23 Feb 2007
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United Kingdom
My old partner saw has packed in and i need another relatively sharpish. I am really busy and don't have time to shop around and so was looking for recommendations.

I don't use it enough to justify a new proper stihl and in an ideal world would wait until a decent condition 2nd hand husky or stihl appeared near me but i need it this week and so am torn whats best to do?

I only need a 14/16 inch and its mainly for bringing down height of hedges, occasionally felling very small trees and cutting sleepers, nothing major and no big tree work.

how do the stihl hobby saws like a ms181 compare to the likes of a general ryobi/ makita etc i could buy off screwfix?

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For your needs, the Ryobi will be fine...its only when they are used for continuous professional work that they feel the heat.
Take care with the blade adjustment if it has the large plastic screw that you turn - I've had a couple of these break off due to owners not pushing them in as they turn them.
John :)
Your exactly the man i was hoping would chime in. Thanks very much!

What do you make of the stihl hobby saws like the ms181? I don't mind spending a little extra as i'm 28 and its something i will be keeping for many years hopefully...

I'll probably only use it on average a few days a month so am happy to go with the ryobi but I have a ts400 and love the fact that spares are cheap and very easy to get. How would the ryobi be on that front?
Ryobi spares can sometimes be hard to come by, I'd say stick to Stihl, Husqvarna or Echo. The MS181 is a good saw, as is the Husq 236 at a similar price. You get what you pay for though, as with many things in life. Echo saws tend to be more expensive but you do get a five-year warranty with them, the CS-352ES is closest to the others mentioned in terms of performance but you'll find it's a bit more money
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cheers, yea my hedge cutters are echo and really good bit of kit. Super light weight but they get used a lot in comparison to how much i would use a chainsaw so i didn't mind spending that bit more.

Thanks for the input
The Stihl MS range is a good piece of kit, and its reliable....apart from the chain bar oil delivery! The oil pump has very small drillings for the oil to pass through and they easily block.
I have quite a bit of Stihl and Husky kit and both are excellent - I do have some Echo gear but the spares situation is somewhat hapazard, I find, and hedge cutter blades - at £70 each - are pretty steep.
The main issue with Ryobi is that the entire engine casings are plastic and if the saw is overheated, then there's hardly anything left - but this shouldn't be a problem with an owner/user. An hirer used one of my saws with the chain brake on for a while (clearly lacking in intelligence)......when it came back it was completely wrecked. I guess most machines couldn't survive this!
I can't comment on Makita petrol gear as I don't have any, but their mains power tools are very good.
John :)
After much interweb browsing I think I might go for the husky 236 which i should be able to get for under 200 and the dealer is closer than my stihl lot.

Am i right in thinking they do the pick up from dealer only malarky as well? Might have to send the wife on an errand....
Certainly Stihl always demonstrate the machine and the safety issues in front of you - which isn't a bad thing, really. Presumably Husky do the same.
Its a good idea to have a spare chain in stock too....I usually try to negotiate that in with the deal, together with some kosher 2 stroke oil.
John :)
just got a 236 (paid 150 plus vat)

what an awsome machine!

as usual with chainsaws its a bugger to start (why is this?)

very solid and not too heavy

Highly recomended :D
i ended up going with a hitachi cs33 which is nice and light and so far has been easy to use. Dead easy to start thanks to the lack of primer bulb etc. Just choke half choke and normal settings on one lever arm thing.

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