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Opinions on smaller saw?

AxeAndAnvil

AxeAndAnvil

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Aug 19, 2017
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Hey there, this is my first post in the Chainsaw forum, second post on AS. Love it here- so much knowledge and friendliness.

I grew up doing small scale logging to feed our Woodmizer, and Dad always liked to keep a bigger saw (044) and smaller saw (260 Pro) around. I like this practice pretty well, and a second saw is pretty indispensable, especially with my propensity for getting pinched. :nofunny: I bought my own 460, and I LOVE that saw! I have a logging project coming up, and I'm thinking about a second, smaller saw.

I recently picked up a 290 from a local that frequents auctions/auction houses, and it is missing it's sprocket cover and handlebar, and bar/chain. The 290 is a bit heavier and bulkier than I was thinking for a second saw, and from what I read on here, is not super popular with the pros. But since it appears to be fairly straight, and SEEMS like it has strong compression, and the best part- I paid a WHOPPING $5 for it, I'm thinking of seeing if I can get a runner out of it.

What do y'all think? If I can get the 290 to run, is it worth setting it up with a good bar/chain, dual port muffler, etc for a second saw, or should I just get it running and trade it off for a 260 or some such?
 
Cope1024

Cope1024

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The MS290 is a decent saw, although a heavy one. I had one for ten years. The MS261 might be a better choice. The MS290 gets heavy after limbing for several hours.
 
MS460WOODCHUCK

MS460WOODCHUCK

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Just cleaned the air filter, put fresh gas in the tank, and after a few pulls, my $5 saw runs and idles like a top. :rock::numberone::chainsaw:

It is amazing what a clean air filter and fresh mix will do!

As for the 290 it is bulky for what it is but it will be a complete different saw if you take the deflector off of the front of the muffler and make the outlet on the cover larger along with the tiny opening in the muffler behind the deflector. While being bulky it will eat a 260. The 290, 310 and 390 benefit a huge amount from opening the muffler and carb tune. The 460 is a huge difference also with a mm.
 
Ryan'smilling

Ryan'smilling

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Personally, I'd throw a short bar and chain on there and use it until I started making money with it. Once you've got a few hundred spare dollars in your pocket, put it up on Craigslist for $250 or $300 and then combine your funds and buy a 241 or 261. Small saws are a great tool to have on the woods and really help keep a guy from getting fatigued as quickly. I love my 261 stihl. There's plenty other good little saws too. I like my dad's Dolmar 421, my Shindaiwa 488s were good saws. My 026 is super light and does a great job. My ported 350/346 is really a favorite right now. Just a blast to run. If I had to pick one though for daily production use it'd be the 261.
 
likesaws

likesaws

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SW Virginia
For the money you can't beat the 290.
If money don't matter buy two smaller saws.
I like a 35 to 40cc class and 50cc class saws. Then add a bigger saw. 65-70 some cc.
All depends on what you want to spend.
I use the smallest saw that gets the job done in a reasonable amount of time.
You can't have to many saws. ?
Learn to work on them and don't think they all have to be the same brand.
Work smarter not harder.
 

BenK

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Feb 15, 2016
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Missouri
+1 on the MS250. My BIL has one and runs a 14 and 16 inch bar on his and its been reliable and it is WAY more nimble than a 290.

Get the bear-skin rug out, put some Rick Astley on the music player, snap some pics, and put that 290 on your local CL....those farm bosses always seem to be going for decent amounts. I frequently have things I MIGHT want to sell on CL....just in case the right deal comes along (even when I am not expecting it).
 
teacherman

teacherman

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I was fortunate to pick up a like new MS200 rear handle a while back. I did have to replace the carb with a new one, as that was an issue with them back then, but this is a very reliable lightweight saw. Between that, my 026 (first Stihl I bought), and an 044, I don't NEED anything else. That said, I have many many saws. The 660 served very well cutting up a wedding cake in front of 150 people.
 
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