I'm in need of a new chainsaw. I have a small 16" saw, but need something larger/powerful. What does everyone recommend? I don't mind spending some money - I want something that is well made and will last years.
I've 3 Stihsl, a 271(16"), 291(20") and a 391 (25"). The 291 is the clear stand out and runs lights out compared to the others. They've all been flawless. For extended cutting of hard wood logs, I like to cycle through multiple machines and allow a cool down. Just my .02.
When boys grow into men their toys just get bigger and I just love chainsaw's! Any tree huggers out there? My motto is I'm going to cut down one tree average for each day of my life. I have three Stihls for my personal use, two 260's and a 460. The 460 is now the 461, one of the most popular professional models, this saw really moves firewood, but way too heavy for hinge cutting. If you want a really good saw most loggers are using Husky, and Stihl being second, but I would buy the one that has the best repair guy close by, because no matter what you buy it will need fixing sooner or later.
I bought a midsize Husqvarna several years ago. It would not start when warm, no matter what. Drove me nuts. traded it in on a stihl farm boss which starts first 1-3 pulls all the time. Lost my arse on that trade, $300 saw for $100 trade in value on the stihl farm boss and the husquavarna was only 18 months old. Own a farm boss and a smaller stihl for lighter duty. Neither has ever disappointed me. They just flat out run. you take your chances on the other brands.
Have had a Husqvarna for almost 7 years now(don't remember what model). It starts in 3 pulls or less. The only thing I have done is keep it full of fuel, chain oil and keep the chain sharp. I bought it with an 18" bar and wish I would have go the 20" instead, but it has done everything I have asked of it. I bought it at a local shop and not a box store just for the service options and haven't had to take advantage of their parts or labor(thankfully).
Recommending a chainsaw for someone else is difficult. Which is best for you depends on what you want to do with it, your physical strength and as always your chainsaw experience. Mostly any of the Stihls or Husqvarners (Husky) are good. Still though even high quality companies can come out with a dud model once in a while so when new models come out there is always that chance. I have three Huskys that I use a lot and find them all good for what I use them for.
My oldest husky is a 372 XPG (XP desinates professional model, G designates heated handle). It is the most powerful saw I have ever owned. It flat out eats the tree and bore cuts with ease. At one time I used it exclusively and had two of them. Today at 67 years young, I am not as strong as even five years ago and find the 372 xp to be a bit heavy at 14.3 pounds now. I still use it regularly but especially for cutting up large logs into fire wood lengths.
My second saw is a 562 xp. It is a great saw and even at 13.23 pounds it feels significantly lighter than the 372 XPG. I use it for all around use, felling large trees, cutting up logs, plunge cutting, low hinge cutting, etc. Like Weezy stated; it is a very powerful saw. I wouldn’t hesitate to buy another if I needed one. The 562XP has taken over as my main saw.
My third saw is a 543 XP. It is a smaller saw weighing at 9. 92 lbs. I bought it for light work like releasing apple trees, cutting smaller stems and working in tight areas, and high hinge cutting. Either of the other two saws were simply too heavy for me to hold up “safely” to high hinge cut with. Sometimes in releasing apple trees a high hinge cut is warranted to sort of store the cut trees high in the air to give the deer room to walk.The 543XP is comfortable to hold up for higher hinge cuts. I don’t have the high number of hours on the 543XP as the other two but so far it has been a good saw.
If I were buying a new saw today I wouldn’t hesitate to buy any of the three that would meet my use and strength as they are all very well made. I would also research the 550XP. The description of it reads very well but I have not owned one yet. I have had Stihl and in fact still have a 020T. It is a small climbing saw and is used only very occasionally because of its specialized design.
Within those models one could choose different/multiple bar lengths and different chain styles of course.
Initially, I'll use this to cut felled trees for firewood at my new house. We had to take 35-40 trees down to put the new house where we wanted it. I had the tree guy give me a big discount by just stacking the logs on the side of the yard rather than haul them away. The new house will be done in June, so I have a mountain of wood to cut into logs. I do have a hydraulic splitter to help with the splitting.
Once that work is done, I'll take the bigger saw up to the Lodge in WI. Always something to cut up there - trees across trails, etc.