Pro vs Homeowner model

Arborist Forum

Help Support Arborist Forum:

Husky Man

Addicted to ArboristSite
AS Supporting Member
Joined
Sep 29, 2017
Messages
5,623
Reaction score
15,153
Location
Mt Hood, Oregon
I'll know a little better where I stand after tomorrow or Sunday at the latest. By then I'll have had a chance to run the 590 and see how it compares to my box store special. I think it was Doug who brought up an interesting point, one that I was going to mention: Probably few of you have much if any experience on one of the basic homeowner models. Or if you used one, it was a distant and unpleasant memory. So it may in fact be hard to compare the pro models you use to the box store specials. For my saw, it doesn't owe me a danged thing. I saw the owner tossing it in the general trash at the landfill and I said I'd take it off his hands. For one thing, it didn't belong in with the general refuse, as it has metal that can be recycled. For another, I liked the idea of getting a free saw and it looked like it had hardly been used. That's why I called it a "dumpster special." It was going in the trash. After replacing the dried and broken fuel lines it has never failed to start and cut anything I have. Granted, nothing was over 20" or so, but with a sharp chain this saw did all I asked of it. I am looking at some of the bigger standing ash I'll be taking down--ones with 24" or bigger trunks and standing tall. A tree expert would probably top them before putting them on the ground but I have the luxury of dropping the whole tree so long as it doesn't kill me first. I'm having second thoughts about my little green saw with its 18" B&C. I'd feel more confident with something bigger and with a bit more power. Maybe just a psychological edge, I don't know. Like I said, my little Poulan doesn't owe me anything--if it quit tomorrow I'd still be ahead. I've been using it for over five years now. I appreciate the replies--I'll check in with what I decide to do.

I prefer to be able to cut from one side of a log, sometimes it’s just for convenience and quicker, other times there are safety or accessibility issues that demand cutting from just one side of the log

Something else, having a more powerful saw, can be a safety issue in some circumstances, like a leaner, or tree with rot, you may want that back cut happening a bit quicker to avoid a barberchair. Sometimes a plunge cut will be the answer, but having the ABILITY to make the back cut faster, is Rarely a Bad thing


Doug
 

Husky Man

Addicted to ArboristSite
AS Supporting Member
Joined
Sep 29, 2017
Messages
5,623
Reaction score
15,153
Location
Mt Hood, Oregon
I'm 99% hardwood around here. I have a ported 346xp, and dad got my ported 026. Both great saws, but I found after getting the 562xp the 50cc saws just sat. Then I jumped up to a 390xp and 394/5xp. The 394xp was bought pretty much for milling. The 390xp I've milled with, but is my "big" felling saw. The 394/5 just doesn't handle well for felling imo and the 390xp handles a 36" very well. I'd love a 3120xp, but had an 084av and honestly the 390xp was about a second slower in the same wood both pulling 36" bars, but the 390xp wore you out considerably less. The 084 went to a cousin. Just can't justify an over 100cc saw for the little I'd use it. Heck I rarely use the 394/5xp.

I’m 90%+ softwoods around here.

Most of what I hear around here from the professionals, the 390XP is more a felling saw, and the 395XP spends most off it’s time Bucking



Doug
 

Bubster

ArboristSite Operative
Joined
Aug 22, 2021
Messages
343
Reaction score
466
Location
WV
The hated Poulan Wild Thing really was not that bad of a saw for the money. The problem with the box store saws usually comes down to the chain. Lo-kick chains that are junk to begin with ,and most folks that buy a box store saw have no idea how to file a chain. As for gas, I use 93 octane. I mix 1 gallon at a time so the extra 75 cents a gallon is really no big deal and worth it. A gallon of Stihl Moto-Mix is almost $35 now. I can mix almost 5 gallons for $35.
 

sean donato

Chainsaws are like crack... just can't get enough.
AS Supporting Member
Joined
Aug 3, 2014
Messages
4,532
Reaction score
14,590
Location
Eastern, PA
I’m 90%+ softwoods around here.

Most of what I hear around here from the professionals, the 390XP is more a felling saw, and the 395XP spends most off it’s time Bucking



Doug
I'd agree with that for the most part, I don't bother to drag them both with so the 390xp gets to do all the heavy lifting.
 
Joined
Apr 8, 2007
Messages
14,806
Reaction score
5,277
Location
Southern Indiana
As for pro vs. homeowner saws, if you don't cut wood professionally I doubt you'd notice much difference. I have both kinds and have for years, don't cut professionally and I can't tell the difference. I like working on both types of saws. I would say it might pay to buy a name brand saw rather than something you've never heard of, like the Chinese saws with the funny names that you can't easily get parts for...
 

Husky Man

Addicted to ArboristSite
AS Supporting Member
Joined
Sep 29, 2017
Messages
5,623
Reaction score
15,153
Location
Mt Hood, Oregon
I'd agree with that for the most part, I don't bother to drag them both with so the 390xp gets to do all the heavy lifting.

A lot of the bucking tends to be done on the landings, so the 395XP’s don’t get to “Travel “ as much


Doug
 

North by Northwest

The Great White North...Eh !
AS Supporting Member
Joined
Mar 28, 2010
Messages
4,999
Reaction score
27,823
Location
Canada
For reliability and durability, I'd use a minimum 89 octane ethanol free.

Or buy 10-15 percent ethanol fuel of 89 octane or more, and use an ethanol removal method or product.
I assume you intention within the Ethanol fuel precaution was referring to Ethanol phase separation fuel conditioner / stabilizer . That is a very good recommendation to prevent fuel issue problems later during storage periods . I prefer to run 91 octane ethanol free in my saws & if ethanol definately use a fuel conditioner . Startron is a fine product . Also Saber oil has a conditioner adder which also controls & increases ethanol fuel quality shelf life .
 

sean donato

Chainsaws are like crack... just can't get enough.
AS Supporting Member
Joined
Aug 3, 2014
Messages
4,532
Reaction score
14,590
Location
Eastern, PA
I assume you intention within the Ethanol fuel precaution was referring to Ethanol phase separation fuel conditioner / stabilizer . That is a very good recommendation to prevent fuel issue problems later during storage periods . I prefer to run 91 octane ethanol free in my saws & if ethanol definately use a fuel conditioner . Startron is a fine product . Also Saber oil has a conditioner adder which also controls & increases ethanol fuel quality shelf life .
He was referring to a comment on another post that suggested adding water to ethonal fuel to get it to phase separate then suck out the gas and use it.
 

North by Northwest

The Great White North...Eh !
AS Supporting Member
Joined
Mar 28, 2010
Messages
4,999
Reaction score
27,823
Location
Canada
My 2 cents Husquarna 460 Rancher or the Echo 590 Timber Wolf as previously mentioned within Homeowner grade saws are quality firewood saws . If you doing more felling than perhaps Echo 620 p or Makita 6100 for the price point & performance advantages . Otherwise a good condition , used 261 or 346 xp would probably be more than adequate for your use on a Pro grade saw at a reasonable price point .
 

North by Northwest

The Great White North...Eh !
AS Supporting Member
Joined
Mar 28, 2010
Messages
4,999
Reaction score
27,823
Location
Canada
He was referring to a comment on another post that suggested adding water to ethonal fuel to get it to phase separate then suck out the gas and use it.
Ah , that's a sketchy procedure at best . Ethanol avoidance or prevention would be my recommendation brother ;)
 

ElevatorGuy

Mopar’s and Husky’s are garbage.
AS Supporting Member
Joined
Sep 2, 2020
Messages
1,365
Reaction score
3,487
Location
Maryland
My 2 cents Husquarna 460 Rancher or the Echo 590 Timber Wolf as previously mentioned within Homeowner grade saws are quality firewood saws . If you doing more felling than perhaps Echo 620 p or Makita 6100 for the price point & performance advantages . Otherwise a good condition , used 261 or 346 xp would probably be
If you're set on buying a Brand New saw, do yourself a favor and pick up a Standard 261.

Mad3400

more than adequate for your use on a Pro grade saw at a reasonable price point .
Standard 261? No way Jose, m tronic ftw.
 

CutsThroughKnots

ArboristSite Lurker
Joined
Nov 25, 2022
Messages
27
Reaction score
59
Location
Maryland
The hated Poulan Wild Thing really was not that bad of a saw for the money. The problem with the box store saws usually comes down to the chain. Lo-kick chains that are junk to begin with ,and most folks that buy a box store saw have no idea how to file a chain. As for gas, I use 93 octane. I mix 1 gallon at a time so the extra 75 cents a gallon is really no big deal and worth it. A gallon of Stihl Moto-Mix is almost $35 now. I can mix almost 5 gallons for $35.
Thanks, and no I don't know how to file a chain but I do bring them into the local Ace hardware for sharpening instead of buying a new chain every time. I don't sell firewood or make any money using my saw, so it's run only when I want to go out and harvest some wood or clean up deadfalls. Recently I've started taking down a lot more trees as the ash borer has killed off everything on my place. I imagine that using this little green saw every day on jobs might not last too long since it wasn't intended for that. But I've been impressed with its overall performance.
 

CutsThroughKnots

ArboristSite Lurker
Joined
Nov 25, 2022
Messages
27
Reaction score
59
Location
Maryland
As for pro vs. homeowner saws, if you don't cut wood professionally I doubt you'd notice much difference. I have both kinds and have for years, don't cut professionally and I can't tell the difference. I like working on both types of saws. I would say it might pay to buy a name brand saw rather than something you've never heard of, like the Chinese saws with the funny names that you can't easily get parts for...
Thanks, you addressed my original question about what I can expect with an upgrade. I don't cut huge wood so something with big power head and a 36" bar might give me bragging rights but in reality my green Poulan would end up doing all the cutting. If I step up to something else I'll go with a known brand. I like the 20" bar for those times a local tree company drops off something a bit bigger than I'm used to. But for the most part I'm harvesting my own wood and nothing is much larger than 20" at the moment.
 

Seachaser

ArboristSite Operative
Joined
Aug 31, 2022
Messages
137
Reaction score
152
Location
Georgia
I would go to my nearest dealer and spend some time there. Of course I enjoy picking up saws and getting the feel for new ones. They will usually recommend a saw in your price range plus the warranty. And occasionally they will have demos or used saws.
 

North by Northwest

The Great White North...Eh !
AS Supporting Member
Joined
Mar 28, 2010
Messages
4,999
Reaction score
27,823
Location
Canada
M-Tronic is fine, but I guess it's down to preferable preference.

Mad3400
Electronic fuel management is fine for the novice owner . However I prefer a tunable carburated saw . I cut in routine elevations & moderate temps & humidities . I normally tweak my tune every other saw usage or after a fuel or air filter cleaning or plug change . Just routine preventative maintenance , such as chain sharpening , give the cutters & rakers a kiss every tank of fuel . When electronic is the only saw availability , I will resort to my current collection of 8 carburated saws with no reservations , too long in the tooth to change now brother !
 

Latest posts

Top