) saw from a local dealer (not a big-box store) that will provide you with quality support... ask around. And what about the budget for all the other stuff you'll be needing?... even putting personal protection aside, there's gas, oil, bar lube, extra chains, files, felling/bucking wedges, ropes, etc.... and some way to split the rounds, at a minimum a good splittin' maul and wedges. Darn hard to "start-from-scratch" with only $250 now-a-days. addendum: Oh, and no matter how "burly" you are, size and weight of the saw does matter.

Ditto on everything Whitespider said. As for a saw recommendation, Probably best to stay away from used saws as you don't know enough about saws. You couldn't tell if it's a good used saw, or a piece of junk. A new saw from a local saw shop, with a warranty and support, is probably the best route for you. It would be helpful to know more precisely how much wood you'll be cutting each year, but just about any saw (regardless of brand or model) can cut 10 cords of wood a year with one hand tied behind its back. The bigger the saw, the faster the cut. And with proper care and maintenance, just about any new saw will last a lifetime. I just bought a Stihl MS290 Farm Boss ($349 around here). I cut 10 cords a year. This 290 will do everything I'll ever ask of a chain saw and then some. It ain't high tech as it uses old tried and true technology. They call it "Farm Boss" cause it can take a lick'n and keep on tick'n. I prefer a 16" bar for less reciprocating chain mass which better optimizes the 290's 3.8 HP. I've cut quite a few 25"+ trees with it but most of my stuff is 10" to 16". Another nice saw is the Stihl MS250 (around $300). Stihl sells more 250's and 290's then all of their other models combined. There are quite literally hundreds of thousands of them in use.

Even though I suggested you buy a new saw, for what it's worth, here's a post from a member that bought a used chain saw from Home Depot's rental fleet. I'd check to see what kind of warranty they offer when they sell their rental saws.

http://www.arboristsite.com/chainsaw/198388.htm

Here's a thread from a member who did an extensive test of the Poulan 5020 (50cc, around $200). Because of your very limited budget, this one may hold promise for you. http://www.arboristsite.com/chainsaw/192321.htm

I'm sure others will chime in with their valuable recommendations. For now, just buy what ever you can afford and make do with it. Regardless of brand or model, just about any new saw you buy today is gonna be a pretty darn nice saw. But don't forget about all of the accessories you'll need. Extra bar and chains, wedges, axe, safety gear, etc. It all adds up pretty fast.

Ops! I just noticed you mentioned "slabbing". If you mean cutting boards from trees, that changes things considerably as you'll need a bigger saw, probably 70cc+.

Don <><

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ReggieT

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Good Advice

Hey, I appreciate it!

My Dad always taught me to never be offended at Wisdom...:clap:

After reading that post (and I'm not trying to be a azz) my first suggestion would be to find someone in your area experienced with chainsaws to give you an instructional or two.

After reading that post (and I'm not trying to be a azz) my second suggestion would be to find a way to at least double, if not triple your chainsaw budget. Not being familiar with chainsaws, you should be looking a a new (with warranty) saw from a local dealer (not a big-box store) that will provide you with quality support... ask around.

And what about the budget for all the other stuff you'll be needing?... even putting personal protection aside, there's gas, oil, bar lube, extra chains, files, felling/bucking wedges, ropes, etc.... and some way to split the rounds, at a minimum a good splittin' maul and wedges.

Darn hard to "start-from-scratch" with only $250 now-a-days.


addendum: Oh, and no matter how "burly" you are, size and weight of the saw does matter.
 

TreePointer

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cutting some huge amounts of firewood -- durability and comfort. Lean toward "pro" models for comfort and greater power-to-weight ratio.
less than 24 in diameter -- you can cut diameters longer than your bar, but a 20" bar would be nice
felling, bucking, noodling, slabbing -- a saw that does well in everything. 60cc's or larger.
rather burly fellow 6'4" -- don't get shorter than a 20" bar. Your arms and back will thank you.

Get a saw that does well running 3/8" pitch chain on a 20" bar. This will put you into ~60cc models. You can get away with a top 50cc model, but they generally aren't a good match for a 20" bar or longer (power and chain oil output fall short).

A consideration: If you cut large amounts of wood regularly, you'll end up with more than one saw--just the way it is. A 50cc & 70cc saw combo can make the most avid firewooder happy. Get one saw now and get the other later.

Watch all of these videos. ALL OF THEM: Stihl Video Library - Chain Saw Safety, Operation & Maintenance

Budget for PPE: chaps, safety glasses/goggles, hearing protection, steel toe boots (or chainsaw boots), helmet (or forestry helmet with eye and ear protection).

As always, the budget is a factor in what saw you can get. You can always get a better saw later and trade/sell your old one. Just don't let your budget keep you from getting PPE, especially chaps.
 
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D&B Mack

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I'm a stihl guy and has always loved the 250 as a starter saw. However, if you want more, I would recommend the husky 455 rancher. Seems to be a great firewood saw and good size for all tasks. Everyone I know personally has not been disappointed with one. But I think either way, you are going to have to expand your budget.

Chains
Gas
Oil
Protective Equipment
Files
Etc.

All going to add up.
 

carguy

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A much more important consideration than what saw to buy would be finding an experienced person to provide safe cutting guidence. This is critical given that you intend to cut dead trees which can spawn widow makers and also blowdowns which can spring in almost any direction depending on how the cutting is done. Other experienced people on this site have also made this recommendation but is does warrent a repeat. And as others have stated, your personal protective equipment is at least as important as your saw.
 

ancy

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Check your Home Depot's

for the well know Makita 6401 in their rental department. Seems as one can be picked up for a round $200 and can always be upgraded to a much larger saw. The other nice thing is that the saw in still in production and parts are available. DON'T forget safety gear, one miss and your budget is way out the window. Can I ask why such a drive to do firewood? Others on hear say it's not a get rich EASY thing. I cut with my family and friends for our own use and would only think about selling some because it is fun to do and I have all the equipment needed, time is what gets me!

Here is the saw you should be chasing

attachment.php


View attachment 234322
 

CTYank

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ancy,
thought I should tell you that you're filing your chain backwards. File should exit cutter @ cutting edge.
 

ancy

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Yes

I know now, that was when I first started.
 

Preston

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for the well know Makita 6401 in their rental department. Seems as one can be picked up for a round $200 and can always be upgraded to a much larger saw. The other nice thing is that the saw in still in production and parts are available. DON'T forget safety gear, one miss and your budget is way out the window. Can I ask why such a drive to do firewood? Others on hear say it's not a get rich EASY thing. I cut with my family and friends for our own use and would only think about selling some because it is fun to do and I have all the equipment needed, time is what gets me!

Here is the saw you should be chasing

attachment.php


View attachment 234322

That sure looks like a Dolmar with a different paint job.
 

zogger

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There's a 272 husky in the classifieds here for 300 bucks. You could do much worse.

Get someone to run you through practical chainsaw use and SAFETY and spend some loot on protective gear as well.
 

Philbert

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As I've stated I'm new to all this, but I'm really stoked about buying, using and cutting some huge amounts of firewood...especially the famed "devils walking stick"...

My budget is $250 total...and the tree's I'll be tackling are less than 24 in diameter...it needs to be stout enough for felling, bucking, noodling, slabbing and fighting of Ferrell pigs!!

Welcome to AS!

As a new guy, I would stay away from used saws unless you have a very close friend to help you when needed. A new saw, with a warranty, from a saw shop that can fix it and help you, is a good way to start. Pick up other saws later.

A STIHL MS250 is a good, proven, 45cc homeowner saw that is now discounted to $300 as they are coming out with a lower emission 251 model. It will cut and buck well with a 16 inch bar. If you want to cut bigger stuff and slab, you are going to need a larger and more expensive saw.

Your budget should also include about $100 for personal protective equipment (PPE). Assuming that you already own a pair of steel-toed boots, leather gloves, and safety glasses, you want a pair of protective chaps ($70) and a helmet with ear and face protection ($40).

Philbert
 
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