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skootamattaschmidty
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# Posted: 20 Feb 2018 19:47 - Edited by: skootamattaschmidty
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I recently celebrated a birthday and as a gift, my wife told me to buy myself a new, bigger chainsaw I've been wanting to get for a while. I currently have a Husquvarna that has been a complete work horse for me,even though it is a smaller size. I forget the model off hand but I think it is a 240 with 16" bar. It is approximately 15 years old and has been trouble free. I have used it to fell a ton of trees, and used it exclusively to build my log sauna which was a scribe fit so you can imagine what I put it through. I worked it hard and it did not let me down. So needless to say, I like Husquvarna...

Having said that, I know in every chainsaw conversation, Stihl is typically the go to brand people mention. I have Stihl trimmers and I know the reliability of the Stihl name and the products they have. My in laws have old Stihl chainsaws that work great. So I have been debating between Stihl and Husquvarna.

To throw a wrench in things. I popped into a place about 10 minutes from my cabin in Cloyne, Ontario. He carries Echo products which I never really considered before. But after speaking to him, I felt I needed to include Echo in the conversation. He has carried Echo for a number of years, he is a registered Echo service centre and he told me he has had very few issues with the Echo saws. In fact the only issues he has experienced has been a result of user error (typically owners forgot to mix oil in the gas.). Further, Echo backs their products with a full 5 year consumer warranty which is leaps and bounds ahead of the competition. I did some research on the Internet and read a number of reviews and several say that although Echo may not be a better saw, it should be included in the same conversation as Husquvarna and Stihl. The reviews are very favourable to say the least.

I want to support the small guy and receive the quality service that comes with that, so I have no intention on purchasing from a big box store. Having said that, there are Stihl and Husquvarna dealers close to home that I'd gladly do business with as well. I have dealt with the dealer close to my cabin many times in the past and have always been impressed with his service, honesty and integrity.

So I thought I'd throw it out to my fellow forum members to see opinions and real life experiences with their saw of choice. Any experiences with the Echo or the other brands and opinions would be greatly appreciated. I want a chainsaw with a 20" bar and power to handle it.

The comparable models that I am interested in are as follows:

Husquvarna 455 rancher 55.5 cc displacement or 460 rancher 460 cc Stihl 391 64 cc
Echo CS-590 timber wolf

Thanks for any feedback. I'm not in any rush to go out and buy one, I'm most likely looking at April or May.

Bushwhacked
Member
# Posted: 20 Feb 2018 20:43
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Hi Skootamattaschmidty. I am gonna throw a vote out for Stihl. I have two now of a smaller size ( I think they are a 025 and a 290) and have had no problems with them. I had a similar size and used it regularly for 6 years with no issues (was stolen) and I had a 044 and used it for 3 years with no issues (traded it).

ICC
Member
# Posted: 20 Feb 2018 21:06
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Stihl and Husky used to be about equal IMO. Several years ago Husky started selling thru mass marketers. Husky also started taking shortcuts, making things cheaper as they designed newer saws.

Some of the newer Huskys are more difficult to work on than the old ones or the present day Stihl. That is according to the chain saw guy I have dealt with for a bout 25 years. He used to sell Husky and Stihl. A few years back he stopped selling Husky. He still services them but has told me he really dislikes working on some of the newer models. I know this because I bought a Husky at Lowes once when we found ourselves short a saw and hundreds of miles from home. That saw ran into some problems a few years later and Roland had a hard time with it. I sold the saw after it was fixed because I couldn't bear the thought of having him have to work on it again.... Oh yeah it also had some very special, for that model only, hard to get at times, rubber parts that was one of the problems. He tells me he never runs into that with a Stihl.

I still have a Husky, but it's an older model (15 years or more) The newer saws I have are all Stihl.

Sorry I have no experience with Echo, but have no reason to wander from Stihl. Part of the way I look at small gas engine equipment is where do I get it serviced. I've grown older and less willing to tinker with all the maintenance. It is nice to have a reliable dealer and service shop you can buy from and work with.

toyota_mdt_tech
Member
# Posted: 20 Feb 2018 21:16
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As a guy who grew up in a logging town, I can tell you Stihl was top dog light years ago. But the Husky is a super fine saw and also used by the pro's. Echo is a great saw too, super reliable. But I think the Stihl, built on light weight, ergonomics, smoothness of operation (AV) and a little hot rod built in would be the way to go. Pay close attention to the weight.

I'd get the pro series, ie the MS241CM or MS261CM. This is much lighter than the ranch saws. (compare weight, you will feel way less fatigues with a lb or two) Also, get the top notch chain. I recommend the competition chisel bit (round ground), suspect these will come with it. If your a weenie, or squeamish at the sight of blood, this chain isnt for you. Its not a safety chain, its sharp so a brush up against it will draw blood (mainly from the sharp corners)

I like the 20 inch bar, not as much bending over, and eats into modest sized logs. That chisel bit chain will fall through wood like butter.

I have a Stihl 018C, 026AV and a 041 AV Super. The 026 and 041 run chisel bits.
I sold my other 026AV and my older 031AV. I almost collect Stihl saws. I grew up in a huge logging town. It just rubs off on me.
This is the chain. Have them put it on the saw if it isnt already. No weenie green link chains. Go yellow. I didnt see "red"

snobdds
Member
# Posted: 20 Feb 2018 22:26
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I think the pro level saw's from Husky and Stihl are still top notch. You can only get those models from a delear, big box stores don't get them due to the price. I also know Echo is a fine piece of Japanese engineering as well.

I run Stihl pro level saws though. It's what my dad has always had so I grew up using and servicing them. I went through a chainsaw phase as the wife calls it. In Wyoming about 10 years back, the pine beetle just ravished our Forrest. My mountain property was just annihilated with dead trees. The state of Wyoming gave grants out to landowners to remove trees from around structures. To make a long story short, I did all the work myself and purchased 4 Stihl saws and a 8 inch Echo bear cat chipper with the grant money. I had employees use those saws and they got the snot beat out of them. Still running strong today. The extra cost to buy the pro saws paid off.

My only advice would be to buy a pro level saw, beyone that you won't be let down by any of your brands.

DaveBell
Member
# Posted: 21 Feb 2018 07:06
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I have a Stihl 440 Magnum that has gotten too heavy for me. Sure it's nice on big stuff but crazy to use on 3-4" trees. So I bought the bottom Stihl Pro series 241 I think. The compression release valve makes the saw easy to start. I also use the Stihl gas at $30 a gallon. The ethanol in the service station gas ate up three carburetors on three different tools. No more pre-mixing, no more buying carburetors.

skootamattaschmidty
Member
# Posted: 21 Feb 2018 07:24
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Thanks for the fine advice all! I figured Stihl would be the popular choice amongst forum members. I also figured that once Husquvarna got into big box stores that quality probably slipped to keep price down. The three of them are similarly priced so price doesn't really influence my decision. I'm thinking it is now ultimately between Stihl and Echo.

Kamn
Member
# Posted: 21 Feb 2018 07:40
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I run Stihl's as well. I have a Stihl 029 with a 039 cylinder and piston.....cant beat more CC's and with a 20" bar thats a little horse.
Also have an MS290 (same as 029) but no mods done to it and runs a 16"bar
Also, have an older 045 AV with a 24" bar AND an 066 with several different bar lengths depending on what Im doing.
None have given me issues at all and are all work horses

Steve_S
Member
# Posted: 21 Feb 2018 08:27
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I have owned several brands over the years... my last saw for 15 years was a husky, my newest saw a Husky 576-XP/AT is a gem and love it but this is a Pro saw and so the price reflects that. The only reason I had to buy a replacement saw for my previous Husky, was because I let a former friend use it and he decided that 2-stroke oil was optional ! Hence former friend. You can fill in the blanks, I'm sure, twern't pleasant.

Prior to getting this current one, I bought a Husky 445 from Lowes, not realizing the difference between "consumer / pro" and considering it was a Husky I did not question it... That lasted 3 days and back to the store it went and they did not question it at all, in fact they told me that had several return chucked into the bin. I will not abide a badly behaved saw, my life & body parts are precious to me....

I'm deep in logging country, you only ever see Stihl, Husky & Echo pro series saws in use, never the commercial "retail home consumer" models either, they are all light duty crap. This is simply not the kind of tool to take any shortcuts with regardless.

Mike 870
Member
# Posted: 21 Feb 2018 10:51
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I have a Stihl MS291. Got nothing to compare it to because it's never broke and I've never had a reason to try anything else.

neckless
Member
# Posted: 21 Feb 2018 12:32
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your new saw wont stand up the way the old one did....my 2 cents...dont get rid of old saw...

Gary O
Member
# Posted: 22 Feb 2018 09:10
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Quoting: skootamattaschmidty
Husquvarna 455 rancher


I have this one
Happy, very happy

However, Stihl, can't go too wrong

Echo? The only Echo I had was fickle
and no service support near me
Maybe things have changed (?)

old greybeard
Member
# Posted: 22 Feb 2018 09:46
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Look into Makita/Dolmar. You should have Makita dealers in your area. They bought Dolmar and rebranded them.
German made by the first company to make chainsaws. Built to last and they scream. Ask the dealer what he thinks.

Stihl consumer new saws are over priced and running on past reputation.

paulz
Member
# Posted: 22 Feb 2018 11:54
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Got both Stihls and a Huskys, no complaints with either. Just wanted to mention that a guy showed up at our small fire department with a new Lithium battery powered saw a few months ago and said go beat on it. After I was done laughing, I took it out to my place and bucked some logs. No more laughing, the thing works great. Has it's limitations of course but for working on steep hillsides or other difficult situations it's a lot easier than pulling a rope.

KinAlberta
Member
# Posted: 23 Feb 2018 20:29 - Edited by: KinAlberta
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My brother has done a lot more sawing than me and started with an old 1960s monster of a logging chainsaw. Then he downsized over the years a few times. Anyway his advice to me, knowing that I’ll just be cutting down the odd tree and clearing trails was to get a small light chainsaw to save my back.

So I bought a small reconditioned 14” gas Poulen and it works well. (However I recall the reviewers not liking it much.) Then this past summer I bought a small Echo 58 volt chainsaw at Home Depot. I’ve only used it once but it too worked well. The cordless is nice and quiet.


https://www.protoolreviews.com/tools/outdoor-equipment/echo-58v-chainsaw-review/29126 /

KinAlberta
Member
# Posted: 23 Feb 2018 20:46
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The History of the Chainsaw

http://chainsawcarvinghistory.com/chainsaw_history/

old243
Member
# Posted: 25 Feb 2018 23:24
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I have owned a 036 stihl, bought new probably 1985. It is still working well. Have cut a mountain of firewood with it. The problem I have now is getting it going, my fault not the saws. It has become too heavy for me to use . I looked at stihl in a smaller size , was not impressed, by the amount of plastic parts. I ended up buying an echo, so far I am happy with it. old243

Cowracer
Member
# Posted: 26 Feb 2018 09:08
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A friend owns a landscape company, and swears by his Shindaiwa equipment. He has 8 or so 4 stroke blowers, a couple edgers and 2 of the 600x chainsaws.

Not as recognized as Husky or Stihl, but damn fine units.

Tim

Cowracer
Member
# Posted: 26 Feb 2018 09:10
Reply 


Quoting: KinAlberta
The History of the Chainsaw

http://chainsawcarvinghistory.com/chainsaw_history/



That website.... Its like being transported back to 1998!

Tim

skootamattaschmidty
Member
# Posted: 26 Feb 2018 23:57
Reply 


Thanks again for all the feedback! I will most likely go Stihl. I'm going to check with my local dealer close to home to see what he has to offer!

NorthRick
Member
# Posted: 27 Feb 2018 19:35
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Around here, and I suspect other places too, which manufacturer you go with is probably more dependent on what local dealers you have near you than the brand itself. I've got Stihl stuff as there are multiple Stihl dealers in my area. There's only one real Husky dealer (Lowes doesn't count) and he is slow as molasses.

justincasei812
Member
# Posted: 1 Mar 2018 10:55
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I have enjoyed reading this thread. I have been in the market for a new chainsaw for a couple of months after a cheap big box store saw I had quit on me. I will say it lasted for seven yrs. and did a pretty good job for what it was. With that being said I have really looked into Echo CS-590 and Husqvarna 455 Rancher. It is hard to go off of reviews online anymore due to the bots taking over much of it. There have been a lot of not so great reviews on the Rancher and how they are being made cheaper and cheaper which makes me wonder a bit about the quality and durability. The Echo doesn't have the history but I think the Echo is what I will go with due to a service department being close to home. Stihl dealers and service departments in this area are non existent.

skootamattaschmidty
Member
# Posted: 29 Aug 2018 21:38
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Thought I would update this thread...in June I decided to go with the the echo 590 timberwolf. This was after a ton of research and feedback fro. You folks. The stihl I was looking at had enough poor reviews on the chain oiler that it was concerning to
This is not a saw I take back and forth so I figured if I had issues with it, it would be while at the cabin. So I figured I'd get the echo at the dealer close to the cabin. He was great to deal with as usual and took care of me. I did not use the chainsaw a lot in may and June as I had other priorities. However in July and August I used it a ton. I'm very impressed to say the least. Lots of power to get through big trees without bogging down. It starts easily and usually just takes one pull to get it going after it's been running. I really like the see through gas tank so I can see when I need to add gas. At the end of the day, we will see if it will stand the test of time like my old husky. But I can be happy knowing I have that full 5 year warranty. I still have the husky which is lighter and great for smaller stuff, but after having this echo I don't know how I did what I did with the smaller saw!

Aklogcabin
Member
# Posted: 15 Jan 2021 10:49
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I bought an Echo 20 inch saw at HD 5 of 6 years ago. The price difference was only like 20 bucks between brands. The lighter weight sold me. A couple ounces at the end of a day sawing mattered. It has never given me any trouble. Broken pull cord rope at the handle but easy to remove cover n pull a little more rope through.
The rope probably deteriorated because it spends a lot of time on a 4 wheeler rack or snogo sled. Covered in mud or snow. Used not for just firewood but clearing trails, cutting through down logs covered in moss n dirt.
Lives it's life at a remote cabin in Ak. I have 4 or 5 saws at the cabin. Have to have a saw.
I picked up an older but good condition husky at a pawn shop . Hope to get out to our cabin shortly and will need it to clear a trail in I'm sure.

JzP
Member
# Posted: 16 Jan 2021 20:29
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I've owned an echo 400 for a good number of years cutting good sized tree length for firewood as well as jobs around the farm and been very happy with it. Looking to upgrade to a 680 for our cabin project soon. I figure taking down good sized pines, let alone milling them up I need something bigger.
Price is a decent jump from timberwolf, but you get more power and can put a longer bar which I think I may want for milling.

Nobadays
Member
# Posted: 16 Jan 2021 23:05
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Echo cs330t top handle arborists saw.... great saw for a one armed guy! Enough power to turn the 14" chain and take down trees up to 18"-24".... a bit of whittling involved but will do it. Cut over 5 cord of wood last year.

Brettny
Member
# Posted: 17 Jan 2021 07:04
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A one handed saw is also great for a two armed guy too! I love me ms193t, top handle. It's great for picking small logs up and cutting while standing.

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