NFR Any chainsaw opinions welcome - Husqvarna vs Stihl

Discussion in 'Fly Fishing Forum' started by obiwankanobi, Aug 21, 2012.

  1. obiwankanobi Active Member

    Posts: 1,311
    Ratings: +98 / 0
    Given that my gf and I have been doing some remote excursions lately to get to our coveted fly fishing destinations, I am in the hunt for a chainsaw. I barely have an hour of experience under my belt with an old Stihl saw that was used and abused and would not start unless the chain was engaged. I have strong opinions that support both brands so I was hoping that maybe I could find more of a consensus on this forum.

    My purpose will be for felling snags to buck up into campfire wood and perhaps in the future to get wood for a shop stove. I'm leaning to a 20" bar and something that is just below a professional level to put in work.

    Thanks in advance,
  2. constructeur Active Member

    Posts: 1,515
    Seattle, Wa
    Ratings: +411 / 0
    I'm a Stihl guy. I think their saws are pretty bomb proof (I run a Cutquik saw everyday and a couple different chainsaws 1-3x a week) and to me they feel better in hand both by weight and handle design. I'd suggest a MS 290 Farm Boss (I have one) and I'm always cutting Lagging back and often run the blade into metal spikes, remesh, or ever shotcrete, I've dropped it off a ladder into wet clay and even thrown it into the back of the truck once or three times when I was throwing a temper tantrum and It's still running nearly a decade later.

    One word of advice when mixing fuel is to wait until your smaller mix can in nearly empty, put in the mix oil, then fill the can off a pump with a guage so that your mixture is spot on. Having too much oil isn't as bad as not enough, but it does mess with the idle especially at WOT, and gum up the carb quicker.

    I'd also suggest an extra chain, tools to sharpen one, a bar tool, cause' you'll need one sooner than later, bar/chain oil, and on the safety front a pair of chaps, some ear plugs, and some Z87 rated safety glasses.
    Kent Lufkin and TC like this.
  3. EHB86 Member

    Posts: 92
    Puget Sound and Plain, WA
    Ratings: +15 / 0
    Pretty hard to go too far wrong with either a Husky or Stihl. I have owned a couple different models o fboth(still do), I'm not sure if it still holds true, but as late a several years ago it seemed that the Husky's had a bit higher chain speed for their size and were a little quieter, if that matters to you. The Stihls do seem like they've got a bit more down low. I really think it's a personal preference thing for the most part, or where you get the best service, especially if you're not using it as a daily tool.

    I've cut a lot of trees with either and had no complaints.
  4. Josh Smestad aka Mtnwkr

    Posts: 620
    Bremerton, Wa
    Ratings: +67 / 0
    I also have an MS290, runs a 20" bar with 3/8 skip tooth chain just fine. Wish I would have picked up an ms260/026 instead. It's got the best power to weight ratio and will out cut the 290 any day. There's a few on craigslist for a good price. No experience with Husky's though so I'm biased I guess.
  5. Patrick Gould Active Member

    Posts: 2,356
    Ellensburg, WA
    Ratings: +688 / 1
    I had a Stihl for years and abused the hell out of the thing. As long as I winterized it I had no problems. If I forgot and left gas in over the winter then It would need professional attention.
  6. luv2fly2 Active Member

    Posts: 1,574
    .othello
    Ratings: +28 / 0
    i use stabil or seafoam in addittion to the above and premium gas and stihl oil. can i use both at the same time? i prefer stihl saws cuz there are more dealers. i run a 192, 250 and a 361. luv them all.
  7. Olive bugger Active Member

    Posts: 2,398
    Woodinville, WA
    Ratings: +413 / 0
    I have had a stihl for a very long time. Before that I had a Mac but it was used when I bought. I know nothing about a Husqvarna.

    What I know about Stihl is that they run like crazy, cut like a mad beaver if you keep the chain sharp and off the ground, and make a lot of noise. I would venture to say, that either of your selections would serve you well.
  8. TB Member

    Posts: 207
    Ma's cow, Idaho area
    Ratings: +19 / 0
    I've run a Stihl 390, w/ a 28" bar for wood cutting for 10 years. other than a couple new chains, a new rubber grommet mount for the handle, some files, and gas and oil, it aint cost me a thing beyond the purchase price. The bar was getting a bit worn, but I flipped it over and should get a few more years out of it.
  9. Jeff Member

    Posts: 338
    Fairbanks, AK
    Ratings: +14 / 0
    Check out Dolmar, in particular the 5105. You can't go wrong with any of the brands really (Dolmar, Stihl or Husky). Find a good used saw on Craigslist and go pro-grade. Why deal with a plastic case when you can get a metal saw used (that should run for years trouble free) and can be easily rebuilt?... Stihl, Husky or Dolmar, either one and you'll be happy.

    Note, I was about ready to grab a new Husky last month, then found a 1 year old used Dolmar up in here in AK, at a price that was too good to pass up. Have felled and bucked 4-5 cords with it in the last 2 weeks and it's been a real champ.

    -Jeff

    -- Edit --

    Check out this site if you feel like reading more than you care to know about chainsaws. Basically the WFF equivalent for saws. It can get pretty nerdy, in a good way.

    Husky vs Stihl vs Dolmar
  10. McNasty Canyon Lurker

    Posts: 1,046
    Somewhere Near Selah, WA
    Ratings: +429 / 1
    i personally dont know to much, but my dad logged for 26 years and has a crazy badass husqvarna that was top of the line when he bought it and it still runs perfect to this day. lots of memories with that bad boy. . .
  11. Salmo_g Active Member

    Posts: 7,491
    Your City ,State
    Ratings: +1,627 / 0
    I got a Stihl 031 AV for college graduation in 1976, and it ran flawlessly until stolen a couple years ago. Since I'm a bit older I bought a 250 model with 18" bar as a replacement for its lighter weight. Although smaller, it cuts like a screaming banshee, and I think I'll be happy with it for the rest of my wood cutting years.

    Huskys are very good saws, but I don't have any experience with them.

    Sg
  12. Gary Knowels Active Member

    Posts: 1,081
    Seattle, WA
    Ratings: +403 / 0
    I used both for firewood cutting in the summer. I don't know all that much about saws but the feel of the Husky was nicer in my hands and I always felt less tired after running that instead of the Stihl
  13. Jim Wallace Smells like low tide

    Posts: 5,655
    Somewhere on the Coast
    Ratings: +540 / 0
    I bought a well-used Stihl 026 from an old timer about 12 or so years ago, and its still running OK, although it needs a tune-up and I need to get a couple of new chains, maybe a new bar, and have it professionally serviced. Its been a good pruning and firewood saw. I've never had it in the shop, not even once, and its due for a good going over.
  14. Davy Active Member

    Posts: 2,021
    SIlverton, OR
    Ratings: +16 / 0
    whatever you decide on you should try to only use non-ethy gasoline. The pump gas here in Oregon is mandated at least 10 % alcohol and is so hard on small engines. We make a run to Salem 2 or 3 times year and get non-ethyl in several cans to run our saws ,mowers, trimmers, gens and washers and my vintage boat motors from Nelson Oil . Not sure about Washington's gas. I have Stihl's btw, 045 and and an 028 . I don't do anything special as far as winterizing or anything and they always start. I am not sure about todays Stihl models. Maybe they are still good. it sounds like they are from the above posts. But, like so many of our old time and by gone " premium brands" ,they and Husky may be livin on their reputation and 10 years from now we will find out. Who knows. Have fun ! Oh and good idea on the saw, never know when you may get a blowdown on those FS roads and need it to get out, Let alone for camp wood
  15. skyrise Active Member

    Posts: 591
    everett, wa.
    Ratings: +51 / 0
  16. jessejames Flyslinger

    Posts: 1,858
    Show Low, Arizona
    Ratings: +345 / 3
    Obi just use your light saber!!! No gas no mess and a lot quieter....:)
    jesse
  17. Gary Thompson dirty dog

    Posts: 3,891
    East Wenatchee, WA
    Ratings: +131 / 0
    I killed trees for over 25 years and worn out a couple of Huskys and a couple of stihls both are good equipment.
    I keep a Husky rancher for around the house use
  18. dp ~El Pescador

    Posts: 710
    .Renton, Wa
    Ratings: +88 / 0
    Stihl. have had a 028 hawg boss since early 80's.
    never changed the plug or anything.
    starts up every time and cuts like an SOB.
    skip tooth chisel chains are the way!
  19. obiwankanobi Active Member

    Posts: 1,311
    Ratings: +98 / 0
    Thanks all for the great responses. I pulled the plug on purchasing a new Sthil ms 250 today. I just heard too many great things about this brand through personal research, your responses and personal friends. Its nice and light and will fit my purpose perfectly. I realize its not to cut 100 chords of wood a year but will suit my needs.

    Again thanks much!