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Chain Saws
Old 12-13-2005, 08:51 PM   #1
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Chain Saws

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"

Have at it guys!


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Re: Chain Saws
Old 12-13-2005, 09:02 PM   #2
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Re: Chain Saws

I feel like Tim Taylor on Tool Time....Argh, Argh!

Get a real saw, the Husky or the Stihl. I've had a Huskvarna 18" 45 for 9 years and it starts and runs like it was new. I cut cedar (juniper) and live oak and it does a great job.



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Re: Chain Saws
Old 12-13-2005, 09:06 PM   #3
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Re: Chain Saws

Are getting all the safety gear with that?
Steel tiped boots
safety glasses
hearing protection
rip stop/protection clothing
protective gloves

How about a chain sharpener
chain oil
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Re: Chain Saws
Old 12-13-2005, 09:11 PM   #4
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Re: Chain Saws

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.

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Re: Chain Saws
Old 12-13-2005, 10:20 PM   #5
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Re: Chain Saws

I've had a* Stihl with 18" ar for 30 years. Like the Energizer Bunny, it just keeps going. Also, any shop will have parts and the expertise to fix it.

Also, he would probably prefer to be seen with either one of these 2 rather than a Craftsman.

Ha
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Re: Chain Saws
Old 12-13-2005, 10:30 PM   #6
 
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Re: Chain Saws

Boils down to how often it will be used.

If less then 4 times a year I would say just find a good rental place and rent one by the hour.

They are a pain to maintain.*

Early/Retired life means - less problems/headache the better, I believe.*

Besides if you rent you can try out the different models.* *
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Re: Chain Saws
Old 12-14-2005, 01:57 AM   #7
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Re: Chain Saws

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.
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Re: Chain Saws
Old 12-14-2005, 05:57 AM   #8
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Re: Chain Saws

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
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Re: Chain Saws
Old 12-14-2005, 07:00 AM   #9
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Re: Chain Saws

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sheryl
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?



Nah, there was some estrogen in CT's thread as well.

Be careful with those chainsaws, my SO almost sliced off his ring finger last year (yes, he's normally a super cautious person). He had to have hand surgery.
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Re: Chain Saws
Old 12-14-2005, 07:15 AM   #10
 
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Re: Chain Saws

Quote:
Originally Posted by cube_rat
Nah, there was some estrogen in CT's thread as well.* **

Be careful with those chainsaws, my SO almost sliced off his ring finger last year (yes, he's normally a super cautious person).* He had to have hand surgery.
I have found the craziest drivers now are young females. Not sure what is going on but they are nuts. Aggressive, fast and will do anything to get one car length ahead.
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Re: Chain Saws
Old 12-14-2005, 08:15 AM   #11
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Re: Chain Saws

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.
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Re: Chain Saws
Old 12-14-2005, 08:39 AM   #12
 
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Re: Chain Saws

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Attached Images
File Type: gif ChainsawInjuryLocations.gif (10.4 KB, 83 views)
Attached Files
File Type: gif_thumb ChainsawInjuryLocations.gif_thumb (12.2 KB, 0 views)
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Re: Chain Saws
Old 12-14-2005, 09:19 AM   #13
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Re: Chain Saws

Quote:
Originally Posted by BUM
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.

JG
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Re: Chain Saws
Old 12-14-2005, 09:27 AM   #14
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Re: Chain Saws

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.

pb
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Re: Chain Saws
Old 12-14-2005, 09:35 AM   #15
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Re: Chain Saws

Good graphic, TromboneAl...I was going to add 4 tourniquets to go along with the gift.
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Re: Chain Saws
Old 12-14-2005, 09:40 AM   #16
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Re: Chain Saws

I have a Husqvarna and very happy with it and minimal upkeep and no repair needed.
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Re: Chain Saws
Old 12-14-2005, 01:37 PM   #17
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Re: Chain Saws

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!
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Re: Chain Saws
Old 12-14-2005, 04:03 PM   #18
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Re: Chain Saws

Quote:
Originally Posted by MRGALT2U
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.

JG
Another Homelite Homey. Mine will soon be consigned to the garage sale. Dont need it at the carolina coast
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Re: Chain Saws
Old 12-14-2005, 04:09 PM   #19
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Re: Chain Saws

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.
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Re: Chain Saws
Old 12-14-2005, 04:17 PM   #20
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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.

No thanks...
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