husky 395 or stihl 660 for milling with alaskan mill?

RogerM

Well-Known Member
Finally put my Granberg together and made a few cuts....
Here's my Situation. My biggest saw we run is our 660 magnum. I've put it to use on my mill and seems to be doing a great job. The last thing I want to do is swap back and forth when I need my "big" saw. I am going to get another saw. Should I go with a husky 395 or another 660? Anyone with milling experience, Which saw should I choose for work? which saw for milling? any and all input is appreciated. Mainly hardwoods milling, but honestly, a little bit of everything will get slabbed up at some point.
 
For whatever it's worth, I like the Husky air cleaning "air injection" system on their saws - I seem to get fewer filter changes than with Stihl saws I've used. I have one Husky saw that just went 2 years (partial stripping and cleaning every month or two) before I really had to change the air filter. Seems to me, for high dust things like ripping, this might be a bit of help. Both brands are good saws.
 
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evo

Well-Known Member
Location
My Island, WA
I’d look at a 3120 for a designated chainsaw mill power head.

Nothing wrong with a 661 as its a great saw. 395 is a better saw, with a little lower price tag but a few usability issues. The outboard clutch kinda sucks for tree work, I’m not a fan of the choke, and the chain tensioner is like going back in time. You get more power with the 395, and the filtration is far superior, but not as serviceable.
I’ve used both saws for general tree work and just a little softwood milling with the 395. I’m guessing I have just a gallon or three of fuel run though it so it’s still breaking in to some degree. I think I’ve had to take the filter off once, and just a few super light puffs of compressed air. Point it I’d put money on the fact that you have to bang out a 661 filter with about every tank of fuel (or three tanks). The 395 looked pristine with the same run time.
 

colb

Well-Known Member
Location
Florida
Check the chain tensioner position to make sure you can tension the chain without taking the saw off the mill jig.
 

Njdelaney

Well-Known Member
Location
Detroit
3120 has a front tensioner. However it also often comes with a supplemental manual oiler. Kind of a good news/bad news situation for milling.
 

Jehinten

Well-Known Member
Location
Evansville
Check the chain tensioner position to make sure you can tension the chain without taking the saw off the mill jig.
You can’t with a 395, and I think the 3120 is the same.


that seems terrible. Lol. Although I must admit that unless it’s a new chain, needing to tension doesn’t happen very often.



@RogerM I’ve pretty recently started milling myself with my661 and agree that a dedicated and larger power head would be nice. The biggest downside I’ve found of mine so far is the largest recommended bar is a 36 which only allows about 28” of milling.

just a heads up, keep that chain nice and sharp, I attribute it to sharpening at a different angle than normal but I did not do a good job if this myself and burned up a 1.5 year old saw. Good news is it’s extremely easy to replace the piston and cylinder on this saw and only cost about $260 for the parts, gaskets and new filters VS the $1200 to replace the saw.


one other helpful hint I’ve found is to elevate your log if you’ve got a loader, preferably with one end higher so that gravity helps to feed the saw down the log. I use two short fairly fat logs on end to hold up the pieces that I’m milling.
 

evo

Well-Known Member
Location
My Island, WA
that seems terrible. Lol. Although I must admit that unless it’s a new chain, needing to tension doesn’t happen very often.



@RogerM I’ve pretty recently started milling myself with my661 and agree that a dedicated and larger power head would be nice. The biggest downside I’ve found of mine so far is the largest recommended bar is a 36 which only allows about 28” of milling.

just a heads up, keep that chain nice and sharp, I attribute it to sharpening at a different angle than normal but I did not do a good job if this myself and burned up a 1.5 year old saw. Good news is it’s extremely easy to replace the piston and cylinder on this saw and only cost about $260 for the parts, gaskets and new filters VS the $1200 to replace the saw.


one other helpful hint I’ve found is to elevate your log if you’ve got a loader, preferably with one end higher so that gravity helps to feed the saw down the log. I use two short fairly fat logs on end to hold up the pieces that I’m milling.
Once I mess around with milling a bit more I plan on using a small winch and a pulley. If you search bout YouTube “chainsaw mill winch” you will find tons of details
 

Jehinten

Well-Known Member
Location
Evansville
Once I mess around with milling a bit more I plan on using a small winch and a pulley. If you search bout YouTube “chainsaw mill winch” you will find tons of details
Yup. I’ve seen those. Smaller diameter stuff it’s really a non issue, I milled quite a bit of 12-14” diameter logs for live edge siding on a chicken coop. The saw traveled at a fairly decent speed (Also while on the downhill setup)

milling 24” oak 12’ long at ground level and more or less flat is taking quite a bit more work and takes about 17 mins of cutting per board (12 mins of actual cutting and a couple of idling cool down breaks). These larger boards could benefit from a winch setup. I may be taking a little longer than necessary on these, but I’m trying to avoid getting my saw too hot again.
 

colb

Well-Known Member
Location
Florida
that seems terrible. Lol. Although I must admit that unless it’s a new chain, needing to tension doesn’t happen very often.



@RogerM I’ve pretty recently started milling myself with my661 and agree that a dedicated and larger power head would be nice. The biggest downside I’ve found of mine so far is the largest recommended bar is a 36 which only allows about 28” of milling.

just a heads up, keep that chain nice and sharp, I attribute it to sharpening at a different angle than normal but I did not do a good job if this myself and burned up a 1.5 year old saw. Good news is it’s extremely easy to replace the piston and cylinder on this saw and only cost about $260 for the parts, gaskets and new filters VS the $1200 to replace the saw.


one other helpful hint I’ve found is to elevate your log if you’ve got a loader, preferably with one end higher so that gravity helps to feed the saw down the log. I use two short fairly fat logs on end to hold up the pieces that I’m milling.

I think it is very important to run the saw at idle for 5 minutes to cool it down.
 

rico

Well-Known Member
Location
redwoods
A 395xp will pull a 42" bar like a mofo allowing you to produce 36" wide slabs.. Get some proper ripping chain, and as mentioned always allow your powerhead to idle down for a few minutes before shutting her off...Little things that pay big dividends.
 

Rob Stafari

Active Member
Location
Cincinnasti
The 395 is a superior milling saw in all ways beyond the front chain tensioner. My understanding is you can drill a whole in the mill to allow adjustment of chain while it is still attached. However I have yet to do so personally as my milling has been done with two dolmars on a double ended bar. Plan on upgrading to dual 3120s or 395s some day and I will find a way as my mill is permanently mounted to my milling bar for ease of chain swaps.
 

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