small chainsaw recommendations

dirtydeed

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B2650 BH77, BX23TLBM, box blade, rear blade, flail mower, Stump Grinder
Dec 8, 2017
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Wind Gap, PA
Hey folks,

I'm looking for some recommendations in a smaller saw...in the 16" category. I currently have a Husq 455 20" that wears me out cutting the small stuff. Most of my trees are in the 8-16" trunk diameter and limbing with the 455 gets tiring (yes, I'm getting older and no longer have the strength or stamina I used to have). I readily admit that now.

I'd like something lightweight with decent power and under $400. Gas powered only. It wouldn't need to be a professional model for daily use.

We've been crushed here with both gypsy months (wiping out oaks) and the emerald ash bore. Lots of hardwood maples too.

My intent is to not start a saw war, only looking for suggestions (primarily Husq and Stihl models).

Thanks in advance.
 

ehenry

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BX22, FEL, BH, 40" pto tiller, 42" Bushog Squealer, pto hole digger, B7300 w/60"
Mar 25, 2014
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I have a Husq 141 16" bar that I've had for 20 years. No complaints with it. I did replace the carburetor maybe 3 years ago. It still cranks and runs strong. If I had to buy another one I'd go with a comparable Husqvarna or Stihl and who ever gives the better price.
 
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RCW

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I bought a little used Stihl MS211 a few years ago. 16" bar that I can put a "real" chain on.

Works decent - was cutting down some stuff of that size last week. It's no speed-demon, but gets the job done. Guessing less than 10 pounds?

It's nowhere near the saw of my Stihl 046 Magnum, but I seldom need that much saw anymore. Like you, I'm not up to that much saw anymore, either...:(
 
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b12

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Dec 8, 2009
40
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6
Maine
I have two bigger Sthil saws but I hardly use them anymore since I got
my Echo CS-400 which has served me very well.

I got mine from an Echo dealer,
but I noticed the local Home Depot also carries them.
 
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SRG

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B8200D 4WD........ JD 870, FWA, 300x FEL.......... JD 797, 72" Z-Trak
Jul 15, 2017
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N. IL
Funny, I'm looking to get a 455/460 or MS291/MS311, because my little Hoosky 235 with 14" b/c, is too small for the trees I need to take down. It's been a great little Home Depot bought non pro saw for the 8 years I've owned it. I don't know if they make a 235 anymore.

The battery saws are light and fast, and the battery's last a long time from my experience using both Dewalts, and Milwaukees at work, topping poles out.
Edit; And, they are super quiet, much easier on the hearing aids. Since you're getting older. Not too mention, no pull starting it.
 
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Tughill Tom

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B3200
Dec 23, 2013
620
329
63
Turin, NY
Hey folks,

I'm looking for some recommendations in a smaller saw...in the 16" category. I currently have a Husq 455 20" that wears me out cutting the small stuff. Most of my trees are in the 8-16" trunk diameter and limbing with the 455 gets tiring (yes, I'm getting older and no longer have the strength or stamina I used to have). I readily admit that now.

I'd like something lightweight with decent power and under $400. Gas powered only. It wouldn't need to be a professional model for daily use.

We've been crushed here with both gypsy months (wiping out oaks) and the emerald ash bore. Lots of hardwood maples too.

My intent is to not start a saw war, only looking for suggestions (primarily Husq and Stihl models).

Thanks in advance.
I have an Stihl MS 192 with a 14" bar, I can't say any thing bad about this saw. Lite, great on gas and oil, plenty of power. I only use it for brushing out the bigger stuff and smaller trees up about 10", after that the Farm Boss 20" comes out.
Overall its been bullet proof over the last 8 or 9 years in use.
Only have used Stihl Sliver oil and 89% octane gas in all my Stihl equipment.
 
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RCW

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Dirty - one thing I eluded to was the ability to use a real chain.

My 211 will take a Stihl square tooth chain that is not anti-kickback. It will actually cut with one of those.

I haven’t used a low-kickback chain since I was a youngster, and have no intention to go back.

Honestly, I would suggest going to a Stihl or Husky dealer; don’t buy from a big box. JMHO.


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torch

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Jun 10, 2016
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Muskoka, Ont.
I have a Stihl 025 "homeowner's" saw that I bought 30 or so years ago. The current version is called the MS250. I have bigger saws for bigger work, but the 025 is the go-to saw for most things.

It's the little one in the foreground:



My son has an MS261C-M. Slightly heavier, but very nicely balanced with a bit more power. However, it's one of Stihl's "Pro" line, and comes with a bigger price tag.
 

bearskinner

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BX25D, snowblower, PHD, Grapple, Snow blade, land Plane
Sep 1, 2014
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Agreed, the Stihl MS 261C-M is an awesome saw and very light for its size
 

dirtydeed

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Thanks for the suggestions. I appreciate them.

Was kind of eyeing the Husq 435. It's really a homeowner saw which would be fine for what I need. As you eluded to RCW, I think its a narrow kerf saw, so I'm not sure what chain types would be suited for it and if it would have the power necessary for an aggressive chain. I don't care for safety chains either.

I run mostly stihl rapid cut and oregon full skips on the 455. It has plenty of power for those chains. I can't say enough about the stihl 2 in 1 sharpener. Been using one for a while and I think it does a fantastic job on the chains with little effort. Great tool worth every bit of $40.
 

Toyman

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B7100HST, 1630 Loader, CL Tiller, Befco 4' Rotary Mower; M4050, Woods Cadet 84
Apr 15, 2019
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Pittsburgh
I have a Husqvarna 435 refurb that I picked up last year for around $150. It's been great after a quick tune and real chain. 9.2# for the head and I have a 16" bar on it.

Just saw the last post: I use/have used Oregon 20LPX with good results.
 
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nbryan

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B2650 BH77 LA534 54" ssqa Forks B2782B BB1560 Woods M5-4 MaxxHaul 50039
Jan 3, 2019
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Hadashville, Manitoba, Canada
My 30 year old Stihl 029 with 16" bar runs like a champ. I've never even had the carb rebuilt. Suggestion: only use premium gas, Stihl mix oil, and add some Sea Foam in recommended amount to gas when you fill your jerry cans.

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dirtydeed

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Wind Gap, PA
Thanks guys. I'm now considering the husq 440. Basically the same as the 435 with just a tad more hp and still light weight. I may even get an 18" bar, that way I can use it for most tasks and save the 455 for the larger duty stuff. maybe I'll find a memorial day sale within the next two weeks.

I understand the following that Stihl has, but, I've had such good luck with my Husq that I think I'll just stick with the same brand.

Thanks again for all your suggestions.
 

Tim Horton

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Mar 22, 2018
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We also have a Husky 455. Like said cuts like an animal, but heavy, quite thirsty, and for an old guy drains strength and stamina quickly. I only use it for short times in easy to use places. Or give it to a young guy to use when help is available.

My go to saw is a Stihl MS 170. Small and light to be easy to handle. The model that is always on sale. I keep extra bars and chains on hand, change them often and have gotten much more life out of this saw than many believe it is capable of.

I've had people comment, what can you do with that little thing ?? Well, they got surprised at what it and an old guy can do.
 

leoric

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B2650 since 2018. BH77, LA534, Forks, 60" Bucket, 60" Mid mount mower
Mar 13, 2019
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We also have a Husky 455. Like said cuts like an animal, but heavy, quite thirsty, and for an old guy drains strength and stamina quickly. I only use it for short times in easy to use places. Or give it to a young guy to use when help is available.

My go to saw is a Stihl MS 170. Small and light to be easy to handle. The model that is always on sale. I keep extra bars and chains on hand, change them often and have gotten much more life out of this saw than many believe it is capable of.

I've had people comment, what can you do with that little thing ?? Well, they got surprised at what it and an old guy can do.

Completely agree. I bought this saw for my father as well. Something he can use to clean up little stuff that falls. If something big needs to be cleaned up he leaves it to the young folk (me) to get out our bigger saws. He much prefers to drink a beer and "supervise".
 

dirtydeed

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B2650 BH77, BX23TLBM, box blade, rear blade, flail mower, Stump Grinder
Dec 8, 2017
2,101
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Wind Gap, PA
We also have a Husky 455. Like said cuts like an animal, but heavy, quite thirsty, and for an old guy drains strength and stamina quickly. I only use it for short times in easy to use places. Or give it to a young guy to use when help is available.

My go to saw is a Stihl MS 170. Small and light to be easy to handle. The model that is always on sale. I keep extra bars and chains on hand, change them often and have gotten much more life out of this saw than many believe it is capable of.

I've had people comment, what can you do with that little thing ?? Well, they got surprised at what it and an old guy can do.
Completely agree. I bought this saw for my father as well. Something he can use to clean up little stuff that falls. If something big needs to be cleaned up he leaves it to the young folk (me) to get out our bigger saws. He much prefers to drink a beer and "supervise".
Dang guys, that 170 looks sweet too! Just too many makes models to decide on. I don't have any sons (or any kids for that matter) so I'm stuck with just (me) doing the work. It's ok, I'd rather have it that way. There's no one to yell at but myself.
 

RCW

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BX2360, FEL, MMM, BX2750D snowblower. 1953 Minneapolis Moline ZAU
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Dang guys, that 170 looks sweet too! Just too many makes models to decide on. I don't have any sons (or any kids for that matter) so I'm stuck with just (me) doing the work. It's ok, I'd rather have it that way. There's no one to yell at but myself.
Pick a local dealer.

Stihl place I go to has them lined right up from little homeowner to the big pro saws.

Start hefting a few...saws that is....best way to pick a couple to look into further...
 

RonBoyBX25D

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Aug 1, 2015
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18
Minneapolis, MN
I love my little Husky 550xp and Echo top handle for most tasks, only break out the Dolmar for really big cuts now. If you look at Echo they have some sale days on the web site where you can usually get 15% off for a day at a local dealer.
 

Papadiver

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BX2380 FEL, MMM, 3rd Valve, Grapple
Feb 10, 2019
81
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Dang guys, that 170 looks sweet too! Just too many makes models to decide on. I don't have any sons (or any kids for that matter) so I'm stuck with just (me) doing the work. It's ok, I'd rather have it that way. There's no one to yell at but myself.
The 170 is my favorite little saw. I am going to buy another one before 6/30/19. They are on sale for $159 till then. My son-in-law helps me some and two little saws will be real handy!