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20 inch bar on a MS390?

Post in 'The Gear' started by Kenster, Dec 30, 2011.

  1. Kenster

    Kenster Minister of Fire

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    I'm thinking I'd like to supplement my 16 inch bar with a 20 inch on my MS390 with muffler mod. The 390 easily zips through all the oak around here. I've recently started using RSC chain and really like it. But sometimes the 16 inch bar is stretched a bit to get through the bigger trees and logs. The power is there, just not the length. I figure a 20 inch is plenty, though, and shouln't push the 390 much. Does that sound about right?

    I have a 3/8 inch sprocket so I assume that any bar/chain combination that is a 3/8 chain will work, right? Hoping to find a used one on eBay.

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  2. smokinj

    smokinj Minister of Fire

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    If you really like the 16....I would go 24 inch and be able to do about anything that comes along.
  3. Kenster

    Kenster Minister of Fire

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    I thought about that but was not sure if 24 inches would be too much. The 16 incher handles most everything really well. A 24 inch would handle the majority of trees from one side, though. I just figured a 20 inch would be a good compromise and handle virtually everything if used from two sides.
  4. smokinj

    smokinj Minister of Fire

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    Big thing is if your doing well with the 16 inch the 20 is not a game changer. The 24 and a 16 would be.
  5. lukem

    lukem Minister of Fire

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    20" bar is all I run. I like the extra "reach" from the 20" (I'm 6'3") and the 24" makes the saw nose-heavy, IMO.

    With that being said, if you like the 16" I would jump to 24" for the big stuff like Jay said. If you are looking to ditch the 16" all-together, get the 20".
  6. smokinj

    smokinj Minister of Fire

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    Yep a 361 is very nose heavy with anything over a 20 inch. That 390 heavier and pretty nice fitted with the 24.
  7. Kenster

    Kenster Minister of Fire

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    Jay, by that, do you mean that the 20 is not a significant enough change from the 16?

    The 16 would remain my go-to bar. The longer bar just for 'special projects. For example, there is a huge water oak that has been down since spring down the road at my widow-lady neighbor's place. I estimate the trunk at the base is close to 40 inches, maybe a bit more.
    Most of the trunk exceeds three feet so my 16 inch bar won't do the job without constant 'chunking' off the end with a wedge and sledge or noodling.

    So, maybe a 24 inch would be the way to go as an occasional use bar.
  8. smokinj

    smokinj Minister of Fire

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    "Jay, by that, do you mean that the 20 is not a significant enough change from the 16?"


    Yes.................24 is your best choice. 20 just to close to the 16.
  9. MofoG23

    MofoG23 Feeling the Heat

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    I would agree. I'm running a 18" and a 25" for my 361 and its an awesome combo - gives me great flexibility with my saw. The 18 is my light saber and the 25 is for the huge stuff...your 390 MM should pull it nicely.
  10. Bigg_Redd

    Bigg_Redd Minister of Fire

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    Nose heavy/schmose schmeavy.

    My 440 is "nose heavy" with a 25" bar. Who cares? It's not a throwing knife. It's a chainsaw. Put the friggin thing in the cut and you'll never feel the nose.
  11. Jags

    Jags Moderate Moderator Staff Member

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    Gotta agree with Jay on this (as I usually do ;-P ). A 16" for the majority of your cuts and a 24" for the occasional big trunk would be my go to for a 390.

    I personally run a 361 with an 18" primary bar and a 25" secondary bar. Perfect combo for the wood I deal with.
  12. JustWood

    JustWood Minister of Fire

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    Short bars that don't reach all the way through the wood keep your chain sharper, longer because your not dragging dirty bark through the cut.
    In my travels when I see a weekend wood jockey along the road witha long oversize bar and a saw yelling ,,,, eeeeeeeeeee raaaaaah eeeeeeeeeey raaaaaaaaah , eeeeeeeeeeeeey raaaaaaaaaaaaaah it makes me cringe . :shut:
  13. Bigg_Redd

    Bigg_Redd Minister of Fire

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    That must be a NY thing
  14. MofoG23

    MofoG23 Feeling the Heat

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    :bug: ??
  15. Jags

    Jags Moderate Moderator Staff Member

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    I believe that this was Lee's way of typing out a sound track to a bogging, overbar'd saw. :coolsmirk:
  16. LLigetfa

    LLigetfa Minister of Fire

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    WOW, I didn't think I'd ever agree with both of you at the same time!
  17. LLigetfa

    LLigetfa Minister of Fire

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    No, I think that's the sound of a dull saw making fine dust and being rocked back and forth to try to get some bite.
  18. Jags

    Jags Moderate Moderator Staff Member

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    It could be, but I would expect that sound to require more e's.
  19. smokinj

    smokinj Minister of Fire

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    I am a firm beleaver that if the log is 45 inchs a 20 inch bar is a knife at a gun fight kinda thing. Muff modded 390 will pull a 24 fine!
  20. MofoG23

    MofoG23 Feeling the Heat

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    LMAO - why I love this site....
  21. Kenster

    Kenster Minister of Fire

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    Follow up on my original post....

    1) Since I am running 3/8" now, I simply need to find a 24" bar and any 3/8 chain?

    2) Since this will be only an occasionally used bar, would it be a sin to put an Oregon bar on my Stihl to save some money?
  22. Jags

    Jags Moderate Moderator Staff Member

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    Yes.
    No.

    On the chain, I would start out with the full chisel. If you find that you bog in the cut, consider a skip tooth.
  23. lukem

    lukem Minister of Fire

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    1. Yes, just adjust the number of drive links to fit your new bar.

    2. No shame with Oregon, especially for occasional use.
  24. smokinj

    smokinj Minister of Fire

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    +1 but start out full skip!
  25. oldspark

    oldspark Guest

    Any bar length 24 and over will benefit for a skip chain correct?

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