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Help deciding between MS311, 391 & 362

Discussion in 'Chainsaw' started by Bill Sz, Aug 22, 2019.

  1. Bill Sz

    Bill Sz New Member

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    I am new to this forum and my question has probably been asked thousands of times before but I would appreciate any insights members are willing to share. My Stihl Farm Boss 029 stopped working today, after 28 years, and I'm looking for a saw to replace it. In the past I would use it a few times a year on my property (8.5 acres) but last Fall a number of tornadoes came through and downed a significant number of trees (150+). The three models above were recommended to me but I'm not sure how to proceed. The 311 is around $509 while the 362 is $780 which is a considerable difference. While I have considerable work to do now hopefully that will not be the case in the future. Also, being 62, I don't think I'll need a saw to last 30 years.
    As a follow-up question, if the 362 is the best model is it preferable to go with the M package or the regular. I've had two different dealers tell me different things.
    Again, sorry for the duplication of past threads but any advice would be greatly appreciated.
    Bill
     
  2. ammoaddict

    ammoaddict Addicted to ArboristSite

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    I am just curious as to why you are limiting yourself to Stihl. There are other good saws. According to the size of trees you will be cutting, I would decide on what size saw and bar length I needed and go from there. There are a lot of good 60cc saws out there that are cheaper than a ms362.

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  3. ammoaddict

    ammoaddict Addicted to ArboristSite

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    I'm not bashing Stihl by any means, I'm just saying there are other options if you are interested. I have Stihl, Husqvarna, Dolmar, Echo and even some poulans. I'm not brand loyal. For my 60cc saw, I chose a Dolmar 6100, it was a lot cheaper than a Ms362 and a little cheaper than a 562xp.

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  4. Bill Sz

    Bill Sz New Member

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    I suppose over the years I've become a Stihl loyalist. I have owned other brands of chainsaws and string trimmers but did not find them as reliable so for simplicity sake I now own only Stihl (chainsaws, leaf blower, string trimmer). I realize there are other very dependable brands out there and I don't mean to downplay them but Stihl is working for me so I'll stick with it. Thanks for the suggestion.
     
  5. ammoaddict

    ammoaddict Addicted to ArboristSite

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    No problem. I don't know what's wrong with your 029, but you can always fix it if you are partial to it. I bought my first saw in 1985. It quit running a few years ago. I got on this site and asked questions and did research. I got that old Husqvarna 50 running again. It doesn't crank as quickly as it used to but it runs better than it did thanks to a muffler mod.

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  6. AGoodSteward

    AGoodSteward Power Head

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    Buy a 362 with 25" bar. Open up the muffler with a 1/2 drill. Don't worry about price, CCs, or brand. your back will thank you.
     
  7. 2strokeoil4blood

    2strokeoil4blood User of Chainsaws, Destroyer of wood

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    362 no questions. Dont waste your time with domestic saws
     
  8. curhunter

    curhunter ArboristSite Lurker

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    Put a 390 kit in your 290 for a lot less money.
     
  9. Hand Splitter

    Hand Splitter ArboristSite Member

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    362 for sure. It cost more now, but will also retain its value much better than a 311 or 391. In 10 years a 362 will still easily be worth $500+
     
  10. John Lyngdal

    John Lyngdal ArboristSite Operative

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    I've had a MS311, but own a MS361, MS362, and a 562XP.
    Purchasing the MS311 or MS391 would be penny wise and pound foolish.
    If you can snag a Home Depot DCS64XX rental saw, that would be a good option as well.
     
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  11. Dph1256

    Dph1256 ArboristSite Member

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    Take a look at the 261, it will be a good step up in power over your 029 and it will be considerable lighter than your 029. If you need a lot more power look at the 462 a very light and powerful saw although expensive. I would say the 362 is the least loved saw in sthils professional line up currentlu
     
  12. livemusic

    livemusic ArboristSite Operative

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    OP, it would be helpful to your thread if you described how big the trees are. A Stihl 261 might handle what you need done and it's highly regarded.
     
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  13. ammoaddict

    ammoaddict Addicted to ArboristSite

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    Do you like the Ms362 or the 562xp better?

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  14. ammoaddict

    ammoaddict Addicted to ArboristSite

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    Good advice on the 261

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  15. cuinrearview

    cuinrearview Red saw lover

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    I apologize in advance for ignoring the title, but my advice is to repair or have repaired your old saw. The cylinder is probably still good, a new piston, seals, gaskets, hoses, and intake manifold wouldn't run you much more than $100 using OEM parts. A carb kit ads $12. It's given you 30 years of service, no reason to believe a freshening up wouldn't give you 30 more. Hopefully you're still cutting by then and ready for a second re-build.
     
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  16. John Lyngdal

    John Lyngdal ArboristSite Operative

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    I think looking at a MS261 or a 550XP is a great suggestion. I'm 62 like the OP and unless the job requires it, I find myself reaching for the lighter saws to accomplish the task.
    Love running my long bar saws, but I feel it afterwards.
     
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  17. Nathan Graff

    Nathan Graff ArboristSite Operative

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    If those are the choices, 362. If you don't like tuning saws, Mtronic good. [/THREAD]
     
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  18. Hand Splitter

    Hand Splitter ArboristSite Member

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    362 is a betweener saw for saw owners that are on a multiple saw plan. For a 1 saw plan it fits right in the middle, kind of a do it all saw. The OP seems to only want 1 saw and the 362 would be a great choice! If the OP is cutting mostly 20” and smaller the 261 would be better. If the OP Needs 25” or more regularly and has the extra $$$ the 462 is the saw.
     
  19. EngineNoO9

    EngineNoO9 ArboristSite Guru

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    I'd fix your old one but that's my $.02. Buddy has a MS311 that is quite nice but they don't recommend over a 20" bar for it and for the price I think I'd get a 460 rancher. I've heard good things about the 362 but that price is hard to stomach. I don't fully understand the die hard brand loyalists. Don't get me wrong they're great saws. But for that price I can get a bigger saw from an alternate brand that'll be just as reliable.

    Stihl has the best name recognition amongst saws. Most everyone knows Stihl. Mention Husqvarna or Echo and the average person is going to have a puzzled look on their face.
     
  20. cuinrearview

    cuinrearview Red saw lover

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    Try Dolmar or Jonsered...
     
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