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MisterBoy

Small cordless chainsaw: Stihl MSA120/140 Vs DeWalt DCM565

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I have a half acre with woodland and keen to maintain myself where possible. I already have a Stihl petrol saw and long reach polesaw but am after a small cordless saw for quick jobs.

 

Most of my power tools are DeWalt XR so the DCM565 is an option as I have the batteries.

 

I also have the electric Stihl HLA 65. I like Stihl so the MSA 120 or 140 are tempting, the battery isn't cross compatible but the charger is.

 

I don't want to buy into a 3rd ecosystem and the DeWalt body-only is virtually the same as the Stihl with a battery.

Are there any major differences between them or is it just down to preference? I appreciate these are probably low end for pros!

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46 minutes ago, MisterBoy said:

 

I have a half acre with woodland and keen to maintain myself where possible. I already have a Stihl petrol saw and long reach polesaw but am after a small cordless saw for quick jobs.

 

Most of my power tools are DeWalt XR so the DCM565 is an option as I have the batteries.

 

I also have the electric Stihl HLA 65. I like Stihl so the MSA 120 or 140 are tempting, the battery isn't cross compatible but the charger is.

 

I don't want to buy into a 3rd ecosystem and the DeWalt body-only is virtually the same as the Stihl with a battery.

Are there any major differences between them or is it just down to preference? I appreciate these are probably low end for pros!

 

Depends a bit on your use for your current petrol saw but I'd be inclined to get a Stihl pro range saw that takes the AP batteries you already have for the long reach and, unless you're doing bigger stuff than I'm imagining, sell your petrol saw. The Stihl 220 battery saw is comparable to a 40-50cc petrol saw. I'd go for 3/8" picco chain; easier to sharpen than 1/4" picco. Spend the money you get for the petrol saw on an extra battery if you need one.

I've tried a different Dewalt battery saw to the one you posted and the ergonomics were terrible. The one you posted looks comparable, possibly worse because of the olde worlde topbackhandle.

 

Or if you want to keep your petrol saw, the Stihl 120 and 140 are excellent. You'll end up using it for all sorts of little woodwork jobs. I have a 120 and have cut double bar length with it but it sings on 4" and under.

Edited by AHPP

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Depends a bit on your use for your current petrol saw but I'd be inclined to get a Stihl pro range saw that takes the AP batteries you already have for the long reach and, unless you're doing bigger stuff than I'm imagining, sell your petrol saw. The Stihl 220 battery saw is comparable to a 40-50cc petrol saw. I'd go for 3/8" picco chain; easier to sharpen than 1/4" picco. Spend the money you get for the petrol saw on an extra battery if you need one.
I've tried a different Dewalt battery saw to the one you posted and the ergonomics were terrible. The one you posted looks comparable, possibly worse because of the olde worlde topbackhandle.
Interesting idea. In hindsight buying a bigger cordless saw in the first place place would have been ideal... I liked the idea but the cost put me off.
What's the smallest/cheapest saw that would run off an AP battery? The two options above both run to about £250 and I'd agree with you that a decent cordless is likely more than adequate for all my jobs, 14" is long enough though 16" is nice.

I have the HTA85 and the HLA85 and they're awesome, I'm totally convinced by battery power and have no love for servicing petrol engines, but this sounds a pricey option?!

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Well I took a look and it seems only one step up, the MSA160 supports AP batteries and I can find it for £245 bare. At 12" it's perhaps a smidge short for handling every single job, but the 14" MSA200 I see for £275 and that looks like a proper saw?

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I’ve only used a 120 and a 220. Can’t comment on difference between 200 and 220. I had an opportunity to use a 200 the other day and didn’t take it, probably because I know I’d always buy the 220. Not much heavier and the most powerful.

What petrol saw have you got and what sort of cutting do you find yourself commonly doing and foresee yourself occasionally doing?

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I’ve only used a 120 and a 220. Can’t comment on difference between 200 and 220. I had an opportunity to use a 200 the other day and didn’t take it, probably because I know I’d always buy the 220. Not much heavier and the most powerful.

What petrol saw have you got and what sort of cutting do you find yourself commonly doing and foresee yourself occasionally doing?
The 220 is a whole other ballgame based on the price jump.

My petrol is the ms180 14" so hardly a powerhouse, I figured anything too big for that saw is too big for my level of experience!

Mainly used for pruning and clearing fallen branches, felling small trees though I do also use it for firewood from some bigger pieces. Generally in the 2-8" range with the odd bigger one off job now and again.

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22 minutes ago, MisterBoy said:

The 220 is a whole other ballgame based on the price jump.

My petrol is the ms180 14" so hardly a powerhouse, I figured anything too big for that saw is too big for my level of experience!

Mainly used for pruning and clearing fallen branches, felling small trees though I do also use it for firewood from some bigger pieces. Generally in the 2-8" range with the odd bigger one off job now and again.

 

A 160 or 200 is probably comparable to your 180 power wise. A 220 is more powerful. Don't be scared of power. Sharpen well and work well and you'll be fine. 

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Hi, I mainly do carving and run MSA 160, MSA200 and a MSA220. They are all excellent saws. The 160 and 200 use the 1/4 PM3 chains . The MSA220 is a much more powerful saw using 3/8 chain. The only thing is that the 220 is designed to use the MS300S battery to give the extra power that the saw draws. It will run on the AP300 battery but not as well or for as long. I have put a Sugihara bar and a Husky x-cut chain on the 220 which is an excellent combination. For general forestry work and cross cutting it will really get through some work.
However the MSA200 is a good saw but I mainly use it with Sugihara R7 carving bar.

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A 160 or 200 is probably comparable to your 180 power wise. A 220 is more powerful. Don't be scared of power. Sharpen well and work well and you'll be fine. 
I've no problem with a more powerful saw, but I figured jobs that NEED one are perhaps best left for a pro... I'd happily use a better saw but the 220 is realistically beyond my budget.

Based on@Andy U comments it sounds like the MSA 200 might be the sweet spot for me personally, I've not found my MS180 to be underpowered even cutting big rounds up once in a while and a 14" bar seems just fine.
I'm pretty sure I run 1/4" chain currently

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