Earlier this year I broke my old chainsaw which was a previously used Stihl MS250 with a 16" bar. It was a decent saw but when purchasing used you never know exactly how much use its had, and in my case the crank seals were well worn and failed.
I did a lot of research and settled on a 50cc pro-series saw which came down to the Stihl MS261 and Husqvarna 550xp Mark2. Both are a near match on paper and priced similarly but having picked up both the Husky was the clear winner for me. Coupled with a great deal and service from Parkside RV in Pouch Cove I took the new beast home!
Pro-series saws IMHO are way better built than their homeowner grade counterparts, if your budget allows you will likely get much better service from the higher end unit. Magnesium cases, newest features, and ease of rebuild are a few main points to consider.
The 550xp Mark2 has a slew of awesome features including the ability to run .050" or .058" bar and chain 16" to 20" long, wicked handle anti-vibration dampening, retained bar nuts, and a very sleek and narrow design. Best of all this 50cc saw puts down 4 horse power and weighs a mere 11.5 lbs!
This saw also features Husqvarna's AutoTune carburetor which uses a tiny computer to automatically adjust the carb for ambient air temperature, fuel quality, air density and more.
I chose an 18" .050" .325" bar for my new saw as its narrow kerf should really rip though lumber with ease and the narrower tip on this bar is less prone to kickback. If I don't like it I can always change up to a Husky X-Force bar/chain or an Oregon unit.
At the time of purchase Husqvarna had a warranty special on. At time of purchase you pick up 3 tins of their pre-mixed fuel (which I already use in my 2 stroke small engine stuff) you get an extra 4 years of factory warranty (5 years total!)
Aside from being absolutely beautiful, this saw is a genuine ripper! The anti-vibration dampening is the best by far of any saw I've owned or used to date. Power is strong and the 10,200 RPM redline sounds wild and cuts wicked although I am taking it a little easy overall during break in.
One of the saw's first tasks was knocking down some trees with a heavy lean out over the entrance road to the gun club. The saw worked awesome, its light weight and excellent anti-vibration made it very nice to use.
This saw absolutely deserves every one of it's 5 star rating as I'm super pleased with it. If you need more power the 572xp is available as the next model up in the pro-series line but for myself the 550 is absolutely perfect for what I'm going at with it, highly recommended!
Copyright © 2011 Michael Smith