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ms462 vs cm661

HerbHammer

HerbHammer

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Hi All,

Long time lurker here with my first post. A little background: I'm a homeowner with a bit of land, I fell trees and cut firewood for fun not out of necessity, and a couple years ago got my first saw, an ms261cm. Love the saw, and since then the bug has bit me hard. I've been learning more, cutting a lot, have done a muffler mod, got into hand filing my chains, got a McCulloch 10-10s, play with that a bit, and now have been itching for a larger Stihl pro grade saw.

I really like full wrap bars, and being tall 6-4", I find it more comfortable to run a longer bar (28"+). Initially the ms461-R caught my attention and seemed like the perfect saw. I realized they don't make a 461 CM model, and I'm a big fan of the M-tronic. I feel that we might be in a golden era of saws, this middle ground where they are still carburated, can still be modded for power and rollback of the EPA neutering, with the advantages of automated carb tuning. The autotune has been an amazing feature in my experience, with no perceived downsides.

Anyway, I started looking at the ms661, and the more I look at it, the better it looks as a top end saw. Its weight isn't absolutely ridiculous (like the 880), larger guys seem to be able to use them as all-day multipurpose saws felling and bucking bigger stuff, and its been around enough to be tried and true. I went an handled one at my dealer, and though its a beast, its not freak show big.

Unfortunately 2019 pricing is already rolled out to dealers. My dealer is working with me a bit, so even though the 32" ms661-RCM model is $1350, he's going to throw in a 32" light bar as well.

Now I'm reading more about the ms462, and I'm wondering if this is the saw I should get. Its a bit cheaper than the 661, but not by much. It seems to have more torque than the 461, has a great autotune, less weight, better power/weight than anything Stihl has made yet. But everything I see on youtube and read about has the ms661 stomping it in terms of sheer cutting power.

I saw a video that looked at powerhead weight with full fluids between the ms661 and ms462, and there was a 4lb difference (15lb even for 462CM, and 19lb even for the CM661R-CM with wrap handle).

My desire is to keep this saw for a long time, and have it be my top end "large" saw, so any advice would be appreciated. Any input from folks who have owned both the 70cc and 90cc class saws and have dealt with the tradeoffs? Or thoughts on whether a 462 would result in an eventual itch for the 661 or its replacement, the 662? Or finally, if the weight of the 661 is just overbearing unless you absolutely need the power for really big stuff or milling?

Thanks
Herb
 
Hand Splitter

Hand Splitter

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I find the 461 to bar heavy with anything over a 25” bar. Balanced perfectly with a 25” or smaller bar. Assuming it would balance better with a light weight bar. My 660 balances way better than my 461 with 32” and I don’t notice the weight difference much due to better balance.

I’d go with the 661 if I were Planing in using a 32” bar, but I’d consider a 36” bar just in case! Bigger is better right! :chainsaw:
 
Iceboy

Iceboy

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I have both. Got the 462 last year the 661 back in 2015. To be honest I love the power of the 661 but the 462 is something else. It has power and it doesn't wear me out.

Στάλθηκε από το LG-H818 μου χρησιμοποιώντας Tapatalk
 
Frank Rizzo

Frank Rizzo

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Yah . I have a hot-woods ported 660 and a new 462c (approx 6tanks thru) ... I like the 462c with a 20” bar and up to a 25” in wny hardwoods ... over 25” 660 for the win ... 72.2 cc vs 91cc no contest ... when the 462c is hot - woods ported it will be a lightsaber with a 20” bar but will never hold a candle to a 461 let alone a 660 once the wood requires a 25-36” bar ....462c 20”
660 hot woods 25” b/c same log - carb pig rich as you can all hear
 
HerbHammer

HerbHammer

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Interesting that there seem to be mixed opinions about bar length on the 462. Some folks are running 20 or 25" max bars, and other are saying they comfortably are able to run a 32". I'm definitely not interested in running anything less than 28", as I already have a 261 and am comfortable running a 20" bar on it. I've handled a 661 with a 32" bar, and felt even that was a bit nose heavy, so I would consider a light bar if I were to do a 32" on the 661.

I'm curious, why run a 72cc saw with so much power with a 20" bar, as it seems there are many smaller saws in the professional line that do just fine with a 20" bar buried deep into the hardest wood?
 
Frank Rizzo

Frank Rizzo

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Interesting that there seem to be mixed opinions about bar length on the 462. Some folks are running 20 or 25" max bars, and other are saying they comfortably are able to run a 32". I'm definitely not interested in running anything less than 28", as I already have a 261 and am comfortable running a 20" bar on it. I've handled a 661 with a 32" bar, and felt even that was a bit nose heavy, so I would consider a light bar if I were to do a 32" on the 661.

I'm curious, why run a 72cc saw with so much power with a 20" bar, as it seems there are many smaller saws in the professional line that do just fine with a 20" bar buried deep into the hardest wood?
One word : production ! Lotsa guys over the pond run 18” and 20” on 70cc class saws ! Ported and chained ain’t nothin gonna touch it in that sized wood ... plus the 462c is very light and nimble !
 
Frank Rizzo

Frank Rizzo

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One word : production ! Lotsa guys over the pond run 18” and 20” on 70cc class saws ! Ported and chained ain’t nothin gonna touch it in that sized wood ... plus the 462c is very light and nimble !
The 461 is also quick thru the timber ! A 261c or 50cc class saw just ain’t gonna produce with a 20” bar ... I run a 16” on my hot-woods ported 261c - seems to like that size timber !
 
SamT1

SamT1

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I run the 440’s with 18”, once you hop them up they cut like a laser. Well worth the weight over small stuff. Stock it’s kinda weak with a 30” in 30” plus hardwood, haven’t run the big bar since modifying. I believe you’d like the 460 even better. If your getting by with a mouse saw now I’d buy the 461 and get a big bar you want and a smaller bar that will do 95% plus of your work. Once you go to a 660 your hopping a huge weight gap that’s only worth it if you need a 30” or more regularly. Just a dang big bar is heavy enough.

I’m a little Leary of keeping anything electronic long. I don’t believe we will see well used Mtronic saws fetching good money in 20 years like we see with the older stuff today. I hope I’m wrong though because I’ll eventually have to buy a new one. For casual cutting a gently used ms440 would probably last the rest of your life, in the $600 range for a very nice one.
 
Frank Rizzo

Frank Rizzo

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Yah , IF you’re in Hotsaws101 territory and cutting the type of timber indigenous to that area than 70cc saws and heck even 60cc can pull a larger bar ! If I can use a zipped 70cc and run a 32” b/c satisfactorily then why tote the the xtra weight around all day ? Now you use the same combo in a different locale , say on the East Coast with different timber , ya might find that the 70cc class saw with 32” bar might get the job done ... but the 90cc class is gonna get it done quicker for sure ! Denser hardwood like shagbark hickory , red oak ; sugar - maple sucks up more juice from the Saw than most pnw timber ... as far as the statement that was made “462c has more torque than the 461” ....owning both saws I would disagree ... 461 has WAY more torque - the 462c likes to rev ... IF a guy mods a 462c so as to enhance what’s given from the factory and primarily is going to use a 20” bar/chain then it’s game over ... light weight coupled with “enhanced” power will make other models pale in comparison
 
HerbHammer

HerbHammer

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Thanks for all the input. One of the things I worry about with saws like the 642 is longevity. They keep squeezing more power out of a given displacement, and dropping the weight, and reducing emissions, it seems like something has to give. I sort of equate a 661 to a V8, whereas the 642 is ecoboost. Lots of power and efficiency out of the ecoboost, but more complex and seems to be more problematic in the long run. Tough call..
 
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