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wayne busse
wayne busse's picture
I need a bigger chainsaw !

 I've been busy cutting ash trees and my Stihl ms310 has been getting a workout. The 20" bar has been big enough until now. I just just got a 60" diameter tree job. The saw is only rated for 20" and even with a skip chain, a 30" in bar will be a bit much especially since the oiler won't be up to job. So, t's time to shop for a bigger saw, and I did. Now I need to see a doc to relocate my jaw . A saw that's rated for a 30" bar is around $1,000.00. My plan is to rent a Stihl with a 28" bar for a day, drop the tree and give the saw a good workout. Then decide if I want the bigger saw, a $200.00 difference. I've got some big logs to quarter so I'm thinking bigger is better.

Any thoughts?


Bill's picture

Buy a Husky with a 16" bar and stick a 36" on it smileycheeky. Best to consider how much use your going to give a big saw may be cost prohibative realtive to the ammout you'll use it. On the other hand a big saw sure goes threw big logs I only use mine for falling large timber and bucking which is seldom for me. My 12". 16"& 20" get 90% of the work load 

eddiemac's picture

A big saw is great to have.  If you are patient, one will show up on Craigslist or at auction  -  bargains can be found.  [I bought a Husky 371XP at auction for $80 and later got a 30" bar and skip chain for it (which it can just barely handle)].

wayne busse
wayne busse's picture

 Eddie, the 371xp has 71cc of displacement. I'm looking at  the 461 Stihl which has 80cc and is rated up to a 32" bar. We heat two houses and a woodshop with wood plus we sell 20 ricks each winter, all of which is cut with a 59cc Stihl  ms 310. Between all that and the sawmill and removing dead ash trees , I need another saw. Tuesday I'm removing two trees that would pay for the saw, so I 'll just pull the trigger on a new one. I have to go with a stihl cause I have friends who own a dealership. Thanks for the input guys.

countryboymike's picture

Wayne, both breeds are good saws.  I agree with going with the friend that has dealership.  I do the same here.   That said, there is a German saw, always at the show.   Can t think of the name.  It looked very impressive.   Doesn t hurt to window shop.

Talked to Norwood on Monday and they recommended i ground the engine to battery a second time and also another ground from the battery to the unit.  I tried it.  Same result.   The carriage works variable on the sawing side, but only a turtle speed on the carriage return.  Probably is the control unit and remote. 

wayne busse
wayne busse's picture

It's frustrating when teck stuff doesn't work right, you need a degree in electronics to even trouble shoot it.

 Well, I bought the ms 461 Stihl with a 32" bar . I only have one regret, I should have bought one twenty years ago. The big ash was only 49" across the butt, but I still wouldn't have been able to cut it with my ms310. The saw has 76 cc of displacement and has plenty of power to spare. What really surprised me was how much easier it is to eyeball the cut and get a perfect plane. The wedge was 40' across and I hit both corners perfectly. I put a cable up twenty  feet in the tree for insurance and my son did a great job keeping a light tension on the cable as the tree went down. It was four feet  off a fence and county road on one side and a power line on the other. Dropped it at a 45 degree exactly on target. I didn't realize how nervous I was about the job until the tree was on the ground. My cheeks started to hurt from the big s eating grin that seemed to be stuck on my face all afternoon. The big saw bucked the log like it was only a 16" diameter log. Note to self, lay down a tarp to catch all the saw dust next time.

We burned the brush on the property and hauled the the limbs and logs four miles back home and gave them to a neighbor with a bum shoulder. I hope he has some help too cut and split all of it. I kept the butt, here's a couple pics...

 sky and outdoor

I had to cut it in 8 footers so the tractor could lift them. There is about a foot of dote in the middle.  I have so many nice smaller logs this will end up as firewood. I guess I should give the 461 a true test and cut some monster slabs for table tops.

 tree, sky, outdoor and nature

 sky, outdoor and nature

H60 Hawk
H60 Hawk's picture


I was reading about your failing a tree and had the cable on it and it fell right where you wanted it to go.

I have to laugh at myself (dummy).... because I'm 69 and have cut 1000's of tree's of all type's. I'm from Penna., I'v cut on the PA Mtn's and you name it, never a problem or mishap. So, cutting this large oak (38 inches) about ten feet from my house, this was business as usual, this all happened about 45 days ago.

I had it all figured out and took my big forklift (sort of like a Telehandler) and weighs-in at 22,000 lbs. I put the forks up all the way and had a fork on both sides of the tree to guide it down, I was around 18 feet up.

I took my brand new (1st tree cut) Stihl MS 880 with a 36 inch bar to cut the tree. I was really fired up, brand new MS 880. I did all the right stuff, notched around 1/3 of the tree diameter. I cut 3 to 4 inches above the notch cut out and was leaving a holding hinge of about 3 to 4 inches. I'd use the big rough terain forkift to push the tree over and it would fall excatly where I notched it/ pushed it.

However, this did not happen excatly as planned. I was so impressed with the cutting performance of my brand new MS 880... I cut thru the 3 to 4 inch holding hinge..... that you use to (semi) control the tree with at the final step of failing a tree.  When I cut thru the holding hinge area the tree (right now) leaned to the side that was toward my house. This is the side that had one of the big (lower) limbs.. this big limb .... actually kissed the top of my roof. 

I was mortified and so embarressed... what a dummy. I knew better, I did not take a close look at this tree. It had several limbs on this one side (over my roof). It was a 100% certainty ... that it wanted to go this way (over roof). All the notch's in the world.. would not direct the tree to fall as I had planned it. If I cut the holding hinge... 100% it's going to fall this way, only the big forklift save me and this was just a squeeker save deal  I had figured that I had the big (22 K lbs) forklift that would slam it over and it would go where I forced it to go.

I'm (now) guessing the tree with limbs weighed around 20K to 28,000 lbs. .  When it leaned (fell that way) over on the one side toward my roof, it raised the right side of my forklift tires off the ground, about 1.5 feet. This was really scary, I took a 10,000 lbs chain block to  pull the forklift back down flat on it's tires.  I took a 2nd 5 ton chain block that was chained it to a nearby tree & hooked to the forks around 18 feet up. I pulled the tree straight verticle and then a bit more, about 5 degree's more away from my house. I sent my son up the tree and limbed it ref. the larger tree limbs going over my house roof. Once I had the off setting weight cut away from my house; the tree was balanced out... I removed my chains & dropped the big tree with the forklift, exacly where I had planned.

Now, Why did I go thru all this and tell the Norwood World... what a Dummy I was !  I wanted Everyone to have a Heads Up about cutting trees down that are heavy limb weighted. This big tree would never go down any other direction then the one ... >>> where the heavy (weight) limbs were !

Always, Look Closely at a tree, and don't be in hurry to mess up, to get hurt or dead and/ or ruin $$$ valueable property. Theirs a heck of a lot to be discussed here >>>> about... dumb stuff ref. cutting trees i.e rotten tree, a little wind that's just starting to pick up, if it's leaning already, heavy limbs to one side, a split or growing deformity at the bottom where your cutting it and on & on. 

H60 Hawk



LM 2000, in the process of adding ~ 27 HP Lombardi Diesel. Pete. WPF 827 mill. Next purchase (Nov.) 410 Moulder, Building Log Home Fall of 2011.

Statement to give insite of what I'm doing to give Advice... when I'm a little behind the power curve.

Bill's picture

Nice tree Wayne that size is a pain for sawing or fire wood but around here I'd have to make lumber with it because we don't have many ash trees.

countryboymike's picture

Very sad to see all the ash dead all over Ohio.   2004 we marked and sold 140 huge river bottom, flood plain, Ash trees.   The market was still high at that time.   Now the dead ash standing will be punky if i do not cut and use them for lumber or firewood.  I spent 5 winters pulling them out of the water and were good firewood using my Blockbuster processor.   

On another note Norwood sent me replacement control module and wired remote and solenoid.   Then arrived today.........very fast delivery.   No time to install them yet.   I will them thumbs up at the show on friday.  

Hope to see you at the show on friday.

Mikes siding
Mikes siding's picture

Hi friends 

what do you pay for standing cedar got a line on some and going to do the skidding myself not sure what to pay

Bill's picture

As little as possible. Maybe some where between 20 and 25% of what you can sell it for after processing it ?

r.garrison1's picture

@Mikes Siding,

Where are you located? There may be a resource that shows the local log prices.

One note: before setting a price on the stump, it would be nice to know if there is rot in the trees; hard to tell for sure, but I believe if the branches are browning, it indicates root rot. I don't think that is certain; it could be just a lack of moisture.

Bill's picture

Roland brings up a really good point trees could be hollow. When I was logging a no. of years ago I was offered 160 acres of hemlock and fir for free ( prices were high at the time for logs). This was a beautiful mature forested area all they wanted is that I ruffly clean it up when done needless to say I was excited. I decided to have an old logger that knew trees to come and have a look at it with me and we brought a chain saw along. He said all those big Hemlock with black knots are hollow inside a few test holes proved him right on. There were a few hundred loads of Hemlock but only a few loads of Cedar so I was obliged to walk away from what I'd thought was a wind fall.

Jaxrecwood's picture

The cedar trees in the south are full of inclusions after a certain size. Many of the enclusions will cause rot and the ever present hollow spot. It's aggravating for sure.


r.garrison1's picture

Yeah, I'm on the other side of a decision like that. I had some cedars that I thought I could get good wood, even with the rot. The amount of work to get the wood, and the amount of junk I ended with that I couldn't use made it a mixed blessing. It was sawing, however, so I don't regret it. Just a lot of effort for the yield.

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