Which Stihl chainsaw?

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Crpdeth, Nov 14, 2012.

  1. Crpdeth

    Crpdeth New Member

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    Hey guys...

    It's time for a new saw, but it's been a long time since I bought one so I was hoping for some guidance. My last one was a Craftsman 16" bar, underpowered as it was, it was a leightweight little champ for 20 years until I finally burnt it up.

    I guess what I want is something that has more than enough power this go around, although it will be used around the house and for sizing firewood for the smoker mostly, I also run a landscaping outfit that has absolutely NO time for cutting down and hauling off trees I would like to know that my saw had enough balls to do so, if ever need be, while being small enough to enjoy using.
  2. JUNKKING

    JUNKKING Active Member

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    Any of the farm boss saws will do you well. The stihl 290 is a nice saw. Just make sure you get the size bar you like and it has an auto oiler. They still make some saws that you have to pump the oilers. Any way you go Still will last you a lifetime.
  3. Grizz

    Grizz Member

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    I just picked up a new Stihl ms250 18" bar for $300. Awsome power for a mid range chain saw. I used to have a ms190 with a 16" bar and it just crapped out this year. Every year I have to cut down dead oak trees about 3 cords worth to heat the house in the winter, and that little saw did the job. Now with this ms250(advertised as their best firewood cutting saw) it has 50% more power than my previous saw and seriously kicks butt! I live at high altitude so once I adjusted the fuel ratio (which is very easy btw) I couldn't believe the power. It cut down big time on work hours, cuts the big logs like butter.
  4. GunnyGene

    GunnyGene New Member

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    I'll second the MS290 (I've had one for several years), but it might be a little heavy for what you describe. I'd suggest dropping by your local dealer, and hefting a couple. You might be more inclined to the 250, which is about 3 lbs lighter. 10lbs (250) vs. 13 lbs (290) not counting gas and oil. The 250 still has plenty of power, but is easier on the back and shoulders.
  5. Double D

    Double D Administrator Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Without going out to the shed and looking, I dont know the number on mine, but I will say that no matter what you do, make certain you do buy the Stihl. I would never buy anything else. I have a chainsaw, weedeater and leaf blower all stihl and they are all great products. The ONLY complaint I have with them is their gas caps. Fix those and no complaints.
  6. Grizz

    Grizz Member

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    I noticed my new stihl saw gas caps have like a clutch incorporated into them, so it tightens to the same point every time. a lot easier to open and close the caps with this feature also.
  7. aa1911

    aa1911 Active Member

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    yeah, don't remember/know the model of mine either, it's a Stihl 25" bar and runs like a champ with really no maintenance whatsoever other than filling the tanks and changing spark plugs once a year. Been cutting with it all hunting season, still running good.

    paid about $700 for it in 2009 if that helps ID the model. It will munch through anything, even the steel cable I hit last week! Pretty awesome, let's leave some 1" braided cable in the middle of the woods... then comes along me... and SPARKS!! oops. it cuts a little to the right now, time to sharpen...
  8. GunnyGene

    GunnyGene New Member

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    One other thing, I'd suggest sticking with the Stihl chain also when it comes time to buy a new one. They have a better chain with longer teeth so it can be resharpened more times than the ones you get from the big box stores.
  9. aa1911

    aa1911 Active Member

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    yep, bought new chains last year for mine, have about 5 now; they are worth the money IMO. I get the 'skip tooth' ones now as I do a lot of cutting on the ground. I'm one of those 'cut through the log until you see sparks' guys, I keep a sharpening file in the saw bag!

    local shop here will sharpen and straighten your chain for $8 if you don't wish to do it yourself, not too bad.

    I finally burned up all my Stihl bar oil (free with the saw) but using the (much ceaper) Poulan oil now or whatever I find. I can't bring myself to pay $20/gal for their oil. But their saws and chains are king.

    Only thing that erked me about Stihl is that I had to pay for a damn case. I almost walked out of the store when they told me I had to pay for it.

    me "dude, I just paid $700 for a freakin' saw, it doesn't come with it's own case?????? the $100 special at walmart has a damn case!"

    "uh, no, sorry. We can sell it at half price since you bought the saw"

    "gee, thanks. So generous."

    maybe that's just the shop...
  10. GunnyGene

    GunnyGene New Member

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    I think that may have been just that shop. I didn't pay extra for the case on my 290. :confused:

    PS on the oil: Do you thin y'alls in winter? I do occasionally, other wise it doesn't flow well.
    Last edited: Nov 14, 2012
  11. aa1911

    aa1911 Active Member

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    I don't thin but it doesn't get much below 20's here in the winter so not really an issue. Usually it's at or above freezing during the day.

    what do you thin with? just curious.
  12. GunnyGene

    GunnyGene New Member

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    Just a little diesel or kerosene. Usually diesel, since I normally have some on hand. You can also use automatic transmission oil. Doesn't take much, about 2%.
  13. wv hillbilly

    wv hillbilly Active Member

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    i had a 032 for 32-36 years my bil had the 042 ? farm boss. i could cut as fast as he could, only difference was he had a longer bar.
    i just bought a new stilh last jan. i asked the salesman what would be compareable to the 032 and he said the MS311. a little heavier, but actually turns more rpms.
    what you need to ask for, "is the saw rebuildable"
    both the 032 and the 311 are, not saying you will ever need to , but it is nice to know.
    after 30+ years of the 032, i tried to start it the other day and it still has enough compression that if you dont get a good hold on the rope it will hurt your fingers
  14. Zhurh

    Zhurh Active Member

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    I have a 260 that is well built, but almost $600. Usually buy the cheap 250s on sale for $300. Get a few years outta them and they are the best buy for the money. We heat with wood and cut 15 cord/year. So I guess a 250 is good for 30 cord or many years for the normal wood cutter. I have a half dozen of them layin around for parts which is nice; in other words, stay with one model.
  15. gun runner

    gun runner Former Guest

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    I bought a new Stihl MS290 but I also have my farm boss as well and both are mean machines. I cut plenty of fire and bbq wood as well as cleaning out lots of brush with them all day long for a long time out in the mesquite woods on my place with family. The only thing I ever done with them was sharpen the chains. Stihl saws are VERY TOUGH and dont hesitate to buy one.
    Last edited: Nov 14, 2012
  16. Country101

    Country101 Active Member

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    DD, look at your cap. It should have an E on the inside edge, if I remember right. If it does not, take it to your dealer and they should give you a newer version. The old ones do not do well with the ethanol. They made a new one and I believe they were replacing them for free.

    Another thing to note is that the newer equivilent saws may run more horsepower and rpms than the older ones, but the new engines do not produce as much torque. One way to help remedy this is going to a larger sprocket. I went from a 7 tooth to an 8 tooth and it made a good bit of differance when I run my 28" bar especially. Yeah, I have the 441 Mag. :D I was told after I bought it they were stopping production on those and going back to the 460 due to the better torque...... Wish I would have waited.

    Last point, good chains(doesnt have to be stihl, but it cant be a cheap brand. I prefer the stihl though) are a must. Stihl pre stretches thiers so there isnt much stretch when you start working. Ever have those chains that could fit on a bar that is 6" bigger than yours once you have gotten it warmed up? Stihls wont do that. I dont think I have ever tightened mine more than once in a full day and it wasnt very loose then....
    Last edited: Nov 14, 2012
  17. cpttango30

    cpttango30 Guest

    Man I'm getting a stihl chain. I have an echo saw I got the chains from home depot. They stretch like a rubber band.
  18. joncutt87

    joncutt87 Active Member

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    I think the 290 would work well for you, don't forget about the husqvarna 455 or 460 rancher
  19. Blackhawk Dave

    Blackhawk Dave New Member

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    I've got an old 021 (looks like it says 027 on the unit - stupid German numbers). Landscape guy had to take down a tree that was over 3' in diameter in the back yard. Couldn't do it with his, cranked up the Stihl, was able to cut it into manageable chunks in a day. Still out performs any other saw. Just get one with a 16" blade for the big stuff . Look to get one on Craigslist, etc. A well maintained used one is just fine.
  20. Zane71464

    Zane71464 Well-Known Member

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    The Stihl Farm Boss in 290 is an all-around good saw and not to big. The 311 has more than enough power, espically with the bigger bars. I have both and use the 290 on the "smaller" jobs and the 311 if I'm out really getting into felling trees.
    I've owned Stihl brand all my life and one thing that has seemed to make them last next to forever, is to keep with nothing but Stihl brand chains, oil!
    One thing also I can add and it's a bit more expensive, is to use the synthetic 2 cycle oil mix for the gas.
    You wont have to worry about long term storage when not in use and you do not have to drain out the gas if it sits all winter or anyother time.
    Nothing but Stihl here...Chain Saws, Weedeaters and leaf blowers...they all out last anyother brand in my opinion.
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