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Need to buy a chainsaw - Help!

Discussion in 'The Okie Corral' started by zagzig, Jul 19, 2012.

  1. zagzig

    zagzig

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    It has been years since I was behind a chainsaw. I recently moved from a townhouse to 2.5 acres of fairly wooded property. The rear acre backs to a river with dense woods on either side. The diameter of most of the trees on the property is less than 20 inches at the base with a few exceptions.

    Some storms roll through a couple weeks ago that uprooted a few trees. My brother-in-law limbed the trees and bucked the trunk into 3-4 foot sections and used my small tractor to move them around. I still have a lot of work to do and need a saw on hand to deal with the occasional cleanup. I don't foresee needing to deal with uprooted trees that often.

    That said, please recommend me a saw. I thought I had my mind set on a 20" Stihl Farmboss, but now I'm second guessing. Is a 20" bar large enough? I don't want something overly large that will be unwieldy for it's intended purpose most of the time.

    Also, what the hell do I do with a root ball? Can I dismember it as much as possible and burn it? Or would I be better of pushing it off into the woods?

    Thanks GT braintrust!
     
  2. GLWyandotte

    GLWyandotte Señor Member

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    Stihl's a good choice. 20" is plenty for that type of work.
    Burn the root balls or wash them off real well, separate the clusters and let them bleach out. Great yard decor.
     

  3. md2lgyk

    md2lgyk

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    In my experience of living on a couple of wooded plots of land over the years, and currently doing so, a 20-inch chainsaw is too big. That's what I have now, but I'll go back to a 16- or even 14-inch should I ever need another saw. Of course, I'm 65 years old so things I could easily handle once upon a time are not so much now.
     
  4. uptomyneck

    uptomyneck

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    I had a Husky 20" before it was stolen. It was replaced with the Stihl 20" Farmboss and I'm glad I did. IMO, the Stihl is a better product.

    Yea, the 20" is a little heavier, but I've never had a piece I couldn't get thru. My post oaks are the size you describe and there hasn't been one yet that I couldn't buck.

    I would also recommend getting a 12v chain sharpener at Northern Tools for $20. Mine has paid for itself dozens of times.

    If the rootball is real big, they make for a good bullet backstop.
     
  5. aircarver

    aircarver Descent Terminated Silver Member

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    Stilh is a good name

    20 " is more than enough for cutting trunks.

    I used to use a 21" Remington on 24 - 30" trunks, it was more tha enough cuz you can come in from both sides.

    I use a lighter Poulan for limbing. It's 18" is also more than enough, and weight becomes a consideration when you're taking it up in the tree.

    If you cut up rootballs, keep in mind the earth will dull the saw fast, & you'll need to re-sharpen frequently.

    .
     
    Last edited: Jul 19, 2012
  6. HOTHEAD

    HOTHEAD

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    IMHO, a 16 Stilh is exactly what your looking for.
     
  7. smokeross

    smokeross GTDS Member #49

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    Most Stihls have the same bar mount so you can swap out bars easily. Don't make the mistake of buying too small of a saw, and don't buy a home owner type. They don't last. In the Stihl line, look for a saw with an even 2nd number in the model number. Those are commercial saws. I would go with a 24-25" bar to avoid having to bend over to do the cutting, especially when limbing. I think a Stihl 362 would be a good choice for the work you describe.
     
  8. Glock20 10mm

    Glock20 10mm Use Linux!

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    Wife got me a Stihl with start assist. Can't remember the model, but I am left handed so she was trying to find a saw for me. Also with my shoulder the way it is, starting a chain saw can be somewhat painful. So with the start assist, it's a breeze. If I can get the model from her I'll post it today, otherwise I can follow-up tomorrow.
     
  9. smokeross

    smokeross GTDS Member #49

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    I run a Stihl MS 460 with a 28" bar for firewood cutting. When I encounter the larger stuff I use my Stihl 056 Mag II with a 36" bar. Probably a little over kill for your needs though. I do like those big saws though.
     
  10. ked

    ked

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    i have 7 Stihl chainsaws. most replies refer to the bar length. pay more attention to engine size. i would say a MS260 PRO would be ideal for your situation. you might want to look into the engine sizes that begin with a 3, ie: MS3xx.

    STIHL has both homeowner and Pro models. the Pro models are more expensive , but have a higher power to weight ratio. you can always put a shorter bar and chain on a bigger engine, but you can't/shouldn't put a larger bar on a smaller engine. it will over work the engine.

    get 2-3 extra blades and learn to do light blade maintenance.

    and be careful, chainsaws can be dangerous.

    ked:wavey:
     
  11. Rinspeed

    Rinspeed JAFO

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    I agree with ked about moving up to the Stihl Pro series such as the MS261. They are built to a much better standard and you'll never remember the extra $150-200 it cost you 10 years down the road. I bought a MS441 a couple years ago and it is bit of a beast but I'm very happy with it.
     
  12. HollowHead

    HollowHead Firm member

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    While Stihl makes a good saw, I went with Dolmar. Made in Germany, excellent power to weight (magnesium engine) and has heated grips. HH
     
  13. Arquebus12

    Arquebus12 Non-broccophobe CLM

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    I was going to recommend a Farm Boss before I opened the thread... Twenty inch bar on one of them will easily handle 97% of all you want...

    It's money we'll spent, you won't regret it. Good luck.
     
  14. trashcat

    trashcat

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    Something else you might want to consider is just renting one from the local rental house. If you only use it once or twice a year for clean up it'll be easier and cheaper than buying and maintaining one.
     
  15. zagzig

    zagzig

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    Thanks for the replies guys. I think I'll stick with my original plans and pick up a Farm Boss or maybe the MS 261. I'll see what I can find gently used first.

    I've never know anyone to use chainsaw chaps. Do you guys recommend them?
     
  16. smokeross

    smokeross GTDS Member #49

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    Chaps can save a trip to the doctor for stitches. A lot of stitches. Usually to the left leg if you're right handed. Might save your jeans too.
     
  17. Arquebus12

    Arquebus12 Non-broccophobe CLM

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    Your call, but it is wise to use the safety gear. I don't wear them myself, but I make it a point to be in constant control of the chain and bar, and on good footing. I do wear safety glasses, though, because you can't control all that stuff flying around at you.
     
  18. Rinspeed

    Rinspeed JAFO

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    I looked for a couple weeks and couldn't find anything gently used for a decent price. Chaps are a great idea and so is a helmet with shield/hearing protection.
     
  19. Shocker73

    Shocker73

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    Get a Stihl MS-291. I work in the log woods and we use a couple of these along with the big magnums. The 291 w/20in bar will handle anything you would have around your house. If you haven't used a saw in a while chaps may be a good idea if not just be careful and take your time.
     
  20. gigab1te

    gigab1te

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    16" will do the job just fine, but the cost of a 20" is probably not that much more, and you'll be glad later on that you have it.

    Root balls are really rough on the chain, and sometimes you hit stones or gravel in the ball. You can rent a stump grinder (or buy acid that is sold for that type of job), but both are really intended for stumps still in the ground. If it was me, I'd roll them off into the woods, list them on Craigslist for free, or just burn them with diesel (in that order).

    I edited this to say that Stihl and Husqvarna are both good saws. McCulloch saws are also decent, but I think their quality has gone down in the last 20 years. I would lump them in with Craftsman saws. If you use it infrequently, it probably doesn't really matter.

    Always make sure it is lubed, the chain is tensioned correctly, and is sharp. I'm sure you know how to use a saw, but if its been a really long while since you used a saw, be really careful and consider getting some instructions (wounded egos are a lot cheaper than getting your foot sewed back on). Even if you are an expert, it always bears repeating that you need to have 100% concentration on what you are doing, don't work when you are tired, and think through each cut before you make it. They sell kevlar chaps which are probably a good idea, but I've never used them so I can't say.

    If you don't want the wood, you might save yourself the trouble and the expense of a saw by placing a "for free" ad in your paper or on Craigslist, or just calling a few local woodcutters who advertise in your area.
     
    Last edited: Jul 20, 2012