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how to burn out a saw?

r7000

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I cut small stuff, less than a foot in diameter 98% of the time. Recently had a 24" to 36" diameter trunk of an oak that was taken down, about 10 to 15 feet long. Gave it a go with my 18" poulan 4218, a saw which I am ready to retire it was given to me and owes me nothing I've gotten my use out of it.

Prior to burying the entire bar into the oak trunk, and stopping chain rotation a few times, the saw had decently good compression when starting, nothing like a higher end stihl though. After running through a tank of gas with the ~36" trunk, I refueled, when starting I immediately noticed how much easier the saw was too pull start. I did get the saw hot, and I wouldn't go more than ~60 seconds full throttle with the 18" bar fully buried before pulling out and idling for ~10 seconds.

I was given an older MS250, which has really good compression, and I recently bought an Echo 16" saw (their smallest one I forget the model, like 30cc) for pruning. What's a good rule of thumb to prevent saw piston ring/cylinder nuking? Is there any saw that can go 100% indefinitely?
 

Ketchup

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No.

But opening the muffler and keeping the fins and air filter clean help a lot.

If you’re running the saw hard enough to cause the clutch to slip this will transfer heat pretty quick and roast most any saw. Cutting with the bar fully buried for long periods is also a death sentence. You really need a bigger saw for what you’re trying to do.
 

Wood Doctor

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Good oil and fuel, proper carb tuning, proper cleaning of air filter, sharp chain properly tensioned and general saw maintenance.
That will not burn out a saw. That will allow it to last a long time. I'm sure you and I both knew that.
 

drf256

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Pushing something beyond what it was designed for will destroy it. Pretty much accounts for everything in life.

Heat/Friction is generally a saws enemy. Good lubrication helps keep parts cool and prevents wear.

A man can eat an entire elephant, just not at one sitting. Bigger saws are designed to do bigger work, plain and simple. Dull chains ruin a saw more than most other things because they cause a saw to run at a higher than optimal rpm with less work being done. If it takes 5X longer to cut a log, the saw ran for that much longer without a cooling cycle.

Good oil and mix ratios and opening the muffler help keep a saw alive.

Pretty much need to add some common sense to things and all will be OK. I survived for many many years with an echo 330T with a 14” bar. I borrowed a bigger saw when something bigger than 25” arose. I’d cut from both sides and take my time and all was well. I sold the echo after 10+ years and it was still running just fine.

I eventually bought a used 066 at a garage sale for $15 and found the AS site when I wanted to rebuild it. Then CAD set in and the rest is history.
 

WI_Hedgehog

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Around here Poulan saws bought at big box stores tend to burn up pretty quickly. I've not used one out of concern I might burn one up, but do have two MTD saws I push hard at times and so far they're fine, so I look at what I do differently (as MTD quality is "okay"):

- Use fresh, high-octane ethanol-free gas with STIHL oil mixed 40:1. The oil could probably be any quality oil, but I think the combination of less-than-optimal gas and big box store oil isn't helping Poulan owners.

- Don't work any 2-stroke or inexpensive engine or motor hard, the internals can't dissipate heat fast enough and the materials they're constructed from can't take as much heat. Compression in inexpensive saws is already low as evidenced by how easy they are to pull vs a quality saw that's just about fighting back. Cheap saws won't make the power or last as long.

- Stop sawing as soon as the chain starts to dull and overworks the powerhead. The cuts get "too long" without giving the powerhead a chance to cool. On that note, I've had great luck taking down depth gauges so chains pull hard and the MTD saws haven't burned up, but I don't usually bury them in big logs, instead I let the internal fan cool them down between smaller cuts or back in-and-out of large cuts to take the load off the powerhead for one to two seconds so it cools a bit.

- I don't press down on the saw to make it cut. Sharp chain with properly filed depth-gauges self-feeds. Pushing down creates friction between the bar and chain wasting cutting energy and working the saw harder.

- I adjust the carb a bit fat. I hear they come lean from the factory to meet EPA regulations because the engines aren't as efficient as high-quality engines and EPA regs are overly-strict. Whatever the case, running too lean burns the rings, so use fresh gas, high-quality oil, and tune fat.
 
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Al Smith

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The great oil debate which will never be solved ,it will last forever and that's a long long time.
 

David Boyd

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agree the oil debate will never be solved, but there is a fairly strong consensus Stihl oil is not the best
Stihl Ultra is only Jasco rated FB, 2 levels below oils like Red Armor or Amsoil Saber, which are rated FD
Stihl doesn't make their oil either.
 
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