Which chainsaw?

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Blog entry by RussellAP posted 03-02-2012 05:49 AM 1580 reads 0 times favorited 16 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I plan to cut 12 – 16 inch diameter 4 foot long hardwood trunks vertically. Oak and Walnut primarily.
I’d like to keep the cost down and also stay away from Craig s List if possible. I’ve checked and they don’t really have much that I’d buy.
What would some of you experienced chainsaw users recommend?

-- A positive attitude will take you much further than positive thinking ever will.

16 comments so far

View BigYin's profile


416 posts in 2414 days

#1 posted 03-02-2012 08:24 AM

1. Husqvarna or Stihl professional forestry model, 21to 24 inch bar. Husqvarna or Stihl or Oregon Chains, go to a dealer who supplies the trade not a boxstore.

2. If you are ripping with the grain the chain should be sharpened to rip…

3. Stay away from cheap chainsaws you will get exactly what you pay for

4. Get certified how to use and safety training with chainsaws.

5. You wont have several little accidents with a chainsaw, just one great big accident. Chainsaw pants and boots are sold for a reason.

-- ... Never Apologise For Being Right ...

View MNJackofAllTrades's profile


13 posts in 2301 days

#2 posted 03-02-2012 08:25 AM

I would recommend at least a 70cc + Husquvarna.

View RussellAP's profile


3104 posts in 2284 days

#3 posted 03-02-2012 08:41 AM

Bigyin what do you think of the Husqvarna 445

-- A positive attitude will take you much further than positive thinking ever will.

View BigYin's profile


416 posts in 2414 days

#4 posted 03-02-2012 12:08 PM

Husky 445 is a suited towards an occasional/hobby user. Would suit someone who has a cabin and wants log fires there. It is underpowered to be used for planking hardwood.

Are you intending to use a planking mill if so saw which saw is recommended by the manufacturer you choose,
either way the minimum requirements of the mill will dictate the saw.

-- ... Never Apologise For Being Right ...

View JimDaddyO's profile


545 posts in 3077 days

#5 posted 03-02-2012 12:27 PM

If you are ripping, you need a decent amount of power. Add me to the Huski/Stihl fan club on that. There are different chains for ripping, look into that. I use Oregon chains and one of their bars on my Poulan, which are not as good of a saw, but it has heated my home for 8 years. Jonsered make a good saw too. If I was buying another and could get any I wanted it would be a Stihl. I think the power to weight ratio is better on them. You want a bar a bit longer than the tree diameter if you are ripping/milling. That being said, I have taken 24” dia trees down with mine that has an 18” bar.

Add some safety equipment to your list, and at the very least, spend a day with an experienced operator and get some instruction.

-- my blog: my You Tube channel:

View Martyroc's profile


2712 posts in 2304 days

#6 posted 03-02-2012 01:01 PM

Stihl, hands down. My cousin was a tree climber for many years, he has tried all of them and always went back to Stihl. I have a Poulan, but it’s just for firewood and occasional tree trimming, maybe use it 5,6 times a year tops. If I was doing what you plan I doing I wouldn’t even attempt any other brand, possibly a Husqvarna but nothing less than those two. Russ, if you have the funds, I would recommend a portable saw mill, I know HF sells them, but it might be cost prohibitive.

-- Martin ....always count the number of fingers you have before, and after using the saw.

View northwoodsman's profile


242 posts in 3744 days

#7 posted 03-02-2012 01:26 PM

I have a Stihl 250 chainsaw and love it. I had a Poulan and honestly spent more time fixing it than using it. I own 7 Stihl items and have NEVER had a single problem with any of them. They cost a little more more than any other brands but in the past 10 years I have never even considered another brand. Will likley buy another Stihl item this weekend.

-- NorthWoodsMan

View canadianchips's profile


2600 posts in 2995 days

#8 posted 03-02-2012 03:34 PM

Husqvarna – 41%; Stihl – 40%; Jonsered – 7%; Echo – 4%; All others – 8%
I had stihl years ago. Very balanced ,light weight & trouble free…..
Started with a McCullogh… arms are still huge from lugging that MONSTER around, motor ran well.
I suggest buying at a local dealer to get any service you need.

-- "My mission in life - make everyone smile !"

View Bertha's profile


13528 posts in 2691 days

#9 posted 03-02-2012 03:35 PM

Stihl 70%; Husq 30%

-- My dad and I built a 65 chev pick up.I killed trannys in that thing for some reason-Hog

View RussellAP's profile


3104 posts in 2284 days

#10 posted 03-02-2012 04:04 PM

It might be worth my while to get a pickup truck and haul the logs to Paxton and let them rip them in their mill. I’d probably get them faster and definitely safer in the long run.

-- A positive attitude will take you much further than positive thinking ever will.

View Grandpa's profile


3259 posts in 2673 days

#11 posted 03-02-2012 04:26 PM

If you can have them milled then it is a better deal. If you choose to buy a saw you want an over powered saw instead of an under powered saw. The cheaper saw have smaller engine built by a third party company. the larger engines are normally built by the company with their name on the saw. Those are the good saws. Stihl saws are the only saws on our Disaster Relief trailers. We had too many problems with the cheap saws. Remember one other thing on 2 cycle engines; they were developed around a certain 2 cycle oil. Use the oil with the same name on the side as the saw has and you won’t go wrong. There are several good 2 cycle oils but unless you know which ones you should use your saw maker’s oil.

View RussellAP's profile


3104 posts in 2284 days

#12 posted 03-02-2012 05:00 PM

I found a mill about 30 miles away that will rip my wood for .35 a board foot. The wood will be free, so I’m in business gentlemen. Wooohooo. Now I need a pickup truck and call the tree service to bring them logs.

-- A positive attitude will take you much further than positive thinking ever will.

View woodtools's profile


21 posts in 2287 days

#13 posted 03-03-2012 01:44 AM

A stihl for sure, some things to consider….. When you rip wood with your chainsaw you loose 25% of your rated horse power performance. The last thing you want is for the saw to continually stahl during the rip cut, you will be very disappointed in the finished product. Second point, your bar should be twice the diameter of the log you are going to cut.

View SlimPickins's profile


125 posts in 1912 days

#14 posted 04-21-2015 08:03 PM

A Poulan Pro 20” is only 199.99 at Home Depot, and it has the power out of the box to cut red oak as I’ve found out in the last week. I did what you are doing, cutting 4’ long logs – mine are 17 – 20” logs. I can bury the Poulan Pro in the log and cut 17” or 18” leaving an inch still to go and it works fine – the beam machine I use takes up a couple inches or so so it’s as if I have a 17” bar. What I CANNOT tell you is how long the chainsaw will last doing this. But a beam machine takes less strength – you just have to keep pressure on it so it doesn’t tip towards you. Today I cut special 3 5/8” guide boards so my next job will be even nicer as my first guideboard was a teeny bit skewed. You will be freehand cutting but most people can cut freehand almost every bit as well as a beam machine – they go real slow. Just don’t go too hard and tire yourself out. Your idea to cut vertically is an excellent way to do it. Just make real sure that you do a nice job of the first cut so it stands really straight up and down. My fifth log I forgot to make it real straight so I pretty much have to go horizontal. But I may try a few verticals myself.

I tend to have a lot of arm strength so it doesn’t bother me at all to cut oak.

Tomorrow I will be making planks so I’ll let you know how it goes but if you saw straight down, you can use a Poulan Pro. It’s not a bad saw when it’s working. I’ll be curious to see how long it lasts. I use the right mix of gas and oil and I put bar and chain oil in as soon as it gets low. I haven’t yet tightened the chain – I’ll do that tomorrow.

Sorry I cannot give you more about Huskies and stuff – I find them more expensive, even used ones cost a lot as I recently found out on Craiig’s list. I am looking for a saw with a longer bar – I would love a 27 or 30”, but I might have to settle for a 24”.

Anyway, no problems so far cutting oak.

-- If a bug can't eat it, it isn't good wood

View pauldye's profile


68 posts in 2082 days

#15 posted 04-21-2015 08:04 PM

Echo is my favorite.

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