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  1. #11
    Elite Member Chilly807's Avatar
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    Sep 2009
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    3,167
    Location
    Nova Scotia
    Tractor
    Kubota L3400DT

    Default Re: Return Stihl MS 250 and go back and get the MS 290?

    Yeah, I'm with Arrow and Dingeryote on this one, especially the fatigue factor. If you're cutting wood from 8-12" and the occasional 16" piece, the 250 is plenty of saw for the time you'll be using it. Don't let displacement fool you. I've often heard the 290 referred to as a "pig" in the forums because of the high weight compared to the power it puts out.

    I've never been a fan of the 260, 261, whatever it is now. I don't like the balance and never found them to be all that strong power-wise. Maybe the ones I used weren't up to scratch, who knows?

    I use an old (late 80's) 242 Husky (42cc) with a 15" bar for my small saw. It gets used every time I'm cutting firewood or for general cutting. There's not much it won't handle that I'll tackle for firewood. The big saw is an 044 Stihl, which gets called out for big ugly stuff or when I feel the "need for speed". It's generally my woodpile saw, not much fun to limb with if you don't have to. And it kicks HARD, bad news if your arms are tired and your back hurts.

    The 023 Stihl I had was nearly as strong cutting as the 242 Husky. Too much chain drags 'em both down, the narrow kerf 30 series chains from Oregon worked really well on the 023. I think I still have a couple new ones floating around even though the saw is gone now.

    The 353 is a good saw from Husqvarna, it'll still feel a bit heavy compared to your 141 though. I've been keeping an eye out for a good used one here, they're like hen's teeth. A 346 is another good saw if you can find one, but be prepared for a shock in the wallet.. they're pricey. Light and lots of power.

    Sean

  2. #12
    Veteran Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
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    2,483
    Location
    Foster, RI
    Tractor
    Mahindra 3016

    Default Re: Return Stihl MS 250 and go back and get the MS 290?

    Quote Originally Posted by Chilly807 View Post

    The 353 is a good saw from Husqvarna, it'll still feel a bit heavy compared to your 141 though. I've been keeping an eye out for a good used one here, they're like hen's teeth. A 346 is another good saw if you can find one, but be prepared for a shock in the wallet.. they're pricey. Light and lots of power.

    Sean
    Sean the 353 and the 346 are virtually the same in weight and handle similarly. The 346 is a peakier saw with a higher rev point power band. For the average user and for this op, the 353 is actually a better choice for its price point he wants to be in and has some low end grunt as its power band is not in the high rev territory. The truth of the matter is any saw this gentleman buys will last a long time for its occasional use. He could even get away with a Poulan Pro in the 50 cc range with an 18" bar and spend less than $200. Saws are like people, some are good no matter what you heard and some follow the majority opinion. To me, feel is everything. One should buy the saw that feels best and I do not care what it is nor how fast it cuts nor how long its supposed to last. Any saw can last a lifetime if you cut an arterial blood tube in your leg or wrist.

  3. #13
    Platinum Member xyz123's Avatar
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    Jul 2010
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    730
    Location
    Ohio
    Tractor
    none now

    Default Re: Return Stihl MS 250 and go back and get the MS 290?

    353 and 346 PHO weigh actual 11.4lbs both with magnesium case, the 290 13lbs plus with plastic case and clamshell like 025.

    353 here is $395 out the door with 16"

    I bought a poulan 5020 50cc to test out against the 346 550 545 and it is worth every penny. Paid $165.71 to my door. Over half the price of the 290 56.5cc and easier to work on then the 290 big time if and when needed. 5020 is the best bang for the buck right now and a 50cc saw at that that weighs just a hair over 12lbs PHO.
    REDNECK Chainsaw Repair

  4. #14
    Super Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2000
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    7,914
    Location
    Shingle Springs California
    Tractor
    New Holland TC40D

    Default Re: Return Stihl MS 250 and go back and get the MS 290?

    That's why, just like tractors or pickups etc, I try them all before I buy anything. Huge fan of the 024/026/260, but it might not fit other folks the same as it does me.

    I have a mix of Husk and Stihl saws. And a mix of Husky, Stihil, and Honda trimmers.

    Quote Originally Posted by Chilly807 View Post
    I've never been a fan of the 260, 261, whatever it is now. I don't like the balance and never found them to be all that strong power-wise. Maybe the ones I used weren't up to scratch, who knows?
    RobertN in Shingle Springs Calif

  5. #15
    Veteran Member Treemonkey1000's Avatar
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    Jan 2008
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    1,894
    Location
    Renton, Washington
    Tractor
    Kubota L3750

    Default Re: Return Stihl MS 250 and go back and get the MS 290?

    Not going to toss too much in the flames here other than to say what ever saw you get. Have spare chains or learn to sharpen. You will save lots of time and energy with what ever saw you use if the chain is kept sharp properly along with keeping the rakers at the correct height. Pro Saw or Home owner still cut like poo if the chain is dull.
    1st Peter 1:6-9

  6. #16
    Bronze Member ghenges's Avatar
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    Apr 2012
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    85
    Location
    Greensburg PA
    Tractor
    Farmall

    Default Re: Return Stihl MS 250 and go back and get the MS 290?

    Quote Originally Posted by Alan L. View Post
    I just need a saw for occasional limbing and firewood. More recently I need to take some trees down. I use a chainsaw maybe 5 or 6 days out of a year. I have a Husqvarna 141 with 16" bar that has been a great little saw and it still runs fine. I like it because it is light and I can use it all day with little fatigue. And very reliable so I don't spend any time working on it.

    I have about 60 or 70 willow tree trunks to cut, ranging from 8" to 12". I also have a few dead cedar elms up to 16" diameter that need to come down. I would like to have a bigger saw and after the various reviews and with a $400 budget I chose the MS 290. Then I went to the dealer and picked it up. HEAVY. Not sure if I want to use this thing all day. The salesman, about my age (nearly 59), has the MS 250 and likes it. So I got the MS 250 for $339 (MS 290 $399).

    I got home with it and frankly it is very little bigger than the Husky, it just has an 18" bar vs 16" on the Husky but weighs about the same and has just a little more engine size (45cm vs 40). Not sure if incrementally this is a good purchase for a bigger saw, but just a replacement of the old smaller saw.

    I have not even fired it up, as I work in Dallas and the dealer is near my office - should I go back and exchange for the MS 290 even though it seemed really heavy to me? Most like the MS 290 better but I had convince myself I really didn't need a saw that big, one that I might not use much due to the fatigue factor.
    From the cutting you have described the MS250 is all the saw you need.

    I have a MS250 and have cut about 10 cords of wood in the past few weeks from trees ranging from 8 inch to 20 inch in diameter.
    Sure there are times a little more power would be more convenient on a bigger trunk, but the extra cutting on the occasional bigger trunk isn't that big of a deal.

    My advice is to get rid of the Mickey Mouse chain that comes on the saw and replace it with a full chisel chain either in the green safety version or yellow straight version.
    The cutting performance difference is absolutely dramatic. The extra speed of cut will add up to many hours less time bending over. I'd estimate the chisel chain cuts about 1/3 faster than the chain that comes on the saw.

    See the thread -- STIHL - A MORE AGGRESSIVE CHAIN
    "I know the end of humanity is near when my tractor comes with a place to store and plug in a cell phone, but no tool box" -- God's Country

  7. #17
    Silver Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
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    211
    Location
    New Brunswick
    Tractor
    2008 JD 2320

    Default Re: Return Stihl MS 250 and go back and get the MS 290?

    I am a fan of the MS260 as I have one and for me it is the perfect compromise. My FIL has an MS270 and and MS290 and my 260 is just lighter so at the end of the day gives me less fatigue.

    I have cleared my first property (2 Acres) and my current property (1 Acre) with this saw and can honestly say larger more powerfull saw may cut quicker but that will be offset by more fatigue. I think at the end of the day it is all what you are comfortable with.
    2008 John Deere 2320 / CX200 Loader / SB1154 Rear Blower / RB2072 72" Rear Blade
    (Sold) 08 Kubota BX25 /54" MMM / 48" LP BB/ Bro-Tek skid plates / Bro-Tek Thumb/

  8. #18
    Elite Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2000
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    3,611
    Location
    Grayson County, TX
    Tractor
    Kubota B2710

    Default Re: Return Stihl MS 250 and go back and get the MS 290?

    It has been raining all weekend so have not had a chance to use the new MS 250. I did fire it up however and seems to have quite a bit more torgue than the old chainsaw. That is, revving it, it wants to move the bar whereas the old one not so much....

    The caps on the gas as chain oil reservoirs are a little strange, I had some difficulty getting one of them closed after checking to see if it had any chain oil in it. I suppose I will get used to that. Basically you turn it about 45 degrees and snap half the lid down. But I had trouble getting it to engage properly and it took several tries to get it closed.
    Alan L., TX
    South of Bugtussle
    North of Mustang
    On the banks of Buck Creek
    We don't rent pigs.

  9. #19
    Elite Member Coyote machine's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2009
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    3,857
    Location
    Southern VT
    Tractor
    '10 Kioti DK 40se/hst KL-401 FEL, loaded tires, KB-2485 bhoe, Tuffline TB160 boxblade, Woods QA forks, MIE Hydraulic bhoe thumb & ripper tooth, Igland 4001 winch, & GR-20 Log Grapple. Woods BBX72" Mower. Diamondplate aluminum canopy.

    Default Re: Return Stihl MS 250 and go back and get the MS 290?

    The caps take some getting used to, there are certain positions that they like to close and others not so much. I'm 61 and a former pro, and anything I use now has to be comfortable and not tire me out. Just make sure you stop before you start to feel tired, it's hard to do at first, but I find if I've run out of gas in the saw or it needs to be touched up on sharpnees of the chain I take a break and get some water or iced tea, then decide if I should continue or stop. This helps me focus on what's important- coming home safe.
    2010 DK-40se/hst, Kioti KL-401 FEL, (with reversible Kioti cutting edge), 72" Ratchet Rake. Fit Rite Top-N-Tilt hydraulics & diverter valve. HLA Series 2000 7' snowplow, Aquiline MPC rear chains.

    Scag Wildcat: Kawasaki 26HP, with bagger system. Dr. brush mower, & 42" lawn deck, Dr. self propelled, 6.5HP Trimmer mower. Pro-Mow 3 gang mower, no HP.

    Bunch of STIHL chainsaws: 011x 2, MS192T, MS200T, MS180C, MS230, MS270 (Wood Boss), 038 Farmboss, '86 anniversary edition.

  10. #20
    Veteran Member s219's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
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    1,897
    Location
    Virginia USA
    Tractor
    Kubota L3200

    Default Re: Return Stihl MS 250 and go back and get the MS 290?

    The Stihl flippy caps are an IQ test. If you fail, you should return the saw and go buy a Craftsman model at Sears!

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