Need light duty chainsaw

Discussion in 'Tree Service Equipment' started by gryd, Mar 20, 2011.

  1. Popeye77

    Popeye77 LawnSite Member
    from Texas
    Posts: 244

    Correction to post
    My dad's Echo is a CS-340 which is NOT the same as a CS-310, Typo error. I would not want a 16" bar on a saw that small. I have used one and I think 14" is probably the max. I have 16" on my MS250. Those little saws don't have enough motor for 16" bar. IMHO
     
  2. Pressedun

    Pressedun LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 40,777

    I have a Stihl MS170 and it works awesome, I generally don't cut anything bigger than 4-6 inches in diameter but it's fully capable of doing 10+ inches. It's light and it's reasonably priced, way better quality than anything you'll get at Home Crappo. Easy to change out the chain and will probably work just great for your needs.
     
  3. GrassGuerilla

    GrassGuerilla LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,437

    All the saws mentioned are of decent (to excellent) quality, and would probably serve most home owners well. Probably the best reason to choose any one of them is dealer support. Virtually anywhere you go with a saw, there's a good Stihl dealer nearby. And tons of info available. Try finding info about fixing other brands.

    If you don't know how to tune a 2-stroke,you need a good dealer to set your carb for break in then retune for performance after a few tanks of fuel. New 2-strokes (especially those from box stores) are set up too lean to meet EPA mandates. They run good for a while and die very early.

    In my experience Echo is the best saw you can buy at midnight at HD. Echo is worlds better than homelite, Poulon, Craftsman. Stihl is the easiest to find parts/service for almost anywhere
    there are trees.

    Shin, Dolmar, Husqvarna, Echo, Makita, Stihl. All make excellent light use saws. Just make sure you have support where you plan to use it. What happens if your dealer closes? Better have options. Best saw in the world is useless if parts (and expertise)aren't readily available.

    Another unpaid endorsement. Try looking for used Stihls. They sell for almost as much used as new. Most of the others don't fetch more than half price used (especially echo saws). A new Stihl will last a home owner a decade and probably still sell for half what you paid. It's a no brainer really.

    I have and use Echo and Stihl saws. Really like both.
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  4. jkingrph

    jkingrph LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 807

    I have a Stihl, model I think is 026. It's about 25 years old now and has seen only light homeowner use, tree trimming and storm cleanup, along with a few occasions of cutting up about 8 large oaks that had to be taken down .

    It has a 16" bar and a 42 or 46cc engine, cannot remember which.

    I aways empty the fuel tank and run the carb dry when finished. I use the recommended higher octane gas, and have always used Stihl 2 cycle oil, switching to their synthetic when it came available 5-6 years ago.

    It has never failed to start and perform as designed.
     
  5. dboyd351

    dboyd351 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,099

    In the small saws, Echo makes a better product. The Stihl 170 and 180 are consumer grade products (the lowest of the 3 categories) and are nothing like the pro grade magnesium cased saws that made Stihl so well known.
    The Echo CS 360 and CS 400 are far better saws.
     
  6. Nutsedge

    Nutsedge LawnSite Member
    from STL, MO
    Posts: 183

    I don't have much experence here but at the moment I have a Stihl MS021 my father in law gave me. He bought it New Years ago and it got ver light occasional use. Then about a year or two it became very hard to start. He bought the bigger model Stihl and the 021 just sat in its case. I got it running the first day he gave it to me but its still hard to start whether cold or after running for sometime. I think I'll buy a new carb and hope for the best. Sorry for the lack of info.
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  7. dboyd351

    dboyd351 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,099

    The new carb is a very good idea. Putting in new fuel lines, and fuel and air filters, would also be a good idea. Ethanol does funny things to fuel systems, especially older ones not designed to run on it. Once you freshen up the fuel system it would be highly advisable, if possible, to always use non-ethanol gas in the future. Look at this website (www.puregas.org) to find a non-ethanol fuel station. I also put stabilizer (I use Stabil) in the gas when I buy it. For equipment that only gets occasional/seasonal use, these things will go a long way to keep it running well.
    Finally, check to see if the spark arrestor screen in your muffler is clogged with carbon. If it is, take it out by removing the screw in the plate that holds it in, then burn the carbon off with a torch and reinstall it.
    There is a very good chance it will start and run well after you do these things. That older Stihl is a better constructed saw than the 170/180 models.
     
  8. Nutsedge

    Nutsedge LawnSite Member
    from STL, MO
    Posts: 183

    All of the stations in my surrounding area use 15% Ethanol unfortunately. I use stabil in all my gas for lawn equipment. I was hoping that running a few tankfuls of treated fuel through the 021 would clean the carb but that didnt work. I think that what you said, changing the carb and filters and using my grated fuel from then on will provide me with realiable starting from that point on.
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  9. kawasaki guy

    kawasaki guy LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 11,010

    If you can find one, The STIHL MS210. It is light duty, but feels like a pro saw.
     
  10. Will P.C.

    Will P.C. LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 965

    Echo 305- small, lightweight, durable, easy to change chain. I use it around my house for pruning 4-10 inches in diameter. Sometimes I go thicker, but not often. Gets used about 2-3X a year and several neighbors borrow it for lightweight stuff as well.

    The above it what I consider light duty.

    However, I regret purchasing it. I wish I had upgraded to a 'medium duty' saw. Something that could handle a few 'bigger tasks' if duty called.
     

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