Author Topic: Chain Saw Comparison Field Test  (Read 288 times)

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Offline Cut4fun .

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Chain Saw Comparison Field Test
« on: December 25, 2014, 11:42:19 am »
By Popular Mechanics.  Take it for what it is worth.   http://www.popularmechanics.com/home/reviews/outdoor-tools/chain-saw-comparison-field-test#slide-1

Testing chain saws was a tough job this year. Not because of messy oil, loud engines or spraying wood chips—we love all that stuff. The trouble was, these heavy-duty saws were just too good. It took huge amounts of cutting to tease out the distinctions, and we called in some pros for help. Luckily, last winter prepared lots of test material for us at a farm owned by contributing editor Fred Mackerodt in New York state. Storms snapped off nearly tree-size limbs, while deep in the woods whole trees had crashed down hillsides and snarled in gigantic heaps of brush. We felled, bucked or cleared sugar maple, red cedar, ­hickory, ash, pine, spruce, white birch and red oak. The test was tough, as tough as the saws themselves, but it was fair. Here's what we found.

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Offline Cut4fun .

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Re: Chain Saw Comparison Field Test
« Reply #1 on: December 25, 2014, 11:42:30 am »
updated to 620 I think now

Echo CS-600P
Engine Size: 59.8 CC
HP: 4
Bar Length: 20 inches
Weight: 17.4 pounds*
Fuel: 19.1 ounces
Air-Filter Access: Tool-free
Decompression Valve: Yes
Purge Bulb: No
Decibels (A-Scale): 113
Price: $560

Echo is known for simple, intuitive outdoor power equipment, and that reputation will be enhanced by this saw. It's got an on/off toggle switch, a clearly visible decompression valve and a large knob on its air-cleaner cover. "They just build good, honest equipment," one of our testers said. That's the Echo in a nutshell. It also has the best action on its chain-brake lever—crisp, with no slop. Finally, and perhaps most important, its engine operates with a broad torque curve, and that power comes shining through in the tough cuts.

Dislikes: Nothing noted.


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Offline Cut4fun .

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Re: Chain Saw Comparison Field Test
« Reply #2 on: December 25, 2014, 11:42:54 am »
Husqvarna 455 Rancher
Engine Size: 55.5 CC
HP: 3.5
Bar Length: 20 inches
Weight: 17.4 pounds*
Fuel: 14 ounces
Air-Filter Access: Phillips-head screws
Decompression Valve: Yes
Purge Bulb: Yes
Decibels (A-Scale): 111
Price: $400

From comments about our tests posted on the Web, we know that every time we pit a Husqvarna saw against a Stihl, we're entering a divisive political battle. The fact is, both companies make great saws. The Rancher has excellent throttle response and power thanks to well-designed airflow through the engine. Husqvarna calls its design X-Torq. It uses ducts that channel clean air to evacuate exhaust gases while ushering in a separate air–fuel mixture.

We can't say whether this also makes it easier to start, but the saw came out of the box fully assembled and it started on the second pull.

Dislikes: A woodcutter needs tool-free access to the filter—not small black screws. Luckily, the screws are captive, so they won't fall out, and Husqvarna says it's looking into alternatives. We didn't experience problems with the chain-brake lever, but it feels like it could be sturdier—added robustness is called for.
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Offline Cut4fun .

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Re: Chain Saw Comparison Field Test
« Reply #3 on: December 25, 2014, 11:43:28 am »
Need a 555 here. hmmmmm

Jonsered CS2159 C
Engine Size: 56.5 CC
HP: 4.4
Bar Length: 20 inches (Pro Bar option)
Weight: 17.6 pounds*
Fuel: 22.8 ounces
Air-Filter Access: Clips, screwdriver
Decompression Valve: Yes
Purge Bulb: No
Decibels (A-Scale): 114
Price: $580

For this test, it seemed appropriate to call in some pros to get their opinions: Jeff Paulsen and Jeff Conklin of Timber Care Tree Service in Campbell Hall, N.Y. "It's got some guts," Paulsen said after using the Jonsered to saw up a maple limb. That's no coincidence. This saw has the highest horsepower of any of the saws tested. Combine that hard-charging power with good balance and a slim body, and you've got a saw that couples solid felling power with ease of use for limbing.

Dislikes: The clip-on air-filter cover is normally easy to remove and gives good access to the top of the engine, but we're still not big fans of the design. We found it hard to remove when our hands were cold or wet.
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Re: Chain Saw Comparison Field Test
« Reply #4 on: December 25, 2014, 11:43:48 am »
Solo 656
Engine Size: 56 CC
HP: 4.1
Bar Length: 18 inches
Weight: 16.2 pounds*
Fuel: 20 ounces
Air-Filter Access: Clips, screwdriver
Decompression Valve: Yes
Purge Bulb: Yes
Decibels (A-Scale): 114
Price: $709

Our Solo was the only saw with an 18-inch bar. While that limited its cut slightly, it magnified its impressive power-to-weight ratio. The slim body, light weight and power make it perfect for limbing and other jobs that require awkward sawing positions, such as clearing tangled knots of small-diameter downed trees. We turned to the Solo when we cut away the nasty mash of red cedars that had fallen across our logging trails.

Dislikes: Given how capable and well-engineered the Solo is, we found it odd that its throttle linkage is exposed in the gap between the front of the handle and the saw body. We didn't experience dirt or twigs hanging it up, but this linkage should be shielded, as on all the other saws.
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Re: Chain Saw Comparison Field Test
« Reply #5 on: December 25, 2014, 11:44:06 am »
updated to a lighter 291 now

Stihl MS 290 Farm Boss
Engine Size: 56.5 CC
HP: 3.8
Bar Length: 20 inches
Weight: 17.4 pounds*
Fuel: 18.9 ounces
Air-Filter Access: Tool-free
Decompression Valve: No
Purge Bulb: No
Decibels (A-Scale): 111
Price: $370

The Farm Boss is Stihl's No. 1 selling saw, and you can see why. It's thoroughly engineered. Its manufacturer makes its own bar and chain, engine and most of the other components on the saw. Many saws today have an airflow pattern that takes out the worst of the debris before it gets anywhere near the air filter, but the Stihl is exemplary. It's amazing how clean its air filter stays. It seems that the company lavished attention on every square inch of the saw, from the crisply activated chain brake to the plastic retainer straps on the oil and gas caps to the caps themselves, which lock with a half-turn.

Dislikes: Nothing noted.
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Offline JohnG28

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Re: Chain Saw Comparison Field Test
« Reply #6 on: December 26, 2014, 11:39:28 pm »
I think I recall seeing this comparison some time back.  Is that something you found recently?  The saw lineup would make it seem to have been some time ago.

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Re: Chain Saw Comparison Field Test
« Reply #7 on: December 31, 2014, 12:15:16 pm »
I think I recall seeing this comparison some time back.  Is that something you found recently?  The saw lineup would make it seem to have been some time ago.

I had come across it along with a newer one on smaller saws. So I just saved the info.  Heck I could have saved it here myself over the past. Just dont remember over the years.
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