High Use or Professional Chainsaws

NorthwoodsLife

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Kubota B7100, Kubota LX2610
Oct 15, 2021
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I'm looking for a 20", or a little larger bar - chainsaw. I currently have a Stihl 180 with 16" bar and it's not enough power or length for some of the trees I need to fell. And it falls short for other work I need to do on my property. I'm also considering getting one of those chainsaw mills for future projects. My typical tree diameter is about 18".

I was thinking the Stihl 271 Farm Boss, (I'm on a 40 - plus acre forest - farm), but I'm now considering something more along the lines of a professional saw.

I have owned Stihl, Echo, and some other branded saws over the years. I am open to your valued experience and suggestions. But I do prefer Stihl due to their reputation, customer service, and my personal experience. Echo never let me down, but Stihl was always the best I've used.

I've never owned a Husqvarna, but I am Swedish in heritage. LOL. I think those are designed in Sweden and made in China. But correct me if I'm wrong. Please.

Stihl is European designed, and the products here in the USA, are USA made. I think.

I know that the "Pro" saws typically have bearings instead of bushings, metal instead of plastic, and are generally built better or tougher. Some weight more, some weight less.

Any suggestions you might have would be greatly appreciated.

I'll pay up to $1,000 US if it's quality and worth it in the long run. I'm not spending over that on a saw. I have my limits.

Thank you in advance.
 

Trapper Bob

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L4701, Wicked grapple, 6’ bush hog, pallet forks, 7’ box blade
Jan 17, 2022
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I have a Stihl 250/18” bar & 311/20” bar. The 250 has great power to weight & is my “go to” saw. I do have plenty of hedge trees on my property & need the 311 for the bigger trees. The 311 made this cut just fine, 33” hedge. It’s my technique that needs help. Captain Hindsight showed up & told me what I should have done.
9B8F1D57-353B-42FD-B00E-586B3CE7518B.jpeg
 
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Flintknapper

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L2350DT
May 3, 2022
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Deep East Texas
Sounds to me like you would be better served with a saw in the 60cc displacement realm.

Typically they will be fitted with a 20" bar but capable of pulling a 24"-25" bar with full complement chain.

Naturally, a 'Pro' saw will outlast a lesser saw....but each property owner should weigh the added cost against the need (actual usage anticipated). I always opt for pro saws....but I have timber on my property ranging from 12" to over 48".

I don't do a lot of 'felling' (mostly cutting blow-downs, and bucking firewood) but it is important IMO to have enough saw to power through certain cuts when felling.
 
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edritchey

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A bunch of cute little Kubotas
Jul 19, 2014
794
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Wellsville, PA
I'm looking for a 20", or a little larger bar - chainsaw. I currently have a Stihl 180 with 16" bar and it's not enough power or length for some of the trees I need to fell. And it falls short for other work I need to do on my property. I'm also considering getting one of those chainsaw mills for future projects. My typical tree diameter is about 18".

I was thinking the Stihl 271 Farm Boss, (I'm on a 40 - plus acre forest - farm), but I'm now considering something more along the lines of a professional saw.

I have owned Stihl, Echo, and some other branded saws over the years. I am open to your valued experience and suggestions. But I do prefer Stihl due to their reputation, customer service, and my personal experience. Echo never let me down, but Stihl was always the best I've used.

I've never owned a Husqvarna, but I am Swedish in heritage. LOL. I think those are designed in Sweden and made in China. But correct me if I'm wrong. Please.

Stihl is European designed, and the products here in the USA, are USA made. I think.

I know that the "Pro" saws typically have bearings instead of bushings, metal instead of plastic, and are generally built better or tougher. Some weight more, some weight less.

Any suggestions you might have would be greatly appreciated.

I'll pay up to $1,000 US if it's quality and worth it in the long run. I'm not spending over that on a saw. I have my limits.

Thank you in advance.
You can get a Echo CS590 for under 400 bucks and it's a good reliable 59cc saw that won't break the bank. It will handle a 20~24 inch bar no problem.
 
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rc51stierhoff

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B2650, MX6000
Sep 13, 2021
672
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Professional saws, at least in the stihl family IMO are built much more heavy (even the fasteners) duty all the way around, but it’s not free. Stihl is German company, it’s sort of hit or miss which products have made in USA on them. I think it sort of depends on what you plan to do with it and how often. Personally I think a brand new sharp chain can make all the difference in how much you like/hate the saw in your hand. That being said there is no comparison between a farm boss and a professional saw. I have a 291 FB and a 461 (as well as an in tree 194) and the 461 is a great saw. Doesn’t matter it weighs a couple pounds more, With that much power it makes your work easier in that you don’t have to fight the saw…it just cuts through the hardest stuff like butter. I am happy with all my stihls but especially both (461 and 194)of my pro saws and would replace either of them with another pro saw. No matter which you choose, keeping air cleaner clean and have the Oiler set right as well as sharp chain most important IMO. I don’t under stand the black box electronics on something like that as tough for normal person to tune or adjust in the field. The amount of fuel you save with black box can’t be much…I’d rather not be carrying a brick in the woods if something no workee.
 
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RCW

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Professional saws, at least in the stihl family IMO are built much more heavy (even the fasteners) duty all the way around, but it’s not free.
True. Performance is much different also.

I put down my older pro Stihl 046 Magnum and picked up a new Stihl 390 to continue cutting in large hard maple.

What a difference. 390 felt/sounded de-tuned compared to the pro saw.

Look at a Stihl MS362. Pro saw. Been intrigued with that model myself. Not sure I'm a fan of the electronics version (CM).
 
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Matt Ellerbee

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MX6000
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Mmmmmm chainsaws. Everyone should own a few.
28771222-4196-48BB-8EF3-230FBFDC0688.jpeg


If you are thinking about a 24” bar, I would look at, at least 70cc saws. A bigger power head can run a smaller bar, but not the other way around.
 
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JimmyJazz

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B2601
Aug 8, 2020
892
501
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Pittsburgh, Pa
I bought a Stihl MS 462 R C-M maybe 2 years ago. I thought for a couple of hundred extra dollars why not get a good one. It cuts great. A big difference between it and my first homeowner saw , a Stihl model 170. You only live once (unless you are a Buddhist). I say go for it.
 

Matt Ellerbee

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I bought a Stihl MS 462 R C-M maybe 2 years ago. I thought for a couple of hundred extra dollars why not get a good one. It cuts great. A big difference between it and my first homeowner saw , a Stihl model 170. You only live once (unless you are a Buddhist). I say go for it.
We have a 462 at work, that is a healthy saw.
 

TheOldHokie

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L3901/LA525, B7200DT/B1630, G2160/RCK60, G2460/RCK60
Apr 6, 2021
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I'm looking for a 20", or a little larger bar - chainsaw. I currently have a Stihl 180 with 16" bar and it's not enough power or length for some of the trees I need to fell. And it falls short for other work I need to do on my property. I'm also considering getting one of those chainsaw mills for future projects. My typical tree diameter is about 18".

I was thinking the Stihl 271 Farm Boss, (I'm on a 40 - plus acre forest - farm), but I'm now considering something more along the lines of a professional saw.

I have owned Stihl, Echo, and some other branded saws over the years. I am open to your valued experience and suggestions. But I do prefer Stihl due to their reputation, customer service, and my personal experience. Echo never let me down, but Stihl was always the best I've used.

I've never owned a Husqvarna, but I am Swedish in heritage. LOL. I think those are designed in Sweden and made in China. But correct me if I'm wrong. Please.

Stihl is European designed, and the products here in the USA, are USA made. I think.

I know that the "Pro" saws typically have bearings instead of bushings, metal instead of plastic, and are generally built better or tougher. Some weight more, some weight less.

Any suggestions you might have would be greatly appreciated.

I'll pay up to $1,000 US if it's quality and worth it in the long run. I'm not spending over that on a saw. I have my limits.

Thank you in advance.
Chainsaws are made with parts and in factories from around the world including China and that includes all of the big names like Stihl, Jonsered, Husqvarna, Echo, etc.

I own several smaller Husqvarna and Echo saws. After talking to a couple local professionals about their saws and comparing prices I opted for a Husqvarna 372XP (70cc) at about half the cost of a comparable Stihl. I have owned it for two years and with a 24" bar and full chisel pro chain it loves to eat. It is a picky cold starter and very easy to flood but once you learn and follow the drill it starts very easily and reliably. Could not be happier.

YMMV,

Dan
 
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Jchonline

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Oct 28, 2018
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I'm looking for a 20", or a little larger bar - chainsaw. I currently have a Stihl 180 with 16" bar and it's not enough power or length for some of the trees I need to fell. And it falls short for other work I need to do on my property. I'm also considering getting one of those chainsaw mills for future projects. My typical tree diameter is about 18".

I was thinking the Stihl 271 Farm Boss, (I'm on a 40 - plus acre forest - farm), but I'm now considering something more along the lines of a professional saw.

I have owned Stihl, Echo, and some other branded saws over the years. I am open to your valued experience and suggestions. But I do prefer Stihl due to their reputation, customer service, and my personal experience. Echo never let me down, but Stihl was always the best I've used.

I've never owned a Husqvarna, but I am Swedish in heritage. LOL. I think those are designed in Sweden and made in China. But correct me if I'm wrong. Please.

Stihl is European designed, and the products here in the USA, are USA made. I think.

I know that the "Pro" saws typically have bearings instead of bushings, metal instead of plastic, and are generally built better or tougher. Some weight more, some weight less.

Any suggestions you might have would be greatly appreciated.

I'll pay up to $1,000 US if it's quality and worth it in the long run. I'm not spending over that on a saw. I have my limits.

Thank you in advance.
MS 362 is a great saw with a 20” bar. I usually run a 25 ultralight, but 20 works fine. I do recommend getting an ultralight bar.
 
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Fordtech86

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L3200
Aug 7, 2018
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I was thinking the Stihl 271 Farm Boss, (I'm on a 40 - plus acre forest - farm), but I'm now considering something more along the lines of a professional saw.
I started with the 271, sold it after a year and went with the ms391. Much happier, the 271 seemed pretty under powered with 18” bar on it.
 
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WoodKutter

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L4600 John Deere 750, John Deere 420
Apr 15, 2022
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Vermont and Northern Maine
If you cut a significant amount of wood, a pro saw is the only way to go. Husky, Stihl kind of a Ford vs. Chevy thing. I have many saws but 90% of my cutting is done with a 50cc and a 70cc combo.
As far as a chainsaw mill goes, a saw much bigger than you'd want to carry is a painfully slow way to make lumber. Let us know what you decide.
 
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PoTreeBoy

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Mar 24, 2020
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I can't help with specific models, but I'd say it's much like buying a tractor. Local dealer support is important. Even within the big 3, there seem to be models that users like and others they don't. Hopefully, you have a good dealer who'll let you use the one you choose at his shop.

A few years ago I bought a EA5000 50cc 20" Makita (former Sachs Dolmar). It was their semi-pro version. I haven't used it a lot, but it's night and day between a homeowner or farm and ranch type saw. Smooth, easy start, responsive.

You'll like using a top-level saw. If you're looking at a 24" bar, I'd recommend 60 - 70cc, depending on how often you expect to use its full capacity.
 
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woodman55

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L6060HSTC, RTV 1100
May 15, 2022
250
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canada
A sharp chain is a big factor. I would rather use a smaller saw with a sharp chain than a bigger saw with a dull/poorly sharpened chain. With a 20 inch bar 60cc would be the bare minimum.
 
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NorthwoodsLife

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Kubota B7100, Kubota LX2610
Oct 15, 2021
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You can get a Echo CS590 for under 400 bucks and it's a good reliable 59cc saw that won't break the bank. It will handle a 20~24 inch bar no problem.
I did some youtube videos on this saw, and I immediately realized that I had this saw, (TimberWolf) many years ago but ended up selling it. I don't know if it was the CS590 back then, but it never gave me any issues.

I'm still researching.
Thank you for the info.
 

NorthwoodsLife

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Kubota B7100, Kubota LX2610
Oct 15, 2021
169
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Professional saws, at least in the stihl family IMO are built much more heavy (even the fasteners) duty all the way around, but it’s not free. Stihl is German company, it’s sort of hit or miss which products have made in USA on them. I think it sort of depends on what you plan to do with it and how often. Personally I think a brand new sharp chain can make all the difference in how much you like/hate the saw in your hand. That being said there is no comparison between a farm boss and a professional saw. I have a 291 FB and a 461 (as well as an in tree 194) and the 461 is a great saw. Doesn’t matter it weighs a couple pounds more, With that much power it makes your work easier in that you don’t have to fight the saw…it just cuts through the hardest stuff like butter. I am happy with all my stihls but especially both (461 and 194)of my pro saws and would replace either of them with another pro saw. No matter which you choose, keeping air cleaner clean and have the Oiler set right as well as sharp chain most important IMO. I don’t under stand the black box electronics on something like that as tough for normal person to tune or adjust in the field. The amount of fuel you save with black box can’t be much…I’d rather not be carrying a brick in the woods if something no workee.
This is my line of thinking too. Get a Pro saw and Stihl's dealer backup.

Thank you.
 

NorthwoodsLife

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Kubota B7100, Kubota LX2610
Oct 15, 2021
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Thanks to everyone's comments, I've sort of narrowed it down to the Stihl MS362 CM or non-CM. The Stihl 462. Or the Stihl 391.

But I still have to look into Husky.

For the money it looks like the MS 362 is a Pro saw I can live with.

The Stihl dealer network is a big plus for me, compared to buying an Echo from Home Depot.

I'll let ya'll know what I end up with.

Thanks to all for their advice.
 
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Jchonline

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A sharp chain is a big factor. I would rather use a smaller saw with a sharp chain than a bigger saw with a dull/poorly sharpened chain. With a 20 inch bar 60cc would be the bare minimum.
I run a 25" bar on a 62CC saw at 8600 ft. MS362, runs just fine. However I am all soft wood (pine, fir, aspen) so that has a huge impact.
 
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