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Before You Buy - America's Favorite Chainsaws

Foresters, Rangers and Loggers Pick Their Favorite Chainsaw

    “Always remember when buying any machine, buy from somebody who can service. You will only hurt yourself and your business by buying something at a mart-type store. I’m not saying you can’t buy mail order, just make sure they do the service work. If they don’t, your warranty isn’t worth the paper it’s printed on.”
- Tom Bernosky, owner of  Green Thumb Power and Equipment Corporation

With over 3,100 votes cast, Husqvarna is the chain saw of choice as voted on by About Forestry readers. Here are the percentages preferred and ranked by brand of saw through October, 2001:

Husqvarna - 41%; Stihl - 40%; Jonsered - 7%; Echo - 4%; All others - 8%

As you can see, voting for a favorite saw is extremely close when separating between first and second place brands. Husqvarna and Stihl are by far the most popular saws in America.

Now let me define the models I recommend:

"Power" models usually are heavier, have more cubic centimeters of displacement and come standard with longer bars.  These saws are usually picked by farmers/timber growers/businesses who saw regularly but are not professional timber fellers. They also cost more - usually retailing between $250 and $350 each.

The "best for the money" models usually are lighter but come with smaller engine displacement and shorter bars.  These saws are usually selected by the occasional user.  The price paid for these generally range from $150 to $250 each.

I am going to leave professional models for a future discussion...

Voted #1 - Husqvarna Saws
Swedish company Husqvarna builds chainsaws for both the professional and casual user. A Husky saw has excellent power-to-weight ratios but does not compromise on a slim saw body design and on lightness. Husqvarna saws are built with LowVib, Air Injection, and a Smart Start function that makes them very easy to start. All saws are loaded with safety features.

Recommended "power" model - Husqvarna 350
Recommended "best for the money" model - Husqvarna 136

Voted #2 - Stihl Saws
Germany's Stihl has been in the chainsaw business for over 70 years. They have been central in the ongoing development of slim saw form, advanced saw technology and safety features. The Stihl saw is especially noted for fatigue free operation and is the leading manufacturerer of saws worldwide. Stihl can offer a chainsaw for every requirement: from compact saws for occasional users to really powerful production saws for professionals.

Recommended "power" model - Stihl 025 C
Recommended "best for the money" model - Stihl 018 C

Voted #3 - Jonsered Saws
Jonsered’s from Gothenburg, Sweden and has been producing wood processing machinery since the 1880’s. In 1954, Jonsered produced the prototype for today’s modern one-man saw. Jonsered is now a wholly-owned subsidiary company of Electrolux.
Recommended "power" model - Jonsered 2150 Turbo
Recommended "best for the money" model- Jonsered 2040 Turbo

Voted #4 - Echo Saws
Echo is Japan's leading manufacturer of chainsaws and sells to professionals and casual private users alike! Echo manages to compete well with companies from Germany and Scandinavia. Echo has earned a following among power saw users for giving outstanding performance and dependability.

Recommended "power" model - Echo CS 4400
Recommended "best for the money" model - Echo CS 3450

 Before You Buy    Related Resources
• More Before You Buys
• Original Feature and Poll
• Chainsaw Frequently Asked Questions
• How to Fell a Tree
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