New Stihl saw review

To all you woodcutter types,
After seeing another chain saw message I realized that I should post a
review for a new Stihl saw I just bought, model MS 180 C. I was
shopping for a saw and it was either Stihl or Husky. Stihl makes at
least a couple of models that have an easy start feature. Husky may
also but the local place selling them didn't know of any. I asked the
store owner what he thought of the easy start saws. He hemmed and
hawed until I told him I wanted a frank answer. So he says that the
easy start saws are for wimps. I told him that's the saw for me. I
have bone on bone joints in both wrists. The regular Stihl saws have
such high compression that it causes the tension on the cord start to
fluctuate radically. This hammers my wrist joints and boy does it
hurt. However, the easy start feature winds up a spring in the saw and
when the cord has been pulled far enough the spring starts the engine.
No jerking of the starter cord. It feels weird to just pull slow and
steady to start the saw, but it works great. The saw also has a chain
tensioning feature that is super quick and easy. There is a fold out
handle on the chain side concentric with the clutch and a knob above
that. To change tension you just fold out the handle and loosen it.
Then turn the knob to the desired tension. Now tighten handle and fold
it back into the cover. When the handle is stowed it has teeth that
lock into slots that keep the thing tight. To change a chain just
unscrew the handle all the way and the cover comes off. The whole
bottom of the chain side cover is open and the clutch is mounted
inboard so the chips don't pack in. The air cleaner cover comes off
with a twist of another knob. This makes access to the air cleaner and
spark plug real easy. This saw is my first Stihl so I don't know how
new these features are. Oh, the saw has plenty of power and is light
enough for me to use it for 3 hours straight without causing too much
pain.
Eric R Snow
P.S.
I use a two stroke oil called "OPTI-2". When mixed according to the
directions the gas:oil ratio is 100:1. When buying the saw I asked if
I could use this oil in my new Stihl. The owner of the store said that
the Stihl Company ran tests on several major brands of two stroke oil
and compared these oils to Stihl brand oils. Stihl sells three grades
of two stroke oil. The only oil that matched the best Stihl oil was
the OPTI-2 oil. So Stihl saws it's OK to use OPTI-2 mixed at 100:1 in
their saws. It won't void the warranty or shorten the life of the saw.
Reply to
Eric R Snow
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"Eric R Snow" (clip) So he says that the easy start saws are for wimps. (clip) ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^ It sounds like a very good feature. Did he have any "down side" reasons? Cost? Weight? Does he have the same attitude toward electric starters on cars? A large engine with good compression can be hard for some people to spin (I'm one of them.)
Reply to
Leo Lichtman
The easy start feature sounds pretty decent for a feature on a yard saw. I bought a Stihl 026 a while back, and if you bought a sixpack of their oil, you got an extended warranty(double or triple?) so I bought the oil and used it. I've been pleased with the saw, and we had Stihl saws around the farm when I was growing up. Some guys say the Husky's are a bit smoother on the hands when running, with a bit better vibration damping, but I wouldn't know about that for sure. I bought the 026 when I finally ran out of patience for wringing out another load of wood fron an old beat up 031 that I could no longer get parts for, and was tired of trying to start. The new one has been a charm to use and meets my needs quite well. I am on my fourth and fifth chain for it, and it heated my house for two winters since I bought it. They make a pretty good product, Stihl do.
Cheers Trevor Jones
Reply to
Trevor Jones
...
I've been heating my house for 52 winters with wood now. (Counting my dad's place too)
IMHO, Stihl is the only saw worth having. I currently have two, an 034 and and 009. The 034 is a big unit just for sawing logs and felling large trees, heavy and lots o' power. The 009 is a real treat, its a very small but powerful saw with the handle over the top of the engine, nice balance for one hand cutting. Just the thing for cutting a 3" limb (apple tree pruning) out of a tree.
karl
Reply to
Karl Townsend
I like my Sthl - it is the small < 6 pounds arborist saw - and it is a fast start - as you are likely up a tree when starting. Internally it adjusts valves and starts readjusting on heat - so what I hear.
Nice concept and very nice saw. I have a Husky 50 20" blade for larger stuff, but it is heavy to hold overhead to trim limbs/logs out.
The small saw works so well and runs at a higher RPM than others - I use it mostly.
Martin
Martin H. Eastburn @ home at Lions' Lair with our computer lionslair at consolidated dot net NRA LOH & Endowment Member NRA Second Amendment Task Force Charter Founder IHMSA and NRA Metallic Silhouette maker & member
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Leo Lichtman wrote:
Reply to
Martin H. Eastburn
What Karl said plus---My old (70's vintage) Stihl 075 (125cc) sounds like a dirt bike climbing a hill when it hits it's groove. Standard bar is 5' but I use a 36" er with 404 chain, perfect HD bucking saw. I change chains every tank of gas (about 1 cords worth) Bet it would do your oak logs without a hitch, The power head weighs 35lbs, the new saws of its caliber weigh 1/2 that. It'll out last me, and I heat with wood.. It has at times been used to make my living. It has a compression release that makes it easy to start, I've done a number of repairs over the years, coil, piston/jug (wrist pin clip fell out) and kill switch.. not bad really.
I also have a 031 which is much nicer to use for ligher duty. I use stihl oil exclusivly. Can't argue with sucess there.
ED
Reply to
ED
i have a couple wouldent have anything elce I have a 046 magnum and a 200 t I use both up in the trees when needed .very dependable
all I wanted to say is if you dont use your saw all the time like me the still oil may be a better bet it has a fuel stabilizer and if the saw sits a couple months it will still start and run and the seals will be undamaged 25 years of running them just counted good to here some of the new features
Reply to
Rob
Not knocking Stihl as they certainly make good stuff, but there are others that are every bit as good. My Shindaiwa 488 with 18" bar has been phenomenal in performance and reliability, starting on two pulls after sitting in an unheated shed in CT all winter and just having the gas topped up and then happily tearing through 12"+ dia logs in about 3 seconds spewing inch long chips like a snow storm (good chains help too).
Pete C.
Reply to
Pete C.
I love my 025. It has paid for itself many times over with all the firewood I've cut.
GW
Reply to
Gus
On the apple thing.
You working as multiple generation, or did you buy a orchard, or start up one?
Kinda intersested, as, if a couple or forty things all line up, I may be able to move back to my family farm. There is the remains of an orchard from a different era there, and I am looking at different options for both personal interest, as well as diversity reasons.
I am pretty interested in firing fruit and nut trees into about any corner of the place that I figure they won't get run over, eaten by the cattle or bulldozed.
Willing to take the conversation offline, too, if you prefer.
Around here, the Stihl 009 are the saw of choice for the moose hunters. They take up very little room in the equipment box, and work wonders when you have to get around over or through the crap to retreive a moose.
Thanks Trevor Jones
Reply to
Trevor Jones
The only place I've seen Shindiawa "anything" was at a tool rental place on Vancouver Island that had a couple little bitty gensets and some weedeaters for sale. The stuff looked nice enough for the price, but suffers somewhat due to a lack of availability. Never seen any of it since.
On the industrial supply side of things, it's pretty much down to Stihl or Husky, with the next step down being hardware store brands like Homelite, Jonsered, Poulan and the like, and only available in the low end consumer grade yard models, that I have seen. Never see any of the other makers pro grade stuff around.
Cheers Trevor Jones
Reply to
Trevor Jones
I have an eletric Sthil saw - they cost more than gas but you don't have to mess with starting them. The Stihl promotional stuff says that some loggers have switched to electric saw with a portable generator because of greatly reduced fatigue. worth some consideration anyway
Reply to
William Noble
ms250c
snip good stuff-
Hey Eric,
I, too, just purchased a new Stihl. I'd suffered for years with a miserable 14" Poulan, which was more than adequate for our purpose (fires at night when visiting Lake Powell), but since moving to the great NW, it just wasn't adequate.
Like you, I needed a saw that didn't take the life out of me just getting it started, so I chose a model MS 250 C, which is also one of the easy starting models. I've used it only one time, but it was a sheer pleasure after wrestling with the old Poulan, which was underpowered and most difficult to start, even when I'd drain the tank and run it until it quit. I have no other experience with chain saws, but I give this model a hearty thumbs up!
Harold
Reply to
Harold and Susan Vordos
I bought a 40 acre corn field in 1982. Started planting 1000 trees/year in '83. Quit the job in town, engineer for 3M, in '91. Haven't looked back.
karl
Reply to
Karl Townsend
Shindaiwa is pretty common in the US commercial / industrial market, particularly landscaping where their trimmers and power brooms are very popular. They are not in the consumer market at all. Check their web site to see if there are any dealers in your area.
Pete C.
Reply to
Pete C.
I bought the ms290 farm boss 3 years ago.
I am very happy with it, as well.
Reply to
Jon
I think he just thought it was a feature that "real men" wouldn't pay for, it was just another thing to break. That's OK though. His description let me know that it was probably perfect for me. BTW, he had a hard time starting the saw because he couln't get past the idea of a slow pull. He'd pull fast and there woul be very little resistance. And then when he thought that somehow the cord was broken the saw starts up. ERS
Reply to
Eric R Snow
All depends who's doing it, I think. More complexity, yes. On the other hand, it may well save some of the breakage that the standard pull-start is subject to from reefing on it or letting it snap back. For me, probably not a useful feature, as I find my MS290 to be a very easy-starting saw (with standard pull start). For my niece, it would be a very useful feature, as she does not pull fast enough to get the MS290 to go.
Reply to
Ecnerwal
It's weird the way the Stihl starts. It feels really strange to just pull gently. I even tried pulling the cord really slow to see if it would start up. It does. It's a great feature when starting the saw in an awkward position too. ERS
Reply to
Eric R Snow
My baby is the MS200T
7.7 pounds and 1.6W of power.
Nice when up a tree or on a ladder. Just standing on the ground and doing overhead - that gets chills with a 20" blade on a 50. Kickback and head over hills with a Big saw ?!
Martin
Martin H. Eastburn @ home at Lions' Lair with our computer lionslair at consolidated dot net NRA LOH & Endowment Member NRA Second Amendment Task Force Charter Founder IHMSA and NRA Metallic Silhouette maker & member
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ED wrote: > > > >>... >> >>> The new one has been a charm to use and meets my needs quite well. I am >>>on my fourth and fifth chain for it, and it heated my house for two >>>winters since I bought it. >>> They make a pretty good product, Stihl do. >> >>I've been heating my house for 52 winters with wood now. (Counting my dad's >>place too) >> >>IMHO, Stihl is the only saw worth having. I currently have two, an 034 and >>and 009. The 034 is a big unit just for sawing logs and felling large trees, >>heavy and lots o' power. The 009 is a real treat, its a very small but >>powerful saw with the handle over the top of the engine, nice balance for >>one hand cutting. Just the thing for cutting a 3" limb (apple tree pruning) >>out of a tree. >> >>karl > > > > What Karl said plus---My old (70's vintage) Stihl 075 (125cc) > sounds like a dirt bike climbing a hill when it hits it's groove. > Standard bar is 5' but I use a 36" er with 404 chain, perfect HD > bucking saw. I change chains every tank of gas (about 1 cords worth) > Bet it would do your oak logs without a hitch, The power head > weighs 35lbs, the new saws of its caliber weigh 1/2 that. It'll out > last me, and I heat with wood.. It has at times been used to > make my living. It has a compression release that makes it easy > to start, I've done a number of repairs over the years, coil, > piston/jug (wrist pin clip fell out) and kill switch.. not bad really. > > > I also have a 031 which is much nicer to use for ligher duty. I use > stihl oil exclusivly. Can't argue with sucess there. > > ED > > >
Reply to
Martin H. Eastburn

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