whats a good 18" bar stihl chain saw?

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing Equipment' started by grass disaster, Oct 19, 2012.

  1. Mow4It

    Mow4It LawnSite Member
    Messages: 48

    The MS250 has all of these desired specifications. They are good saws - not high end Sthil Pro saws, but still very good quality.
  2. IS500Z

    IS500Z LawnSite Member
    Messages: 246

    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.
  3. Ridin' Green

    Ridin' Green LawnSite Fanatic
    Male, from Michigan
    Messages: 17,828

    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.
  4. TriCountyLawn

    TriCountyLawn LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,517

    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
  5. RSK Property Maintenance

    RSK Property Maintenance LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,504

    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....
  6. IS500Z

    IS500Z LawnSite Member
    Messages: 246

    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.
  7. jiggz

    jiggz LawnSite Senior Member
    from jerz
    Messages: 646

    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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  8. stihlrunnin

    stihlrunnin LawnSite Member
    Messages: 36

    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.
  9. SDLandscapes VT

    SDLandscapes VT LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 581

    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
  10. Ridin' Green

    Ridin' Green LawnSite Fanatic
    Male, from Michigan
    Messages: 17,828

    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.;)
    Last edited: Oct 31, 2012

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