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MS261 C-M VS 550 XP Mk II

Edmontontrimmer

Edmontontrimmer

New Member
Joined
Sep 24, 2020
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4
Location
Edmonton
Back Story to help guide the discussion. I've been using for the past few years my father in law's MS250, however, it isn't the most reliable of saws and he is adamant on using the cheapest Chinese replacement parts he can get. He isn't saving the wood for any use and only deals with downfall, if it falls on a fence or road way and the saw won't start he just used the farm loader and drags/breaks the tree and goes back to whatever he was doing before. I however, am cutting for firewood for both indoor fireplace and outside fire pits so not having a working saw is more of a hinderance. Recently I was given a MS200T by a retired neighbor who was moving into a motorhome and no longer wanted the saw. At the time I was unaware of the desirability of the saw and was mostly intrigued by the strange design. So I essentially have a really wicked small saw that made the 250 look like a toy when it ran. However, I wanted a more traditional saw for dropping smaller trees for firewood. No one I know has larger than a 18 inch bar and most are only 16. As a result I could take either of the two saws I am interested in. Now for the Problem.

I had ordered a Husqvarna 550 XP MkII however, I've now been told that it is backordered until at least December sometime which isn't exactly promising, the dealer has a few 261's in stock I had wanted to compare the two before the final payment but Stihl's promo price will be gone before the Husky is likely to arrive. The all in price difference is the Stihl is $93 Cad more but would come with two extra chains as I already have a case. If you had to choose between the two without having the chance to feel one which would you choose and would the husky crowd wait at least two more months without a traditional saw? The effectiveness of the 200T is amazing but I don't want to even consider felling anything with it. I also don't need to go bigger than 50cc and wanted a pro saw for durability and the mentality of cry once and save money in the long run.
 
Edmontontrimmer

Edmontontrimmer

New Member
Joined
Sep 24, 2020
Messages
4
Location
Edmonton
There are several YouTube videos comparing those 2 saws.
Yes I totally agree there are lots of reviews on both these saws and head to head but none deal with the question of maybe if the dealer that has been backordered for a few months can even get a saw this year. The common denominator between all the reviews/comparisons I've seen is get both in hand and buy the better fit as both are so close that its a matter of personal preference. If you've a different take away from the reviews and one is a clear winner please I'm all ears and literally asking for your opinion.

My problem is this isn't possible during the sale for both saws unless a small. So I'm left with buy the cheaper unknown saw, the Husky, hope I like it and hope I get it sometime in the next few months, or take the on hand saw pay more and hope I don't kick myself whenever Husky sends saws to Alberta.

What about a 545mkII? It's a pro saw too. Is that available?
I wish. Talked to the dealer again today which drove me to post here. The smallest of the pro husky saws they can get in right now is the 550 and those have been backordered since June and were supposed to be here in September now pushed back to December. I was very interested in the 545 but not an option apparently. Dealer does admit that they generally sell 80:20 Stihl to Husky and so they tend to bring in less of the Husky's but other local shops are also all waiting for shipments so it seems to be an issue of getting saws to the admittedly small Canadian market.


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Edmontontrimmer

Edmontontrimmer

New Member
Joined
Sep 24, 2020
Messages
4
Location
Edmonton
Have you tried the dealers outside Edmonton, like Barrhead ...
I haven't. I've tried Agriterra, and a few other shops around Vermillion but had a really good experience talking with Timberland Supply and was one of the only places that I found that carries both brands. I looked at Echo and found them cheap, but also underwhelming/felt cheap even on the pro saws. Is it worth the trip up to Barrhead?
 
holeycow

holeycow

Dirt, Air, Water, Sun; Seeds.
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Messages
3,204
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Alberta, Canada
If I wanted a 550 mkII I would be calling all over the country for one.

Yup, Echo's feel cheap. My cs590 feels cheap to start with, but it grows on you and you start to appreciate it after a bit. Then it doesn't feel cheap anymore. Good saw. I imagine the cs501p to be similar...a grow on you thing.

I would likely buy one over the Husky or Stihl since I don't want or need electronic carb control.I am no longer fooled by whiz-bang gizmos in life. I have a few good 50cc saws, so I'm missing nothing by not having a 261 or 550.

PS, i've run an old 550 and a new 261on separate occasions in the past. They were both good handling saws with 50cc worth of power.
 
Deleted member 117362
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Deleted member 117362

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Here is what I came up with on digital bath scales. One picture shows bar oil and fuel tanks are full. One with 18" x-force bar and chain. One with PHO. Weight difference is in one without clutch cover. I have asked this before and always same answer, why does one pound make a big difference, it's because we carry it up and down hills all day. I get it but, in photos they are wearing large belts to carry, tools, wedges and another harness to carry an axe. Why not just throw that stuff in a light weight bucket?
 

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Andyshine77

Andyshine77

Tree Freak
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Jan 25, 2004
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10,842
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Cincinnati, OH
It all adds up. There is also a difference carrying weight on your hips and holding it away from your core with your arms. One reason I'm liking longer bars for the reach, this keeps weight near your core, plus no bending over.

When I was still doing a lot of hiking I counted every ounce, I knew what I could carry and for how many miles and at what altitude.

Digging through the old pictures of looks like the 261 is 10lbs 14 ounces dry.
 
ammoaddict

ammoaddict

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Granite Falls, NC
Here is what I came up with on digital bath scales. One picture shows bar oil and fuel tanks are full. One with 18" x-force bar and chain. One with PHO. Weight difference is in one without clutch cover. I have asked this before and always same answer, why does one pound make a big difference, it's because we carry it up and down hills all day. I get it but, in photos they are wearing large belts to carry, tools, wedges and another harness to carry an axe. Why not just throw that stuff in a light weight bucket?
That is a nice looking saw. Looks way better than a 261. The only reason I would ever buy the 261 over the 550 is you can get the adjustable carb version 261. Not saying anything wrong with mtronic/autotune. There are just no servicing dealers around here for the software, should something should ever go wrong. I have a version 1 545 and I like it alot, just don't know what I would do if it ever needed updating. Have to drive an hour or two I guess.

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