By Ben Kugel From Coal Creek Canyon, CO Jan 17, 2013
Discounted stihls are tough to come by- they only do their sales through dealers and markup isn't very high. Sometimes old models will go on sale a little- like if a dealer still had a 260.
That said, Stihls can last forever, so if you can a used one that hasn't been abused, it's not a bad investment. I have a few 15 year old craigslist saws that are still running great.
Also, if you're interested in any more unsolicited advice- I feel like my 260(never used a 261) is a little underpowerd for 20-24" bars. The 310 and 360 seem to do a lot better and are still on the lighter side.
I picked up a small 14" or 16" Eager Beaver chainsaw for $30 off craigslist. It was practically new and the little thing is amazing for trail work. I was looking for a small hasq or the sthil used but i can't complain. The Eager beaver is so light and can be used one handed easily it's tough to have any regrets for $30 on this craigslist.
By Ben Kugel From Coal Creek Canyon, CO Jan 18, 2013
I realize I just told you to go bigger, but it could be worth looking at a top handled saw. They are really ergonomical and you can use one all day without it beating you up. The 200t is a little beast, but expensive. The 192t not as powerful, but it's around $350 or so and is crazy light for how powerful it is. If you're gonna be humping up and down ski runs clearing pecker poles, one of those might be nice. I did some of that during the summer when I was a snowmaker a while back. We were only clearing little 2-4" diameter saplings and those little saws with a nice sharp chain worked great. If you're gonna be bucking up anything bigger than 6 or 8" or want to use this for cutting firewood or something too, the saws i just mentioned don't really fit the bill. Food for thought, good luck
Thanks Ben for the info and advice. I use a saw for clearing/thinning ski runs, wood for camping, wood for furniture building, etc. I currently don't cut wood and burn it at home for heat. With that said, I have noticed a big loss of power as you increase elevation, as you would expect. I have used a 210, 250, and 310. The 310 felt very heavy lugging it up and down steep hills. I will check out those saws you mention.
What chaps do you like? I have an older and cheaper pair currently. I have been researching them. I want a full wrap style. Thanks
By Ben Kugel From Coal Creek Canyon, CO Jan 20, 2013
Yeah, the elevation can be a bitch. I live at 8000, and do most of my work at 5-6000. My saws can bog down a little at home until they get warmed up. We do some work for Rocky Mountain NP up at around 10-11k. When we're working up there, we'll tune the carbs to compensate for the altitude(on our small saws at least, the big burly ones don't care as much).
I worked for a big client for a while that made us wear chainsaw protection even when we were up in a tree, which is really impractical with chaps, so I bought a pair of Husqvarna protective pants. They worked fine for that, but are not as practical as chaps and I haven't really used them since.
Regarding pants, I do volunteer work with a guy who uses summer weight chainsaw pants (I think they are Swedepro brand) and has no problem hiking around the woods in them all day. Chaps get hot in a hurry in the heat of the summer.