MS-390 v 391 AKA mine v Parkers (stars Reflect 391)
This is real life experience & I hope good advice backed with facts & observations to help others if faced with choosing between the 2 or in fact most of the new units (sadly)
I have several saws that I use on a regular basis, mainly older Stihl, though I have many others ( collector) & am mechanically inclined.
Ok, my 390. Purchased 2nd hand over 8 years ago, treated mercilessly ( I mean that ) but well maintained.
A great mid sized saw, well weighted, plenty of punch. Run 20 or 16 inch bars, job dependant, its happy with either & petrol usage is just fine.
Fuel & oil flip & twist caps are a blessing.
Why they Dont have captive bar nuts on the chain cover is beyond me, I guess they love to sell nuts.
Useless chainsaw and hopeless warranty
Brought this saw new with extended warranty in 2016 for personal use
Paid $1400 and stihl oil as well
10 hours use and it failed completely
Prison and barrel scored
Blamed me for the damage. I have an old 024 I've used since 2001 with hundreds of hours use and no trouble.
Took stihl to consumer affairs to fight the warranty claim on this MS391 and no luck
Once a good brand. Now a disgrace
Won't buy stihl equipment anymore...
Purchased at Midland stihl for $1,400.00.
391 is a Dud
Purchased new, used about 10 hours over a three year period. Always used Stihl oil and mix rate of 50-1, and never over worked. It died cutting stringybark. Pulled apart, bearings totally failed, major scores on the piston and bore. I’d say the crank is shot as well. Cost $1,100 new and now a piece of junk. Don’t want to throw good money away fixing it as more than likely it will fail again. Stihl have blotted there copy book with me that’s for sure!
Note have a little MS 170, done twice the work and runs like a dream ...
Purchased in June 2017 for $1,100.00.
My Neighbor purchased a Brand New Stihl MS 391, he was meticulous with the correct fuel mix, after 4 hours work, it stopped. He took it back to the dealer, they replaced the cylinder head and piston, it had blown a hole in the Piston. This time he purchased all the fuel mix from Stihl to be absolutely sure everything was right. He only got a few hours of work from it the second time and EXACTLY the same thing happened. When he took it back to Stihl they pulled it apart, placed the pieces in a box and refused to fix it. Again a hole in the pisto...n. They blamed him for the incorrect fuel mix. They offered to sell him another one. This seems to be a common problem with the MS 391 across the board. For the Price, he paid $1400, it is a very poor representation by Stihl. The Cylinder head by comparison to all the other Stihl models is almost 4 times the price to replace. I don't think anyone would replace a cylinder head on the MS 391 with confidence and expect it to last. His chainsaw is STIHL BROKEN, and a piece of junk in the bottom of a cardboard box.
Purchased in February 2019 for $1,399.00.
Don’t believe the ads!
Farmboss died after <100 hrs.
I’ve always considered stihl a high quality brand but I’m done now. Bought this saw because advertised as having the grunt and longevity for farm work. Had it for 5 years, used it sparingly, wrapped it in cotton wool and the dealer said engine is done and you’ll need a new one. Would have been cheaper to buy wood for 5 years. It stihl looks new.... sorry couldn’t help myself.
So much for the “pulling the 20 year old stihl out of the shed and it starts first time” crap they dribble.
Purchased in January 2014 for $1,300.00.
Junk - Very Disappointed
After less than a week old and less than an hour of use the ignition coil failed.
I needed the saw, dealer took the saw from me for a week only to replace the ignition coil under warranty. I requested a replacement saw but they wouldn't oblige.
Now since I've used it for a while the thing has died and dealer says it's not worth fixing. It was running fine right up until it died. The chain was sharp, it had fresh fuel and was being used to cut some small logs which was light work for it. Anyway, it suddenly lost power and stalled and could not...be restarted. Piston melted is what the dealer said. Before I took it in, I checked the plug, air filter, exhaust and put fresh fuel in it. It still would not start. If you have problems with these saws, you'll find the first thing the dealer blames is the fuel. I was prepared for that and to my horror, this dealer said there was no oil in my freshly mixed fuel that I just put in. I knew this was not true and I asked for the data and caught them out. Anyway, the chainsaw has died from apparently working it too hard. It was certainly not being worked hard when it failed, and the reason I bought this saw was to work it hard when I needed to! The saw did not meet my expectations. I have cheaper smaller saws running for years which I have worked no harder than this saw. This machine is overpriced junk in my view. Certainly the saw that was sold to me is junk. Extremely disappointed.
MS390 GET ONE IF YOU CAN, EVEN SECOND HAND ! BEST EVER
Got my MS390 5 years ago, been cutting Australian Hardwood to fuel our furnace which heats a large Queenslander home. We get down to minus 11c in winter outside. This saw has not missed a beat and we go through a lot of wood! My wife likes the house very, very warm. Would not swop this saw for a new model, just replace anything that needs it. Keep up the oil. Mods done, Polish the ports & open up the muffler and "super tuned" (google it). Run a full chisel teeth and keep them sharp. If you can persuade someone to sell you one second hand, grab it with both hands.
Purchased in January 2014 at private seller for $600.00.
I have owned Stihl for over 30 years, I purchased my Farm Boss about 3 years ago, I keep it in a unheated Barn in sub zero Pocono Mountain weather. It always starts easily and is one of the best cutting saws I have ever used. The only thing I do special with this saw is I use the pre-mixed fuel Stihl fuel.
Purchased in May 2016.
Stihl chainsaw is a disgrace
I bought a Stihl chainsaw 3 years ago. Didn't use it much because I didn't have time. Now I'm retired and have trees that need cut. Got it out of my climate controlled garage, and the housing cracked when I started to use it. Bar oil just runs out of it. Took it to dealer to find out the housing costs as much as the saw did. I haven't cut 2 chords of wood with it. It is junk. I will never buy a Stihl product. This saw is very disappointing.
Probably got 10-15 hrs of use out of it. Didn’t use it much but it’s still barely out of warranty. Really like my ms290 but obviously quality has dipped dramatically.
Purchased in March 2018 for $600.00.
Don't buy Stihl , I bought a stihl MS250 for $695 and motor died after 4 months ( or 10 medium tress cuts) . Stihl dealer said we didnt mixed enough oil and refused to pay the repair motor cost of $475, But we always mixed 100 per 5L. We bought the MS391 while we waiting for the dispute. Buy after few days use, the MS391 wont stop now we have to bring it back to repair. SO DO NOT buy STIHL produsts, waste time
Annie from New Zealand
Purchased in February 2019 for $1,295.00.
don't buy 391, no back up and Stihl blame operator
I have owned many chainsaws over last 25 years through our hardwood timber biz, recently bought 3 units 391 and 1st unit lasted 4 weeks when compression died and can see a hole in piston after spark plug removed. all 3 units are not working with same problem, usage is moderate and maintained. enough power but no reliability and Stihl will not support unless we pay money to repair. very poor form. Careful what you buy and as newer Stihl saws too many electrics and lighter wight, not as robust. using my 20 year old 268 Husky rather than 391 with latest features but no performance. by the way my 18 month old 381 is running well!!
Owned my 390 since 2008 it’s always started and cut over 100 ton of hardwood , jarra, stringy bark yellow box iron wood black wood white gum
It’s always started you have to follow the procedure
Choke on pull till it has the first fire then flick the choke to fast idle put chain break on then it starts flick the accelerator and it idles
I always clean the air filter and measure my oil with a measuring cup to 5 litres of petrol
After use I always take the bar off and clean with compressed air I run a file across the teeth at 30-35 degrees to sharpen only 2 passes needed
I've never taken it in to a dealer iv changed the plug once in 10 years
I just cut 10 ton of wood this week thought how good this saw is !!!
Good saw if only it would run all the time (2)
Follow up to my last review where I could not get the saw to run. There is a specific starting procedure that makes it run. First, pull the trigger all the way, then flip the choke lever to full choke. Pull the starter cord 3 times, not 4 times, and not 2 times, 3 times only, then flip the choke to half choke and pull away, it should start with in the first 2 or 3 pulls. If this doesn't work, it is flooded, and you need to pull the spark plug, spin it over to get rid of the gas and start the procedure over.
Still cuts amazingly well onc...
Good when going but hard to start and died early
Bought the farm boss to cut blanks for turning and slab cutting for furniture. Had a fair bit of work clearing fallen trees after recent cyclone and some cuts of a full tank at a time doing slabs. After 11 months and about 20 hrs work it upped and died. Always used 40 to 1 mix but it had lost power and stopped 10 min into a slab cut,never to go again. Dealer says I cooked it but I would expect it to cope with long cuts at high revs. No fouling of air vents or other contributing factors. Starting always a bit of an issue. Never less than 6-8 pulls and often flooded and needed a rest
Husband very happy, wish we had bought one 20 years ago. Slices through sugar gum like butter, makes the job so much easier. Light to hold and to maneuvers. Received a free chain with it , so wuite a bargain. Wishes he hasn't wasted his time with inferior brands & got one of these years ago
Stihl - Excellent chainsaws
We bought two of these saws. Used both for cutting wood all day long. Sharpen one while the one one is cutting. Used a 20" blade for low down torque. Excellent saws. Had them for years now and never let us down. Yes they can be a bit temperamental, but what chainsaws don't? Far better than any other brand I've owed. Crushed oleo-mac it was that bad... Great saws, still have them. For those who don't know how to start them, push the fuel primer six times, then pull the choke and pull start until it wants to start. Then push it back in and pull start. It should start every time like this. Had these saws for many years now and very seldom had an issue if you follow this procedure given by dealer.
wish I would have never bought it!
Really hard to start in any weather. Floods fast. Like Luke said, "shop shelf decoration". some tell you to pull it ounce on full choke, ounce on half choke, then switch to run, and it will start. Wrong! Others say, pull on full choke till fake start, then on half, at witch point it will start. then release the trigger back to idle. Wrong!
No wonder they discontinued it. Also went through an ignition coil before it had 50 hours on it.
Muffler keeps coming loose
The saw works great but the 2 bolts keep backing out on the muffler. I tried putting lock tight on the bolts but that didn't work either. I'm taking it back to the dealer to see what the problem is. I own 3 other Stihl saws have never had a problem. I think this is a design flaw my other saws have all thred bolts with nuts on the muffler this saw has bolts that go into a small hole in the muffler that are very hard to get to.
Crap chainsaw wouldn't start dealer said wrong fuel mix I said you told me 50/1 . Other 2 chainsaws still going on same fuel mix . They can fix it for $800 wow only used it 6 times .be careful when buying Stihl chainsaws and whatever they say don't use 50/1 mix asking for trouble
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