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Old 12-29-2017, 04:14 AM
Samcord Samcord is offline
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Default Chain saws

All the talk of firewood and Christmas gifts on the forum has me thinking about chain saws. I have a small Stihl that I use occasionally and it has met my needs. I know that if I had a bigger saw I would make good use of it. I've just avoided big jobs, and haven't had a burning need for a larger saw. I also surmised that the morning after an ice storm hits is not a good time to shop for a saw, although it seems to be a very good time to scout firewood.

I have an assortment of Stihl equipment already, so I began looking at their chain saw lineup a couple weeks ago. Just window shopping, and online forum reading, and YouTube video watching, and Craigslist and eBay browsing.

What I came up with as a nice to have shopping list is a 441 26" and a 661 36". This would be a blue sky wish list. Both of these are pro grade saws with magnesium side covers (not the usual plastic) and $1000 plus price tags.

So applying a little reality therapy, and thinking about all the other things I could do with that amount of money, and how much or little work I would require of these tools, I started looking at Husqy and other options. After all Marty on Homestead Rescue always has a Husqy slung over his shoulder.

The next path I took was to follow a hint I had from my reading. The hint was something about Chinese import clone saws. The hint was vague, and it put me in mind of the Chinese lister clone imports that have been discussed here. What I learned is that you can get a box of new chain saw engine pieces somewhat loosely branded as Farmertec with model numbers of MS440 and MS660.

So I went back to da tube with this new found info, and discovered a wealth of videos on the experience of buying said boxes of parts and putting them together to form working objects that very closely resemble Stihl saws.

Next step was to determine how to purchase a box of saw parts, what it would cost with shipping, and what else would be required. The box does not include a bar or chain, so that cost has to be added in. It also seems that there is a high likelihood that a few small parts might be missing, and there are a few parts that are best thrown in the trash, and replaced with genuine brand name parts. Not to mention that there are no instructions, and some parts may need a bit of cleaning up, or minor modification, like edge de-burring or thread tapping.

There seem to be two sources for these kits. One appears to be in China, and requires a separate $90 shipping fee, and comes with all the normal delays and joys of dealing with a company that is half way around the world. The other source appears to be in the US, and has the shipping bundled into the cost of the box of parts. Bad thing is that the US company seems to have only the MS660. Good thing is that they have a year end sale, and the price is only $10 more than the other company, so the final price is $80 less after you factor in the separate shipping charge. Bad thing is only two more days before the end of the year, to get the sale price.

That doesn't give me much time to ponder the wisdom of taking on the build project, when I already have oh so many things I could be spending my time on. But it is very cold outside, and I'm getting bored with TV, and it's only $196.22.

http://www.hlsproparts.com/product-p/cs66020a.htm
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Old 12-29-2017, 04:18 AM
Samcord Samcord is offline
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  #3  
Old 12-29-2017, 06:13 AM
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As much as I like the pro-line of saws, the farm and ranch line of saws will probably meet your needs and last you the rest of your life.
We have an old 290 farm boss here that has cut a heck of a lot of wood in the last 20 years without a bit of trouble. A 20 inch bar buried in a log will slow it down a little but it cuts.
When I worked for the landscaping company they had 2-MS291 saws with 20 inch bars and I took one out for 3 weeks and did nothing but cut down dead ash trees. Biggest tree I cut was 65ft tall with a 4 ft stump. I had to cut a wedge out of the trunk on 2 sides to make the felling cut. I would have been a lot happier with a bigger saw, but as long as I had chains for it the 291 kept making chips.
I would think that unless you are processing firewood or logging, the average guy would never need a saw bigger than the MS391. You may come across a log once in awhile you can't clear with a 20 inch bar, but they will be few and far between for the casual user.

All that said, building a big saw out of replacement parts is an interesting idea. If I had more time, I might try it too
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Old 12-29-2017, 10:46 AM
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Well I’d reccomend a 460 or 461. Almost the power of a 660 in the 441 chassis. I love mine and would not be with out it.

If you want to save some money buy a used 034 or 036 do a muffler mod and remove the base gasket. Tune the carb and that saw will flat out rip. Total invest would be around $200-$400. I put a 16” 3/8” bar on my 036 and I run a 28” on my 461. Pretty damn good setup for me.

I know nothing of the Chinese saws other than I want no part of them.
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Old 12-29-2017, 10:58 AM
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Default Chain saws

Like Smokin I'm primarily a husky guy (50, 562xp) but I also had a Stihl 290 for a while. There is very little I would ever come across that cannot be handled with a 60-70cc saw. As Matt says, in a pinch you can cut more than double the bar length.
The ranch versions are more than reliable enough for your needs.

Check on arboristsite about farmertech. Mixed reviews. Personally I want my saw to work, not to work on.


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Last edited by Big_Eddy; 12-30-2017 at 08:05 PM.
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Old 12-29-2017, 11:12 AM
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You did see this in the ad?

"We do not recommend building a saw from this kit and would not be covered under warranty."
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Old 12-29-2017, 12:10 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Samcord View Post
That doesn't give me much time to ponder the wisdom of taking on the build project, when I already have oh so many things I could be spending my time on. But it is very cold outside, and I'm getting bored with TV, and it's only $196.22.
That seems to be a lot of money for a box of parts. I imagine you could buy a new (but smaller) saw for that same money. With warranty...

That is probably their way around import duties and/or licensing fees. For 1/5 what a new one costs it might be worth it if you are into the build. I'd get a manual first and take a look at the parts breakdown or visit your Stihl dealer and see what he thinks...
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Old 12-29-2017, 12:22 PM
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The MS 660 is a BIG saw, I have one, it is great when you need to run a 36"
or 42" bar. I use if for big trees and ripping planks with my chainsaw milling
attachment. But of my 4 saws it runs the least of any of them.

My 23ish year old 039 and my MS 290 (that was picked up cheap and used
and has been ventilated) do the majority of my cutting. They run well with a
20" bar in hardwood and 24" bars in soft woods like pine and soft maple.
Cottonwood is soft but tougher to cut so you are limited to a 20"

I have a small MS 192T top handle saw, it is great for trimming and limbing;
It is a one handed saw if you are careful with it.

I would recommend a MS 390 or MS 440 size saw for a main saw.
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Old 12-29-2017, 01:39 PM
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Id agree with the lads a 60cc saw is about ideal for a one saw option. if you were going for two saws then something around the 70 mark, plus something real small would be a good combo. I swear I nearly use the MS180 I got for my wife more than my 60cc husky, I'm generally dealing with windblown hardwoods and there's always more cuts in the branches than the trunk
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Old 12-29-2017, 01:54 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JohnBoy View Post
Id agree with the lads a 60cc saw is about ideal for a one saw option. if you were going for two saws then something around the 70 mark, plus something real small would be a good combo. I swear I nearly use the MS180 I got for my wife more than my 60cc husky, I'm generally dealing with windblown hardwoods and there's always more cuts in the branches than the trunk
I had an MS 180, IMO a worthless POS, I traded it for the MS 192T I have now.
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