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Used 026 vs Used 260

Post in 'The Gear' started by Boog, Nov 20, 2012.

  1. Boog

    Boog Minister of Fire

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    I'm focusing in on one of these two saws as my next acquisition. Given the theoretical situation of two saws on CL, both appear to be in "good condition", one the 026 and the other the 260. The 026 is a little cheaper but price is not the real issue to me, its features of the saw. Is there anything more desirable about the older 026 that make it more desirable than the newer 260. Given, the one is older than the other, and might need repair sooner, I'm not worried about that. Parts are available for both and I feel I can do the work when/if necessary.

    I'm mostly refering to the things I have read here about "pre-EPA" saws and such being better, and in many cases the "0" series saws being better than the "MS" ones. Let me know ASAP if you can, I need to move at first light tomorrow on the 026 if I want it. Thanks folks!

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  2. MasterMech

    MasterMech Guest

    026/MS260 is pretty much the same machine. There are some minor variations, amongst the 026's of various years and within the MS260 as well. Most important one is the carb. Some were produced with a carb that did not allow for high-speed fuel mixture adjustments. These only have a L and LA adjusment. Not the end of the world and the carb can be easily swapped for a fully adjustable model. "Pro" models had adjustable oilers and decomp valves, again not deal breakers but the adjustable oiler is nice.
  3. StihlHead

    StihlHead Guest

    The 026 and 260 are basically the same saws. Parts are mostly interchangable, but there are several differences to take note of. The biggest being the engines; the 026 has a slightly smaller engine than the 260. Either engine will work in either saw, w/o any changes (except both the P&C have to be from one or the other size, they do not interchange). The later model 026 and 260 have a larger air filter, a different tank vent and back AF cover. They are not swappable with the earlier air filter and vents. If you buy a new AF you have to get the right one. Some prefer the larger AF models, but I have not noticed any big difference between them. The early model 026 had a metal top handle and the rest have the composit ones. They are interchangable. The early model 026 has a more open muffler, and the later 026 and 260 have progressively choked up mufflers. The mufflers are all interchangable and the later model ones can be drilled out for better breathing. The last model 260 muffler is so choked up that I would avoid that one. As MasterMech mentioned some later 026 and early 260 models have the crappy fixed H jet carbs and they cannot be tuned (EPA BS). I would avoid them. There were at leat 4 carbs available on the series, and the best one is the Walbro WT-194. It has the best jetting of the series and it can be tuned. There are also both clear and solid gas tank models on both the pro and non-pro models. I prefer the clear gas tanks myself. There are also the pro and non-pro saws in both the 026 and 260. The pro models have a decomp button and an adjustable oiler. These are not features that make a saw pro or not, but that is the way they were sold. The saws are small enough that the decomp is not really needed and the non-pro oiler puts enough oil on any of the recommended sized bars that it is not an issue. Lastly they all have a Stihl large bar mount and can take a large format .325 or 3/8 standard B&C and rim drive. I prefer 3/8 myself, others prefer .325. Lots of debates and preferences, I have had and run both, and they cut the same for me. I use 3/8 std. as I can swap the B&C with my larger Stihl saws.

    So... what to look for? I would look for a early or later model 026 (or 260) with a fully tunable carb (the H screw). Pro or non-pro is up to you. There are far more non-pro models out there. Of course condition and use are big factors, avoid saws that have obvious signs of abuse. Oh yah, that reminds me, some 026 saws have plastic and some have metal starter covers. The starters all interchange and that is a non-issue. They all have metal clutch covers. Oh, and like all the Stihl saws, the 026 has the screw in oil and gas caps, and the MS260 has the twist and snap caps. I prefer the older screw in ones myself. The snap ones tend to not close all the way at times, and they can gush oil or gas in a hurry. In the end early models have some advantages, late models have other advantages. My favorite is a late model 026 that I put a new 260 engine into (it was straight gas scored when I bough it), and it has the larger AF and clear gas tank. It is a non-pro model. I put an early model 026 muffler on it and I run it with a 16 inch 3/8 B&C. Time and use will vary greatly, and these saws take a lot of abuse. Early models may or may not have more time on them than later model ones. If I found an early model 026 in good shape, I would as likely buy it as a newer 260. As a series, these saws get the least resepct as far as price in the used market, and you can get a good one for $200-250 around here. They are a great value for the price, and you are likely not going to run your 250 much with a 260 around.
    Hank195 and jeff_t like this.
  4. Boog

    Boog Minister of Fire

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    Thanks a lot both of you guys........ as usual a wealth of helpful information. Guess I won't be bow hunting this morning as planned, I'll be out 026 hunting! I'll let you know if I bag a little tender juicy gal (quit hunting big old tough bucks long ago).
  5. amateur cutter

    amateur cutter Minister of Fire

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    Hey Boog, I may be a little late to this party, but I'd buy both, see which one you like better, then sell the other one.
    A C
    MasterMech and Boog like this.
  6. Boog

    Boog Minister of Fire

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    Well, I did end up going hunting till about 8:15 am, didn't see a thing. Then I headed over to Canton after that and bagged myself a nice little gal, a really "mint" 026. It has the adjustable carb and is in really nice condition, runs as good as it looks too. The guy put the ad up late last night asking "$275 CASH" for it and indicated that he would post up some photos today:

    http://akroncanton.craigslist.org/grd/3424228586.html

    I emailed my interest late last night about 11pm, then posted here about it. It was too late to call last night, so I called from my 11'x13'x13' tree "house" back in the woods (the kids think I built it for them but we know better) hunting at 8:15 am today. Although the ad said "CASH" in capitals, I figured what the heck, and asked him about a possible ammo trade. The guy eagerly replied that that was the one item he would consider a trade for. After discussing calibers, I loaded up all the 9mm, 45 ACP, and 7.62x39 and headed for Canton. No need to hit the ATM, had enough ammo with me to cover 2 saws.....

    The saw was in mint condition and ran like a charm. He wouldn't budge any on the price since I was the first buyer on the first morning ..... couldn't blame him there. But he also knew his ammo and was not going to buy into the highly inflated (current) prices that I first wanted for my 10-20 year old ammo that I paid peanuts for. In the end, I gave him about $190 worth of ammo to come up with his "$275" price. He didn't want the more expensive "fancy defense stuff" either, just the plain jane FMJ ball stuff. Better for me, I still have the best ammo left! Not the killer grand theft deal I did on that MS460 two weeks ago, but a good fair deal instead. Here are some photos of the saw.


    026.1.jpg
    026.2.jpg 026.3.jpg


    This pretty much rounds out my Stihl collection, I mean, how many saws does a guy need :cool: . I might move the 191T in favor of a 192/200T, and I do sort of feel a void around the "360" zone, who know how long that rebuilt 031AV will last. I still have lots of ammo left. Barring a zombie epidemic, or a big storm with hostile gas lines, food shortages, extended power outages........ naw, that could never happen, I still feel I could unload more of that ammo! Maybe I'll start collecting work dogs......you know, mushers, of the "huskie" variety. Wow, I wonder if TSC takes old ammo trades!

    monster mauling.jpg
    bilco pit.jpg
    OldLumberKid and DexterDay like this.
  7. DexterDay

    DexterDay Guest

    I thought about calling on that saw today. Seen it this morning.

    Should have PM'd me. I could have called and been a 2nd perspective buyer and worked a better deal :)

    Joking aside, that is a good deal anyways. Looks like a very clean saw.

    I will be out.your way near Boardman/Canfield tomorrow for Turkey Day :) Hope you and your family have a Happy Thanksgiving.
  8. StihlHead

    StihlHead Guest

    You got a nice early model 026 there. It will likely have the better open muffler and WT-194 carb. From the wear on the saw, it is ~very~ lightly used for its age. If you replace the AF, make sure you get the smaller early model size one and get the fuzzy plastic and not the metal screen ones.

    I dunno why so many people repaint the bars on 026 saws, but that is common here as well. I cannot tell if it is a .325 or 3/8, but if the chain is semi-chisel as it looks in the 3rd photo, it is 3/8. I can see the bar rivets so it is a laminated bar, likely an E type Stihl. Get a full chisel chain for it if you want faster cutting in clean wood. It will dull faster than RM non-safety, which is what it looks like it has now. RM is my favorite semi-chisel chain (and hard to get these days, and not to be confused with RM-2 safety chain which is what most Stihl saws came with from many years).

    As for rounding out your collection, you need some backup saws in the same sizes.... like your 440 and 460. You can get that 260, or a 360/361... 50-60cc saws are the sweet spot for firewood saws. And of course you are missing a 660.
  9. Boog

    Boog Minister of Fire

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    Yeah, I was worried that I might be competing with you on that one........ I was hoping that you went to bed early last night:p

    Thanks for the holiday wishes, you too with yours and the inlaws ......... I only have outlaws now. The girls and I are going to hit the 10:40 matinee "Twilight" movie in Alliance in the am, then cook up my favorite dish for leftover turkey (although I'm using a fresh breast and a small ham) my invention called "turkey parmesan". Basicly going Italian turkey this year, with the usual side dishes of course. Looks like I'm in the hunt for 360ish saw now. If you see one, let me know! Later!
  10. Boog

    Boog Minister of Fire

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    Thanks Stilhead. I looked at that chain and asked him if it was a .325 and he said yes, with a rim sprocket. I'll have to go out and take a good look at it. An E type stihl huh, he claimed it was a stihl. With it painted up I was not sure what it really was. I'll check those out closeup and get back to you. Have a Happy Thanksgiving!
  11. DexterDay

    DexterDay Guest

    I have a Nice 036 that I could trade on.... For maybe a 460???? LOL ;)
  12. HittinSteel

    HittinSteel Minister of Fire

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    As has been said, nice saw and it likely is rated at 3.5 bhp instead of just 3.2 for the 260, which means it already has a muffler mod so to speak.
  13. Boog

    Boog Minister of Fire

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    Thanks HittinSteel. I'm just lucky I beat DexterDay to it or we'd all be congratulating him here today:cool:.
  14. amateur cutter

    amateur cutter Minister of Fire

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    Yea, & I'll bet you'll even get that saw dirty too Boog. I'm still not convinced Dex uses His.:p A C
  15. Boog

    Boog Minister of Fire

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    I KNOW! Have you seen pictures of his old used saws, they are immaculate museum pieces, not a speck of dirt/oil on them. I'm glad you raised the issue because I was getting suspicious myself::-). I'm thinkin he just has his wood delivered and stacked!
  16. StihlHead

    StihlHead Guest

    Actually they come out about even, as the 026 has a slighly smaller engine than the 260. ;)
  17. amateur cutter

    amateur cutter Minister of Fire

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    Yea, I've seen em. I've been doggin Him about those saws on & off for months now. Yes I've had the same suspicions. A C :)
  18. JOHN BOY

    JOHN BOY Minister of Fire

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    Nice saw..! and way ta go boog you swinging that maul ;)
  19. Boog

    Boog Minister of Fire

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    Thanks John Boy, yeah that's some knotty, twisty Carya glabra, otherwise known as pignut hickory around here! Can be nasty stuff to split, really crossgrained like white oak. I've got lots of it, as well as regular shagbark on the property, no value as "good timber" around here, but burns almost as many BTU as its cousin. The old Sotz handles it though. I don't know how much longer I will! I was beat after an afternoon of this!
  20. DexterDay

    DexterDay Guest

    Have your suspicions...... But come out and see them!!!

    The pics look good....Yes. But the older Saws? No. :(

    I dare you to come out :) (Better bring that 460. Cause we are trading.
  21. amateur cutter

    amateur cutter Minister of Fire

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    Ooooo..... this sounds like a GTG in the making? Men playing with chainsaws, it can't get much better than that. A C
    Boog likes this.
  22. Boog

    Boog Minister of Fire

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    Wow, I don't think I've been dared since the 70's (as in: "come on, I dare you to do a whole hit of that") Sounds like I'm going to have to take you up on that dare to settle this issue once and for all. But beware, I'll be pack'in and I'll keep that 460 locked in the trunk.>>

    There are a couple of nice looking 360, 361, 390 on ebay currently in the $399-430 range, a couple days to go on them though. I'm watching them all itching to pull the trigger, but I'm a sniper, lay and wait till the last 10-15 sec to shoot. No reason to get in a bidding war with someone, just lay and wait and take them out when there is no time left to react!

    Whats your take on the 390 saw?
  23. HittinSteel

    HittinSteel Minister of Fire

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    skip the 390 unless it's all orange and an XP ;) ...... would be a big disappointment next to your 440 & 460
    Boog likes this.
  24. MasterMech

    MasterMech Guest

    Dex, c'mon, give it up and post pics of the ported Wild Thing you use to cut wood. :p
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  25. amateur cutter

    amateur cutter Minister of Fire

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    No way, heavy & under powered for the weight. 360 will waste it. A C
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