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Stihl 290 is whimpy!

Post in 'The Gear' started by webby3650, Jul 23, 2009.

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  1. webby3650

    webby3650 Master of Fire

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    I bought a 290 second hand, I currently have as much in it as a new one, I thought $150 was a good deal( Wrong ) I have a new bar, chain,and breather on it and the carb just got rebuilt. When I used it yesterday it bogged down real bad in big wood, does great one 12" and smaller, get into 18 and up it will get half way through and the chain will stop, not slip, but stop, back it off and it will go some more and stop. Is a 20" bar too big! The saw shop said no. I am used to Husky's, I hope this isn't normal for Stihl's. Any help would be appreciated. Thanks,Jon

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  2. Bigg_Redd

    Bigg_Redd Minister of Fire

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    Basically all Stihls are like that which is why hardly anyone buys them or even recommends them.
  3. EatenByLimestone

    EatenByLimestone Minister of Fire

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    Depending on the wood 20" is too big and your chain probably isn't as sharp as it could be which doesn't help things.


    The 290 with a 16" bar works just fine for the maple and oak I usually use it with.

    Matt
  4. HittinSteel

    HittinSteel Minister of Fire

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    Have you taken a compression reading? I watched a friend saw up plenty of hardwood last weekend with his 029 super. It has an 18" bar and .325 chain.
  5. gzecc

    gzecc Minister of Fire

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    First your 290 sounded very cheap to purchase. Maybe it has be abused. I have a 290 with an 18". Mine has plenty of power. Power is relative, I don't know what your comparing it with!
  6. webby3650

    webby3650 Master of Fire

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    The chain is new, first time I used it.
  7. smokinj

    smokinj Minister of Fire

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    try skip 20 in chain and or tune that saw.
  8. webby3650

    webby3650 Master of Fire

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    Not really comparing it to anything, I just think the chain should not stop in the middle of a straight cut. I can't cut aggressively at all, I have to baby it through. The local saw shop that did the work said everything looked good. I had a Husky 350 before this and it would out cut this thing hands down.
  9. HittinSteel

    HittinSteel Minister of Fire

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    Something is definitely wrong if a 350 would out cut it
  10. kevin j

    kevin j Minister of Fire

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    the 290 is chubby but should have decent power.

    when you say chain stops do you mean stall the engine or slip the clutch? Maybe the clutch or springs are bad.
    Otherwise, normal, start from basics, compression, air leak, exh plugging, fuel supply, and tuning.
    does it have fully adjustable carb?
  11. Arlo

    Arlo New Member

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    What?

    Dont listen to him. Your saw was probably abused. 20" bar on that saw is big but it shouldn't bog in a 18" log. I have a 390 with both a 20" and 25". Runs both just fine through large wood.

    People need to get over the name branding already. blah, blah balh.....husky is better,.....blah blah blah....Stihl is better......good god grow up.
  12. Jags

    Jags Moderate Moderator Staff Member

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    I believe that is whats referred to as "sarcasm" ;-)
  13. smokinj

    smokinj Minister of Fire

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    Thats funny because big redd has ran a ms 290 for a very long time.
  14. flewism

    flewism Member

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    Yea, something still wrong with that 290. One of my cutting buddy's only saw is an ms-290, 18" bar, I think he's running .375 full chisel chain. I've run it numerous times, it will chug through oak with the bar buried all day long. Almost as good as my 359 and I did say almost.
    Are you loosing RPM's and the clutch disengaging? Or maintaining RPM's and the chain stops?
  15. Arlo

    Arlo New Member

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    lol, guess I missed that one.... :red:
  16. daveswoodhauler

    daveswoodhauler Minister of Fire

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    Just for the record....my Craftsman 42cc does not bog down on a 18-20" log...thanks to Woodman on the chain advice.
    IF you saw is bogging down, I would check the clutch.
  17. Gomez

    Gomez Member

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    [/quote]

    I believe that is whats referred to as "sarcasm" ;-)[/quote]




    The knowledge base gets you looking here- the witty banter keeps you here!!
  18. Jags

    Jags Moderate Moderator Staff Member

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    I believe you may be reprimanded for encouraging my behavior. %-P
  19. xrayman

    xrayman Member

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    Have they checked the compression? scored piston?
  20. wendell

    wendell Minister of Fire

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    Hey, wait a minute... :cheese:
  21. HittinSteel

    HittinSteel Minister of Fire

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    sorry, should have added "by a wide margin" but it should have a little more hp and cc's than the 350
  22. dirttracker

    dirttracker Member

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    Check and/or replace the fuel line if it has not been replaced already. You probably can't stand on the saw too much with a 20" and a shrp chain, but you shoulden't have to abay it either.
  23. Flatbedford

    Flatbedford Minister of Fire

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    My 029 with 20" bar will plow through 24" Oak. I can't be too aggressive in big wood with it, but I don't have to baby it either. I just replaced the air filter, fuel filter. and spark plug for the first time since it was new in '96. The new parts and a freshly filed chain really woke it up. There must be something wrong with your saw, not the 029/MS290 in general.
  24. Jamess67

    Jamess67 Feeling the Heat

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    I have a 290 with a 20" bar and full chisel chain. I routinely cut 32" oak and ash without any issues. Granted you can put alot of pressure on any saw and make it stop. But with light pressure and a sharp chain, it cuts like butter.
  25. Backwoods Savage

    Backwoods Savage Minister of Fire

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    webby, perhaps this is a big part of your problem! Chain saws, or any saw is not meant to "cut aggressively." Let the saw do the work and don't force it. Besides that, I agree that the 20" chain is too big for that saw.

    We've been using the 290 for many years as have many others in this area and everyone here loves them, including me. I cut up to 34" with our saw and only use a 16" chain which does a fine job as long as the chain is sharp.

    So, my suggestion is to get a 16" chain and learn to let the saw do what it is intended to do. All you want to do is guide the saw, not force it.
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