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MS261 bar and chain changhe advice/ideas

FNEC

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Hi,
My current bar and chain are knackered so I am getting a new set. It was a second hand machine with an Oregon 18" bar and .325 chain on it.
The standard route would be a Stihl rollomatic 18" 74DL with a Stihl .325 RS chain. This is factory settings so to speak.

I run a small property maintenance company with a majority of gardening work, certainly through the majority of the year. For anyting neeeding cut, I mostly use a 201T (essentially the only kit one needs until the bar is not big enough...ha, carry on all jobs just in case and even if the going gets tougher it goes a long way) and for limb tidying the pole saw (HT133 - for all the size of the bar and chain crikey it rips through chunky limbs). Therefore the MS261 only comes out when really necessary, although working with my cousin on some jobs now as a pair means we will tackle a few things one person would normally not, it may therefore see a bit more work.

Given the position above should I just stick with the stock setup as it works wel enough for what I will need to do or is it worth it to go for some of the alternatives.
E.g. 1. 3/8 chain setup?
2. Stihl Tuning Kit - Picco Super?
Only thing with the tuning kit is it is only a 16" bar and I kinda wanted to stay 18" just in case, to give a jump up from the 201T. It also seems to be advertised for getting through pine for logs.

I need a new sprocket too, so no changes mean extra spend as I need chain, bar and rim sprocket (so hard to find on its own) regardless. Should I also include a new sprocket needle bearing too for good measure....bells and whistles so to speak? Current one looks fine if a little loose around shaft....meant to be like that??

Many thanks in advance.
 
Bruiser1

Bruiser1

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Hi,
My current bar and chain are knackered so I am getting a new set. It was a second hand machine with an Oregon 18" bar and .325 chain on it.
The standard route would be a Stihl rollomatic 18" 74DL with a Stihl .325 RS chain. This is factory settings so to speak.

I run a small property maintenance company with a majority of gardening work, certainly through the majority of the year. For anyting neeeding cut, I mostly use a 201T (essentially the only kit one needs until the bar is not big enough...ha, carry on all jobs just in case and even if the going gets tougher it goes a long way) and for limb tidying the pole saw (HT133 - for all the size of the bar and chain crikey it rips through chunky limbs). Therefore the MS261 only comes out when really necessary, although working with my cousin on some jobs now as a pair means we will tackle a few things one person would normally not, it may therefore see a bit more work.

Given the position above should I just stick with the stock setup as it works wel enough for what I will need to do or is it worth it to go for some of the alternatives.
E.g. 1. 3/8 chain setup?
2. Stihl Tuning Kit - Picco Super?
Only thing with the tuning kit is it is only a 16" bar and I kinda wanted to stay 18" just in case, to give a jump up from the 201T. It also seems to be advertised for getting through pine for logs.

I need a new sprocket too, so no changes mean extra spend as I need chain, bar and sprocket (so hard to find on its own) regardless. Should I also include a new sprocket bearing too for good measure....bells and whistles so to speak? Current one looks fine if a little loose around shaft....meant to be like that??

Many thanks in advance.
First of all let me say this I never like that 325 pitch I wish Stihl would get rid of it .Definitely change over to the 3/8” .050.First of all you could go with full skip chain which you cannot with the .325 Not as much wood coming out of the cut but faster and easier on the saw. Plus that keeps your 201T and the 261 3/8” .050 Easier to keep track off plus you don’t need a different filing guide for the 325 Another plus is you can get a rim sprocket for the 261. I believe it comes with the .325 Standard spline rim seven toothJust change it out with 3/8” Seven tooth. Rims are cheaper than spur sprocket drums Another plus is less teeth on the full skip chain the RSF. To sharpen I did this with my MS 271. One last thing And go ahead and get a 20 inch bar that saw will definitely pull that Full skip chain. As for the 201T I have a 16 inch bar on mine with a super picco .You can subtract 4”each bar size and that’s approximately the tree that you could Either fell or Limb. So, a 20 inch bar will do a 16 inch tree and a 16 inch will do a 12 inch tree
 
computeruser

computeruser

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Stick with what you have - 18”/.325”. It is a good setup on those saws and less grabby in smaller stuff than bigger 3/8” is.

Skip chain is about useless for trimming work, though it serves its purpose for bar-buried cutting when you are having chip clearance issues (really long bar) or you are trying to over bar a smaller powerhead.

Stick with a laminated bar for weight savings. There is no need to burden a light 50cc saw with a heavy bar.

For what it’s worth, I run 13”/.325”/8t on my 50cc saws, to very good effect.
 
Bruiser1

Bruiser1

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Stick with what you have - 18”/.325”. It is a good setup on those saws and less grabby in smaller stuff than bigger 3/8” is.

Skip chain is about useless for trimming work, though it serves its purpose for bar-buried cutting when you are having chip clearance issues (really long bar) or you are trying to over bar a smaller powerhead.

Stick with a laminated bar for weight savings. There is no need to burden a light 50cc saw with a heavy bar.

For what it’s worth, I run 13”/.325”/8t on my 50cc saws, to very good effect.
Do you know what you’re talking about the ms261 would never be a trimming saw.Unless you want your arms to hang to the ground carrying around that anchor all day. Trim with the 201t And fell and buck with the 261
 
computeruser

computeruser

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You can subtract 4”each bar size and that’s approximately the tree that you could Either fell or Limb. So, a 20 inch bar will do a 16 inch tree and a 16 inch will do a 12 inch tree
Needing a bar larger than the tree you are felling in order to fell it? On what planet is this true?
 
Ryan'smilling

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First of all let me say this I never like that 325 pitch I wish Stihl would get rid of it .Definitely change over to the 3/8” .050.First of all you could go with full skip chain which you cannot with the .325 Not as much wood coming out of the cut but faster and easier on the saw. Plus that keeps your 201T and the 261 3/8” .050 Easier to keep track off plus you don’t need a different filing guide for the 325 Another plus is you can get a rim sprocket for the 261. I believe it comes with the .325 Standard spline rim seven toothJust change it out with 3/8” Seven tooth. Rims are cheaper than spur sprocket drums Another plus is less teeth on the full skip chain the RSF. To sharpen I did this with my MS 271. One last thing And go ahead and get a 20 inch bar that saw will definitely pull that Full skip chain. As for the 201T I have a 16 inch bar on mine with a super picco .You can subtract 4”each bar size and that’s approximately the tree that you could Either fell or Limb. So, a 20 inch bar will do a 16 inch tree and a 16 inch will do a 12 inch tree
Huh? This is all sorts of goofy. You recommend he switches to 3/8 and that then 201 and the 261 will be running the same chain. This is not correct. That's only if you switch the 261 to 3/8lp. And even then, they're different bar mounts, so thanks to stihl, will require different size loops. So even if they were both running lopro, nothing would interchange.

Also, skip chain has fewer teeth, true, but you say it cuts faster. Not true. Not on a 20" bar anyway. Skip chain pretty much sucks for cutting wood that you'd use a 261 for. Or should use it for anyway. If you're gonna be bucking wood exclusively and not cutting anything small, maybe, but even then I don't think it's gonna give you any advantages.

And yes, for most of us a 50cc saw is a great limbing and thinning size saw.

To the original question, OP, if you're going to be using it for small material, stick with .325, it's smoother and it is a little torque-ier, which is nice for dealing with limbs under tension. If you're going to be bucking larger stuff or dirty wood, switch to 3/8. You give up a little torque because of the larger sprocket, but the chain is much more durable. It will require a little lighter hand, but generally cut just about as fast. Maybe a hair faster. Personally 16" 3/8 pitch was probably my most used setup on my 261. I'm sure 18" would be fine. Only way I'd consider a 20" would be a lightweight bar, but frankly I'd just grab a bigger saw.
 
Mad Professor

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First of all let me say this I never like that 325 pitch I wish Stihl would get rid of it .Definitely change over to the 3/8” .050.First of all you could go with full skip chain which you cannot with the .325 Not as much wood coming out of the cut but faster and easier on the saw. Plus that keeps your 201T and the 261 3/8” .050 Easier to keep track off plus you don’t need a different filing guide for the 325 Another plus is you can get a rim sprocket for the 261. I believe it comes with the .325 Standard spline rim seven toothJust change it out with 3/8” Seven tooth. Rims are cheaper than spur sprocket drums Another plus is less teeth on the full skip chain the RSF. To sharpen I did this with my MS 271. One last thing And go ahead and get a 20 inch bar that saw will definitely pull that Full skip chain. As for the 201T I have a 16 inch bar on mine with a super picco .You can subtract 4”each bar size and that’s approximately the tree that you could Either fell or Limb. So, a 20 inch bar will do a 16 inch tree and a 16 inch will do a 12 inch tree
Running full skip chain on a 261 is just stupid
 
Bruiser1

Bruiser1

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Huh? This is all sorts of goofy. You recommend he switches to 3/8 and that then 201 and the 261 will be running the same chain. This is not correct. That's only if you switch the 261 to 3/8lp. And even then, they're different bar mounts, so thanks to stihl, will require different size loops. So even if they were both running lopro, nothing would interchange.

Also, skip chain has fewer teeth, true, but you say it cuts faster. Not true. Not on a 20" bar anyway. Skip chain pretty much sucks for cutting wood that you'd use a 261 for. Or should use it for anyway. If you're gonna be bucking wood exclusively and not cutting anything small, maybe, but even then I don't think it's gonna give you any advantages.

And yes, for most of us a 50cc saw is a great limbing and thinning size saw.

To the original question, OP, if you're going to be using it for small material, stick with .325, it's smoother and it is a little torque-ier, which is nice for dealing with limbs under tension. If you're going to be bucking larger stuff or dirty wood, switch to 3/8. You give up a little torque because of the larger sprocket, but the chain is much more durable. It will require a little lighter hand, but generally cut just about as fast. Maybe a hair faster. Personally 16" 3/8 pitch was probably my most used setup on my 261. I'm sure 18" would be fine. Only way I'd consider a 20" would be a lightweight bar, but frankly I'd just grab a bigger saw.
I never said the 201 and the 261 run the same chain I never said that. The 201runs super pico And the 261 runs RSF full skipGo back and read it if you can
 
Bruiser1

Bruiser1

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Running full skip chain on a 261 is just stupid
Why is running full skip stupid? I too used to be like you will run full comp chain. Let me know how that works out for you sharpening all those teeth. Stihl Dealers love people like you buying Full comp chain they charge by the link
 
Bruiser1

Bruiser1

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Stick with what you have - 18”/.325”. It is a good setup on those saws and less grabby in smaller stuff than bigger 3/8” is.

Skip chain is about useless for trimming work, though it serves its purpose for bar-buried cutting when you are having chip clearance issues (really long bar) or you are trying to over bar a smaller powerhead.

Stick with a laminated bar for weight savings. There is no need to burden a light 50cc saw with a heavy bar.

For what it’s worth, I run 13”/.325”/8t on my 50cc saws, to very good effect.
I can see I’m dealing with a bunch of newbies I remember they were used to be a real treemen on here like gasoline Gary And Brad the Snellerizer. Once again I never said to use full skip chain for trimming I said to use full skip chain for bucking and felling and the 201 for TRIMMING go back and read
 
Bruiser1

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Needing a bar larger than the tree you are felling in order to fell it? On what planet is this true?
If you go back and read my reply. I did not say to leave have a larger bar for a larger tree. What I said was whatever bar you get you lose 4 inches. So for example if you have a 20 inch bar the largest Realistically would be a 16 inch tree without burying the nose. You lose a couple inches with the bar going around either the spur sprocket or rim sprocket and you’ll lose some in the front because you always should be having the nose visible or you will get kickback. With that said if you want to put a 16 inch bar on a 462 go ahead
 
Bruiser1

Bruiser1

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I’m sorry but I’m going to get into a pissing match over this. Typical on these forms some people know what they’re talking about and some don’t some are experience and a lot are not. Some do this for a living like me. And some are home owners or Want to be’s I’m out
 
Ryan'smilling

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Definitely change over to the 3/8” .050. First of all you could go with full skip chain which you cannot with the .325 Not as much wood coming out of the cut but faster and easier on the saw. Plus that keeps your 201T and the 261 3/8” .050 Easier to keep track off plus you don’t need a different filing guide for the 325 .
I never said the 201 and the 261 run the same chain I never said that. The 201runs super pico And the 261 runs RSF full skipGo back and read it if you can
If you say so, man. Sure looks like you said they'd both be running 3/8 .050 and could use the same filing guide.
 
full chizel

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I can see I’m dealing with a bunch of newbies I remember they were used to be a real treemen on here like gasoline Gary And Brad the Snellerizer. Once again I never said to use full skip chain for trimming I said to use full skip chain for bucking and felling and the 201 for TRIMMING go back and read
:ices_rofl: Ever see the video where he almost killed himself or the one where saw got launched or.....
 
super3

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Why is running full skip stupid? I too used to be like you will run full comp chain. Let me know how that works out for you sharpening all those teeth. Stihl Dealers love people like you buying Full comp chain they charge by the link
I’m sorry but I’m going to get into a pissing match over this. Typical on these forms some people know what they’re talking about and some don’t some are experience and a lot are not. Some do this for a living like me. And some are home owners or Want to be’s I’m out

Skip, half skip and full comp have the same # of drive "links".
 
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