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Stihl 290 Farm Boss (18 inch) vs. Husqvarna 455 Rancher (18 inch)

Post in 'The Gear' started by DanCorcoran, Dec 22, 2010.

  1. DanCorcoran

    DanCorcoran Minister of Fire

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    The Stihl is $359 and the Husky is $389. Specs seem to be nearly identical. I know a lot of folks will want to recommend an entirely different saw, but if you had to choose between these two, is there any real difference? My guess is that it boils down to which manufacturer you prefer, which dealer is more convenient, or which color you like better.

    Does anyone know of a substantive difference?

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  2. Backwoods Savage

    Backwoods Savage Minister of Fire

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    We have some folks in our area who are big Husky fans but most prefer the Stihl. For sure there are more Stihl dealers around. I've never owned a Husky but have my first Stihl. So far no problems with it.
  3. gzecc

    gzecc Minister of Fire

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    Save 200 and look for a used 290. They are around in good condition.
  4. mayhem

    mayhem Minister of Fire

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    Weird that you're seeing them for sale with 18" bars...all I ever see are 20" for sale...at least on the Husky. Only one or two Stihl places around here, but Husky is sold by everypne...local hardware store, Tractor Supply...you name it. I have enver seen a 455 for sale without a 20" bar and never for less than $399.

    I'd say go with shichever one is lighter and easier to handle. You're going to be using it for awhile, might a well be comfortable.

    The Stihl gets the nod from me simply because its $30 less out of the box...spend the extra on a spare chain or two.
  5. gzecc

    gzecc Minister of Fire

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    I bought a used 290 with a case and 18" for $190. It was in very good condition. It was owned by a suburban gent that died. His son was selling off some of his stuff.
  6. basswidow

    basswidow Minister of Fire

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    I think they are for the most part - identical.

    My buddy has the Rancher 455 and I have a farm boss ms290. I see no real difference, except maybe in resale - the stihl will hold a better value.
  7. DanCorcoran

    DanCorcoran Minister of Fire

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    When I Googled the 455, I found that Bailey's has the 455 with 18" bar for $389 and free shipping. The Stihl dealers will sell the 290 with a 16, 18, or 20 inch bar, for $349, $359, or $369. Also, the specs show that the head on both brands weighs 13#. Given the names (Farm Boss and Rancher), it seems that they are intentionally targeting the other brand.
  8. basswidow

    basswidow Minister of Fire

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    I agree. Maybe not targeting each other - but trying to fill a need or nitch in the market. Targeting the perfect size saw for the needs of a farmer or rancher? Both are clearly the best sellers for each maker.

    Both great saws - I'd think either would be a safe buy. Might boil down to your own preference and if their is a local shop for service and support.
  9. Bigg_Redd

    Bigg_Redd Minister of Fire

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    It always cracks me up when someone will gladly pay thousands for a premium woodstove, but balks at spending an extra couple hunj on a top shelf saw. . .

    Just sayin' . . .
    TreePointer likes this.
  10. southbound

    southbound Minister of Fire

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    What is the price on a 310/311????

    310 with a mm would be nice.. I say 310 because I like the 3/8 chain...

    $389 seems too much to me for a 455 get the 290 run about ten tanks then open up the muffler retune the carb and never look back....
  11. ISeeDeadBTUs

    ISeeDeadBTUs Guest

    Neither
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  12. midwestcoast

    midwestcoast Minister of Fire

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    I'd lean towards the 290. I actually have a 455 Rancher (bought used) & it works fine for me. My 20" bar is a bit much, 18 would be better on either IMO.
    Yes the Stihl will hold it's value better if that maters to you. I get the impression that the 290 is the more reliable of the 2, but that may have to do with so many Ranchers being bought in box stores with no instruction or set-up from the seller.
    My only complaints on the 455 are that the fuel tank is annoyingly small, the oiler should pump more volume for a 20" bar & it's a little heavy for the power. It has tackled Oak up to 40" & didn't complain.
  13. 10range

    10range Member

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    I was looking at the same choice about a year ago. I ended up running across a used 455 that I bought and tried out. I had constant troubles with keeping the oiler working. After looking around a bit, it sounds like this is not an uncommon problem with this saw. I ended up buying a 290 and have been nothing but happy with it. I don't think you can go wrong with either but my preference is the Stihl.
  14. smokinj

    smokinj Minister of Fire

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    here's a 40 inch-er that rancher would have puck on! About 40 in. at that end and 44 at the butt end.

    Attached Files:

  15. HittinSteel

    HittinSteel Minister of Fire

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    You may have the same complaints with a 290....... it has a reputaion for an anemic oiler and is quite "fat" for its power. I think I have also read that the 290's specs are a little inflated in the power department as well. Splitting hairs here obviously but I think the cons of the 455 are shared by the 290. They are still both good values in a homeowner grade saw.
  16. ISeeDeadBTUs

    ISeeDeadBTUs Guest

    Excuse me while I go get more beer while you're waitin for that Farm Boss to get through 44" Oak. You and the saw will both be worn out by the time you finish and I'll be comfortably numb. They call um 'farm boss' and/or 'rancher ' cause they expect you to use them for trimmin the tops off fence posts :lol:
  17. avanderheuel

    avanderheuel New Member

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    STIHL!! ALL THE WAY..... Easy to work on a stihl. Plus Husqvarna makes sewing machines LOL
  18. HittinSteel

    HittinSteel Minister of Fire

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    and Stihl now makes vacuum cleaners hahahahaha
  19. smokinj

    smokinj Minister of Fire

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    Heck I need both!
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  20. ISeeDeadBTUs

    ISeeDeadBTUs Guest

    Someone told me Stihl is going to make green (JD) now?!? :eek:hh:
  21. HittinSteel

    HittinSteel Minister of Fire

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    Please don't make your first Husqvarna a sewing machine Jay LOL
  22. amateur cutter

    amateur cutter Minister of Fire

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    Opinion only here. I've run both saws, & they're very comparable. If they are your only options, I'd base my purchase on the better dealer. That being said, I just traded my last homeowner saw, a 290 for an 026. I'll prolly never own another. They're overweight underpowered saws. That being said, they make up a huge part of the saw market for both companies. I'd much rather have a good used pro saw for the same money. FWIW if I had to choose, I'd go 290 over 455 for the resale value down the road. Let us know what you decide. A C
  23. smokinj

    smokinj Minister of Fire

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    It would not be for me just my money! Just doesn't fit my hands right and the vac. same thing.
  24. Danno77

    Danno77 Minister of Fire

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    I haven't run the 455 before, but my FIL has a 290. It's a good enough saw, but it doesn't outcut my 028 enough for me to ever consider it as a significant upgrade from what I have. He has a safety chain on it, but it feels like it's more than just that. Maybe the person (sorry, can't remember without looking) who said they are set to run fat is right and that was the problem.
  25. midwestcoast

    midwestcoast Minister of Fire

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    Well I never said it was fast, took a few minutes per cut & had to dice up the last few rounds as the 20" bar wouldn't reach the middle from either side. But I'm just scrounging firewood here. If I went & bought an MS460 or 660... for that 1 tree it would have been the most expensive firewood ever. A firewood processor can spit out a cord of splits in a few minutes, but I can't afford one of those either.
    smokinj likes this.

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