1. Welcome Hearth.com Guests and Visitors - Please enjoy our forums!
    Hearth.com GOLD Sponsors who help bring the site content to you:
    Hearthstone Soapstone and Cast-Iron stoves( Wood, Gas or Pellet Stoves and Inserts)

MS 290 STIHL FARM BOSS

Post in 'The Gear' started by KaptJaq, Nov 14, 2012.

  1. KaptJaq

    KaptJaq Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2011
    Messages:
    703
    Loc:
    Long Island, NY
    Does anybody have an opinion on the Stihl 290 farm boss with an 18" bar? MY 13 year old saw, 33cc/18" box store brand is getting a little tired. I saw the Stihl 290 farm boss for $289 today. Is it a good saw? Is $289 a good price for it?

    KaptJaq

    Helpful Sponsor Ads!





  2. jeffoc

    jeffoc Member

    Joined:
    Oct 3, 2008
    Messages:
    116
    Loc:
    Blandinsville, IL
    I really like mine. I've had it for about 5 years now and run it pretty hard. Never had a hiccup with it. It cost me ~425 with a 20 in bar. I was running safety chain until last week and just bought a yellow label chain and it is like a new saw again.

    That price would be good around here for one in decent shape. I was at an auction a couple of weeks ago and an older 029 sold for 325.
  3. Flatbedford

    Flatbedford Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2009
    Messages:
    5,235
    Loc:
    Croton-on-Hudson, suburbs of NYC
    I loved my 029 with a 20" bar for years. then I tried a friend's 036 and it was all over. 029/MS290 is a great all around firewood saw for the money. There are better ones , but you will pay much more for them. I only bought the 036 because my friend bought it very cheap and passed the savings on to me.
  4. Grisu

    Grisu Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2010
    Messages:
    2,704
    Loc:
    Chittenden, VT
    That's about what I paid for a new MS 290 a few months ago. I was looking for a good all-around saw; not too big for some limbing but powerful enough for some bigger wood. So far, it has not disappointed me. It has confirmed its reputation as a reliable and proven performer. Be aware that it has been around for a long time and will be phased out probably next year. If you want something more modern and a bit lighter take a look at the MS261. It is a similar pro-style saw from Stihl. It comes with a higher price tag but if you plan on using it for another 10 years or so it may be well worth it. I am still asking myself if I should not have sprung for the 261 instead of the 290 but was too cheap at that time.
    Gark likes this.
  5. MasterMech

    MasterMech Guest

    That was a joke right? :rolleyes: ;)

    MS290 is the two-wheel drive 6 cylinder standard shift pickup of chainsaws. A workhorse through and through. Not going to win any races but reliable as dirt and a price tag just about anyone can live with. It's a great machine for the money. That said, if you can afford more saw, I highly recommend you pursue those options.

    Did you mean $389 on that saw? $389 is standard list price for a MS290 wearing an 18" bar. If you saw a new 18" MS290 for $289, that is a deal for sure.
    MS290 will most likely be the last saw in the line-up that Stihl replaces. It has been and probably will be their best seller for some time yet.
  6. EatenByLimestone

    EatenByLimestone Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Jul 12, 2006
    Messages:
    4,883
    Loc:
    Schenectady, NY
    I'd be all over one for $289. I paid more than that for mine. It has been a good friend. I run a 16" bar on it with a yellow chain 95% of the time and have a 20" bar with a green chain for backup.

    Matt
  7. freddypd

    freddypd Burning Hunk

    Joined:
    Jan 3, 2012
    Messages:
    133
    Loc:
    Long Island NY
    Hey Kapt, I agree if that is the price and there is another one avail, PM me so I can take advantage. Is that for a used craigslist one? I think I will go new for my first ever chainsaw.
  8. fishinpa

    fishinpa Member

    Joined:
    Oct 7, 2008
    Messages:
    176
    Loc:
    SE PA
    I went to buy the 290 one Saturday and the dealer that had them closed too early so I had to go another vendor and bought the 270 (that what they had) and love it. I believe the 290 has an extra cc or two and I wish I has that extra power. If you are comfortable and careful with a chainsaw already, be sure to get "Super Rapid" chain for it and stay away from the basic 'safety chain it comes with. Super Rapid is much more aggressive and really allows Stihl saws to perform.

    DISCLAIMER: If anyone reading this is new to running saws, I recommend sticking with the standard chain for the first season or two of use. These aggressive chains are dangerous and possibly life threatening to anyone, ESPECIALLY the non-experienced!

    The price is very fair. I think I paid about that for my 270 three years ago or so.
  9. fishinpa

    fishinpa Member

    Joined:
    Oct 7, 2008
    Messages:
    176
    Loc:
    SE PA
    WOW, I just called my local dealer and got the current retail on these two saws as of 5 minutes ago and I thought I would share the info:

    Stihl MS270 replaced by the MS271 - $449.00 with an 18" setup. (geared toward, but not fully commercial)

    Stihl MS290 - $389.00 with a 18" setup. (more home owner geared)

    He added that the MS261 is the 'entry level' commercial saw and is $569.99, 18" setup.

    I guess I am keeping my 270!
    mtnhome likes this.
  10. DanCorcoran

    DanCorcoran Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2010
    Messages:
    2,096
    Loc:
    Richmond, VA
    TreePointer likes this.
  11. Clyde S. Dale

    Clyde S. Dale Feeling the Heat

    Joined:
    Dec 17, 2010
    Messages:
    263
    Loc:
    SE PA
    I agree with Grisu. I started out with the 290, liked it but felt it was underpowered for its weight. I sold it on CL, saved a little and a few months later bought the MS261. The 261 is a night and day comparison to the 290. My 290 would bog down and stall the chain in hard woods like oak and locust. None of that happening with the 261. Got mine for $512 OTD w/ 18" bar and spare chain. If your budget is around $300 check CL and eBay for a decent used pro saw Husky or Stihl. Good luck to you.
  12. DMZX

    DMZX Member

    Joined:
    Aug 30, 2010
    Messages:
    211
    Loc:
    NE. Oregon
    I mostly cut standing, dead softwoods, 8"-18" so my 290 w/20" bar, fills the bill just about right. Easy to maintain. Reliable.

    If I was cutting anything larger, or denser, I would sell it and buy a 362.
  13. KaptJaq

    KaptJaq Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2011
    Messages:
    703
    Loc:
    Long Island, NY
    One off... A neighbor bought it for $389 to clean up after the storm. I saw him struggling with it and and went over to talk to him. He complained that the first couple of cuts were great but now it is very slow. Told him his chain was very dull. It is brand new, how could that be? He ended up calling a landscaper to clear his yard. When his patio was cleared you could see all the chain marks on the concrete.

    Chain saws are too much work for him or there is something wrong with this one. Do I want it for $100 off what he paid?

    KaptJaq
  14. jeffoc

    jeffoc Member

    Joined:
    Oct 3, 2008
    Messages:
    116
    Loc:
    Blandinsville, IL
    I'd take it at that price. It wouldn't be worth it to resell. But if I needed one I'd jump on it.
  15. Flatbedford

    Flatbedford Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2009
    Messages:
    5,235
    Loc:
    Croton-on-Hudson, suburbs of NYC
    tel him you do for $150 off and see where you end up. Explain the $$$ involved in repairs after contact with patio. Don't tell him that you'll have to spend 15 minutes hand filing the chain. Explain that the chain and possibly the bar will have to be replaced. >>
  16. Beer Belly

    Beer Belly Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2011
    Messages:
    1,718
    Loc:
    Connecticut
    I'd jump on it
  17. StihlHead

    StihlHead Guest

    The 029 has a smaller size engine than the 290, and IMO it is the dog of the series. I had one 029 and even a muffler mod did not wake it up. 029 Super is the same engine as the 290, which is a lot better. The 310 is the best saw in that series, IMO. You can get a good 310 here for $325 and absolutely spank an 029 with it. Lightly modified the 310 will have the same power as a 390, and without the added vibration or cost.

    You can also get a 026 here in really good condition for $250-300. I would rate my modified 310 about even with my modified 260s in terms of all-around usability. The modded 310 runs a 20 inch bar well though, and that is a stretch even for the fully ported 026. I run 3/8 std B&C on all of these, but they will also run .325 B&C. If you want an 026/260 saw, look for one with the clear gas tank and fully tunable carb (has the H jet adjustment). The PRO model is not really needed, with the decomp button and adjustable oiler, but they do not hurt any either.
  18. jeffoc

    jeffoc Member

    Joined:
    Oct 3, 2008
    Messages:
    116
    Loc:
    Blandinsville, IL
    Thanks for the clarification. I always thought the 290 was the updated 029. I already thought it got bid way too high. Now I know it did.
    Anything Stihl around here gets top dollar.
  19. HittinSteel

    HittinSteel Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Aug 11, 2008
    Messages:
    1,587
    Loc:
    Northeastern Ohio
    Here too, that's why I buy the pro huskys for the price of stihl homeowner saws ;)
  20. TreePointer

    TreePointer Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Sep 22, 2010
    Messages:
    2,306
    Loc:
    Western PA
    Used 290's in decent shape go for ~$250 on CL here, so $289 for a barely used 290-18" saw is a nice deal if you need it.

    It doesn't compare well to modern pro saws with respect to antivibration, fuel efficiency, and power-to-weight; but it will be a dramatic upgrade to a 33cc Craftsman (or similar). A 20cc+ jump in displacement between any two models will put a smile on your face.
  21. StihlHead

    StihlHead Guest

    Yah, I though the same until I bought the 029. It was not the same as my 290. I was very dissappointed and flipped it. As for the series, the 029 was the early model, the 029 Super was the updated model with the larger engine, and the 290 was/is the same as the 029 Super with the MS number change. The frames are all the same, and otherwise the same saws (029, 029 Super, 290, 310, 039 & 390). You can swap/upgrade engines between all of these saws. Note also that the 031 is a completely different saw than the 310, but the 039 is the same as the 390. Stihl weird numbering for you.
  22. corey21

    corey21 Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Oct 28, 2010
    Messages:
    2,241
    Loc:
    Soutwest VA
    I think you will like it has gave me great service.
  23. MasterMech

    MasterMech Guest

    Only if it really needs nothing and the chain isn't banged up too bad.


    I would try the $150 off approach, can't hurt. After all that concrete cutting, you may want to pick up a new chain for it. I can't see the chain but I can only imagine how damaged it might be. Good excuse to lose the safety chain that came with it and pick up a full-chisel (RSC) chain for it.
  24. Dyno625

    Dyno625 Member

    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2012
    Messages:
    42
    Loc:
    Kentucky
    I have a 290 and I think it is a perfectly fine saw. Put a rapid super chain on it and it will do a good job. Not the most powerful saw out there but a good saw none the less. I have several saws and this is one of my more go to saws.
  25. TreePointer

    TreePointer Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Sep 22, 2010
    Messages:
    2,306
    Loc:
    Western PA
    It's all relative If you're upgrading form a lower displacement Polan/Craftsman, then you'll be happy with a 290.

    Just don't ever get your hands on a modern pro saw. Then you will trash fhe 290 for being an overweight pig of a turd doorstop boat anchor
    MasterMech, osagebow and StihlHead like this.

Share This Page