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Ranch Chainsaws

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Mountain Cowgirl

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My all-time favorite was my Husky 266 with a 30" roller tip Oregon bar. It was a great all-around ranch saw and also great on the landing bumping knots. I used my Husky 2100 for falling the big trees and later used it on the Alaskan mill for sawing lumber.

I bought a Homelite when I was 17 that I later used on a job with a log cabin building outfit in Montana. My job was scribing and cutting the notches. Later I bought a Jonsered 452 (so the other Montana sawyers would respect me hahaha) that went with me when I moved to Oregon. I traded it off for a Stihl .031. When I bought the property in the mountains, I added a Husky 2100 for falling timber and sawing lumber. Later I traded off the Stihl and bought a Husky 266 (my all-time favorite all-around gas saw) which stayed with me until a few years ago when I bought my little Stihl battery that is an impressive saw and makes other brand battery saws look like toys. It is all I need and great for carving logs, limbing, and cutting small logs. I have even cut up some billets from hardwood trees with it.

During the big wind storm here a couple or three years ago, I had the big tree across the street sawed with an opening big enough for emergency vehicles to get through before any of the 3 neighbor guys with their big gas saws had them started. The guy that finally got his started couldn't cut for anything as his saw was so dull the chain was bagging and smoking. I finally had him run my saw until the battery was dead while I sharpened up his saw and cut the rakers down. He had so much damage, I cut about half of each tooth off to get back to a point where it wouldn't dull on the first cut. He had never sharpened a saw and always had the shop do it. The shop was closed tighter than Dick's hatband due to the widespread electrical outage.

I remember my cousin that kept a cash flow on his cattle ranch by sharpening all kinds of saws in a little shop he built out by the county road, saying with chainsaws to find the worst damaged tooth and file out all the damage until it shines like a diamond in a goats patoot and then file all the others back the same size.

Jonsered was the predecessor of Husqvarna. My choice these days in a gas saw would be Stihl since we have a local repair and they can get parts quickly. Several years ago I was featured on the Real Stihl Girls website that was trying to change the image of women posing in bikinis or scant clothing while modeling Stihl chainsaws. Instead of Stihl featuring real women sawyers, real deal lumber Jills, they decided to discontinue their calendar.

Ranch women have been operating chainsaws ever since they were invented. I started at age 10 with a Craftsman. That thing was heavy and hard to start. My father was a Craftsman fan and my mother was a Montgomery Wards fan. Monkey Wards my dad used to call it. I remember the discussions on what was the best ranch chainsaw. Some cousins loved Mc Culloch and some were Homelite fans. All those old saws were hernia surgeons' best friends. When I bought my Homelite and could run circles around those heavy slow dinosaurs, I would cut poles for making corrals after I was done feeding the cows in the fall on weekends.

I picked up my spending money that way and it sure beat working as a Candy Striper at the local hospital, roller skating greasy burgers to cars, shoveling horse poo out of rich folks riding stable stalls, or babysitting brats. The only drawback was the party line telephone and telling the neighbor wrangler boys to get off the line with their diva horse-loving small acreage girlfriends because I needed the line for ranch business and a real working cattle woman, a chainsaw-wielding girl, one such as myself, took precedence over romance with their delicate diva girlfriends.
 
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Evans

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My 30 some year old stihl 034 has sure paid for itself but if it ever craps out I would look really hard at one of those battery powered saws. For the amount of use I would use it for it would probably be all I need plus it would be so easy to pack it on a horse.
Only use I would really have for it would be fencing or repairing corrals. Haha a farmer saw not a logger anymore.
 

webfoot

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NE Oregon
I hate to think of how many saws I have worn out. I started out long enough ago that I ran Stihl 090 with a 42 inch bar and occasionally hung a 60 inch bar on it. Cut an awful lot of timber with a 075. The power head on those things weighed 36 pounds empty. Add a 36 inch bar and chain, they held a quart of gas and about a pint of bar oil. Hump it up and down the mountain all day with that in your hands. Dang I was in good shape back then.
I worked some in NE Washington, northern Idaho, and western Montana. All the locals ran Jonhie Reds and other off brand saws. They had round chain that they filed by hand. I ran hot rod Stihl 056 with chisel chain which I ground. It was piece work. You got paid by the thousand board feet which you put on the ground. They worked 8 - 10 hours a day and never came close to the amount I made working 6 hours. I bought a new saw every six months or so. They were running 2 or 3 year old saws. While they were grinding away I had a saw that went through wood like a hot knife through butter.
 

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