Episode-2109- Listener Calls for 11-2-17 — 19 Comments

  1. I Have an Echo CS 520 which they don’t make anymore. It’s 10cc less than the one you mentioned and almost a decade ago it was about $100 to $120 less than the 590. It came with an 18″ bar and would accept anything from a 12″ to a 22″ bar. I have had little use for anything other than the 18″ bar.

    I have also worked with two different tree service companies in the past. One was a sole-proprietor with a single crew of 3-4 people. He would climb with a similar sized saw, but I’ve always preferred to climb with smaller saws. Smaller saws were the preferred tool for the second company I worked with also. They were Stihl saws and I believe they were one of the 29cc models with a 12″ bar.

    The climbers NEVER climbed with anything else until there was a bare-straight trunk, and the largest they climbed with at that point was an 18″ 50cc saw. There were a total of 7 crews and about 21 employees. Only 2 of the crews had saws longer than 18″ depending on the scope of work for the day. It was usually a 36″ (probably similar to the 60cc the caller was asking about) saw. In the whole company, there were only two 54″ saws, and those stayed back at the shop unless absolutely necessary.

    As far as branding on the saws, I agree with Jack’s source. They’re all good saws. I still believe Stihl and Husqvarna are best, with Echo close behind. I’ve used all 3 and all are nearly indestructible. I’ve only used Stihls and Echos long enough to have to buy anything other than chains and parts were readily available for both. The Husky I’d used was the 54″ with what amounted to a small motorcycle engine, and it was frankly a bear to start and would often flood.

    I’ve never used a Poulan I’ve liked, however. The several I have used were under-powered for their weight and shaped awkwardly for climbing.

    The skill of the crew members I worked with was impressive. They’d tackle 12″-14″ limbs with a 12″ bar with no bark tear-out on the underside of their cuts. When it comes to chainsaws, bigger is not always better. When I bought my Echo, I was thinking my next saw would be one with more power and a longer bar, but after having worked with and learned from these professionals, I have decided that much more work can be safely done with skill and a well-sharpened smaller saw than can be achieved clumsily simply by adding “More Power! ar ar aar!”

    • I agree with a lot of that Aaron. On things like a Poulan though it is what are you going to do with it. I don’t see this caller climbing and limbing off trees and frankly I don’t think most untrained people should do that anyway. I spent two summers working for Asplunda as a youth, did a lot of that stuff.

      That was when I bled Stihl and thought it was the only saw worth owning. And yes 12 inch Stihls where what we used when climbing.

      Today I would take an electric like the Oregon for that over ANY GAS SAW any day. Lighter, safer, plenty of power for that work, you can sharpen it up in a tree for God’s sake. When you let go of the button it stops running, etc.

      My set up is a cordless Oregon, a battery powered pole saw, a Husky 440 and a plug in Oregon (cause they are so stupid cheap). At this point honestly I need to totally work over the Husky because I haven’t run it in three years.

      For limbing homeowners should use a pole saw, this is the one I have, cheap and it works

      I myself won’t go climbing up a tree now, I am older, heavier, had enough injuries, etc and can’t afford to be hurt. Bigger reason though, I don’t have all the safety equipment, and I don’t have a crew of trained people I am working with helping me.

      Even with a pole saw, people need to be very careful in some of this stuff. I have caught people on a step ladder with a pole saw. (not in and of itself bad) But then said hey do you understand how that branch is going to fall, do you get how heavy it really is.

      That one I reset everything and cut the branch and told the guy, imagine you are right there half way up that ladder. Kablammo! Lesson learned fortunately the easy way.

      The other thing people need to be very careful with is felling dead trees. I have seen some weird shit happen. I was dropping one in Arkansas and the entire damn thing dropped out under my cut and the tree went over at the base. Had I not first evaluated my situation and cut two avenues of egress I’d have been seriously injured or worse. Images of the Coyote and Roadrunner Show passed though my mind that day.

    • Poulans are great if you’re looking for something to throw in a lake. “Pullin” is more like it – as in “device made to screw up your back and increase your blood pressure.”

  2. I agree with Aaron on most of what he said. I did a number of years wildland firefighting and the only saws that were ever used were Stihl and Husky. From what I witnessed, the huskies ran better fresh off the bench but Stihls ran longer before needing to clean the air filter. I’ve never used an Echo but the Poulan an Craftsman I have run were junk.(that has been a few years though)

    Last year I started looking into possibly getting a new saw and found out that Johnsred is now owned by Husqvarna and contain many interchangeable parts. Johnsred also tends to be slightly cheaper than the equivalent Husky.

    I would also check for used saws that are still in good shape. Often you can get a good deal on one and then take it to a shop to have it gone thru and tuned saving a ton compared to a new one. I love my old Huskvarna 272xp that is now 27 years old and is still my work horse.
    Emission laws now prevent it from being sold in the US but it is still sold overseas. Because I like it so much I actually bought almost a new 272xp part by part to rebuild the original when it gives up. My point is, a proven older saw model my still be sold overseas and therefore parts are still readily available.

  3. Great show today.
    I once burned out a chainsaw because I accidently put unmixed gasoline in it, forgot to label can as unmixed, I was using an identical can as the one with 2 stroke mix in it.

    I have learned that its important to shake a chansaw before starting it to mix up the 2 stroke oil.

    • I don’t do this BUT I took an item in for repair one time, it was a four stroke motor but something that is often two stroke I don’t remember what. May be a weed eater.

      Anyway I noticed the guy had put mixed fuel in it and said, hey this doesn’t use mixed fuel. He said he knew but all their fuel was always mixed because it won’t hurt anything.

      Not sold on that at all times but it didn’t harm my item or I’d better remember what it was! His logic was sure a 4 stroke my put out a tiny bit of smoke at some point but that no two stroke would ever be killed by an employee grabbing the wrong can.

  4. On that blackout kit question, if it’s something you don’t want to spend a lot of cash on. You can put a simple kit together and type up a manual for it, but also include a “suggested addition list” or something.

  5. I was going to put this on the Amazon item of the day page, but comments are closed on it for some reason, and it is relevant, so I’ll leave it here. The corded version Oregon chainsaw is on sale now for 107.00 on Amazon, which is the cheapest it’s ever been according to the price trackers.

    It shows it as being 127.00, but with a coupon offer that gives you 20.00 off at checkout. Apparently Amazon does coupons now? Maybe they’re figuring out a way to counter guys like me like me who can afford to wait six months for something that’s not a necessity and set up price trackers so I only order things at the price floors. Anyways, I finally got off the fence and ordered one for that price. Item of the day link below:

    • Ill consider rerunning it today. The reason comments are closed is the blog is set to close comments 60 days after a post is made, it combats bots, spammers, trolling, etc.

      Consider this, the post number of this post is 21,517 that is how many posts have been made in 10 years hear at TSP. By closing comments at 60 days that has about 20,000 plus posts simply not available to bots and spammers and what have you. I’ve found most legit comments come in the first week or so, then all quiet on the blogging front.

      Hope that makes sense, by the way when I rerun an item I just change the date it is published so that opens them back up. Thanks for the info on this.

      • That makes perfect sense. I’ve never tried to comment on something older to see that the comments were closed, which proves your point, I guess. Thanks for the shout out when you put it back up.

  6. The first time I got to spend time in China, I was amazed at how many electric scooters & bikes people were using there. I did expect a lot of scooters and the like, but to be honest I was more expecting gas-powered ones. They even had a large section of the city center’s roads in Zhangjiagang allocated for scooters and such, and with huge numbers of scooter & bike parking racks at various places. What seems novel to us is apparently pretty old hat there (though to be fair to Alta, I did not remember seeing electric full-on “motorcycles”… just scooters and e-bikes).

  7. Jack, I really like the idea of seeing a tour of your kitchen setup! I always appreciate your cooking insights.

  8. Have you ever looked at the they seem to be half the price and their dirt bike FX molds have hot swap batteries. Even there street bike have and option to add 3.6 kWh expansion battery. There’s also a phone app so you can customize the throttle response.

  9. Just wanted to throw in a quick plug to circle back to the backup cell phone options people suggested from a few weeks for consideration as part of the intro kit.