026 vs 028 For First Saw

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fossil
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Hello, I took your guys' advice and passed on that 026. I've been looking at all of the different brands that you guys have recommended, but haven't found any. I did find a Stihl Ms261c. I know that some of you have recommended the ms261, but what does the c mean? Should I still go for it? He says it's only 2 years old and has only been used a couple of times. Is this saw one that is easy to rebuild? Parts availability? Also it has a chain tensioner that I have never seen before. Do you guys like this style of tensioner? Thanks so much for all of your help! I really appreciate it.
Courage
View attachment 945048


That's not a 261. It's a 251 and a far cry form a 261.

I have an 026 with a fully adjustable carb and would put it up against any stock 028 or 260.
 
Hickahollar

Hickahollar

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Yes I agree that looks like a ms251 looks like it has a primer bulb and can't see the decomp valve. Plus I wasn't aware of the toolless chain tensioner being an available option for a ms261.
 
Mad Professor
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260/261 all the way to hell and back. I started with a 270, worked it too hard and it died. went to the 260 and never looked back. 3 series is too bulky, 440 is great for big wood. You need to decide between 260 or 280?

260 all the way. Although, and I don't know your money situation, the new 271 is currently priced around $430. A new 261 is around $700.
362 is bulky. Not the 036 or 361
 
BrettS

BrettS

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260/261 all the way to hell and back. I started with a 270, worked it too hard and it died. went to the 260 and never looked back. 3 series is too bulky, 440 is great for big wood. You need to decide between 260 or 280?

260 all the way. Although, and I don't know your money situation, the new 271 is currently priced around $430. A new 261 is around $700.
Agreed, I wouldn't do without my 026
 
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Courage

Courage

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Thanks guy for all of your help! I can't believe that I didn't blow up the photo before I typed this out. I went back and looked before coming here to read replies and realized that it, in fact is a Ms251, not a Ms261. Thanks for all of your help! Although I can't believe I didn't check before wasting all of your time! Must have been some "I'm finally getting a saw" excitement. Lol.
 
fossil
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Yes I agree that looks like a ms251 looks like it has a primer bulb and can't see the decomp valve. Plus I wasn't aware of the toolless chain tensioner being an available option for a ms261.

Seeing is believing.
I didn't think it was available either. I didn't see it in any of the current Stihl North American catalogs.

Maybe available elsewhere in the world?
 
fields_mj

fields_mj

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I'll also recommend a set of chaps. A- they keep the saw dust out of your boots, B - They save you a trip to the ER when you have a VERY brief laps in situational awareness. I know 2 people who WISH they had invested in chaps. I like the helmet too, ESPECIALLY if you're going to fell dead trees.

As far as saws go, if you're actually looking for an 028, cut your budget to $150. I've seen good ones sell for this price. My dad has one that he bought around '93. The original carb had some issues from the factory, but a local 2 stroke mechanic replaced it and it's been a great saw ever since. Not quite as light as an 026, but certainly a great firewood saw in its day.

As others have said, I prefer the 026 to the 261. I bought mine, in good condition, for $250 several years ago and I love it. Not as fast as my 036 for bucking rounds, but also not as heavy. Great for cutting stuff that's not gong to need to be split, but also plenty good enough to use as a primary firewood saw.

I only have experience with Stihl saws, but there are plenty of other good brands out there that have been mentioned already. Just make sure you avoid the big box store saws regardless of brand.
 
hrhunter

hrhunter

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Or a 353, or a 5105, or a 2153/2, or a cs501p, or, or, or

you seem fixated on Stihl. There are other good brands out there.
I had an 026, have a 028 super, have a 5100s and a 5105. Sometimes I regret trading the 026 off on the 5100s but all are good saws. The two Dolmars saws run a little faster than the 026 and a lot faster than the 028. But in the end all are good saws. I also have a Poulan 5020 that was a big mistake to buy. Heavy and lacking in power compared to any of the aforementioned saws.
 
Courage

Courage

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I have a pair of chaps that I wear whenever I use a chainsaw. I am not at all stuck on getting a Stihl. I have been looking at other brands, but I just haven't seen any of the models that you guys have recommended for sale. Not sure why, but Stihl saws seem to be in the majority here in NW Washington.
 
r black

r black

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I have a pair of chaps that I wear whenever I use a chainsaw. I am not at all stuck on getting a Stihl. I have been looking at other brands, but I just haven't seen any of the models that you guys have recommended for sale. Not sure why, but Stihl saws seem to be in the majority here in NW Washington.
Another good choice is a Husqvarna 550xp i have owned the mark 11 it a bit heavy... but a solid choice also ....however the 550xp and ms 261 will COST more ...
 
ballisticdoughnut

ballisticdoughnut

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I had an 026, have a 028 super, have a 5100s and a 5105. Sometimes I regret trading the 026 off on the 5100s but all are good saws. The two Dolmars saws run a little faster than the 026 and a lot faster than the 028. But in the end all are good saws. I also have a Poulan 5020 that was a big mistake to buy. Heavy and lacking in power compared to any of the aforementioned saws.
I've got a couple Dolmars myself, PS 510 and PS 7900. Love the 7900 and the 510 is currently under the knife for a new piston and cylinder. It's a strong runner but it has some transfer below the exhaust port. Not bad enough to stick the ring so compression is still good. Anyway I've got a few Stihl units as well, one being a 026 Pro that I will never part with. If I ever come across a nice late model 028 super I'll have no choice but to add it to the fleet. Pretty much a legendary saw at this point.
 
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