I just thought this might be a good thread to start because I don't think we've ever touched on this topic in any kind of detail. I am SURE NOT an expert on this topic (which is why I am posting it) so don't accuse me of thinking that I am.
I will share what I think I know and it is all very general, so if you have some experience or knowledge to share please chime in, and set me straight where I may have been wrong so someone doesn't take bad info away.
If you ever have your saw ported, make sure you choose someone who has a lot of experience. You don't just send your powerhead to a guy that says he'll port and polish, because for example if he doesn't ask you how you'll use your saw you already know not to send it to him. The P&P for a milling saw must be done differently than for a firewood saw to get the most efficient combustion and exhaust, and to "put" the power band in the right place on the chart.
I'm sure it isn't phrased well, but it's to do with the amount of metal and where they take it out and how much "shelf" (?) or whatever they leave. It's a highly technical field and you don't want to trust your saw to just any of them.
For those who may not be familiar with what porting and or polishing means, "porting" is removing some amount of metal mainly from around the intake & exhaust valves I think - and "polishing" is just that, the polishing of the inside of the head chamber to smooth the relatively rough factory castings to decrease the friction of the airflow across the surface of the metal. They take this to extremes in race engines everything from top fuel dragsters down to chainsaws - and it is an art form.
"Woods" porting simply means that the degree of modifications are enough to greatly enhance the performance of the saw, but still moderate enough that the life and reliability of the engine are not dramatically reduced, as they are in an extreme race application. In fact, my understanding is that when that perfect balance between the two is achieved, a good woods ported job will actually extend the life of the saw if proper routine maintenance is performed.
I did the muffler mod on my 372XP and that alone woke the saw up like I couldn't believe. I talked to John at Walkers in Nanaimo a couple years ago and he told me how to set the carb. Muffler mods an also be part of a woods porting job and usually are because there is now more much more exhaust to get rid of.
I'm really wanting to get a woods job on my 395's & 372. Anyone ever have theirs done and if so who did it? Were you happy?