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Rogan

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Ok, so I'm looking to replace my current saw with something a little more substantial.. Currently (and for the past 4 yrs) I've been swinging a Homelite Pro 20 in. Gas 46 cc saw. It originally came with a 16" bar/chain, so year 2, I bought a 20" bar setup for it.

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It cuts like a champ, albeit sometimes hard to start. It doesn't like to idle for more than 20 sec. or so, but it has cut many a cord of wood.

The downside I have with it, is that 1) it wants to curve the cut when going through anything bigger than 10" diameter.. 2) it tends to stall the chain if you apply any real pressure to the saw when cutting.

I don't want to spend $1000, or even $500 for that matter, on a better saw, as I only cut wood for supplemental heating of my home.

What is causing this thing to curve-cut when going through larger diameter wood? I've tried really focusing on my cuts to ensure I'm not doing something wrong, but it seems to do it even when I try not to..

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If the thing is sharp it should cut without any pressure. Ours was so dull that the only way it would cut was if you got enough friction that it would burn the wood lol. I then helped a guy out once and he was some chainsaw expert apparently and had a million dollar sharpening machine and then I could go out and cut a diamond in half with no pressure. Of course I have no idea how to get it that sharp without the million dollar machine lol. It had incredibly fine grinding stones.

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Sometimes a burr on the bar will cause a curved cut. The edge of the bar that the bottom of the chain rides on will burr outward. If you run your fingernail down the side of the bar toward the edge where the chain rides and feel catch on the edge then it can be filed down and the issue should go away. Try not to remove any more metal than necessary and do both sides of the bar, top and bottom. I try to flip bars often to even out the wear and make them last longer.

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If you hand sharpen the chains you will almost surely get the same curved cut, I have tried a lot of types of elcheapo sharpening tools but it was explained to me that everybody has a prodominent hand and will always get one edge sharper than the other the way we file. After watching him go through the motions and he had me do it he showed me exactly why it was happening.I now take mine to town and spend the $4 each to have them sharpened on a machine, well worth the money. I usually have about 6-8 chains in circulation during wood season.I cut the stumps off at ground level and that kills chains in a heartbeat with even the slightest amount of dirt. I usually get all my cutting I am going to do and end the day with ground level stup cutting with my duller chains just before they go in for a sharpening.Pawn shops are a super place to get great used saws on the cheap. There are always Stihl's and Husqvarnas there at least in my neck of the woods.A lot of equipment rental places are always rotating out old used stuff and these places are good to look at also as the equipment has been maintained fairly well.I have had a Stihl 036 pro for about 14 years and it has been a super saw for me. It has a 20" blade but can handle up to a 36" if so desired. I like the pro series as they have high performance engines in a smaller easier to handle saw.

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A tip that will help slightly when hand filing saw chains is to clamp the bar in a vice so the chain will spin freely around the bar without the chain hitting the jaws. Pivot the vice to a comfortable angle so you can use your dominant hand and file each tooth the same number of times. Pivot the vice again to do the other side of the chain at a comfortable angle with your dominant hand. Same number of file strokes per tooth. I have all of the Stihl service manuals if anyone is in need.

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I can't say enough good things about Stihl chainsaws. I have a O-66 with a 20 inch bar that I have used every year considerably cutting firewood since 1993. I still have it and it runs like new. My Homelite Super Two seized up 2 years ago. I have had it about the same amount of time, maybe a few years more. I replaced the Homelite Super Two with a Stihl MS 192T several years ago for a limbing saw. For what you are wanting to do, I would highly recommend a Stihl MS290 Farm Boss. Probably the most versital and best bang for the buck chainsaw Stihl makes. http://www.stihlusa.com/products/chain-saws/farm-and-ranch-saws/ms290/ You can find them used on eBay http://www.ebay.com/itm/Stihl-FARMBOSS-MS-290-Powerful-Mid-Range-Chainsaw-Great-condition-with-Case-/261111990419?pt=US_Chainsaws&hash=item3ccb7cc893 http://www.ebay.com/itm/Stihl-MS290-18-Farm-Boss-Chainsaw-in-Case-MS-290-/350618793420?pt=US_Chainsaws&hash=item51a28235cc or find your local Stihl dealer. Unless I could get a smokin' hot deal on a used Stihl saw in good shape, I would get a new one as you never know how people treat their equipment. I don't think you will every go wrong with a Stihl. If you take decent care of it....it will outlast you. At around $379, hopefully this is more in your price range. If not, the Stihl MS250 is around $300. I personally prefer the Stihl professional series saws as they are MUCH more heavy duty and rebuildable. Once you experience the difference in cutting power of a 3/8" chisel head chain compared to the typical chains that come on small homeowner saws, you will be shocked. These professional series chains last a LOT longer as well. I think I have used maybe 4 chains in the 19 years I have had my O-66. These chains are very easy to sharpen on the job and keep on cuttin'.

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I can't say enough good things about Stihl chainsaws. I have a O-66 with a 20 inch bar that I have used every year considerably cutting firewood since 1993. I still have it and it runs like new. My Homelite Super Two seized up 2 years ago. I have had it about the same amount of time, maybe a few years more. I replaced the Homelite Super Two with a Stihl MS 192T several years ago for a limbing saw. For what you are wanting to do, I would highly recommend a Stihl MS290 Farm Boss. Probably the most versital and best bang for the buck chainsaw Stihl makes. You can find them used on eBay http://www.ebay.com/itm/Stihl-FARMBOSS-MS-290-Powerful-Mid-Range-Chainsaw-Great-condition-with-Case-/261111990419?pt=US_Chainsaws&hash=item3ccb7cc893 http://www.ebay.com/itm/Stihl-MS290-18-Farm-Boss-Chainsaw-in-Case-MS-290-/350618793420?pt=US_Chainsaws&hash=item51a28235cc or find your local Stihl dealer. Unless I could get a smokin' hot deal on a used Stihl saw in good shape, I would get a new one as you never know how people treat their equipment. I don't think you will every go wrong with a Stihl. If you take decent care of it....it will outlast you.

I concur. Nothing is better than a Stihl. I messed around for years with the cheaper saws. Finally broke down and paid $3++, and after the first cut I was sold.
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My apologies, I prefer Husqvarnas. I have 3 professional saws a 371XP, 372XP and a 575XP. All run 3/8" chain. I run anywhere between a 20 inch bar to a 36" bar. All of the saws will pull the biggest bar with ease.Now getting back to your problems. Take the bar off the saw and lay it flat on a bench and use a 10"+ bastard flat file to see of there are any burrs on the sides of the bar. File across the bar. Once you have done this, you need to make sure that the chain is sharp. I can hand file a chain very sharp. I also use a file guide, when I am in the shop to sharpen the chains. Have you flipped the bar over to see if the bar is the problem?Hope this helps.

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  • Owner

Sthl 046 Magnum here...

Curve cutting can be a few things.

[*]Pulling hard on one side of the handle bar.

[*]Dull chain on one side.

[*]Worn bar where the chain can rock back and forth.

My Saw is close to 20 years old with the orignal factory spark plug and air filter yet. Every year this saw has to cut at least 9-12 cords of wood. No idle issues or starting issues. Usually fires off on the 2nd or 3rd pull with the choke. Stumbles out then click high idle yank again. She lit and ready for work.

Just got back from this spot again 2 days ago with a load very much like this one... Screamin' Beaver is back at it again. :whistle:

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taking all you guy's advice, I pulled the saw out and went over it with a fine-tooth comb.. I cleaned it up, cleaned all the oil + sawdust and stuff out of the clutch cover and surrounding areas.

Took the bar and chain off, examined the bar as instructed. I did not see any burrs, wide spots, or anything that looked to be a culprit.. I have (3) 20" chains. 2 need work, the one on it is the sharpest, but could use some sharpening, for sure. I flipped the bar over, and installed the sharpest chain. All I have to sharpen them with is a dremel bit, and it's either the 5/32" or 7/32" one (I can't remember which, off-hand, but I bought it with the chains.)

Problem is, I have a Dremel attachment somewhere, just can't find it.. :banghead:

The following is the chain info

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Guess what quit on me 20minutes after I hit the woods?. Yep, you guessed it. On the good side, I picked up a used (well cared for) Stihl 029 18" for $150 from a buddy of mine. Came with case and 3 new chains, fresh tune-up. From the Galaxy S3

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