New Chainsaw, Crap, I wanted a better one!

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Forum topic by Dallas posted 07-15-2012 08:36 PM 2990 views 0 times favorited 67 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View Dallas's profile


3599 posts in 2480 days

07-15-2012 08:36 PM

This morning we went to Bryan/College Station, (Our local big city).

I have been after the wife to let me buy a new [to me, I seldom buy new], chainsaw for the last few months. Finally Yesterday after mowing, I was cutting up some of the waste from the trees we just had taken dow and the old junker decided to show it’s arse and not restart after being shut down to clean up cut up debris. I spent 45 minutes pulling the rope, another 45 minutes replacing the fuel lines and another hour cussing, swearing and adjusting. Mostly cussing. Or swearing.

I gave up.

This morning, (Our day off), we decided to go get a new one and had about $400 in the bank account. Not enough for the 66CC Stihl with the 60” bar I really wanted.

I was planning to look through the local Pawnshops and see if I could find a Jonsered, Husqvarna or Stihl in decent condition with at least 50CC.
Did you know the Pawnshops here don’t open until noon? Jeez! On Sunday at that!

So I made the rounds of the box stores, Tractor Supply, and a couple of other places. I was just pricing and comparing.
I wasn’t impressed at TS, and HomeDespot wasn’t much better. Little 40CC engines with 16” bars or less for more money, although HD did have some Homelite saws marked way down.
I finally stooped to going to my arch nemesis, Blowe’s not expecting much. They had the best lineup I had seen so far, although the Husky’s were a tad over priced.

I moved down the aisle a bit and found Echo and Ryobi and Hitachi line up and none of them was much more than a play toy.

At the very end of the aisle they had about 5 different brands of Poulan. Now, I use to own a Poulan and loved it, but that was 30 years ago when they had iron engines and cast aluminum heads. Those things would out work any saw in their class.

After reading a bunch of reviews on the unit I was interested in, ( Poulan Pro, 50CC, 20” bar), I thought “Hell, why not?” So I bought it, and after a bit of negotiation, got an extra Oregon chain and a pair of files with the deal for $199. With the local Senior Citizen discount, the sales tax was taken care of, so bottom line was $199 out the door.

I would much rather have a Jonsered or a Stihl, but Hey, Ya gotta do what you gotta do.

Especially since the wife blew out the left rear tire and rather than get it patched, (121K miles), I replaced them before we got to Lowe’s. That was $250 for the pair out the door!

-- Improvise.... Adapt...... Overcome!

67 replies so far

View b2rtch's profile


4861 posts in 3041 days

#1 posted 07-15-2012 08:56 PM

SO, is the chain saw any good?
I have an electric Poulan and it works like a champ.

-- Bert

View Dallas's profile


3599 posts in 2480 days

#2 posted 07-15-2012 09:04 PM

I’m not sure if it’s any good yet. I cut open a couple of 24” blocks of American Sycamore and it did good, although I had to resharpen to get it to make ribbons.

The OEM blade, although it says it’s an Oregon chain doesn’t seem to be all that good.

Tomorrow I have about 4 logs to slice up and turn into lumber. we’ll see!

-- Improvise.... Adapt...... Overcome!

View HalDougherty's profile


1820 posts in 3230 days

#3 posted 07-15-2012 09:06 PM

I had a windstorm take out a lot of trees at my house and two other houses. The best saw I could afford at that time was a Poulan Pro 295. I used it for several years. It never failed to start, and cut as good as anything else in it’s class. Then my shop was broken into and the Poulan was one of the items stolen… I replaced it with an Echo SC-400 when I found it marked down at Home Depot for $125… It’s the same size and cuts about the same. Last week I cut a poplar that was 34” at the base and it made 4 logs 16’ long and one 10’ log. That poplar was just about as big as I can cut with an 18” bar. I’m saving for a 80 or 90cc saw with a 60” bar too.

-- Hal, Tennessee

View MrUnix's profile (online now)


6695 posts in 2192 days

#4 posted 07-15-2012 09:08 PM

I bought my Poulan 18 incher sometime back in the mid 90’s. Have gone through a dozen or more chains (and I don’t replace them until the teeth have been filed down to nothing left to sharpen) and chopped through I don’t know how many thousands of limbs/trunks with it. After all these years, it still starts every time and runs strong. Based on a recommendation from an ‘expert’, my neighbor bought a Husq for mucho money a couple of years ago and has only been able to use it twice. The rest of the time it wouldn’t run and has spent more time in the shop than it has making wood chips. Don’t write off the Poulan just yet.. they are very capable little saws. As for your previous saw, I’m pretty sure a $10 carb rebuild kit would fix it right up. Then you can have a backup just in case :)


-- Brad in FL - In Dog I trust... everything else is questionable

View dhazelton's profile


2765 posts in 2289 days

#5 posted 07-15-2012 09:17 PM

I had a Jonsered that I could never get started. Finally bought a Stihl MS250 with 16 inch bar (same saw comes with an 18 inch bar now) and the only time it failed to start I changed the air filter and plug and it was good to go. A lot of people like Huskys, but I read the homeowner saws are basically orange Poulans, as they are owned by the same company.

View tenontim's profile


2131 posts in 3737 days

#6 posted 07-15-2012 11:34 PM

The only Poulan chain saw I ever had was back in the ‘70’s. It was a monster. Had the bow on it, instead of the bar. Huge engine. It was like carrying around a lawn mower. In the mid 80’s I bought a Sthil 028WB, used, and it’s still going strong. I’ve gone through a couple of bars and chains, but the engine runs like a top. It’ll probably outlast me.

View bruc101's profile


1200 posts in 3535 days

#7 posted 07-15-2012 11:54 PM

I’ve got a Stihl Farm Boss. The reason I bought it was because it was on sale for about 50% off. I just happened to be in a farm & seed store when they were making everything down, closing due to the economy. I think it’s about a 55cc with an 18 inch chain. Heavy as heck but is a hog when cutting firewood.

The best saw I ever owned was a Poulan with a bow on it. It just sorta disappeared out of the back of my truck one nite. It was easy to crank but this Stihl seems to have a lot of compression on it and makes it difficult to crank or either I’m getting to old for a chainsaw.

-- Bruce Free Plans

View Doss's profile


779 posts in 2257 days

#8 posted 07-16-2012 04:30 AM

I have a Stihl MS270C for most of my light stuff and trimming.

When things get big though, I break out the MS880 aka The Magnum (121 cc’s and 8.6 HP of wood-hatin’ two stroke). I’ve got a few bars for it to handle several situations. The small 36” for standard things. A 41” to tackle just about everything else. Finally, a 66” bar for when big just isn’t big enough. I use that mainly for my mill as it has a ripping chain. The other two bars I run chisel.

Honestly, most of the other saws I’ve picked up feel like toys compared to the Stihls even when comparing to the consumer-grade Stihls.

Sounds like you couldn’t wait for a Farm Boss or Wood Boss or any other of the mid-range Stihls to pop up on craigs or the bay of e. Why not a Husky?

In the end, I’m pretty sure your saw should be fine. If you don’t cut wood day in and day out, those upgraded saws usually don’t shine as bright when you think of the money spent.

My advice is to get the best chain you can afford and learn to keep it sharp. Like a chisel or a plane, chain teeth need to be kept scary sharp to the saw from running too hard.

-- "Well, at least we can still use it as firewood... maybe." - Doss

View Dallas's profile


3599 posts in 2480 days

#9 posted 07-16-2012 09:07 AM

Thanks Doss,

I’ve been using saw for about 40 years, commercially in the woods and at the mill. We had a small logging company when I was young and we all knew which end of the saw was which, LOL.

I really didn’t get a Husky because The only large one they had looked like it had been run over by a forklift and the package was strapped back together with packaging tape and zip ties.
I would have hated getting it home, 50 miles and finding it wasn’t all there.

I would have waited for the Stihl dealers to open today, (Monday), but my boss is after me to get these logs moved off the lawn and time is of the essence.
Yesterday after getting home and resting a bit, I went out and cut up 4 of the smaller branch trunks. These were only about 18”, but lots of branches and knots. The saw ran like a champ for the hour and a half I used it, plenty of power, good sharp chain, (I sharpened before first use – out of the box chain isn’t quite right, just like a plane or a chisel).
The functions all worked well, and your right, at 15 pounds it felt like a toy. The only concern I had was the amount of bar oil it wet through. I think I’ll have to invest in the oil industry to keep up with it. Oh, well, lots of oil keeps it cool and sharp!

-- Improvise.... Adapt...... Overcome!

View HawkDriver's profile


447 posts in 2626 days

#10 posted 07-16-2012 09:14 AM

Is there an oiler adjustment screw?

-- Patrick, Helicopters don't fly. They beat the air into submission.

View Dallas's profile


3599 posts in 2480 days

#11 posted 07-16-2012 09:16 AM

Not that I can find. I may take it apart in a few minutes and see what’s actually going on.

-- Improvise.... Adapt...... Overcome!

View Monte Pittman's profile

Monte Pittman

29212 posts in 2331 days

#12 posted 07-16-2012 09:30 AM

My main saw now is a Stihl MS660. I can slab 31 inches wide with has been a good saw for me.don’t know what it equates too in run time, but I am on my 8th gallon of chain oil this tear. I have never handled anything but Stihl.

-- Nature created it, I just assemble it.

View Dallas's profile


3599 posts in 2480 days

#13 posted 07-16-2012 10:10 AM

My first saw was a monster Homelite that was like carrying around an outboard motor. Then I went to Mac’s when they were the best name in saws. I’ve had about 10 of those and never want to handle another.
From there I moved to Stihl 051AV and 055AV with 48” and 60” bars. For small stuff I had a Jonsered. In the last 30 years I was given a used Poulan, and it was a handy little saw, but eventually it just wore out and parts were getting hard to find.
That was when Poulan was still well built. Later Poulans were almost junk as I found out.

Now, Husky has bought Poulan, (so I’ve been told) and the Poulan Pro as updated is just a rebadged Husky with different colored plastic.

Time will tell, especially when I have to replace parts.

-- Improvise.... Adapt...... Overcome!

View dhazelton's profile


2765 posts in 2289 days

#14 posted 07-16-2012 12:31 PM

Oh, and I took a chainsaw class, “Game of Logging”, and it was well worth it to learn how to properly notch a tree and sharpen a chain.

View RogerM's profile


792 posts in 2392 days

#15 posted 07-16-2012 02:07 PM

The last Poulan I had basically quit after one small tree. The repair shop informed me that it would always be very hard to start because of low compression. Rather than fool with it I took a sledge hammer to it. Made me feel good. No more Poulans here!!!!!

-- Roger M, Aiken, SC

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