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Thread: Another chainsaw decision...Help!

  1. #1
    Member BucknRut's Avatar
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    Default Another chainsaw decision...Help!

    I'll keep it short and sweet...

    I'm looking at another saw for felling and bucking. I'm tossing between Stihl MS290 and MS391.

    Thoughts? Opinions? Insight? Vote?

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    Member mod elan's Avatar
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    You look at the 360 at all? My old 390 is great but I know the 360 is a good one too. Don't know if I would mess with the 290. If you go down to that size might as well save a bunch of money and go poulan or homelite or something.

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    Supporting Member Old John's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mod elan View Post
    You look at the 360 at all? My old 390 is great but I know the 360 is a good one too. Don't know if I would mess with the 290. If you go down to that size might as well save a bunch of money and go poulan or homelite or something.
    I replaced a 12 yr old 260 that worked very well for me... with a 290.... I'm not too happy with the 290... it isn't any where near what the 260 was... If I had it to do again, I'd go with a 360 or 391... or a husqvarna... (: >))

  4. #4

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    I sure like my MS 280, http://www.stihlusa.com/chainsaws/MS280.html

    The anti vibration system is very nice. It handles the 20" bar just fine. I've cut a few hundred trees with it on my 5 acres while clearing for the driveway, housepad, parking area, and firewood). No complaints here. It also has a metal crankcase as opposed to plastic like some Stihl models. Salesman said the metal case is more durable - I bought it hook, line, and chain

    I just used my dads MS 390 while cutting 24" oak trees in Arkansas! It's noticeably heavier than my 280, but I suppose a feller needs some CCs to go through big oak - ugh!

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    Moderator AKmud's Avatar
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    I've got a 290 and it has worked flawlessly for me clearing for my house and bucking up quite a bit of firewood. I'm running an 18" bar and it has no problems burning through the wood as long as I keep the chain sharp. Most of the wood I cut is birch with the occasional dead spruce.
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    Member BucknRut's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mod elan View Post
    You look at the 360 at all?
    I have looked at it, but for the exact same chasi and weight, I was thinking I'd go after the extra power...

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    Member Yellowknife's Avatar
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    It kind of depends on the size of the trees you are dealing with, either one will work, but for general use I like a little more power than the 290. If you are going to go with that power class, I MUCH prefer the MS260, which has the same horsepower, is significantly lighter, AND has pro saw quality for not much more money. If you can swing the money, the MS362 is my favorite size of felling and bucking saw but its spendy. Like most things in life once you go to the quality of pro saws you get spoiled quick.

    I currently have 5 late model chainsaws in my basement. 2 Huskys, 2 Stihls, and a Shindaiwa. Favorite is the MS361 (replaced by the MS362). I've used both the 290's and 390's for work and found durability to be severely lacking for commercial use.

    yk

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    Member mod elan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BucknRut View Post
    I have looked at it, but for the exact same chasi and weight, I was thinking I'd go after the extra power...
    Ditto everything yk says. Not sure what numbers you're looking at but the 362 tops both the saws you mention. A pro saw purchase will not be regretted. Maybe tell us more of what you plan to use it for. Most of the folks here are just using it around the house. I am by no means a commercial user but I cut a fair amount of firewood each winter and have many, many summers of saw time under my belt.

    I currently have an 18" poulan and a Stihl 390. The poulan is fine but when I am cutting a trailer load of 24' logs into 3' lengths, I just stand on top and sink that 25" bar right into the meat of them. I burn twice the gas but get it done in half the time.

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    Member BucknRut's Avatar
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    I'm looking at moderate use with this saw. I have two other Stihls. I use a 250 as my most versatile saw for limbing and odd job tasks...it has travelled, quite literally, thousands of miles on wheelers, snowmachines and trailers. I also use a 280, but it stays at the farm. With that being said, I was originally looking at about a 55 cc saw, which is where the 290 falls, but now I'm thinking the larger saw 391 might be worth it for the extra 10 cc and only 1 extra pound. My big question now is how much worse the gas use will be??? I have heard so many conflicting reports that I can't come to a reasonable educated decision...

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    Member BucknRut's Avatar
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    In regards to the the pro saws... I would love to go that route, but at this point, I can't honestly see using it that much that it would be worth the extra money. The saws I have have lasted longer than I ever would have imagined so I'm okay with the mid-range Stihl...

    Thanks for the insight!

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    Moderator Paul H's Avatar
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    Consider going the used route. I picked up a Husky 181 se over 10 years ago at a pawn shop, for all of $160. A quick google fu shows they were produced in the early 80's, so it's nearly 30 years old. You need to get up to about a 30" dia tree before you feel the powerhead is working hard.

    An older larger pro model is IMHO a much better choice than a mid range consumer saw. You should be able to pick up a power head in good condition for $150-200, and add another $100 for a new bar and chain.
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    Used is the way to go. I'd cruise garage sales. I picked up a used Husky 61 Rancher a few years back. The chain was junk, but it started on the second pull. Guy wanted $35 cause he was moving into a condo. I snatched it up and love it. 20" bar is plenty for what I need. With a sharp chain, this saw never slows down.

    Back when I used to run saws for work, I really liked the old Stihl 036. Perfect combination of power and weight. I packed those things up and down a lot of mountains and trails.
    I'd agree with you, but then we'd both be wrong.

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