High Use or Professional Chainsaws

WDF

Member

Equipment
Kubota L2501 HST/FEL
Jan 4, 2021
47
39
18
Central Florida
I hope that when you read this, that your still sitting down.
I called a Stihl dealer and he said it's out of stock and wouldn't quote me over the phone.
I've seen them advertised online for about $2,000 US dollars.
It's like buying a motorcycle.

What the wife doesn't know won't hurt her.

Seriously, I can't pull off what I want. The Stihl MS500 I. I really don't need it, but I want it.

I'll probably settle for a MS362. About $900 US. Which is a Pro saw and not a slouch.
Couple months back I stopped in the JD dealer to order a part for my tractor. They carry full line of Stihl. I asked about the 500i, was told "Impossible to get, must order AND prepay $1429". Declined and left. Next week when picking up the part, guess what there were two 500i's on the shelf - "Must be a fluke we never get those in".
 
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Ridelght

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Equipment
2022 Kubota L4060 Polaris Rangerxp800 Ford 3400
Feb 16, 2022
421
287
63
Ohio
Couple months back I stopped in the JD dealer to order a part for my tractor. They carry full line of Stihl. I asked about the 500i, was told "Impossible to get, must order AND prepay $1429". Declined and left. Next week when picking up the part, guess what there were two 500i's on the shelf - "Must be a fluke we never get those in".
Sounds right.
 

Ridelght

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Equipment
2022 Kubota L4060 Polaris Rangerxp800 Ford 3400
Feb 16, 2022
421
287
63
Ohio
If you're still looking for opinions, here's mine. I have a significant investment in Stihl, Husqvarna, and Echo saws. Outside of Echo, don't even consider the consumer models, some of which you have listed. There's just not a big enough cost difference to account for the lesser quality (and heavier units).

For what you're describing you can go with any of the brands:
1. Stihl MS261cm. Great saw for a 18/20" bar. Around $600. Don't even consider those other 271/291/390. Wouldn't even consider a 362C-M with a 400C being available, and at any rate Stihl would be my last choice in saws today.
2. Echo CS501P/CS590. The 501p is a 50-CC pro saw, great cutter almost like the MS261C-M. Echo uses old school tech so no computers. I'm happiest with my Echo equipment (501p/590/7310p). The saw I use the most is an Echo CS352 with a 16" bar, bought on clearance from HD. If you're buying Echo look on sawsuppliers.com. HD also carries the CS4910 ($279) which is the non-pro 501p, and I'd recommend that one as well.
3. Husqvarna is another great brand. I have a pair of 545XP/MK2 saw running 18/20" bars. Great saws with Autotune very strong runners and cutters. HLSupply is a great place to buy Husky equipment online.

So, in order of brands I'll go 1. Echo, 2. Husqvarna, and 3. Stihl
Didn't know about 545xp before. 1 pound lighter than my 460. Both have adjustable oil flow. Cost not much difference 460 is 60.cc but hp same as smaller 545 per website. All i know is i have 8 years of use. Starts everybtime cuys very well. I think Echo brand is very good as well. Have the pro weed eater split shaft. Use all the time.
 

Magicman

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Equipment
M4900 Utility Special 4WD e/w FEL & 1530 John Deere "Traveling Man"
Oct 8, 2019
3,477
2,924
113
79
Brookhaven, MS
knotholesawmill.com
My Stihl dealer has had 500's ordered like "forever" and then last week two came in. Surprise.... Yup, $1500
 
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BAP

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Lifetime Member

Equipment
2012 Kubota 2920, 60MMM, FEL, BH65 48" Bush Hog, 60"Backblade, B2782B Snowblower
Dec 31, 2012
2,118
299
83
New Hampshire
I currently have a 550xp and 435xt Husky. Used to have bigger ones but downsized. Problem with buying Stihl is you can only buy parts from local dealers and around here, very little local dealers for Stihl, all chain stores. The chain stores don’t handle parts. Husky and Echo you can buy parts online through places like Partstree and Jackssmallengine. Stihl makes good products, but hard to get parts for unless you happen to have a close dealer that is good. I don’t like to be tied to 1 source myself.
 

Flintknapper

Well-known member

Equipment
L2350DT
May 3, 2022
346
408
63
Deep East Texas
I currently have a 550xp and 435xt Husky. Used to have bigger ones but downsized. Problem with buying Stihl is you can only buy parts from local dealers and around here, very little local dealers for Stihl, all chain stores. The chain stores don’t handle parts. Husky and Echo you can buy parts online through places like Partstree and Jackssmallengine. Stihl makes good products, but hard to get parts for unless you happen to have a close dealer that is good. I don’t like to be tied to 1 source myself.
^^^^^

Exactly why I don't own any Stihl products (motorized). I am very much rural and do most of my own repairs anyway. I refuse to be held 'hostage' on Stihl parts (or John Deere for that matter). They are good products, no question about that. And if you have a good dealer nearby....a great solution for many folks, just not for me.
 

Freeheeler

Well-known member

Equipment
b2650 tlb
Aug 16, 2018
622
384
63
Knoxville, TN
I'm a husqvarna guy.. I have a 550xp, (the wife likes this one), a 562 xp, a 572 xp, and a 390xp. My go to saw is the 562 xp... light powerful and runs a 20 or 24" bar with no issues. My dad keeps trying to steal it from me after running it a few times.
I have a smaller Husky, but I almost always use my 562 xp with 20" bar. Best, fasting cutting saw I've had.
 

Oil pan 4

Active member

Equipment
L185 turbo
Sep 21, 2017
215
25
28
NM
I bought my echo ms620 in 24'' for about $600 5 years ago. I believe it's a 59cc engine. Use it to cut standing dead elm which is pretty hard and run carbide chains. The carbide chains were not included and ran $220 each.
It always starts.
 

JWool

Member

Equipment
B2650HSDC FEL & Front Snow Blower, ZT-Z421, GL11000 Generator
Dec 29, 2013
95
15
8
Northern MI
I run a Husky 572xp which is a new version of the tried and true foresty saw 372xp which is a 70cc saw 14.5 lbs.
I am sure Stihl and Echo are also good commercial saws, I used a Echo 650 65cc in the 80's working for a forestry company that was a great performer.
 
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Trapper Bob

Member

Equipment
L4701, Wicked grapple, 6’ bush hog, pallet forks, 7’ box blade
Jan 17, 2022
48
50
18
62
Andover, KS
It may not be a “Pro Saw” (MS311), but gets the job done with money to spare. I’m just getting started on 65 acres of hedge & locust trees. This hedge tree is done. The next 15 to 20 trees will be in the 6”-10” dia. range (perfect for the MS250). Then, I will hit a bigger, twisted, nasty hedge, & get the larger saw. This is exactly why I think you will need/want multiple saws. Unless, you like carrying a heavy saw around. My 2 1/2 cents worth.
BDE8611B-C7D0-46E3-9E92-006B61AF73E8.jpeg
& the L4701 did help bring it down.
 
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Flintknapper

Well-known member

Equipment
L2350DT
May 3, 2022
346
408
63
Deep East Texas
I bought my echo ms620 in 24'' for about $600 5 years ago. I believe it's a 59cc engine. Use it to cut standing dead elm which is pretty hard and run carbide chains. The carbide chains were not included and ran $220 each.
It always starts.
I have an echo saw that I keep a carbide chain on. Use it for cutting stumps flush with the ground. Carbide chains don't cut as fast as traditional chain but they stay sharp for a long time and don't dull immediately if you get them in the dirt a bit.
 
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PoTreeBoy

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Equipment
L35 Ford 3930
Mar 24, 2020
1,293
517
113
WestTn/NoMs
I have an echo saw that I keep a carbide chain on. Use it for cutting stumps flush with the ground. Carbide chains don't cut as fast as traditional chain but they stay sharp for a long time and don't dull immediately if you get them in the dirt a bit.
I was wondering about that. I use 9" brush blades on my brush cutter and went to carbide. They don't cut as fast out of the box, but I get several weeks out of one as opposed to half a day before sharpening. I haven't been successful sharpening the carbide so far.
 

Oil pan 4

Active member

Equipment
L185 turbo
Sep 21, 2017
215
25
28
NM
I have an echo saw that I keep a carbide chain on. Use it for cutting stumps flush with the ground. Carbide chains don't cut as fast as traditional chain but they stay sharp for a long time and don't dull immediately if you get them in the dirt a bit.
A curious thing happens here. If I cut a stump off even to the grade or below grade about 2 years later the stump is sticking up.
So I cut the tree as close to the dirt as possible with out getting the saw full of dirt and use my home made stump grinder on it and really put it below grade.
 

Oil pan 4

Active member

Equipment
L185 turbo
Sep 21, 2017
215
25
28
NM
I have an echo saw that I keep a carbide chain on. Use it for cutting stumps flush with the ground. Carbide chains don't cut as fast as traditional chain but they stay sharp for a long time and don't dull immediately if you get them in the dirt a bit.
A curious thing happens here. If I cut a stump off even to the grade or below grade about 2 years later the stump is sticking up and not just a little bit, enough to catch a mower deck.
So I cut the tree as close to the dirt as possible with put getting the saw full of dirt and use my home made stump grinder on it and really put it below grade.
Running side by side give a carbide chain vs the standard chain about 20 minutes in this environment and the carbide will be cutting faster on dry dead wood.
 

Flintknapper

Well-known member

Equipment
L2350DT
May 3, 2022
346
408
63
Deep East Texas
I was wondering about that. I use 9" brush blades on my brush cutter and went to carbide. They don't cut as fast out of the box, but I get several weeks out of one as opposed to half a day before sharpening. I haven't been successful sharpening the carbide so far.
Yeah carbide has to be ground (diamond bit) to be sharpened. Use can use a diamond impregnated file.....but it hasn't ever worked out well for me. But like you say....they last a long time.

I use my Echo SRM410U (42cc) brush cutter with a 9" 'Beaver Blade' to remove small trees and shrubs (up to 4") then use by Echo saw with carbide blade to cut the stumps flush with the ground before treating them with a herbicide to insure no 'suckers' sprout back up.
 

PoTreeBoy

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Lifetime Member

Equipment
L35 Ford 3930
Mar 24, 2020
1,293
517
113
WestTn/NoMs
Yeah carbide has to be ground (diamond bit) to be sharpened. Use can use a diamond impregnated file.....but it hasn't ever worked out well for me. But like you say....they last a long time.

I use my Echo SRM410U (42cc) brush cutter with a 9" 'Beaver Blade' to remove small trees and shrubs (up to 4") then use by Echo saw with carbide blade to cut the stumps flush with the ground before treating them with a herbicide to insure no 'suckers' sprout back up.
I use a Toro with 9" Forester blades + Crossbow w/diesel to get sweetgum and Russian/august olive. The bigger ones get chainsawed.
 
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Dieseldonato

Well-known member

Equipment
B7510 hydro, yanmar ym146, cub cadet 1450, 582,782
Mar 15, 2022
695
397
63
Pa
On the saw forums I frequent, I haven't read of any shortages. I know Stihl has updated the module, first it was white, now it is black, I think, might have it backwards. Seems to be good reviews out of the newer module, the first generation, like anything, had its problems.
When I needed a new carb for my old husqy 562xp the dealer couldn't get one for months and ended up calling 3 other dealers till I settled on buying a stihl ms400cm. It seems the area you live vs availability varies vastly.
 

Dieseldonato

Well-known member

Equipment
B7510 hydro, yanmar ym146, cub cadet 1450, 582,782
Mar 15, 2022
695
397
63
Pa
If you're still looking for opinions, here's mine. I have a significant investment in Stihl, Husqvarna, and Echo saws. Outside of Echo, don't even consider the consumer models, some of which you have listed. There's just not a big enough cost difference to account for the lesser quality (and heavier units).

For what you're describing you can go with any of the brands:
1. Stihl MS261cm. Great saw for a 18/20" bar. Around $600. Don't even consider those other 271/291/390. Wouldn't even consider a 362C-M with a 400C being available, and at any rate Stihl would be my last choice in saws today.
2. Echo CS501P/CS590. The 501p is a 50-CC pro saw, great cutter almost like the MS261C-M. Echo uses old school tech so no computers. I'm happiest with my Echo equipment (501p/590/7310p). The saw I use the most is an Echo CS352 with a 16" bar, bought on clearance from HD. If you're buying Echo look on sawsuppliers.com. HD also carries the CS4910 ($279) which is the non-pro 501p, and I'd recommend that one as well.
3. Husqvarna is another great brand. I have a pair of 545XP/MK2 saw running 18/20" bars. Great saws with Autotune very strong runners and cutters. HLSupply is a great place to buy Husky equipment online.

So, in order of brands I'll go 1. Echo, 2. Husqvarna, and 3. Stihl
I agree, echo makes a fine saw, but for the price differance husqy/stihl is the way to go for hard use. I also agree there is no point to buying the ms362 over the ms400, the 400 kicks the 362 in the pants and weight isn't a big difference between the two.
 

Dieseldonato

Well-known member

Equipment
B7510 hydro, yanmar ym146, cub cadet 1450, 582,782
Mar 15, 2022
695
397
63
Pa
Late the party, been too busy to log in lately. I cut a fair amount of wood in a year, mill some with a Alaskan mill. I also get a lot of friends and families ope to fix and keep going. Never been a brand snob, i buy what i can get my hands on when im in need. Ive had moatly husqy over the years, but owned various stihl, echo, mcculloch, and zenoah saws.
I just recently git rid of a 2012 and 2015 Husqvarna 562xp. Was clearing out a tree line and had issues with one of them. (The 2015) Ended up needing a new carb and ignition module (auto tune model) saw had the original carb on it, but due to availability (lack of) and being sick of slinging my husqy 390xp ti finish they day out. I ended up buying a stihl ms400cm. Pretty much because it's what I could get my hands on the next morning,as I had to get the tree line finished that day.
It's a very impressive saw, very light and hasn't experienced any of the hot start issues that quite a few of the earlier autotune/m-tronic saws had. There's really not much to fear as far as the electronics on them. The newer stihls also have very good air filter system. (At least the 400cm does.)
I paid right around $900.00 for it, it was a bit more expensive then an ms362. But not enough that I would have bought the ms362.
Now if I could have bought another husqy 562xp I would have. Great saws. Mine were just old and tired, and I couldn't cone up with a new one, so went stihl.
 

Daren Todd

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Lifetime Member

Equipment
Z121S Zero turn mower
May 18, 2014
7,331
1,500
113
Conway, Arkansas
I've got a Husky 455 Rancher. Haven't met a tree it can't handle yet. Sure, all pine variations, but still some big trees. Do a lot of volunteer/donated firewood too (yard currently has approx 90 cords in various stages of drying.)
I have the same saw. Worked the living snot out of it for days on end during cleanup after 2 tornados came through the area. Trees were mature mixed oak varieties.

I nicknamed it old faithful. Top it up with gas and chain oil. In about 3 cranks, it's running. Won't quit till its out of fuel.

Had 2 Stihl saws, an echo, poulon and a craftsman saw running around me. The craftsman was dead after a couple tanks of gas and wouldn't start the rest of the day. The poulan wouldn't start after the first tank of gas. Both stihls and the echo were dead by noon and wouldn't start the rest of the day.

My 455 started every time. And the only time it got shut off was when it ran out of fuel. Then it got sharpened, topped up with gas and oil, bar sprocket greased and was back at it.

One stihl that was brought along wouldn't start at all. If you choose to go with a stihl, stay away from the easy start models. Pull the cord, release it. Then it cranks over. Everyone I've seen over the years has always been extremely finicky.
 
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