Getting a chain saw. Need recommendation

speedster

LawnSite Member
Location
Morgantown, WV
I want to get a chain saw. It will be used strictly for residential purposes around my home basically cleaning up tree limbs and things like that. I do not plan to cut full sized trees down nor do I have a wood stove or cut firewood.

I do like to keep the wooded area behind my home cleaned up. I'm thinking about getting an economical 14" or 16" saw. I'd like to stay at or below $200. My initial thought was to get a cheap craftsman which I can get for about $130 but after doing a little searching I think there are better options for around $200. I think Stihl, Echo, Husqvarna, and Dolmar all have saws in that price range. I saw a husqvarna at Lowes the other day for $199 and a 14" Stihl at the local dealer for $199 as well. I can't remmeber model numbers but they were both entry level models.

Considering this saw will only get used a couple of times per year and will be used for basic tasks I can't justify a $400 saw.

Any recommendations?
 

avguy

LawnSite Senior Member
Location
Knoxville TN
I'm not mechanically inclined so dealer support ranks very high for me. I have a Stihl dealer close by and much of the outdoor power equipment that I own came from them. I currently own 2 Stihl chainsaws. Good luck!
 

RAlmaroad

LawnSite Silver Member
Location
SC
Don't buy a Stihl--They will not stand behind product and only have a 1 year warranty. Echo has a 4 year warranty.
 

McFarland_Lawn_Care

LawnSite Bronze Member
Location
Sedgwick, Maine
Personally I would get a Husqvarna - I have bought several over the years and never been disappointed. Depends on how big a saw you want and how you are going to use it. Find a dealer who is willing to talk and explain different pros cons of the saws to you. A knowledgeable, customer oriented dealer is worth everything. Whatever you do, don't buy the first good deal at a box store. They are cheap for a reason. =D
 

McFarland_Lawn_Care

LawnSite Bronze Member
Location
Sedgwick, Maine
the other option is to look on Craigslist or you local are for a used one. You can find a nice high quality saw for pretty good deals. Lots of people will buy one to clean up a tree that fell down and then want to sell it.
 

Landscape Poet

LawnSite Gold Member
Location
Oviedo/Orlando
Stihl....the best chainsaws for sure....someone said they will not stand behind there product....I have never experienced a issue like that ..in fact I have been pleased with their support and the way their products have held up...including my chainsaw from them. I think that sound more like a dealer issue.
 

Ridin' Green

LawnSite Fanatic
Location
Michigan
While I lke Stihl tools- a lot, I'd buy the Husqvarna 235 like they sell at Lowe's. They'll outcut the equivelent Stihl saw. A quick read through the pro tree care forum here will give lots of good info on this ubject.

I ran stihl for over 20 years, but switched to Jonsered, and will never buy another brand of saw. I have several of them from 45cc all the way up to 85cc. If you could find one in yur price range, I'd buy that instead, but chances are you won't so get the Husky. Their the same basic saw under a different shroud. They're also highly regarded by the pros in that same forum.
 
OP
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speedster

LawnSite Member
Location
Morgantown, WV
Good info. Thanks for the tips. I have a Husky leaf blower/vac thats rock solid and I have an Echo weed wacker thats been one of the best power tools I've ever purchased. I don't have a bad thing to say about either.

I know a chain saw would not get as much use as my weed wacker or even leaf blower so I didn't want to spend an arm and a leg. Home Depot sells an entry level Echo but I think it's closer to $260. I'd probably just go with a husky if I could get it for $200.

I'll get some dealer quotes and then decide on something.

What about Dolmar. I know my local dealer sells an entry level Dolmar for around $200 as well.
 

IS500Z

LawnSite Member
Location
Illinois
Reading your post I am assuming that you may have limited experience in handling a chainsaw. You are purchasing one of the potentially most dangerous pieces of outdoor power equipment and learning how to handle it properly along with getting proper personal protective equipment (PPE) will be as important, if not more, than what brand of chainsaw you purchase. Go to a dealer, or several different dealers, and see what they recommend in a saw as well as what PPE and training courses they might have. Also remember that a small sized, 'homeowner' chainsaw is not any safer than a larger saw. A 30-cc chainsaw can do a lot of damage to the operator if used incorrectly; however, with proper instruction and care they can be used safely and are a lot of fun to operate as well.

Stihl, Husqvarna (XP series) and Dolmar are all good solid brands. Handle the saw and buy what feels right in your hands. All of the brands balance a little differently. Personally, I do not like the Echo line of chainsaws. They are underpowered and slow cutting out of the box, but will respond well to modifications if you are into that sort of thing.
 
OP
S

speedster

LawnSite Member
Location
Morgantown, WV
My Stihl dealer will sell me the MS-170 with a 16" bar for $179 or the MS-180C-B for $199. The $199 Husqvarna at Lowes comes with a 14" bar.

I have used a chain saw many times. Not saying I'm an expert but I'm very careful and know how to use one. My dad has a Shindiawa 422 that I've spent a lot of time using. I definately understand the dangers.
 

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