questionswhat's a good chain saw for light to heavy use…

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Light use - Homelite chain saw. Heavier use - Poulan. Real heavy use (professional) - Echo, Husqvarna, Jonsered, Solo, Stihl.

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I got a Poulan "Wild Thing" several years ago. It has a 16 inch bar, so can handle some moderately large trees, (I've used it on up to about a 24 inch diameter tree.) It has been very dependable so far.

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Growing up I always used really cheap chainsaws my father had. I hated using a chainsaw then. Now that I've got my own needs for a chainsaw I bought a Husqvarna 350 from Lowes. I love that saw, and I no longer hate using chainsaws.

I'd avoid the ultra-cheap ones, I think they're built to induce hate and rage.

Looks like Lowes is selling a Husqvarna 450 with is the next generation of the saw I have.

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I agree with sykl0ps. The worst saws I'ved owned have been Homelite and Poulan. The best have been Stihl and Echo.

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I'm still happy with my 18" Makita I bought last spring. It did everything I needed it to do over the summer/autumn. See the link referenced by @cengland0 above for more details.

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Depends. I got tired of rebuilding carburetors and came up with a new plan, and it's served me well.
Light/medium duty gets electric. I've got outlets within reach of a lot of our lot, and that works out well, plus if you get them refurbed, they're cheap. Like < $40 cheap. I've managed to burn 1 out in the last 5 years. Big deal.
I needed heavy duty last year, and that's where rental comes in, plus I don't have to fix anything. They're always sharp, they always start.
It isn't always necessary to own every tool that you don't often use, particularly if it's gas powered.