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MS291

Post in 'The Gear' started by Bigg_Redd, Nov 9, 2011.

  1. Bigg_Redd

    Bigg_Redd Minister of Fire

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    Just out of curiosity. . .

    The 291 is over a pound lighter than the 290 and it has a white handle. How different are these two animals? Is the 291 German made? Anyone?

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  2. MasterMech

    MasterMech Guest

    I noticed that the new mid-range saws all have white handles now too. I think they are made in Virginia Beach as only the bigger pro saws were imports previously. (with the notable exception of the MS200T) If the serial number starts with a 1, it's German.

    291 is a very different animal than the 290 and not at all a simple feature upgrade like the 290 was over the 029. Stihl is replacing most of the old engines with a new stratocharged 2-stroke design that is supposed to be much more fuel efficient and cleaner emissions. If the MS441 is any indication, they're on the right track.

    The MS291 also has a completely different chassis and AV setup than the MS290. It looks to be a world of improvement over the 290 and if it all comes in at a 1lb less than the 290 I'm all for it. The MS290's power to weight ratio was it's biggest drawback IMO. They also offer a dressed up version of the MS291 with their quick chain tensing system, a 2nd chain brake, and the Easy2Start starter, all at a significant price bump however.

    I haven't had a chance to get a MS291 in the wood but I will at first opportunity as I am curious what all the buzz is about myself. It's nice that Stihl is paying attention to their mid-range saws and adding creature comforts but when the MS290 gets retired for good, dealers will surely miss it since the 291 comes with a $110 price bump over the 290. MS290 was always an easy sale for the occasional user.
  3. Bigg_Redd

    Bigg_Redd Minister of Fire

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    Does that mean it's more like the 270 and 280 - both white handled and lighter and more expensive than the 290?
  4. MasterMech

    MasterMech Guest

    The MS291 certainly does seem to take over where the MS280 left off. Maybe a bit more power in the MS291. The AV design seems to be more in line with what the MS270/280 offered but until I get to run a 291, I can't compare the feel. The MS270/280s were designed as a 'comfort' saw instead of the brute force approach the farm saws took.
  5. HittinSteel

    HittinSteel Minister of Fire

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    I will be interested in reading the reviews. If the 291 is a pound lighter, I wouldn't expect stihl to keep the 270/280 around for long. What are the weight and power specs for the 291 and the MSRP? Wondering how close it will be to Husky's new 555.
  6. DanCorcoran

    DanCorcoran Minister of Fire

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    Everything you've always wanted to know about Stihl specs:

    http://www.stihlusa.com/chainsaws/comparison.html

    MSRP is available on the Stihl website by entering your zipcode, which will link you to your nearest dealer's pricing page.
  7. HittinSteel

    HittinSteel Minister of Fire

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    Interesting .......is the 291 simply a chubby 261? Looks like about an $80 difference between the two. Is the 291 a vertically split crankcase or a clamshell like the 290?
  8. HittinSteel

    HittinSteel Minister of Fire

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    Looks like the 291 lost weight by being built on the 261 platform instead of the 311/391. Both the 271 and 291 are still heavier than the 261 and the 261 creates the same or more power in a non clamshell design. That's well worth $80 to me.
  9. DanCorcoran

    DanCorcoran Minister of Fire

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    The 261 is lighter weight and smaller displacement, yet produces the same BHP. The decompression device suggests that it does this using a higher-compression engine.
  10. MasterMech

    MasterMech Guest

    Stihl is rolling out a common saw chassis for the 261/271/291/311/391/362 that will enable them to use common parts amongst the whole family of mid-size saws. There are differences but from what I've seen they are primarily engine/performance related.
  11. Gary_602z

    Gary_602z Minister of Fire

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    Just picked up a 291 yesterday, Ran it for 1 tank of fuel before I had to quit. If you buy a 6 pack of Stihls synthetic oil they double the warranty to 2 years. Cuts like a banshee compared to my 026. I got it with the 18" bar.

    Gary
  12. MasterMech

    MasterMech Guest

    I'm surprised to hear it significantly outperforms your 026. What bar/chain is on the 026? .325 or 3/8" chain?
  13. HittinSteel

    HittinSteel Minister of Fire

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    Especially when not broken in hmmmm
  14. DanCorcoran

    DanCorcoran Minister of Fire

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    "Cuts like a banshee compared to my 026." He didn't say it was better: banshee's are notoriously bad at cutting wood.
  15. Gary_602z

    Gary_602z Minister of Fire

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    Don't get me wrong I love my 026 which has a 16" bar .325 and I have had it for 13-14 years. The 291 has a 18" .325 and I was impressed with it cutting through some 18-20 ash and some 12" cherry and elm.

    Gary
  16. quads

    quads Minister of Fire

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    I can't speak specifically for the 291/261, but in my experience with the 290/260, the 260 cuts faster. They have the same horsepower, but what the specs don't tell you is that the 260 engine is higher RPM. Something I found out when I actually had them in my hands for comparison. The higher revs of the 260 spins the chain faster, therefore it cuts faster. I have two 026, a 260, and sold the 290. Both of the 026 and the 260 could cut faster than the 290.
  17. MasterMech

    MasterMech Guest

    IIRC The 260 was rated less than the 290 for HP (3.2 vs 3.7 ? strictly my fuzzy memory here) but the major advantage that the specs do tell you is that the 260 enjoyed a healthy 3+ lb weight advantage!
  18. HittinSteel

    HittinSteel Minister of Fire

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    and an exhaust exit hole about the size of a pencil eraser........ the 260 suffers from the same problem but the 026 did not (likely why the 026 is advertised with about .3 more horsepower), but that is easily remedied.
  19. quads

    quads Minister of Fire

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    Indeed! That extra few pounds makes a big difference after running it all day, coupled with faster cutting.

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