Chainsaw question (bar length)

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by rick_reno, Sep 18, 2002.

  1. rick_reno

    rick_reno LawnSite Member
    Messages: 18

    I'm looking at getting another chain saw. I have a Stihl 056 (32 inch bar) and a Stihl 018 (12 inch bar) and I need something in between. I've had very good luck with Stihl equipment and have been looking at a Stihl MS029 (farmboss). The Stihl catalog says the recommended bar length for this saw is 16 inches; my dealer has them with 20 inch bars and has said the saw is balanced for a 20 inch bar. He'll knock $10 off for the 16 inch bar. I live in timber country (Idaho panhandle) so I assume the dealer knows what he is talking about. Is the catalog right? or is the dealer just trying to sell longer bars (I can't understand why he'd do that)? Anyone using one of these saws? what length bar?
  2. awm

    awm LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,354

    hey rick. i guess u know the 2 saws u have now are pretty much pro type saws.
    029 get mixed reviews ,but u can get a lot better power to wt ratio with the 026 . to bars ,im with u . if the 16 will cover your needs ,id rather have it than the 20. but it will take an even longer bar.
    my guess is u have some knowledge on the subject ,by the saw u currently have. good luck.
  3. HarryD

    HarryD LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,068

    i have the 290 farm boss and mine came with the 16" bar . its a great saw starts first or second pull most of the time

    here is the link says comes with 16 up to 24 i guess its all in what ya want
  4. cos

    cos LawnSite Addict
    Messages: 1,253

  5. rick_reno

    rick_reno LawnSite Member
    Messages: 18

    Hi AWM,

    The 056 beats me to death, and I'm beating the little 018 to death. I've gone back and forth on these saws; I really want that "intellicarb" feature that 029 and 026 Pro offer (the 026 doesn't have it). The 026 Pro would give me 1/4 less HP than the 029, costs about $100 more and is 2.6 lbs lighter. I'm hoping the 029 is reliable, I haven't seen anything that would indicate it's not.
    Yep, shorter bars are nice. Less weight and less to keep track of. I'm a real fan of using the shortest bar I can get away with.
  6. Cutter1

    Cutter1 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,261

    I have an 044 pro. I love that thing, it rips through any type of wood. I have the 24 inch bar on it, but it came with the 20. Either one it works good with, I like that size, its not too big, but it has more than enough power.
  7. LawnLad

    LawnLad LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 738

    We rarely cut very large material so both our 026 and 044 have 16" bars on them. The 018 and similar are great for light pruning and climbing. I see the tree companies climb with 026's too for larger limbs. We use the 044 when we're cutting up trunks since it moves faster - but I prefer the 026 for most any other removal/pruning job we do since it cuts quick and is relatively light.

    I looked at replacing my 026 (12 yrs old plus) with either a 026 pro or the Farmboss. Reading feature for feature on the specs they are very close. But holding both of them I felt more comfortable with the 026 Pro. As well, I see the tree companies with the 026 pro and 032 for mid size saws - so I guess I'll stick with what the guys who use 'em every day use. The 16" is a good all around size bar. However, as you said, in timber country if you're regularly cutting material over 14" in size, a 20" bar might be nice. Around these parts in suburbia - 16" is right for us.
  8. awm

    awm LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,354

    truth is the 029 probably do the job. never used one,but i know a cuple a boys that do . they dont say good or bad . just their stihl. kinda think they would have said somethin if thier saw was a disappoinyment.good luck whichever.
  9. JasperStorm

    JasperStorm LawnSite Member
    from WA
    Messages: 71

    Stay away from the 029. Get a 026 or 036 with a 20" bar.

    The bar length quotes in the Stihl catalogue are shortened to prevent lawsuits from idiot mower jockeys who try to play lumberjack with a 36" bar on a 044, and get a kickback to the face while chainsaw pruning a laurel hedge.

    Stihl quoted a 21" bar for a 088 (perfect for an old growth western red cedar, lol). Low kickback housewife chains are standard equipment also. What bars and chains you add once you buy the machine is your business.

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