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BHM's Homesteading & Self-Reliance Forum
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  #1  
Old 01-05-2010, 05:16 AM
Phil_Oz Male Phil_Oz is offline
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Default Chainsaws. Stihl or Husky?

This seemed to be the best area for chainsaw discussions (since they are primarily used to cut fuelwood).

OK, being an Aussie, I'll have a different context to talk on about chainsaws than many Americans/Canadians would.

Our fuelwood is primarily hardwoods (eucalypt - 'gum trees') - which give the chains and bar a much harder time than pines etc would, being harder and more abrasive.

Here, you tend to favour either Stihls, or Husqvarnas.
Sure, there are many other brands available - Echos, Poulans, McCullocks, Homelites, Oleo Macs, etc. But they are considered '2nd tier' saws.

I have a Huskvarna 'Rancher' that I bought in 1986. It's had at least 3 bars, worn out more chains than I can count or remember, and sawn more tons of firewood than I care to remember.
(I'm lazier these days, and generally buy wood in for winter, but go back 10 years, and BiL and I spent many a weekend in the runup to our winter (June-August) getting in wood for our family heating).

I was wondering what your experiences with brands of saws are.

Also, many of us can recount some stories and near misses associated with chainsaws I would bet.
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  #2  
Old 01-05-2010, 11:46 AM
DM DM is offline
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I used to be a Stihl guy, but i switched to Husqvarna some years ago. Both are excellent saws, and the best brand is the one that YOU have the BEST dealer for. The dealer makes all the difference!

Personally, i think what's more important with either brand, is to pick a PRO model saw, instead of a home owner model saw. That is if you want to have the longest lasting saw that can be rebuilt waaaaaaay on down the road when it needs it.

DM
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  #3  
Old 01-05-2010, 12:46 PM
Pokeberry Mary Pokeberry Mary is offline
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Default Stihl

Hubby has personally killed hundreds of trees with his Stihl. Also took a nice little bite from his knee once. He loves his Stihl--it was I think his 3rd saw.
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  #4  
Old 01-05-2010, 02:59 PM
LJH LJH is offline
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We have a Stihl 'Farm Boss' and I'd buy it again. We cut mostly white oak which is very hard, especially once dead. We heat with wood and cut several cords a year. That saw takes a beating and has never let us down. I should add that, with all our equipment, we are very diligent about cleaning and maintenance.

Lots of people in these parts cut firewood for a living and besides Stihls I see lots of Huskys and Poulans in their trucks. I think DM's advice is good; go to a dealer and get the best professional model for your particular tasks. Aside from not carrying the 1st tier saws, many of the 'associates' at the big box stores (Lowes, Home Depot, etc.) don't know their butts from a hot rock about the stuff they're selling.
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  #5  
Old 01-05-2010, 09:23 PM
Anon001 Anon001 is offline
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I've had my Stihl for about 5 or 6 years. It has never let me down.... well... except when I ran over it. lol But, within a week, the place I used had it back in shape. Looked like new.

When I bought it, I was trying to decide between it or the Husqvarna. The only reason I went with Stihl was because there is a "service" center closer. For the Husq, I would have to drive 30 miles for repairs.

However, if my Stihl ever dies, I may try a Husqvarna.

Paul
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  #6  
Old 01-05-2010, 11:23 PM
cinok Male cinok is offline
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I run Stihl's have for years. I also used diposable saws when I had my own bussinness they where where good for limbing and I had a coupel of employees who could not keep track of where there head was never ming my good saws. I have also run huskies and was happy with performance and life but service was the problem. I just bought a farm boss 2 years ago and it is great had an small problem brought it to the dealer fixed it the same day. Husky has no support like Stihl around here.
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  #7  
Old 01-05-2010, 11:39 PM
AlchemyAcres AlchemyAcres is offline
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I use whatever I can get for free or REAL cheap!

A lot of good saws go to the curb because a lot of people can't grasp the concept of simply changing the air filter, or a myriad of other minor issues!!!!!

I sold two good old Stihl's for $550 total last fall on eBay that I got from a neighbor who was ready to send them to the landfill!!!!! All I had to do to get them running good was new air filters and spark plugs!!!!

~Martin
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  #8  
Old 01-06-2010, 03:09 AM
Phil_Oz Male Phil_Oz is offline
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Sometimes it's a bit hard to work out what's wrong, some folk have a throw-away mentality rather than fixing things.

My Husky at one stage would start, run a little while then stop, and was gutless if you actually tried to cut anything.

Ended up being a coked up or otherwise blocked muffler.

Had me going for a while though - I thought it was the plug, timing, something like that to start with.
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  #9  
Old 01-06-2010, 03:19 AM
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Travis Male Travis is offline
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Service is key. Lucky for me I have Husqvarna and Stihl equally apart from me. Went Husqvarna because I got one very cheap. Now for chains I never sawed eucalyptus but I do know Oregon chain makes full carbide tooth chains fire rescue uses then to vent roofs. IMHO if a chain is designed to cut though a roof it may be hardy enough for most woods out there. I would get 1 chain made from this stuff and give it a try. I say 1 because these chains are exspensive.

http://www.baileysonline.com/itemdet...hannelid=FROOG

http://www.rapcoindustries.com/

Never used Rapco but have used Baileys and great service, they are from the timber country of Northern California, original in a small town America.

As for accidents I wear chaps of ballistic kevlar will stop the largest saw made. Feet get steel toe boots.
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  #10  
Old 01-06-2010, 11:06 AM
DM DM is offline
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Carbide chains are a "specialty" chain, and not only are they VERY expensive, they are kind of a throw away tool. By that i mean, if you hit anything really hard, and that at times includes a hard knot or stone, you will loose EXPENSIVE carbide off that chain. Also you can never get them as sharp as HSS either, so they don't cut as fast.

Fire & rescue workers, are not only spending YOUR money, they also know that a life is worth more than looseing a chain on a rescue.

I knows guys who have tried them for sawing dead and dirty wood, but i don't know anyone who stayed with one.

DM
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  #11  
Old 01-06-2010, 10:01 PM
roadking roadking is offline
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Have and use both; an 18" Husky for regular use, and a 30 year old Stihl AV 048 with 3foot bar. Only use the biggy on occassion due to it's size. Both are very reliable.

As for stories, the Stihl has, since day one, been known to wiggle the bar loose, and I'll leave it to your imagination as to why I always wear very sturdy trousers (or a cup) when operating it. It's more scary than painful...
Matt
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  #12  
Old 01-07-2010, 01:42 PM
Andy Jones Andy Jones is offline
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I'm no expert by any means and can't comment on other saws,but my Stihl 034 has been a real gem for me.I bought it used 10 years ago,so I don't know how old it really is.I bought it after I moved to the country after I had trouble getting to work because the road was blocked by a fallen tree.I didn't use it very much,so it sat in my storage room until a couple of weeks ago,when I decided to cut some trees that were shading my garden.I know it hasn't been started in at least 5 years.Even with old gasoline in it,with about 6 or 7 pulls,it started and ran like it had been used every day.I topped the tank off with fresh gasoline and away I went.It works for me!

Andy
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  #13  
Old 01-07-2010, 03:13 PM
ShadowWolf ShadowWolf is offline
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I have cut wood for the last 6 years and have owned both. Both were reliable, but I would give the edge to a Husky. Most of the guys around here who cut timber all use Husky's.
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  #14  
Old 01-07-2010, 08:09 PM
Phil_Oz Male Phil_Oz is offline
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Husqvarna is owned by Electrolux. They have another brand of saw also - 'Jonsered'. Don't know if you have them in the US as well though. here they tend to be used by the pros.

There is also a Chines copy of the Husky. Cheap, and you can get them via ebay.
A mate (pal/buddy to you guys) has one for his small holding in our 'Blue Mountains' and is quite happy with it.

Think this is the one, there seem to be several brands same saw;
http://cgi.ebay.com.au/PRO-62CC-20-B...item255813c04f

By the way, what do you guys use for chain lube? I use just supermarket 20W/50 oil and have had no problems.
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  #15  
Old 01-07-2010, 08:14 PM
DM DM is offline
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Quote:
Husqvarna is owned by Electrolux. They have another brand of saw also - 'Jonsered'.
They are the SAME saw, coming out of the same factory...

DM
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  #16  
Old 01-07-2010, 08:52 PM
Anon001 Anon001 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Phil_Oz View Post
By the way, what do you guys use for chain lube? I use just supermarket 20W/50 oil and have had no problems.
When using my Stihl, I only use their brand of bar and chain oil. If I had a cheapo, I most likely would use something cheaper.

Paul
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  #17  
Old 01-07-2010, 09:20 PM
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Quietgentleman Quietgentleman is offline
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I run straight 30W oil for bar and chain oil. I've used it for years and it works great.

QGM
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  #18  
Old 01-07-2010, 09:57 PM
DM DM is offline
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Many year ago i kept track of what worked better and what didn't, and there's no doubt in my mind that my chains lasted longer when i started using genuine bar & Chain lube.

I use a lot from a farm store here, or Husky bar oil. I just wait until it's on sale, and buy a few gallons.

DM
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  #19  
Old 03-17-2010, 01:30 AM
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Clair_Schwan Male Clair_Schwan is offline
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I've had good luck with Stihl, but tend to use anything that fits the work at hand. For cutting pallets and such, I have two 16 inch Poulan Wood Sharks, and they work very well for such light work. I picked one up at a garage sale for $10 because the owner had dulled the blade and tired of it.
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  #20  
Old 03-17-2010, 05:55 PM
Swede Male Swede is offline
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I've got both, including an odd assortment of others. They're both great saws, and I can't imagine that you would be disappointed with either one.

Having said that, some of the most well mannered saws I've used have been Homelites.

Swede
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