Turning Archive 2005

New Chainsaw Purchase

Barry Turner
>I am in the market for a new chainsaw to cut bowl blanks with. I don't want to break the bank buying a chainsaw, as I would rather spend money on lathe accessories, chucks, jawsets and bowl gouges rather than on a chainsaw. However; I prefer to spend serious money and buy a good professional saw that will do the job quickly rather than spend a third of the amount on a cheap disposable saw that might not perform satisfactorily. I am leaning towards Stihl or Husquvarna because of their reputation.

Among the saws I have considered; the Husquvarna 455 Rancher, Stihl MS 290 Farm Boss, Stihl MS 361 and Stihl MS 390. I have a Stihl catalogue and when I try to compare these saws, I get totally confused. The MS 290 and MS 390 are listed as "medium use", while the MS 361 is listed as a "professional use" chainsaw. The MS 361 has 59cc while the MS 390 has a whopping 64cc. Somehow, all of this just doesn't quite jive in my simple mind. One would expect a steady progression in quality and power from the lower model numbers to the highest, but it doesn't seem to be quite that simple.

Is the Husquvarna 455 Rancher comparable with the MS 290 Farm Boss? If not, what saw in the Stihl line-up is it's equal? ny tips on deciphering these somewhat nebulous model numbers?

How much saw do I really need to saw and halve log sections lengthwise up to say 20" in diameter? Thanks.

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