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Author Topic: Help Me Buy My Last Saw  (Read 7697 times)

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Offline jaustin

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Help Me Buy My Last Saw
« on: March 08, 2004, 10:30:58 AM »
Hi folks. 1st time poster. Just joined. I'm just a guy with 10 wooded acres who gets in his own firewood (about 4 cord a year) and tries to keep the place clean. And I'm tired of using a junky saw.

Help me pick out my next--hopefully last--saw.

I've been using a Husky 45, which a local dealer says is junk. He carries Stihl and Husky. I won't argue. I bought it from a different dealer, and it broke the first time I ran it. Since then (about 2 years ago) I've had to put it in the shop about every 8 hours or so of use. I take good care of it.

I like this dealer; he's been at this a long time, seems to know what he's talking about, and he deals with quite a few pros, or seems to, as well as rural folk like me. I asked him what to buy and he pointed me towards a Stihl 290 Farm Boss.

I've done some reading here and learned that the 290 isn't the most respected saw in Stihl's lineup. The price is about right for me, though I could go a bit more. I notice, by the way, that it DOES have a white handle. Some folks have said that means it's part of their "pro" line. But the price--$100 less than their $260--suggests it isn't.

Now I don't see myself cutting much more wood than I do right now, and I don't ever cut real big trees. So I don't really need a pro saw. I'll use it a couple of hours a week. But I don't like buying junk, and I want a saw that will last.

So what saw should I buy?

Thanks,
Jim


Offline Frickman

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Re: Help Me Buy My Last Saw
« Reply #1 on: March 08, 2004, 11:36:25 AM »
Welcome to the forum Jim. The 290 is a perfect saw for what you plan to do. It is designed for serious occasional users, that's why they call it the Farm Boss. The 260 is a great saw too. It is built more for the professional user operating it everyday. That's not to say that I guy like you wouldn't appreciate it. It is basically a scaled down professional saw. The 290 is basically a scaled up consumer saw. If you're buying your last saw and can afford the price go with the 260. If the cost is too steep the 290 will still be a great saw.
If you're not broke down once in a while, you're not working hard enough

I'm not a hillbilly. I'm an "Appalachian American"

Retired  Conventional hand-felling logging operation with cable skidder and forwarder, Frick 01 handset sawmill

Pretend farmer when I have the time

Offline redpowerd

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Re: Help Me Buy My Last Saw
« Reply #2 on: March 08, 2004, 01:05:53 PM »
my farm boss is about 6 yrs old, pretty sure the all the 029s have orange handles. this saw has been used allmost daily since purchased.  i have since holed out the muffler and got a rim sprocket. its never been in the shop and has been my most reliable saw. if anything went wrong on it i would definetly fix it before scrapin it. i regret not gettin a 036, just cause its lighter. but its an xtra 200 clams, and i wasnt plannin on using it all that much. i dont see why an 029 wouldnt eat them woods up in your lifetime and then sum.
good luck, welcome to the forum, and have fun!
NO FARMERS -- NO FOOD
northern adirondak yankee farmer

Offline jaustin

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Re: Help Me Buy My Last Saw
« Reply #3 on: March 08, 2004, 01:13:50 PM »
Dear red,

Yep, you're right--it has an orange handle. I was lookin' at the 280, not the 290.

A question for those who know both lines--Husky and Stihl--is the build/parts quality of the 290 much better than my old Husky 45? Is my dealer (Reggie, of Reggies, in Auburn, Maine) telling the truth when he says "Husky didn't put much into" the 45? It's always possible to get a bad one, but can I assume that the build/parts quality of the 290 will be better than my old Husky?  

Thanks,
Jim

Offline oldsaw-addict

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Re: Help Me Buy My Last Saw
« Reply #4 on: March 08, 2004, 01:15:15 PM »
I think a 290 would be most likely a perfect match fot you and your needs. If not, then you can just go to the 260.
Let there be saws for all mankind!

Offline Ianab

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Re: Help Me Buy My Last Saw
« Reply #5 on: March 08, 2004, 01:37:23 PM »
Hi Jaustin
I've got a Sthil 310 (very similar to the 290) and like you I would only use it a couple of hours a week. It's been an excellent saw and has only ever needed sharpening, cleaning and a new spark plug. The 260 is a better saw, but of course you gotta pay more.
I'd say get the 290, look after it well and it should go for years

Ian
Weekend warrior, Peterson JP test pilot, Dolmar 7900 and Stihl MS310 saws and  the usual collection of power tools :)

Offline Rocky_J

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Re: Help Me Buy My Last Saw
« Reply #6 on: March 08, 2004, 02:19:54 PM »
As others have said, it sounds like the 290 would be a good match for you. The worst part about it is how heavy it is for the amount of power you get. Regardless of printed specs, it is about equal in power to the 260 but over 2 pounds heavier. But for chunkin up firewood it should be ok.

The 270-280 series are a completely new design released within the last year. I don't know much about them yet.

Offline SasquatchMan

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Re: Help Me Buy My Last Saw
« Reply #7 on: March 08, 2004, 05:26:39 PM »
I'm another satisfied MS290 owner... I liked the bigger size (compared to the 260, the 290's handles are about 2 inches furhter apart.).  It is a bit of a beast, weight wise, and if you cut a cord or so of firewood with it, you know you've done some work, but it cuts like hell.  

Husky wise, check out the old 55 rancher, which has a rep  for being indestructible, and your dealer will show you the 353, which was sort of supposed to replace the 55 but hasn't managed to.

Thing I liked about Stihl was that I could operate the choke etc (the master switch) with heavy gloves on, and I didn't think I could do a husky or jonsered as easily.

Check out the Jonsy 2148 too... same price as a farm boss when both are on sale, and I think about 2 pounds lighter.

The manual I got with the 290 was very comprehensive, and really pretty good all told.  
Senior Member?  That's funny.

Online Corley5

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Re: Help Me Buy My Last Saw
« Reply #8 on: March 08, 2004, 05:50:28 PM »
I'd have to agree about the Husky 55.  A buddy has one that he bought new.  It's lived in the back of his pickup and cut LOTSA firewood and I mean LOTS.  Never had a problem outside of normal maintenance stuff.
Burnt Gunpowder is the Smell Of Freedom

Offline wiam

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Re: Help Me Buy My Last Saw
« Reply #9 on: March 08, 2004, 05:53:20 PM »
I do not know the difference between the 029 and 290.  I have an 029 and have been happy with it except for weight.( but I am thinking about a 372xp for my next saw, same weight as 029  but 2 more hp)

Wiam

Online Corley5

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Re: Help Me Buy My Last Saw
« Reply #10 on: March 08, 2004, 06:12:41 PM »
372's ROCK
Burnt Gunpowder is the Smell Of Freedom

Offline Mark M

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Re: Help Me Buy My Last Saw
« Reply #11 on: March 08, 2004, 06:33:14 PM »
Hi Jim

I've got a MS260 and a Husky 345 and like them both. The 345 cost $179 at Sears but they are usually about $279 which is a good deal cheaper than the 260. You might wish to consider it along with the Rancher 55. Neither are pro saws but I think they would serve you well, as would the MS290. Stihl has another saw that is a little smaller, it is the MS270C - Wood Boss. It has a white handle and is supposed to have some of the features of the pro saws although I don't know the details. You can see one at: Here

Have fun shopping
Mark

Offline SasquatchMan

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Re: Help Me Buy My Last Saw
« Reply #12 on: March 09, 2004, 06:38:32 AM »
Another saw to look at in that price range might be a dolmar (makita) 520.  I was looking at one the other day, and it felt pretty good, though who could ever trust a blue chainsaw to run right? ;)
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Offline shoot

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Re: Help Me Buy My Last Saw
« Reply #13 on: March 09, 2004, 10:51:07 AM »
Check with DozerDan, I think He has Dolmars on sale for 240.00 + shipping for the 540. You can't beat the price or the quality for that.
Larry

Offline jokers

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Re: Help Me Buy My Last Saw
« Reply #14 on: March 09, 2004, 11:15:41 AM »
If you`re willing to consider a Dolmar, check out Dolmar Dan`s sale prices on a few models at this link:http://www.arboristsite.com/showthread.php?s=&threadid=13555

Offline jaustin

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Thanks, everyone!
« Reply #15 on: March 09, 2004, 02:36:11 PM »
Just got back from Reggies. I bought a Stihl 310. All the folks here who liked the 290 convinced me that was the way to go, but when I got there and hefted them (and compared the prices) I thought the 310, at $350, was the best choice--same saw, a little more power. When I'm limbing I may regret the extra weight, but I made my choice. (I was very tempted by a 361 at $499, but it was a little more than I wanted to pay).

If any of you live not to far, I recommend Reggies. In an age of Wal-Marts and McDonalds, Reggies is a real place, with real people. I got not only a saw but about an hour of undivided attention from an old-timer who knows his saws. Even got a sharpening lesson.

Can't wait to get out tomorrow afternoon and put a hurting on some fallen wood.

Thanks again.
Jim

Offline Ron Scott

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Re: Help Me Buy My Last Saw
« Reply #16 on: March 09, 2004, 06:03:45 PM »
I bought a used  Husky 372 XP this evening. I came in contact with this fella that mainly cuts firewood and gets a new saw every year whether he needs it or not. His last few saws have been the 372 XP which says is "the saw".

I just missed out on the last one he had as he sold it to someone else that beat me to it. He then had another new one but said that he didn't want to sell it for awhile. That was back in early February. He called me a couple times and said that he might get another new 372 XP and if he did, was I still interested in his current 372 XP. I said that I would be as I wanted a 372 XP.

He called me this evening saying that he was coming to Cadillac, if I wanted to look at the saw. I met him at the Home Depot parking lot. The saw was in the front seat of his pick-up with him. He said he would like to have $365.00 for it and with a start on the first crank I bought it.

He runs them with a 16 inch bar which he prefers, but I can change that, though the existing bar and chain appear to almost new.


~Ron

Offline Kevin

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Re: Help Me Buy My Last Saw
« Reply #17 on: March 09, 2004, 06:09:55 PM »
That's a nice saw Ron, what are your plans for it?

Offline wiam

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Re: Help Me Buy My Last Saw
« Reply #18 on: March 09, 2004, 08:52:55 PM »
Hey Ron,
I'm jealous
Wiam

Online Corley5

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Re: Help Me Buy My Last Saw
« Reply #19 on: March 10, 2004, 07:27:59 AM »
I got my 372 at an auction in Harrison last fall.  The one with the log truck, power unit etc.  It was listed on the sale bill along with a 288 but I wasn't interested in chainsaws.  When I got there and was looking stuff over I saw right away that the 288 was ragged out but the 372 was a whole different story :).  I got to looking it over and it had the original bar on it with the Husqvarna letering clearly visible.  The chain was about half filed down.  Closer inspection revealed no scars on the chain catch pin or nylon blocks in the side cover.  It had never even thrown a chain.  All the stickers were on it and in good shape even the bar code one on the bottom of the rear handle and the Running Gears sticker from where it was bought new.  The only thing was that it was a bit faded like it had sat in the sun for a while and the throttle linkage wasn't just right.  It would catch and you couldn't get full throttle out of it.  I was now interested. I'd wanted one for quite a while but figured it would go high.  The 288 came up first and brought 185.00  :o  Way too high for what looked like junk to me.  Now I knew the 372 would sell for a lot.  The 372 came up and it was going to sell for $180.00.  The guy that bought the 288 musta been P.O.  ;)  I bid and in the end got it for  $220.00 :o ;D 8) 8) 8) :) :) :) :).  Just as the auctioneer said sold someone bid $230.00  ::) but it was too late and he sold it to me anyway 8).  I had to take the handle apart when I got it home and put the throttle cable back in the right spot.  It was "derailed".  I'm not sure what someone had done to it to cause that to happen but that's all it needed.  I cut my wood and Dad's wood with it last fall and have been using it to cut cedar this winter and couldn't be happier with it.  You'll like your new saw Ron.  As far as I'm concerned they're "the saw"
Burnt Gunpowder is the Smell Of Freedom


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