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Which Bar Length to Use on Stihl MS 310?

Discussion in 'Chainsaw' started by .aspx, Feb 1, 2007.

  1. .aspx

    .aspx ArboristSite Operative

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    I received my Stihl MS 310 on Monday. Haven't cut with it yet but have started it up, let idle, and rev'd a couple of times to make sure everything was legit. Before the Stihl I was using a Poulan Pro 295 (46cc / 20" bar) for all of my cutting. With a full-skip chain it could go through some wood. The time to get a bigger saw was now; so I did. :D

    Anyway, My 310 came with a 20" bar and full-skip chain and I also purchased a 25" bar with a full-skip chain for those rare times when a 20" is too small. This weekend I am most likely going to be cutting some Fir that is about 26"-30" DBH. I cut 2 stumps off with my Poulan a couple of weekends ago but it took awhile. What would you guys recommend I use this weekend as far as bar length is concerned? What would be most efficient: 20" or 25" ?

    I have used the search engine but could only find topics confirming a 310 can pull a 25" bar. How much power is lost with a 25" on a 310 as opposed to a 20" ?
     
  2. sawinredneck

    sawinredneck Addicted to ArboristSite

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    That 25" is pushing a bit I think, might be ok in the soft stuff. i think the most effecient will be the 20" on that saw.
     
  3. .aspx

    .aspx ArboristSite Operative

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    The 25" is only on special occassions. There is part of this tree that is 3" away from my neighbor's house. I can't really use a Peavey when I am dealing with a log this big.

    I made mention of the fact that I thought a 25" would be iffy on a 59cc saw to the dealer. They actually had 2 brand new 310's on the shelf: one with a 20" bar and the other with a 25" bar. I would hate to think that they sell inefficient saws right off the shelf.

    When I was in the Husqvarna shop a couple of weeks ago the sales guy told me that the rule of thumb is that the engine needs to be a least > 60cc to pull a 24" bar & chain.
     
  4. GASoline71

    GASoline71 Mr. Nice Guy (Moderator)

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    My 361 has a 25" bar on it... pulls it no problem. But it is a different animal than the 310. I've only ran a 310 once, and it had a 20" bar on it. It seemed just about right for that saw.

    It will prolly do it, but it will struggle a little in big wood.

    Gary
     
  5. computeruser

    computeruser Addicted to ArboristSite

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    25" and skip should be OK, but I would only use that bar when necessary. The 20" b/c setup will be a bit more lively and a lot more nimble on that powerhead. You don't want skip chain on a 20" bar.
     
  6. sawinredneck

    sawinredneck Addicted to ArboristSite

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    I believe, don't have the cat. in front of me, that saw is listed for that bar. I am not saying it won't do it, and in softwood it's a whole other ballgame. I ran a 25" on my 390 in Oak and it did ok, I like my 046 a lot better, but it ran it. It would run the peewadden out of the 20" bar in Oak.
    Hang out a bit, others will chime in that know better about that saw in softwood, I mainly play with the hardwoods.
     
  7. .aspx

    .aspx ArboristSite Operative

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    Why is that? I'm not saying you're wrong but 3 of the shops I have been to over the last 3 months have suggested full-skip chains for my Poulan and Stihl 028; both having 20" bars.

    Maybe it's a Pacific Northwest thing?
     
  8. .aspx

    .aspx ArboristSite Operative

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    Don't worry. It's only coming out for rare & special occasions!
     
  9. GASoline71

    GASoline71 Mr. Nice Guy (Moderator)

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    Dang straight it is... I have full skip on the 20" bar on my 028. I run full skip on everything I own.:rock:

    ...oooh crap, now I've gone and done it. Here come the full skip police to give me a ticket!:popcorn: :popcorn: :popcorn:

    Gary
     
  10. .aspx

    .aspx ArboristSite Operative

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    It's shows 16"-20" actually. Someone on this site that is a Stihl dealer said to not bother with Stihl's suggestions anyway.

    Sounds like 20" is going to be the winner.
     
  11. .aspx

    .aspx ArboristSite Operative

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    No matter what bar / chain combo I use I am just excited to use my new saw!

    I have a feeling it's going to be a night and day difference from using my 46cc Poulan.

    Haven't used the 028 lately because my dad & I have joint custody. Long story...
     
  12. ValleyO'Giants

    ValleyO'Giants ArboristSite Member

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    I just bought an MS310 and got the .063 gauge bar and chain in 20".
    Full comp.
    Cut down a 24" diam. doug fir the other day and was thinking I might want a 25" bar/ chain around just in case.
    However I am leary about whether or not the saw will have the power for a 25" bar in a tree that size or bigger.
    20 seems just about right.
    But, what do I know? This is my first "real" saw.
    From what I have learned on the net, maybe a skip chain on the 25 would help!??
    Again just guessing on that.
    But the 20" feels good to me.
    I should just save up for a 440!!:greenchainsaw:
     
  13. Diesel JD

    Diesel JD AboristSite Guru

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    Yeah that stuff is popular in the PNW....so are long bars...the full skip of course lets you have less bogging and better chip clearnace...fewer cutters which eat up less power. I think you'll have no problem with the 25"(24) bar and skip chain. My 390 pulls a 25" with full comp just fine. It did just ok with a 28" bar and full comp. I would say full comp and a 20" bar would be better for that saw for everyday use, but the 390 is only 4 more ccs and the 361 is only 2 more ccs and they both do fine with 25". Lakeside uses a lot of skip chain and short bars and he seems to know what he's doing...your plan is fine. Its up to you, your call as to what type of chain you want to use, but especially with your softwoods like fir and alder your not hurting anything with a 25" and skip. I would run it in my oaks and pines if it came down to it...but that's just me.
     
  14. .aspx

    .aspx ArboristSite Operative

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    I'll be back to check in tomorrow. Looks like I'll start putting the 20" on ole Gus Chiggins. :D
     
  15. .aspx

    .aspx ArboristSite Operative

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    Thanks to everyone for the feedback. I'll be sure to post pictures if I end up cutting this weekend.

    ValleyO'Giants: How are you liking the 310?
     
  16. ValleyO'Giants

    ValleyO'Giants ArboristSite Member

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    Well considering that my first saw was a used 40.00 craftsman 2.0 w16" bar, I love it!

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    Mine is gray


    I was trying to get a saw for around 350.00.
    So I went ahead and went up one from the 290 to the 310 for the extra 50.00.
    I like the power and it is light years ahead of my craftsman.
    It is a little heavy. I don't even think mine is reached its full potential yet as I have only run one tank through it.
    If I had it to do all over and had an extra 200.00 I would have gone with the 361.
    But I only use the saw for firewood and the ocasional downed tree, so I expect it (310) to last me forever, or at least untill I turn it around for a better saw,
    That is one of many reasons I purchased a Stihl.
    Around here a well maintained Stihl will hold its value.

    So, basically I love it.
    For my needs right now it is right on spot.

    Oh, and if it is cold where you are use the winter grade bar oil.
    My saw didnt like the regular oil in the 25 dergree weather the other day.
    I ran down and got a jug of the 30wt from my stihl dealer.
     
  17. Timberhauler

    Timberhauler Addicted to ArboristSite

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    I like a 20 incher on that saw.
     
  18. RiverRat2

    RiverRat2 Serio Tree Freak

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    I run 18" bars with full comp Round chisel chain and it does very well for what it is.....
     
  19. turnkey4099

    turnkey4099 Tree Freak

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    I have been running my 310 for 3 or 4 seasons now. A word of warning. You are likely to be disppointed (I was) when you first use it. Mine had to eat several trees before it settled down to work. Then it was a whole 'nother saw. Great saw for the price. 24" bar? I would if I didn't already have a 24" on a 041 but for the 310 it would have to be a full skip chain and only used occasionally.

    Harry K
     
  20. .aspx

    .aspx ArboristSite Operative

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    I bought my 310 used but in great shape. So it's already broken in!

    I do have a full-skip chain for the 25". All my saws that run >= 20" bars are running full-skip. :)
     

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