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Stihl Ms290 -- max. bar length

Post in 'The Gear' started by Shaun, Jun 11, 2011.

  1. Shaun

    Shaun Member

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    I currently am running the saw with a 16" bar. Have a few big oaks that I need to cut up and was looking to see what the biggest bar any of you are running with success. Anyone using a 24" bar or is everybody maxed out at 20"?

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  2. smokinj

    smokinj Minister of Fire

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    20 inch with a Full skip tooth chain will work. 24 will be way to big of a bar.
  3. TreePointer

    TreePointer Minister of Fire

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    In oak, 20" max is feasible if you have the time and don't lean on it.

    Otherwise, see if any of your local rental/hardware stores has a 70cc+ saw you can get for a day or weekend.
  4. Flatbedford

    Flatbedford Minister of Fire

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    I run a 20" with full chisel on my 029. Seems OK to me, but I wouldn't go any longer. The guys who run pro saws would probably think that my saw cuts too slow with this setup, but it works finebfor me. My 029 is the biggest saw I have ever owned so I may not know just how slow it is this way.
  5. smokinj

    smokinj Minister of Fire

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    Give the skip a shot some time you will hold higher rpm's . They make a semi as well.
  6. amateur cutter

    amateur cutter Minister of Fire

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    MS 290 also has an anemic oiler, the 029 was a little better. Be very careful to make sure the longer chain is getting enough oil. The best adj. I found was all the way maxed, & just a slight part of a turn back. I don't think the oiler will handle the 24" bar, it's marginal for the 20". As Jay said, full skip chain, & go easy, you should be OK. A C
  7. Shaun

    Shaun Member

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    Thanks everyone for the info.
  8. Bigg_Redd

    Bigg_Redd Minister of Fire

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    And more importantly you will sharpen half the teeth.
  9. Flatbedford

    Flatbedford Minister of Fire

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    I have a skip chain. I felt that it worked better when I switched to full chisel. As I said. I am happy with it as it is, but it may not meet the expectations of those who have the $$$ to use pro saws for firewood.
  10. smokinj

    smokinj Minister of Fire

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    I can tell you even a pro saw cuts faster Example 32inch on a 460 is faster with full skip. If it doesnt work for you then it doesnt work for you!
  11. Bigg_Redd

    Bigg_Redd Minister of Fire

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    Did you switch to a full comp chisel bit? Or skip chisel bit?
  12. Flatbedford

    Flatbedford Minister of Fire

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    Full comp chisel.
  13. Highbeam

    Highbeam Minister of Fire

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    I have had some revelations about this. I use a 290 as all 290s are sold here in the NW, a 20" bar, 3/8 chain, and full comp safety chain. You can special order something else but this is the normal setup from the dealer. It works great on our softwoods and relatively soft hardwoods. I bought a second chain, a skip chain, to use as a backup since I only sharpen at home. So I will swap between skip and full comp every time. The skip doesn't cut any faster in my experience, the saw's rpms are determined by me and how much I may feed the log to the saw.

    The reason that my future chains will be skip chains is that it is much much faster to sharpen the skip chains. The life of a sharpening (amount of wood cut between sharpenings) seems to be no different whether skip or full.

    Also, as to the oiler. Well I switched brands to walmarts supertech bar and chain oil which is thinner than poulan b&C oil. Now the 290 oiler is a polluter, I go through nearly a full oil tank with each fuel tank. I had to back it off in fact.

    I wouldn't go to a 24" bar unless it was a special occasion bar. Be ready to spend some time carefully feeding the log so as not to lug the saw. Seriously though, are you cutting a tree bigger than 40" across? You know that you can cut from both sides don't you? We have big trees in the NW and by cutting from both sides I have yet to wish for a bigger bar. If I regularly needed something bigger than a 20" bar then I would jump up to a 70+cc saw.
  14. Shaun

    Shaun Member

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    Thanks everyone for the info. I ended up going with a 20" bar and will give a full chain a try. If that doesn't do it, than I will look into a skip chain.
  15. Kenster

    Kenster Minister of Fire

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    You mean to be used....like... for cuttin' firewood for your wife's birthday present?


    I've often wondered what size bar my MS390 with muffler mod could handle. I've been very happy with the way it zips through oak and hickory with a 16 inch bar. And oak and hickory are all I have to cut.

    I figure it's good for at least a few more inches over a 290 but don't know for sure.

    So far the 16 inch bar, working both sides has done the trick though just barely a couple of times.
  16. smokinj

    smokinj Minister of Fire

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    modd 390 would pull 25-28 full skip.
  17. Kenster

    Kenster Minister of Fire

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    I need to find a tutorial on the various types of chains out there. I've only ever used the basic "safety" chain. Full skip, comp, half, chisel....
    No idea, really, about what all that means. I think full skip means that every other cutter on the chain is missing?
  18. Thistle

    Thistle Minister of Fire

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    Skip is every 3rd tooth missing.Highly recommended for bars 24" & longer,really goes through the big stuff quick.Works like 20 or 24 tooth ripping blades cutting thick or green treated planks on your table saw.Plenty of space to clear the chips.Full chisel (with skip on longer bars) is all I use.Its the best in 'clean wood' & wood thats not been skidded across the dirt etc.Cuts faster than any other chain,not recommended for novices because its quite aggressive & can lead to greater risk of kickback if you're not used to it.FC also dulls quicker though.Semi Chisel isnt as fast but holds an edge a bit longer.
  19. Kenster

    Kenster Minister of Fire

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    Anything to be gained by running a 16 inch skip, or is there such a thing?
  20. Thistle

    Thistle Minister of Fire

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    I've never seen it ready made.20" & longer only.Any saw shop would make a few loops for you I'd imagine though.
  21. smokinj

    smokinj Minister of Fire

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    No skip is really for a larger bar that is under powerd! Some like less teeth so it is quicker to sharpen but not enough on a 16inch to even worry about it. If you have the hp the more teeth the faster the cut.
  22. Thistle

    Thistle Minister of Fire

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    It takes me like 2 minutes to sharpen that wee Echo,the others a bit longer :lol:
  23. smokinj

    smokinj Minister of Fire

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    lol my 192 pretty quick and do use it alot more now days. Less gas and oil easy to carry, but been cutting at the house for a while now. Tuesday its 880 time!
  24. Thistle

    Thistle Minister of Fire

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    Love using that little thing on smaller stuff myself,Jay.So nice even though its not as quick.Weight difference really helped early last week during that heatwave.
    I bit the bullet (been watching & saving for quite a while) grabbed a nice strong Husky 288XP 24" bar with the "7th mount" anti-vibe front stiffening spring on ebay Saturday & a very good matching full wrap handlebar from dealer in BC Canada today.They should arrive in a few days,cant wait to put it through the paces.I'll give a 'review' here after getting things sorted out. :coolgrin: The 3120XP is on indefinete hold for now,unless I win LOTTO of course :lol:
  25. smokinj

    smokinj Minister of Fire

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    I am not good with the huskys what cc's is it?

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