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need advise on which stihl chainsaw to buy

Post in 'The Gear' started by tumm21, Dec 27, 2012.

  1. tumm21

    tumm21 Member

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    Hey guys, Thanks in advance for the input. I am looking to buy a chainsaw in the 300 to 350 dollar range. I was looking at the ms250 or the ms290 with an 18 inch bar. I am looking to cut about 2 to 3 cords a year with it. Most the wood I get is cut to size but there are times it it has to be cut shorter. I would like to buy a new saw. Is this in my price range or am II dreaming.

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  2. Boog

    Boog Minister of Fire

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    If I understand you right, you only need to occasionally cut some pieces of wood that are already "firewood size" to make them shorter? If thats your need, you can buy a brand new MS250 for $300. Its the largest saw in the "homeowner" stihl series. I have a new one and an older used one and love them.
    Backwoods Savage likes this.
  3. DexterDay

    DexterDay Guest

    Boog is spot on. 250 is a good saw if your looking for Brand New in that price range.

    But... For $350, you could get a used saw..... Or Two off of CL (Beware if you dont know what to look for).

    Me and Boog both scored some good saws for cheap off CL. (036 for $200/ MS362 Equivilent)

    If wanting new, the 250 is a good runner. The 290 will be slighlty more than $350 (out the door) but also a tried and true model.
  4. bogydave

    bogydave Minister of Fire

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    250 good saw.
    Would do 2 - 3 cord no problem.
    Smell of new is nice but Dex has a point. CL used saw , can sometimes get a great deal for $ 350 :)

    Both would work well ;)
  5. Nixon

    Nixon Minister of Fire

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    You might want to check on www.arboristsite.com . Look up a poster by the name of nmurph . He sells refurbished 346xp s in that price range . Never heard a bad word about his saws, which says a lot . Given the choice, I'd take the 346 over either the ms 250 ,or ms290 . JMHO
    amateur cutter and HittinSteel like this.
  6. computeruser

    computeruser Feeling the Heat

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    Ditto as to Neal's rebuilds. A really nice 353 just sold for $285. It looked really strong in the video that was posted of the saw at work.

    Otherwise, an MS250 is a decent saw for the price. No powerhouse, but reliable and they have cut a lot of wood for a lot of people over the years.
    HittinSteel and Nixon like this.
  7. Kenster

    Kenster Minister of Fire

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    I'd up the bucks a little bit and go for the $290 BUT with a 16 inch bar. It will do a heck of a job with a 16 inch bar, especially with a yellow chain, and unless you'll be cutting trees thicker than 32 inch diameter, you don't need a longer bar.
  8. Senatormofo

    Senatormofo Member

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    I've got an 025 and it is perfect for occasional use and then some. The 250 is right in your price range and is a good, lightweight saw. But.. the 290 is also a great saw for an additional $80.00. My next saw will probably be a 290. 13 lbs and 3.8 HP.
  9. HittinSteel

    HittinSteel Minister of Fire

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    A lot of nice saws have been posted recently in the trading post over there...... I think freakinstang still has a near new 5100 for $350 or so.
  10. Fins59

    Fins59 Member

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    Check out the EZ start option on the MS 250. It's about $60 more but if you have starting issues (arm/shoulder problem) it's well worth it. You can start that saw using 2 fingers.
    I bought one a few months ago and it's the best $$$ I spent this year.
    I mainly cut oak slabwood with mine. I stack about 5-6 peices in a jig and cut them with no problem. Saw has plenty of power. So far cut 11 big bundles.
    Backwoods Savage likes this.
  11. Cessna

    Cessna Member

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  12. Como

    Como Minister of Fire

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    Or a chainsaw from ebay for $40 would suffice.
  13. Nixon

    Nixon Minister of Fire

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    If you are truly wanting one of those two models, I'd go with the 290 . They are about as bullet proof as any saw ever made .
  14. Backwoods Savage

    Backwoods Savage Minister of Fire

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    I have a 290 and my wife has been after me to get a lighter saw. I tried out a 250 and was really surprised with it. Not sure how it would do with the safety chain that comes standard on it but the one I used had a full chisel (16" bar) and it really did amaze me how good it cut. I thought it would be a wimp but not so. There also is a big difference in the weight of those two saws. If I were in the market for a saw with your conditions I certainly would look hard at that 250. Not sure on the easy start but they surely do make starting easier. The saw I tried did not have it but it also was not hard pulling on that rope. Cold, it started on the 4th pull. Warm it started with one pull, which is about what the 290 does only the 290 usually takes 5 pulls cold and it pulls a lot harder than the 250.

    Good luck.
    Butcher likes this.
  15. buildingmaint

    buildingmaint Feeling the Heat

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    I have never heard of anyone being disappointed they bought too big of a chainsaw. I have a 290 , wish I would of bought a 391.
    OldLumberKid likes this.
  16. tumm21

    tumm21 Member

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    my problem is I am on a tight budget but I do need the chainsaw. I would prefer not to buy used. I think the 290 might be more what I want. How much for the 290 with a 18 inch bar? New obviously.
  17. maple1

    maple1 Minister of Fire

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    +1.

    If all you're doing is making the odd split shorter, go cheap as possible. You don't even need a chain saw for that - do you have a circular saw or chop saw?

    But if you're looking for a new Stihl for infrequent use, hard to beat the value of a new MS170.
  18. Prof

    Prof Burning Hunk

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    I have a 250--bought it as a back-up/trimming saw. I am impressed with the power for it's light weight. For what you describe, I'd think it would be a perfect saw. You'd still have plenty of capability if you needed to cut a downed tree or score an easy scrounge.
  19. Backwoods Savage

    Backwoods Savage Minister of Fire

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    I think you are talking around $380 for a new 291. I see you can also buy that with easy start now which might be worth considering.
  20. StihlHead

    StihlHead Guest

    There is a nice 310 here on CL going for $250. Bigger/better than the 290, I have owned and run the snot out of both. I have also had a series of 210/230/250s, and they are OK but the 290 (and 310) is the better saw by far, for many reasons. More power, they will run 3/8 std B&C, it has an adj. oiler, they are far easier to work on, have a better air filter and carb, they are easy to mod and get 10% more power, and parts are easy to get. They will also run a 20 inch bar no problem. I sold my 025/250 collection when I got an 026 and never looked back. I still have a modified 310, and it makes a great backup saw for a 044 or 361. The 310s are no longer available new though.

    Joe Bob says go for the 290 :cool:
    OldLumberKid likes this.
  21. adrpga498

    adrpga498 Minister of Fire

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    I scrounge so I don't cut anything bigger then I can carry. So, the ms250 I have with the 16" bar and yellow chain will be all I ever need.
    Tuneighty and Backwoods Savage like this.
  22. MasterMech

    MasterMech Guest

    Backwoods is right on for a new MS290-18", $379. The MS291-18" would be $489, even more for the Easy2Start version at $789. (WTH? $300 for a handle activated chain brake and Easy2Start?)

    MS290 is tough to beat for the price as a firewood cutter's go to saw. I think it'll be a good runner for you for quite some time. Most likely decades. ;)
    Backwoods Savage likes this.
  23. HittinSteel

    HittinSteel Minister of Fire

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    Wonder if stihl has sold an easy start 291....... my goodness, that is crazy.
  24. MasterMech

    MasterMech Guest

    Wonder how many 291's they are selling period in markets where the MS290 is still available? Same power specs, but nearly a lb lighter and much better AV. Fuel economy/emissions isn't top of the list for most buyers of mid-range saws. ;lol

    EDIT: Note the MS291CBEQ (The easy2start version) weighs in at 13.7 lbs too!! Ugh! Heavy, tepid power at best, and expensive. The Edsel of saws!
  25. DexterDay

    DexterDay Guest

    For that price.... I hope not. If they were smart, they would get a MS362 (and have money left), a 562XP, or even a MS441 for that kind of Money :(

    But..... There are still people out there that do not know any better and will still buy it. Just because of the following

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