Mike, I think people on the east and west coast have the tree in their backyard cut down just the same. A tree service in Portland does the same thing one in Philadelphia does.Because 1) We cut a lot of lawn trees, and you can get the stump lower w/o them, and;
2) They add weight to a saw that is not necessary if you are not a feller.
Mike,They are similar in a lot of ways, but the 461 is a quad port and the lower transfer feeds from the front (not the sides), so the cylinder bolt pattern is longer.
3 of the 4 starter recoil bolts will line up, and you can swap em, but they are not the same. Also, the decomp on a 461 is not in the center, and they have 3 bolt / limited RPM coils. (but you can swap coils and they run just fine).
Also, the 461 comes with a HD-50 carb … has different fuel circuitry. Most 440s/460s don't like that carb, but I have one ported 460 that just really improved with that carb … go figure! (It won the ported 460 competition at this years Upstate NY GTG.)
460s and 461s share the same tank holders and mufflers, chain brakes, etc. I think the flywheels, oilers and clutches are also the same.
They have the same HP, but most people feel the 461 has a broader torque range.
Even limbing and bucking it allows you to have hand positions that may not be possible to safely be out of the way, when limbing you can flip the power head side to side without having to leave the tree.They make a lot of sense for felling, but I mostly do bucking and limbing, and the trees I fell are not usually that large, so sometimes I will just use the top of the bar for the back cut, etc.
I do own a wrap handle for a 660, and may install it sometime, but I think it may also get in the way if I'm milling.
The reason they make different saws with different options is so we can all choose what works for us.
If I did a lot of felling of large trees, I'm sure I would have one.