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eddiemac's picture

Hey, I've got an idea.  Everybody list the chainsaw(s) they own and tell what you think of them.  Maybe a consensus will emerge.  I have, from largest to smallest: Husqvarna 371XP (fantastic saw and all you need unless you have really big timber, light weight); Stihl 029 (o.k., reliable, can cut mid-size timber); Stihl MS260 Pro (Lightweight, good limbing and firewood saw); Echo CS-3400 (good, reliable, very lightweight trimming saw).

wayne busse
wayne busse's picture

My brother bought  a 345 husky and returned it to Lowes three times. Same problem with 3 brand new saws so he went to an echo dealer and bought their best top handle . It was a great saw until he drove over it with his 110 hp tractor. I've had the 435 for two years and no problems. It must run in the family cause I backed over my 50$ yard sale Poland wild thing and it survived with welding on a new handle for six months until the carb went bad and you can' find a replacement.... Throw-away- saw if there ever was one.

r.garrison1's picture

I have a Poulan P3314 on this side of the state. I've not had any problems with it starting; it has been dependable, but sometimes dies out while at idle.

It doesn't have the power it needs, even for a 14" bar. I hate the anti-kickback chain.

On the other side of the state, I have another Poulan. I can't specifically remember the model, but I believe it is a Poulan Pro 3816 AV. It's not green, like my little one.

I like that one better, which is why I keep it on the tree farm. It has adequate power for the 16" bar, but wouldn't do well if I tried a larger bar. It's a little harder to start sometimes, but not too much trouble.

Post Oakie
Post Oakie's picture

I have an old Husqvarna 2100 (100 cc) that I use with a 60" bar for slabbing.  I also Husqvarna 365 that I mostly use with a Lewis winch, but occasionally use as a back-up saw.  When I need to trim big logs, I put a 36" bar on it, and it does fine, as long as I take it easy.  My go-to saw is a Husqvarna 455 with an 18" bar, but it does OK with a 24" bar.  Biggest issue is a sharp chain and not lugging the saw down.  Oh, yeh, I also have an old Pioneer saw that belonged to my grandfather.  I've never used it.

Good judgement comes from experience... experience comes from bad judgement.

r.garrison1's picture

Well, I now have another chainsaw. I bought a Stihl MS 271 with a 20" bar today. 

wayne busse
wayne busse's picture

That is the farm boss , it's been around for twenty years and very reliable. I've got the ms 310  which is a couple cc's bigger, you''ll love it.

r.garrison1's picture

Yeah, I thought that anything I needed to do, 50 CCs would be adequate; if not, I needed to re-think the job.

I almost went with the Husky, but the service guy at the farm supply store gave me enough info to convince me. Although this one has a rev limiter, and is a real pain to adjust for altitude, it is set at 1500' by default, and should run OK at both low alt (where I live) and at 6000' (where the tree farm lives).

Bill MacLellan
Bill MacLellan's picture

RG, I was watching one of those timber shows and they had a large part on ECHO saws. I might check them out. They are really trying to break into the pro market, and have some really good looking offers as well as a 5 year consumer warrantee and a 3 year professional use warrantee. Might be something you want to look into outside the big 3.

r.garrison1's picture

Wow, a 5 year/3 year warranty. They must believe in their saws.

I ended up with a Stihl, but if I need another one, I'll consider Echo.

Stevencroon's picture

Guys when I was sawing I started felling with a 450 Homelite and then went to the 056 Stihl which I smushed when a big cedar squatted on it when I was fighting fire in Idaho 1970 or 71 cant remember which year and replaced it with another 056 which I wore out. I then picked up an 064 stihl which I still have today. It has been a fantastic saw but it is heavy and at 64 years young I aint what I used to be. I also have a Ms290 Stihl which I use for limbing and it has been a good runner for the light stuff . I got a chance to run a 562XP husky the other day and it was quite the little animal. It is fairly light at about 12.5 pounds but let me tell you it thinks it is a big saw and I have been thinking of picking one up for a better all round saw and leave my 064 for the Grandberg mill.. It is all computerized  so you cant adjust the carb but at 4500 feet altitude here it ran great, idled good and had real good throttle response so my opinion is the same as Post Oakies and spend the little extra if you can and get the pro model of whatever you pick up. Happy sawing and stay safe.

r.garrison1's picture

Thanks for that; I will be using it at dual altitudes: near sea level in winter, and at 6000' in summer.

I like the idea of going with the dealer rather than brand, so the Stihl I bought was one I frequent.

loydho's picture

What saw do you use?

  • I mostly use a Stihl 025 or 250, same saw, different years, I currently have 2 of them.  18" bars/chains
  • Don't know why manufacturers' can't just keep the same model numbers. 
  • Also have a Stihl 390.

What does it do that you like? 

  • power/weight ratio
  • reliability
  • price
  • dealer location(s) close to me.


What do you want it to do, but it doesn't? 

  • Um, fix me coffee?  Pretty broad question.


Bottom line to me is the 025/250 Stihls.....I've owned them (one of them literally) for at least 25 years.  These are not the "professional" models, but if they last this long and have this much horse power vs. weight, why pay the extra money for a "professional" model?

I was doing a comparison spreadsheet of various chainsaws and manufacturers the other day.  My nosy coworker asked me why the Stihl 250 was all green across the board in all categories.  I told him that this saw was the one I was comparing all the others to....hence it was green.  The smart aleck reminded me that if this saw met all my needs, why was I wasting time doing a spreadsheet?


I cut a bunch of fire wood, and cut many logs to cut on my mill every year.  lots of Ash, White/Red Oak and Black Locust and Hickory.  These saws have done just fine.  All you have to do is keep the chains sharp, the chain drive sprockets replaced, the bars filed and oil in the gas, they'll last a long time......just remember the last one about putting oil in the gas........!!



bcloutier's picture

Hey all, I just picked up a Stihl 025 last week through Craigslist that was nearly in like new condition with new 18" bar and chain. The air filter also looked new and it fired up right away and ran pretty good. It came with a case also, so I thought $199.00 was reasonable. After I got it home and ran it a bit, the carb needed some adjustment, but all is well now. I have been waiting to buy a smaller Stihl limbing saw for over a year, but didn't want to shell out $350. for the newer version, so waited . I am very happy with this saw to go with my Stihl MS 362. I have sawed about 5 cord with it now and it is a joy to run a lighter saw with 45 cc and only 10.1 lbs. Good things come to those who wait!


Bill's picture

May the fleas of a thousand camels infest the SOB that took your saw.

r.garrison1's picture

Oh, man! I feel your pain.

Post Oakie
Post Oakie's picture

I hate to hear about the loss of your saw.  Have you checked the local pawn shops?

Good judgement comes from experience... experience comes from bad judgement.

c comeau
c comeau's picture

I run a redmax 5300 with a 16" bar. I think it is pretty much the husky 455 rancher but quite a bit cheaper and redmax is owned by husky. Good working saw and I've fallen trees over 30" at the butt with the 16"bar and I'm no professional logger. For me it was the best bang for my buck. Oh and I run a dodge

onlygoodwithwords's picture

I cut a fair number of trees from my 80 acres, some huge, but many smaller. My Stihl MS261 is a champ for felling trees.

For limbing trees, I use a Stihl MS150. It's a tiny little thing, but it has a tiny kerf so it cuts well above its weight class. Since it weighs less than half what the MS291 weighs, it's easy on my back. The MS150 is expensive to buy and the chains don't last long so it's expensive to operate. But the cost is nothing compared to back surgery.

I would recommend either of my saws to just about anyone who would needs a durable, reliable saw for regular use. The only suggestion I would make is to remove the spark arrestors.


David Marzi
David Marzi's picture

Here are the list of best chainsaws in my experience
WORX WG303.1 – Best Small Chainsaw
Makita XCU03PT1 – Best for Maneuverability
Remington RM1425 – Best Lightweight Corded Electric Chainsaw
BLACK+DECKER LCS1240 – Best Cordless Chainsaw
Greenworks 20312 – Best Value for the Money

r.garrison1's picture
Here's my list: I love my Stihl MS271; only complaint is that when I'm ripping a log. the shavings clog the bar. Not sure that wouldn't happen with any saw. I have a Poulan Pro PR4016, which runs great. I had another Poulan that was a smaller green thing, it started clogging up the fuel system; cost more to repair than the saw was worth. I now also have a little Remmington electric, which I use for little stuff; like it a lot, but my files don't match the chain. I'm considering another chainsaw again, since now my little Poulan has a debarker added to the nose and I don't want to keep changing the bar when I need it. Probably another little Poulan or maybe an Echo (based on the feedback i'm getting here). I like the idea of the battery chainsaws, but right now I'm maxed out with the battery collection; I have Milwaukee, DeWalt, and Black & Decker batteries I need to keep up with for other tools, and don't want to get a bigger backpack so I can carry all my batteries.
arky217's picture

My current saw is a Stihl MS290 Farm Boss;
had it for about 15 years.
Good saw but has always taken a lot of pulls to start when cold.

My first saw was a Homelite XL12 that I bought in 1963,
the year they first came out.
The Homelite was the same size as my current 290, about 55cc.

I cut pulpwood for 2 years everyday with the Homelite.
The hardwood loggers of the time used huge McCulloch saws;
they thought the Homelite was a toy.
It worked pretty good for pulpwood though, and was considerably
lighter than other saws of that time.

I milled with a Husky 95cc for a while;
did a muffler mod on it, it was a horse.

Now I use my Stihl to log for my bandmill
(just a hobby for me at 75 years old).

Need to get a lighter saw for limbing and brush cutting;
that Stihl gets heavy after a while at 75.

r.garrison1's picture
I wonder if your 290 has a starting routine like my 271? I give full choke, two pulls, then no choke, and it starts on the next pull. Has ever since new.
r.garrison1's picture
I wonder if your 290 has a starting routine like my 271? I give full choke, two pulls, then no choke, and it starts on the next pull. Has ever since new.
Bill's picture
My large & small Husky as well as poulan all take 3 or 4 pulls when cold but all start easy once warmed up all three saws are now aprox 30 years old. The large Husky I had to replace the piston and cylinder this year because I ran it to lean on large logs when I didn't have a screw driver with me to adjust the carb. That was an $85 dollar expense do to my laxness.
mountainman1971's picture

I believe this is my first post on this site. So hello all. I really do appreciate all of the knowledge that is shared here.

On the subject of best saws. I can't say that there is a best saw but I own a couple that I really like. A Husqvarna 357xp and a redmax gx7000. Both are very reliable. But I had a problem with the 357. Apparently someone at the factory installed incorrect bolts that rubbed holes through the oil tank. I have used both to cut several hundred cords of firewood in the Colorado Rockies at elevations of 8000 to 10000 feet. When I bought both saws ( the 357 was my first saw) my main concerns were that parts would be available for a long time so I would not be stuck with an unrepairable saw. I have several friends that cut firewood using Stihl and my thought is that any high quality brand will do just fine as long as it can be repaired when necessary. I recently bought a couple of ten packs of woodland pro full chisel chains from Bailey's and I have to say that is the biggest improvement that I could have made. Good chains will make at saw cut better. So my advice is use any brand of saw that you can have serviced or service yourself and keep your chains sharp and you will have no regrets

r.garrison1's picture
Welcome to the forum, Mountainman1971! Thanks for the feedback on the Woodland chains; I think I want to get a couple to try. I agree the chain makes a difference.
Bill's picture
Nice to see you here Mountainman1971 . I've been buying full chisel chain buy the roll for years now from zippen ? use to work out aprox. $15 a chain for a 24" bar.
mountainman1971's picture

Thanks for the warm welcome.

I believe I paid $14 and change for 20 inch chains in the ten pack. The price was almost the same as buying by the roll.

chainsaw-man's picture

Thank you for your valuable shares. I prefer a Stihl MS 170 chainsaw

DavidM's picture
I agree with Mountainman that any good quality saw will work well as long as you can service it. We have a Stihl dealer a couple of miles down the road so that’s what I’ve used. I have a Farm Boss 029 from the eighties that still runs good, a Farm Boss 291 I got 2 years ago with a 20” bar ( really the same saw with upgraded fuel and ignition) and recently picked up a Stihl MS170 for limbing. All have been really reliable, but like Roland said I have to give it 2 pulls full choke, release to half choke and it fires on the third pull. My little brother has a Husky dealer down the road from him and he’s had really good luck with his saws.