which chainsaw?

Titan_Bow

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Dec 10, 2015
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Broomfield, CO
I'm adding a chainsaw to my family camping / hunting base camp trailer. I'm not going to be using it much, maybe use it to clear a downed tree over the road or cut some firewood. I like the idea of electric just because of the noise and less maintenance, however, the battery powered ones seem to be about twice the cost.
Are they really worth it? How reliable would a smaller gas saw be if not used regularly? Also, whats the best size for camping and keeping in the truck? I'm not gathering a winters worth of wood or clearing lots here, just the occasional recreational use. 14", 16" 18" ? I really dont want to spend a ton, but I dont want to buy something that isnt going to start when I need it or can't cut through a tree without bogging down.
 

lyle_destroys

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Sep 7, 2018
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Pennsylvania
A quality saw will hold its value. I've been a big fan of Stihl for a long time. I run a 362 which is the same as an older 036 or 360. My dad has had an 029 for as long as I can remember. I would consider it the perfect all around saw. Can limb trees, clear blowdowns, and still cut down standing timber if needed.
Husqvarna also makes great saws. Find a small dealer somewhere around you and talk to them about it, handle a few. They last a long time under minor use with light maintenance but once you have one I bet youll use it more than you think.
I wouldn't even consider an electric saw, they are trash in my opinion.
 

fatlander

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My FIL has one of the dewalt 60v saws. Honestly, it surprised me with how well it does, but I wouldn’t have it as my get me out of a tight spot up a forest service road saw. To me, the electric saws are just for Harry homeowner. If anything volleyball sized or larger falls and blocks your way in or out, you’ll wish you had a gas saw. I love my Stihl ms271 farmboss.


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Dos Perros

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When you buy, you might consider using an edible oil for lubricant. I noticed one of the Meateater dudes using peanut oil or something like that, so he can use his saw on animals without worry. Wish I had done that with mine.
 

backcountry_hunter

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Sep 23, 2016
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Saws are part of my vocation. Without question the best saw ever produced was a husky 372xp... that said (and I can't believe I'm even reccomending a stihl) for your use I would buy a stihl battery and not look back.

Based on what you said and with modern gas, even non-oxy premium gas you'll likely have it expire before you use it effectively (shelf life is appx 30 days out of the pump). Unless your planning on using pre-mix stuff @ about $9 a quart there isn't much you won't be able to do with a battery. Personally I don't think they're twice the cost. IMHO any gas saw from Husk or Stihl lineup isn't worth owning unless you get into their professional series.

For serious saw work gas is still king and a 395xp is probably my go to for a do-all saw I'll never be without but owning several battery saws now it's tough to argue with the (lack of) maint. Any small engine mechanic will tell you their number one fix in the last 20 years centers around gas/carb issues.
 
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I'm going to go the other direction from everyone else. I bought a cheap cobalt 40v with a 14" bar just for trimming manzinita that I had already cut with my husky. That electric saw is amazing. It's all I use now most the time. Only time I use my bigger husky is when I'm cutting up something really big on the property, like 2 plus hours. For around camp and to carry in the truck I'd 100 percent go with the electric battery powered saw.
 

NoWiser

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Aug 15, 2013
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Gas saws are great, but for just occasional use, we picked up a Milwaukee chainsaw and for small jobs, it's great. We already have the batteries for our cordless tools and ice auger, so it's super handy to just throw in the truck for odd jobs.
 

JLane330

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Apr 21, 2020
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Albuquerque, NM
Stihl gas saw here as well, which has been great. If I was only taking it camping for occasional firewood/clearing a tree if across a trail, etc...I'd get a Milwaukee battery saw as I already have several batteries. Have seen too many gas saws that don't start while out camping due to lack of maintenance, bad fuel, etc.
 

tdot

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BC
I love my Husky 357xp, if you were using it regularly, it's a fantastic saw. But for what you're after, a battery powered saw is perfect. I'd definitely look at one of the major brand higher voltage saws.
 

rickjames80

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Jun 12, 2013
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This one "cuts" both ways. The electric would have the benefit of being quieter, cleaner, better at being stored for long periods of time without use and more than capable of what you are needing. The issues would be keeping it sharp and having a way to charge the batteries (inverter/generator) or carrying extra. The gas would be more capable for longer cutting and bigger projects (with
extra fuel/oil). It would have a greater probability of not starting due to carb issues though. If you are handy they are easy to work around. A 14 or 16 sounds like plenty for what you are doing.
 

jolemons

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Plenty of good advice. I would add to learn how to tune a carb if you'll be potentially running it at different elevations. Most saws are tuned for running at lower elevations and will not run or at least run as well in the high country.

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Mosby

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"Without question the best saw ever produced was a husky 372xp... "
I agree. Best saw Husky made IMO. Mine is a 372xpw. I have a Still 361, which I also really like.

I would buy a gas saw for trail clearing. I have been in areas with some large trees going across the trail home and I wouldn't want to be limited by a battery. A file, extra fuel, chain oil and a spare chain go a long way on a multi day hunt and I don't always access to electric.
 

Mosby

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Plenty of good advice. I would add to learn how to tune a carb if you'll be potentially running it at different elevations. Most saws are tuned for running at lower elevations and will not run out at least run as well in the high country.

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I have a older Still 310 that I put aside for firewood and trail clearing on hunting trips. I tuned it to run at altitude. I keep it in a case, with files, extra chain etc., and grab it when I go out west. Not a great saw by any stretch but its reliable, big enough for larger trees and easily replaced if stolen.
 

MRC

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Feb 19, 2021
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I have a Husky 346xp and a 372xp. The 346xp has a 16” bar and is really handy. Wouldn’t say either is cheap.
 
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