Trade Tools Direct Chainsaws

Submitted: Monday, May 10, 2010 at 10:31
ThreadID: 78357 Views:7402 Replies:15 FollowUps:12
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Hi all,

Been viewing the forum for a long while now and find it a great source of information but this is my first post. I'm looking at purchasing a chainsaw which will be used for firewood when camping and also lopping of the occasional tree at home and if one's across the tracks at some point in time. From my research so far I think a 14-16" bar will do what I want but have no idea on what power will be adequate. I realise that Stihl's are very highly regarded but wondering if there are any other cheaper alternatives worth considering seeing as I won't be using it that often? Still needs to be reliable though obviously.

A lot I've looked at so far look to be quite cheaply constructed but came across the Trade Tools Direct own branded ones on the weekend and they look quite solid and well put together. Can get a 14" bar version for $238. Has anyone had any experience with these? What are they like and how easy are they to start as my experience with chainsaws to date (all older models mind you) has been that actually getting one to start is half the battle.

Thanks for any assistance,
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Reply By: you eat the bear - Monday, May 10, 2010 at 10:43

Monday, May 10, 2010 at 10:43
Hi John.

Stihl is first choice. If you want a less expensive (but still good a unit) have a look at a Husqvarna.

If you want it for clearing tracks, then you want the saw to work when you need it to work.

If all you need is a yard saw around the house then there are plenty of options that are cheaper. Remember though that if you end up buying two cheap saws then you might as well have bought the better one to start with!

Good luck,

AnswerID: 416092

Follow Up By: pop2jocem - Monday, May 10, 2010 at 10:52

Monday, May 10, 2010 at 10:52
Couldn't have said it better myself.
John, as Stephen has said, if you want a cheaper alternative than Stihl or not much further behind Husqvana, go down to your local Bunnings and have a look at several offered. If you cant get the cheapy to start you might as well have bought a hand saw.

FollowupID: 686165

Reply By: Alloy c/t - Monday, May 10, 2010 at 11:08

Monday, May 10, 2010 at 11:08
With chainsaws the old adage of you get what you paid for comes to mind ,
my old Stihl MS200T bought second hand for $200 6yrs ago starts first pull every time even after sitting for upto 12mths unused ,will run all day when called upon ,small and compact so takes up no room in the vehicle , take the bar and chain off and the body is the size of a six pack of stubbies.
AnswerID: 416095

Reply By: Best Off Road - Monday, May 10, 2010 at 11:28

Monday, May 10, 2010 at 11:28
Well, I'll buck the trend.

My little Talon cost me $160 five and a half years ago years ago and has done a lot of work. I've so much as changed the spark plug.

You'll be amazed how capable these little units are as long as you keep the teeth sharp; I use one of those 12 volt sharpeners 'cause I'm hopeless with a file.


AnswerID: 416097

Follow Up By: Best Off Road - Monday, May 10, 2010 at 11:36

Monday, May 10, 2010 at 11:36
Sorry, that's NEVER so much as changed the spark plug.
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Follow Up By: True Blue - Monday, May 10, 2010 at 15:21

Monday, May 10, 2010 at 15:21
I'll second that Jim.

Have had my little Talon (38cc) 44cm bar for around 5/6 years and it also has done a power of work.

It is a cheap saw but does not act like one. It has good air filtration and is not fussy when it becomes hot after a long job. It's one of those units that punches above it's weight division.

I have had many Stihls and Husky's but decided to buy the Talon because of continual theft of the better brands from my trucks toolboxes.

Not once have I regretted buying the Talon.

FollowupID: 686195

Follow Up By: kev.h - Monday, May 10, 2010 at 16:39

Monday, May 10, 2010 at 16:39
Yep Tallon is the way to go had mine for years done a lot of work never missed a beat
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Follow Up By: Member - Duke (TAS) - Monday, May 10, 2010 at 21:54

Monday, May 10, 2010 at 21:54
I think you will find that Talon are made by Husqvarna. Bought a small Talon pressure cleaner a couple of Mths ago and thats what was wrote on the package.
Regards Duke
FollowupID: 686282

Reply By: Native - Monday, May 10, 2010 at 11:34

Monday, May 10, 2010 at 11:34
Hi John,
I have a Stihl chainsaw purchased approximately 8 years ago and it is still going strong. Nothing worse than buying an inferior product that needs maintenance/repair, costs more in the long run.

AnswerID: 416098

Reply By: Member - Christopher P (NSW) - Monday, May 10, 2010 at 11:44

Monday, May 10, 2010 at 11:44
I have used both cheap and expensive chainsaws, We had a husqvarna when i was landscaping and it went all day everyday, rain hail sunshine, couldn't kill it, aas for the cheaper ones, constantly back to the dealer for repairs, chains needed constant sharpeneing, which i did by hand or if i had them machine then i would use it.

the husky only got a bar and chain because someone forgot to fill it with bar oil before it was stolen.

Oh the cheap chainsaw, can't remeber the brand, bar oil lube port constantly got blocked up.
AnswerID: 416099

Reply By: Member - Teege (NSW) - Monday, May 10, 2010 at 12:25

Monday, May 10, 2010 at 12:25
I paid $800 for my Stihl in 1988. Still going strong. That's a bit under $40 a year. For the first 12 years I lived on a property and it got quite a workout.

AnswerID: 416108

Follow Up By: cycadcenter - Monday, May 10, 2010 at 13:17

Monday, May 10, 2010 at 13:17
My wife gave me a Stihl AV41 for my birthday in 1978, It got carted everywhere, fell of the back of the Toyota a couple of times, the case cracked once and was patched up with Devcon. I even bought it to the USA with me for a few more years until the Stihl Dealer over here could not any carby parts for it when it finally gave up in 2007 so it was 29 years old.

Now I have a Farm Boss 65 which is also a good saw but not as good as they have plastic cases now instead of the old metal ones.

Next small saw I get will be an Echo Professional Series with the handle on top. Great saw as it is perfectly balanced in your hand.

FollowupID: 686180

Reply By: Moose - Monday, May 10, 2010 at 13:07

Monday, May 10, 2010 at 13:07
U can get a Husky for $399. Bargain.
AnswerID: 416112

Reply By: Wilko - Monday, May 10, 2010 at 13:28

Monday, May 10, 2010 at 13:28
Hi John,

I have a stihl farmboss for getting firewood, dropping trees etc, I also have a McCulloch chainsaw I got for 140 bucks from Bunnings. It works ok, Doesnt have the auto fuel compensator and such. It also doesnt have the power of a similiar cc Stihl.

But it is reliable, cheap and if it gets knocked around, cheap to replace.

Cheers Wilko
AnswerID: 416117

Follow Up By: B1B2 - Monday, May 10, 2010 at 14:15

Monday, May 10, 2010 at 14:15
G'day Wilko,
I also bought the Scottish chainsaw from Bunnings as I didn't think i would use it a lot. Surprising how often I got it out and was the only person with one.
It gave me a lot of trouble starting from new. So I read the instructions. The problem was it started ok. - Switch on, pump fuel, choke on and it goes but I couldn't get my hand to release the throttle lock and keep it running. Next time choke off and strt but again i could get to the throttle quick enough.
Instruction mention 2 stage choke, start on full choke then start on half choke and no need to go fot the throttle. It is better, but I reckon I should have bought the Stihl for $500 and be done with it.
Did you know it is designed in Italy and assembled in USA. It has cut some logs you wouldn't want to put in front of your Stihl.

It would be the most dangerous piece of equipment you could ever use, especially if you aren't much in the handyman department.

FollowupID: 686190

Follow Up By: Janek - Monday, May 10, 2010 at 15:46

Monday, May 10, 2010 at 15:46
i bought one of the $260 mcculloch's

Was brilliant for a year, then it died, still in warranty. The warranty guys were horrible to deal with. the saw sat for a month without being looked at, and when it finally was, i was told i had been running it with no oil. Funny, when i had been using the mcculloch brand oil, and measuring out exactly 40:1 with syringes!

So the guy says oh, you must have under oiled it. (i document everything nowadays, and showed him the stuff, couldnt care less.

Funny how i can manage complex drug calculations to keep people alive, but mixing oil-no way! that's too bloody hard!

So yeah. moral of the story is i now have a husky 465. Best saw EVER


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FollowupID: 686199

Follow Up By: Wilko - Monday, May 10, 2010 at 15:59

Monday, May 10, 2010 at 15:59
Hi Bill & Janek,

Thats what you can get with a Mccullochs a good one and a bad one. Mine is ok for what I do with it. If it died I dont think Im gonna worry about warranty.

It has allowed me to put the Stihl in the shed so its not going over corrugations and bouncing around the back of the ute.

Dont know if I agree with the Husky being best saw They love to rev maybe I'm just used to the lower reving Stihl.

You definatly get what you pay for though.

Cheers Wilko
FollowupID: 686200

Reply By: Member - Des - Monday, May 10, 2010 at 13:33

Monday, May 10, 2010 at 13:33
Congrats on your first post John!

We have had a Jonsered 2145 (ie 45cc engine) for some years. It has been very reliable and a good saw. Jonsered are a Swedish company, sister company of Husquvana - both owned by Electrolux. I asked an arborist what he recommended and he said Stihl, Husky or Jonsered.

The dealer we bought from sold and serviced different brands (many dealers are tied to one) and recommended the Jonsered as better value. He pointed out that it had metal parts that were plastic in the corresponding model Stihl, and better vibration control. He also recommended a 45cc engine as the minimum necessary to cut big fallen trunks of hardwood. His experience was that many people bought saws that were underpowered for their needs.

We travel a lot in the High Country and East Gippsland by ourselves. We often encounter fallen trees. Here is one example. We had driven 2 hours up Zeka Spur from the Wonnangatta Valley and are within a couple of kms of the Howitt Rd. Progress is blocked by a large fallen tree wedged between standing trees. No one else around, and it's a long long way back down to the Valley and out by another route (probably with a very cranky co-pilot). I pull out the saw. I really want to know it is going to work. Yank on the cord, VROOM. Chop up the tree, off we go. Am I thinking, "I could have saved a couple of hundred buying a cheapy" or "Thank goodness I bought a quality saw"?

You feeling lucky punk?

AnswerID: 416118

Reply By: Member - Tony (ACT) - Monday, May 10, 2010 at 14:22

Monday, May 10, 2010 at 14:22
I have 4 chainsaws on the farm. McCulloch, Homelite, and two Stihl's, both farm boss 032 & 038. The 038 gets most of the work as it has the power for clearing fence lines and all the big jobs. A heavy saw, too big to carry around for camping. The 032 fits that area really well and the one I carry into the high country for track clearing etc. The other two never get used anymore.
AnswerID: 416123

Reply By: rowdy31 - Monday, May 10, 2010 at 17:00

Monday, May 10, 2010 at 17:00
Mate just go the cheapie. I have a Sthil 880 magnum and also the small 14" Talon and 18" talon.
For the price I dont think you can beat the Talon.
The small Talon saw i have had for about 5 years and it has been abused at home and bush, dropped bounced out of the trailer, dropped, driving the blade into dirt and sand and yet runs sweet and starts first time. If that was my Sthil i'd probably cry!
If just for camping just spend about $150 and get a small Talon or similar and it will do you for what you need and you will get years of service out of it.
Alot of folks always go the expensive stuff and then always try to justify the purchase, as long as it is maintained and kept sharp the thing will last for years.
Chains going blunt have nothing to do with the brand of saw as you get the quality chains to suit etc.

Its the same as everything you purchase (lights, winches etc) no one wants to buy them and always bag them out.
AnswerID: 416131

Follow Up By: rowdy31 - Monday, May 10, 2010 at 17:05

Monday, May 10, 2010 at 17:05
The Sthil is in its own league when it comes to the big tough wood but since having the smaller cheaper ones i hardley use it anymore. My 18"talon hasnt been started for over a year but if i put some fresh juice into it i am confidant it will start first pop.
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Reply By: Hairy (NT) - Monday, May 10, 2010 at 19:03

Monday, May 10, 2010 at 19:03
Ive got an Echo.....bit cheaper than the Stihl and just as good in by opinion.
When we used to cut a fair bit of wood we had 3 Farm bosses and the echo....I prefer the echo......chain adjuster and filter is a lot easier to get too and had a lot more grunt in my opinion.

AnswerID: 416145

Reply By: Horsin' Around - Monday, May 10, 2010 at 19:14

Monday, May 10, 2010 at 19:14
All my mates who borrow the stihl wood boss wish they had bought one!

at least one would plan my demise if he could be sure I'd leave it to him in the will....

AnswerID: 416147

Reply By: Maîneÿ . . .- Monday, May 10, 2010 at 23:19

Monday, May 10, 2010 at 23:19
check out these, I think you will see they are better long term than some more expensive chainsaws?

Image Could Not Be Found
I bought it when I was travelling, now don't need it :-)
six hours work, 2 x bars, 3 x new chains, block splitter, wedge etc etc

Maîneÿ . . .
AnswerID: 416199

Reply By: Gnomey - Tuesday, May 11, 2010 at 00:22

Tuesday, May 11, 2010 at 00:22
G'day John
I don't know anything about the Trade Tools saw but I do know a bit about chainsaws, having used them on and off for 30 years, and now frequently. Every winter I cut 16+ cubic meters for myself and an elderly neighbour and there are always smaller jobs to be done around the block.

I'm also in the Stihl camp, my current one being an 044 with the 20" bar. I've had it for 20+ years. In that time I've had one breakdown - the coil.

IME small saws are ok for small jobs and hopeless for bigger ones so for track clearing I would regard a Farm Boss or equivalent as the minimum. I wouldn't seriously consider a 14" bar for anything other than pruning. Somebody else posted about a dealer saying a lot of people buy saws that are too small. That's my experience too.

It's true that bigger saws are heavier, especially if you are cutting at or above waist height. It's also true that cutting with lightweight saws can be like gnawing on a gal water pipe.

Factor in safety gear, spare chain, sharpener and learning how to keep chains sharp. I would suggest buying the biggest you can safely and comfortably handle - new or secondhand - within the budget. If that extends to a Stihl or Husky - bonus.

If you get one, keep the fear alive - your health will benefit. :^)

AnswerID: 416206

Follow Up By: Member - Des - Tuesday, May 11, 2010 at 11:08

Tuesday, May 11, 2010 at 11:08
Completely agree about keeping the fear alive Mark. Safety is a whole other topic, but I would just say that it's vital to keep your mind on the job all the time. While the instruction books have lots of warnings about kickback, the kickback area on modern saws is quite small. But there are lots of other things to focus on - like securing your footing, keeping the saw outside your legs, planning your exit if the branch/trunk falls, etc etc. All common sense in the end, but complacency is one of the biggest dangers. I wouldn't be surprised if a lot of accidents occur when people are doing easy jobs, because they tend to concentrate more for harder jobs.
FollowupID: 686341

Follow Up By: Gnomey - Wednesday, May 12, 2010 at 11:10

Wednesday, May 12, 2010 at 11:10
Yeah Des. Spot on. You describe exactly the circumstances in which I very nearly did myself a serious mischief. We could swap stories I'm sure, but that's another thread.

FollowupID: 686497

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