BBT Chainsaws - handy to have on the tracks!

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KevinE

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You can buy replacement parts from BBT.
I have spares in the parts box that would fit. The spool off an Echo top handle with fit straight in & the spool off a Stihl HT75 will fit with minor mods.

But, why bother! It's only 11-12 hours old & has already failed once.
 

tony d22

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The only thing I don't like about the saw is the ancient chain tensioner with the 2 bolts you have to undo.
The Husky has an all in one dial bolt that locks down flat when finished.
 

Old.Tony

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Noodling hardwood with a 54cc saw is extremely impressive indeed.

I know blokes (rellies) who do that down around Mt. Gambier & they use an MS880 & a 394XP.

Not sure I'd even want to be doing too much of that type of work with a 7901 lol!

I only noodle when I have to. I have a Fiskars X27 which does an excellent job usually. it's just the big knots it has an issue with. Last trip in to collect wood I didn't have a lot of choice - very little left - so I took what I could, and there are a couple of pieces I'll have to noodle. Since they're only about 50cm across, my MS180 shouldn't have too much trouble. I can't (yet) justify getting a larger saw.
 

KevinE

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I only noodle when I have to. I have a Fiskars X27 which does an excellent job usually. it's just the big knots it has an issue with. Last trip in to collect wood I didn't have a lot of choice - very little left - so I took what I could, and there are a couple of pieces I'll have to noodle. Since they're only about 50cm across, my MS180 shouldn't have too much trouble. I can't (yet) justify getting a larger saw.
You probably already know this Tony, but if you just noodle down on the log a short way with the chainsaw, then hit the log in those shallow cuts with the block splitter, it should split OK.

The MS180 is a very good saw! It cuts well above it's weight. Much better than the newer model, which is strato.

If you ever do feel the need for a bigger saw, I'd skip the 45-60cc range if it were me. I own three 36cc saws these days & used to have both a 52cc & a 45cc saw as well (MS260C & a Husky 345). My next saw up was a 7901 Makita. The jump in power between the 36cc saws & the 1st two was very, very small & the weight difference is significant. I found myself going straight from the 36cc saw to the 7901 when the branches got too big for the small saw. I sold the 260 & the 345 & have never missed them.

Food for thought on buying a larger Chinese chainsaw; I helped someone assemble the 72cc version he'd bought on Ebay. I'd rate it no more powerful than a MS260 & a whole lot heavier. The chain that came with it was junk. Once blunt, good luck on getting an edge on it again. He sold it.

Like I said, I needed a new bar & chain for another saw & the Chinese saw I bought came with an Oregon bar & chain for less coin than just buying a bar & chain, so I bought it. I doubt I'd do it again though.
 

Old.Tony

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You probably already know this Tony, but if you just noodle down on the log a short way with the chainsaw, then hit the log in those shallow cuts with the block splitter, it should split OK.

The MS180 is a very good saw! It cuts well above it's weight. Much better than the newer model, which is strato.

If you ever do feel the need for a bigger saw, I'd skip the 45-60cc range if it were me. I own three 36cc saws these days & used to have both a 52cc & a 45cc saw as well (MS260C & a Husky 345). My next saw up was a 7901 Makita. The jump in power between the 36cc saws & the 1st two was very, very small & the weight difference is significant. I found myself going straight from the 36cc saw to the 7901 when the branches got too big for the small saw. I sold the 260 & the 345 & have never missed them.

Food for thought on buying a larger Chinese chainsaw; I helped someone assemble the 72cc version he'd bought on Ebay. I'd rate it no more powerful than a MS260 & a whole lot heavier. The chain that came with it was junk. Once blunt, good luck on getting an edge on it again. He sold it.

Like I said, I needed a new bar & chain for another saw & the Chinese saw I bought came with an Oregon bar & chain for less coin than just buying a bar & chain, so I bought it. I doubt I'd do it again though.

I'm happy to resist generic branded chainsaws.


The MS391 (64cc) looks to be the one that has an engine powerful enough to do what I want, with a full sized chain. I replaced the chain in my MS180 with a slightly wider one (same length) and the chips eject much better now, but it's still a "low profile" chain so the cut isn't as fast as it could be and applying pressure to the saw just causes it to struggle, heat the chain and stretch it without cutting any faster.


I don't think I need an MS880. I doubt I'll ever see timber here large enough to warrant such a big saw. The biggest diameter log I'm cutting (and doing ok with the MS180) is about 0.8m, which my saw only just manages to reach from both sides.
 

KevinE

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I'm happy to resist generic branded chainsaws.


The MS391 (64cc) looks to be the one that has an engine powerful enough to do what I want, with a full sized chain. I replaced the chain in my MS180 with a slightly wider one (same length) and the chips eject much better now, but it's still a "low profile" chain so the cut isn't as fast as it could be and applying pressure to the saw just causes it to struggle, heat the chain and stretch it without cutting any faster.


I don't think I need an MS880. I doubt I'll ever see timber here large enough to warrant such a big saw. The biggest diameter log I'm cutting (and doing ok with the MS180) is about 0.8m, which my saw only just manages to reach from both sides.
Yeah, I hear what you're saying about an 880! I've never owned anything bigger than a 660 & I cut trees for a living! No longer even have a 660, as 99% of the trees in domestic gardens can be brought down with a smaller saw. The guys I mentioned above are farmers. In fact, the guy with the 394XP hardly ever uses it any more because it's too heavy.

I'm confused about the new chain on your 180. Depending on the bar that came with the saw, you could be running either 3/8 .050 LP, or 3/8 .043 LP? It should be stamped on the fat end of the bar. The bar in the picture blow is an Echo 14" bar running .050 gauge, 3/8 chain and requires 53 drive links. LP chain isn't a problem, I use it on all 4 of the saws in the picture above & they cut like demons! It's "safety" chain, or "low kickback" chain (same stuff) that's the problem. The only time I have that chain is on a pole saw, because it stops the saw from skating along the branch, which tends to happen with a pole saw. What's stopping your saw from biting in the cut are the depth gauges (rakers), not the width of the chain. If you get yourself a loop of whatever is stamped on your bar from a lawn mower shop, you should be right with the 180. Just make sure you drop the rakers with a flat file after you sharpen the cutters on the chain.

(Re the chain width; Sthil make a tiny 1/4" mini picco chain for the MS150 & it's incredibly narrow. It cuts very, very well! So well, that guys are modding their little Echo 2511T's to run the mini picco bar & chain)



A 391 is a good saw. just be aware before you buy one that they are a clam shell design. All that means is that they are a tad difficult to repair if you fry one, or wear it out. Still a very good saw though. A colleague ran one in place of a 381 as a large climbing saw for the best part of 2 years, which probably equates to 200 years or more of domestic use! So they're very well made.
 

KevinE

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I just had a quick look at the Stihl website. If stock, your 180 has a 16" 3/8LP .043 bar & chain on it Tony. I think your saw would wake right up with a shorter bar!

I run 12" bars, with 3/8LP .050 chains on my Echo's. They come stock with 14" bars & the difference between 12 & 14 inch bars is night & day. I can't imagine why Stihl put a 16" bar on that saw!
 

Old.Tony

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I put a new 16" .055 bar on the saw so I could get better ejection of the chips and that part worked very well, at a cost of slightly more effort by the engine. It cuts better than it used to so I'm happy enough about it. I think it has to do with the length of the bar and my insistence on cutting logs much wider than the bar length, so the entire length of chain spends its time inside the cut.



I'd like a little more reach, and if I'm going to do that, I'm going to get a new saw because I know the MS180 isn't going to like a 20" bar, especially since I'd probably also need to increase the toorh size to a full profile rather than the low profile I have now.
 

KevinE

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I like that you're thinking of getting another saw Tony, but be aware that it's addictive lol. Also, buying chainsaws is a minefield! Even the 2 major brands have different grades of saws.

Basically, if you have a saw under a certain power, you'll have a small mount bar on it. If your saw has a small mount bar, it runs LP chain.

If your saw is over that power threshold, you'll have a large mount bar on it, with much heavier regular profile chain.

There are exceptions, where quite small saws run large mount bars & performance suffers as a consequence. Some 45 - 60cc saws have large mount bars & don't run to their potential as a consequence. I had a Stihl MS260C (52cc) with a large mount bar & it was a slug! Stihl actually sell small mount kits to fit them & those that have, reckon the saw is a beast afterwards.

There's also the old chestnut of the Pro saw vs Home-owner saw thing (land owner, farmer or whatever)

Most home owner chainsaws are pretty ordinary IMO. The MS391 that you mention is an exception, it's a good saw IMO. But, there's cheaper pro saws in that category, the Makita 6100 is king in that class. In fact, the Echo 590 Timber Wolf & the Echo 620 are also a cheaper, better saws. But, the 6100 is the pick of the bunch. The 391 is a good saw, but would come last in that company & is the most expensive saw in the pack.

Getting back to your MS180; have you tried wedding caking when you cut up blocks? A nice short 12" - 14" bar, a sharp .050 3/8LP Oregon chain & you'll rock it lol.

PS: a stretched chain = poor oiling, or a crap chain.
 

Old.Tony

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I'm not familiar with the term "wedding caking" apart from the obvious.


My chain rarely stretches nowadays, I keep the pressure on the bar light, the oil reservoir filled and as far as I'm aware, the chain is a reasonable quality one. It was cut to length for me by the Raymond Terrace Stihl shop, and they could have used crap chain, so it's anyone's guess except that it's lasting well so I can't complain.


As for my next saw ... I've never considered Makita. The local guy is a Stihl dealer and he's a nice bloke (and has added metal teeth to my saw for free in the past, the MS180 has plastic teeth and mine were stuffed). He's also selling the 391 at around the same price that I can get that Makita for - near enough for me, anyway. And since I have to save up for it now, I'm not buying until next winter anyway. The joys of being retired do come at a price!
 

KevinE

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Re wedding caking; think of the log as the cake & your saw as the knife. if the log is too deep to noodle all the way through, cross cut in from any side after you've cut your slices & bits will fall off the log as you cut. Like I say, I don't cut firewood, but I use wedding caking on large palms, because they don't hold up to regular cross cutting and you can't wedge them. Square bits, or pizza slices, it doesn't matter which.

Plastic cutters Tony???

The 6100 Makita was just a suggestion Tony. The 391 is a good saw. If you can get one for that price, why not! I just Googled chainsaws & came up with a Makita 9010 for the same price at Gasweld, so there goes any money for 4WD'ing for a while lol! (not suggesting a 9010 for you, but I can't resist at that price)

Half your luck being retired! I took the top off 9 trees this week & am still sore and it's Sunday lol.
 

Old.Tony

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I don't know what to call the spiky teeth that grip the log while you're cutting through it. The MS180 comes with plastic ones moulded into the body, but has two screw holes to allow for a metal plate with the spikes to be attached. This guy grabbed one off another saw and put it on mine.


Since I just cut firewood from fallen timber, I just cut segments that are 300-350mm long and load them in the ute, and split them after I get them home.
 

KevinE

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I don't know what to call the spiky teeth that grip the log while you're cutting through it. The MS180 comes with plastic ones moulded into the body, but has two screw holes to allow for a metal plate with the spikes to be attached. This guy grabbed one off another saw and put it on mine.


Since I just cut firewood from fallen timber, I just cut segments that are 300-350mm long and load them in the ute, and split them after I get them home.
Ahh, bucking spikes. The yanks call them "Dawgs" (dogs) They're for "bucking" logs. They help prevent/reduce kickback when using a huge saw.
 

KevinE

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Funny stuff that can happen cusing chainsaws lol!

So, seeing as we're discussing chainsaws, I thought I'd share what I found to be a humorous story that happened to me using them!

I cut down a Ficus tree for a customer & she said to leave the stump, but poison it, so I did.

In this pic, you can see where I cut into the stump, just inside the cambium (under the bark) & also see the green dye from the weed killer that I put into the cuts. Job done!


A few weeks later, the customer calls to say that there's "sap" coming out of the stump. I'm thinking "impossible", I killed it! So I went for a look...... here's the stump;

There were blow flies everywhere & it stank to high heaven! Raw sewerage was leaking from it! It would seem that while the tree was alive, it had broken into a sewerage pipe below ground & had been feeding on the contents, yum!
I've never seen anything like it before, or since (thankfully lol)
 
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ericcs

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must have been a super healthy tree before you chopped it down, with all those nutrients to feed on!
just as well she didn't ask you to remove the stump as well, so, would you have, had she asked you to?
 

KevinE

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It was doing well, till the ring a ding of a two stroke sang in it lol.

Yup, I would have removed the stump had she asked! There was no indication of the effluent while we were cutting it.

I'm guessing that the whole cambium was full of the stuff, so we were probably cutting through it while we were dismantling the tree! Interesting thought really, as I put the logs out in the street as free firewood & they were taken very quickly. Someone was likely burning poo the following winter!
 

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