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which chain size/type shall I get with my new stihl 361 ?

Discussion in 'Chainsaw' started by prestige, Apr 16, 2008.

  1. prestige

    prestige New Member

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    sorry if this is yet another 361 thread, but it is not it is about the bar size and the many different types of chains for it.

    I am getting a new stihl 361, which bar should I get, I had a 20 inch bar but on my crappy poulan that I did not like, and was thinking of getting an 18 inch on the stihl ? is this a wise decision? is that the sweet spot for this saw? also which chain? there are many choices, the one that comes with the saw? or there are low kick types, rapid types etc....?any info welcomed thanks
     
    Last edited: Apr 16, 2008
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  2. Banshee

    Banshee Addicted to ArboristSite

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    I think if it was me I go 20. I have a Husky 261(no Sthil 361) but I think the weight is about the same, so bar choices should bring the same balance. The Husky has the 24 and it's not balanced like I like. I rather have my 371 with a 24 inch bar vs the 261 with a 24. I think the balance is much better.

    So what I'm saying it 20 on your 361. I think a 24 would be too front heavy and a 18 would be too back heavy. Buy I'm a newbie at this so take my advice at that.
     
  3. Simonizer

    Simonizer Addicted to ArboristSite

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    24" bar, 3/8 chain, Stihl RSF.
     
  4. OilHead

    OilHead AboristSite Guru

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    Get the dual dawg kit & run a 16" ES bar with full comp stihl yellow chain with a 9 pin. Also get a 20" either the ES or a woodsman pro , Cannon & run it with skip chain. You will have to add 1 extra link in both cases. 3/8 .050 :chainsaw:
     
  5. RAYINTOMBALL

    RAYINTOMBALL AboristSite Guru

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    I've got a 20" es bar 3/8 .063 RSC chain on my 361 and I like it.:) :) :givebeer:
     
  6. creaid

    creaid ArboristSite Member

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    Very interested in this thread, I will be picking up my 361 friday.
     
  7. SteveH

    SteveH AboristSite Guru

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    Kinda depends on what you use the saw for. If for "work," [firewood, etc.], where it is a tool you will be using to get work done, I'd say either the 18" or 20" which then depends on how big the tree trunks are. Either length will work. I have no experience using them with longer than 20". Actually, I have no experience at all in the 361 as I have an 036, but they are about the same power. I have gotten to where I leave the 20" on all the time nowadays. Nothing wrong, by the way, with having the shop throw on an 18 and chain, then a 20 and chain, see what feels best, balance-wise before you decide [or get both lengths, if you can afford it] and/or if that is a big deal to you. I don't feel much difference at all when actually cutting...and the 20 cuts both the smaller stuff and the larger stuff without a changeover, so I go for the simple; my 18" is there if I need a spare bar or am called on to do a buncha work with trees that'll cut easily with the 18. By the way, as to chain, I personally run Stihl RS chisel 3/8.
     
    Last edited: Apr 16, 2008
  8. Bowtie

    Bowtie Gearhead

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    You are going to get a lot of different opinions on bar size and chain. I really like an 18 or 20 inch setup for this saw with Stihl 3/8 rsc or rs chain and an 8 pin sprocket. I have a 16" bar and chain for mine, but after trying out the 18, I think I will use the 16 on my 026.
     
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  9. SawTroll

    SawTroll Information Collector

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    Imo, 18" is perfect on that saw - start there and add other lenghts when you find need for them.

    RSC for clean wood, and RMC for dirty is what I would get. :clap: :clap:

    18" is still a bit front heavy.

    I mostly use 18" for felling, and 15" with a 8-pin rim for limbing and bucking.

    All in 3/8" of course.......
     
    Last edited: Apr 16, 2008
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  10. computeruser

    computeruser Addicted to ArboristSite

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    Sounds good to me, though I'd leave the 7-pin sprocket alone regardless of bar length. And whoever was suggesting a 9-pin, which I presume was to be used with .325" pitch chain, it's been tried and 7-pin 3/8" is faster and keeps the chain on the bar better.
     
  11. ShoerFast

    ShoerFast Tree Freak

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    I'm with Mr Troll here....

    I run a 16" on my 361*, with a 20" in a tool pail in case I need it.

    But I run the 'Two saw plan' with a 660 with a 28" just sitting around most of the time asking "put me in coach" .

    If you could span most of your wood with an 18" it sounds perfect for a 361


    *Just a note, making 15" firewood, and rip-splitting , sometimes I wish my 361 lived with a slightly longer bar,,,,,,but whacking slash off a tree, I like the 16" again.
     
  12. Erick

    Erick Addicted to ArboristSite

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    The answer to the question depends on a lot of things.

    What size of wood do you cut?
    Will you mostly cut hardwood or softwood?
    What is your level of experience with a chainsaw?
    Are you able to file your own chains?
    Is the wood you cut clean or dirty?

    All of these things will make a difference in which bar and chain I would recommend for you personally, but in general

    If your gonna be a one bar outfit I would say get a 20" bar and Stihl RSC or RMC chain depending on your needs.

    If you can afford two bars I think the perfect combo for that saw is an 18" bar with 33RSC (or RMC) and a 24" bar with 33RSF (or RMF)

    Or get the 18" now and get the 24" if you find you need it. ;)
     
  13. windthrown

    windthrown Addicted to ArboristSite

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    I have a 361 and I have 16, 18, 20 and 24/25 inch 3/8 bars. After using them all, I almost always use either the 20 and 24/25 inch bars on the 361. I also use RM chain, full comp. I have some RMF (full skip) loops too, but I rarely use them on the 361. Don't need to, unless I an cutting curly fries. I also have RM2/safety that I keep around for naily and crappy wood. They do not make it any more though. RM chain is good in crappy wood and stays sharper longer in variable conditions.

    My favorite bar on the 361 is the 24/25 inch. Stays sharper longer (more cutters), and you get good power and torque, even with the 24/25. I do anyway. Mine came with an 18 inch bar, but that is just too small for it. That one is more at home on the 290, along with the 16 inch bar. I regularly drop small and large trees here. Large is up to 40 inch DBH soft and hardwood. Small tree cutting with the 361 is typically 12 inch fir and oak. Less than that and I flip to cutting with a smaller saw (unless it is madrone or oak, which are really hard and dense woods, and I drop to the 20 inch bar on the 361). We thin an 85 acre tree stand and cut all our firewood for heating here (12 cords a year). I cut a lot of red alder, Doug and grand fir, white and black oak, madrone, maple, box elder and willow.

    Best all-around 'one-blade' (bar) option for the 361? Probably the 20 inch with full comp chain. But in large softwood trees, the 24/25 inch is the sweet bar.
     
  14. SawTroll

    SawTroll Information Collector

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    I prefere the 18" for ripping (or the 372xp), and my rounds are just 12" (std length here) or so - it is good to have some distance between the round and the saw - and I cut at a slight angle (up or down) to keep the noodles shorter.
     
    Last edited: Apr 17, 2008
  15. OilHead

    OilHead AboristSite Guru

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    The woods ported 036 ,walkerized muffler I have has been specifically set up as my "ground limbing saw" 16" ES 3/8 .050 9 pin full comp. Does fine in 12 oak from there the ms440 with a 20" takes over. It has not had any worked performed to the transfers. Dean suggested that if the transfer work was performed the it could run a 10 pin. The 440 runs a 8 pin & if I put the 25" on it then it gets skip chain. From there the 066 gets picked up 8 pin skip 28" & 32" on the 36 " bar I took some full comp chain & made it into grandberg style - has only 19 cutters. All this to cut firewood for myself, its what happens when you hang around this site very long. Have'nt tryed putting the 16" bar on the 066 yet nor have I run the 36" set up. - Yet - Hi. :chainsaw:
     
  16. pbuehning

    pbuehning ArboristSite Operative

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    My 361 usually wears an 18" with either RSC or RM depending on conditions. I rarely pull out the 20" (RSC or RM)(got all my 20" stuff at a great $). I also have a 25" with full comp and skip depending on conditions.

    Before my muffler mod it was real happy with the 18" and pulled the 25" with no problems(with a light touch). Put down and bucked up 3 cords last weekend w/ the modded muffler and the 18 is the cat's a*s now. Can't wait to try the 25. I really do like this saw!!!

    Personally, an 18" will do most stuff that you need safely and quickly; the 20 and 25 are used on an as needed basis.

    :greenchainsaw:
     
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  17. SawTroll

    SawTroll Information Collector

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    Actually, my wood mostly are clean and green birch - I keep an RM for each bar just in case - but they are very seldom used, and are several years old.

    RMC wasn't out when I got those......
     
    Last edited: Apr 17, 2008
  18. 2000ssm6

    2000ssm6 Stihl User

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    Get a 16" and 25" if you need 2 bars. If you only need one, go with a 20".
     
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  19. XJWoody

    XJWoody AboristSite Guru

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    Welcome to AS and the 361 club!

    Wow! that's two of those welcomes in an hour. Tommie & his band of merry thieves must have 361s flying off the shelves just as fast as the elves back in VA Beach can make them.

    I can't say I've tried a 25" on my 361... and have barely cut with the 18" it came with (which was fine to break it in) but with a 16" + Lakerized™ muffler, it likes to sing.

    I guess if I had to have just one bar, it would be 20" ES, with loops of 33RSC and 33RMC (for clean & dirty wood)

    If you want the fast-track to Fame & Glory in Club 361:

    remove all the goofy warning labels.
    16" ES bar
    chain catcher kit (dual dogs + roller)
    441-style bar studs (your newer 361 may have these... they have a tapered shoulder)
    Lakerized™ muffler
    Magnum decal for the filter cover

    *if you're a West-Coast 'off camber' kinda person (almost said "guy" but slowp , Bermie, Mtngal etc would take a turn wringing my neck) Stihl sells a wrap handlebar kit that comes with the handlebar/mount, the chain catcher, and a full-depth clutch cover... #1135-007-1007 for $140 apprx.
     
  20. HolmenTree

    HolmenTree Banned

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    If you can still find Stihl 33 TS [Topic Super ] low profile 3/8"[.375] chisel chain on a 18" bar and 7 T sprocket would be a nice fit for the 361. The 33TS chains cutters are bigger then a .325 but smaller then the 33 RS. Oregon made the 76 LG chain which competed at the time with the 33 TS. Beautiful smooth fast cutting chain .
     
    Last edited: Apr 16, 2008

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