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baldona
Auburn Fan
Florida
Member since Feb 2016
7905 posts

Need my first chainsaw for home yard work?
I bought a house recently on a little over a half acre with just under 50 oaks, 1/3 live and 2/3 laurel. I'd like to cut down most of the laurel oaks, so probably about 15 to 20 trees. They are 40-60 foot tall and roughly 8-15 inches in diameter most being 10 inches or so.

I've got a buddy that owns a landscaping/ tree cutting business that is going to show me the ropes and cut down the dangerous ones.

So what brand, size, etc. do I need? Chainsaw is one of the few tools I've never used.


Sody Cracker
Washington State Fan
Distemper Ward
Member since May 2016
2605 posts

re: Need my first chainsaw for home yard work?
I suggest a Stihl with an 18" bar. Buy two extra chains. Have your buddy teach you how to handle the saw safely.


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180
Jimbo21165
Member since May 2017
354 posts

re: Need my first chainsaw for home yard work?
I have always used a Stihl Pro 24", with great success. I have a 24" Stihl Farm Boss that would be just right for you.


Just reread......for the size trees, an 18" would work for ya.
This post was edited on 1/19 at 5:29 pm


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30
LSUfreak1459
LSU Fan
Member since Feb 2008
815 posts

re: Need my first chainsaw for home yard work?
I have a stihl MS310 and a MS170. 170 is fantastic for limbs and my 310 with a 20” bar handles just about anything I need. Would like to upgrade to a pro saw. Like a 360 or 440
As far as brands, stick with Stihl or Husqvarna. There’s a reason the pros pretty much only use those two. Great deals can be found at pawn shops and on Facebook marketplace.
This post was edited on 1/19 at 6:00 pm


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DownshiftAndFloorIt
LSU Fan
Here
Member since Jan 2011
51070 posts
 Online 

re: Need my first chainsaw for home yard work?
Brand: Stihl
Size: 18-20"

Whatever size saw is below MS311 in the middle class would work fine. MS311 if you want to pull a 20" bar easily. MS391 if you want to be able to run a 25"



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10
SportTiger1
New Orleans Saints Fan
Stonewall, LA
Member since Feb 2007
17799 posts

re: Need my first chainsaw for home yard work?
18" is always a good all around size.

I don't know many people that would not recommend a stihl. That's probably one of the only consensus on the OB lol


257WBY
Baylor Fan
Member since Feb 2014
1406 posts

re: Need my first chainsaw for home yard work?
Anyone tried battery powered yet? Seems like a good idea for around the house. Tired of trying to keep seldom used engines running on various things.


Clames
LSU Fan
Member since Oct 2010
8827 posts

re: Need my first chainsaw for home yard work?
Stihl MS250 is a solid choice. Echo CS-400 is also a good choice.


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20
johnnyrocket
LSU Fan
Ghetto once known as Baton Rouge
Member since Apr 2013
3132 posts
 Online 

re: Need my first chainsaw for home yard work?
Remember
Recommendations
Gas thickness you can cut is twice the bar size
Electric or battery thickness you can cutnis the bar size.

These mfg all make a decent chainsaw and are commonly sold in most areas.
Husqvarna
Echo
Sthil


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10
Bowhunter
LSU Fan
Member since Feb 2013
35 posts

re: Need my first chainsaw for home yard work?
A Stihl MS 250 is a good mid-priced saw. Go with a 16" bar. 16" bar will cut a 30" diameter tree, and a shorter bar is safer than a longer bar. BUY A GOOD PAIR OF SAW CHAPS, AND WEAR THEM.


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40
bayoudude
LSU Fan
Houma
Member since Dec 2007
19399 posts

re: Need my first chainsaw for home yard work?
That’s allot of trees for 1/2 acre! I have an old Stihl MS170 and upgraded to 14”bar. I can get allot done with this little saw. A little bigger would be nice though


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20
City
LSU Fan
Member since Jul 2005
1199 posts

re: Need my first chainsaw for home yard work?
I’m partial to Stihl for saws. I have a MS290 with a 20” bar. It always starts, and it chews up tree with a yellow chain.

Watch yourself when you’re getting used to the saw. Don’t go plunge cutting on your first outing.


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Geauxtiga
TBD Fan
No man's land
Member since Jan 2008
32004 posts

re: Need my first chainsaw for home yard work?
stihl


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RainChance0
LSU Fan
Houston
Member since May 2013
447 posts

re: Need my first chainsaw for home yard work?
Your post tells me that you have zero respect for a 60' tree. I truly hope (for you and your family) this ends well.


DownshiftAndFloorIt
LSU Fan
Here
Member since Jan 2011
51070 posts
 Online 

re: Need my first chainsaw for home yard work?
Op's probably off a bit, either in number or size of trees.

I cant judge anybody. I learned how to cut trees by picking up a saw and cutting trees. I had a few close calls. Cutting trees is definitely one of the more dangerous things that people attempt to DIY.


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30
wrongRob
LSU Fan
Tampa FL
Member since Oct 2017
269 posts

re: Need my first chainsaw for home yard work?
Your post tells me that you have zero respect for a 60' tree. I truly hope (for you and your family) this ends well.
^^^THIS!

Really good tree men make mistakes sometimes & a chain saw will eat your azz. Certain trees can twist and fall where you don't expect sometimes. They bind up and get hung in other trees "widow makers." Providing you have no experience with a chain saw maybe your friend can help you with the entire job.

I would encourage you to get a smaller chain saw as a "first chainsaw." A small chain saw will be easier to control and you will have a better chance of out muscling it when it kicks back towards your face/body and yeah it's going to! Best of success be safe!


baldona
Auburn Fan
Florida
Member since Feb 2016
7905 posts

re: Need my first chainsaw for home yard work?
Most are not 60' trees, the older bigger trees I'm mostly planning on leaving. Most of the laurel oaks im planning on cutting are 6-10 inch diameter, the back yard is basically all natural mature woods so I'm just trying to open up the back for some grass to grow. There's very sparse St Augustine because of the lack of light it's completely shaded right now. I counted 27 trees doing a half arse job looking out my back window and that didn't include one back corner, my front yard, and both side yards. House is a '85 and I'm guessing I have 3-4 live oaks about twice that age, 2-3 laurel oaks older then that, and the rest were all young or new since then. So how big does a laurel oak grow in 32 years?

Yes my plan is to have my buddy fell most of the trees especially all of the harder jobs. But I'll need a chain saw to cut them up, move them, trim branches, and fell smaller trees.

I hate buying a low end tool instead of spending a little more for something that makes the job easier. I realize chain saws are dangerous as hell, I'm in no hurry to get anything done. Just want to make the job as easy as possible.

Eta: just counted 47 trees. Probably a couple more small ones. It's a .54 acre lot, legit 1/2 acre. Many people call .3 lots half acre but not rounding makes a difference
This post was edited on 1/20 at 8:19 am


wrongRob
LSU Fan
Tampa FL
Member since Oct 2017
269 posts

re: Need my first chainsaw for home yard work?
I agree with quality "buy once cry once" you can get a good quality small saw that will do what you need. Some will handle a larger bar for when you are comfortable to step up. Stihl has been my go to for years & years. Good luck nothing more exciting than carving out your life and making your property your own. Be safe!


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DownshiftAndFloorIt
LSU Fan
Here
Member since Jan 2011
51070 posts
 Online 

re: Need my first chainsaw for home yard work?
For limbing a long bar is nice because it saves your back some but cutting small stuff near the tip of a long bar is how you get severe kickback and a saw stuck in your face. You have to be very aware of whats going on.

For what youre looking to do, an MS271 with 18" bar would be perfect. A 291 would be even better and would probably fell with a 20" bar with a good chain. Itd run the shite out of it limbing.

The most important things are keep the chain sharp, use good gas and good stihl oil for mixing (it has stabilizers in it) and store the saw per the instructions when putting it away. Chainsaws sit up a long time often and a little extra time spent putting it away will pay off when you use it again. Stihl is top notch but will not overcome poor storage habits.

Just go to your local stihl dealer and look at them. Youll be able to tell which one looks right for what you need to do. Dont be tricked into thinking you need a pro grade saw. They are awesome and if you just want to blow the money go ahead, but they are built for cutting 24/7/365 and the price reflects it. Even a homeowner grade would be fine for you if they make the size you want. I cut many chords of firewood with an MS170 and 14" bar.
This post was edited on 1/20 at 8:39 am


Retlaw
LSU Fan
Atlanta, Georgia
Member since Sep 2013
1157 posts

re: Need my first chainsaw for home yard work?
Suspected this would turn into a Stihl circle jerk. They are nice saws. Might also consider the ECHO CS 590 Timber Wolf with the 20” blade. Can also put a 24” on it, if necessary.

Either brand will serve you well.


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