Stihl Farm Boss 290 to MS361

Discussion in 'Workshop and Home Improvement' started by mminter1973, Nov 4, 2008.

  1. mminter1973

    mminter1973

    Messages:
    440
    Location:
    alabama
    Has anyone used both these models? My dad wants to buy my 290 would it be worth it to sell my 290 and upgrade to the 361 or is the 290 good enough.

    I am currently in the process of clearing some land approx. 4 acres of hardwood trees 12-18" diameter and then sawing firewood.
  2. D'Animal

    D'Animal Rescuer of Beagle and Landcruisers Moderator

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    Location:
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    I have used both of them.

    The MS290 is a good saw.

    The MS361 is lighter, more powerful and way smoother cutting.

    How much firewood do you cut each year? Do you heat with wood?
  3. mminter1973

    mminter1973

    Messages:
    440
    Location:
    alabama
    I use wood to heat the shop. Is the 361 harder to cut smaller limbs and trees due to the larger pitch chain?
  4. D'Animal

    D'Animal Rescuer of Beagle and Landcruisers Moderator

    Messages:
    20,708
    Location:
    Central California
    The original 029 used 3/8 saw chain for years.

    When they introduced the MS310, the MS290 got the .325 saw chain and the MS310 got the 3/8" saw chain. It is all marketing since it limited the MS290 to a 20" guide bar and the MS310 could get the 24"/25" guide bar. Nobody makes a 24" guide bar in .325".

    The MS361 is a great saw. It is built like a miniature professional loggers saw. Have you checked the price on one? Many commercial thinning companies as well as pulp wood companies use the MS361.
  5. mminter1973

    mminter1973

    Messages:
    440
    Location:
    alabama
    Yeah, saw one at the stihl dealer saturday for $599, while i was getting some chains sharpened for my 290. Is that about the going rate?
  6. D'Animal

    D'Animal Rescuer of Beagle and Landcruisers Moderator

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    That is the going rate. Ask them about the carrying case and extra saw chain special.
  7. mminter1973

    mminter1973

    Messages:
    440
    Location:
    alabama
    So the verdict is if you have the $ get the MS361?
  8. D'Animal

    D'Animal Rescuer of Beagle and Landcruisers Moderator

    Messages:
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    Location:
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    I would say yes.

    I have an 036 I bought in 1987 and I burn about 4 cord of wood a year but I cut about 10 cord. Depending on the size of trees, I use my 036 first and then my MS460 for the bigger stuff. I just maintain it like the owners manual recomends and keep the chain sharp.

    The saw still runs great.

    My buddy bought an 029 when they first were introduced into the market. He is on his third one but he almost no maintenance.
    Last edited: Nov 5, 2008
  9. haystax

    haystax

    Messages:
    1,260
    Location:
    Diamond Valley, Nevada
    I've been really happy with my 361 - great power and not as much weight as the older, bigger saws.
  10. mminter1973

    mminter1973

    Messages:
    440
    Location:
    alabama
    Dan, picked up a ms361 a few days ago and WOW! this thing is like cutting butter with a hot knife! I cant believe the diffrence. I also like the bigger tanks, i was always refueling my ms290. I believe this is a saw i will try to take care of, and hopefully it will outlast me.

    The guys at stihl also sent me out with some different chains they called them skiptooth? Any opinion on them, they said most of the local loggers have been requesting them.
  11. D'Animal

    D'Animal Rescuer of Beagle and Landcruisers Moderator

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    Location:
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    Congrats on your saw!

    What length bar are you running? Full Skip really shines on 28" and longer bars.

  12. mminter1973

    mminter1973

    Messages:
    440
    Location:
    alabama
    Just got a 20" bar now, I am running the factory stihl chain now. I will get to check out the skip tooth chains as soon as i dull the original chain!

    Boy i sure do love the extra power the 361 has!! :D

    A takedown pictorial of the 361 would be very nice if ANYONE would like to take the time to do one! ;)
  13. D'Animal

    D'Animal Rescuer of Beagle and Landcruisers Moderator

    Messages:
    20,708
    Location:
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    Skip tooth will not really help you with a 20" bar. I generally recomend (and run) full skip on 28" and longer bars.


    I will see about doing a pictorial on the MS361.

    I have several done right now and jsut have to find the time to post them. I have an MS441 on the bench right now and I'm about 1/2 way through the pictorial of the tear down.
  14. sgt leo

    sgt leo

    Messages:
    1
    Question for D'Animal

    I run a MS361 with a 25 inch bar and was told that the oiler will not handle a larger bar. Is the 361 truly limited to 25 inches?
  15. D'Animal

    D'Animal Rescuer of Beagle and Landcruisers Moderator

    Messages:
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    Location:
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    It really depends.

    I can run a 25" on mine but I keep a chain razor sharp and avoid the dirty wood and leave my rakers/depth gauge at .026" in the hardwood. If you do all of this, it is possible to run a 25" and the oiler will be fine.


  16. Junk

    Junk

    Messages:
    6,210
    Location:
    buggerville nj
    I run a 20 on my 361. Have to say I love that saw. A total joy to cut with.

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