New chainsaw...I had to share

campingnut

Enlightened
Joined
Mar 10, 2011
Messages
446
Location
In the Redwoods just North of the Golden Gate
I have owned a cheap Poulin Woodshark for nearly 20 years and it has done the job, but really struggled with logs over 10” in diameter. Although we have a gas furnace, we heat our home half the time with wood, so I use my saw year round and cut a few chords a year. It finally died and I decided it was time for a real chainsaw. After reading up on the tree/logging forums, I purchased a Stihl ms250. All I have to say is... I am an instant fan. This saw is cutting through 12”+ logs without even beginning to slow down. I had to share... :rock:
 

Lou Minescence

Flashlight Enthusiast
Joined
Mar 12, 2011
Messages
1,157
Location
New England US
My dad always had McClouch chainsaws. When I was old enough I used his saws. Then a friend and I cut an equal size pile of wood. He used a Husquvarna. He was almost twice as fast cutting his pile. So I bought a Husky. Then another friend let me borrow his Stihl. Now I own a 260 Stihl. It is amazing how well a quality tool can perform. Costs more but my time and effort are worth it. Congrats on your purchase.
 

scout24

Moderator
Staff member
Joined
Dec 23, 2008
Messages
8,568
Location
Penn's Woods
The MS250 is a nice saw. I worked selling Stihl and Honda products at a small repair shop for the last year and a half so I got to see a bunch of what brands come in for repair, and what common failures were. The ABSOLUTE BIGGEST cause of failure is the dreaded "my saw won't start"... Or my weedwacker. Or leaf blower. The gasoline we have today, the 10% ethanol crap, draws moisture out of the air in your can or sitting in your saw. You simply can't store ethanol fuel for more than a month or two, max. Find a local gas station that sells ethanol free fuel to make your mix with, or bite the bullet and purchase the quart cans of premix from Stihl, Briggs, Tru-fuel, etc. It's expensive, but we averaged 40-60 dollars to remove and properly ultrasound clean a carb to get things working again. Sta-bil or any of the many other additives don't solve the problem. The tiny carbs have such small passages in them and they corrode when they have water in the fuel. Many customers argued their fuel was fresh, etc. First thing we did, sometimes at the counter in front of the customer, is drain their saw's fuel i to a glass jar right in front of them, and sit there and watch the fuel and water separate. Please spend the money on the ethanol free stuff!!! And as long as you don't expect it to cut like an MS 362, you'll love it! :)
 

campingnut

Enlightened
Joined
Mar 10, 2011
Messages
446
Location
In the Redwoods just North of the Golden Gate
Thanks for the advice on looking for ethanol free gas, I may consider going with the premix. Although I run my saw year round, I do not use it everyday...I average every other weekend so the premix may just make sense. I cut, split, and stacked half a chord today. Two pulls on full choke, third pull on half and it started right up.
 

scout24

Moderator
Staff member
Joined
Dec 23, 2008
Messages
8,568
Location
Penn's Woods
The premix in the can is pricey, but one repair trip to the shop will make it seem cheap. Keep that starting regimen, and once you've run it on a given day, try to re-start on half choke even if it's been a couple hours. Full choke can flood them pretty quick. All saws, not just your 250. Every few months based on your described use, pull the spark arrestor screen and burn it clean with a torch. They plug pretty easily, but less so if you use the canned premix. Change the air filter when it's plugged, don't try to cheap out and clean it. Cheap insurance in the long run. Too many folks try to blow compressed air through them, damage the filter media, and suck all kinds of crud into the carb. It'll find it's way into the cylinder and score up the the cylinder wall and rings. Sorry to ramble... :)
 

Chauncey Gardiner

Flashaholic
CPF Supporter
Joined
Mar 12, 2010
Messages
7,798
Location
Pacific N.W.
... The ABSOLUTE BIGGEST cause of failure is the dreaded "my saw won't start"... Or my weedwacker. Or leaf blower. The gasoline we have today, the 10% ethanol crap, draws moisture out of the air in your can or sitting in your saw. ...

Yep! Happened to me. What a drag. You forgot to mention how long customers can/will be without the use of their equipment. I had to wait five weeks for the return of my blower. :mad:

~ Cg
 

KITROBASKIN

Flashlight Enthusiast
CPF Supporter
Joined
Mar 28, 2013
Messages
3,536
Location
New Mexico, USA
Keep rambling about chainsaw care; that is really valuable information. Took only one carbuerator repair to teach me to run the chainsaw dry each session, back in the day.

Comparing apples to oranges, but the battery powered Stihl chainsaw is such a dream service-wise. I rotate 3 chains, sharpening them myself. Hoping they will last a similar amount of time as the drive sprocket. The same Stihl battery gets used in the Stihl stringtrimmer during the growing season. Costs a lot initially but so worth it for our application. I still use hearing protection with the electric, even though it's not loud compared to a regular chainsaw. I can cut logs larger diameter than the bar, but it simply does not have the power of a serious chainsaw. Most of our trees are not that big though. This may be an answer for some.
 
Last edited:

Chauncey Gardiner

Flashaholic
CPF Supporter
Joined
Mar 12, 2010
Messages
7,798
Location
Pacific N.W.
It's not sharing until you post a picture. :p

------------------------
j5npHHv.png
--------------------------

The last chainsaw I purchased was the smallest STIHL they offered. I've never regretted leaving my "boys" in the van when I went inside to pick it out. For my purpose, smaller and lighter was a smart choice. Recently I started using a cordless DeWalt sawzall with a green-wood, pruning blade. Being 60, again, smaller and lighter is the safe choice.

Firewood comes in a 40# bag. Love our pellet stove.

~ Cg
 

Chauncey Gardiner

Flashaholic
CPF Supporter
Joined
Mar 12, 2010
Messages
7,798
Location
Pacific N.W.
Keep rambling about chainsaw care; that is really valuable information. Took only one carbuerator repair to teach me to run the chainsaw dry each session, back in the day.

I've always run er dry at the end of the season. The ethanol problem happens regardless of this precaution.

Another thing everyone using a chainsaw or line-trimmer should have is one of these bad-boyz. Buy one for yourself for Christmas. :twothumbs But still wear safety glasses.

UKQjnMZ.jpg


Funny story. I was doing some line-trimming for a neighbor..... that had a big dog. I was trimming like I was late for first call when I rotated and saw the large pile of doggy-do. :green: It was too late. The line struck the poo.... about a 1,000 times. :poof: Fortunately I had my mouth closed, cuz it splattered all over my face. My son, who was helping me, laughed so hard he fell down. :crackup:

~ Cg
 

KITROBASKIN

Flashlight Enthusiast
CPF Supporter
Joined
Mar 28, 2013
Messages
3,536
Location
New Mexico, USA
Thinking maybe initially taking it easy on that nice new purchase might be a good idea?

The newer chain oil reservoir lids/caps are so much easier to open than the old Stihl caps.

A person should also strongly consider purchasing chainsaw chaps.

Safety glasses can protect against small stones (from string trimmers) as well as big feces.
 
Last edited:

campingnut

Enlightened
Joined
Mar 10, 2011
Messages
446
Location
In the Redwoods just North of the Golden Gate
I always wear ear plugs and safety glasses. I was looking at the helmet shown above at the shop when I purchased the saw, but when it is cold outside I wear a sock hat to keep warm so I decided against the helmet. I really like the design of the helmet with the earmuffs that lift out of the way.

They said at the shop that I shouldn’t run the saw at full throttle for long periods of time for the first 5 tanks of gas. It has so much power, I really haven’t needed to run it at full throttle at all...even today, cutting a bunch of manzanita (our local hard wood), it powered right through with ease.
 

scout24

Moderator
Staff member
Joined
Dec 23, 2008
Messages
8,568
Location
Penn's Woods
Kitrobaskin- Every couple of chain sharpenings, flip the bar over so the "STIHL" is upside down. You'll double the bar life. It's designed for that, there's oil passeges in the right places on both sides. :) Some folks can't handle seeing the writing upside down, but a new bar is $40.00 and up... Biggest contributor to bar wear is bearing down on the saw, not letting the machine do the work. As chains dull, folks think they can make it cut faster by pushing down in the cut...
 

KITROBASKIN

Flashlight Enthusiast
CPF Supporter
Joined
Mar 28, 2013
Messages
3,536
Location
New Mexico, USA
Great! Have not been flipping the bar that frequently.

And yes, if an operator feels the need to bear down to cut effectively, the chain needs to be sharpened. Using pretty much just the weight of the chainsaw bearing on the wood is what I try to do when cutting. And also pivot, or move the chain saw, changing the cutting angle on the wood so that it is not cutting a larger and larger flat section of the log/branch. One gets a feel for the rpm and engine sound as to keeping the ideal load on the motor.

To correct what I said earlier: My (excellent) Stihl dealer responded to a question about longevity and lessening repair costs by suggesting to rotate three chains so that the wear from stretched chains on the drive sprocket will be less. Apparently stretched chains will change the tooth spacing on the drive sprocket.

On the subject of chains, perhaps scout24 will elaborate...
 

scout24

Moderator
Staff member
Joined
Dec 23, 2008
Messages
8,568
Location
Penn's Woods
I'll try... Anything in particular? The rotating of chains is a good idea, keeping them sharp is key, and you can check for stretching by carefully pulling and pushing a loose chain in your hands, feeling for play in the rivets holding the links together. Get a feel for a newer chain's lack of play, that's your benchmark...
 

Chauncey Gardiner

Flashaholic
CPF Supporter
Joined
Mar 12, 2010
Messages
7,798
Location
Pacific N.W.
I always wear ear plugs and safety glasses. I was looking at the helmet shown above at the shop when I purchased the saw, but when it is cold outside I wear a sock hat to keep warm so I decided against the helmet. I really like the design of the helmet with the earmuffs that lift out of the way.

They said at the shop that I shouldn’t run the saw at full throttle for long periods of time for the first 5 tanks of gas. It has so much power, I really haven’t needed to run it at full throttle at all...even today, cutting a bunch of manzanita (our local hard wood), it powered right through with ease.

The helmet has an easily adjustable head strap. It can be adjust for additional headwear in seconds. Wearing a sock hat with the helmet, not a problem.

~ Cg
 
Last edited:

scout24

Moderator
Staff member
Joined
Dec 23, 2008
Messages
8,568
Location
Penn's Woods
Stay with Stihl chains, they are Swiss made and through hardened. The 3 pack of Stihl files we were selling were like $4.50, and work well. Three strokes per tooth, toward the point, at the guide's 30° setting. If that doesn't do it, let the shop put it on the grinder. We charged $5.00 per chain. Oregon and Husqvarna chains, and pretty much every other brand I encountered, were softer than the Stihl chains and didn't hold an edge as well. FYI- All bar oil is standard SAE 30wt, with a tackiness agent in it to keep it on the bar and chain at speed. Tractor supply oil, Home Depot oil, work just fine...
 

KITROBASKIN

Flashlight Enthusiast
CPF Supporter
Joined
Mar 28, 2013
Messages
3,536
Location
New Mexico, USA
Stay with Stihl chains, they are Swiss made and through hardened. The 3 pack of Stihl files we were selling were like $4.50, and work well. Three strokes per tooth, toward the point, at the guide's 30° setting. If that doesn't do it, let the shop put it on the grinder. We charged $5.00 per chain. Oregon and Husqvarna chains, and pretty much every other brand I encountered, were softer than the Stihl chains and didn't hold an edge as well. FYI- All bar oil is standard SAE 30wt, with a tackiness agent in it to keep it on the bar and chain at speed. Tractor supply oil, Home Depot oil, work just fine...

I am Not an expert by any means, but other chains seem to keep stretching significantly with use. The Stihl chains used by me seem to stretch initially at first use, then if they are not abused, stretch very little over time.

Wanted to mention for newcomers the importance of making sure the chain is getting oil before cutting wood. Seems like a good idea to rev it up, then see if the chain is throwing a fine mist of oil before plunging in. Starting dry I will drizzle a little oil on the bar first to help the process. Wondering what the pros do?

Some hardware store chain oil was not as good as Stihl but most seem to be OK. I heard the eco (around waterways) soy based Stihl chain oil has a shelf life, or something like that; will congeal with time. Any comment?
 

Latest posts

Top