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Chainsaw For Homeowner / Farm Woodcutting Use

Post in 'The Gear' started by drizler, Nov 24, 2012.

  1. drizler

    drizler Minister of Fire

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    My daughter is looking for a chainsaw for her boyfriend who is putting in a house on rough land. He isn't going to be doing heavy duty logging but rather the usual sort of around the ranch use and cutting seasonal firewood for part time use. She was looking at the Farmboss MS 290. It looks like she can pick one up for $379 or so which looks like a fair price. Does this model hold up to the usual Stihl bulletproof quality or is it one of the more "homeowner"models. I have had 2 of the Husky 141's myself and found their "homeowner" model saws to be IMHO nothing more than junk. If there is something better for such medium duty use could you please point it out to me and why. Thanks

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  2. firefighterjake

    firefighterjake Minister of Fire

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    Maybe it's just me . . . but the typeface above is really, really tiny.
  3. Backwoods Savage

    Backwoods Savage Minister of Fire

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    drizler, the 290 is a good saw for sure. I've had one for the last 10 years or so and has been trouble free. Still, one needs to determine for sure what he will be cutting. For example, I do not need anything more than a 16" bar but the 290 will take up to a 20" bar. Is that long enough for the work he will do? And that price is a good price.
  4. drizler

    drizler Minister of Fire

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    Apologies for the double space but the thing just sort of came out that way. This is the first time I have been back in here since things got reformatted and it shows. Thanks for the input on the saw. As for the use I rather doubt he is going to be knocking down big timber and can borrow a bigger one like I do if faced with something over large.
  5. MasterMech

    MasterMech Guest

    MS290 is a proven winner, $379 sound like the usual list price with a 16" bar. Great saw for "medium duty" use.

    FWIW: The Husky 141 is a copy of a Poulan saw wearing orange plastic instead of yellow and black or lime green. They had numerous problems right out of the box (I used to work for a Husky dealer) but if you made it past the first couple gallons of gas, they were usually pretty decent runners.

    Also, Stihl's reputation for quality extends even into their "homeowner" products, as the entire line is full of well-engineered and durable products. Plenty of folks that are very happy with 20 year old 018's, 021's, 025's and 029's. All are chainsaw designs that are still in production today. ;)
  6. Como

    Como Minister of Fire

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    You could get a Makita from Baileys for that sort of money.
  7. TreePointer

    TreePointer Minister of Fire

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    Food for thought:

    As it seems that this is his first saw, budget for chaps (recommend Labonville full-wrap 6-ply), helmet for felling, steel toe boots, eye & ear protection. If he already has this stuff, then it's likely he already knows what saw he wants and would prefer a gift card for a local Stihl or Husqvarna dealer.
    amateur cutter likes this.
  8. madrone

    madrone Minister of Fire

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    I love my MS260. It's my only saw, so i needed something that would cut stove-length limbs all day, or buck fir rounds. Probably over the budget though. 290 seems like a good all-around homeowner saw at a more reasonable price.
  9. StihlHead

    StihlHead Guest

    Get a good used Stihl MS361 for about $400 and never look back!

    MS260 would be good too, for less than $300 used. There is a REAL nice 026 on the Seattle CL for $250.
    TreePointer likes this.
  10. chipsoflyin

    chipsoflyin Member

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    How handy is her boyfriend,if he can work on his own equipment then dolmar/makita. If not, then what dealers are local, Stihl and husky both make good middle of the road saws.
  11. Kenster

    Kenster Minister of Fire

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    MS290 would be hard to beat. Go with a 16 inch bar and you're golden. Especially if you can find a really good used one. I was about to buy one a few years ago but ran into a really sweet deal on a barely used MS390.
  12. AJS56

    AJS56 Burning Hunk

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    Dennis - I've been looking for a replacement for my ProMac 610, and the MS290/291 look like the right size as I also only need a 16 inch bar. The 291 is said to have better anti-vibe technology. Just wondering it you have any thoughts as to whether the additional $$ for the 291 is worth it, or would you buy the 290 again?
  13. StihlHead

    StihlHead Guest

    The 291 is a completely different saw and chassis, and based on the new smaller 271 frame and lineup. It is a step down in size compared to the 290, but its lighter and has better AV. It is also $100 more than the 290. IMO you would be better served with a 310... the 311 is on the larger chassis, but the AV is only moderately better compared to the 310 (which is actually the same as a 291), and it is heavier than the 310. If you can find a new one, a 310 is about the same or less than a 291 in price. And with a minor muffler mod, you can get 4.4 HP out of a 310 and restore it to its original design specs.

    AV compared, left/right (higher numbers means more vibraion):
    290: 4.6/5.7 m/s*s
    291: 4.5/4.5 m/s*s
    310: 4.3/4.7 m/s*s
    311: 4.0/4.0 m/s*s

    Power and powerhead weight compared:
    290: 3.8 HP/13 lb
    291: 3.7 HP/12.1 lb
    310: 4.0 HP/13 lb
    311: 4.2 HP/14.1 lb
  14. Backwoods Savage

    Backwoods Savage Minister of Fire

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    AJ, I've never been sorry for buying the 290. The reason I would go with the 291 for my next one though would simply be the weight difference. It does cost more but for me that would be worth that extra cost and I should have went that route the first time. My wife wants me to buy a new saw that is lighter. Either a small one for limbing or a total new saw. If a new saw the 291 would definitely be on the look list but I have to admit that I am not up to date on the new saws so would go to the Stihl website to do some looking first.

    I also know of several folks who have the 290 and they too are all happy as it has been a trouble free saw. I wish I knew how many cord of wood I've cut with it but don't. We burn only 3 cord a year but usually cut lots more because we sell some and give some away. We also love the dry wood. In addition, I'm officially an old fart now so one never knows how much longer he has to wrestle saw and wood so I like a big cushion.

    Hope this helps.
  15. TreePointer

    TreePointer Minister of Fire

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    For the price of a 291, I'd rather have a 346XP. Much lighter with good balance, chain speed and excellent throttle response for limbing and small bucking. A joy to run.

    Yes, I did write "for the price of a 291." It's in the same $$ ballpark, and my Husqvarna dealer is more likely to go below Suggested Retail Price than any of the local Stihl dealers (they don't budge). I purchased my 346XP/16" in 2010 for less than the current price of a 291/16".
    Nixon likes this.
  16. HittinSteel

    HittinSteel Minister of Fire

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  17. amateur cutter

    amateur cutter Minister of Fire

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    Yep, I"m a die hard Stihl guy, but Tree Pointer is right on that 346XP. A C
  18. MasterMech

    MasterMech Guest

    I gotta wonder wth Stihl was thinking when picing the new saws. The 291 is a big step up from the MS290 both in technology and price. :confused:

    Dennis, the MS211 has been getting a lot of attention lately since Stihl introduced a few new small saws. Might be worth a glance from you too. ;) At 10.1 lbs (for the CB-E version with the Easy2Start and Quick Chain Adjust) it's going to be a world of difference from that MS290. I'm still a young gun but I do love the Easy2Start feature on my MS230C. The quick chain adjust is user preference but I've had no issues with mine. They work fine if kept reasonably clean.

    I'd keep that MS290 as long as you can pull the rope. But if you go the two saw route, you'll have to have 2 chains around. We all know how you feel about that. ;lol
  19. StihlHead

    StihlHead Guest

    Overall saw prices are getting too high (now, that said, we pay far less for chainsaws here in the states than they do overseas... I know).

    The list price on a 346xp is $510 here, I can get them for less than that. That is reasonable for a pro grade saw. The list for an MS291 is *cough* $479, but I can get them with a 10% discount. That is too expensive for a mid-range homeowner saw IMO. I paid $500 new for my first Stihl MS361... which will spank either of these saws. If considering the MS291 I would recommend the MS261. It retails for $560, but it is a pro saw. Same power as the 291. Only problem with the 346xp is the outboard clutch. I hate outboard clutches, or I would still have a 346. I also do not like the weird 346xp model with the extended brake lever. Now of course we are dragging a person that wants a cheap saw into the pro grades, and that is spendy. You can get a used 290, 310 or even a 260 for less than $300 here, and they are all good saws.

    I like my newer MS211, but the drawback on this saw is the connecting rod is made of stamped steel, and supposedly easy to bend. Other than that it is light and nimble, and has about the same power as a MS230. It is a far better saw than the MS210 that it replaces. I had a MS210 once and I left it with my ex, I loved it that much (read: really sucky saw). The 211 is a great limber, and good tree stand thinning saw.

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