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Author Topic: The best clearing saw / brush cutter  (Read 3809 times)

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Offline joe_indi

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Re: The best clearing saw / brush cutter
« Reply #20 on: February 10, 2017, 08:40:53 am »
Everyone has some regrets in life, for missing out on  opportunities that may never come again.
In my case it was not buying a brushcutter which, in my opinion, would have been the Godzilla of bcs  :'(
I searched YouTube for a video of that Robin twin cylinder brushcutter. There was just this one video. Now,  you could concentrate on the brushcutter instead of the lady ........... ::) I just love how it revs


Offline livemusic

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Re: The best clearing saw / brush cutter
« Reply #21 on: February 10, 2017, 10:18:45 am »
I ended up buying a Husqvarna 345FR after reading tons of reviews and comments, plus, the fact that the Stihl (slightly more powerful HP) would be several hundred dollars more.

What was you comparing to? I know a Husqvarna 555 is same price as a Stihl 560, not several hundred dollars difference. Same HP and Stihl slightly heavier. It comes down to the dealer. I can usually get $200 off list price.

I looked at so many models and pondered so intensely, I confused myself, but I think I compared the Husqvarna 345FR to the Stihl FS460. The Husky is 2.8hp and the Stihl is 3.0hp. But I got the Husky online for $718 total, and the Stihl total price was going to be $1,265 ($1,150+tax)? That is a huge difference. Yikes, that is a $547 difference! Is that right? Is that a fair comparison?

I had decided that since I know very little about this stuff and didn't really know how much I would end up using it longterm, I could more easily justify spending $718 versus $1,265, since Husky is a good brand, and the reviews are about as good as the Stihl reviews. I also decided to go with a little lighter, less powerful saw than the biggest brushcutters such as the Husky 555 and Stihl 560, since I do have some back problems.

You said you have gotten four weeks out of a blade. That is amazing! That kind of squashes the dealer's comment that the blade cost would be too prohibitive on a brushcutter. (I think he was sincere, but I read many a thread/comment on the internet about people using these types of devices for clearing saplings.)
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Offline SwampDonkey

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Re: The best clearing saw / brush cutter
« Reply #22 on: February 10, 2017, 11:40:19 am »
That's interesting about the prices in the US, there isn't that difference up here. I'm wondering if it is tariffs?

Your dealer has never thinned as a day job I'm afraid.

Both brands are good, they have been selling clearing saws for years.

Pre-commercial thinning pays off. :)

'If she wants to play lumberjack, she's going to have to learn to handle her end of the log.'
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Offline LeeB

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Re: The best clearing saw / brush cutter
« Reply #23 on: February 10, 2017, 11:47:05 am »
Price difference swayed my decision on Husky over Stihl too. 
'98 LT40HDD/Lombardini, Case 580L, Cat D4C, Ford 851 tractor, JD 3032 tractor, Husky 346, 372 and 562XP's. Stihl MS180 and MS361, 1998 and 2006 3/4 Ton and 2005 1 ton Dodge 5.9 Cummins 4x4's, 1989 Dodge D100 w/ 318, and a 1966 Chevy C60 w/ dump bed.

Offline SwampDonkey

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Re: The best clearing saw / brush cutter
« Reply #24 on: February 10, 2017, 11:54:28 am »
Looking at their pro models and the price is $50 more for Sthil. That's the difference I always remembered, was around $50.

Both good saws, so price would sway me also if it was $500 difference, $50 not so much. :D But your getting a much better harness on the Husqvarna.

Pre-commercial thinning pays off. :)

'If she wants to play lumberjack, she's going to have to learn to handle her end of the log.'
Dirty Harry

Offline SwampDonkey

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Re: The best clearing saw / brush cutter
« Reply #25 on: February 10, 2017, 02:28:05 pm »
I was just talking to one of the guys that bought a new saw last year and he said the price of the Husqvarna 555 and Stihl 560 was the same.

Pre-commercial thinning pays off. :)

'If she wants to play lumberjack, she's going to have to learn to handle her end of the log.'
Dirty Harry

Offline sawdusty1

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Re: The best clearing saw / brush cutter
« Reply #26 on: February 13, 2017, 01:02:48 pm »
A pole saw is much easier for the work you describe.  No bending over.  Cuts small saplings way faster.  I use it for limbing a downed tree.  weighs the same or less.
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Offline John Mc

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Re: The best clearing saw / brush cutter
« Reply #27 on: February 13, 2017, 05:24:58 pm »
A pole saw is much easier for the work you describe.  No bending over.  Cuts small saplings way faster.  I use it for limbing a downed tree.  weighs the same or less.

Sawdusty1 -  I think you may be misunderstanding what people are discussing here. The conversation is not about using a chainsaw to cut brush & saplings, it is about using a brushcutter/clearing saw. These are basically a weed-whacker on steroids, with what looks like a circular saw blade on the end in place of the string trimmer on a weed whacker. It's a whole lot easier and quicker than using a pole saw.
If the only tool you have is a hammer, you tend to see every problem as a nail.   - Abraham Maslow

Offline SwampDonkey

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Re: The best clearing saw / brush cutter
« Reply #28 on: February 13, 2017, 05:57:56 pm »
A pole saw might be an extra nice to have though if removing vines off trees. But maybe just severing them off is good enough. I don't know, we don't have much for native vines here except grape, cucumber and climatus, in which we are never in when thinning. Grape doesn't amount to much of a threat up this way. Cucumber and climatus, well winter takes care of them. :D

Pre-commercial thinning pays off. :)

'If she wants to play lumberjack, she's going to have to learn to handle her end of the log.'
Dirty Harry

Offline ranchguy

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Re: The best clearing saw / brush cutter
« Reply #29 on: February 14, 2017, 05:06:18 pm »
Depending on terrain, where you need to get to (if you can get to the base of trees for the vines), I like using a DR string trimmer with a Beaver Blade (disk with a replaceable chainsaw chain).  Lawnmower engine, on wheels, so you don't have a thing to lug around.  Not as handy to whip around different levels of course.  I've got about 900 acres, and have cut well over 1000 small cedars off with one (and I'm not keeping up with getting them done).  If you cut with the front of the trimmer instead of the side, it cuts ground level, at least mine does, they changed the frame material since I got mine so I don't know if the angle changed.  Of course it's extremely easy to get it in the dirt and dull quickly.  The last time I worked a while a day for a week, got onto it pretty good and could go a while without sharpening.  Fairly handy on small enough trees, of course doesn't work as well on "matted down" ones where cows etc. knocked them down, branches bushy at ground level.  About 15 years ago I spent a couple months (as time allowed) and cleared a fair chunk of pasture with an axe, chainsaw, lopper, this thing would have let me get much more done.  I also hired a skid shear for a while, probably will end up buying one for my loader, it would pay for itself.


Offline UpNorthMI

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Re: The best clearing saw / brush cutter
« Reply #30 on: July 17, 2017, 05:20:34 pm »
Thanks for all the prior comments here they helped me make a selection of a brush cutting saw. I recently purchased a Stihl FS 460 after reading many reviews. They are costly but I'm starting to manage 320 acres with about 5 miles of trails that are being overgrown at the edges with small saplings and trees in the 2" -3" diameter range. Just cannot get into some of these areas with the tractor and brush hog, chainsaw use is a back killer, this brush cutting saw is an awesome tool and will get a lot of future use. As someone commented the Stihl harness is poor, mine came with a 1" diagonal body strap! I purchased the Husqvarna 523048201 Balance XT Trimmer Harness on Amazon and love this set up, it makes using the Stihl FS 460 really comfortable allowing me to work safer and longer. The Stihl 460 and 560 blades have a 20mm arbor hole. I purchased a 20mm to 1" converter about 2.5mm thick to allow me to use aftermarket 8" brush cutter blades that typically have a 1" arbor hole. There blades are a fraction of the original Stihl blades and perform really well.
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Offline Al_Smith

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Re: The best clearing saw / brush cutter
« Reply #31 on: July 17, 2017, 05:26:54 pm »
I don't have a brush saw but I do have a bush hog and an old "clipper" brush mower than does a fair job .Best to wear body armor with  the brush mower .

Offline Kbeitz

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Re: The best clearing saw / brush cutter
« Reply #32 on: July 20, 2017, 04:24:38 am »
This summer I bought a 10" blade off E-bay. Boy do I love it.
It sure saves time.
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Offline LeeB

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Re: The best clearing saw / brush cutter
« Reply #33 on: July 20, 2017, 12:18:23 pm »
what are you running this blade on K?
'98 LT40HDD/Lombardini, Case 580L, Cat D4C, Ford 851 tractor, JD 3032 tractor, Husky 346, 372 and 562XP's. Stihl MS180 and MS361, 1998 and 2006 3/4 Ton and 2005 1 ton Dodge 5.9 Cummins 4x4's, 1989 Dodge D100 w/ 318, and a 1966 Chevy C60 w/ dump bed.

Offline SwampDonkey

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Re: The best clearing saw / brush cutter
« Reply #34 on: July 20, 2017, 11:34:43 pm »
Never will understand why it is a gauntlet to get brush saw blades like the Maxi down there. Western Europe and Canada have used them for decades. 8.9" is pretty much the max on a pro brush saw, I don't think there is clearance with the guard for a 10" blade.

Right now we are cutting trees that are 40 feet tall, aspen maple. Not real big on the but, but a lot of chopping up to get to the ground. Not real fun and less productive than stands that fit criteria. For some reason criteria is being passed over on height. There is a reason for the criteria. ;)

Pre-commercial thinning pays off. :)

'If she wants to play lumberjack, she's going to have to learn to handle her end of the log.'
Dirty Harry

Offline Woodcutter_Mo

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Re: The best clearing saw / brush cutter
« Reply #35 on: July 21, 2017, 10:49:56 am »
 I have a little fs90r that I run blades on, I cut a lot of 2" sapplings with it. I do plan to get a fs130 for a little more power and still a fair price. My cousin as a fs240, it's a beast for its size but a ways out of my budget. I like my fs90r for being able to cut over head branches with the blade and it's fairly light and very easy on fuel. I do believe the 240 has a better power/weight ratio.
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Offline pwrwagontom

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Re: The best clearing saw / brush cutter
« Reply #36 on: July 21, 2017, 02:58:11 pm »
Older thread but...I spec-ed out two Stihl FS360 brush saws last year.  After some really hard use, they are holding and fine, and I am very pleased with their power/weight.

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Offline SwampDonkey

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Re: The best clearing saw / brush cutter
« Reply #38 on: July 29, 2017, 06:54:30 am »
That kind of blade would take getting used to on a brush saw. On the maxi-blade, you would ease into a cut like a chainsaw if it was over 3" diameter. Smaller than that, your just swinging the saw like cutting grass with a professional sized brush saw: Stihl560, Husq555.  ;D Those chainsaw tooth blades aren't sold here. In lower density thinning you can easily cut an acre a day. That is thinning, not clear cutting, everything that is cut has to be on the ground not hung up.

Pre-commercial thinning pays off. :)

'If she wants to play lumberjack, she's going to have to learn to handle her end of the log.'
Dirty Harry

Offline John Mc

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Re: The best clearing saw / brush cutter
« Reply #39 on: July 29, 2017, 02:14:52 pm »
Never will understand why it is a gauntlet to get brush saw blades like the Maxi down there. Western Europe and Canada have used them for decades.

You can find them, you just have to look for them a bit harder (and beware of those advertising a "Maxi" but actually selling the same style as the Husqvarna "Scarlet" blade I posted an image of earlier).

I ordered this 8" (200mm) Husqvarna Maxi blade a couple of years ago from Amazon. I'm betting this is a re-badged Oregon blade.

The Oregon catalog lists the 8" (200mm) version as their part # 41-935. Their 9" is listed as 41-936 or 41-937, depending on the arbor size. Description says Swedish steel. Both sizes are recommended for 40cc or larger clearing saws, but I use them on my Jonsered GR 2036, which is only 36cc with no problem

Amick's in North Carolina sells both the 8" (200mm) Maxi Blades and the 9" (225 mm) Maxi Blade. They advertise as "Windsor" brand, but there is a note saying "It will be labeled Carlton, Oregon or Windsor, all are from the same manufacturer." THese have the 25mm/1" arbor hole. Both are described as Swedish steel.
If the only tool you have is a hammer, you tend to see every problem as a nail.   - Abraham Maslow