New chainsaw...I had to share

NoNotAgain

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Don't confuse chain stretch with sprocket wear.

I haven't seen any chainsaw chain stretch measurement tools like exist for bicycle chains due in part with the various chain pitches.

I measure the distance between chain pins on new chains. After rotating them in and out of service a few times I remeasure. I also store my sharpened chains in a can of bar oil.

The Stihl manual chain sharpener works well for sharpening the chain while also lowering the raker. It incorporates both a round and flat file and a set of guides to maintain the proper angle.

Purchase a small toolbox and stock with a couple of plug wrenches, bar nuts, spark plugs, air filter, a can of two stroke oil, bar oil, and a spare chain in a freezer bag. All the parts you need for field service.
 

Chauncey Gardiner

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Yes...I am a nerd...I happened to take a picture of the new toy today while I was working.

I'm a big fan of taking pictures when projects are completed or when a purchase has been made. I find it's a great way to keep records, knowing full well a few years down the road my memory will fail. Is this saw three or five years old? :thinking:

Recently our Cannon printer died. I was pretty bummed since it was only two years old, with very limited use. Looking it up I was relieved to learn it was much older that previously thought.

FWIW,

~ Cg
 

markr6

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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

I'm lucky to have a Country Mark station right next to my work. I always use their 91 Ethanol-Free gas in my small engines. It costs about 90 cents more per gallon, but I only need 2 gallons at a time, every other month in the summer. Nothing I have is very expensive, but I like to take care of it when possible and save any headaches.
 

zespectre

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LOL... When the wife and I bought our house I knew we'd need a saw for the occasional limb and tree cleanup. Light use infrequently so I went cheap.
I always drained the saw and ran it dry after use, stored it carefully, used good quality fuel (non-ethanol) and still that damned thing about drove me crazy.
Got so mad one day I threw it off a small cliff.
Then I bought a mid-level Stihl on sale and THAT saw has been a dream to operate and maintain ever since :) In 9 years I think I've had to adjust the carb once and put a couple of spark plugs in it.
 

markr6

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Then I bought a mid-level Stihl on sale and THAT saw has been a dream to operate and maintain ever since :) In 9 years I think I've had to adjust the carb once and put a couple of spark plugs in it.

My dad found one lying right in a busy road one time. Must have rolled off someone's trailer. Nice $300+ find! Only took about $40 for someone to fix a few things.
 

Treeguy

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Dang, a chainsaw thread and I missed it.

The 250 is an excellent saw and can handle most tasks. Mine, however, was a freaking lemon and I very nearly drowned it in the river before I sold it to a buddy who was willing to work on it. The original 025 was an astonishingly good saw. We had one company 025 that went well over 5000 hours with very little maintenance.

I work everyday with a 461. It's my primary saw. It replaced my 460 that had ten-years on it. Both are fantastic saws.


 

scout24

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Treeguy- I LOVED selling the 461's! 76.5cc of awesomeness. Seems alive when they kick over... I've had motorcycles with smaller motors! And thankfully, the 461 has escaped the dreaded M-tronic so far... We sold them mainly to tree removal companies. "I need that one. Now. How fast can you have it ready?" On a $1000 saw. Gotta love guys who know what they want. 20" bar on yours?
 
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Treeguy

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Howdy,

Yep, I like the 20" bar. Makes for a very handy saw that can buck up almost everything, but still be manageable. Even with 24" bar, I feel like I'm holding a flag pole. You really lose the ease of movement. I like to be able to drop, limb, and buck with one saw, and I don't mind the weight at all. I'd much rather have an extra few pounds on the saw than not enough power.

Did you have any 461s recalled? Had to get mine fixed early this summer. Bad factory crimp on a fuel line, something like that. Apparently a few caught fire and almost blew up.
 

scout24

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Yes, we had a few come in to be checked, I believe one was affected by the recall. Nobody on fire here... :) I agree on the shorter bars when you can get your work done with them. Too many guys fall prey to the "how big a bar can I run on this" and come back later for the bar it should have been sold with. Proper tool for the job and all. Good for you if you can swing a 461 all day, those days are over for me. Two shoulder surgeries...
 

pennzy

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The Stihl manual chain sharpener works well for sharpening the chain while also lowering the raker. It incorporates both a round and flat file and a set of guides to maintain the proper angle.

The Pferd CS-X is the same tool only cheaper .
 

eart

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Gentlemen, since you all seem to be aficionados, can you recommend a saw for occasional camping use? This would be for getting firefood, deadfall, occasional road clearing. I’d prefer to go used, and I’m not in a rush. I’d also probably want something on the smaller side, but not puny. Would appreciate any advice.
 

Treeguy

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Yes, we had a few come in to be checked, I believe one was affected by the recall. Nobody on fire here... :) I agree on the shorter bars when you can get your work done with them. Too many guys fall prey to the "how big a bar can I run on this" and come back later for the bar it should have been sold with. Proper tool for the job and all. Good for you if you can swing a 461 all day, those days are over for me. Two shoulder surgeries...


Glad no one blew up.

Most of the guys I work with prefer shorter bars. Handiness is it's own reward.

So far I'm fine carrying the 461 all day, but I'm used to it. Even when there are other saws around, I prefer just one saw in my hands, instead of going back to the truck for something else. I carried the 460 in the pic below for ten-years, I still love that saw. What a tank Bummer about the shoulder surgery, though. My knees and your shoulders could share war stories.



 
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Treeguy

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Gentlemen, since you all seem to be aficionados, can you recommend a saw for occasional camping use? This would be for getting firefood, deadfall, occasional road clearing. I’d prefer to go used, and I’m not in a rush. I’d also probably want something on the smaller side, but not puny. Would appreciate any advice.

There is nothing wrong with a Stihl 170. It's a very small saw, but if you keep it sharp, it's surprisingly capable. And it's very lightweight. A lot of guys use 170s as beginner's climbing saws before they buy the pro models. I've seen several of them beat to **** and they kept working.

If not a very small saw, I'd go for a Stihl 250 class saw, or (God forbid) a Husky in the 40 to 45cc range. You definitely don't need anything bigger for casual use.
 

eart

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There is nothing wrong with a Stihl 170. It's a very small saw, but if you keep it sharp, it's surprisingly capable. And it's very lightweight. A lot of guys use 170s as beginner's climbing saws before they buy the pro models. I've seen several of them beat to **** and they kept working.

If not a very small saw, I'd go for a Stihl 250 class saw, or (God forbid) a Husky in the 40 to 45cc range. You definitely don't need anything bigger for casual use.


Thanks Treeguy. What should I look for when buying a second hand saw like that? I imagine getting it started is step #1.

Looks like there are books on saw maintenances as well (e.g.: https://www.amazon.com/dp/1565233565/?tag=cpf0b6-20)
 

Treeguy

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Thanks Treeguy. What should I look for when buying a second hand saw like that? I imagine getting it started is step #1.

Looks like there are books on saw maintenances as well (e.g.: https://www.amazon.com/dp/1565233565/?tag=cpf0b6-20)

I'm more of a user than a fixer. I always buy new because my saw has to work, otherwise I don't eat. Scout24 will probably have a better opinion as to mechanics I'm thinking. My thoughts? Either buy new, buy from someone you know, or have a buddy with experience with you.

You get what you pay for. If it looks like a piece of junk in a pawn shop, it is. Better an inexpensive "lower model" new saw than an uncertain used one. Most users I know keep their saws until the saw dies, so second hand saws should always be approached with caution. Odds are it's seen hard times already before you get your hands on it.
 

Chauncey Gardiner

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I'm more of a user than a fixer. I always buy new because my saw has to work, otherwise I don't eat. Scout24 will probably have a better opinion as to mechanics I'm thinking. My thoughts? Either buy new, buy from someone you know, or have a buddy with experience with you.

You get what you pay for. If it looks like a piece of junk in a pawn shop, it is. Better an inexpensive "lower model" new saw than an uncertain used one. Most users I know keep their saws until the saw dies, so second hand saws should always be approached with caution. Odds are it's seen hard times already before you get your hands on it.



Or stolen from some guy's garage or pick up. :sigh:

~ CG
 

Treeguy

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[/B]


Or stolen from some guy's garage or pick up. :sigh:

~ CG

Yep.

We've been lucky over years, we've had very few things stolen. But this summer I thought I left a rope bag with 150' of first class rigging rope and a few rigging carabiners at clients house. I just noticed one day I didn't have it. But no client ever called to say they found it. One of the guys I work with is positive it got pinched out of the back of the truck.

$450 to replace. Tabarwet! :(
 

scout24

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Eart- At the MS170/MS180 pricepoint, there is zero advantage to buying used. 170 should run you $179.00 and if you buy a six pack of the Ultra mix oil we were selling for $14.00, you double your warranty to 2 years. Maintenance issues are similar to larger saws- nobody likes replacing air filters, cleaning spark arrestors, etc. Used homeowner saws get run dry on bar oil, have bad gas run through them, crappy mix oil, get pinched in cuts and have the clutches abused, etc. If you really want a used saw, buy at a shop and ask that the muffler and carb be removed to look for scoring on the intake and exhaust sides of the piston and cylinder. Either side would be terminal, and not worth fixing unless on a pro series saw. (MS241, 261, 362, 461, etc.)
 
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Treeguy

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Eart- At the MS170/MS180 pricepoint, there is zero advantage to buying used. 170 should run you $179.00 and if you buy a six pack of the Ultra mix oil we were selling for $14.00, you double your warranty to 2 years. Maintenance issues are similar to larger saws- nobody likes replacing air filters, cleaning spark arrestors, etc. Used homeowner saws get run dry on bar oil, have bad gas run through them, crappy mix oil, get pinched in cuts and have the clutches abused, etc. If you really want a used saw, buy at a shop and ask that the muffler and carb be removed to look for scoring on the intake and exhaust sides of the piston and cylinder. Either side would be terminal, and not worth fixing unless on a pro series saw. (MS241, 261, 362, 461, etc.)

+1 on that there post.

(Our Stihl dealer only gives us a 30 day warranty. Unreal.)
 

scout24

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Buy the saw in your name on the warranty card, save the receipt for taxes. Stihl only knows what gets filed on the card. We may or may not have done that for purchases for some of our frequent flyers who may or may not use the saws professionally. Who's to say? As far as Husky saws go, they were bought out by Maytag Appliances anout eight years ago. They used to be really good saws. The bean counters got involved, and quality isn't what it used to be. Stihl is still owned by the Stihl family, no shareholders to answer to, etc. Stihl's saws are either made in Virginia Beach, or Germany. I make no comission, and have no ties to the company, fwiw.
 
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