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Old 13 May 2018, 11:04
Jim1348 Jim1348 is offline
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Chainsaw Purchase

I am in the market for a new chainsaw. I have a small, 5 acre hobby farm and need to cut some wood from time to time. Pretty much all of my life I have considered Stihl chainsaws the "gold standard". I grew up in an area where some people earned a living cutting wood.

Fast forward to today living on a hobby farm. As much as I still believe a Stihl chainsaw as the best, I really can't justify "the best" for what I do today. So, I started looking online recently. I have actually used an electric, corded Stihl chainsaw from a rental place. I was pretty impressed by how well it performed.

For bigger stuff a few years back, I rented a Stihl gasoline chain saw with a 20 inch bar. It worked well.

During my searching last week I saw that DeWalt now makes cordless, electric chainsaws. At first I thought it was a joke and Photoshopped. It now looks like is true, that they do, indeed, make a cordless, electric chainsaw. My impression, at least in the past, has always been that cordless, electric chainsaws are sort of a joke. They don't have enough power to cut much and the battery won't last long. Maybe, just maybe, they are good enough for someone that has a condo and trims a very small branch or two very occasionally.

Now, I don't make my living using hand tools, but I have certainly talked to a number of people over the years that do. I have noticed that a number of trades folks are brand loyal and many of them do use DeWalt. While I don't know if DeWalt always has the best of every hand tool, it is certainly on the short list of "among the best" by many people standards.

With that in mind, my questions are as follows:

-Has DeWalt "lowered the bar" and are now competing with their own competition by selling a cordless, electric chain saw?

-Or, has DeWalt actually designed a cordless, electric chainsaw that is worthy of their name brand?

Like I said above, I do still think that Stihl is the best, or among the best, for chainsaws. But, for the small acreage I have currently, it is hard for me to justify buying a brand, new gasoline Stihl chainsaw for the small amount of use I would have.

Now it looks like Stihl does have cordless, electric chainsaws, too, but with shorter bar lengths.

I have also used a corded Makita chainsaw in the past, too. It performed pretty well for me. I must say, though, that the mobility of not having to be tethered by an electric cord is pretty attractive.
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Old 13 May 2018, 11:10
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Get a gas Stihl.

DeWalt stuff has turned to Chinese shit.

While electric and cordless are cool, the one time you really need a saw will be when the power is out for a week.
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Old 13 May 2018, 11:12
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Personal and at work I have used several brands for years. Dewalt is not bad but I can not swear by them. Now Stihl...I only use them now at home and work. The electric Dewalt is just for light trimming but my gas Stihl pole and regular chain saw is the go to tool.
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Old 13 May 2018, 11:25
NoChai NoChai is offline
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I was in the same exact boat when we bought the house I currently live in, which, coincidentally, is a 5 acre hobby farm. After tons and tons of research and one bad but well intentioned purchase (worx electric chainsaw) I settled on a husquvarna 460 (60cc) with 24" bar. This thing is a beast but it does everything I need it to do including working with an Alaska mill that I got super cheap. Bars are cheap, head units are not.

My suggestion would be figure out exactly what you're going to use it for, find one rated for that and go one step up from there. I'd advise against the electric ones simply because of mobility, versatility and ease of use. They also tend to lack the power needed ( I was cutting down and milling trees with 30"+ diameters so YMMV).

I cleared about an acre with a chainsaw, truck/60k strap and fire. Took a lot of time and effort but much cheaper than paying someone and at the end of the day, I get to say I did it. Learned some skills along the way to boot.

Speaking of boots... Safety should be a top consideration. I'll draw heat for this but I wasn't wearing any safety equipment other than ballistic sunglasses and ear pro and had a small incident where I lost the toe of my boot. Missed my actual toes by about 1.5mm. I now only cut with steel toed boots on. Get the helmet with ear pro (best purchase in regards to chainsawing, got mine as a gift from my dad), steel toed boots and if you're gonna be doing a lot with big stuff get the chaps. Don't forget a chain sharpener. Stihl makes an amazingly easy to use one that will really cut down on the aggravation of sharpening chains.. Which need it far more than I realized initially.

Long winded but hope that was helpful. You really will get what you pay for in the chainsaw world.
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  #5  
Old 13 May 2018, 11:29
Gsniper Gsniper is online now
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Stihl FS260. Good "medium" saw. I've had years of flawless service out of mine.
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Old 13 May 2018, 11:39
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Stihl O-29 Perfect for 5 Acres
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Old 13 May 2018, 11:56
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You don't mention what your budget is.

Stihl is hard to beat. And My first Sthil was bought used from the local small engine/rental repair. So used might be a possibility in your area.

I found myself without a saw a few years ago when (as KidA suggests), we were without power during a Winter Storm.
I went down to my Local Lowes and bought a Poulan. The bigger deal was I bought the 2-year extended warranty with it. Had to use the warranty twice and still have a running Poulan. It is now out of warranty and when it dies I will buy a Stihl or Husqvarna.
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Old 13 May 2018, 11:59
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Stick with Stihl and be not turned aside by the barking of dogs!
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Old 13 May 2018, 12:16
RemTech RemTech is online now
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Stay with Stihl or Husquvarna, if cost is an issue think about alternative seller channels - pawn shop, craigslist, etc.

Picked up a killer mower this past fall for $75 at the pawn, hardly used, retailed at $225.
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Old 13 May 2018, 13:02
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I've been through the whole chainsaw learning curve. IMO Stihl are overpriced and lower spec than their counterparts. I use mostly Dolmar. The PS420 / PS421 is a nice low buck saw with semi pro features. Youtube is full of info
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Old 13 May 2018, 13:06
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You can buy a stihl from $300 - $1000 with variable length bars. Living in a similar situation, what I don't want is a saw that breaks/isn't powerful enough/ runs out of energy when I need it.
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Old 13 May 2018, 13:20
DiveBoss DiveBoss is offline
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There are some very rare exceptions, but electric saws typically don't have a clutch. The hydraulic saws we use underwater are the same way. What that means is that IF something goes pear-shaped it will keep spinning. At least with a clutch, the whole principle of the chaps theory has a chance of working. The chaps wad up and kill the saw. Without a clutch you have to wait for it to come to a stop from the trigger being released.
I echo the advice to wear your safety gear. I've unfortunately been first hand witness to three chainsaw "incidents". The mechanics of a chain for cutting timber is intended to be a violent and effective process. It does not readily lend itself to repairs to organic meat.
I know you said you grew up in proximity chainsaws and were asking about recommendations for the tool itself, so you are probably well aware of the hazards. But, having seen it first hand when I read your post having seen it firsthand I couldn't close it with a clear conscience without saying something. Chainsaw wounds are a grisly business.

Don't even get me started on playful dogs lunging in and snapping at the end of a bar spitting chips. Please don't take your dog when you go cutting.
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Old 13 May 2018, 13:43
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crapstash crapstash is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DiveBoss View Post
The chaps wad up and kill the saw. Without a clutch you have to wait for it to come to a stop from the trigger being released.
I echo the advice to wear your safety gear. I've unfortunately been first hand witness to three chainsaw "incidents".
I've ran a saw from a very young age and have been taught from very experienced people. My dumbass still managed a kickback that would have split my knee wide open(at least). It happened so fast that I thought I ran out of gas. Nope. The chain caught the Kevlar in the Chaps and wadded them up into the saw so quick it killed the engine instantaneously ...saving my leg. I was so embarrassed.
I'll never cut without them. Ever.
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Old 13 May 2018, 14:28
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swamppirate swamppirate is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NoChai View Post
I was in the same exact boat when we bought the house I currently live in, which, coincidentally, is a 5 acre hobby farm. After tons and tons of research and one bad but well intentioned purchase (worx electric chainsaw) I settled on a husquvarna 460 (60cc) with 24" bar. This thing is a beast but it does everything I need it to do including working with an Alaska mill that I got super cheap. Bars are cheap, head units are not.

My suggestion would be figure out exactly what you're going to use it for, find one rated for that and go one step up from there. I'd advise against the electric ones simply because of mobility, versatility and ease of use. They also tend to lack the power needed ( I was cutting down and milling trees with 30"+ diameters so YMMV).

I cleared about an acre with a chainsaw, truck/60k strap and fire. Took a lot of time and effort but much cheaper than paying someone and at the end of the day, I get to say I did it. Learned some skills along the way to boot.

Speaking of boots... Safety should be a top consideration. I'll draw heat for this but I wasn't wearing any safety equipment other than ballistic sunglasses and ear pro and had a small incident where I lost the toe of my boot. Missed my actual toes by about 1.5mm. I now only cut with steel toed boots on. Get the helmet with ear pro (best purchase in regards to chainsawing, got mine as a gift from my dad), steel toed boots and if you're gonna be doing a lot with big stuff get the chaps. Don't forget a chain sharpener. Stihl makes an amazingly easy to use one that will really cut down on the aggravation of sharpening chains.. Which need it far more than I realized initially.

Long winded but hope that was helpful. You really will get what you pay for in the chainsaw world.
X 2 on the husky! 460 Rancher....
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  #15  
Old 13 May 2018, 15:08
8654maine 8654maine is offline
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In regards to small engines, whether chainsaw, mower, snowblower, I'd find a locally run store, chat the owner, and find a saw that they will service and recommend.
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Old 13 May 2018, 15:17
DB8541 DB8541 is offline
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Stick with a quality saw for your first purchase, you will only need to buy it once. I have a Stihl MS271 farm boss and love it. It is a good mid size saw large enough to handle most jobs needed for property owners and small enough for easy handling while limbing downed trees.
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Old 13 May 2018, 15:19
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HighDragLowSpeed HighDragLowSpeed is offline
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I'm not the original poster but still a good timely thread for me....thank you all
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Old 13 May 2018, 15:40
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I have had good luck with the Echo brand as a less expensive alternative to Stihl.
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Old 13 May 2018, 16:03
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I would never go past Stihl. I worked in Gabon in a bush camp a few years ago and cut planks from hardwood with their pro saws.
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  #20  
Old 13 May 2018, 17:05
BigNickT BigNickT is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 8654maine View Post
In regards to small engines, whether chainsaw, mower, snowblower, I'd find a locally run store, chat the owner, and find a saw that they will service and recommend.
Good advice here.

For the casual homeowner type user there isn't a ton of difference among the big name saws. I have gotten a shitload of work out of a Husky "Rancher" grade saw. Even ran it over with the bush hog once. I currently run a Jonsereds which does very well. I have used some of the bigger Stihl saws in the past and was impressed. I think any of those three names will serve you well for what you describe. The significant difference I have found is that the Jonsereds starts every time with very little drama. I have had issues with the other two brands at times, but nothing that couldn't be handled on site with a little frigging around.
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