Chainsaw for the truck

JeffRaines

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Oct 24, 2015
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I’m in the market for a saw for the truck. I’m not sure how much use it’ll see, but it would sure be nice to have one for the early/late season hunts so I don’t have to bug out early or head lower in case of trees.

With that said, I realize gas saws are probably the go to, but what a hassle that seems like. It’s not something I can just toss in my truck without thought, I’ve gotta bring along a gas can as well. Not the end of the world but will require some extra thought due to avoiding spillage/etc.

On the other hand, the electric saws like the Milwaukee are getting great reviews. I’m not sure how I feel about the others, but if anyone could do a decent electric saw I’d trust Milwaukee could pull it off. But are they powerful enough for my purposes? Is this a realistic alternative or am I better off sticking with gas?

What saw would you guys/gals recommend? Bar size? Any other special considerations?
 

JFK

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Sep 13, 2016
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I’ve got a little husky with 16” bar that runs great. Put one of those pre-mixed cans of 50:1 and some bar oil in an ammo can and you are good to go.

My brother in law just got one of the 12” Stihl electrics and was telling me he really likes it for limbing. Main thing would be to bring an inverter with you in the truck so you could charge it.
 

Randle

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Dec 30, 2012
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N Idaho
I bought a husky sealed 24 in toolbox, Carry a 14" echo, premixed fuel they sell at lowes, bar oil a few tools gloves etc. If I have the shell on my truck and sleep in it there is no smell to deal with. and my gear doesn't smell like gas 20210626_203043.jpg
 
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Wrench

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Aug 23, 2018
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WA
I use primus fuel cans for white gas stoves and i always have engine oil in the box. For as little as i use the truck saw....engine oil is fine.

I put a piece of workout mat under my saw and it made a big difference on the wear in the box.
 

Browtinemt

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Montana
I would go gas. I use a stihl ms 180c that has been awesome for road blocking blow downs and all other truck chainsaw activities. I think it has a 16” bar. Pre mix cans and bar oil in tool box. I really like Wrench’s idea with the workout mat, I’ve been using an old sweatshirt.

I’ve used a dewalt electric for construction demo and wasn’t impressed. It worked fine, but battery life wasn’t great and I don’t think they make a good chain for any of them.

Either way it’s a good idea to have one with you. I got trapped by a beetle kill pine that lincoln logged between other trees so I couldn’t pull it with my truck. Couple hours with a foldable bone saw and I was out. I haven’t left the chainsaw at home since.
 

Voyageur

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Feb 12, 2020
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Either way it’s a good idea to have one with you. I got trapped by a beetle kill pine that lincoln logged between other trees so I couldn’t pull it with my truck. Couple hours with a foldable bone saw and I was out. I haven’t left the chainsaw at home since.
Just had a similar experience.
I made the decision to leave the chainsaw home in order to save space. Rounded a curve on the way to camp and the road was blocked by three fallen lodgepoles. I instantly regretted leaving the chainsaw at home. Having nothing but my Silky folding saw I knew I was in for a long morning of sawing. Fortunately about 5 minutes into the job another truck showed up. He was a local logger who came out of his truck with the first words of "I'm a logger and I can't believe I don't have a chainsaw with me." He had left his saws at home to save wear and tear on them while he made a quick run to town. Fortunately he did have an ax and a towing chain with him. Between the two of us we were able to halve the trees in 30 minutes or so and pull them off the road with his chain.
Take away for me was never leave your chainsaw at home when there is a possibility you might need it, and it's nice to have a chain along as well for pulling trees off the road.
Live and learn.
 

Nickofthewoods

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Oct 5, 2018
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Colorado
Gas all the way. I've used a few battery powered chainsaws and they are good for limbing things here and there while not pissing off the neighbors with loud noise but that's about it.
 

WV Mountaineer

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Oct 2, 2016
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Hauling a gas power saw around is one of the hardest things you can do to it. I wouldn’t trust getting out to a plastic cased home owners husky or anything else you buy from home depot or Lowe’s. I can disassemble and put a saw back together in just a few minutes. But, if the case is busted, it’s all for naught.

I’ve run saws a lot. For a bunch of years. I quit using home owner grade stuff 20 years ago. Because that’s what they are. They aren’t made to be used a lot nor are they made to bounce around in a truck a bunch.

A 75-80 cc professional saw will weigh basically what a 455 husky weighs but give 2.5-3 more horsepower. And won’t get busted up in the truck. A small stihl limbing saw weighs 6 pounds ready to cut and will cut with a 455 husky or 310 stihl.

I said all that to make you aware of what you are buying. Im not saying you have to spend $1200 on a saw. What I am saying is spend wisely. If you buy home owner grade, buy stihl. There is no comparing them to a husky homeowner saw. Or anything else except an echo. Because getting one to run after being beat around in the truck is important.

Im not advocating stihl is the best. In professional saws, I don’t think they are. Just don’t buy a poulan or husky from Lowe’s or home depot. You can thank me later.
 

Beendare

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May 6, 2014
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In Traffic
Those little electric chain saws are pretty cool...as are the Sawzalls with a long trimming blade.

I can’t imagine trying to cut through anything bigger than about 16” diameter or so with those.

That advice to stay away from the HO grade tool lines is right on. Spend the extra $$.

The best Ive seen for Chainsaws is Stihl and Husquavarna. I have a couple Husky cutoff saws that my crews just cant kill, and one of my Stihl chainsaws is 10+ yrs old- amazing considering the wear and tear.

 

5MilesBack

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Colorado Springs
One tank of fuel in the saw should be plenty to clear a heck of a lot of trees from the road, so you shouldn't need to haul extra fuel. Not sure what the battery life is on one of those battery powered saws, but I would expect it to be somewhat similar to using a tank of fuel. One year I had to clear 7 or 8 twelve to fifteen inch diameter aspen trees across the road in a 1/4 mile section and all I had in the truck was an axe. You can only use what you brought.
 

Pflum

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Oct 6, 2020
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I keep a Stihl 180 in my service truck all the time, and throw it in my pickup if I'm going somewhere I think I might need to make a couple cuts. It's 10+ years old, never had a problem with it. It's my vote for a throw in the truck saw. I own and love my pro grade saws for serious cutting, but I like having a saw I'm not attached to sitting in the truck, and I don't need an 066 to cut a tree out of the road.
 

Werty

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May 28, 2019
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Montana
The Milwaukee battery saws are great,
I've done some timber framing with them, they are tough.
Also, can use the batteries with lights for camp and charge USB devices.
 

tdhanses

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Sep 26, 2018
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Since I got my dewalt 16” I hardly use my gas stihl, keep the chain sharp and it does an amazing job.
 

Southforkguy

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Apr 15, 2017
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Husky 440 for me with a new chain and another new chain in my toolbox. Premix cans and bar oil, a saw wrench wedge and file. Works great for me!
 

PNWGATOR

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Oct 14, 2014
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Rathdrum, ID
I have a Stihl MS170 for limbing and generally throw it in the truck or on the ATV. Honestly, it’s not enough saw for here. Ran into some blowdowns last week that were the end of the line as I was not willing to tackle them with my little saw. I have a ‘big’ saw, MS461 with a 28” bar and it’s generally too much saw just to keep in the truck. Need a ‘tweener’ and I’m not sure what it’s going to be other than a professional grade gas saw of some size and type.
 

WV Mountaineer

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A Sthil 360 or a husqvarna 562 will fit the bill nicely if that’s what you want

I’m not suggesting you have to have one for this use. But, if I’m spending $400 on a truck toy, I’m adding $300 and buy an all around saw that’ll last longer then I will using it cutting. And, one that will indeed cut me out of a bad situation. For the same or less weight then homeowner saws that aren’t going to do this in anywhere near the same time frame. My time is my limiting factor when using a saw. I’d rather cut 10 times the amount per effort. Versus 10 times the effort for the same amount.
I have a Stihl MS170 for limbing and generally throw it in the truck or on the ATV. Honestly, it’s not enough saw for here. Ran into some blowdowns last week that were the end of the line as I was not willing to tackle them with my little saw. I have a ‘big’ saw, MS461 with a 28” bar and it’s generally too much saw just to keep in the truck. Need a ‘tweener’ and I’m not sure what it’s going to be other than a professional grade gas saw of some size and type.
 

WV Mountaineer

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I keep a Stihl 180 in my service truck all the time, and throw it in my pickup if I'm going somewhere I think I might need to make a couple cuts. It's 10+ years old, never had a problem with it. It's my vote for a throw in the truck saw. I own and love my pro grade saws for serious cutting, but I like having a saw I'm not attached to sitting in the truck, and I don't need an 066 to cut a tree out of the road.
I don’t either. But, a 461 sure is a good compromise.
 

*zap*

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Dec 20, 2018
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The Milwaukee battery saws are great,
I've done some timber framing with them, they are tough.
Also, can use the batteries with lights for camp and charge USB devices.
The m-18 fan is also very good for camping.
 
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