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Thread: Is the Stihl MS 271 Farm Boss or MS 291 a better saw?

  1. #1

    Is the Stihl MS 271 Farm Boss or MS 291 a better saw?

    what is the best saw in your mind?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2021
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    Columbia MO and Howard County MO
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    I will have to check the number of my 30 or so year old Farm Boss. "Better" sums Stihl up well. I am not current on the latest models but can see that they have added a homeowner line. I am drawn toward the professional models. Lighter, more powerful, less pollution. and bar lengths that reduce the need to bend over or stoop down. Unfortunately the price jump is sudstsntial.
    Last edited by Maurice Mcmurry; 11-30-2022 at 9:28 AM.
    Missouri, it's not that bad. Best Regards, Maurice

  3. #3
    What is the best flavor of ice cream? I think you need to outline what your goals and preferences are to have a chance at answering that question.

    I personally like the 261 size for small or medium chainsaw work. Much lighter than 271/291 and more powerful in a smaller package. Better quality made saw as well. I realize the price is different but you get what you pay for and this is where the goals / values come in.

    If this is pretty casual use, I would just go with the 271 and save yourself a bit of money compared to 291 as they look like essentially the same saw with 291 having a tiny edge in power on paper but costing more. If youíre using a saw often and really want to go for optimal power/weight/comfort/quality ratio then 261 is the better choice long term, IMO. My saw quiver at the time was an 026 Pro (260/261 predecessor) and a modified 044 for larger work. My brother is an arborist and has several 261ís that Iíve used and they are fantastic.

    I just cut a few cords of firewood a year these days but I worked for a few years professionally in small scale sustainable forestry - felling, sawing, firewood sales - and itís hard to go wrong with the 261 size / platform for a serious small/medium saw.
    Last edited by Phillip Mitchell; 11-30-2022 at 9:10 AM.
    Still waters run deep.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2016
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    Florida
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    This has become my favorite saw ever. Stihl MS261CM. https://www.stihlusa.com/products/ch...-saws/ms261cm/

    Itís light weight, powerful and with a 20Ē bar, plenty capable of any cut we come across. We also have a MS180 which is a homeowner series on the cheaper end of Stihlís spectrum. Itís my Dadís and works great also, but ever since he got a battery powered saw, he hardly ever touches the MS180.

    Lastly, I previously had a MS171 that I hated. It never performed well and with the factory chain, it would always hang up inside its own kerf. Sold it and replaced with that MS261 and couldnít be happier other than the cost.

    Iím sure either the 271 or the 291 from the farm/ranch line would be great. If you are wanting a lighter saw from the professional line though, check out the 261. Regards.

    9C7334AC-35BA-4FA8-AB90-B9F0E8677A82.jpg
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    Last edited by Greg Parrish; 11-30-2022 at 12:36 PM.

  5. #5
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    Nov 2021
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    Columbia MO and Howard County MO
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    Eye candy snip from Gregs quad.
    Screen Shot 2022-11-30 at 7.45.35 AM.jpeg
    Missouri, it's not that bad. Best Regards, Maurice

  6. #6
    Join Date
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    WNY
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    They weigh just about the same, but the MS-291 makes a little more HP, so that would be a better choice as far as cutting efficiency goes. But if you move up to a pro level saw, the MS-361 puts both the others to shame. It weighs 1.5 lbs less and makes more HP. That makes a big difference if you need to cut for very long. Plus, the pro level saws will run for years w/o trouble if you use alcohol free gas and do even minimal maintenance. Also, there is the MS-261 C-M to consider, with the M-tronic electronic management system. The same weight and HP of the MS-361 with electronics that adjust for temperature, elevation, fuel quality, etc. Something to consider if you plan to have the saw for many years and/or cut lots of wood. For homeowner type use, I'd go with the MS-291 you are looking at. 55 cc is about the sweet spot for an allrounder.

    John

    There are fans of chainsaw brands. Some love Stihl, others Husqvarna, or Echo, etc. I have both the MS-290 and an old Husky 55 Rancher. Both are 55 cc saws. I hate the start/choke/stop switch on the Stihl. The Husky is so easy. The auto decompression on the Stihl is nice, but no big deal to manually activate on the Husky. The Stihl has more low end torque, their claim to fame, but the Husky is lighter and cuts just as well if you run it wide open, which you are supposed to do anyway.

    Look at more than one brand. Run some if you can. Even the lowly Poulan Wild Thing, for those who remember those, cuts like crazy with a sharp chain, and is more durable than you would expect - for what I think sold for around $150 back when. My brother is still using one, hundreds of cords later.
    Last edited by John TenEyck; 11-30-2022 at 4:57 PM.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
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    SE PA - Central Bucks County
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    My Farm Boss is .029 (290/291), not 271. I purchased it in about 2000 and it's been a workhorse. I use an 18" bar and chain rather than the original 16" bar and chain and did so from the beginning.
    --

    The most expensive tool is the one you buy "cheaply" and often...

  8. #8
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    Mar 2016
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    Quote Originally Posted by Maurice Mcmurry View Post
    Eye candy snip from Gregs quad.
    Screen Shot 2022-11-30 at 7.45.35 AM.jpeg
    Thanks. I thought I had changed the picture to a zoomed in one when I realized the other one was sideways. LOL. Just added a clearer picture to original post.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Nov 2021
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    Columbia MO and Howard County MO
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    The numbers on my farm boss are so worn off in both places I can not I can't tell if it is a 250 or a 290. I ran it quite a bit on Sunday. Today I feel like the Tin Man left out in the rain. I have hopes that my retirement will be parallel to cousin James (McMurtry). "Gonna grow my hair and change my name, put Wesson oil in my bar and chain...."
    Missouri, it's not that bad. Best Regards, Maurice

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Nov 2013
    Location
    Crozet, VA
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    588
    I love my farm boss, but it is a heavier saw.
    IMG_1116.jpg
    There is a very fine line between ďhobbyĒ and ďmental illness.Ē - Dave Barry

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