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Which Size Bar?

Post in 'The Gear' started by firecracker_77, Oct 6, 2012.

  1. MasterMech

    MasterMech Guest

    I wouldn't even be looking at a MS290 then. (That saw is the definition of "compromise".) Maybe a MS391 with a 20" bar or as others have said, go pro, MS362 - 20". If you think you can use most of a 20" bar more than just occasionally, I would not recommend setting up the MS290 with a 20" bar, regardless of .325" or 3/8" pitch chain.

    For just bucking logs I'd definitely consider the average diameter of the logs you cut. If they rarely exceed 16" then 16" bars will work just fine. But there's something to be said for making 1 cut through the log on 80-90% of what you cut as opposed to often having to make a cut from each side of the log.

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  2. firecracker_77

    firecracker_77 Minister of Fire

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    I need to think more. I'm not sure which way I want to go yet.
  3. MasterMech

    MasterMech Guest

    If at all possible, get your mittens on a running, cutting pro saw preferably the model you want to buy. Rent one if you have to, most dealers will have some kind of demo unit. If it's just another saw to you, get your MS290. If you feel something move, well, welcome to the club. ;)==c
    TreePointer likes this.
  4. smokinj

    smokinj Minister of Fire

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    I would not over think it.............Size of your average tree should make the desion for you. If a 16-20 inch bar will do all your work then 290,310,390,362. Range from 450.00-700.00
    ScotO likes this.
  5. MasterMech

    MasterMech Guest

    MS290 wearing a 16" bar runs $379.99 around here and that is list price. Worth mentioning that the 310 and 390 are now long discontinued units and their replacements (MS311 & MS391) carry a sizable price bump from their predecessors, enough so that they get real close to a pro-grade saw. I think this decision is going to come down to MS290 vs MS362.
  6. smokinj

    smokinj Minister of Fire

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    Not hardly! lol you either have the coin or a 290.........:p Now whats the average log size here? and the average wallet size?

    Now my second saw in life was a 029 it work for years but had to pass on the bigger stuff. Now if he had a lot of experance there would not be a thread asking about the 290. Just a thought you put someone on a 362 and they can be in trouble way to fast.
  7. MasterMech

    MasterMech Guest

    I guess I'm not much of a believer in training wheels for saws and the OP did mention he wanted to do a one and done. MS362 really isn't any more dangerous than a MS290 wearing the same cutting HW. Nobody's arguing that a MS391 (similar displacement to the MS362) would be too much saw for the OP either. Weight-wise a 290 will wear you out just as fast as a 362 and only cut half the wood. ;)

    I agree that we need to know the average log size and if the $700+ category is within reach.
    StihlHead, Nixon and smokinj like this.
  8. smokinj

    smokinj Minister of Fire

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    You got time to think and catch shifts easier in a log with a 290 if your not good fast and lucky 362 would not be as safe no matter how you look at it. I just dont always agree that someone needs a pro saw.........How many cords does he need a year anyways? Are we felling or dead fall? How much trigger time does he really have? Got wedges? so on and so forth?
    Thistle and mecreature like this.
  9. TreePointer

    TreePointer Minister of Fire

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    I owned a 290-20"/.325/.063. I liked the reach of the 20" bar and the fact I could cut larger diameter wood with fewer cuts and less maneuvering. The drawback was that it bogged down when buried in most woods and didn't have the low end grunt for making good stumps. It's weight wasn't an issue when bucking, but I had to take more breaks when limbing treetops with it. For the record, this was a properly tuned stock saw.

    The 290 is a good saw for what it is--a reliable, heavy (power-to-weight), decades old design with poor antivibration technology and unimpressive fuel economy (by today's standards). I could work around the power issues by using different cutting techniques and feathering it through large diameter cuts, but those techniques can actually be a safety issue when you need to make quick clean cuts (think felling). For the average homeowner/recreational firewooder, it likely won't matter.
    MarkinNC likes this.
  10. firecracker_77

    firecracker_77 Minister of Fire

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    I appreciate everyone taking the time to help guide me. Currently, I'm using a 42cc Craftsman 18" bar, so any Stihl would be an upgrade. What it comes down to is this. I want to run an 18" bar with plenty of grunt so I don't waste alot of time.

    What would be the ideal saw for this, and I will leave it alone with that. That's what I'll buy.

    If I could save a little from a pro saw, that would be nice too. :)

    Thanks guys.
  11. smokinj

    smokinj Minister of Fire

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    MasterMech Is right on target! 362...........
    Nixon likes this.
  12. HittinSteel

    HittinSteel Minister of Fire

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    you mean 362 Jay ;)

    I'd personally get a 261 if I was running an 18" bar.
    smokinj likes this.
  13. smokinj

    smokinj Minister of Fire

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    I still stick with the 362;) never really like my 260 it was sold in under 3 months. The 361 lasted 6 months. :eek:
  14. amateur cutter

    amateur cutter Minister of Fire

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    Agree. A C
    Jags likes this.
  15. firecracker_77

    firecracker_77 Minister of Fire

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    You guys are hardcore cutters.
  16. MasterMech

    MasterMech Guest

    MS362 offers the option of going up to a 24" bar for the big stuff if and when you need it. That's one thing the MS261 won't do. IMO, The op asked for one saw to rule them all and it's been said here many times, 60cc class rules the one saw game.
  17. amateur cutter

    amateur cutter Minister of Fire

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    Yep, still agree. A C
  18. MasterMech

    MasterMech Guest

    You got 3 stoves to feed. lol I'd say you're a hardcore burner.
  19. smokinj

    smokinj Minister of Fire

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    Hard core starts north of 45 inch hardwoods! 362 would be a knife at a gun fight.... But no since in giving bad advice.
  20. firecracker_77

    firecracker_77 Minister of Fire

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    One of my stoves is gas. But, it has 100% wife acceptance factor, and I love my Woodstock all the same.

    I do want to play in the big boys court, but I've never even dropped a tree. Baby steps!
  21. blades

    blades Minister of Fire

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    First look around your area and see who services what. Me I am a diehard, out in left field Dolmar person. ( Makitas same saws) so with that said 50 to 60 cc unit is likely your area. These are pro saws. No home owner or contractor lines to confuse the issue. ( home depot rents the makitas out both the 5xxx and 6xxx sizes, so there is a way to test drive) The 64xx is a big saw same chassis as the 80cc rigs and might be more than you are looking for.
  22. mecreature

    mecreature Minister of Fire

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    This is good advice. Theses guys are Hard Core. Nothing wrong with a 290.

    You can fell and buck a big Tree with a 290. Hang out with some people who are doing it.
    StihlHead likes this.
  23. Jags

    Jags Moderate Moderator Staff Member

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    One and done solution:
    MS362 wearing an 18" bar is slicker than cat chit on a hot tin roof. Perfect balance, light saber speed and a very comfortable saw to run. It also has the ability to run a 25" bar for the occasional big boy tree.

    I have the 361 and the 18" bar is my goto setup. It is a sweet setup for firewooders.
    amateur cutter likes this.
  24. smokinj

    smokinj Minister of Fire

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    I thought he was being a smart @ss (smelt like a member from another forum) ........;) I was trying to see and thinking the 290 would be enough. Until he says this! Read my post I was afraid the 362 was too much saw!:eek:
    Still never heard size of wood or wood usage????????????????????

    """" appreciate everyone taking the time to help guide me. Currently, I'm using a 42cc Craftsman 18" bar, so any Stihl would be an upgrade. What it comes down to is this. I want to run an 18" bar with plenty of grunt so I don't waste alot of time.

    What would be the ideal saw for this, and I will leave it alone with that. That's what I'll buy.

    If I could save a little from a pro saw, that would be nice too. :)""""""
  25. firecracker_77

    firecracker_77 Minister of Fire

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    View attachment 76598 View attachment 76598 IMG_0504.JPG

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