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ms 290 saw chain power and such

Post in 'The Gear' started by jrendfrey, Dec 19, 2012.

  1. jrendfrey

    jrendfrey Member

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    so.... ive recently got a new chain for my 290 its the full chisel single raker yellow box chain and i like it much better than that crap it came with. now i am wondering lol if i should upgrade to a pro saw. do i need it no do i want it yes. im really looking at the 372xp from husky whats the comparable stihl model? maybe im crazy lol obviously but i want to keep my 16 inch bar on that big powerful saw as its what i use to measure my wood lol does all this sound crazy? i bought my 290 brand new from a dealer and its cut 10 cords i havent talked numbers in detail with him but hes thinking 300 ish range for trade in towards the bigger one. i believe the 372 xp runs about 800 so ill have to fork over 5 bills. anyone have any insight on this process i paid 400 for the 290 should i keep it or make the plunge in the spring?

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  2. bogydave

    bogydave Minister of Fire

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    Husqy 372xp is 70 cc, 5.3 bhp, Power-head 13.4 lbs (no bar) ( $919 )

    Stihl 441 cm magnum is 70cc, 5.6 bhp, Power-head 14.6 lbs ( $900 )
  3. swagler85

    swagler85 Minister of Fire

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    I have the 290 too and like the saw. I'm running the chisel chain on it too. Recently I've cut bigger stuff and it did the job well enough. 40+ inch oak, I would love a big pro saw but don't know if I will spend the money now. Maybe if I find an awesome deal on a used one. Don't need more saw than I have now. But if you have saw fever and want a bigger one go for it.
  4. TreePointer

    TreePointer Minister of Fire

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    Around here, you can buy decent 290's for $250 all day on Craigslist, so I'd take the $300 deal and run if you are set on a trade.
    amateur cutter likes this.
  5. DexterDay

    DexterDay Guest

    Husq- 562XP
    Stihl- MS362

    Husq- 372XP
    Stihl- MS441

    Husq- 576XP
    Stihl- MS460/461

    All of the are a step up from the MS290. Even if you grabbed hold of a 362!!! Watch out.. Then you'll be wanting a MS660 ;)
    amateur cutter likes this.
  6. HittinSteel

    HittinSteel Minister of Fire

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    There is really no reason to need a 70cc to pull a 16" bar. If you want a pro grade saw for a 16" bar, I'd get a light weight 50cc like a 346XP,550XP or a stihl 261.

    BTW, if your dealer will give you $300 on trade for a 290, I'd jump all over it. Does he stock both stihl and husky? If so, check out the 346 and 550 if he has them.

    My 2 cents on an interesting question ;lol
    smokinj and Backwoods Savage like this.
  7. jrendfrey

    jrendfrey Member

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    yes he stocks both stihl and husky i just want to be able to rip through the logs like it nothing i like the 16 bar as thats the size wood we use. i dont know everyone around me has huskys im the only person i know with a stihl i cant complain though she works through everything. ill be taking a look in the spring and both thanks for the feedback
  8. Researcher1

    Researcher1 Member

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    $300 is a good deal on trade in for the 290. A 70cc saw is definitely overkill for a 16 inch bar and I don't see any reason to run that combination on a daily basis.
  9. HittinSteel

    HittinSteel Minister of Fire

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    Well, needless to say, the 372XP with a 16" bar would be a light saber. Nothing to say you can't run that setup. Here is a video of my 372 before Randy (Mastermind) ported it. Looks like he has an 18" bar on it for the test cuts?

  10. JustWood

    JustWood Minister of Fire

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    If your goal is to cut through some larger wood , try a larger bar with half or full skip chain of your choice on the 290. The performance may be similar to the 16" bar.
    Backwoods Savage likes this.
  11. bogydave

    bogydave Minister of Fire

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    Stihl- MS460/461 , with a 16" bar & a 12" log,:eek:
    file the rakers off on an RS chain & hang on,==c
    blink & you'll be thru .::-)

    Safety is not implied here ;)

    But "Why" ? Impress you & Husqy owners around you?

    I'd buy the 362 & out cut your buddies/friend/neighbors with Husqys.
    Muffler mod, a hand sharp RS chain with the rakers a little shorter than specs ;)

    Then when you out grow the need for speed, you still have a great lightweight saw
    that will last many years & cuts fire wood exceptionally well ;)
    AND you still get to buy a new saw :)

    Post pics of the new ms461 !
    DexterDay likes this.
  12. Backwoods Savage

    Backwoods Savage Minister of Fire

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    Weight of the saw is definitely a big factor when buying a saw. It is one thing to go into a store and pick up a saw and think that is nothing. It is something different after running that saw for a few hours. A pound can make a huge difference. This is also one reason many loggers have many sizes of bars. Why run a 48" bar when a 25" will do the trick? It is a lot less weight for sure.

    I've also found that as I age, the weight factor becomes even bigger. Sure, in the saw store I can pick up the big saw and its a piece of cake. Yet a couple hours with the 290 and I'm whipped.

    I also do not understand why, if the 290 is doing the job, why a new saw? Of course that $300 trade is a good one but it is still many dollars out of the purse. Keep in mind what you want in the end. Is it firewood? That is what most of us want. Or is it pride that you have a powerful saw that will outcut the neighbors? I really don't mind that the neighbor can cut faster and more than I do. It bothers me not. My saw cuts what I need to cut. That's enough.
    TreePointer likes this.
  13. swagler85

    swagler85 Minister of Fire

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    Well said
  14. computeruser

    computeruser Feeling the Heat

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    There is a point of diminishing returns when it comes to over-powering a short bar. I think that except for racing purposes (or shits-n-giggles) a lively or ported 60cc saw is a practical upper limit for a 16" bar pulling 3/8" chain in a production setting.

    I run 16" 3/8" on a Dolmar 5100s and a Husqvarna 346xpNE, and find both to be a good match for the saw's power. They pull nicely even when buried, and are light enough to make work easy over the course of a long day. I've run a 16" 3/8" setup and a 16" .325" (9t rim) on a ported Stihl 361 and found it to be a great combination. By contrast, 16" on my 70-80cc saws just makes for an unbalanced saw that is nice for cutting cookies with chains set up for that purpose, but not particularly nice for doing real work.

  15. chipsoflyin

    chipsoflyin Member

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    nw ohio
    Do a muffler mod on the 290! Fatten her up a bit and she'll run like a ***** ape
  16. wishlist

    wishlist Minister of Fire

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    I ran a 290 for years. Great saw, hand sharpened full chisel chains with 16" and 20" bars. It did its job but I ran into some very large burr oak and decided that the saw was about 15 years old and I still could get a decent amount for it. Sold it for $250.

    Bought a new 460 and holy smokes, what a difference. Did a muff mod on it and literally could take a 25" bar and bury it in oak and would not slow down one bit. I wish I would've taken a pic with all the chips on my boots! Another thing about a pro saw is I occasionally must noodle some logs to get them in the trailer and the 460 will flat noodle! I like the longer reach with a 25" bar but as backwoods said, its not a light saw by no means but its not my go to limbing saw either. I use a husky arborist saw that is top handle, super light and flat cuts fast with a 14" full chisel. For me, these 2 saws are a great combination for getting your wood supply 3 years ahead or MORE! :)
    smokinj likes this.
  17. MasterMech

    MasterMech Guest

    372XP roughly equivalent to a Stihl MS440/441

    If your MS290 has 3/8" chain on it you can run your existing 16" setup on the bigger Stihls.

    If you have .325 on it, it's not worth running that on the big 'uns IMO.

    You're crazy, but my kind of crazy. ;)
  18. DexterDay

    DexterDay Guest

    If you have the bug, you cant stop it... Its CAD!!!

    I just picked up another 036 today!!! I cant stop......
    Boog and MasterMech like this.

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