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Goodbye 6 Month Old Stihl MS290

Post in 'The Gear' started by quads, Jan 31, 2011.

  1. quads

    quads Minister of Fire

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    6 months ago when I was shopping for a new saw, what I really wanted was a new 026 like the two old ones I bought used many, many years ago for $50. The day I went to the Stihl dealer he was out of the MS260, price of $500. I went with the MS290 instead, at $350.

    I wanted .325 chain on the new MS290 since I already had all that stuff with my old 026 saws, but the dealer did not have the proper sprocket, could order it. The new MS290 came with 3/8 chain so I stuck with what was already on it and what he stocked for it.

    I liked the 290. It started good, ran the same way everyday, didn't die when I set the saw down etc. unlike my old worn out 026's. But, the 290 was heavier, did not rev as high, didn't cut as fast, and the 3/8 chain always seemed like it took a little bit bigger bite than the 290 could handle. I always felt that it would have been better with the narrower/smaller chain on it. Looking at the horsepower ratings on Stihl's web site indicated to me that the MS260 and the MS290 would perform identically, except with the added weight of the 290. I was mistaken. Did not realize how much slower the 290 turns to make that horsepower, which equals a slower moving chain.

    Found out the other day that the MS260 is being phased out for a newer MS261 which runs much leaner etc. I'm not too sure I like the idea of the saw using less gas but producing the same amount of power, 10% less may be believable, but 50%? Just doesn't sound right to me. I want a saw identical to my old 026's because that's what I'm happy with.

    Saturday morning I sold my 290 to a friend that always wanted a Stihl saw, for $175. I had two new chains with it, a new 18 inch bar, and a new clutch bell assembly with removable sprocket which I also sold with the saw for an additional $100, a total of $275. I then took that $275 and immediately went to the dealer (and for an additional $225) bought the saw I really wanted in the first place, an MS260 PRO with .325 chain. (not the 261)

    And I cut a lot of wood with it over the weekend and it is exactly what I expected, just like my old saws, only new! Lighter and faster than the 290. I'm happy, my friend that bought the 290 from me is happy, all is right in my part of the world again. HAHA!

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  2. smokinj

    smokinj Minister of Fire

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    Sounds Like a win win there!
  3. Jags

    Jags Moderate Moderator Staff Member

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    They don't call 'em a "Pro" saw for nuthin. A friend of mine has a 390. He could not give me two of those for my 361.
  4. HittinSteel

    HittinSteel Minister of Fire

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    Nice upgrade. It will pickup a little more as it breaks in. After the warranty runs out, it is one of the easiest saws to give a simple muffler mod as well.
  5. wendell

    wendell Minister of Fire

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    Glad you are happy. That 261 is a really nice saw and i think would've made you happy, too.
  6. smokinj

    smokinj Minister of Fire

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    How about two 361's running along the side of a 460.....
  7. Jags

    Jags Moderate Moderator Staff Member

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    Sure - he could give me two 361s along with a 460. That would be the best kind of friend. :lol:
  8. trailrated

    trailrated Member

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    Quads - I have a MS290 and while it gets the job done, you explained its operation perfectly. I agree with you and lately I have not been that impressed with the 290. I will keep it in the aresonal, but have been thinking about getting another saw.
  9. brad068

    brad068 Feeling the Heat

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    Now all quads needs is the new fiskars x27, THEN, Egypt will stop rioting, fuel prices will drop to $1/gal. wood will season in a day, etc, etc,....

    Just ordered another one today. :)
  10. Naandme

    Naandme New Member

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    I like my 028 alot better than my 290 its faster and just seems to preform alot better
  11. djblech

    djblech Feeling the Heat

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    So is my 346 XP husky about the same size and weight as the 260 pro? The day I went shopping for the 346, I wanted to compare it to the 260 pro and I couldn't find one anywhere. I am happy with my Husky but if I found a 260 or a 261 I might have to pick up another saw. Can you have to many chain saws?
    Doug
  12. wendell

    wendell Minister of Fire

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    The 260 is a little smaller and a little slower. The 261 is a little heavier and a little faster. You have the perfect 50 cc saw.
  13. Kenster

    Kenster Minister of Fire

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    I love my 390. Muffler mod with 16 inch bar. Zings through my oak and hickory. I don't have anything to compare it with other than a little Craftsman I started out with but my 390 does right by me.
  14. Jutt77

    Jutt77 Feeling the Heat

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    Good call...my 16 yr old 026 starts up everytime, doesn't die when sitting and cuts like a champ. When it finally dies I will definetely replace it with a 260pro.
  15. wendell

    wendell Minister of Fire

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    A 390 with only a 16" bar. I would hope you'd have a little zing. :cheese: :lol: :)
  16. Dingeryote

    Dingeryote Member

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    quads,

    What did ya do with the old 026? Wanna part with it?

    Ya did good on the new 260.It should last you forever. The new Strato 261 is heavier, handles wierd(IMO) and isn't much faster...but Stihl is awfull proud of 'em.
  17. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    Guess I'm keep my 029.
  18. quads

    quads Minister of Fire

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    Ha! Probably not......! My maul has had a long handle on it for decades already! HAHA!
  19. quads

    quads Minister of Fire

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    I'm keeping both of my old 026's. The one still runs acceptably well, most of the time. The oldest one, and my favorite one, started running way too lean and won't richen with the carb adjustments (it still has a real adjustable carb, that's how old it is) so I just quit using it. Someday may rebuild the carb....
  20. quads

    quads Minister of Fire

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    Probably a good idea. A relative had an old 029 and it was a much faster saw than the MS290.
  21. Jags

    Jags Moderate Moderator Staff Member

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    Don't take my post as a slam to the 390 - it is a righteous saw in its own way. The point I was trying to make is that there IS a distinct difference from a farm saw to a pro saw. And ya sure as heck pay for it too. Quads move from a farm saw, back to a pro saw is a pretty sound example of what I was trying to portray and why.
  22. HittinSteel

    HittinSteel Minister of Fire

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    Oh yeah, your set up would absolutely smoke a 260........ just weighs quite a bit more. I'm always on the look out for a cheap 039 to fix up. The last one I had really cut well.
  23. NH_Wood

    NH_Wood Minister of Fire

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    Anyone know how the 260 pro does with a 20" bar? Cheers!
  24. wendell

    wendell Minister of Fire

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    That is too much for that saw. On mine, I wouldn't have gone over 16".
  25. quads

    quads Minister of Fire

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    Actually, when I bought my old 026's used the guy had 20" bars on them. I ran them that way for a few years and they did fine. Most of my trees aren't big enough to get a bar-full though, once in awhile, but that extra couple of inches saved me a lot of bending while cutting a tree up. Unfortunately, the 20" bars and chains in .325 got hard to find around here so I went to 18".

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