newbie intro and questions

kdaffy

New Member
Feb 5, 2013
10
1
3
Hi Everyone!


Great site! I've been reading through these forums and really appreciate the wealth of information available!


I am a recent new homeowner and am in the market for a chainsaw. I have very limited experience with saws (have used my friend's stihl woodboss on 10 occasions), but have grand aspirations. My house has approx. 2 acres of woods, and I bought a woodstove and intend to use it as a primary heating source for my main floor (approx. 1200 sq. ft.) - hence the need for a saw.


A little about me - I am 6', 180lbs, and in good shape . This spring I have a decent amount of clean up to do in the yard - as a result of sandy and other storms, there are about 15 trees down at the perimeter of my yard with diameters from 12-24" (guesstimate). After this, I will want to get a decent wood pile (5-10 cords) so I have plenty of fuel for my stove.


Based on what I've read on the web, it seems like basic homeowner saws are not really the way to go, and I can appreciate why - pro saws offer better construction, lighter weight, and likely more longevity - do I have this right? Is this the case even for a novice?


Also based on what I read, I recently visited my local dealers. Nearby there is a stihl dealer (the local ACE hardware store) and a stihl/husqvarna dealer. Im thinking of a budget around $500-600 and after handling the saws i sort of ended liking the stihl ms261 (liked how much lighter it was vs my friend's wood boss) and the husqvarna 550xp (which was a bit lighter than the ms261). Home Depot has Echo's as their top of the line, but they felt of cheaper construction than the stihl or husqvarna (although the echo has a nice warranty). Unfortunately I could not try any of the saws.


So here I am hoping for some advice...I dont want this to be a 500xp vs ms261 thread, but rather hoping on your opinions on the following:
If you like one saw over the other, and have experience with them, what makes said saw your favorite?
Do I need a pro saw?
Are there any dealers that you can recommend outside Boston/southern NH that would let me try out the saws? Any private sellers on this site interested in selling me a saw?
I am looking for a one saw stable - is a 50cc saw the best bet for me?
What size bar? (im thinking 18" - but would appreciate advice)
Any chain recommended?



I want to thank you for your advice and input in advance.
 

jacob j.

When I let my hair down, my friends call me Dick C
Jan 9, 2012
8,421
68,757
113
Welcome- there's several fine members of this site that can help you get into a new saw. Both the 261 and 550 are excellent units and would do you a fine job. I've owned a 261 and it ran great and was very well constructed. My next new saw purchase though will be a 550XP through a member here.
 
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BloodOnTheIce

~Ice Gangsta~
Jan 10, 2012
2,043
2,087
113
Parts Unknown
Hi Everyone!


Great site! I've been reading through these forums and really appreciate the wealth of information available!


I am a recent new homeowner and am in the market for a chainsaw. I have very limited experience with saws (have used my friend's stihl woodboss on 10 occasions), but have grand aspirations. My house has approx. 2 acres of woods, and I bought a woodstove and intend to use it as a primary heating source for my main floor (approx. 1200 sq. ft.) - hence the need for a saw.


A little about me - I am 6', 180lbs, and in good shape . This spring I have a decent amount of clean up to do in the yard - as a result of sandy and other storms, there are about 15 trees down at the perimeter of my yard with diameters from 12-24" (guesstimate). After this, I will want to get a decent wood pile (5-10 cords) so I have plenty of fuel for my stove.


Based on what I've read on the web, it seems like basic homeowner saws are not really the way to go, and I can appreciate why - pro saws offer better construction, lighter weight, and likely more longevity - do I have this right? Is this the case even for a novice?


Also based on what I read, I recently visited my local dealers. Nearby there is a stihl dealer (the local ACE hardware store) and a stihl/husqvarna dealer. Im thinking of a budget around $500-600 and after handling the saws i sort of ended liking the stihl ms261 (liked how much lighter it was vs my friend's wood boss) and the husqvarna 550xp (which was a bit lighter than the ms261). Home Depot has Echo's as their top of the line, but they felt of cheaper construction than the stihl or husqvarna (although the echo has a nice warranty). Unfortunately I could not try any of the saws.


So here I am hoping for some advice...I dont want this to be a 500xp vs ms261 thread, but rather hoping on your opinions on the following:
If you like one saw over the other, and have experience with them, what makes said saw your favorite?
Do I need a pro saw?
Are there any dealers that you can recommend outside Boston/southern NH that would let me try out the saws? Any private sellers on this site interested in selling me a saw?
I am looking for a one saw stable - is a 50cc saw the best bet for me?
What size bar? (im thinking 18" - but would appreciate advice)
Any chain recommended?



I want to thank you for your advice and input in advance.
Both saws are great, I've run both and sell Stihl's.
Either would be perfect for what you want to do.

TK is in Scarborough, Maine he's a Husky dealer.

When it comes down to spend your money with the dealer who earns your business.

18" is a perfect size for those saws, for cutting firewood get a couple chisel chains for
clean wood and a couple semi chisel for dirty wood.
 
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kdaffy

New Member
Feb 5, 2013
10
1
3
thanks for the responses - much appreciated!

bloodonthinice, how to i get in touch with TK? is that his member name?

jacob - any members you can recommend i contact?

I got some prices on a 550xp (i'm really liking this saw) today from local dealers - one with 18" bar for $620, and another with prices starting @ $580 with 16" bar/ no chain - are these reasonable for this saw?
 

BloodOnTheIce

~Ice Gangsta~
Jan 10, 2012
2,043
2,087
113
Parts Unknown
thanks for the responses - much appreciated!

bloodonthinice, how to i get in touch with TK? is that his member name?

jacob - any members you can recommend i contact?

I got some prices on a 550xp (i'm really liking this saw) today from local dealers - one with 18" bar for $620, and another with prices starting @ $580 with 16" bar/ no chain - are these reasonable for this saw?
Yeah Tom is a member here, he'll be on tonight most likely.

He should be able to do better than that on a price.
 

TK

Hand Rubbed Pork
Jan 9, 2012
8,808
8,483
113
Maine
www.tkpowerequipment.com
thanks for the responses - much appreciated!

bloodonthinice, how to i get in touch with TK? is that his member name?

jacob - any members you can recommend i contact?

I got some prices on a 550xp (i'm really liking this saw) today from local dealers - one with 18" bar for $620, and another with prices starting @ $580 with 16" bar/ no chain - are these reasonable for this saw?
I'm TK ;) Even had a license plate on my truck that said that at one point :jesterlaugh:

The choices you've laid out are perfect, MS261 and 550XP. I have both. More than welcome to try them out here at the shop. I'm 42 miles into Maine off 95, most people say I'm in northern Massachussetts LOL. Both saws run great. Where they differ IMO is the feel and handling. I unfortunately don't have a tree you can limb up and down but do have test logs to make cuts in. If ya want a new 550XP I can hook you up, and those prices are easy to beat. What I can't do is sell you a Stihl, I'm not a dealer for them.

On another note throwing out options for saws that would fit the bill for your needs......

346xp, I have some left
353, I have some left
545

The 545 and 550XP replace the 353 and 346XP with newer technology. The new tech makes the saws EPA compliant, and also adds some really nice features. That doesn't mean the older saws are bad in any way, as they are regarded as some of the best of all time. They all hit different price points, with different features, power, looks, feel, etc. But they will all do what you need/want them to do. All are pro construction. Sorry to muddy up the waters with more choices, but wanted you to know that you do have many options - great options at that.
 

jacob j.

When I let my hair down, my friends call me Dick C
Jan 9, 2012
8,421
68,757
113
thanks for the responses - much appreciated!

bloodonthinice, how to i get in touch with TK? is that his member name?

jacob - any members you can recommend i contact?

I got some prices on a 550xp (i'm really liking this saw) today from local dealers - one with 18" bar for $620, and another with prices starting @ $580 with 16" bar/ no chain - are these reasonable for this saw?
You can get good prices through TK or mweba on a 550. You can get a good price on a 261 through BloodOnTheIce. All three are fine guys to deal with.
 
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WoodChuck'r

HNIC
Staff member
Jan 8, 2012
24,962
22,764
4,294,967,295
38
Upstate NY - Southern Tier
I'll keep it short and just 2nd everything everyone already said.


And you'll love a brand spankin' 550. Hope to get one this early spring myself. They're kick @$$ little saws fo sho. :thumbsup:
 
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kdaffy

New Member
Feb 5, 2013
10
1
3
Both saws are great, I've run both and sell Stihl's.
Either would be perfect for what you want to do.

TK is in Scarborough, Maine he's a Husky dealer.

When it comes down to spend your money with the dealer who earns your business.

18" is a perfect size for those saws, for cutting firewood get a couple chisel chains for
clean wood and a couple semi chisel for dirty wood.
as a stihl dealer, what would be your selling points to lean someone towards a 261 vs the husky?
 
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