Petrol chainsaw required for domestic use

No, I am not going to use it on the wife. I am after a petrol chainsaw to cut logs for my woodburner. I reckon I will be cutting 3-4 tons of logs per year from felled timber.

Advice on suitable models would be appreciated. The main driver is cost.


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Agree, Stihl is the way to go. The current one cost IIR c£150.00 has lasted much longer and had many fewer dramas than Ryobi and McCullochs that I had previously.

Try to steer clear of Homebase and B&Q when out buying.

The only things to keep a weather-eye on are:

Fuel:Oil mix - don't make this too light or you'll bugger the engine; and,
Chain tension.
I've had Husqvarna 235 for a couple of years. I've felled some small trees and cut lots of logs with it. No problems to speak of. Easy to adjust the chain on this model.

I think Husqvarna or Stihl are the only makes to go for. Happybonzo is the man to ask.
Husqvarna are good and competitively priced, Stihl don't rev quite so high and the build is a bit better. Anything else is just chinese snakeoil.
Watch out for hooky Chinese copies of both makes!

Cheap chainsaws are a mistake which God chooses to punish quite rigourously in this life and they are usually impossible to support with spares.
Personally the only reason to buy Husqvarna is that they are a good degree lighter than equivalent Stihl models. If you're not lugging it anywhere then Stihl would be the way to go.

Be careful for deals which look too good to be true. There has recently been a batch of fake Stihls on the market from China, and they are dangerous.
Many thanks to all responders for their advice, off to my local Stihl stockist after work.

Cheers OTT


Many thanks to all responders for their advice, off to my local Stihl stockist after work.

Cheers OTT
Look on the net and do your research first.
Don't be convinced that you need easy chain tensioning or some other gay comfort feature, and don't go smaller than a 211 if you need to cut logs - especially if you get them green and season them yourself (which is cheaper). Get a couple of the little 50ml twist top 2 stroke oils, 1 does 5ltrs which will last you a couple of years from what you said. Stihl orange safety glasses are good too.
Demonstrators are not a problem if there is one on offer.
Stihl. A couple of million trees would thank you for it. Try the Mini-Farm Boss if the timber is not too large, otherwise the Farm Boss is the way to go.
For small (up to 14in bar) domestic use you it's very difficult to beat the Stihl MS170/MS171, it's light, cheap (£150 if you shop around) and pretty reliable. I know farmers who use it in preference to bigger stuff where they can.

Make sure you get on with a 14in bar and the pico (IIRC) chain.

If you want something semi-pro and have £300+ then the middle of the range Husquvarna's just edge out the Stihls, they're a bit cheaper too.


I use a 14 inch Hitachi, its ok but it seems to chew through chains, I got it as a package deal for under £300 with a good Hitachi Brushcutter from Screwfix. I should have spent a little more and bought a husq, there are some in Withams tender sale at the moment. I did see a neat little battery one a woodman was using for coppicing and hazel cutting. looked and worked ok.
I do cut about 7 to 10 tonnes a year although a lot is often collected sawn and I just split. I dont have a woodburner apart from my ozpig so its all winter beer money!
Thanks to all who replied, your comments and hours spent searching the internet mean I will be picking up my Stihl MS 171 with a 14 inch bar together with the required safety gear this evening.


Don't buy Ryobi as there seems to be no spares support for the chainsaws

One problem that a lot of occasional users come up against is "stale" fuel. The easy answer is to use ASPEN 2T It is ready mixed for a 50/1 mix. I have gone over to it completely. The saws, a collection of Huskies and big Stihls, have never given me any trouble since. The other really good thing is that if there is very little wind to carry the fumes away from conventional petrol/oil mix fuels you end with a blinding headache after a few hours continuous cutting. You don't get this with Aspen 2T.

I also use ASPEN 4T for our small generators and also on a log splitter but I will be changing that for an LPG powered model this Autumn

If you are felling, then I find that a small bar backed by a big engine is the way to go. The only problem is that when, not if, the saw kicks back it will give you good cause to say "Thank you God for making me buy the proper gear"

Log splitting can be done using a Maul or a Log Grenade although I've rarely had timber good enough for the Log Grenade thingy. There are small splitters available ALKO seem to be pretty good. If you hunt around you can pick them up for under £200

As Ex Stab says "Wear proper chainsaw trousers, boots or wellies, and a decent Forestry safety helmet with ear protection. Gloves? I'm not sure about as they all seem last 5 minutes before they're screwed. Clark Forestry Equipment can be a very good place to look and some of their prices are very good especially for the "home" user. Also, wearing chainsaw trousers gives you the chance to wear bright orange braces with things like Stihl or Husqvarna on them, chew tobacco and call your mates things like LeRoy and Bubba...

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