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sandy creek
03-26-2009, 01:33 PM
I know this doesn't really fit in this forum but wasn't sure where else to post it. I'm in the lawncare business but from time to time we get storms and my customers call me to cut up fallen trees, large limbs they can't move by themselves ect. I'm going to invest in a saw to take on these jobs for them but want to see what you would recommend. This saw will not be used regularly (I'm sure several times a year) but when it will be used, it will be used alot so I don't mind paying for dependability. What brand, model, size bar, ect. would you guys recommend?
thanks in advance.

jkilov
03-26-2009, 01:45 PM
What size limbs we talking about?

There are three basic saw classes:
- thinning saws: 35cc 2-2.5hp 12" bar
- limbing saws: 50cc 3-3.5hp 16" bar
- bucking saws: 70cc 5-5.5hp 20" bar

You also have your 90+cc monster saws and others but the upper three are your most common units.

sandy creek
03-26-2009, 01:46 PM
big oak limbs, maybe 18-24 inches across

RLS24
03-26-2009, 01:56 PM
16" bar is a good all around one. Maybe invest in an 18" as a backup they are easy enough to swap out if you need it for a certain job. I would go with the Stihl MS-290. Its a great all-around saw, really can't go wrong with it.

jkilov
03-26-2009, 01:58 PM
Those aren't limbs but trunks.

Looks like you're in need of a 70cc saw. I doubt anyone makes homeowner or semi-pro saws in this category. You will need to dish out some cash and get a Stihl MS440 or Husky 372xp.

kaferhaus
03-26-2009, 02:03 PM
We have 2 Stihl M290 "Farm Boss" saws with 20" bars and a Stihl 131 pole saw.

The Farm Boss has plenty of power (it's a middle of the line saw) and has been very reliable. Ours also "sit" most of the time but are invaluable when needed. We've uesd these on trees with 30" trunks without any problems or stress on the saws.

I think they're about $350 each.... the pole saw was twice that but it paid for itself within the first two jobs we used it on..... 15ft cutting height from ground level.....and plenty of power.

With the Farm Boss saws.... bought those just before hurricane season 4 years ago. After the first hurricane hit, we spent 2 weeks without cutting the first blade of grass and put 40K in the bank

jkilov
03-26-2009, 03:01 PM
The new 290s aren't as bossy as the original farm-boss, but the price is very reasonable.

Yes, they fall into 60cc (farmer class) which is designed to work both as a limbing (16") or bucking (20") tool depending what bar you put on. The idea was that your average farmer could manage most wood tasks with just one saw. The maximum allowed for these is 24 or 26", which hardly anyone puts on cause they're so awkward to lump around.

betmr
03-26-2009, 03:10 PM
I use an Echo CS 360T. It's a great saw for me, 16" bar, compact, not real heavy. Have used it many times even to take down some Big Bradford Pears. Myself I really like it.

stvsloan
03-26-2009, 03:59 PM
I know this doesn't really fit in this forum but wasn't sure where else to post it. I'm in the lawncare business but from time to time we get storms and my customers call me to cut up fallen trees, large limbs they can't move by themselves ect. I'm going to invest in a saw to take on these jobs for them but want to see what you would recommend. This saw will not be used regularly (I'm sure several times a year) but when it will be used, it will be used alot so I don't mind paying for dependability. What brand, model, size bar, ect. would you guys recommend?
thanks in advance.

As a logger of 30 yrs...I found a saw is a saw is a saw. They all cut. So it comes down to $$, what will last the longest and be easier to use. Personally...I would go with a Husky with a 24-30 inch oregan bar as Stihl bars wear out too fast. Use Stihl chains...oregan chains are too soft. Stihl saws are more rugged and can take being tossed into the pickup alot better...but Husky makes a better user friendly saw. At the end of a busy day I found a Husky was easier on the body. But all of the above means nothing if the person running the thing doesn't know how to cut with a saw. You could have the best...sharpest machine on the planet....but if you don't know what your doing it just won't matter...buy sears.

jasonlandscape
03-26-2009, 04:41 PM
you need an ms880

it will cut anyhting

lol, nah. just get a ms361 its $600...very fast and powerful.

RonAyersMotorsports
03-26-2009, 04:44 PM
you need an ms880

it will cut anyhting

lol, nah. just get a ms361 its $600...very fast and powerful.


This guy has got it. MS361 is the best bang for your buck. Strongest SAW STIHL makes POWER TO WEIGHT! This saw will handle a bar without losing power up to 25." Its a commercial unit with less vibration on the operator as well.:weightlifter:

Pennington Lawncare
03-26-2009, 04:49 PM
Best all around saw would be a Stihl MS 250 with an 18 inch bar. End of story.

jasonlandscape
03-26-2009, 04:52 PM
This guy has got it. MS361 is the best bang for your buck. Strongest SAW STIHL makes POWER TO WEIGHT! This saw will handle a bar without losing power up to 25." Its a commercial unit with less vibration on the operator as well.:weightlifter:

oh dude my ms361 is nuts, it cuts so smooth and so fast, i can put all my weight on it and it doesn't bog down...i drilled holes in the muffler to which gave it a tad bit more power, plus it sounds sweet, lol.

RonAyersMotorsports
03-26-2009, 04:54 PM
I hear ya. Yeah any mid size saw like the 250 will be money wasted when you need more power. MS361 still small enough to do light weight work but plenty of power to take on those big jobs. Less face it when ever a storm comes its hardly a small tree people are worried about.

stvsloan
03-26-2009, 04:59 PM
you need an ms880

it will cut anyhting

lol, nah. just get a ms361 its $600...very fast and powerful.

If you know how to use a saw...you know how to file it...AND you can keep it sharp...just get something with a 24" bar. Make doesn't really matter. But in case it does...go with either Stihl or Husky.

jasonlandscape
03-26-2009, 05:00 PM
I hear ya. Yeah any mid size saw like the 250 will be money wasted when you need more power. MS361 still small enough to do light weight work but plenty of power to take on those big jobs. Less face it when ever a storm comes its hardly a small tree people are worried about.

the one 361 that i have cut $18,000 in 3 weeks during Gustav, Ike.

1 saw, plus a little climbing saw.

Then of course i had to go blow 2000 on th ms 880 cuz i love big toys, lol....it does come in handy tho, sometimes. more for showin off i guess, lol

AkRowdyA78
03-26-2009, 05:06 PM
We have 2 Stihl M290 "Farm Boss" saws with 20" bars and a Stihl 131 pole saw.

The Farm Boss has plenty of power (it's a middle of the line saw) and has been very reliable. Ours also "sit" most of the time but are invaluable when needed. We've uesd these on trees with 30" trunks without any problems or stress on the saws.

I think they're about $350 each.... the pole saw was twice that but it paid for itself within the first two jobs we used it on..... 15ft cutting height from ground level.....and plenty of power.

With the Farm Boss saws.... bought those just before hurricane season 4 years ago. After the first hurricane hit, we spent 2 weeks without cutting the first blade of grass and put 40K in the bank

I have to agree about the farm boss. This is what I am planning to invest in. I have heard nothing but great reviews about this saw. What ever you, don't get caught up in buying one of those poulan saws from Home depot or Lowes. Either get a Huskavarna or a Stihl hands down!

stvsloan
03-26-2009, 05:06 PM
This guy has got it. MS361 is the best bang for your buck. Strongest SAW STIHL makes POWER TO WEIGHT! This saw will handle a bar without losing power up to 25." Its a commercial unit with less vibration on the operator as well.:weightlifter:

I changed the sprocket in mine and went to a 32 " bar...works great.

RonAyersMotorsports
03-26-2009, 05:07 PM
I can tell you like toys by looking at your truck! Yeah the MS880 is overkill for anyone. I've only sold one and it was more for show. Because a 460 or 660 would have done everything the customer was expecting. But if they are willing to pay I'll sell them whatever they want!

RonAyersMotorsports
03-26-2009, 05:09 PM
I changed the sprocket in mine and went to a 32 " bar...works great.

Yeah with the sprocket change it would perform better. But as stock a 25" is all it can handle.
Glad your happy with your MS361. Its a bad saw isn't it?:weightlifter:

ClippersLC
03-26-2009, 05:11 PM
I have a poulan 18" that I got from Tractor supply. had three they each lasted me a few summers. getting used a few times a month... used really hard. just my two cents

stvsloan
03-26-2009, 05:13 PM
Yeah with the sprocket change it would perform better. But as stock a 25" is all it can handle.
Glad your happy with your MS361. Its a bad saw isn't it?:weightlifter:

It's what i use for the "bigger" jobs. The extra chain speed helps if the chain is starting to back off abit and your not quite ready to file. But when it's sharp you can melt thru almost anything!

jkilov
03-26-2009, 05:33 PM
If you know how to use a saw...you know how to file it...AND you can keep it sharp...just get something with a 24" bar. Make doesn't really matter. But in case it does...go with either Stihl or Husky.

Could'nt agree more on filing the chain, but not on the bar. I hate long bars, they're clumsy. Besides, you can split a 30" trunk with a 20" bar by cutting from both sides. And how often do you encounter trees that big?

Old folks like long bars, cause they need'nt bend over when cutting.

saw man
03-26-2009, 05:48 PM
See if you have a Dolmar dealer near by and pick up a PS-7900. It will do a great job on those bigger logs you are cutting.

For the price of a Stihl 361 you can get the Dolmar PS-7300 and have a much more powerful saw.

Check em out!

stvsloan
03-26-2009, 06:10 PM
Could'nt agree more on filing the chain, but not on the bar. I hate long bars, they're clumsy. Besides, you can split a 30" trunk with a 20" bar by cutting from both sides. And how often do you encounter trees that big?

Old folks like long bars, cause they need'nt bend over when cutting.

Hopping around from side to side is a dangerous habit to get into....and while practised alot, it is a sign of someone cutting a tree that is too big for their saw. That said...I guess it all depends on what size of wood hes going to encounter where he is. Ideally...if he's going to encounter big wood on a regular basis...he should have a saw with a long bar on it and pick up a saw with a smaller bar, for the smaller cuts. But if he is going to run into big wood only occasionally...and he wants one saw to use for all...a 24 " bar is a good choice as he can cut most big trees without alot of hopping around.I personally don't regard 24 " as a long bar and it has nothing to do with bending over. I like 24 because you can cut the average "small" wood easily while still being able to cut the larger peices without having to hop around from side to side. Again it comes down to skill level with a saw...........

MajesticUSA
03-26-2009, 07:00 PM
I'd say the 346XP 18" bar would be great for ya it's the most versatile professional saw on the market in my opinion, it's great for limbing but it's probably a little small for felling and bucking. Also it's the most dangerious saw in Husqvarnas line if you aren't experienced (15,000 rpm). Like many people have said the 372XP 20"bar is awsome too. Its perfect for felling and bucking but a little large and heavy for long term limbing lobs. So I'd just weigh your most critical needs and go from there

jkilov
03-26-2009, 07:02 PM
I would'nt call it that dangerous, with the exception of cutting on hills, where the risk of the freshly cut piece rolling downhill prevents you from cuting from the other side.

There aren't that many 200 year old oak trees around anymore. So for the most part a 20" will be more than enough. It's basically exactly as you said, depends on how often you encounter massive wood.

I still prefer shorter bars. I spend more time limbing a tree than chopping the trunk. A short bar is lighter, faster to maneuver and has less teeth to file if you hit a nail. 16" is my favorite, the solid 20" goes on only when really needed. Both of my saws have outboard clutches, so swapping bars isn't fun and I don't plan on buying more saws.

How many have you got?

jasonlandscape
03-26-2009, 08:01 PM
SO what if u come across a big tree and it has a crack inside of it, but not visible... and u are using a small saw hopping back and forth....tree is prolly gonna fall on top of u. thats where a bigger bar is gonna be safer.

slawn
03-26-2009, 08:33 PM
I have a stihl 361 with 20" bar, great saw. My was complaints of FEMA after Hurricane Katrina. I perfer a smaller saw for limbing, I also have a small stihl saw that use for limbing, not sure of the number on it, a customer gave it to me. I also have jonsred 535 that I use sometimes.

Crash
03-26-2009, 09:06 PM
http://www.stihlusa.com/chainsaws/MS290.html



http://i53.photobucket.com/albums/g62/sanborn83/MS290_stihl.gif



Hands down the only way to go!!

sandy creek
03-26-2009, 10:46 PM
I've done some looking this afternoon and I'm leaning toward the "Farm Boss" with the 20" bar, looked at the 361 as well but can't make up my mind if it would be worth my while for $200 more. I've got the 200 for it, just can't deciede if its 200 dollars more saw...I've heard some really great things about the Dolmar, got a dealer within 20 miles of me but have never even been to his store or heard of him. The dealer I have been working with for a long time for all my lawn equipment carries Stihl, Echo and Shindaiwa and I feel really comfortable with them. They have always treated me right. For those bigger trees is the 361 that much more of a saw than the Farm Boss?

stvsloan
03-26-2009, 11:36 PM
I've done some looking this afternoon and I'm leaning toward the "Farm Boss" with the 20" bar, looked at the 361 as well but can't make up my mind if it would be worth my while for $200 more. I've got the 200 for it, just can't deciede if its 200 dollars more saw...I've heard some really great things about the Dolmar, got a dealer within 20 miles of me but have never even been to his store or heard of him. The dealer I have been working with for a long time for all my lawn equipment carries Stihl, Echo and Shindaiwa and I feel really comfortable with them. They have always treated me right. For those bigger trees is the 361 that much more of a saw than the Farm Boss?

Regardless of what make you go with...you might as well stay with a dealer you have had experience with. They know you and you know them. That can be come in handy for those days you come in late wanting something fixed. Might not get the same response with a new dealer. That said...I would pay the 200 and go with stihl. As for bar size..it will depend on what size of wood you will be cutting. I personally think 24 " will cover all your bases. 20" will definately leave you short on the big wood. But it's up to you...........

saw man
03-27-2009, 12:03 AM
I've done some looking this afternoon and I'm leaning toward the "Farm Boss" with the 20" bar, looked at the 361 as well but can't make up my mind if it would be worth my while for $200 more. I've got the 200 for it, just can't deciede if its 200 dollars more saw...I've heard some really great things about the Dolmar, got a dealer within 20 miles of me but have never even been to his store or heard of him. The dealer I have been working with for a long time for all my lawn equipment carries Stihl, Echo and Shindaiwa and I feel really comfortable with them. They have always treated me right. For those bigger trees is the 361 that much more of a saw than the Farm Boss?

Do yourself a favor and do NOT buy a 290/310/390 series Stihl!!!

Before you make a decision check out the Dolmar 6400/7300/7900 series. You will get a MUCH better saw for the money and you will be happier in the long run. Check out arboristsite dot com in the chainsaw section and read some reviews.

To answer your question, YES the 361 is much better BUT it also has a problem with leaky air filters. For some reason they let a lot of dirt by and that is not good in the long run.

You said you are cutting pretty big oak so go with a bigger saw since it is a hard wood. In the long run you will be happier and much better off.

jasonlandscape
03-27-2009, 01:46 AM
Do yourself a favor and do NOT buy a 290/310/390 series Stihl!!!

Before you make a decision check out the Dolmar 6400/7300/7900 series. You will get a MUCH better saw for the money and you will be happier in the long run. Check out arboristsite dot com in the chainsaw section and read some reviews.

To answer your question, YES the 361 is much better BUT it also has a problem with leaky air filters. For some reason they let a lot of dirt by and that is not good in the long run.

You said you are cutting pretty big oak so go with a bigger saw since it is a hard wood. In the long run you will be happier and much better off.

my 361 doesn't have a leaky airfilter...it has prolly cut over 100 trees, and its only 6 months old

RonAyersMotorsports
03-27-2009, 10:36 AM
Do yourself a favor and do NOT buy a 290/310/390 series Stihl!!!

To answer your question, YES the 361 is much better BUT it also has a problem with leaky air filters. For some reason they let a lot of dirt by and that is not good in the long run.


:laugh::hammerhead::hammerhead: Leaky what? are you serious? That's the biggest load of crap I've heard. Dolmar isn't bad but it doesnt match up to the quality and features of a STIHL.

saw man
03-27-2009, 11:22 AM
I will find a thread on another forum for both you ding bats!

I work on saws ever day and MOST of the 361's that have been brought in have this issue.


And what "features and quality" is the Dolmar lacking compared to your almighty Stihl? Have you ran any of the new machines?

saw man
03-27-2009, 11:26 AM
OK found it http://www.arboristsite.com/showthread.php?t=67257&highlight=361+dirt+air+filter

In case it doesnt allow a link then go to arboristsite dot com to the chainsaw section and search this " MS361 Airfilter problem !!! IMPORTANT "


AGAIN, I am not saying the Stihl 361 is a bad machine, I am just saying for the price you could get a Dolmar 7300 and have a much more powerful saw. Very smooth saw!

jkilov
03-27-2009, 05:22 PM
The dealer I have been working with for a long time for all my lawn equipment carries Stihl, Echo and Shindaiwa and I feel really comfortable with them. They have always treated me right. For those bigger trees is the 361 that much more of a saw than the Farm Boss?
That pretty much settles it: time to get a new 361 or 440 with a 24" bar, full-chisel chain.

And yes, it's double the saw of the plastic 290, which isn't worthy of the farm-boss name. But this is! :weightlifter::

kaferhaus
03-27-2009, 05:36 PM
The 290 is the best bang for the buck. The 361 is a better saw. Is it 200 bucks better? I don't think so.

My brother has 2 Dolmar's and we "borrowed" them during hurricane season.


Good saws but I and my guys preferred the stihls. The other issue is if it has a problem... Dolmar's distribution network is pretty primitive and in many parts of the country they don't have much of a dealer network etiher. You can get parts for a stihl in most any town in the country.

saw man
03-27-2009, 06:00 PM
The 290 is the best bang for the buck. The 361 is a better saw. Is it 200 bucks better? I don't think so.

My brother has 2 Dolmar's and we "borrowed" them during hurricane season.


Good saws but I and my guys preferred the stihls. The other issue is if it has a problem... Dolmar's distribution network is pretty primitive and in many parts of the country they don't have much of a dealer network etiher. You can get parts for a stihl in most any town in the country.


What are you smoking to say the 290 is the best bang for the buck?

Cuttinitclose
03-27-2009, 07:31 PM
I would get a STIHL ms 270 wood boss

kaferhaus
03-27-2009, 07:37 PM
What are you smoking to say the 290 is the best bang for the buck?

Well I'm not smoking a Dolmar....

For the money $350 I don't think you can buy a better saw. Combine that with Domar's very slim dealer network and likewise slim distribution network... I wouldn't even consider one.

They're good saws, but damn man just because you sell em doesn't mean they're the end all of all saws... give it a break.

You're entitled to your opinion but arguing with someone else's is just not a good use of your time.

WREBELMACHINE
03-27-2009, 08:27 PM
Something to think about! In germany who is the number 1 seller? I will give you a hint it is not Orange and White in color!

kaferhaus
03-27-2009, 08:30 PM
Something to think about! In germany who is the number 1 seller? I will give you a hint it is not Orange and White in color!

I don't think many would care what sells best in Germany.

The vast majority of stihls are made here

WREBELMACHINE
03-27-2009, 08:37 PM
Interesting thinking!

I have run just about everything on the market past and present! I run currently Dolmar saws! Best performer and much more saw for the money! However dealer support while it is excellent for me may not be for someone else!

It is funny however that dealer support is being brought up in this thread considering dealers are usually bashed by some on this site! But a good dealer is more important than the product! After all they all break!

RTR Landscaping
03-27-2009, 08:47 PM
Get a Stihl MS290. It's the best all around saw out there. Stihl saws are very reliable, easy to find parts and usually have the premier dealer in town. Go with a Stihl, you won't regret it.

J&R Landscaping
03-27-2009, 08:50 PM
18-20" Husqvarna 450. (Used to be the 350) I have 2 of them. They are a great intermeidiate saw. Price is around $350 or so...

topsites
03-27-2009, 08:55 PM
Yeah but I tell you right now that MS-290 has enough power to seriously injure the unprepared.

That chain catches on something and you ain't ready for the kickback,
I'm not sure I would want to try holding that big a saw wide open when it happens.

You won't be using it every day, I think a 250 is more than enough.

All I use are two 021's (one's actually a 210)...

Something to think about! In germany who is the number 1 seller? I will give you a hint it is not Orange and White in color!

Is it the Bratwurst, or maybe the Pilsner?

WREBELMACHINE
03-27-2009, 08:56 PM
Stihl 290-310-390 are plastic case saws! Good homeowner saw not a good pro use saw! Sawman is correct you should look at dolmar! Also look at Shindaiwa and Echo have to offer! However Dolmar in the comparable saws to the stihl saws mentioned are metal cased saws! Whith pro construction and much better torque!

saw man
03-27-2009, 09:12 PM
WREB is right. Plastic saws, plastic handle, NOT A PRO SAW!

The Dolmar 5100 has more power than the 290, 2lbs. lighter and costs $399.

If you have a bad dealer network for ANY equipment in your town then dont buy BUT if you have not looked and base it off of a few comments on the net then you are uninformed.

I have better luck getting Dolmar parts I need then Husqvarna parts. The local wharehouse stocks more and even if it ships from across the country I get them faster from Dolmar.

AGAIN, this guy is cutting big oak! So we are talking a hard wood with most being 18"-24" For that type of cutting I would not waste my time with a 290 or any other 50cc saw. I would go with a 70cc saw with a 24" bar, and the Dolmars are worth TAKING A LOOK at, which is all I suggested.

I gave you links to a saw forum and there is even a thread going on now about the 290/310/390 series being a homeowner saw and being junk! He said he wanted a PRO saw and those machine do not fall in that category.

There are MANY good saws out there and it does not hurt to look and buy something that is comfortable for you because thats all that matters!

Herrick
03-27-2009, 09:59 PM
I've got a MS270C that's about 5 years old. It cuts about 20 face cords of firewood every year. It, along with the 290, is what stihl considers a "midrange" saw. Mine's even got the tooless chain tensioner. Haven't had a single issue with it. I've cut 24" stuff with it before... eventually I'll get a bigger saw for that, but I use what I got for now. Nice thing about it is that it's light. If I'm going to have a saw burried in 30" oak all day, I'll get a 70-80cc saw. If I'm going to pull it out 4 times a year to clean up some limbs that *might* hit 20-24", a 50cc, 16-18" saw is just fine.

I think anything in the 250-290 range will serve you well for many years. Husky, Dolmar, and many others make good saws. It sounds like you have a good relationship with a dealer, I think I'd stick with him.

Pennington Lawncare
03-28-2009, 12:42 AM
It all boils down to what you will be cutting. I know trees but, what size of trees? Are you going to be mainly pruning off limbs? Cutting down medium sized trees? Cutting down large trees? Cutting them up once you get them on the ground? One saw cannot do it all well. That's why they make them in different sizes.

For most light to medium sized trees the Stihl MS 250 or the older 025 are very good models. I've been using both of those models over the past 15 years or so almost on a daily basis. They require very little maintenance and they have a good power to weight ratio. If you need to cut up logs larger than 18 inches in diameter on a regular basis then I'd say get a larger saw but, you'll still wish you had a smaller saw like the 250/025 just to de-limb the tree once it's on the ground or for any pruning of lower limbs.

The MS290 is a good saw but, the maximum recommended bar length is 20 inches. The 290 is quite a bit bulkier and heavier than a MS250. It all boils down to the application each saw was intended. I'll be the first one to caution someone else to be extremely careful when doing any tree work. Even professionals make mistakes and a tree can make it a very costly mistake. The bigger the saw the more fatigue you will be subject to and the more prone you will be to make a mistake. Trees are not completely predictable even when think you've notched one perfectly.

If you ever have one kick back on you and make contact with your body you'll likely have one hell of a nasty wound that will require stitches. It's definitely not like a knife wound. It removes the skin and tissue underneath and leaves a groove that is not easily sewn up. I know a tree trimming foreman who just had a mishap last week and he should of had his chaps on but, didn't. I might can produce some photos in the near future. Not for the squeamish.

You can buy a Pro saw but, a Pro it does not make out of the operator.

MONTE
03-28-2009, 09:24 AM
Actually a quality dealer for support is the most important! The fact is the ocassional use and mid range saws offered by stihl are designed to be used by the weekend warrior! That is why they are basically an all plastic saw! Just like the poulan saws of today! You can get more saw for the same money by some of the other companies! Example would be Redmax Shindaiwa Echo Dolmar and even Jonsered! I too am a dolmar convert and when you compare apples to apples they exceed they usually exceed the offerings of stihl and husky! But I too am lucky to have a very good dealer here! Actually better than the stihl dealers that are here! I also agree with the fact if you are going to be sawing that larger stuff you need a larger saw! Unless it is just a one time deal! And if that is the case You might just go rent a saw!