I would say that a chainsaw something that is worth spending a little more money on to make sure you have one that you like and feel comfortable operating. After all, they are extremely dangerous. With that being said, I personally am a fan of Husqvarna. I have owned a few of their chainsaws and have had no issues with them. It all really comes down to how you plan to use it and personal preference. I hope this helped.
Years ago had a Homelite, couldn't kill it. Had a 16" bar, I cut down a 36" oak with it.
Had a new Poulan, never could keep the chain on it or keep it running. Gave it away I think before 2 tanks of fuel. Running a John Deere now, got a heck of a deal on it cause the local dealer stopped carrying them. It seems to be a darn good one, sometimes sets several months & starts right up with the fuel that's been setting in it.
I just did a little maintenance on my Husky 340 today. I really like it. Now that being said, the epa had added a lot of things that make a saw "different " than just a few years ago. If you can find a new- old model Stihl they are awesome machines. My bil just bout a new Stihl Farm boss without the added epa features and it is a good saw. I guess it depends on what size saw you are looking for though. I need the husky 340 because of size- Mine has an 18 inch bar.It does all I ask. I bought it 8 years ago and it has never been to the shop and I have trimmed limbs and cut fallen trees to a great extent.
If you go to the manufacturer's site, you can narrow down which one would most likely fit your requirements. Some of them have about the same manufacturer's numbers but are different in added features. This is stihls site: http://www.stihlusa.com/products/chain-saws/ . You can't buy stihls on the internet but can the huskys and many other brands. This place has a lot of comparisons that are easy to spot the difference in similar models- some are made for the once in a blue moon cutter and others for the everyday user.. ( I have zero like for the poulans that I have had.) http://www.chainsawsdirect.com/quick_search.php
I would recommend getting a couple of the orange plastic wedges for when you get the saw in a bind and have a hammer handy too. you never know when you will get in a pinch...
I was once offered a job because the person saw me on the roof of the RTV trimming limbs with my Husky 340. bordercollie
How much wood do you cut each year? Approx. size of trees?
I too run Husqvarna and have 3 saws.
- An arborist saw for small limbs (338XP)
- A mid-size for medium stuff (model 41)
- A large saw for the big stuff (model 365)
The 338XP and 365 are "commercial" saws and perform much better.
I've found as I get older, weight is a bigger consideration. My 365 weighs in at around 12 pounds and gets heavy after awhile.
I'll be cutting up about 60 trees in the next couple months. For that volume, the homeowner saw (the model 41) will most likely stay home. The 365 pushes nearly 5 HP so it'll rip through the wood in a hurry.
I'm hooked on Stihl chainsaws. My dad had one that worked like a champ and I bought a .025 / 16" bar 15 years ago and it still serves me well now. Starts every time. I mainly use it for clearing trails, cutting up downed trees and I'll down a few trees with it. It is on the small side but works like a champ. When the time comes I'll buy another stihl.
Husqvarna fan here. Had a 359 professional and the wife had a 36. Both were stolen. Never and issue with either one and they cut a lot of wood.
Replaced both with a 353e. Very impressed with it. It about a pound lighter than the 359 with less displacement, but I can't tell that it works any less than the 359.
Fortunate to have a dedicated Husqvarna dealer nearby. He stated that the 353e is the smallest true professional Husky remaining, other than the arborist which should not be used buy a new operator. he also stated that the new small versions produced in Texarkana are pure junk. That was dis-heartnening.
My advice is to hook up with a dedicated dealer, not Lowes' not Home Depot, but a true chainsaw dealer. They should support you in making the right decision.
Lastly, there are crankcases made of plastic. Stihl is known for these and probably Husqvarna. I'm not for plastic crankcases.
Own a couple of stihl's great saw with NO issue's, I cut well over 65 face cord a year, plus use them for carving and get logs ready for milling. I agree with those that write about spending a little extra for a dependable saw, in the long run you'll be spending less and have a lot less headaches. The other thing to remember is that the saw will only be as good as the operator, proper maintenance and sharp chain will make a world of difference. I'm a stickler for a sharp chain if the saw is not pulling itself through the wood then the blade is dull. A dull blade will cause other bigger problems down the road(over heating the bar and clutch components). I also feel a proper muffler mod is a helpful improvement. I did not do the mod to make the machine loud, in fact there isn't much difference, the mod is done to help keep heat out and it does add a certain % of power gain.