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  1. #1
    Elite Member
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    Apr 2000
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    3,611
    Location
    Grayson County, TX
    Tractor
    Kubota B2710

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

    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.
    Alan L., TX
    South of Bugtussle
    North of Mustang
    On the banks of Buck Creek
    We don't rent pigs.

  2. #2
    Platinum Member adirondackmtnman's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Posts
    761
    Location
    Black Brook, NY
    Tractor
    JD 5045D

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

    I think the little 250 might surprise you...Maybe call the dealer and ask them if you use it for a while and don't like it what they're likely to give you...
    "Speak softly and carry a big stick; you will go far." ~Theodore Roosevelt

  3. #3
    Super Star Member
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    Mar 2009
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    15,748
    Location
    Missouri
    Tractor
    Kubota, John Deere, Case, Massey Ferguson, Ford

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

    We have the following saws, 180, 210, 250, 026, 028, 044 and 660. I can't use the bigger saws anymore, but I really liked the 210 for light to medium stuff and it is a little lighter than the 250. My brother uses his 180 a lot and for what they are, they are pretty handy. He just bought a MS 192 T C-E, they are really light, but you need to be experienced with them.

  4. #4
    Elite Member Chilly807's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Posts
    3,167
    Location
    Nova Scotia
    Tractor
    Kubota L3400DT

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

    Like the guys said, if you have a 141 Husky I think you'll like the 250 Stihl. While they're no powerhouse, they should have a fair bit more power than the 141 and are a better saw in general. I had an 023 a few years ago and was quite impressed with it for the size. The 250 is the newer version of the 025 which is a bit bigger engine than my 023 was.

    Sean

  5. #5
    Veteran Member s219's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
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    1,901
    Location
    Virginia USA
    Tractor
    Kubota L3200

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

    If you have the budget, what about a 261? It will outcut the 290 while weighing quite a bit less and using less fuel. Plus it's a pro saw.

    The only way you can get performance and light weight in a Stihl is to get a pro saw. The plastic homeowner and mid grade saws make you choose between performance or weight, and you can't get both in the same package (based on weight/cc/hp). So if your only options are the 250 or the 290, choose which factor is more important to you.

  6. #6
    Veteran Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    Posts
    2,484
    Location
    Foster, RI
    Tractor
    Mahindra 3016

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

    I'd go to a Husky dealer and get a 353 for $400 or cheaper. Put an 18" bar on it with the .325 chain it comes with and you'll never look back. Power you'll need with the lightness you are used to. It is a detuned 346 that goes for over $500 but has the same pro attributes such as magnesium engine case. That being said and for the fact you have the 250. You cannot measure a saws cutting prowess on engine size alone so it is erroneous to try to compare your 141 to the 250. Manufacturers today can create just about any power band they wish. To wit, see your 141? If you went and got yourself a 142 which is discontinued but can find new in box on the net, Not that much bigger of a saw but would put the 141 to shame. I really do not have a favorite chainsaw and have used plenty of them but I'd get a 353 before I purchased a 250 at your price point.

  7. #7
    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?

    I do not know what prices are running, but I am a big fan of the 024/026/260 series Stihls. I have liked that series of saws for how they handle and balance since first using an 024AV back in the early '80's.

    I have a couple Huskies, but for small to medium stuff always go to that Stihl first. The 024AV my Dad got back, I think in '82, still runs like a champ.
    RobertN in Shingle Springs Calif

  8. #8
    Veteran Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
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    1,017
    Location
    NC

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

    I've owned a number Stihl chainsaws and I have to say the MS250 was the most disappointing of them all. It started fine cold but it tended to flood quite often when it was started while the saw was still warm. I got rid of it. I have a MS180 now that is about all I can handle with my health the way it is and then for only short periods. The MS180 hasn't given a minutes trouble. If my health was better and I had the money I'd pop for a MS261, it's a pro saw but it's light and powerful and if anything like the MS260 could be a lifetime saw.
    '11 John Deere 5065M /cab
    '10 Kubota L3940 w/FEL
    '09 JD X720
    '91 CaseIH 5140 Maxxum w/cab
    '78 IH 686 w/M&W Turbo 106 PTO hp w/canopy

  9. #9
    Gold Member El Wood's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
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    267
    Location
    Michigan
    Tractor
    JD 3320

    Default

    I have an MS 250 and really like it for cutting small trees down and limbing. I've had the saw for about 4 years now and use it occasionally as I live in a subdivision. My saw has a 16" bar on it. Could you get a 16" on the one you have instead of 18"? It will make it a little lighter and easier to manage. I'm in the process of cleaning up 20 acres for a home site. I've done a lot of work with the 250 and its held up well. I think it's time to step up though to the 362 pro saw as I'm going to be tackling some big trees. Good luck!


    Return Stihl MS 250 and go back and get the MS 290?-image-3455585767.jpg

  10. #10
    Silver Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Posts
    143
    Location
    Michigan
    Tractor
    Landini 85F Deere 5425 Ford 1920

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

    Our old 250 has seen the elephant...

    It was the wifes saw for clearing the farmstead, and a 5 acre strip of field.
    She is ROUGH on saws, and spent 3 weeks cutting with me and when I was working.
    Everything from 35" Red Oaks and Ash to Sassaffrass. We got 22 Cords of Oak and Cherry out of the farmstead alone, and the mountain of brush burned for four days.

    Then it got put to work as a prune saw, and haned out to the field crew for several years, before needing a fuel line.
    Then it got bungeed to the quad and beat to crap for two years, cutting the odd snag and clearing trails and ditchlines, getting a pressure washer bath when the mud got too thick. Abused would be a polite description. Filter got cleaned, chain got filed, and that is about it.
    Ethanol ate a third fuel line, and she is down to 130psi so it got parked untill I get bored enoughto replace the fuel line, and an old MS200 has taken it's place on the quad.

    No they aren't a pro saw, but they will hold up to a LOT more use and abuse than many suspect, IF they are actually put to work, and kept up with bare Min. maint.
    The little snots are just a tick off of the power of a MS260, and just as light to boot.
    I'm no Stihl Fanboy except for a model or three, but IMO they got the 250 right as a overbuilt occaisional wood cutter saw.

    Put against the 290? It would be close in speed and not far behind, and at the end of an afternoons cutting your back will appreciate the 250 more.

    The other aspect folks often ignore is fatigue and attention span.
    It affects the occaisional lumberjack more than a pro because of infrequent exposure.
    There are a lot of things going on when cutting, and your mind can only toggle attention between so many things, and allow focus on a few.
    Fatigue, sore back, arms, knees, etc. is a forced focus, you have no choice to ignore it. The more fatigue settles in, the more attention is robbed from other things, and that is when bad things happen.

    Between the two, I'd take the 250 over the 290 any day.

    JMHO, and hope you make the right choice for you in the end.

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