Stihl MS 170,MS 171 Or Echo CS-310

Discussion in 'Whitetail Deer Habitat' started by lizajane, Feb 5, 2016.

  1. brokentines

    brokentines

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    I would say it depends on what other saws you have and if you see yourself doing any other cutting outside of habitat work. I went to my local stihl dealers to buy a smaller saw. They talked me into buying the new "farm boss" model ms271. They said it would last me forever. It is a dream to run. A true Cadillac.
     
  2. Steve

    Steve Staff Member Admin

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  3. HUBBHUNTER2

    HUBBHUNTER2

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    I own a Stihl 251 which is a touch too big for hinge cutting but I also use it to cut up fallin ash so I wanted something a littler bigger. It works and I am happy I chose that..... However, I ran a MS 241 this weekend hinge cutting at my girlfriends dads property and that was a great saw to use.
     
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  4. hk_sl8

    hk_sl8

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    I wasn't aware this was added to their lineup. The power to weight ratio makes this look like a great option on paper to me. Thanks for mentioning it.
     
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  5. HUBBHUNTER2

    HUBBHUNTER2

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    We hinged maple, elm, red oak and box elder and I was very happy with how well it performed. Even dropped a few 15" ash with ease. If I was in the market, i'd buy the 241 over the 251
     
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  6. Trophy Specialist

    Trophy Specialist Banned

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    I have done a lot of cutting with chain saws over the past 40 years using many brands and sizes of saws. I also know of many other individuals that cut tons of woods every years and all of them use larger saws, and for good reason. It is actually much harder to cut with a small saw as it takes longer to cut and you have to push harder too. I have two saws these days: A older Stihl Farm Boss (029) and a newer Huskvarna Rancher (455). Both are similar in size but the Husky will out cut the Stihl by far. I still use the Stihl as my beater saw but when I want to do some serious wood cutting, then the Husky gets the nod. I had to fell and cut up seven big ash trees in my new yard last week and I guarantee that some of the saws mentioned here by others would not have been able to accomplish that job with some of the trees over 20" in diameter. Even for habitat work, I run into lots of bigger jobs where a small saw would fail miserably.
     
  7. bigal06

    bigal06

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    I prefer a 50cc pro model for most work. If the wood gets too big the 575xp comes out, but my 550xp with a muffler mod gets most of the use.
     
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  8. jacksonmideerhunter

    jacksonmideerhunter

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    I have the echo 310 as already mentioned, and for a small saw, I honesty doubt you could do better without going to a pro saw at over twice the cost. As I said before it will surprise you with what it can do at only 8 pounds. It blows away the 38cc and much heavier husky I had before it, and runs toe to toe with my father in laws husky 445 in any wood up to 12 inches. I also have a Jonsered 2255 that I use for the bigger stuff and most of my firewood cutting, but for habitat work I'll use the little echo over 90% of the time. I just took down over 40 aspen ranging from 6-16 inches, along with a few oaks that were mixed in this weekend in a little over an hour. I was barely even fatigued...if I'd used my 14 pound Jonsered, I might have finished 15 minutes faster but would have been totally whipped.
     
  9. fairfax1

    fairfax1 Premium Member

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    I've had a Stihl 170 for years and agree with others here that for a hobby-saw used to cut saplings, brush, and trim downed trees.....it is a pleasure because of its lightness and maneuverability. I also have a 250 Farm Boss which I used to buck firewood or fell trees. I like 'em both...but use the 170 more than the 250. It seems pretty durable ....as I'm not gentle on equipment......and yet it has been reliable for 10+ years.

    Having said that, near the farm is one of Michigan's largest hardwood mills where they use---and use-up --- chainsaws like you and I use ink pens. For a saw manufacturer they would be considered a major 'user' account sold on a direct basis....not through a dealer.

    And they use Huskies. The trimmers and scalers tell me Huskie is preferred because of the RPM's......they simply get the job done quicker. As volume is the name of their game ...'quicker' is the silver bullet.
     
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  10. cakebaker

    cakebaker

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    Ms 290 and ms 180.
     
  11. StevenJ

    StevenJ Inscrutable Mastermind Premium Member

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    Brand doesn't really matter. And models keep improving, sometimes for the better, sometimes not. The operator and experience with chansaws and the ability to keep the saw maintained really does. You need to use good ethanol free gas (or cycle regular gas through quickly). Keep the bars clean and filed as they wear, keep the chains touched up with a file (or use the Farmlegend Method).

    It is important to not have a failed oiler gear or run the chain too hot or the engine too lean.

    I like my Husky 372XP 20 inch bar (70cc), Husky 455 Rancher (which requires a good bar and can use a .058 bar and chain (50cc). I have a 33 cc Hitachi top handle (cheap on sale but durable from an old Menards sale--don't think they carry them any more. A 135 Husky.
    And I had a 220T Stihl which I burned out from an air leak and replaced with a Stihl 192T.

    And I love the service from Superior Saw in Mason, MI. Not cheap, but excellent.
     
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  12. vsmorgantown

    vsmorgantown

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    Have a Stihl MS310 that I have ran hard for 16 years and it is still going strong. This is a farm grade saw. I just recently upgraded to a MS362 Pro Grade and it is unreal how much nicer the pro grade is compared to the farm grade. If it fits your budget I'd go with Stihl pro grade and never look back. The 362 is a half pound lighter than my 310 and has more horsepower. Incredible saw. But might be a bit big for strictly hinging and habitat work but it works fine in those applications for me. The 362 can handle a 24" bar as well which is nice when cutting large diameter trees. I will always buy Stihl.
     
  13. Woodstock

    Woodstock

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    IMO, most any saw of 40cc that is light is the best option. If you want to be hefting something for half a day, that is the way to go. Good sharp chains and that much power is all you'll need.

    A second saw, again IMO, is a must. Eventually a saw will get pinched and about the only way to get it out is with another saw. It's really nice to have a good bucking saw around 60cc to get the trunks cut up in a short amount of time.
     
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  14. Trophy Specialist

    Trophy Specialist Banned

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    Good advice no the second saw. Also, if you are going to be felling trees (or hinging them) and want them to go in a certain direction, then you will also need wedges, and even a 100' cable or rope with a com-a-long, which is what I used to accurately fell trees in my yard.
     
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  15. agbuckhunter

    agbuckhunter

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    Stihl 180 gets my vote and I'm in my first year of use with it and so far a happy customer. Previously used a MS 271 Farm Boss. Good saw also but to heavy IMO for all day habitat work.
    [​IMG]
     
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