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New Member, shopping for new saw. Help!

Discussion in 'Chainsaw' started by nch209, Nov 12, 2017.

  1. nch209

    nch209 ArboristSite Member

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    Hello,

    Been lurking on the site, and debating on a new saw. A stihl ms290 came with the home I bought, and thinking about upgrading. I want to stick with stihl, and nearly pulled the trigger on a ms261 but the dealer kinda talked me out of it citing its wasn't worth the upgrade. (Current 290 is worth what, 200/250 bucks, and I'd be into the 261 for about $600 with tax.). He didn't try to upsell me... but it did make me take a peak at the ms362, very nice bit probably more than what I really need.

    A little background. My property is an old Christmas tree farm with tons of big old pines. The 290 does good, but I just have the itch for a new saw. Is the dealer right that the 261 isn't worth the outlay of cash? Is the 362 too big. Really love the look and feel of the 2nd version of those saws.

    Further, are there any dealers on this site that offer nice deals on new? I belong to some other forums for various things where that is the case. Thanks in advance.
     
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  2. Big Block

    Big Block WFO or I don't go

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    I'd go 461. How big are these pines? Nothing wrong with a 290 if you got it with the house for firewood duty. If your doing serious work with big trees you'll want a 70+cc class saw trust me. If I only had one saw (which is going to be the case soon) it'd be my 372. Good luck on your saw hunt:) and welcome to the site.
     
  3. Conquistador3

    Conquistador3 Le Comte de Frou Frou

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    I cut firewood and storm damage for a long time with an MS290. It won't win any race or beauty contest but it's an extra-reliable performer and there's a very good reason Stihl sold millions of them and their siblings. The only problem I've ever had with it was a blown oil pump, but it's something easily (albeit not cheaply) fixed.
    But last year I decided my workload had increased to the point I needed a more performing saw. After mulling over merely upgrading the MS290 with an MS390 top end, I went to the Stihl dealership and tried out an MS362C-M and an MS441C-M. Then I went to the Echo dealership and tried out a CS620.
    All things considered the MS362 won out in the end and it was a decision I haven't regretted. Like all pro-grade 60cc saws it can handle pretty much everything you throw at it and clamor for more. And as a welcome bonus, it's far easier on my old elbows than the MS441 and my old MS290 as well.

    When shopping around look for dealerships that shift large volumes of pro-grade equipment and which have been around for many years. They are usually cleared by Stihl to offer larger discounts than most and, much more critical, they know how to deal with the equipment they sell. Too many dealerships around whose maintenance people is simply not up to date with M-Tronic or latest products in general.
     
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  4. Brian72

    Brian72 ArboristSite Guru

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    A few benefits of pro saws are are build quality and power to weight. Stihl farm and ranch saws are heavy. The 291 and 362 are very close in weight but the 362 is a much better saw. Not bashing the ranch saws but weight is certainly a big factor.

    Sent from my E6782 using Tapatalk
     
  5. WPanhandler

    WPanhandler ArboristSite Operative

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    I totally agree with Big Block. I you heat with wood and have anything else to do other than cut wood, a 70+ cc saw is a must. I had a Poulan 3400 CVA which was slow, and have a Craftsman 3.3 it cut more than 2 times the wood the Poulan would. My wife bought me an ms441 the first winter they came out. It will cut at least a full sized pickup truck full of dry oak wood on one tank. It has been a reliable saw for me though others on this site will disagree. Either 461 if you can't wait, or the upcoming 462 if and when they get on the shelf here in the US.
    Either way I would choose my Saw manufacturer based on service available and size, not necessarily brand. Oh and yes I do also have a 361 but the 441 is my go to saw, and no, the 441 is not to big, though it is bigger than I need.
     
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  6. cuinrearview

    cuinrearview Red saw lover

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    There are some nice 60cc pro constructed saws in the trading post from reputable sellers that will back their work right now. For considerably less money than a brand new Stihl. Something to consider.
     
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  7. Ryan'smilling

    Ryan'smilling Addicted to ArboristSite

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    A 261 is an awesome saw. Yeah, a 70cc saw will make cutting big logs into firewood a LOT faster, but I didn't see where you said you were making firewood, and I didn't see where you mentioned the diameter of these pines. When I hear Christmas tree farm, I think of trees in the 10-20" range. If that's the case, that's kinda the exact type of thing they use 50cc saws for. The 261 or 550xp are both nice, lightweight, good handling saws, which is what you want for cutting the huge number of limbs off those pines once they hit the ground. A 362 or even 461 will do the job too, but wear you out a lot faster. Unless you're in pine much over 20" routinely, and blocking it up for firewood, I don't see a bigger saw being much of an advantage. Just my .02.

    About the dealers, no not really. Dealers aren't really supposed to sell outside their area as I understand it (stihl dealers anyway). Forming a decent relationship with your local dealer isn't a bad idea anyway.
     
  8. grack

    grack Addicted to ArboristSite

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    You can get more power out of you're 290 by replacing the carb with an 046 carb direct fit larger flows better.
    With a muff mod and carb retune.
    If buying new I've had my 261 since they were introduced no problems at all.
    If you're happy with the power of the 290 it's similar but lighter.
    If you want more power 362 or 461. 20171112_122632.jpg 20170831_191055.jpg
     
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  9. LonestarStihl

    LonestarStihl Addicted to ArboristSite

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    I agree with Big Block. Really it depends on size of the tree you’re cutting. I have a ms361 and a 046. Until the tree gets big enough I feel a ms361(362) can’t be beat. Once you get into a pretty large tree the 046(461) is hands down the choice. Orrrr a ms660(661) because they’re awesome.
     
  10. dsell

    dsell Addicted to ArboristSite

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    If you want to stay out of electronic controls, perhaps the Makita 6421, Husqvarna 372, or get the 372 clone for less Jonsered 2172. The downside to the Makita is the price of the parts and the limited coil. There are dealers on here that can help you out.
     
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  11. Jwilliams

    Jwilliams ArboristSite Operative

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    Not trying to change your mind from stihl. I started out with a 290 I bought about 7 yrs ago bought a 390 cheap last yr and both were great saws no problems of any kind. Was looking for something a little bigger. Ended up stopping at a echo dealer and went home with a 620. Best thing I ever did love the saw. Power is fantastic and price tag is def better then the stihls and huskys
     
  12. dsell

    dsell Addicted to ArboristSite

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    Does that have auto tune?
     
  13. LonestarStihl

    LonestarStihl Addicted to ArboristSite

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    I don’t think echo does auto carbs do they?
     
  14. earlthegoat2

    earlthegoat2 ArboristSite Guru

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    Bigger is always better around here but..........

    I grew up on a Christmas tree farm with both newer and older growth trees on it. The only saws my dad had were an 031 and MS250 w/ 18" bars. I think the largest Christmas tree I ever cut was 18 or so inches at the flare and never saw any much bigger.

    We also cut a few cords of firewood a year out of the woods behind the house. We never had to leave much because of the size when you can cut 34-36" with an 18" bar. I remember plunge cutting a notch out of a 40" red oak so the bar could reach a little further. That was one time in 10 years.

    Maybe times were more difficult back then and we could only afford small saws so we made do but I guess that experience taught me that you don't need a 460 class saw for firewood gathering and Christmas tree plantation maintenance. Maybe my firewood experiences are more ideal than the average guy salvaging any wood he can which may include huge stump butts and giant storm damaged trees where beggars cant be choosers but if you are gathering on your own land things can be a little simpler.

    However....

    Without any more information I think the dealer steered you in the right direction by saying you did not need the 261. I own a 261 and it gets used 99% of the time for the woodlot maintenance I do behind my house. It is an awesome saw. If you want a new saw that bad then you should probably go for one larger than the 50cc one that is apparently in good working order that you already have. I think getting a 60cc is a waste if you already have a 50cc so the next logical step is the 461.
     
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  15. Ryan'smilling

    Ryan'smilling Addicted to ArboristSite

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    Nope

    No, not yet anyway.
     
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  16. dsell

    dsell Addicted to ArboristSite

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    Example: There is a 545 advertised, "The autotune diagnostic / firmware update cost $49.00 Total operating time on the saw is 18 hours 40 min. 6 sec. according to the diagnostic logged parameters." I don't know about you, but I'd be extremely upset to pay $49 for a firmware update on my saw with 19 hours of run time. I think you'd be money ahead to get a 372 before they switch to auto tune and have a saw you can work on yourself.
     
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  17. CoreyB

    CoreyB Addicted to ArboristSite

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    We don't Charge for firmware updates on saws we sell. I can understand if you buy it somewhere else and don't support your local dealer. They need to stay open someway.
     
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  18. dsell

    dsell Addicted to ArboristSite

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    That's good to know. I don't know the details other than what's listed on the auction and it is a site sponsor.
     
  19. Duce

    Duce Addicted to ArboristSite

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    30 years old. I would want the extra grunt and not worry about small weight differences, unless cutting all day, every day. In my 30's would reach for the 372, but also liked my 262, all depended on tree size. Now being older like the 562.
     
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  20. Duce

    Duce Addicted to ArboristSite

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    You need a 50, 70, 90cc. plan. All have their place.
     

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