Sitka Mountain Gear
Chainsaw recommendations
Whitetail Deer
Contributors to this thread:
Norseman 14-Jul-18
Pyrannah 14-Jul-18
Bigdan 14-Jul-18
Dirk Diggler 14-Jul-18
Bou'bound 14-Jul-18
buckfevered 14-Jul-18
Fields 14-Jul-18
t-roy 14-Jul-18
Inshart 14-Jul-18
Screwball 14-Jul-18
BOHUNTER09 14-Jul-18
pointingdogs 14-Jul-18
Shaft 14-Jul-18
Norseman 14-Jul-18
Pigsticker 14-Jul-18
Kodiak 14-Jul-18
joehunter 14-Jul-18
cnelk 14-Jul-18
jingalls 14-Jul-18
WapitiBob 14-Jul-18
Backpack Hunter 14-Jul-18
drycreek 14-Jul-18
midwest 14-Jul-18
longbeard 14-Jul-18
TURKEY STALKER 14-Jul-18
Rob in VT 14-Jul-18
JL 14-Jul-18
Old School 14-Jul-18
137buck 14-Jul-18
jdee 14-Jul-18
Rob Nye 14-Jul-18
MK111 14-Jul-18
fred hill 14-Jul-18
buckhammer 14-Jul-18
Muskrat 14-Jul-18
jdee 14-Jul-18
Thornton 14-Jul-18
KsRancher 14-Jul-18
Buffalo1 14-Jul-18
longbeard 14-Jul-18
Muddyboots 14-Jul-18
ground hunter 14-Jul-18
Norseman 14-Jul-18
LKH 14-Jul-18
Pyrannah 14-Jul-18
Norseman 14-Jul-18
Buffalo1 14-Jul-18
Marj 14-Jul-18
TXCazador 15-Jul-18
newfi1946moose 15-Jul-18
newfi1946moose 15-Jul-18
PECO 15-Jul-18
Preston Lay 15-Jul-18
lv2bohunt 15-Jul-18
Arrowhead 15-Jul-18
woodguy65 15-Jul-18
cnelk 15-Jul-18
Dale06 17-Jul-18
drycreek 17-Jul-18
Stringwacker 18-Jul-18
BOHUNTER09 18-Jul-18
bfisherman11 18-Jul-18
LesWelch 18-Jul-18
WV Mountaineer 19-Jul-18
RonG 20-Jul-18
RonG 20-Jul-18
Duke 20-Jul-18
Newhunter1 22-Jul-18
From: Norseman
14-Jul-18
I have 3 acre homestead area with lots of trees. Currently I have 4 large trees that are down and another half dozen dead elms and box elders that I need to fell. Trees that I will be cutting are up to 2.5 in diameter. I will be cutting up and stacking for fire wood. I figure to keep up with my trees I will be using it on a monthly basis. I need something dependable and under the $400 dollar amount. All recommendations appreciated. Thanks!

From: Pyrannah
14-Jul-18
Stihl

From: Bigdan
14-Jul-18
Stihi have two of them

From: Dirk Diggler
14-Jul-18
Stihl. Close thread.

From: Bou'bound
14-Jul-18
Stihl if the thread is still open.

From: buckfevered
14-Jul-18
I'll be the guy going against the grain. If it were me, I'd by a stihl, as mine is and has been very reliable for the past 20+ years.

From: Fields
14-Jul-18
for your description- stihl MS 211.

From: t-roy
14-Jul-18
Poulan Woodboss is the best.

JK....Another vote for Stihl. You have lots of model options for less than $400.

From: Inshart
14-Jul-18
My Stihl is at least 30 years old and still runs great - leaks chain oil but that's no big deal, gone through a few bars and numerous chains, but I have cut A LOT of wood with it.

From: Screwball
14-Jul-18
I'll go against the grain. Husqvarna, been running them since I was 12 logging, etc. Never and issue. Tried others had issues, 2nd would be Jonsered. I looked into Stihl's once tried them, had carb and power issues. For your purpose Stihl is fine. One plus American made more so.

From: BOHUNTER09
14-Jul-18
I’ve currently got 2 Stihl s. Love them both.

From: pointingdogs
14-Jul-18

pointingdogs's Link
Stihl "Farmboss 029". Had it for years and it can handle anything. OOPs I see that they do not make it anymore, however, the replacement is the "Farmboss MS 271". Very high customer rating.

From: Shaft
14-Jul-18
I love my Stihl....I have a suburban lot with trees, and it has come in handy numerous times. 25 years old and runs great with no issues.

From: Norseman
14-Jul-18
Thanks guys. Looking at the ms 271 farm boss

I hope they start better than the Stihl chop saws I use on construction jobs.

From: Pigsticker
14-Jul-18
Is this thread STIHL going?

From: Kodiak
14-Jul-18
End it already...Stihl.

From: joehunter
14-Jul-18
Go with either a Stihl or Husky. But always use pure gas - no ethanol- also called recreation gas or pure gas at some pumps. Use good mix too. Husky or Stihl. Get three chains. One on the unit. One ready to go and one to be sharpened. Guy can cut a lot of wood in short time with a good running saw and sharp chain. A crappy saw with a dull chain makes a guy work hard when it should be easy.

From: cnelk
14-Jul-18
Stihl - makes quick work of Wyoming blowdown

From: jingalls
14-Jul-18
Stihl

From: WapitiBob
14-Jul-18

WapitiBob's embedded Photo
WapitiBob's embedded Photo
Both Stihl and Husky are good saws.

14-Jul-18
This thread, so far, is as close to unanimous as I imagine Bowsite can be. Another vote for Stihl here. I have used an MS250 for quite a few years with good results.

From: drycreek
14-Jul-18
Troy, I almost threw up until I read the last sentence of your post. Don't do that no more, it was touch and go for a second there...........

From: midwest
14-Jul-18
I own a Stihl as well. I heated my house with nothing but wood for 10 years. Never an issue with the saw. Learn how to sharpen the chain with a round file and keep it sharp.

From: longbeard
14-Jul-18
Stihl it is. I own two of them the ms270 and ms362. I sell firewood so I put them to the test every year. Great saws!

14-Jul-18
Stihl

From: Rob in VT
14-Jul-18

Rob in VT's embedded Photo
Rob in VT's embedded Photo
Husqvarna

From: JL
14-Jul-18
I have a Stihl and Poulan. Both work well for the jobs. IMO the big thing is to take care of them. Keep them clean, sharp, oiled and use rec gas/ethanol free gas. I'll put a safety plug in for eye and hearing protection along with long work pants or bibs.

From: Old School
14-Jul-18
Stihl - and you can get the easy start option if you’re worried about hard starts. I cut about 14 cord of wood a year with mine - 7 years old and running strong.

From: 137buck
14-Jul-18
After being an arborist for 17 years, I used all brands of saws and the best is Stihl, Husky isn't too far behind though. But with Husky, buy a pro saw, otherwise the homeowner saws are the same as Poulan, McCulloch, Jonsered, and a couple of other brands.

From: jdee
14-Jul-18
Stihl ….I own a Stihl MS 250, MS 461, MS O66 and a 084AV . Talk to your Stihl tech and have him show you the correct way to start a Stihl saw so you don't keep flooding it . Flood one and you will come back on here and say … these saws are way hard to start. Learn how to use the choke and they will start right up for many years.

From: Rob Nye
14-Jul-18
Have 2 Huskys one 18 years old one 15 years old both have been trouble free and have been used plenty.

From: MK111
14-Jul-18
Stihl.

Just bought a new Stihl last month to replace the Stihl that came up missing.

From: fred hill
14-Jul-18
I use a saw a lot and only buy the pro grade models. Had Husky's and Stihl's, both great saws. Last year had to replace both my saws as they were just worn out. Got 2 new Stihl's, the MS 261 (50cc) for small work and the MS 661 (91cc) for the big stuff. A good local dealer for either would be my deciding factor.

From: buckhammer
14-Jul-18
Don't limit yourself to a $400 or less saw. I sell firewood as a side job and cut around 200 face cord a year. There is nothing worse than laboring thru a big tree with an under powered saw. For $400 or less you are likely to only get a "home owners saw" Spend another $250 to $350 and get a professional grade saw. Something in the 60 to low 70 cc range with a 20 inch bar. Jonsered would be my first choice followed by Dolmar and then husky. I currently run a jonsered 2166 and have a Stihl 361 as a spare saw. I only have the Stihl because I bought it used at an auction sale for $200 and knew the guy that used it. Not a big fan of Stihl. Too many carb issues with the new saws.

From: Muskrat
14-Jul-18
Stihl, Jonsereds, and Husqvarna, the Stihl I bought in 1981 and used commercially for the first year, is still running strong.

From: jdee
14-Jul-18
I agree on the pro saw with more power. It might weigh more but it will do twice the work in half the time. I do like a small saw to do the small work...MS250.... but the MS461R I have makes the 250 look like a toy saw. there is just no comparison in performance . The 250 is nice and light though.

From: Thornton
14-Jul-18
I've used craftsman, stihl, johnsered, and poulan in my lawn business and farm. Stihl is the only one that holds up

From: KsRancher
14-Jul-18
I really like my johnsered. Been running it for 7 years.

From: Buffalo1
14-Jul-18
Every piece of outdoor equipment you own should have one brand name on it- "Stihl."

From: longbeard
14-Jul-18
Jdee brings up a great point about learning to start the Stihl. I know plenty of guys that won’t buy one because they say they start to hard. Learn to do it right and the start every time without flooding

From: Muddyboots
14-Jul-18
My Husky gave out after 23 years- thought it was the greatest. I've now had a Stihl for 6 years and find it as good or better. My first was a Homelite- I thought all saws must be terrible. Get a Husky or Stihl and you will be happy.

14-Jul-18
well in the UP, a 14 inch Stihl is in the truck, like a spare tire, for serious work 18 and 20 inch Husky.............poulan is ok for the back yard and garden club

From: Norseman
14-Jul-18

Norseman's embedded Photo
Norseman's embedded Photo
Ended my dilemma and bought a Stihl MS 271 Farm Boss. 18 inch bar. Thanks for all the insight fellas!

From: LKH
14-Jul-18
In 2003 I was given an Echo as a tip. Heated strictly with wood here in MT until 2014. It's still going strong. Same with a heavy duty weed wacker same brand. Kept up with about 4500' of fabric mulch on tree rows.

From: Pyrannah
14-Jul-18
Damn that was quick!!

From: Norseman
14-Jul-18
I got Chit to do!

From: Buffalo1
14-Jul-18
Make sure you use ethanol-free gas!! Regular gas will eat on plastic hoses, carb, etc.

From: Marj
14-Jul-18
Clealry I'm too late, but just FYI, Stihl is actually a German company, not American. Any of the pro grade models from Stihl, Husqvarna or Jonsered are just fine if you know what you're doing. I personally prefer Husky or Jonsered since the bars and chains are cheaper.

From: TXCazador
15-Jul-18
I Stihl don't understand why most of you have 2 of the same saw-- 1 in use while the other is in the shop?

15-Jul-18
Does this thread take me back to my teenager days! Used what I remember was a McCullock 44A. Three of our families heated with wood in the winters of NNY and I was sent from the hay fields come Aug. to cut, split, and haul over 100 face cords before school came in Sept. It was a beast to get running but once started I could do a nasty job on the tall maples and beeches. Easily could fell enough trees in one day. Blocking/splitting was the time killer. Husky or Sthils...the bigger ones today seem the better. Do not forget your Kevlar chaps....did not use mine one day last spring and touched my left knee a bit.

15-Jul-18
TX..have a big Husky for big OK oaks downed by tornadoes/winds and two smaller Sthils for the smaller stuff and limbing. None of the saws have ever been in the shop for anything major...just tuning. Have more than 2 just because......

From: PECO
15-Jul-18
I have 2 Husqvarnas, and my next saw, not that I'll ever need one, with be a Husqvarna. Go with a Rancher 455, you won't be disappointed. Stihl is a good saw, but you will pay for the name.

From: Preston Lay
15-Jul-18
Seems like Stihl and Husky are popular! Here's my story. I bought a Stihl 026 in 1991. Its never not started and I still use it. It could do a commercial for quality, no telling much that little dude has cut! In 2005 I bought a MS260 pro. Its a really nice saw, big enough for heavy work but not too big for light stuff. Seems like the argument between which of the two are better, could go on and on. Obvious that both are quality saws.

From: lv2bohunt
15-Jul-18
TXCazador We Obviously can’t use the same saw with our Lowas, our Danners and our Crispis.

From: Arrowhead
15-Jul-18
I was going to say Stihl, but I think someone beat me to it.

From: woodguy65
15-Jul-18
"I Stihl don't understand why most of you have 2 of the same saw-- 1 in use while the other is in the shop?"

One for felling tree's and cutting them up, the other for cutting stumps even with the ground. I cut all stump even with the ground so if I ever go back in the area and weeds grow up I don't loose a differential or jack the blade on my bush hog up. Cutting stumps will dull the chit out of a saw. You will be constantly replacing or sharpening blade. Also if you cut a lot of wood, you may run into a rotten tree or rotten part of a tree. Same thing applies, use the back-up saw with the dull blade to cut the rotten tree. Anytime you even touch the dirt (for a half second) with a chainsaw the blade gets dulled. Finally you may use a smaller saw for 90% of your cuts but every once in a while you cut a giant tree, go to the bigger saw. Crap happens, if you cut a lot of wood, you don't want to be an hour from home and something happen to your saw - if so you have a back-up. I have 3 -18's and a 25, all Stihl.

From: cnelk
15-Jul-18

cnelk's embedded Photo
cnelk's embedded Photo
My backup saw is a Husky. I have a ripping chain on it for some DIY projects. It’s ok, but not the saw my Stihl is.

From: Dale06
17-Jul-18
Stihl, and be done with it.

From: drycreek
17-Jul-18
I'm actually chain saw poor. I own a Husky with a 20" bar, older model, but in really good shape, made before they sold in big box stores, an old Stihl that's about worn out, and a Stihl pole saw. A month or so ago I bought a Greenworks battery powered saw with a 16" bar. I thought that would be a good saw to keep in my truck, not have to haul stinking, spilling gas, and be light and handy. So far, I'm pretty damn impressed ! I did some random trimming at home and then this week trimmed some limbs and saplings that were hitting my tractor when I mowed. I had a brushpile to be burned that had a large dead tree that needed cut in a couple places so I could wrap it back around on the pile. This tree was too big for my 16" bar so I had to cut from both sides. The electric saw did great. Tool less chain adjustment, push button start, light, and cuts better than I expected. I think my next move is to sell my Stihl pole saw and buy an electric.

From: Stringwacker
18-Jul-18
In regard to the previous post; I bought an EGO electric saw with a 16" bar and have been blown away by its performance. I'm not trying to say its better than a gas powered saw; but if has its advantages for people with just an occasional use.

From: BOHUNTER09
18-Jul-18
Last year I bought a Kobalt 40 volt pole saw. I loaned it to two different neighbors and each was so impressed that they also bought themselves one. Makes cleaning up around stands, field edges and home much easier. They are sold at Lowes

From: bfisherman11
18-Jul-18
Just chiming in here a bit late but I had a Poulan and I actually gave it away because it would get hot and cut out... I have a Jonsered at my hunting property. This thing is awesome and Husqvarna (bought it used) at my home. Also a good saw.

I know you have already made your choice but I wanted to add that you can take the mystery out of chainsaw chain sharpening pretty easy. I bought the el cheapo electric chainsaw sharpener from Harbor freight. This thing works great and I have not had to buy a new chain since I got it. I have probably 4-5 chains that I sharpen and I always have a sharp one on hand now.

Bill

From: LesWelch
18-Jul-18
Wow. I've never saw a thread here that was so unanimous. Nice. Perfect timing as my Jonsered shit the bed last week. Stihl it is I guess.

19-Jul-18
Don’t do it. I run saws daily. Stihl, husky, jonsonred, dolmar, and even echo. The best deal in non commercial saws is echo. The best bang for the buck in commercial grade equipment is huskvarna. Stihl is fine. But, they are expensive. Save 25-30% by buying a husky. You get a saw that will run harder, for longer, is lighter, and much more affordable to work on if you end up having to do so. They simply out last the competition.

From: RonG
20-Jul-18
Hey you home owners, stihl will work for you if you are cutting balsa, but if you want a real saw Mcculloch is the real saw.....Ha!Ha!.........The old ones, not sure about the new breed.

Used one for many years cutting timber, I averaged 112 trees a day cut down and cut up. I had a couple Stihls, but they are homeowner saws, try a good Husky with a 3/8th chain and you will be slinging wood for sure.

The still bars and blades won't hold up cutting cypress or southern pine, which ever one you get make sure it has a manual oiler on it the automatics don't put out enough. Unless of course you are just using one occationally it won't matter which one you get.

From: RonG
20-Jul-18
Hey you home owners, stihl will work for you if you are cutting balsa, but if you want a real saw Mcculloch is the real saw.....Ha!Ha!.........The old ones, not sure about the new breed.

Used one for many years cutting timber, I averaged 112 trees a day cut down and cut up. I had a couple Stihls, but they are homeowner saws, try a good Husky with a 3/8th chain and you will be slinging wood for sure.

The still bars and blades won't hold up cutting cypress or southern pine, which ever one you get make sure it has a manual oiler on it the automatics don't put out enough. Unless of course you are just using one occationally it won't matter which one you get.

From: Duke
20-Jul-18
Woodguy nailed it... Always have two saws when I’m working. It's also nice to have one if bar gets wedged into a downed tree that needs pressure relieved with a second saw... My workhorse is a Stihl with my secondary being a Dolmar. I love cutting all winter with my kids and a couple friends. Be safe with gear, technique, and a brusher on hand or at minimum a phone in your pocket.

From: Newhunter1
22-Jul-18
I was the foreman for a small tree cutting company when I was 17-18 years old. I worked for him when I was 16 and learned the trade real quick. We had stihl's and other chain saws. The others were constantly breaking down or quit cutting when they got to hot. The stihl kept right on working. I bought the Stihl farmboss and had it almost 20 years. I traded it to a guy who was getting a lawn care company started...he had zero funds and needed a chainsaw. I traded him my chainsaw to clean up my property of overgrown brush. Took him about 4-6 hours of backbreaking labor and he got my chainsaw. That was about 6-7 years ago and the that same stihl is still working away. Two years ago I bought another stihl chainsaw and haven't looked back. Now, my father in law about 10 years ago bought a huskavara and that thing took 2 hours to get started when he first got it. He finally threw it away and now uses my stihl.

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