choosing a new (first) chain saw

Discussion in 'Equipment & Survival Kits' started by Dakine, Mar 19, 2014.

  1. Cotton

    Cotton Supporting Member

    1,276
    3
    Too funny! :rofl: I'm like that with specific items... Brings to mind an old revolver I own. It disappears all the time. Once for 2 years... I put a new shelving unit in the kitchen. It partially blocked a drawer.

    2 years later and after many fruitless searches... I did a major spring cleaning and moved the shelving unit... I'll be darned, there was that old pistol hiding in the back of that drawer! :mad:
     
  2. Tirediron

    Tirediron RockyMountainCanadian

    4,288
    88
    From what I have seen Stihl has at least some warranty reps that like to deny warranty on new pro saws claiming improper oiling (like not using mixed gas, except in all of these cases several pro saws were fueled out of the same jug and the rest were still running fine, premium fuel mixed with Stihl oil. I know of at least one guy who has switches to husky because of this, and it will effect my own choice when I buy my next saw. If I had to buy premium gas to run my husky 372 pro saw it would be a royal pain, it gets the same dyed farm gas as the rest of our gas engines, it has worn out several chains, gets worked hard and does fine, although we are at a fairly high altitude. maybe premium would be necessary at lower elevations, I have seen premium dyed gas at card locks at lower elevations in logging areas, so I guess there must be a large enough market.
     

  3. zombieresponder

    zombieresponder random gibberish

    1,061
    2
    That issue is not limited to Stihl. Most major manufacturers do that. Between the ethanol tainted fuel that is the norm, and stupidly stringent EPA regs that cause manufacturers to put out saws that are tuned lean, lots of 2 cycle equipment ends up with scored pistons/cylinders. MFG's get off easy just blaming it on the end consumer using "bad fuel" or "not enough oil".

    Another problem is that some OPE 2 cycle engines are equipped with catalytic converters. This addition, along with the ethanol, increases the operating temperature of the engine. Combine that with the typically lean fuel mix setting on the carb and it's a recipe for failure.

    I'm in the process of adding these to all of my equipment. tach/hour meter If a chainsaw(for example) is running lean, the rpm will be higher than mfg specified no load rpm.
     
  4. Balls004

    Balls004 Not new, just older

    791
    50
    I meant premium oil mix, not premium gas. Sorry if it was confusing...

    It's a fact of life that the EPA has mandated that all outdoor power equipment conform to some really draconian emissions standards. They are already including micro processors that control the carburetor on saws and other equipment and it's not going to go away anytime soon. The only way to meet those standards is to do the same thing as they did to cars and trucks, lean them out as much as possible.

    Look, I'm not saying that any mfg'rs 2 cycle motors don't occasionally fail due to no fault of the owner. I know that when I run a fuel test on the majority of the equipment that has failed, it is either due to raw gas, a 100:1 mix, or old gas. I have had people tell me they put new gas in it before they tried to start it, except the gas mix in the can was a year old or older. Plus, they did not run the saw dry before putting it up for a year. The insides of the carb look like the kitchen sink in a college student's apartment.

    When I don't see that on a piece of equipment, and convey that to whichever warranty rep, they very seldom make any noise about warrantying it.
     
  5. zombieresponder

    zombieresponder random gibberish

    1,061
    2
    Ran across this by chance and thought it was interesting. I have already switched to using canola oil instead of petroleum based bar oil, but it does have a drawback. http://www.fs.fed.us/t-d/pubs/html/98511316/98511316.html

    I would say that I've had less chain stretch and undoubtedly better oil flow using canola oil. The downside I've seen is that if you don't clean the bar/chain after using it, and the saw isn't in regular use, the stuff dries almost like a glue on the bar. Chains will be very stiff too. From what I've read, the Stihl "biodegradeable" bar oil is mostly canola oil with some additives. Around here, bar oil and canola are both about $8 a gallon.
     
  6. mosquitomountainman

    mosquitomountainman I invented the internet. :rofl:

    3,698
    70
    It's a common practice at home to use vegetable oil for bar oil in chain saws dedicated for quartering large animals. Other than that I'd prefer regular bar oil of the correct viscosity. I have no idea what the film strenght is on vegetable oils compared to bar oil and in our neck of the woods I wouldn't want to wake up and find a grizzly licking off the bar on my chainsaw or destroying the camp trying to get at the cooking oil. I've used old motor oil also (after running it through a paint filter).
     
  7. Tirediron

    Tirediron RockyMountainCanadian

    4,288
    88
    vegitable oil does not have the film strength to adequately keep the groove lubed in heavy cutting (ie dry fire wood) even fresh motor oil has enough trouble, chain oil is designed to stick to the chain and not wipe off the groove easily, API hypoid gear oil also works, but it really stinks and the anti wiping in it is overkill, although you could mix hypoid with motor oil.

    OR save the planet, use vegitable oil and replace twice as many bars and chains Greeny thinking at it's finest.
     
  8. cowboyhermit

    cowboyhermit Supporting Member

    3,583
    1
    Actually the "bio-based" oils work pretty well, sometimes even better than petroleum versions.

    http://www.fs.fed.us/eng/pubs/html/98511316/98511316.html

    BUT that is not just veggie oil, it has additives and is processed in very specific ways, it also costs twice as much as regular oil. It does have some drawbacks other than price(hard to find a "winter" version for instance), but I found the stihl product to work very well. Running straight veggie oil will not give the same results as a product designed for the task (neither will engine oil), but it does allow you to add mushroom spores as you cut :)
    And it is a lot less carcinogenic :dunno:
     
  9. LincTex

    LincTex Jack of all trades?

    8,397
    88
    It's what I use exclusively.

    It's doesn't "stick" to the Chain as much as I'd like - but I've gotten in the habit of letting the chain "freespin" and "oil up" for a couple seconds before a cut, and then doing the same thing immediately after. I put the tip near the end of a fresh cut log, and as soon as I see a little oil hit the face of the log I let off the throttle.

    Hypoid Gear Oil would be great to mix in, if I could ever find enough of it.
     
  10. Tirediron

    Tirediron RockyMountainCanadian

    4,288
    88
    I heat my shop with used oil, I don't mind spending a few bucks on chain oil, it lasts far longer because of the tackiness, and my chains last longer too I am pretty sure,

    I don't always believe the hype about Canola, it has a huge energy footprint already, and add some special chemicals.

    Veggie oil has some nasty properties too but people like to forget these when band wagoning.

    The us and Europe can't agree on which refrigerant is better, the chemical lobby supported R 134 or stabilized propane.
     
  11. zombieresponder

    zombieresponder random gibberish

    1,061
    2
    It's odd that you say that. I have run straight canola oil in my Husky 394xp with a 32" bar when cutting red oak large enough that the bar just barely made it through, and in some cases I had to cut from both sides. With the adjustable oiler set around halfway up, it slung a trail of oil from the bar tip while cutting in the above conditions. I've also had less chain stretch than when I ran bar oil. To me that means there is less heat and less wear occurring. That bar cost me around $130, and I don't expect to replace it anytime soon. Last time I looked at it, there was no evidence at all of it even being used, despite several hours of run time.
     
  12. Tirediron

    Tirediron RockyMountainCanadian

    4,288
    88
    the film strength of canola can change drastically with each batch, because it is a cooking oil and not destined for lubrication and so not really viscosity indexed. I am glad that it did the job for you, but if it is slinging off the chain then the volume used must be a lot higher than you would have used if you had run seasonal chain oil. I have actually found that fir and diamond willow are the hardest cutting woods.
    Maybe Canola destined for warmer climates has higher viscosity than the stuff we get locally.
    I work with a log home builder who has a special formula of chain oil blended to keep the chain/groove alive while not spraying oil along the lateral groove, these guys put a lot of hours on their saws and are very aware of what works and what doesn't,
     
  13. zombieresponder

    zombieresponder random gibberish

    1,061
    2
    There isn't a huge amount of it coming off the chain, certainly no more than when I ran conventional bar oil. I did turn the oiler down slightly after switching to canola. I would agree that having something added to make it a little more "sticky" would be an improvement though.

    Canola(rapeseed) oil was, and probably still is, used as an industrial lubricant.
     
  14. Born2b

    Born2b New Member

    3
    0
    I'm in the market for new chainsaw. Any good points or bad points? And what models and makes? It will be for logging branches and small trees?? Trying to find quality chainsaw up to $200-$250. Any thoughts?
     
    Last edited: Oct 23, 2017
  15. Born2b

    Born2b New Member

    3
    0
    Small trees from 4 to 8 inches. I think the saw will be needed only 2-3 times a month.
     
  16. Born2b

    Born2b New Member

    3
    0
    Thank you, I think electric chainsaw will be the right choice.
     
  17. RedBeard

    RedBeard Guest

    0
    3
    Just an fyi as a person who has worked on small engines for the last 20 years i highly recommend echo. Echo is an underrated company who has built some of the best engines for a pile of other companies then they started making their own yard products. Their price for what you get can't be beat. Their warranty is the best in the business. In fact they are used by more pro lawncare companies than sthil or husky. Also Oregon sells a battery powered saw that is down right impressive. Here is their saw:
    https://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/B011...0v+battery&dpPl=1&dpID=41Hz1BdnVuL&ref=plSrch

    Here is some of their other products:
    https://www.amazon.com/s/?ie=UTF8&k...MIipOn9ZyJ1wIVBEGGCh0oSQRREAAYASAAEgLfB_D_BwE
     
  18. phideaux

    phideaux Dogs breath

    2,597
    866
    I have been heating with wood for over 20 years.

    I have had ALL the brands of Chainsaws,
    Been in several of the Mfg's plants.

    I nailed it down , about 15 years ago, to Echo.

    Best all around , chainsaw I have ever owned.
    Only owned 2 of them a big one and a small one....can't wear them out, and 2 pulls every time , it's running.


    Always run them with 93 octane gas, and echo 2 cycle oil.
    Tried 87 octane once.... never again.



    Jim
     
  19. RedBeard

    RedBeard Guest

    0
    3
    You nailed it down! Where sthil is a lowend torque saw and husky is a high rpm horsepower saw echo is both. They turn the rpms of husky and have the grunt of sthil. I lived in ct for about 5 years and i sold echo down there, a ton of them, my shop was full of sthils and huskys with problems. The echos were carb tunings and chain sharpings. Echos warranty is awesome and their people are awesome. We had a customer who had bought a ton of echos from us (lawn care guy) and his hedge clipper gear box gave out a few days after the warranty ended. For grins we called echo and told them the deal. They said no problem we will send him a new gear box. I was amazed. But when we got it in and opened the box it was the new gear box along with their newest (crazy sharp) blades design. Then a yearish later we sold a guy their smallest backpack blower. When we sell something we take it off the wall and gas it up then start it, make sure its good. Then we go over it with the customer. Well he went home and used it till the tank was empty and gassed it up with straight gas. Used about a 1/4 of it and then shut it off because it was loosing power. Impressive i thought, thats a pretty good amount of time on straight gas! So he brought it down to us. First thing i notice when he sets it on the counter is the gas looks clear in the tank. I say nothing. He says what i said above, used it, gassed it, ran, no power. So i open the cap, tada straight gas. Pull it over almost no compression. My boss for fun calls echo. Tells them the deal. I hear my boss say "are you serious? Ok thank you very much i will tell him.". He hangs up and turns to me and says "they said this is a one time thing but give him a new one.". Couldn't believe it! So i did and hammered the customer about mixed gas. He was tickled pink. Not only is echo one of the best brands they are good to their customers and to their dealers. On that note DO NOT buy an echo from home depot! They have cheaper carbs on them and are different. They will work but will cost more to fix. Buy from a dealer if you can and just so people know echo sets the dealer pricing and even top dealers only make about 18 bucks tops on a sale. If you ever have a problem with an echo dealer call echo directly, they want happy customers.
     
  20. Tirediron

    Tirediron RockyMountainCanadian

    4,288
    88
    I will have to look into an echo next saw, they are a couple of pounds heavier than a Husky, I won't buy a Stihl because they never cover warranty. Echo doesn't publish hp ratings either, how do they compare to the other orange saws??
     
    sewingcreations15 and RedBeard like this.