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Best chainsaw

Posted by yetty734 (My Page) on
Wed, Nov 21, 07 at 22:56

just to kinda help people out as it is hard to see the trend thoughout many forums. what do you think the top 2 best chainsaw manufacturers are.

my vote:
1. STIHL
2. Johnsered/Husqvarna(joined company)


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Best chainsaw

i will occasionaly tally up the votes. the idea here is not to argue, just to see across the forum what people like best. base ur ratings not on price but on quality and performance.


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RE: Best chainsaw

I don't know what the answer will tell you other if you only had two chainsaw manufacturers to choose from, which two would you choose or something like that. I have preferences depending on what I need to saw and the saw I would pick for that task. That's more than 2 manufacturers for me.

Not much Husky experience here so I'll vote Stihl and Makita/Dolmar. Although I am sure I would really like some of the Husky's.


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I don`t think that anyone can honestly say an entire brand is better than another.

My first two picks that are for most intents equal IMO, alphabetically so as not to imply any favoritism, are Husky and Stihl, my second choices would be Dolmar and Jonsered and these guys rate second primarily because of ergonomic issues that might be entirely my own.

I do think that Husky and Stihl have the most models that I would consider.


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RE: Best chainsaw

Hi Yetty,
Best all around use chainsaw is the Echo cs-440. It now comes with a five year warranty for the homeowner user. Drain off the fuel mix when your done using it, and it will last you many years. Top two chainsaw makers worldwide are Echo and Stihl.

Here is a link that might be useful: Echo Website


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RE: Best chainsaw

To each their own on best all around. Best all around will be a compromise no matter what. Someone on the West Coast with alot of big wood would maybe want something bigger for all around work as opposed to someone that has alot of pines or small diameter trees. I don't think many experienced pro/serious chainsaw users would put the CS-440 as best all around.

Personally in that CC range I would take a Husky 346XP, an Stihl 260 or a Dolmar 5100S. Pricier but well worth it if you need the saw a couple times a month or more.


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Echo CS440 is one of the best saws for the money if you can get one from Ebay for around $200, no it won't cut as fast as a 346xp, MS260 or a Dolmar 5100s but it cuts good and is built well. The Dolmar 5100s is the winner in the 50cc range around $380 to $400 unless your cutting twigs then the 346xp Husky, a little more than $400. Steve


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RE: Best chainsaw

"The Dolmar 5100s is the winner in the 50cc range around $380 to $400 unless your cutting twigs then the 346xp Husky, a little more than $400. Steve"

Sorry Steve but it appears to me that your opinion is solely derived from reading certain forums. I assume that you have a 5100s, owned or extensively ran a 346xp? If no to either of these questions, what qualifies you to make that statement? What do you know about the 346 being good only for cutting twigs?

I`ve had a couple of the 5100s and found them to be alright with the exception of the propensity toward them shaking like a dog trying to pass a peach pit. They are marginally more powerful out of the box than an earlier 346 and that`s all fine and good until you need something as mundane as a fuel line, then your on your own brother. Dolmar has more than fallen on their face in their big dealer/distributor shakeup. There are now more "dealers" than ever before but find one who stocks anything. I know of one and he is 3 1/2 hours away, uhh, surprisingly close to the east coast distributor. Things like this factor heavily in who makes a good saw IMO. I`m frankly about ready to puke from all this Dolmar fanaticism because I just can`t see it. Did you also know that Dolmar is aggressively trying to cease internet and mail order sales of their products? Where does that leave a person in need of parts or product?

I also own a 7900 and have had the rare opportunity to operate many 7900s and a few more 5100s, they are very good saws but hardly best in class. Initially everyone is wowed by their stated best power to weight ratios but when the dust settles they are not as special as they once seemed on paper.

BTW, maybe you are aware that both Husky and Stihl have increased the displacement in their 3 cube saws to level the playing field with the Dolmar that always had the displacement advantage? When more of these larger displacement saws get out in the field the Dolmar is likely going to be like a fart in the wind, everybody knew about them at first but then they are nothing but a memory. Dolmars screwed up distribution ideology is doing it to themselves. At least with the local Echo dealers who are actually repair shops you can expect to be able to get common parts.


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I guess I should have said the 346 is better at cutting smaller stuff. We all know the 346 was designed for high RPM's at the cost of lower speed torque, if you can keep it in that narrow power band it will cut fine. From what I hear the new 50cc 346 has a little less RPM and more torque, more user friendly. You want to talk about fanaticism how about Huske fanaticism. I've seen to many people get a Husky and think they're going to blow your doors off which just doesn't happen. Most pro saws a real close cc for cc and homeowner Stihl and Husky are what they make thier money off of. Far as dealer support goes I have'nt had a saw in a shop for over 25 years and if I need parts I can wait with enough backup saws. I know most people need a good dealer so thats where they should buy. Yes I own a couple of Huskys and Stihls and Echos and Dolmars and a Solo and a Cub Cadet (efco) Steve


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Well Steve, if the 346 was developed for high speed operation at the expense of torque, how is the 346 at a nominal top speed of 14.7k rpm substantially any different than the 5100s at a rated top speed of 14.5k? Without a powervalve a two stroke can`t make both topend and lowend. It appears to me that you`re of the chainsaw "anti-establishment" mentality that compels you to proclaim the newcomer as the leader and that you`re so busy splitting hairs based primarily on spec sheets and what other people have said rather than hands on comparison that you are not objective.

Nothing personal meant Steve, although I understand that my statements toward you would be hard to take any other way. I lump everyone who is still proclaiming the 5100s as king into the same group. I even bought into the rhetoric and had to have one as soon as they became available and ordered another based on all the hype. I know own neither.

For the record you state that you own Huskies, Stihls, Dolmars, etc., but you never stated that you own any of the models being discussed?......and good for you if you don`t need a dealer......but many other`s do, or simply want one for any machine that they understand will eventually need service. I have plenty of saws so that I can wait for parts if necessary but I don`t like having anything sitting around and not servicable, after Dolmar corporately deep sixed most of their established dealers a few years ago in the name of developing a new and better dealer network you can no longer drive to a dealer within a reasonable time and expect to get any parts beyond chain. I needed a carb for my 7900 earlier this year and I had to order it and pay shipping because none of the local dealers sell enough anything to get it in a stock order, that`s bunk and it`s something that prospective customers should be aware of.

Call me a fanatic if you will but let me tell you what spent the day in the woods with me yesterday, a hopped up Stihl 260 Pro and a 7900 that never got unsheathed, but it was there for whatever that`s worth. I`ll use any good product but I think it`s quite a stretch to say that Dolmar is king of anything except possibly corporate strategy snafus.


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I would guess the 5100s cuts faster in bigger wood from the extra cc's. The new 346 should be real even. Why is Husky coming out with Xtra torgue models lately, maybe a little lower exhaust port. Steve


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Stihl's parts network isn't much better then Dolmar. Local dealer's will stock air filters and spark plugs but after that they'll likely need to special order from a Stihl distribution center and most of them will charge you freight unless you wait for one of their normal parts stocking orders to go out. And with Stihl, (unlike Dolmar), you can't order any parts online.


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Must be that I`m lucky then because I have a stocking Stihl and Husky dealer 12 miles from me and another 17 miles in the other direction, given that I live in a somewhat rural area I don`t find that to be an inconvenience. Recently when I also wanted a fuel line for my beloved 7900 I spoke to several Dolmar dealers who stock NOTHING!......not even chainsaws although a few had demolition saws? A few that I spoke to also considered it incredulous that I would need a fuel line.......I can see that they don`t have very busy shops. Be happy with your ability to purchase Dolmar parts remotely, online or mail order/telephone, but Dolmar is working on cutting that out too. Why do you think that Bailey`s isn`t still selling the line? Too many brick and mortar shops whining about territory infringement and it appears that corporately Dolmar is caving in to the demands of the non-stocking dealers.


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24 miles $3 to $6 worth of fuel plus wear and tear. 1 hour of time at $20 . I guess I rather have it mailed to my house for $6 or $7 . It's the same at the Husky dealers, called 3 of them for a common part, nobody had it, ended up paying shipping and Husky wouldn't ship it to my house so either pay the dealer to ship it ir drive 20 miles to get that $10 part. Steve


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There are several Husky dealers who will ship parts to anyone`s home, Bailey`s and Madsens come quickly to mind. Like I said, enjoy being able to buy parts on-line for your Dolmars while it lasts because Dolmar is looking at doing away with this practice.

I don`t know about you Ladylake but I always need more than one thing that can be picked up on a trip so the cost is amortized and I can reliably count on getting what I need. We are generally free to do what we want LL so you be happy with your Dolmar love, I have a different perspective and at least we have given those less experienced somethings to think about.

BTW, noone has mentioned anything at all about the buzziness of many 5100s, how can we rationalize that?.........and what was that common Husky part that noone had in stock? What model saw...........current or old iron? Consumer? Did you know that the 7900s had a whole slew of carbs where the throttle shaft wore to the extent that the carbs would leak like a sieve and run lean?........I guess then that you are also familiar with the warranty coverage replacement of those carbs? NOT!!

I`m not entirely anti-Dolmar but they have a ways to go before I`d recommend them or buy another.


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Parts wise, Dolmar is no comparison to Stihl and Husky from my perspective. As barbed said, not alot of stocking dealers. My local Stihl dealers have good stock, 6 or more within an hour (varying degrees of stock). I have one Dolmar dealer about 30 minutes away, but it is out of my way so I have not yet been there. I don't know what they stock so I can't add to any data points there.

I do have a 6401, on of the used HD models. I had to redo the oil pump assembly to stop a bad leak (it is not the best designed path to get oil to the chain). I had to do all that through mailorder. Not too much of an issue, but I was willing to learn what I needed to fix it myself. Alot of folks are not going to be too keen on that. Other than that, I have really liked the saw. On the other hand I have not run anything else that size so I can not offer any comparisons. For the money it has worked out great for me. I am not pro but do some work for friends and neighbors. For my use, the saw has been great. If I were doing production, I would definitely look to Stihl and Husky. Who has time to monkey around finding parts and mechanics when you're only making money when the chain is in the wood.

If and when the 6401 starts to fail, I'll probably do a P&C kit and bump it up to a 7900.

I have a 260 Pro. If it dies, I will likely go with a 346xp unless the 260 gets updated or I can find a good deal on a 5100s.


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I always figure I'm makeing $40 $50 or $60 an hour when I work on my equipment. Most time it will be back running in the same time it would take me to take it in and get fixed. Steve


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Best at what? Power to weight? Fuss free operation? Performance for the price? Long term durability? Ease of maintenance? Some people would like a saw better if it was quiet, and the next guy will tear the muffler off and start drilling holes in it before he starts the engine the first time. And big model lines like Stihl and Husqvarna include extremes of turkeys and gems.

But Shindaiwa is best.


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I wish I had the some of the small engine skills of some of you on here. Right now when I find time and money I have to decide whether to try my hand at figuring out why my 260 is extremely hard starting or spend the extra bucks and take it to the shop. Until then, I can use my other saws or do the 40-50 hard pulls and wear myself out to get the 260 going. I just hope it is not poor compression :(.

Nice troll montesa, lol.


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RE: Best chainsaw

Masiman Sounds like your getting you and the saw warmed up before you get it started. Try dumping a teaspoon of gas in the carb and then try starting it with the choke off while holding the throttle wide open, if it fires after a few pulls your choke isn't working right or your low speed adjuster is to lean or a air leak. If it runs and idles good it shouldn't be a air leak. Steve


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I think the best saw is the one that you own and take care of properly. If you run 40:1 oil mix in good new gas, clean your saw every day when you are done, keep the chain sharp and proper tension, remember to run bar oil and keep your saw tuned properly, almost any saw will do it for a home owner. Yes, even a poulan.


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RE: Best chainsaw

Thanks for the tips ladylake. :), it definitely is warming me up before it will catch.

My worst case guess was that I was not getting good compression and that the "warm up" pulls were expanding parts to hold compression.

I'll try your suggestion this weekend. It does not idle the best. I had the carb replaced a few months back, but that did not fix the hard starting. I assume I would dump the gas at the throttle plate? Hard to hold the throttle open, hold the saw to the ground and pull the chord, any suggestions on that?

I did adjust the carb a little when it would not stay running. But I think I stayed away from the H/S settings and only did the idle adjust. I say I think I did because, I messed with the carb prior to getting a new one but don't remember if I did after.

Fixing this problem would be a true highlight to my year :).


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I own 2 older all-metal craftsman saws, a 2.1 and a 3.2 cu.in. I inherited 1 and found the other,so I can't complain at all; They run good when I want them,and the only thing I needed so far was a bar for 1 and a chain,and air cleaner, for the other. I think I had to fix the pull rope on 1 when I first got it;other than that that's it.............Iknow both are made by poulan,and I would say they're fine;as good as any other saw....................Oh yeah,I had to replace the fuel line on the smaller 1,wich cost me all of 48 cents,wich goes to show how owning a simple machine has advantages......I run both saw's at about30:1 oil mix and they smoke a little when you rev them,but they're still runnung good,with decent power............ My cousin bought a brand-new echo with a 14 inch bar(16 inch bar optional)and it's not as powerful as my craftsman 2.1.........I also own mcculoch's, that are a little loud,but are strong runing. Also.a partner cut-off saw ,and a echo 73 cc (I think) chainsaw,but that was a dissapointment...it doesn't have too much torque..............I'd like to get a hold of a husky............


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RE: Best chainsaw

Masiman This dumping the gas down the carb test is to see what kind of problem it is. If it fires up after a few pulls we'll know it's not getting enough when starting. Yes it's hard to hold the throttle open and pull at the same time, I had to do that all the time with a old Mac as it would flood out after sitting 10 minutes. I think I held my foot on the saw, held the thottle with one hand and pulled, but that saw pulled over fairly easy. A friend would help. You could just try opening up the low adjuster 1 whole turn and see if that makes it start better. If it does then it's either set to lean to start with or a air leak. If the low adjuster is set to lean it just can't suck enough gas to start. Steve


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When you say open up the low adjuster, do you mean turn it out one full turn (counter clock wise)?

I am thinking it is getting enough gas but I assume that because when I pulled the fuel line from the carburetor elbow I had a healthy stream of fuel coming out. I also looked at the tank vent and that seemed okay, although I did nothing to test it.

If it is an air leak, where might it be, cylinder gasket?

Thanks for the tips.


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Gas has to come throgh the low speed circut for starting if its adjusted to lean it wont start easy. Gas coming to the carb still has to go through the low circut.. Yes turn the low adjuster out 1 turn just to see if it starts easyier you can turn it back if no help. (Not the idle speed adjuster). I've had saws I pulled and pulled and didn't start, turned the low adjuster out some and started right up, usually the result of a little gunk in the carb. Steve


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Masiman How many stihl chainsaws do you own and run? Steve


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I currently have two Stihls, a 200T (for climbing) and an 026 Pro. I previously owned a 170 and then a 250, which I traded/sold. Doing more work was the reason for the upgrades. I also have a Makita 6401 (Dolmar 6400).

I would say the 200T gets the most use because I have been doing mostly removals near houses and obstacles that require climbing. Maybe it is more that I have the 200T at my side the most. A couple minutes of setup time for 10-20 seconds of cutting. Average 4-6 hours in a tree doing 15-30 cuts. The 260 would get alot more use except for the hard starting. I have only had the 6401 since Spring, but I have learned to appreciate its displacement and speed of cut. I do 1-2 trees per month, although it will probably slow to 1-2 trees every 2 months with the weather turning.

A freshly sharpened 200T is my favorite tool to work with. It feels good when I am in an awkard position, the lightweight and speed of the 200T just makes the whole thing quicker and safer. A sharp pruning saw is also a real joy to work with. Quick, clean and efficient. I think that a good pruning saw is often overlooked by homeowners as a must have tool.


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RE: Best chainsaw

Masiman,

Have you checked the impulse line to the carb for cracks? You will have to go over the line flexing and stretching it, looking very carefully for small holes. If the impulse line is cracked the carb won`t pump fuel. I`m assuming that you`ve already checked the fuel line for cracks. Both of these lines are common failures. I would also look at the intake boot. It may be cracked, although I doubt it, what I have seen is that the band clamp is loose and needs a turn or two with a screwdriver, just be careful not to over torque the clamp. The cylinder base gasket is the last place I would expect to see an air leak, keep in mind also that any air leak past the inlet of the carb is going to make the saw run lean and it will over rev as an indication.

The fact that you have a steady stream of gas when you pull the fuel line has my attention also. Do you mean a dribble or is it coming out as if pressurized?

The initial setting on both the Lo and Hi speed screws is one full turn counter-clockwise from a lightly seated needle. Turning the screws clockwise leans the mixture. I don`t understand why you need to hold the throttle? You are aware that one step up from Choke with the Master Control Lever is Hi Speed idle, right? If you are dumping gas in the carb throat you only need to have the throttle open long enough for the gas to get past the butterfly.


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If you dump a teaspoon of gas down the carb it will be flooded untill it gets enough air is why the throttle would be held open. High idle would work too just take longer. Did this saw always start hard or just lately, if just lately check out everything Barbed said above. Make sure to check that the choke is fully closed when the lever is all the way down first. Steve


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RE: Best chainsaw

Thanks barbed and ladylake,

We had a little weather yesterday and I had to get to blowing raking and dumping before the leaves matted to yard, i.e. no time to try your solutions.

This is from memory as I have not messed with the saw mechanically since August. Pardon any potential sequence errors. It always hard started. I took the carb off once to do a rebuild kit to the carb so I know I have messed with the impulse line but I do not recall looking for cracks. I took it to a local mech after my rebuild did not fix the problem. The mech said it was the carb and did a replacement. I think it actually started worse after the carb replacement. The gas dribbled out with the original carb. It was a solid pressurized stream with the new carb. I do not recall if the mech replaced the impulse and fuel lines. I will have to find the receipt and check. I am not sure where the intake boot is either as I do not recall any band clamps. The fuel filter (replaced) was on a barb fitting, the fuel line was to a barb and I assume the impulse is also. The airfilter is a male/female with an o-ring I think, maybe there are two coming off the air filter. I was thinking that maybe the boot is between the carb and cylinder but I am almost positive that there is a gasket and the carb hard mounts to the cylinder. I'll have to look that up. I have a copy of the parts manual.

It definitely is not running lean. I am basing my lean comparison off of how it runs near the end of a tank.

I may just order a new fuel and impulse line if I can not confirm that they were replaced. They should not be too expensive should they?

I was not too happy that the mech did not fix the problem. I won't be taking my saws there anymore.

I am in kind of vacuum here. I am in true suburbia. I have not a met a single person near me that is a good shadetree 2-stroke mechanic much less that is into saws like I am. The pickup truck tree guys are using Wild Things. I have only seen the pro tree services in my area once, after a windstorm brought some trees down on houses. I am self learning in my spare time and as the need arises. I was kind of hoping to find the time and money to redo the Makita to a 7900 but likely not this year. Kids are already on me to get the lights and tree up :).


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RE: Best chainsaw

masiman,

Rarely does a carb go bad and I doubt that you needed a new one, probably just a good cleaning but that`s water over the dam now.

The leg off the carb that attaches to the air filter via the O-ringed port is for the Intellicarb feature of the Pro model, unless your filter is exceptionally dirty and plugged it should not have a significant impact on the way your saw runs.

New impulse and fuel lines are $5 or $6 if I recall correctly. Those pleated lines are notorious for cracking. You could get the saw running with gas poured into the carb and still have a cracked impulse line. The saw wouldn`t keep running though.

The intake boot is infact connected to the intake nipple on the cylinder and on the other end goes through a plastic wall mounted to the fuel tank and gives the impression that the carb is hard mounted when it is not. Pop the cylinder cover off and look at the base of the cylinder from the rear left side. A long straight bladed 1/4" screwdriver will get you on that screw.

BTW, did you ever check your spark arrester screen to be sure that it isn`t plugged? Look at the front of the muffler on the 260, you will see the screw through the guard on the front cover. You can discard this screen if there is no risk of starting a fire or you can heat the screen cherry red with a propane torch and wire brush the carbon off.

Another BTW, your carb can be set extremely lean on the Lo side and still run ok at Hi speed. Another factor could be the inlet lever height. If it is too low it will not open the needle valve enough. I`m assuming that the diaphragms in the carb are good since it is a new carb.

OK, in order of what to do first.

1)Check spark arrester.

2)Check that the fuel filter lays in the bottom of the tank and can flop around sort of freely.

3)Check your air filter, is it clean?

4)Check the intake boot clamp for tightness

5) Check fuel and impulse lines for cracks, disconnect at the carb end and gently flex and examine. Do not plan to replace them unless you find a crack since it can be a PITA if you don`t have the right pliers or forceps and have a pretty good idea of what you are doing. You already replaced the fuel filter? Make sure that the lines are firmly attached at both ends before proceeding.

6)Reset both Hi and Lo needles to 1 full turn counter-clockwise from lightly seated.

7)Place the Master Control Lever to Choke and pull until the engine pops, then take the choke off and pull until it starts. Many saws benefit from pulling the starter cord slowly through a few times before trying to start the saw, this primes the carb with fuel.

8)Fine tune the carb.

If it is still hard starting you can pull the recoil cover and first make sure that the ignition coil is securely mounted, then place a business carb between the flywheel and coil pickups as you rotate the flywheel. It should be snug but not binding. If the coil is mounted too far out it can mechanically advance the ignition timing which will also make your saw harder to start.

Good luck and let us know if anything works for you.

BTW, if I`ve forgotten anything will someone please add it to this thread?


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If it always started hard and runs good I don't think your chasing a muffler screen, fuel filter or a electical problem unless when you put the choke on it's grounding out a wire. Could be the lines if they were shot when brand new, maybe the impulse line has a obstruction check to make sure it's clear. Try opening up the low adjuster and see if that helps ( should olny take a minute or two) I'd really suspect something to do with the choke, maybe the linkage got bent and it doesn't go on all the way. Does it fast idle after it starts? Steve


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"Runs good" is a relative term and if the saw is not used regularly a decrease in performance might not stand out.

Isn`t there only one wire that could be grounded by the choke? It would not let the saw start at all as long as it were grounded.

I`d like to have some time with that saw to check it out.


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RE: Best chainsaw

Thanks all for the info. I will redo all the steps you have listed. To be clear, this is a used saw. All my current saws were bought used. The 170 and 250 I bought new.

Info for anyone else considering a used chainsaw. The 200T ended up being one I should have bought a different used one or bought new. Not many regrets with it but I learned what to look for. The 026 is approaching what I could have bought new but only because of the likely unnecessary carb replacement. The Makita needed a new oil line and clutch. Both were not entirely necessary but cheap enough. The Makita has ended up my most cost effective purchase. If I had to do it again, I would probably buy new but I am not unhappy that I bought used. If I did not enjoy learning about and tinkering with engines, I would be seething at the choices I made :).

I did check the spark arrestor. I did not look to be clogged, there was some carbon buildup on the screen but it scraped off. There was a little sludge/carbon inside the muffler that I also scraped out. I remember trying the saw without the muffler to see if that was the problem but there was no change. I don't know if the engines are tuned to have some back pressure to operate optimally or if complete removal lets them run better, like an ultimate porting job.

I did check the air filter and also tried running without it. No significant change that I remember. I did wash the filter and let it dry to make sure. I will recheck that. I think I bought a new one (they are more expensive than I was hoping, ~$25 if I remember).

I will run through the rest of the steps also.

I'll check the grounding. I noticed on the choke lever that there is a copper colored spring strip. I am pretty sure it provides grounding. It also seems to provide the feedback clicks between full and half choke. It occasionally does not sit correctly when I run from full to half choke. I have tried starting without the cover in various configurations of air filter and muffler on and off, ensuring the spring is properly positioned.

I am fairly confident I did 1, 2 and 3 correctly, but I will definitely redo those steps.

I will double check the fuel and impulse line but it sounds like I should leave it to a mech to install a new impulse line. The fuel line did not seem tough to get on and off.

I don't think it fast idles after starting but I'll have to check that.

My starting sequence has been 2-3 max 4 pulls at full choke. Go to half choke and start pulling until the cows come home. When it gets close to wanting to run, I'll get a little pop in half choke. At that point I can start repetitive pulling, where I keep pulling without letting the cylinder come to rest between pulls. It eventually is able to keep firing without me helping in between the sputters. I don't like doing alot of pulls at full choke because I don't want a flood situation to lengthen the time it takes me to get the thing going. I read somewhere that a wet plug is an indication of flooding. A few times I did take the plug out after long pulling sessions, dry it off, let the cylinder air a bit and reinstall. It helped some but did not seem to be the key to it really catching and firing up.

It starts okay after warming up. But it does not seem to keep that warm start ease for as long as the other saws. But I have been able to test that maybe twice.

That would be sweet if it is the intake boot clamp that is causing the problem.

Thanks for all your replies. I'll test each part in the list and update as I do it. I might get a good window this weekend since my wife is taking the kids to grandma's. I'll have 1.5 days to putter around on my own.


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RE: Best chainsaw

masiman,

I`m sorry but I either overlooked or did not understand that you had purchased the 026 used. Compression might be an issue, have you checked it? You`ll want at least 120-130psi for the saw to run half way decent, >150 is better.

I would not take the saw off full choke until it pops, I don`t believe there is a half choke position, I`ll have to check later when I can get my hands on an 026 or 260.


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RE: Best chainsaw

What barbed said, check compresion, leave the choke all the way on untill it pops, most of my saw will take 6 to 10 pulls before they pop if they have sitting for a while. Steve


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I have not checked compression but I have thought about getting a compression tester given the number of small engines I am accumulating. Compression was my other worry besides an air leak. I have read some discussions on testing compression. There are a few ways to do it apparently. Maybe I should make it an xmas gift. I suppose I could do the other tests and check compression later. I assume if compression is low that it would mean a P&C rebuild?


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A piston kit will bring the 026 back to life unless the cylinder is deeply scored. About 30 bucks from Bailey`s.

A quick and dirty compression check is to hold the powerhead only by the starter handle and see if it drops. A light saw like an 026 shouldn`t drop more than one, maybe two revolutions of the engine.

While you`re poking around you might as well check the cylinder bolts for tightness but they should only be on the snug side, not reefed right down. Torx-27 bit is what you need. the fact that the saw runs good eventually leads me to believe they aren`t loose.


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RE: Best chainsaw

If you get a comp tester compare it to your other saws when you check the 026. Some testers read different. Steve


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RE: Best chainsaw

"If you get a comp tester compare it to your other saws when you check the 026. Some testers read different. Steve"

Very good point! Also make sure that you hold the throttle open(choke too!) when pulling and pull each saw over the same number of times.


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RE: Best chainsaw

Hey Barbed we agree on something. Holding the throttle open and no choke when doing a comp test so it can get air. You wouldn't believe the amount of grief I got on another forum about that. I did a test on a few saws, it was around 10# less with the throttle closed. Steve


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RE: Best chainsaw

Hey Steve, we probably agree on alot more than this, there were just a few things that we don`t agree on.


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RE: Best chainsaw

Ok, I picked up a compression tester. I will probably order a vac/pressure tester tonight. I am justifying it by telling myself I will have the tools available to diagnose my other engines. I'll let you know what the numbers are on the different engines.


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RE: Best chainsaw

I don`t think you`re going to need a vacuum tester. If you honestly believe that a seal is bad you can start the saw and then spray the seals with something like WD-40 and see if affects the engine speed. It should not, obviously.


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RE: Best chainsaw

The spark arrestor was very clean. Still had a brass color to it with minor discolorations. Almost new looking.

The fuel filter moves around freely.

Air filter is okay clean but I can replace it.

I checked the boot band clamp. It did seem lose so I tightened that. But I did not wrench it down overly hard, just snugged it up.

I checked the fuel and impulse lines as best I could they looked okay. However the impulse line out of the carb is a brass tube that then connects to a flexible impulse line that goes through a plastic wall. I could not easily remove that wall section to really check the impulse line.

I reset the Hi and Lo to 1 turn out.

I did the compression test. I was pleasantly surprised. It pulled at 175, so that is good.

I have not had a chance to start it yet, but hopefully tightening the boot solves it. After that, I'll try a vacuum and pressure test. By the time I saw barbed's note about not needing a vac tester, I had already ordered one.


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RE: Best chainsaw

I'll limit my opinions to the 3 brands I have extensive experience with. Of the 3 it's easy hand's down because one brand is so bad it makes the other 2 winners by default:

Poulan
Sears

Husqvarna I've found to be exorbitantly overpriced and grossly overrated. A consistent under performer with a thirst for starting fluid like it was crack or something.


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RE: Best chainsaw

the tally.... :)

Stihl-9
Husqvarna-1.5
Johnsered-2
craftsman-1
poulan-1
shindawia-1


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RE: Best chainsaw

"I'll limit my opinions to the 3 brands I have extensive experience with. Of the 3 it's easy hand's down because one brand is so bad it makes the other 2 winners by default:
Poulan
Sears

Husqvarna I've found to be exorbitantly overpriced and grossly overrated. A consistent under performer with a thirst for starting fluid like it was crack or something."

That statement is so stupid it`s funny!


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RE: Best chainsaw

ha....

thirst for starter fluid....not

today my husky 45(12ish years old) started 3rd pull(would have started second but i didnt get the choke in quick enough) in 17 degree weather. id love to go start my same age craftsman right now....all the starter fluid in the world wouldnt start it. and i woulnt say anything about the poulans ive seen catch unfire :0

hehe....barbwire bites:)....but he's darn right

ccb


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RE: Best chainsaw

"hehe....barbwire bites:)....but he's darn right"

Thanks......uhhh.......for the compliment!

hahahahaha


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RE: Best chainsaw

All around I like my 70's 16" Homelite that I have "done a little work on". Cuts as fast as my neighbors Husky 41, a tick slower than my Stihl 029, but much much lighter. I put up four cords a year for heating.


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RE: Best chainsaw

I got a Lombari Lighting, Best little saw made IMO of course. 38 years old and I think I have replaced the bar and chain once. Polan's IMO depends on the model. the bigger the saw the worst the cut. I especially don't like the Craftsman quick link models. I could not keep the chain tight and the bar was too thin for an 18". However I have a 14" shark something or other, I paid 60 buck for new. I have good luck with it cut out alot of stumps, cedar IMO are the worse hard as a rock almost. I have a Husky 345 but I never had it out of the box yet.

I think care it the most important factor with Most brands, especially with the cheaper models. thorough cleaning and shapen of the chain after every use it the key to those saws IMO. I also believe the most expensive saw won't cut worth a darn if the chain not sharp or receiving oil properly.


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RE: Best chainsaw

Hey, bushleague, I also have a 70's Homelite 16", it's great, tho chain tensioner screw gettin crabby.

Best tool is the one that suits you. I have a 1.3 acre suburban jungle of mimosas, privet, thorny pear, wild rose, etc (first house!) AAAAAnd a couple kids-- the 2 yr old and the wife take naps. Can't fire up the saw anytime I like. Or the chipper, or the gas hedge trimmer, or the gas blower, Or the mower, dang these babies really had me jonesing for powertools and the weed trees were growing...so.

I got that dang toy electric chainsaw from Black and Decker. My dad 'bout cut me out of the will, but with 2 jobs, 2 kids, 1 car, and this lot, it's the only guaranteed tool I can grab, knock down some stuff and get back to telecommuting from my home office. Macho it's not, but nothing else works. Will someone please make a better cordless chainsaw, oh my sweet Lord.

One day soon, no more napping, and my eldest w/be big enuf to strap 'im onto the riding mower.


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RE: Best chainsaw

Update on my 026 starting problems. It turns out the saw was running lean or at least that is what I am guessing based on my fix.

Dumping fuel right into the carburetor let the engine fire on just a few pulls. After seeing that, I decided to turn the L adjuster out 1/8. That seemed to help it quite a bit. I think I'll have to go step by step through the carb adjustment procedures as now the idle is too high I think. Probably from me trying to keep it running by adjusting the idle up.

Thanks for all the info to get it running right.


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RE: Best chainsaw

Keep turning the low adjuster out untill the engines slows down a little, then turn back in a little. Adjust your idle speed screw down some first, you don't want it running to fast when adjusting. Steve


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RE: Best chainsaw

Thanks ladylake, I'll do that. I was looking for the sawtune page that madsen's used to have but it is no longer available. This should get me running right!


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RE: Best chainsaw

Mac Eager Beaver ......best saw ever made. 2nd is the Wild Thing.......followed by a 2150 Poulan


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RE: Best chainsaw

all you guys out there do realize that any husquvarna saw under the model 350 are made by poluan right? they are the same saws they sell at walmart for 99.00 just orange insteed of green! the echo saws are the best saws for the home owner the cs-440 which is now replaced by the cs-450 and has a five year warranty is light weight and will handle any job a homeowner can throw at it! parts are inexpensive and easy to find! ive been selling echo for ten years now and will never change,i also sold the husquvarna line and did not have good luck with them !


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RE: Best chainsaw

You don't have to convince me, I own Husky, Stihl, Echo, Dolmar, Efco and Solo saws. I use the Echos the most cutting around 40 cords a year. So far I've broke one rubber mount since I've started useing Echos 7 years ago. I used to think they were junk before I actually used one, a CS510 off Ebay for $205 new, still my favorite. Steve


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RE: Best chainsaw

i know this is an old post, but I thought I would add my 2 cents. I cut firewood professionally for years and have had great service from Stihl, Jonsered and Echo. I had a small limbing Jonsered that was used for 18 years, with nothing but regular maintenance. Echos are great for people who don't take care of their equipment. Every construction outfit I ever came in contact with used Echos because everyone on the crew had access to them. They got abused and kept running. They just don't cut as fast as others. Solo makes a great saw, but parts are not easy to find. I had a competitor who used Huskies and swore by them. I believe Husky and Jonsered are or were made by Electrolux.


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RE: Best chainsaw

Yep Q a really Ole one lol . I agree with the Solo as avery decent German Made Saw ! Have a local Dealer that swears by them . See Baileys even Sells them online .


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RE: Best chainsaw

My two brands would be
Homelite from the 90's and older
And poulan 90's or older


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