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Choosing a Stihl Saw

Post in 'The Gear' started by WarmGuy, Mar 20, 2008.

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  1. Hogwildz

    Hogwildz Minister of Fire

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    Was just at my local Stihl dealer today.
    He says the 290 was set to be discontinued 2x, and sup[posdly is on the chopping block for discontinuation still.
    He recommended either the 270 or 280. Says the 280 is his choice. Its lighter than the 290, and although smaller displacement, actually cuts faster & better.
    Of course its also about $459.00 list.
    Anyone know much about Jonsered saws? I have a local penny shopper in my area, guy is selling new ones for comparable pricing as Husky's & Stihls.
    Anyone using the Makita saws? The also have a comnparable priced saw with a larger displacement.

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  2. TMonter

    TMonter Minister of Fire

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    They are Huskies with a red case and a different angled handle. Good saws just like Huskies and Stihls.
  3. myzamboni

    myzamboni Minister of Fire

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    I'm looking at 270 (Woodboss). Should be more than adequate for me.
  4. ccwhite

    ccwhite Member

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    I swing a Stihl 039 and i love it and i don't mind the weight (in fact I have dreams at night about the ms 460). Some folks would prefer something lighter and if weight is your concern then the ms270 is a great choice I would forgo the easy start (I just don't like it) and definitely stick with Stihl you'll never regret it.
  5. HittinSteel

    HittinSteel Minister of Fire

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    If my 041 ever dies I will be making the same decision as you. I have a Dolmar dealer in the area so I will look at the 5100, but imagine I will end up with either the 260 Pro or 361........ I will have a very hard time not buying a Stihl considering the 041 just turned 28 years old. I think spending an extra $150 to $200 over the price you listed for the 290 Farm Boss would be well worth it, especially amortized over the next 20 years. This works out to an extra $10 a year for the Pro quality.
  6. smokinj

    smokinj Minister of Fire

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    3-5 cords i would go with 270
  7. docwiley

    docwiley New Member

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    For the money, I would recomend the 270. It is more of a pro saw and will never let you down. I have a 011v, 026, 361 and I would never part with them. As the old saying goes... You get what you pay for.
  8. WoodMann

    WoodMann Minister of Fire

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    Heh- I was gonna recommend the 270 as well, and I don't even have one- yet................
  9. fattyfat1

    fattyfat1 New Member

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    two saws if you can afford it. I use my little mini boss WAY more than my 440 now that i have one. I normally run a 24" bar on my 440, and it is absulutely unstoppable! A friend of mine lost an old growth sitka spruce in the storm last year, and the 440 also will run a 42" bar just fine. (bar was given to me by a logger friend along with two chains) so with my two saws, I am vesatile enough to go small and chainsaw carve a bear, to bucking up old growth. best of all cutting situations. I think I picked up my mini boss for 149$ with a coupon.
  10. chad3

    chad3 Feeling the Heat

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    I have plenty of saws to do any job, but if I had to have one saw, I'd go with the 361. If you can swing the cost, this saw screams. Pluses to a Pro Stihl saw: Adjustable oiler, more metal and less plastic, decomp valve, etc. 20" bar will cut plenty of firewood, logs as well as limbs. With a lighter saw you can still lift up to head level to cut those limbs that you need to get down after the tree is on the ground. Keep the craftsman for those limbs and get a good saw to get through everything else. You won't be upset.
    As a side, if you want to compare costs:
    A pro saw could keep you going for the next 15 years, lets break it down.
    899 (can get for less)= 59.93 per year
    Use 20 days per year = 2.99 per day
    4 hours each day = .75 cents each hour

    270 is 379 for 10 year (if that) = 37.90
    20 days per year = 1.89
    4 hours = .47 cents each hour

    Weight
    12.6 = .84
    20 days = .042
    4 hours = .011

    11.7 for 10 years = 1.17
    20 days = .058
    4 hours = .015

    Cost is less per lugging the saw, even with a cost of 30 cents more per hour. And you can run that saw for more years and with a better saw. The HP is 4.4 for the 361 vs. 3.4 for the 270. If you wanted the HP breakdown, I could do that as well.
    Hope this make the pro models more interesting to you. All my saws (but one) are pro saws and they will all run day in and out for what I need them to cut. I'm a firm believer in buying once. Better saws make sense when you are cutting for the duration. Sorry to put another wench in the mix, but...
  11. billb3

    billb3 Minister of Fire

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    I've had good luck with my '00 026 pro.
    I'm working on a 25 inch wide red oak right now .
    My brother has two of 'em.

    I paid a couple pros to come take down some huge pines. They had 2 280s and the guy who did the rappelling up to cut it up piece by piece hauled up a 220.

    The stihl dealers are disappearing around here, though.
  12. Adios Pantalones

    Adios Pantalones Minister of Fire

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    Bill- I got a 260 pro in maybe '02 and I kick the crap out of it- works without a hitch. reliable, strong SOB
  13. HeatsTwice

    HeatsTwice Minister of Fire

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    This is very good analysis. I need to know more though. What does "HP" stand for? Hourly Price? I just bought the MS390 and happy so far. But had I read this post, I may have gone for the MS 361. BTW with my MS 390, I was able to buck up this amount of pine in less than an hour.

    Attached Files:

  14. ccwhite

    ccwhite Member

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    Don't second guess that ms390. You won't regret that saw ever. That's what i run (well 039 but same thing) and I love it.
  15. HeatsTwice

    HeatsTwice Minister of Fire

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    So what is the difference between the MS 390 and the 039?

    Sorry for asking.
  16. Bigg_Redd

    Bigg_Redd Minister of Fire

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    I'm not kidding when I say everyone in Mason County has a chainsaw, and I've never even heard of Dolmar before I joined up here. Western WA is a huge chainsaw market. Why they aren't selling here (if they're as great as everyone says) is beyond me.
  17. fattyfat1

    fattyfat1 New Member

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    Me neither??? I live about 20 mi. south of Stihl's main west coast distribution center in Centrailia. Gotta love seeing the 60 foot long chainsaw with lightup blade from I-5. maybe that has something to do with it? market share already filled.
  18. ccwhite

    ccwhite Member

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    039 vs ms390. no real difference. ms 390 is the new model # for the same saw. just like the 029 is now the ms 290 etc. they have come up with new really cool fuel/oil caps which no longer require tightening with a screwdriver. same saw just new numbers.
  19. El Dia Octavo

    El Dia Octavo New Member

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    I bought an 025 in 1994. Took it back because I hadn't noticed but it had those plastic teeth for the pivot and was really like on power. The dealer (Grand Blanc, MI) took it back without complaint with one hour on the saw and I left with an 026. That saw was a workhorse. I gave it to my brother-in-law for $150 about seven years ago because I'd moved to the suburbs and had no use for it.

    Two years ago I tried to buy it back when I bought the farm (literally...not figuratively). He wouldn't sell it to me...jerk (just kidding - he's a terrific friend and pal). So, I bought a new 260 - same as the 026.

    It'll handle anything I'm qualified to do with it. I'm not qualified to drop 48" diameter, 150' trees so I don't need a big honkin' three foot bar. I've got a 18" bar on the 260 and it handles anything I've run into. Plus, it's lightweight and won't have me popping Motrin at night to cover a sore left shoulder after a few hours of work with it.

    I didn't look at other saws - I've heard Husq.'s are good saws for the money and the pro saws like Dolmar. I've had good luck with two Stihl's and don't intend to change.

    Like many, my Stihl dealer is a twit. I never walk out of his place without feeling like I've been screwed. He's the Kubota dealer, too, so I've got lots to not like about him.
  20. ccwhite

    ccwhite Member

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    I like an 18" bar as well that's what I run on my 039. Sometimes I think I want to go to a 20" but most of the time the 18" is fine.

    I have a similar problem with my local Stihl dealer. I drive 30 min to one dealer or 45 min to another so I don't have to give my money to the one that's 7 min from my house. Worst thing is he is also a Polaris dealer. I am 100% Stihl & Polaris if this guy was decent he'd be making money hand over fist from me. So now the gas station does.:p
  21. Highbeam

    Highbeam Minister of Fire

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    It's been awhile since I've bucked rounds but I would like to follow up here and say that a Dolmar 6400 is the same as a Makita 6401 which is available mail order. Still no local dealers but a 6400 is a large pro saw, can be made into a 7900 with Dolmar parts and would then be a very large pro saw.

    I inadvertently cut several years worth of firewood in a frenzy this last year.
  22. wellbuilt home

    wellbuilt home Minister of Fire

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    I like my stihl 029 farm boss . I use a polan for 25 years before that . I liked the polen I don't think i ever changed the air filter or drained the gas The thing just started on one pull every time . It died from dry rot .
  23. GaryS

    GaryS Member

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    I was looking at replacing my 20+ year old 028 wood boss with something of similar size (18" bar). I was looking at the 290 and the dealer talked me into going with the 310 instead. More horsepower for the same weight. Just a little more money. He said that I could use a 20" bar with the 310 but that size bar would be pushing anything less. I love the saw. I can knock out some big logs 30"+ in a hurry. I got the old 028 tuned up and still love it also.

    Whatever you do, use a good chain and keep it sharp.

    I've been told that anyone who uses a husqvarna will prefer it over a stihl. Any truth to that?
  24. Rich M

    Rich M New Member

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    Don't write off the 250 yet. Not only is it less money up front it also uses less fuel, oil, and the chains and bars are cheaper too.

    If your wood is already down it can handle up to 30" I've done it many times.

    Weight matters, I only cut seasonally but when I do I stay at it hard until the job's done. A light saw is less fatiguing - period.

    I thought the plastic tool-less chain adjuster seemed cheesy too but it actually works very well and has held up fine.

    I've got many dozens of cords on mine and it has been reliable and shows no sign of slowing down any time soon. The MS250 is an under rated saw that is a good value. Bigger and more expensive is not always better.
  25. ansehnlich1

    ansehnlich1 Minister of Fire

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    Reviving an old thread here, I just didn't know who to tell, and my wife doesn't seem to be as impressed as I would like, HOWEVER....

    I just went out and did my part in reviving the economy and bought a Stihl 270.

    A little over 400 dollars, with a sixpack of mix and a carry case.

    I cut about 3 cord of chestnut oak today and the saw is real nice.

    I'm a happy camper.
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