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new chainsaw time

March 6, 2016, 6:28 p.m.
Posts: 10077
Joined: Nov. 19, 2002

I've cut up to ~22" dia beetle kill (seasoned so hard) lodgepole pine.

You have to cut from both sides with the 16" bar but you can do it. (Sorry about the huge pics, copied them from a blog page and they are big.)

Most of the lodgepole pine I'm cutting is 12" dia and smaller.

Some larger fir too:

Saw and safety gear in the Dakine pack, riding in:

March 7, 2016, 6:16 p.m.
Posts: 14378
Joined: Nov. 20, 2002

IME for trail cutting go for a pro quality saw like the sthil 261/361 or the Husky 550xp or the jonsered 2153, pro vs homeowner they all look the same but the pro saws have more power, they rev higher, magnesium engine cases vs plastic and they cost more

Watch/listen to the pro vs a the cheap homeowner saw cutting thru a stack of wood, the home owner saw goes uuuuh and the pro goes wahhhhh!

or just buy whatever the fuck is cheapest and when it burns out buy another one cuz they all cut wood … kinda?

March 8, 2016, 3:14 p.m.
Posts: 351
Joined: March 4, 2013

sure, the 261 will absolutely destroy a 170. make it feel like a toy.

but hey, the 261 is also like 2x the price and damn near 2x the weight.

March 8, 2016, 3:44 p.m.
Posts: 10077
Joined: Nov. 19, 2002

I took my chainsaw course with a Husky 359, I sure wouldn't want to ride with one!

http://www.husqvarna.com/asia/products/chainsaws/359/

March 8, 2016, 5:43 p.m.
Posts: 14378
Joined: Nov. 20, 2002

sure, the 261 will absolutely destroy a 170. make it feel like a toy.

but hey, the 261 is also like 2x the price and damn near 2x the weight.

Yes the 261 does destroy the 170, I have never used a 170 but they sound/cut like a toy compared to pro saws, the guys I know with 170's have saw envy

Yes its actualy 3x the price so you can buy [HTML_REMOVED] burn out 3 170's for the price of a 261

but weight wise its 11.7 vs 8.6 lbs so another 4 lbs

March 8, 2016, 5:51 p.m.
Posts: 351
Joined: March 4, 2013

but weight wise its 11.7 vs 8.6 lbs so another 4 lbs

those weights are before fuel, oil, bar [HTML_REMOVED] chain. bar [HTML_REMOVED] chain a lot heavier on a 261.

March 8, 2016, 7:40 p.m.
Posts: 1124
Joined: July 28, 2008

Saw weights jump up quite a bit once they are ready to go.

550XP with fuel, oil and 20" bar with chain. Listed powerhead weight is 10.8 lbs.

390XP with fuel, oil and 28" TechLite bar with chain. Listed powerhead weight is 15.65 lbs.

>>---------> (x)
My flickr

March 8, 2016, 7:56 p.m.
Posts: 1124
Joined: July 28, 2008

I love my pro saws but I wouldn't recommend one to a beginner. You have to work pretty hard and stupid with the little rear handle MS 192 and its low kickback chain to get it to come at you. My 550XP with full chisel chain, aggressively filed rakers and high chain speed is not nearly so forgiving.

>>---------> (x)
My flickr

March 8, 2016, 10:24 p.m.
Posts: 351
Joined: March 4, 2013

I love my pro saws but I wouldn't recommend one to a beginner. You have to work pretty hard and stupid with the little rear handle MS 192 and its low kickback chain to get it to come at you. My 550XP with full chisel chain, aggressively filed rakers and high chain speed is not nearly so forgiving.

solid advice.

there's a big difference moving from low-speed small safety chain to a high-revving pro saw with non-safety chain. like actually having kickback.

March 9, 2016, 6:32 a.m.
Posts: 17760
Joined: Oct. 28, 2003

Agreed. My 170 "rolls back gently" on me, and if it gets stuck it stalls. Haven't had a frightening moment with it in years of occasional use.

March 9, 2016, 6:34 a.m.
Posts: 17760
Joined: Oct. 28, 2003

Mind you, as a teenager I did watch my dad drive his neighbour to the hospital with his thumb on his lap. That was bloody.

March 9, 2016, 8:56 a.m.
Posts: 4300
Joined: June 24, 2010

Having good technique and a sharp chain is far more important than having lots of power. The biggest learning curve for me moving to a place where I cut my own fire wood was the saw maintenance.

I have three chains that I sharpen on the vise at home, and bring with me in case I hit dirt. Usually faster to change a chain than sharpen one in the field without a vise.

I have a Stihl 250 with an 18" bar. For trail clearing it's more than adequate, and honestly considering I lug it up and down mountains to do that, I would be happy with a 16" 170 for the purpose. I went for a hike and cleared a few dozen trees yesterday, none of which were larger than the 18" bar.

Back at home doing fire wood, the 250 is fine, though I do feel like I'd like something with more power at times when I'm ripping through a bunch of bucking. There's really nothing wrong with the 250 though.

flickr

March 9, 2016, 10:43 a.m.
Posts: 351
Joined: March 4, 2013

yup, chains are key. keeping them out of the dirt and rocks makes all the difference. it also takes a while to get decent at filing for most people.

the bigger chains on the larger saws are actually much easier to sharpen and seem to be a bit more tolerant to dirt and rock strikes. those small micro chains are kind of shit when you get used to larger ones.

March 9, 2016, 10:56 a.m.
Posts: 4300
Joined: June 24, 2010

yup, chains are key. keeping them out of the dirt and rocks makes all the difference. it also takes a while to get decent at filing for most people.

Both very true.

flickr

March 9, 2016, 1:19 p.m.
Posts: 14378
Joined: Nov. 20, 2002

Yeah so the chain weighs more because its not toy chain like on them little saws, I find I am hiking gas,oil, axe, tools, water, food, cutting chaps, helmet while wearing caulk boots and its all fucking heavy anyway you cut it (pun intended)

I just run a stock chain, skip tooth or funny filing is asking for more trouble than I'm willing to handle

http://www.husqvarna.com/asia/accessories/product-accessories/filing-equipment/file-gauges/
A real faller can free hand a chain but I'm not so I use the husky chain filing guide it works well

I bought a spare air filter which I change out after every day and I take the dirty filter home to wash n dry cuz these are hi-perf engines

nothing but sthil oil

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