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View Full Version : whats a good 18" bar stihl chain saw?


grass disaster
10-19-2012, 01:24 PM
want something light!

possibly 20hrs use a year on average.


so probably dont need the most expensive model. but i dont want the cheapo model either

TriCountyLawn
10-19-2012, 01:29 PM
Alot of ppl will recommend a mid model Stihl but id rather a have a 260pro with a narrow chain on it rather then a mid model. JMO. If you do go the mid route then get the biggest one cause if I remember right they all weigh the same.

That said my 361 has been great to me and pulls a 20" just fine. Im sure it would be a bag azz with a 18 on it . good luck

Bautieri
10-19-2012, 01:30 PM
I run an MS290 (Farm Boss). It's a bit porky compared to the other mid size Stihl models, but so far it's been a very solid unit. If you want a lighter saw, check out the Wood Boss.

What are you going to be using the saw for? I mostly use mine for storm clean up and cutting firewood.

grass disaster
10-19-2012, 01:46 PM
Clean up brush lines....odds and ends.
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TNGrassCutter
10-19-2012, 01:48 PM
MS 290 Farm Boss is the number 1 seller. I have a new one and an older 028 Wood Boss. The 290 is stronger and weighs a little more, both have 18" bars.
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blake101
10-19-2012, 03:26 PM
MS261 enough said.

Ridin' Green
10-19-2012, 06:46 PM
Clean up brush lines....odds and ends.
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The MS250 is all you need for that, or for most work with a chainsaw unless you cut for heating your home. I have the Jonsered counterpart to that model and it cuts way out of proportion to its size and power. It is my smallest saw, but my most used saw because it is so handy, and does all that anyone needs 90%+ of the time for anyone that doesn't cut for a living. I run an 18" narrow kerf bar that I bought from Bailey's, and it pulls it quite easily even taking full length passes.

orangemower
10-19-2012, 07:26 PM
The MS250 is a perfect saw. I've fell oaks that required cutting from both sides to get all the way through. That's with a 18in bar. Drop the tree and cut it all up all with the 250. If I want to get it done even faster, I'll break out the MS390. :)

SDLandscapes VT
10-19-2012, 08:39 PM
Of the stihl line of saws stay with the pro models--262 or 362 would be fine---if it were me and you wanted an incredible saw at an incredible price check out Makita saws on Bailey's. Makita saws are made by Dolmar and are every bit commercial grade and will run forever and will be half the money--Makita 510 or 640

herler
10-20-2012, 12:36 AM
Yes sir, Husqvarna 455 Rancher
I know you said Stihl, and you won't find a better saw for the money:
http://www.vminnovations.com/Product_14905/Husqvarna-455R-18-Inch-56cc-Gas-Powered-Chain-Saw-Refurbished-.html

Starts, runs, strong and smooth, once you put your hands on that thing you'll hardly miss the Boss.

Here it is with a 20" bar:
http://compare.ebay.com/like/200683379480?var=lv&ltyp=AllFixedPriceItemTypes&var=sbar

Most of these refurbished / reconditioned units are as good as new, for $300 you
save $100 and start kissing (xoxoxo) that proprietary MS290 Farm Boss bye bye.

Mow4It
10-31-2012, 05:30 PM
want something light!

possibly 20hrs use a year on average.


so probably dont need the most expensive model. but i dont want the cheapo model either
The MS250 has all of these desired specifications. They are good saws - not high end Sthil Pro saws, but still very good quality.

IS500Z
10-31-2012, 05:47 PM
Absolutely stick with one of the 'pro' models if you can afford it. If not then a MS280 would be a good choice. For an 18-inch bar you would want around a 60-cc motor. The MS290 is Stihl's best selling saw, but it is also the least expensive 50-cc saw they sell which is why. You pay for that low cost with the worst power to weight ratio in their line.

Ridin' Green
10-31-2012, 05:52 PM
Absolutely stick with one of the 'pro' models if you can afford it. If not then a MS280 would be a good choice. For an 18-inch bar you would want around a 60-cc motor. The MS290 is Stihl's best selling saw, but it is also the least expensive 50-cc saw they sell which is why. You pay for that low cost with the worst power to weight ratio in their line.

That line is not true at all. I've been cutting for 30 years, and I've used a lot of saws over that time. My smallest is my 45 cc Jonsered 2145, and it pulls my 18" bar with no problem even in oak with the bar buried all the way. In softer woods like maple or pine, it does it with ease. I ran an 032 Stihl (51cc) for 20 years with a 20" bar, and it was never lacking power either. An MS 250 is alll the OP needs for his intended use if he is wanting to stay with Stihl.

TriCountyLawn
10-31-2012, 06:46 PM
I wouldnt want to pull a 20" chain with anything less then my 361, ran it for 6 hours today in very hardwood. Makes me want to get a 440...lol

RSK Property Maintenance
10-31-2012, 07:13 PM
I would go with a stihl ms362 if you are going brand new. if you are willing to go used then a 361 or nice used 362 should last you for a long time. I wouldn't go any smaller personally. I personally I ran my ms440 with a 25" bar for a day and it was a beast. I haven't taken the 28" bar off in a year now, and the saw runs pretty good with that on there. I would go with a ms660 but i can't find a good used one, and new one is about 1200 with a 36" bar. you are always gonna want a bigger saw, so I would go with a ms362 if you are really concerned with weight and power. but personally I would go with a ms440 or 460, and you will love it with a 20" bar it will cut through everything with ease....

IS500Z
10-31-2012, 08:31 PM
That line is not true at all. I've been cutting for 30 years, and I've used a lot of saws over that time. My smallest is my 45 cc Jonsered 2145, and it pulls my 18" bar with no problem even in oak with the bar buried all the way. In softer woods like maple or pine, it does it with ease. I ran an 032 Stihl (51cc) for 20 years with a 20" bar, and it was never lacking power either. An MS 250 is alll the OP needs for his intended use if he is wanting to stay with Stihl.

This is not a 'line' it is an age-old rule-of-thumb to size a chainsaw engine to a bar length. I put myself through college by working in a variety of lumber companies and have been running chainsaws for decades as well. Your 032 could pull a 20-inch bar but it will do so at a far slower rate than a 361. I am sure your 2145 could cut hardwood with a 20-inch bar but I will be done and back home with my 460 while you are still working.

jiggz
10-31-2012, 10:00 PM
I use my ms250 on everything and i mean everything. Got 3 years on mine with decent use. Its light great power and less then 1/2 the price of the 261..ive brought down some pretty big trees with it..when i need something bigger i grab the pioneer p45 haha that thing is a boat anchor beast of a saw though anyhoo if your not dropping trees all day long its probally your best bet at that price
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stihlrunnin
10-31-2012, 10:21 PM
I agree with some of the others, I have a 361 with a 20" and it really tears it up. In your situation my second pick on the cheaper end would be a ms280 which is not a pro model but next best thing.

SDLandscapes VT
10-31-2012, 10:26 PM
I have stihls and other saws--you can buy more saw with better power to weight ratio if you look beyond stihl

If it were me and I needed a saw in that category I would buy a dolmar or makita 6401 and upgrade the piston and cylinder to a 79 cc and get a 79 cc saw in the frame of a 64 cc saw--mean power to weight ratio and won't even breathe hard with a 20" bar

not saying stihl doesnt make a good saw, but there are great saws to be had for less money

Ridin' Green
10-31-2012, 11:03 PM
This is not a 'line' it is an age-old rule-of-thumb to size a chainsaw engine to a bar length. I put myself through college by working in a variety of lumber companies and have been running chainsaws for decades as well. Your 032 could pull a 20-inch bar but it will do so at a far slower rate than a 361. I am sure your 2145 could cut hardwood with a 20-inch bar but I will be done and back home with my 460 while you are still working.

There's a right tool for everything, and too many of you here are offering less than the best advice for the OP. He doesn't need the power of a larger saw. Maybe you should re-read what his intended use for it is. The MS 250 is more than enough for what he needs. As for the "rule"- never heard that one before. Not from any of the loggers I have known, or any of the saw shops I frequent, so I call BS on that, especially if the saw is set up right, and has the proper chain that is sharpened correctly. I don't have a 20" on my 2145. I have the 18" you said required at least 60cc's, and it clearly doesn't. Is more power better? Sometimes, but is it needed for an 18" bar? No.

BTW- I'll put my 2165 against your 361 any day, on any wood, or my 2186 against your 460 and be home before you have even gotten back in your truck.;)

jones68
10-31-2012, 11:34 PM
Just picked up the stihl ms 362 with an 18" bar yesterday. Great saw!
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orangemower
11-01-2012, 10:44 AM
I'm breaking out the MS390 with 20" bar. Got two huge maples to remove. :)

IS500Z
11-01-2012, 06:07 PM
Just picked up the stihl ms 362 with an 18" bar yesterday. Great saw!
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Congratulations! It's a great saw. Use it in good health.

recycledsole
11-01-2012, 10:05 PM
MS290 Farm boss has been great so far.

blake101
11-02-2012, 12:13 AM
Congratulations! It's a great saw. Use it in good health.

How do you like your MS260PRO?

IS500Z
11-02-2012, 04:48 PM
How do you like your MS260PRO?

I am very pleased with it. It has proven to be very reliable and can pull up to a 16-inch bar without trouble. I put most of my hours on the 260 any more since most of what I use a chainsaw for anymore is simple clean up from storms, etc. My larger saws are used when I go up north and help a friend cut firewood for his home for the winter. Enjoy your 362.

recycledsole
11-02-2012, 08:07 PM
i am thinking of buying a used ms660. what should i look out for?

kawasaki guy
11-05-2012, 07:12 AM
Yes sir, Husqvarna 455 Rancher
I know you said Stihl, and you won't find a better saw for the money:
http://www.vminnovations.com/Product_14905/Husqvarna-455R-18-Inch-56cc-Gas-Powered-Chain-Saw-Refurbished-.html

Starts, runs, strong and smooth, once you put your hands on that thing you'll hardly miss the Boss.

Here it is with a 20" bar:
http://compare.ebay.com/like/200683379480?var=lv&ltyp=AllFixedPriceItemTypes&var=sbar

Most of these refurbished / reconditioned units are as good as new, for $300 you
save $100 and start kissing (xoxoxo) that proprietary MS290 Farm Boss bye bye.

I have the 445 X tork. Just about as nice as my MS210 STIHL. But, The STIHL has easier access to the spark plug and air filter than the 445

cpllawncare
11-06-2012, 04:09 AM
I have a husky 435 x tork I want a better chain? is there something better than stock?

Ridin' Green
11-06-2012, 07:22 AM
I have a husky 435 x tork I want a better chain? is there something better than stock?

Yes, there are several makes and styles that are much better than the factory "safety/low kick back" chain.

Go to Bailey's web site and take a look around. They're a sponsor here.

grass disaster
12-22-2012, 11:45 AM
I'm thinking of still picking up a ms250.

I like it cuz its prob lighter. I really don't need it for any big cutting.

If I have something real big. Ill grab my dads big saw.

Mustly for cleaning up brush lines/bonfire wood.

I'm not totally against husky but I have 2 stihl dealers close to me.
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kawasaki guy
12-22-2012, 11:52 AM
I would recommend STIHL MS210 saw. It may be resi, but it feels like a pro saw.

Ridin' Green
12-22-2012, 02:51 PM
I'm thinking of still picking up a ms250.

I like it cuz its prob lighter. I really don't need it for any big cutting.

If I have something real big. Ill grab my dads big saw.

Mustly for cleaning up brush lines/bonfire wood.

I'm not totally against husky but I have 2 stihl dealers close to me.
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Like I said above in my first post here, I have the Jonsered version of that same saw size, and it is more than enough for 90% of the cutting required for homeowner use/firewood cutting/clean-up work. Take care of it and keep the chain sharp, and you'll be more than satisfied with it I believe.

grass disaster
12-22-2012, 03:09 PM
I can get the ms250 for $280.
The 261 for $350.
The $261 pro for $500.00
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Ridin' Green
12-22-2012, 03:22 PM
For an additional $70 I think the 261 would be a good move. It is built with true commercial grade components, and has a bit more CC's/power to boot. If money is tight (and when isn't it these days?), you'll be more than happy with the 250.

grass disaster
12-23-2012, 08:41 AM
Looks like the ms261 is the saw to get. I think the 18" is good for my needs.
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orangemower
12-23-2012, 02:59 PM
For an additional $70 I think the 261 would be a good move. It is built with true commercial grade components, and has a bit more CC's/power to boot. If money is tight (and when isn't it these days?), you'll be more than happy with the 250. I have the 250. It's been a great saw. It's my go to saw and gets used 90% of the time.

Looks like the ms261 is the saw to get. I think the 18" is good for my needs.
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The 261 is about 1.5lbs heavier then the 250. That can make a difference if you have to use it for a long period of time. I have a MS390 also that is over 4lbs heavier then the 250 and it gets old quick using a saw that much heavier unless you really need it. I have a 20in. bar on it and might get a 25-28in. bar but I haven't came across a tree the 20in. wouldn't drop.

grass disaster
12-23-2012, 06:11 PM
I have the 250. It's been a great saw. It's my go to saw and gets used 90% of the time.



The 261 is about 1.5lbs heavier then the 250. That can make a difference if you have to use it for a long period of time. I have a MS390 also that is over 4lbs heavier then the 250 and it gets old quick using a saw that much heavier unless you really need it. I have a 20in. bar on it and might get a 25-28in. bar but I haven't came across a tree the 20in. wouldn't drop.

I will have to concider the weight. As ill be using it for brush mostly.
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