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Stihl 290 farm boss vs. Shindaiwa 488

Post in 'The Gear' started by brooktrout, Mar 13, 2008.

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  1. brooktrout

    brooktrout New Member

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    Okay, so no replies on my earlier post- how about a little poll? Given the same tech. features, which would you choose? The only real diff. I see on paper is weight- 13 lbs (stihl) vs. 10 lbs. I have a dealer here who sells and services both.

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  2. BotetourtSteve

    BotetourtSteve Member

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    I've never heard of the Shindaiwa! That's uh, one of those Scandinavian saws, right?...or was that fishin' reels?...

    Around my parts, if it ain't Husqvarna or Stihl, it ain't a saw.

    But that weight is definitely one of those things that make you go "hmmm?"
  3. mtfallsmikey

    mtfallsmikey New Member

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    I used to have a Shin 350. Not a bad saw, revs like a Stihl, but torque not too good. Plus, dealer quit carrying them. See my other post re: Stihl MS290. I wouldn't buy another one.
  4. GrantC

    GrantC Member

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    Oregon
    The Shindaiwa 488 and Stihl MS290 are really in different classes.

    The 290 is of cheaper construction, using a cylinder that is integral to the top half of the horizontally-split crankcase. This construction is considered to be less rebuildable and more bulky (but cheaper to make) than the traditional vertically-split crankcase and separate cylinder - as used on Stihl's "pro" saws and the Shindaiwa 488.

    The 488 is a legendary saw in Shindaiwa's line; the 290, "not so much."

    The more direct competitor to the 488 would be Stihl's 260 Pro - you'll notice the specs are much closer, as is the design and construction.

    -=[ Grant ]=-
  5. ozarkjeep

    ozarkjeep New Member

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    actually, the 290-310 serious of saws are MUCH easier to rebuild than the "pro" saws.

    4 bolts underneath the engine pan, and the crank and bearings, and seals can be dropped out.

    No need for special pullers to split the case.

    they are harder to "strip down" to that point though, the plastic handle takes a bit of finagling the first time you remove one.

    the saws ARE considered heavy for their engine size, a ms290 is the same size/weight as a ms310, with less power.
    but, a 310 engine or cylinder is a bolt in upgrade.

    I know NOTHING about the shindawa saws.

    many people hate the ms290 series of Stihl saws, and that is just fine by me, that keeps used parts CHEAP.

    they run and cut well, and are simple and cheap to work on and maintain, and parts availability is great.

    the downsides are, the weight, and slightly more steps to remove the plastic covers.




  6. brooktrout

    brooktrout New Member

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    Hamden, NY
    Thanks for your input, guys. I ended up getting the MS270cb. A step up from the farm boss 290 in quality, a tad less horsepower. Over two pounds lighter, though, and that weighed in on my decision. I hope this saw will handle a triaxle load of logs each summer.... :roll:
  7. polaris

    polaris Feeling the Heat

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    KY.
    We should remember that the ms 290 is the most popular saw in it's class(numbers sold over double any other saw in it's class) This translates to lots of parts availability and lots of folks are familiar with working on them.
  8. struggle

    struggle Minister of Fire

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    I really don't understand all the bashing the farm boss gets. I have had one now going on three years and it has performed flawlessly. You get what you pay for and dollar to dollar the farm boss seems to be a bargain to me.

    I would consider a pro saw for my next step but as I see it the way this saw is working great and I will have no justifiable reason to get rid of it short of coming in to a windfall of cash to go find something to spend money on.
  9. computeruser

    computeruser Feeling the Heat

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    East Lansing, MI
    The two saws are like apples and oranges, frankly. They may be similar, to a degree, on paper. But it ends there. Just like the 260 versus 290, they serve different markets and are targeted at performing different tasks.

    I can't personally figure where I'd want to purchase either of them, but for a limber I'd take the Shindaiwa by a big margin. For a stand-in-one-spot-and-cut-firewood saw, where the weight would be less of a factor, I'd probably take the 290 owing to its wider powerband.
  10. akhilljack

    akhilljack New Member

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    fairbanks ak
    they sell both up here and i have never heard any thing bad about the 488. i used to be in the land scaping buisness and we used shindawa weed eaters and never had to fix anything on any of them for 15 or more years of very hard use 6-7 days a week 16 hours a day. just gas. their quality and ergonomics were great and i am sure it carys over to thier other engines like their saws. my girlfreinds dad says he knows quit a few people with the saws and they never have problems with them either. most of his friends are loggers and retired loggers and for the money they say they compare very well to sthil and husky pro saws twice that price.
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