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Thread: New chainsaw...I had to share

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    Flashaholic campingnut's Avatar
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    Default New chainsaw...I had to share

    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...

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    Flashaholic* Lou Minescence's Avatar
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    Default Re: New chainsaw...I had to share

    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.
    Kata Ton Δaimona Eaytoy

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    Default Re: New chainsaw...I had to share

    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!

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    Flashaholic campingnut's Avatar
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    Default Re: New chainsaw...I had to share

    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.

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    Default Re: New chainsaw...I had to share

    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...

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    Default Re: New chainsaw...I had to share

    Quote Originally Posted by scout24 View Post
    ... 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.

    ~ Cg
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    Flashaholic* KITROBASKIN's Avatar
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    Default Re: New chainsaw...I had to share

    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 by KITROBASKIN; 12-03-2017 at 09:37 AM.

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    Default Re: New chainsaw...I had to share

    It's not sharing until you post a picture.

    --------------------------------------------------

    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
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    Default Re: New chainsaw...I had to share

    Quote Originally Posted by KITROBASKIN View Post
    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. But still wear safety glasses.



    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. It was too late. The line struck the poo.... about a 1,000 times. 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.

    ~ Cg
    Never point a flashlight at anything you don't intend to illuminate! Never buy a flashlight you have to make payments on.

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    Flashaholic campingnut's Avatar
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    Default Re: New chainsaw...I had to share



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

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    Flashaholic* KITROBASKIN's Avatar
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    Default Re: New chainsaw...I had to share

    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 by KITROBASKIN; 12-03-2017 at 09:36 AM.

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    Flashaholic campingnut's Avatar
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    Default Re: New chainsaw...I had to share

    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.

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    Default Re: New chainsaw...I had to share

    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...

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    Flashaholic* KITROBASKIN's Avatar
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    Default Re: New chainsaw...I had to share

    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...

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    Default Re: New chainsaw...I had to share

    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...

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    Flashaholic campingnut's Avatar
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    Default Re: New chainsaw...I had to share

    I guess I should get another chain...the dealer offered me one but I have never broken a chain so I didn’t think I needed an extra. Rotation is a great idea...keep the info coming, greatly appreciated.

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    Flashaholic campingnut's Avatar
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    Default Re: New chainsaw...I had to share

    I have always sharpened by hand with a flat guide (Oregon file), but as this is a “real” saw I was looking into a filing guide...anyone here use a Granberg file guide or something similar?

  18. #18

    Default Re: New chainsaw...I had to share

    Quote Originally Posted by campingnut View Post
    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 by Chauncey Gardiner; 12-04-2017 at 10:48 AM.
    Never point a flashlight at anything you don't intend to illuminate! Never buy a flashlight you have to make payments on.

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    Default Re: New chainsaw...I had to share

    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...

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    Flashaholic* KITROBASKIN's Avatar
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    Default Re: New chainsaw...I had to share

    Quote Originally Posted by scout24 View Post
    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?

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    Default Re: New chainsaw...I had to share

    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.
    Those that can, do. Those that can't, teach.

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    Default Re: New chainsaw...I had to share

    Quote Originally Posted by campingnut View Post

    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?

    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
    Never point a flashlight at anything you don't intend to illuminate! Never buy a flashlight you have to make payments on.

  23. #23

    Default Re: New chainsaw...I had to share

    Quote Originally Posted by scout24 View Post
    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.
    GOOD TINT!

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    Flashaholic* zespectre's Avatar
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    Default Re: New chainsaw...I had to share

    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.
    "Notorious collector of things that glow, shine, or blink"
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    Default Re: New chainsaw...I had to share

    Quote Originally Posted by zespectre View Post
    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.
    GOOD TINT!

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    Flashaholic Treeguy's Avatar
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    Default Re: New chainsaw...I had to share

    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.



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    Default Re: New chainsaw...I had to share

    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?
    Last edited by scout24; 12-12-2017 at 08:03 PM.

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    Flashaholic Treeguy's Avatar
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    Default Re: New chainsaw...I had to share

    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.

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    Default Re: New chainsaw...I had to share

    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...

  30. #30

    Default Re: New chainsaw...I had to share

    [QUOTE=NoNotAgain;5159672]



    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 .

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