New Stihl?

marksmand

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Oct 12, 2016
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39
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woodstock NY
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Kubota L3301
Another recommendation for the 261cm Plenty of power and very light weight. Used to have a ms290
and the weight really makes a difference after working a few hours
 

greenerdreams

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Apr 7, 2009
Messages
45
my brother has done tree work for decades and brings his saws over anytime i am cutting. His go to is the 261, he also says all his co workers always grab those saws as well. they have access to almost all the saws in stihls pro lineup but always go to that saw because of its power to weight. when he is cutting big wood he goes with the 660 but that is almost the only time, unless climbing he uses the 200t. i will admit the first time i held the 261 it felt like a toy because of the weight, but it beats my larger dolmar every time.
 
  
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OP
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dvan1966

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Aug 19, 2005
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67
Location
NW. Ohio
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Kubota B6200DT
Another recommendation for the 261cm Plenty of power and very light weight. Used to have a ms290
and the weight really makes a difference after working a few hours
I looked at the 261. The dealer said I would be stepping down in power from my 029 and the 291 might be a little more due to the 029 being 27 years old. I don't cut that much, just in the fall and winter. The 029 has been a good saw, just getting tired if not having the power for the bigger stuff and dead ash. I do like the weight of the 261. The 311 seems heavy, but is about the same as my 029.
 

Fxfymn413

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Sep 3, 2021
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58
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Kubota 4060; Kubota BX2660
It's a long story, but a neighbor gave me a basically new MS390. It's heavy, but I equipped it with a full chisel chain and 20 inch bar and for doing large stuff it is a great saw.
 

mmranch

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Aug 6, 2010
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177
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Crested Butte, CO
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TYM 603
I've got an older MS361 20in and a newer MS362C 20in and love them both (they were expensive but I've gotten great use out of them both). I didn't like the 362 at first because of the computerized carb stuff... but after a few days of getting the saw acclimated (and me acclimated to the newer tech)... I love it now. Easiest starting/restarting of any saw I've had.
 

Budweiser John

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Apr 9, 2013
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717
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Dewitt, Michigan
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New Holland TC45D
I have a Circa early 90s Stihl 029 and a MS391.
the 029 can sit for months in cold weather and will start with 3 to 5 pulls.
the 391 is a much different story, that sucker needs to overnight in a warm environment to have any chance of starting. Once started and warmed up it performs as advertised. Bottom line, the 029 is still my ‘go to’ cordwood saw.
 

RobertN

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Apr 6, 2000
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8,535
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Shingle Springs California
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New Holland TC40D
Stihl doesn’t provide the most bang for your buck that’s for sure.
Nothing bad to say about Echo; have a pole saw I like.

But I also still use 2 almost 40 year old Stihl 024(great great granddaddy to the MS261). Older Pro saw that still work great and has cut A LOT of wood. That saw has provided decades of bang for the buck. That was an expensive saw 40 years ago, but I think we got our moneys worth :D

It depends on your use, and how it is amortized over time...
 

Loaderman22

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Jan 11, 2017
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782
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Hudson Valley, NY
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1947 Ford 2N, 75 MF 30B, 75 Swinger Loader, 1979 Cat D3
I bought a Stihl 029 in 1995 or so, was my one and only saw used it tons. The plastic handle cracked but that was my fault. About 8 years ago my boss had a much newer 029 that his son in law ran straight gas in, cooked it. I put my motor into the MS290 case which meant I got flip caps (best thing)!! But its still the motor from 1995, and still running today. Saw can sit all summer in the basement with ethanol free gas in it, take it out in the fall, 3-5 pulls she's running like a champ, every year. As a back up to my 029/ MS290, I bought a MS390 thinking I needed a bigger saw, & it was, but I was mostly disappointed with the saw, it would run 20" bar ok I guess, but anything longer, or a less than perfect chain it just didn't have the oomph to go through hardwoods. I found my self running the 029/MS290 all the time anyway. I did appreciate the compression release though when starting the MS390. Recently I bought a lightly used MS361 PRO saw and after running it the first time, I sold the MS390 and am not missing it at all. So my unprofessional opinion is, if your 029 is about to be retired and even if its occasional use, go with the MS261 PRO saw, you will not be disappointed, more power, and less weight than the 290, yeah its more $$ but you won't ever think to yourself, should have went a little bigger. I would not even consider the MS390 as an option, a couple more lbs, but not enough power to justify the weight & extra size.

Besides some of us might need your 029 for parts someday!!
 
  
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#30  
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dvan1966

Bronze Member
Joined
Aug 19, 2005
Messages
67
Location
NW. Ohio
Tractor
Kubota B6200DT
I bought a Stihl 029 in 1995 or so, was my one and only saw used it tons. The plastic handle cracked but that was my fault. About 8 years ago my boss had a much newer 029 that his son in law ran straight gas in, cooked it. I put my motor into the MS290 case which meant I got flip caps (best thing)!! But its still the motor from 1995, and still running today. Saw can sit all summer in the basement with ethanol free gas in it, take it out in the fall, 3-5 pulls she's running like a champ, every year. As a back up to my 029/ MS290, I bought a MS390 thinking I needed a bigger saw, & it was, but I was mostly disappointed with the saw, it would run 20" bar ok I guess, but anything longer, or a less than perfect chain it just didn't have the oomph to go through hardwoods. I found my self running the 029/MS290 all the time anyway. I did appreciate the compression release though when starting the MS390. Recently I bought a lightly used MS361 PRO saw and after running it the first time, I sold the MS390 and am not missing it at all. So my unprofessional opinion is, if your 029 is about to be retired and even if its occasional use, go with the MS261 PRO saw, you will not be disappointed, more power, and less weight than the 290, yeah its more $$ but you won't ever think to yourself, should have went a little bigger. I would not even consider the MS390 as an option, a couple more lbs, but not enough power to justify the weight & extra size.

Besides some of us might need your 029 for parts someday!!
The 029 still runs fine. I'll take a look at the 261 again. As I get older, heavier isn't the way I want to go. Maybe the 261 with a 18" bar and stay away from the big stuff. I plan on keeping the 029 as a backup.
 
 
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