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  #1  
Unread 8th July 2013, 06:25 AM
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Default Chainsaws

Feel free to move this thread if I've put it in the wrong spot!

Contemplating buying a small lightweight chainsaw to take with me on camping/fishing trips and was wondering if anyone on here has any experience/opinions on which to get. There's a couple of options I reckon:

Get this cheap Ozito one from Bunnings:
http://www.bunnings.com.au/products_..._P3380608.aspx

Or this Husky seems to get good reviews and would obviously be better quality than the Ozito above:
http://www.husqvarna.com/au/products.../236-e-series/

The Ozito goes for $99 while the Husky is $249. My personal preference for most things is quality over quantity, but I am open to suggestions/and or other brands people might have some experience with.
At the moment I'm leaning towards the Husky.

Any help would be greatly appreciated!
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Unread 8th July 2013, 07:24 AM
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I don't know if the Huskys are as good as they once were (what is?).

But I do know that I wouldn't touch anything with the Ozito brand on it with a 40' barge pole, even if it had a prophylactic on the end of it ...

When I bought a lawnmower some 30+ years ago, it only lasted until early this year. Flaming rubbish

So I agree with the old adage that: "The sweetness of low price never makes up for the bitterness of low quality".
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Unread 8th July 2013, 08:00 AM
Tannin Tannin is offline
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Why wouldn't you get a Stihl?
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Unread 8th July 2013, 08:05 AM
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I've owned all of them - Husky; McCullough; Homelite; Stihl - in all sizes. One of the McCulloughs had a 4 foot cutter bar.

The Homelite was the best, and most reliable - by far.

BUT all that was a very long time ago. And as I said before, very little is made to the sort of quality that we routinely expected back in the 1960s.

These days, things look fancier; and are built more foully, as someone said somewhat more famously than I some 400 years ago ...
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Unread 8th July 2013, 08:10 AM
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Stihls look great but comparable models/size start around the $400+ mark which is starting to break the bank for me. Not off the list of possibilities though!
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Unread 8th July 2013, 08:59 AM
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I have an Ozito electric chainsaw which I use around the yard and it works fine. They use an Oregon chain and have a 3 yr warranty. I've taken down 5m tall trees with it.A mate who is a paver used an Ozito hammer drill for his job (not supposed to) lasted 2 years but he was professional paver using it for his work every day, he simply went back to Bunnings and got a new one on warranty...
I also own Ozito drills and screwdrivers and they are also fine for home use.
People are all too quick to bag cheap china brands like Ozito but they are great value for money for the odd use now and then IMHO. The quality of stuff coming out of China is much better nowadays.
No I don't work at Bunnings
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Unread 8th July 2013, 09:47 AM
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Now that I've read the question more carefully, I'd suggest that if you need a chainsaw to go camping and fishing with, you are not doing it right. How big a fire do you need? If you don't like carrying gas in the car to cook with (I certainly don't!) just buy a good dual fuel stove from Coleman or MSR or Tilley and run it on the same stuff you run your car on. The new Tilley multi-fuel one looks briliant!

But you have thought of all that already or you wouldn't as the question. So onto chainsaws......

Stihl is the benchmark in chainsaws. Husqvarna is regarded as a fairly decent alternative. I have worked with a couple of pros in this game and they both reckon that Stihls last longer, give less trouble and are easier to work on. I was taught by those guys so I have mostly used their saws (all Stihls, pro models); my father's three Stihls, and my own two, also Stihls, though I have used other brands here and there, mostly for small jobs. So I'm what you call a biassed witness so far as brand vs brand goes. But I can add that I am continually impressed by how well designed and engineered the Stihl saws are. Perform a few basic maintenance tasks regularly and they just go.

My father's big saw is an amazing beast: I remember when he bought it: it was way too heavy for me to use, or even carry. I was about 9 or 10 years old. I'm 53 in a couple of weeks, and that puts the big old Stihl comfortably over 40. I had a bigish job to do at his place the other week and pulled it off the bottom shelf where it sits, mostly unused these days as there are a couple of much newer, smaller, lighter saws more than big enough to do the usual jobs. I checked the chain, topped up the fuel and bar oil, wondered when he used it last, and pulled the string. It is a stiff pull and it kicks a bit but it fired up the very first time, and it cuts like nobody's business. You need to watch yourself with that one as it's not just heavy, it's old school and was manufactured before they had modern safety features like chain brakes. But it's a beatiful old machine.

Two things I reckon you do NOT want:

1: Easy-start comes under various trade names and essentially amounts to having a spring or air pressure chamber do the actual starting of the engine. Pulling the string simply pumps up the pressure in the chamber, so you just give the machine three or four quick little pulls - it's easy, two fingers will do it - and, at some point, the pressure gets high enough and it kicks itself over. Magic! I paid the extra to have that technology on my own saw (a medium-size Stihl big enough to cope with most things and small enough to be light and easy to handle for the first hour, and at least doable for the next couple of hours) and now I regret it.

The trouble is, there is no way of knowing if the "spring" has any pressure on it. What if it has (say) a 3/4 charge and you are working on it - adjusting the chain maybe - and some bump or just the general cussedness of things sets it off? Yes, it can happen; I don't remember seeing it actually start a saw unexpectedly but I have certainly been caught by surprise once or twice when a tool kicked over all by itself. (They have the same starting system on all sorts of other power tools.) So now I have trained myself to always press the switch down before I touch the chain to confirm that the ignition is off. I do this even if I just did it 20 seconds ago. Always check is my rule, the same way you always look before you cross the street, even if you know there is no traffic.

East Start is a great idea, but you shouldn't have it on a chainsaw. Bad idea. And you'll save about fifty bucks by having the same saw without the Easy Start. Any saw small enough for general purpose use is either easy to start anyway or else needs a service. Modern small engines are amazingly good!

2: Toolless chain adjustments. They don't work. Well, they do work, but they are a right pain in the arse. I got that for my saw too and every time I use it I wish I'd saved another fifty bucks and got the plain vanilla saw with the old-style adjustment you use a screwdriver for. Notice that none of the professional saws have toolless chain tensioning: it's strictly an amateur feature. It is actually much quicker and easier to do it the "hard" way with a screwdriver.

Summary: quite a few good reasons to buy a Stihl here. And one very good reason not to: it seems that you are looking at very light duty usage. Is it worth spending $400+ on a saw you will hardly use? Probably not.
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Unread 8th July 2013, 10:54 PM
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I agree having a chainsaw for these sort of trips is a luxury but the less time I spend collecting wood is more time I get fishing/drinking beer!
What I'm thinking is:
- There's a limit to the amount of wood I can take with me from home (space/weight) forcing me to collect wood on the go.
- A hand saw will and has done the job, but obviously takes more time/energy
- Could be useful if you find trees down over the track you are following

We don't have massive fires when we go on these trips, just something to sit around at night to take the edge off the cold nights. Don't cook with them either really, maybe sometimes for damper and things but the majority of cooking is done on my Coleman stove with a 3kg gas bottle.
I know last time there was plenty of timber I just didn't even think was worth considering due to the time it would take me to cut through with the hand saw. Obviously a chainsaw would change this.
Any chainsaw I would buy would also be used at our shack for collecting firewood off the property. So yes I do agree - I wouldn't use it much, but would make life a lot easier.
Because of this I'm thinking something in the mid range price range would suffice as it's not going to be used all the time.
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Unread 8th July 2013, 11:05 PM
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I agree with Tannin completely about safety when working with chain saws. They are truly deadly and dangerous if misused even once. Once is enough ... One slip, and you won't see your hand (etc) again. The wounds are incredibly bad because of the lack of cleanness of the cut, and the crap carried into them by the chain.

NEVER use one overhead unless you are very experienced using the saw this way (i.e. had a long "apprenticeship" using a chain saw under supervision of a very experienced and careful person).

Always cut wood that is well supported. If the timber being cut shifts unexpectedly, you will be lucky to avoid cutting yourself with the saw, or being hit by a piece of flying timber.

NEVER use a chain saw except when standing firmly on solid ground ...

I do agree about the middle range saw. Better one that works than one that 'sort of' works. The latter type is also more dangerous for a whole lot of reasons. Good hunting.
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Unread 8th July 2013, 11:23 PM
dajeepman dajeepman is offline
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http://www.stihlusa.com/products/cha...saws/ms150tce/

I know its 400+ but you get what you pay for IMO

Have you looked into a used model this size? its for in tree pruneing... Good Friend has one.. its really light and with a 12" bar its good to take camping.. not have to deal with a really heavy saw.
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