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Stihl 260 Pro - 18" or 20" bar

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by coolbrze, May 11, 2008.

  1. coolbrze

    coolbrze LawnSite Member
    from VA
    Messages: 132

    Wasn't sure where to post this as there's no forum for chainsaws... I'm looking at a new 260 Pro and am wondering what's a better bar for this saw, the 18" or 20"? I've got a climbing saw, a 290 Farmboss w/ 18", a 290 Farmboss w/ 20" and a 390 w/ 20". What would you recommend for the 260 Pro, I'm contemplating selling a 290 Farmboss and replacing it w/ the 260 Pro...
  2. bill w

    bill w LawnSite Member
    from Va.
    Messages: 198

    I'd go 16" on that size saw.
  3. Nosmo

    Nosmo LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,216

    I was thinking about that very saw yesterday and the bar size too. I cut my own firewood using a MS 250C . If I move up to a 260 I'd go no longer than 18" and would prefer using a 16" bar.

  4. Cooter

    Cooter LawnSite Senior Member
    from NE Iowa
    Messages: 510

    Go with the 18" bar. Go with the narrower chain also, the RM series I think. Of course if you bury it in hardwood it will be very slow. The extra reach when limbing will be worth it.
  5. nmurph

    nmurph LawnSite Senior Member
    from ga
    Messages: 668

    what do you plan to do with this saw??? it is a true pro-grade saw and a very well respected saw. it is lighter, vibrates less (though i have never thought my 310 vibrated excessivley), can be rebuilt more easily than the 290, and might be slightly more durable due to the fact that it has more metal in the case. however, it is down on power (- .6hp) compared to even the 290, and there are millions of the 290/310/390 series running with thousands of hours).
    you mention that you have a 290 for climbing. do you do trees for a living?? i suspect not based on this question. if you do not, then the 290 might be enough. the 260 does make a good saw for the arborist bc of its weight.

    if you have a Dolmar dealer nearby, you should consider the 5100. the weight is similar to the 260 and power like a 310. if you are limited to Stihl, you might think about a 361. weight is between the 260 and 290. more powerful than the 390 and is mostly metal like the 260. there is a site called arborist site . com ......you might want to go there and do some reading......the 361 is considered the holy grail of saws and has even been reported to cure cancer.
    btw, to answer your question about bar length: what will you be cutting?
    it will enjoy a 16" better. a 260 will pull an 18", especially in softwood. in hardwood you will need to pay a little extra attention to keeping a sharp chain on it if you intend to run a 18" b+c.
  6. Zooropa93

    Zooropa93 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 362

    forget the 20" on a 260, it will bog down. The RM chain won't make much difference versus the RSC. The RS will have a better edge from the get go but will dull faster than the RM. I'm personally a fan of the RM chain but I sell 50-100 times more RSC than RM chain.
  7. J&J Customs

    J&J Customs LawnSite Member
    Messages: 165

    for personal use i use a 18" i think thats plenty just depends on what youre wanting to cut
  8. coolbrze

    coolbrze LawnSite Member
    from VA
    Messages: 132

    Why would you think I don't do this for a living? I own a tree & landscaping company, in fact, I'm in the process of selling 1 company and starting another. I don't use a 290 for climbing, we use a Stihl MS 200T. I want a 260 b/c it's a tad lighter and if you're cutting all day, it makes a difference. I'm thinking I'll add a 260 Pro w/ 18" bar to the collection and sell the 290 w/ the 18" bar.
  9. JCam

    JCam LawnSite Member
    Messages: 2

    I'm using a 260 PRO w/18" bar and it's my favorite saw, I've been using it for everything. When felling trees I've even used it instead of the 440 Mag w/20" bar that's sitting idle most of the time. I've gone through a 031 that lasted for over 20 years and a 290 that was replaced by the 440. After buying the 440 I complained about the weight to power ratio of the 290, my dealer suggested the 260, took the 290 on trade, and I'm a happy guy running RSC, but, I'll try RM next time.

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