Sunday, 29 April 2012

New Chainsaw Very Different to the Old One

Yesterday we bought ourselves a new chainsaw for use with various farm activities, including cutting firewood. Our old chainsaw has been proving difficult to start; understandable given it’s over 30 years old and has done a stack of work. It’s a Homelite, was manufactured in the USA, and in the scheme of things has served us superbly.

We researched several brands in making our decision on what to buy. The professional tree surgeon who cut down the massive tree out the front of our place a while ago recommended we go for either a Stihl or Husqvarna; and a neighbour suggested Echo. In the end we opted for a Stihl given they have a deal going at the moment where they give in $150 worth of extras at no additional cost, Husqvarna were slightly dearer, and Stihl still holds the reputation as the best quality chainsaw on the market.

After explaining our requirements to the salesman and bouncing ideas around we opted for the Stihl model MS 391 Farm Boss. Here’s a link to the Stihl website which gives all the technical information on the chainsaw we’ve purchased:

The following list summarises the features of the new chainsaw that are different to the old one:
  • Fuel mix is 50:1 rather than 25:1, and supposed to be more economical on fuel
  • Chain break safety feature as part of the front safety guard
  • Flexible handle fixings and materials to reduce vibrations
  • ‘Fancy’ plastic ‘toolless’ and locking fuel and old caps
  • Decompression valve to make starting easier
  • Duel air filter system, with the filter being right at the back of the saw to reduce fouling
  • Chain maximum RPMs is much higher than the old saw making it more powerful
  • A whole lot of stuff on the new one is polymer rather than metal assisting in keeping the weight down
  • Translucent fuel tank allowing ready checking of the fuel level
  • Single switch (“master control lever”) which incorporates the choke
  • Automatic bar oil feed to the bar and chain (rather than manual)
  • Spark plug is protected via a polymer hood
  • Sprocket at the tip of the chain bar helps further reduce friction between the bar and chain
  • Adjuster for severe winter operating (won’t really be needed by us)
  • Massive Instruction Manual (50 pages) pus a 57 minute DVD
  • Larger and more robust screws for the hood
  • Manufactured in Germany

We gave the new chainsaw a light work-out today. By the look of things it will be better to use and is certainly more powerful. The only ‘downside’ we can think of with the new saw is that there a lot more features all requiring servicing and able to cease functioning properly. Time will tell, but for now we are very happy with our purchase. It’s amazing to think that so many aspects of the new saw are different to the old.

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