Ive been on the forums for some time but heve never looked into the wildland firefighting forum so forgive me if this has been covered before. I need advise on what you all feel is the best chainsaw for work fighting fires in heavy timber.
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Thread: chain saws
12-27-2000, 08:36 PM #1fireman703Firehouse.com Guest
12-28-2000, 10:10 AM #2Captain HickmanFirehouse.com Guest
Have seen a lot of Stihl's and a few Husqvarna's. A great deal of what is used by the Fed's is secured through the bid process. Around here, we use Stihl's, mainly because of supply and service. When it gets into the BIG timber and the Class 1 fallers, which use the BIG SAWs, I've seen more Stihl's than anything, some of them with bars exceeding 36 inches with engines in the 8 hp range.
[This message has been edited by Captain Hickman (edited 12-28-2000).]
12-28-2000, 12:40 PM #3RxFireFirehouse.com Guest
I myself prefer Stihl, but that is what I have used mostly. This is a hot debate topic among wildland crews, but it boils down to personal preference. I have spent the majority of my firefighting time in Northern California, where we consider 24" DBH trees run of the mill . Some of the argument's I have heard are...
Stihl - easier to repair/clean etc in the field, no special tools required to get to the airfilter. Better construction.
Husqvarna - Higher rpms (thus less exposure time under snags, faster cuts in general), lighter weight - easier carrying, better saws, more reliable.
I got the opportunity to work with the forestry crew from Yosemite NP in '97 during the Highwater incident, where the valley floor flooded and they closed the park for 2 months. Anyways, the crew there liked Huskies, even for falling the big stuff (48+" DBH).
For the most part, the Stihl 044 is the standard wildland saw in the west. Maybe it's because Stihl is on the GSA contract. It has plenty of power (we run of a 32" bar on one) and is balanced fairly well for power to weight.
Something to consider is mix ratio. I don't know if Huskies have the same mix ratio as Stihl, but if you run more than one 2 cycle engine, having only one mix makes life easier and firefighter proof.
As suggested on many of the other topics regarding power tools, see if you can get demo's maybe. If the saw is primarily on an engine as opposed to handcrew setting, make sure bar length will allow it to fit into the designated compartment and allow for easy access.
Hope this helps.
[This message has been edited by RxFire (edited 12-28-2000).]
01-19-2001, 01:13 PM #4LHVFDFirehouse.com Guest
We use a Stihl for the simple reason that we have dealer/service in our local. I think thats the main factor. It's like Ford vs Chevy, you love one and hate the other.
02-13-2001, 09:37 PM #5bmfpd821Firehouse.com Guest
We use Stihls in our district mainly because the U.S.F.S. uses them.This allows us to use same equipment as everyone else. We also have access to training which utilizes the same equipment. The Stihl has a been a great performer for us. We have very few problems and they work well in the heat. They are also very light and easy to handle. Maintenance is easy and they are easy to keep up in the field with a minimum of tools.
03-27-2001, 03:53 PM #6WVFD EMTFirehouse.com Guest
I have used Stihl saws for the last 3 years and have very good luck with them. We use the Stihl 046, the same saw the Forest Service uses in our area.
04-06-2001, 04:59 PM #7simpleguy_68Firehouse.com Guest
Personal experience from logging:
Husqavarna's for evergreens as the higher RPMs work well in the softer woods.
Stihl's for hardwoods.
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