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  1. #1
    Platinum Member ModMech's Avatar
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    Canton, TX
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    Kubota B2410

    Thumbs up Stihl MS290 review

    pretty much says it all!

    Bought a new saw from the local dealer, they went over everything from starting to daily inspections and what to look out for (sawdust in vents etc). Bought it with a case, spare chain and the initial lube in small bottles.

    The operator's guide offered some excellant advice on felling, limbing and general saw operation that I was not aware of. Conclusion: READ THE BOOK!!!!

    The MS290 is replacing the PoulanPro "WildThing" that, with it's 16" bar and smaller engine, just could not handle the large trees and limbs we deal with on our property. I had replaced the bar and chain on the old saw just last year for $55 with a good Oregon chain set and that old saw won't cut 10% as fast as the new MS290! During the past TWO years, I had not used 1/2 gallon of bar oil with the old saw, so it did not get used hard. I just was not impressed with the performance of the PoulanPro, even after a good clean up, plug, carb adjustment and new chain & bar kit, it was not up to cutting well.

    TOTALLY different situation with the MS290 "Farm Boss" that is now THE SAW at our house......

    I REALLY appreciate the enlightened fuel and bar lube doors, that was AWESOME! No more using a pliers or screwdriver to pry the fuel and oil caps off, just lift and twist! THANK YOU STIHL! Bar adjustment uses the sparkplug wrench tool, is easy and efficient.

    I have used, just this week, 1 gallon of bar oil and about the same in mixed fuel thru it. This is a wood cutting ANIMAL! We had a major tree event on Monday evening, the tree service got there Wednesday am to remove the tree from the house in LARGE chunks. I have been running the new Stihl every day since Tuesday and have not needed to sharpen the chain, got it stuck in the wood or been in any way displeased with all that hard-earned cash that I used to make the purchase. The trunk of this tree is about 55" in diameter for 7' then it branches off - that is where I have been working, on the branches and leads. I cannot even roll the trunk although the root ball and leads are cut cleanly off, it is too damned heavy (tree svc est 8,000#).

    Conclusion:
    Well documented by Stihl
    Powerful, well matched bar/chain to engine power
    Not light, but easy to handle even for 2-3 hours per day actual cutting time with saw in hand making chips
    Starts well cold, idles quietly and hot restarts are simple and quick

    If you NEED one saw to count on, I would say, the Stihl MS290 FarmBoss is YOUR NEW SAW!

    Regrets?
    I did not purchase the Stihl chain sharpener when I made the purchase, now it seems silly to have left it there.... another opportunity for a trip to town Monday. I need more bar oil, gasoline, diesel and groceries anyway
    JohnG
    We have Democracy, but were founded on Liberty.
    Democracy is two wolves and a lamb voting on what to have for lunch. Liberty is a well-armed lamb contesting the vote - Benjamin Franklin (1706-1790).

    I am for LIBERTY!

    I Support electric trailer brakes on EVERY axle over the towing vehicle's GVW, CDLs for RVers and safety inspections on ALL licensed vehicles!

  2. #2
    Elite Member
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    Mar 2005
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    2,615
    Location
    Bedford, VA
    Tractor
    John Deere 2320

    Default Re: Stihl MS290 review

    Just curious.. What other saw did you consider and why did you go with the 290?

    BTW - did the dealer tell you that if you bought a six pack of the Stihl fully synthetic oil on the same receipt as the saw they would double your warranty?

    Brian
    Bedford, VA
    2320 w/ 62D MMM, 200CX FEL, Pats EZ Change, LX4 Cutter
    Co-owner (with my father) of John Deere 790, 30 HP, 4x4, 513 cutter, 70 FEL
    2012 Nissan Xterra Pro-4x

  3. #3
    Gold Member
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    Apr 2011
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    Location
    Simpson Corner NS Canada
    Tractor
    jinma284

    Default Re: Stihl MS290 review

    there is nothing like good quality equipment! I ran a 036 (72cc) for 10 years. When it came time to replace it I opted for a smaller (53cc) model, a husky rancher 55. I down sised because of my age (getting older I find it not as easy to operate the big saw.
    Your ms290 should last for many years. And yes I agree 100% read the manual!

  4. #4
    Platinum Member xyz123's Avatar
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    Ohio
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    none now

    Default Re: Stihl MS290 review

    Quote Originally Posted by g0rd0 View Post
    036 (72cc) for 10 years.
    036 = 62cc now thats a great mid range saw, sold one for $200

    MS290 needs a muffler mod to run like it should. Gain is about 20% faster in the cut and run cooler with only 30mins worth of drilling from start to bolting back on. Retune carb.

    I handed my dad a like new MS290 with muffler mod. After a month he gave it back. Preferred his Poulan 3300 54cc with bolt on cylinder and mag crankcase.


    What you didnt know about the wildthings big brother the 60cc bad boy (with bolt on cylinder and mag crankcase). Ran it back to back with a 262xp 62cc and the 2 of us cutting like the badboy better.



    Last edited by xyz123; 07-30-2011 at 03:17 PM.
    REDNECK Chainsaw Repair

  5. #5
    Platinum Member ModMech's Avatar
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    Canton, TX
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    Kubota B2410

    Default Re: Stihl MS290 review

    Quote Originally Posted by thatguy View Post
    Just curious.. What other saw did you consider and why did you go with the 290?
    Stihl: MS250, 280
    Poulan: PP3516
    Husqvarna: 445, 455
    Plus a few retail store POS models

    I "need" that 20" bar for these huge limbs and trunks that keep falling.....

    BTW - did the dealer tell you that if you bought a six pack of the Stihl fully synthetic oil on the same receipt as the saw they would double your warranty? Brian
    NO!!!!!

    If he had, I would have done it without second thought, even if it was a 12 pack of oil plus bar lube!

    ****, oh well......
    JohnG
    We have Democracy, but were founded on Liberty.
    Democracy is two wolves and a lamb voting on what to have for lunch. Liberty is a well-armed lamb contesting the vote - Benjamin Franklin (1706-1790).

    I am for LIBERTY!

    I Support electric trailer brakes on EVERY axle over the towing vehicle's GVW, CDLs for RVers and safety inspections on ALL licensed vehicles!

  6. #6
    Gold Member
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    Simpson Corner NS Canada
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    jinma284

    Default Re: Stihl MS290 review

    after reading what went on I saw that I made a mistake, it was 038 not 036 that I ran before my R55.

  7. #7
    Platinum Member xyz123's Avatar
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    Ohio
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    none now

    Default Re: Stihl MS290 review

    Your 290 will have 2 tiny slits to breath out of. I Open inside of muffler with 4 more slots and 2 more right in the middle of the baffle. Then open your deflector and retune carb. All after you are sure you are done with your warranty period etc.

    Works on 290 310 390 all same with different bores.


    REDNECK Chainsaw Repair

  8. #8
    Platinum Member xyz123's Avatar
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    Default Re: Stihl MS290 review

    Quote Originally Posted by g0rd0 View Post
    it was 038 not 036 that I ran before my R55.
    I got a friend that lives in NS. We do a lot of trading back and forth and I help him out with saws from down this way to get them up there.
    Makes me jealous with all the fresh seafood he gets from the fisherman.
    REDNECK Chainsaw Repair

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