chainsaw question - bar length preference

SprigOfTheLivingDead

Almost Self-Reliant
Joined
Jan 18, 2019
Messages
164
Reaction score
190
Points
107
Location
MN - Zone 4b
I got a Stihl MS 171 when my father died. ****ty way to get a first chainsaw, but it happened right when I needed one. It hadn't been started in at least two years and it started right up :).

It's good as a saw you would use to cut small branches (a trimmer so to speak) but it's got a small bar (I want to say 16", but then you also lose an inch or so where the housing begins. That model takes a 14" or 16") so when you're cutting anything of merit you're right up to the material you're cutting, etc...

Anyways, I'm looking at getting a little bigger saw and am curious what you prefer for bar length. The 16" felt like I was just too close, but I'm a little worried that 18" wouldn't be enough of a step up. So, not talking model or engine size what bar size do you prefer for lots of common work? I'm cutting down a ****load of Amur Maple, if you care to know.
 

Lazy Gardener

Super Self-Sufficient
Joined
May 14, 2017
Messages
3,661
Reaction score
3,903
Points
262
Location
Central Maine, Zone 4B
Hubby bought me a Stihl. It's the only brand I can start. I think the bar is 16", but I really have no idea. I know I couldn't handle a bigger one. I've had shoulder surgery and am only 5' 1.5" tall.
 

SprigOfTheLivingDead

Almost Self-Reliant
Joined
Jan 18, 2019
Messages
164
Reaction score
190
Points
107
Location
MN - Zone 4b
Local guy offered my a Stihl 034 Super for $200. I get that it was a good saw but that thing is nearly as old as I am. Is it a worthwhile purchase?

Obviously we've had good improvements in gas efficiency, engine output & safety since then.
 

Beekissed

Mountain Sage
Joined
Jul 12, 2008
Messages
12,617
Reaction score
3,453
Points
437
Location
Mountains of WV
We find a 16 is fine for most average trees and such~that's what size my bar is...I think my son's is an 18" and you'd be surprised at how much difference that 2 in. can make. He can get through much, much larger trees with more ease than I can with mine, so his gets a lot more action around here. But, as for me, the 16 is my favorite to use.....my saw is also a little smaller, so I can handle it better.
 

wyoDreamer

Super Self-Sufficient
Joined
Sep 29, 2014
Messages
1,567
Reaction score
1,729
Points
237
My Husky chainsaw is a 16" - we use it for limbing.
My DH has 2 Stihl saws. I think one is a 22" bar and the other is 24". We used to heat with wood, so those saws were used a lot. After 4 hours of cutting trees, the 16" was a nice change for him, lol. A lot of the trees we cut down were 18-24" beetle killed Ponderosa Pine.

What size are the trees you are cutting down? Cutting down a 24" diameter tree is tough if you only have 18" of bar...
 

SprigOfTheLivingDead

Almost Self-Reliant
Joined
Jan 18, 2019
Messages
164
Reaction score
190
Points
107
Location
MN - Zone 4b
My Husky chainsaw is a 16" - we use it for limbing.
My DH has 2 Stihl saws. I think one is a 22" bar and the other is 24". We used to heat with wood, so those saws were used a lot. After 4 hours of cutting trees, the 16" was a nice change for him, lol. A lot of the trees we cut down were 18-24" beetle killed Ponderosa Pine.

What size are the trees you are cutting down? Cutting down a 24" diameter tree is tough if you only have 18" of bar...
Smaller than that, generally. There's a ****load of Amur Maple on the property that I need to cut down. Most of it was planted 20 years ago, so it's MATURE and is significant in size. 18" is a good size of a lot of the trunks, but there are some bigger and some larger (multiple trunks).
 

SprigOfTheLivingDead

Almost Self-Reliant
Joined
Jan 18, 2019
Messages
164
Reaction score
190
Points
107
Location
MN - Zone 4b
I think I would pass on a saw that was that old. He's selling it for a reason, yes? If it was still meeting his needs, and he trusted it's performance,
he would not be selling it.
I think he fixes some saws up and sells them. Whenever people say they have multiple Xs for sale I have to think that's their hobby
 

flowerbug

Almost Self-Reliant
Joined
Oct 24, 2019
Messages
1,736
Reaction score
1,797
Points
187
Location
mid-Michigan, USoA
ah, so you weren't talking of stickwood... lol bet it burns nice when it is dry! is it good for lumber/furniture making?
 

Latest posts

Top