OK - if all the testosterone on the board isn't currently focused on C-T's movie thread, could I get some advice on the selection of a chainsaw for my S.O.'s Xmas gift?
Based on his flipping thru the Craftsman ad I have purchased a model from Sears with an 18" bar and 55cc 2-cycle engine.
These seem to be the basic factors which determine the price/quality.
After stashing the said saw in my office for safekeeping, I received a ration of crap unsolicited advice about the relative quality of Craftsman power tools, or lack thereof.
Co-workers are evenly split between recommending Husqvarna or Stihl as alternatives. About.com is evenly split on these two. Yet their recommended models have smaller engines 45 and 50 cc, and one has only a 16" bar.
So does Craftsman get a bad rap just based on who they are, or should I take this thing back and get a "real mans saw"
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I think it depends on what you're planning to use it for. If the saw is going to be used occassionally, doing light cutting. Then the craftsman will do fine, if you're only going to be cutting wood 6-8 inches in diameter. Sometimes its easier to use a lighter saw for the small jobs. However, if its going to be used to cut cords of wood to heat the house then a husqvarna or Stihl is needed.
Regardless of which model you decide on, the most important factor in the operation of a chainsaw is maintenance and keeping the blade oiled, sharp and tight. The other important considerations are the safety features of each saw.
I've had a craftsman for a number of years and it works fine, but I take pretty good care of it and I know what it can and cannot do. I also own a stihl which is used for the big jobs -- its my workhorse and this is a very reliable saw.
The other piece of advice is never loan your saw out to anyone.
I sold my chain saws when I moved back to Arizona. But I lived on wooded acreage for 6 years in Iowa and a chain saw was a neccesity to keep the trails clear and to saw up firewood. I had a Poulin that I got for free for a year. Then I bought a Craftsman. I loved my Craftsman. Manly men who lived around me were cocky about their Husqs or Stihls. And I always pretended to be impressed. But I had more acreage and used my Craftsman more than they used theirs and really didn't see the value proposition. Maybe their saws would have outlasted mine, but they seemed to buy a new saw every year or two. I had my Craftsman for about 5 years. I kept the blade sharp and kept it well-maintained.
Of course a lot of my neighbors saw value just in saying they owned a Husq or Stihl, so you need to consider that. If your husband is the type that likes testosterone bragging rights, then a Craftsman might not be the right tool. If he just wants to get the job done at the best value, I would reccomend the Craftsman.
Don't climb a tree with a chainsaw!!! Make hubby practice on wimpy stuff before heading out into the woods. Maintain the saw after each use. Tighten and sharpen the chain, maybe add a splash of Sta-Bil (sp?) to the fuel. That fuel mix in the tank can turn crappy.
My beast? 18" Homelite. Carved up a big oak the power company dropped last fall. Keeping the den toasty even as we post
__________________ In a panamax down by the river.
Hubby loves his Husqvarna. He just bought a new one, same model as his 18 yr old Husqy. (which he also still uses)
He cuts alot of wood each yr and swears by the Husqvarna brand. And, believe me, he checks out each and every brand before he purchases anything. I'm pretty sure he was a lumberjack in a previous life so the man knows chainsaws.
Don't climb a tree with a chainsaw!!! Make hubby practice on wimpy stuff before heading out into the woods. Maintain the saw after each use. Tighten and sharpen the chain, maybe add a splash of Sta-Bil (sp?) to the fuel. That fuel mix in the tank can turn crappy.*
My beast? 18" Homelite. Carved up a big oak the power company dropped last fall. Keeping the den toasty even as we post*
Hey BUM, I own an 18 in. Homelite also. Had it forever. Don't use it much now (no woods, no fireplace) but in years past I wore out several
chains. And, yeah, they are pretty dangerous tools.
For occasional use, don't rule out electric saws. They have much more power than you might think (I think mine has more than some small gas saws). But yes, they lack that macho exhaust noise of a noisy, polluting gas unit. *I chopped up a HUGE rosewood tree that a hurricane blew down a few years back -I was surprised at the cutting power. It depends on how far away your trees are from an outlet.
Before that, I had a Crapsman 16" gas, which was ok for occasional use, maybe a little hard to keep running. I sold it to my best friend and we're still (Stihl?) friends...I think.
"He was born with the gift of laughter and a sense that the world was mad"* -Scaramouche
Thanks for all the input and warnings. Please, Al, let's not get any more graphic, ok??
I should clarify, this saw is a replacement for one that he owned for 25 years, which finally bit the dust this summer. I should have checked what brand that was - but I'm not sure he would want the same thing anyway.
But IMHO, the absolves me of meeting any new safety requirements, or providing any graphic warning descriptions.
I'll go check prices on the Huskys and Stihls and let you all know what I decide - thanks again!
I have my trusty Craftsman saw and use it most of the Fall to cut wood for winter at my cabin. I have a lot of trees and that requires a lot of cutting of dead wood to keep down the summer fire threat. It also keeps me busy for hours cutting trees into wood stove sized pieces.
I plan on going with a Stihl when this one finally gives up. So far it works pretty well as long as I can keep the gas from leaking out. Altitude is over 8000ft and for some reason the gas cap vent hole tends to leak. It does not do this at 4400 ft. Go figure.
Otherwise, I have no real complaints on the Craftsman. I want to try a Stihl just to see if they are as good as some think.
Work? I don't have time to work....I'm retired.
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso) Give me a forum ...
Join Date: Mar 2003
Re: Chain Saws
I won't have anything to do with a chainsaw. Most anything requiring the use of a power tool ends up with me hiring someone because it is cheaper than the trip to the hospital.
I heard a true story about a guy who was using a saw and hit a nail buried in the wood. The chain broke, whipped around, and hit him in the crotch. When he looked down, he saw blood and elt something loose in his pants. Shook his pants and a testicle fell out.
"Neither my companion or I carry firearms on our persons. We depend on the goodwill of our fellow man and the forbearance of reptiles."
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