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MS261c New Saw First Impressions

Firemoore98

Firemoore98

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Recently I sold my ms201TC and with those proceeds I purchased a brand new Stihl MS261C (new version, 45 degree cylinder, lightened up etc). I was trying to consolidate the fleet to a solid 2 saw plan that fit my firewood and property maintenance needs. Momma is expecting our first child so a three saw plan isn't financially in the cards, too many other projects or I would have kept the MS201TC. Currently I have a MS441C and my new MS261C as my two saw plan.



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As you may or may not know, Stihl dropped the price of the ms261c w/18" bar to $569 here in the us. My dealer showed me where he paid that back in December and the dealer was getting kinda screwed by the new lower msrp. In another thread I discussed and polled you fellas about dealer shopping vs building a relationship and I opted to pay suggested retail of $569 and not shop around or try to beat him up on price. He threw in a chain and let me switch the original chain to a RS full chisel.

Enough background crap... how did she run??? She ran very well, minimal fatigue, great fuel efficiency and impressive cutting ability. I am very pleased with the purchase and my current 2 saw plan.

The bad... the brand new RS full chisel chains had a bit of "chatter", putting the calipers on the teeth I can see they aren't exactly the same length. I think my Timberline sharpener will take care of this as it has on all my other chains, I just haven't cut with a new chain in a while. It cut fast and produced large chips, just not as smooth as I'm used to, chattered just a bit, nothing terrible. Secondly the stihl bar nose got bound up twice and wouldn't spin... twice I had to take the chain off and get a pick, and air compressor and clean out the nose, I was cutting reasonable clean wood, oiler turned up and never hit the dirt and had proper chain tension. This is the first time I have used a NON Sugihara bar in a couple years and I could tell a difference. I am a fan of greasable bar tips like the Sugihara.

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Put a very nice dent in this pipe of bucked up logs, very impressive fuel economy. I think my ms441 or older ms290 (no longer own don't yell at me) would have been more like 2 tanks to cut this many rounds.

In summary of your contemplating the ms261c or other similar size/weight saw for 80% general use and firewood cutting please do yourself a favor and do it. To go through a full tank and have zero fatigue is a great thing, I'm not in the worst shape, I'm not in the best, I am just trying to say this class of saw will allow me to work longer and therefore get more work done in a day without deterioration in safety practices or good quality cutting form as usually happens when I get tired.

2 questions:
Anyone know where I can score a Sugihara 18" 325 .063 bar? I checked eBay and a few other places, only one I found is international shipping and I try to avoid that if possible.

Anyone know the part # for the outerwear air filter sock? I run one on my ms441 and it's really a nice setup.

Jason


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Ryan'smilling

Ryan'smilling

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Nice saw! I'd check with the woodcutter's garage guy in Wisconsin on the Sugi bars.

I'm about 6 tanks into my new 261, and I can tell you this, if you are impressed already, it's only gonna get better. I've heard it's about 10-15 tanks before they really wake up, but even after 3 or 4 I saw noticeable improvement.
 
Firemoore98

Firemoore98

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I ran the 325 .063 RS stihl chain through the Timberline sharpener and I was surprised with the difference between cutters, I use my calipers to make all my cutters the same length and after this sharpening she cuts just as well as new, I wouldn't saw better, I would saw "as good" but the chatter is cut down 80%. The Timberline sharpener is better than I originally thought, especially for fellas like my that just aren't good hand filers.

I did not notice a substantial HP/torque difference with tank #2 in the ms261c, but as someone already mentioned the big gains come from tanks 5-10.

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For tank #2 and now that I have a feel for my ms261c I wanted to go back and forth with my ms441c and compare and contrast. I cannot believe this ms441c was my primary firewood saw for 2 years... what was I thinking. Running a 20" bar on the ms441c and 18" bar on the ms261c I didn't feel crazy differences in speed or efficiency, but I really felt the weight and bulk of the ms441 instantly when I picked it up. I know the ms441 would really shine with a larger bar and in hard wood tree falling etc, as much as I really like that saw it just has no place as a general firewood saw. Running the ms261 (please don't stone me fellas...) I don't crave more power, it gets the job done, isn't bulky and doesn't fatigue me.

Ms261c is quickly becoming a good friend, I appreciate all the advice over the last 2 years to finally get to this 2 saw plan that works for me.

Jason


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Firemoore98

Firemoore98

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Shower thoughts by Firemoore98:

Trapped on a deserted island with only one chainsaw for all uses the rest of my life, give me my ms261C version 2.

A sharp chain with this ms261c and I don't feel like there is much on my property that would put me in an "under sawed" situation. (Outside of milling of course)

If you can't tell I am very happy with my new saw, the internet and forums are full of negative reviews, I just wanted others to take a look at the capabilities of a lighter weight respectable horsepower saw and what it brings to the table in reducing fatigue, just a joy to run fellas/gals.

Jason


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MontanaResident

MontanaResident

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I ran the 325 .063 RS stihl chain through the Timberline sharpener and I was surprised with the difference between cutters, I use my calipers to make all my cutters the same length and after this sharpening she cuts just as well as new, I wouldn't saw better, I would saw "as good" but the chatter is cut down 80%. The Timberline sharpener is better than I originally thought, especially for fellas like my that just aren't good hand filers.

This echoes my recent thoughts; that a lot of a new saw's improvement is in the saw's chain and bar wear. My 461's B&C was incredible tight, and still is, albeit much better. Once they fully wear themselves married, the saw wakes up. After all, most saws are more HP then Torque. Get your chain's cutters in shape, wear the B&C till it spins freely and the difference is night and day.
 
anymanusa

anymanusa

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I ran the 325 .063 RS stihl chain through the Timberline sharpener and I was surprised with the difference between cutters, I use my calipers to make all my cutters the same length and after this sharpening she cuts just as well as new, I wouldn't I cannot believe this ms441c was my primary firewood saw for 2 years... what was I thinking. Running a 20" bar on the ms441c and 18" bar on the ms261c I didn't feel crazy differences in speed or efficiency, but I really felt the weight and bulk of the ms441 instantly when I picked it up. I know the ms441 would really shine with a larger bar and in hard wood tree falling etc, as much as I really like that saw it just has no place as a general firewood saw. Running the ms261 (please don't stone me fellas...) I don't crave more power, it gets the job done, isn't bulky and doesn't fatigue me.

Ms261c is quickly becoming a good friend, I appreciate all the advice over the last 2 years to finally get to this 2 saw plan that works for me.

Jason


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No need to get crazy about it. My 441cm was my primary firewood saw and rightfully so. I keep a small saw too though.

M-tronic is the shiznit!
 
Firemoore98

Firemoore98

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I considered a 241, but seems like a modest drop in weight and a very dramatic drop in HP/torque. The power to weight ratio seemed a little low to me. Now I know guys love the 241s and word on the street is a modified muffler and timing advanced 241 can run with a 261 all day.

To me I can be in my woods with this 261 and not wish for a bigger OR smaller saw.

Just ran another tank through her today, grinning ear to ear.

Jason


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Phecda

Phecda

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What's the new lightened up versions weight? I can't keep swinging 461's all day long for little stuff, but if its close to the 241 it may be the best option as i can use my plethora of collected bars and chains and get a PHO
 
Firemoore98

Firemoore98

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I have no doubt that both are great saws and that if I had bought the 241 I would be singing its praises well. Unfortunately I did not have the luxury of running the two saws side-by-side for direct comparison for purchase. But my thought process was I wanted one saw to do a good 80% of my cutting with. My thought was that the 261 is a good midsized saw smaller than a 361 bigger than the 241 just kind of right there in the middle. As I said in an earlier post the best way I can sum my last couple outings with my new 261 is that when I have it in my hand and I'm working in the works I don't crave a lighter or heavier saw and I don't crave more horsepower. The other nice thing is that when the fuel tank is empty, and it is a large fuel tank I do not feel fatigued like I do while running larger saws.

Hope this helps.

Jason


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svk

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I considered a 241, but seems like a modest drop in weight and a very dramatic drop in HP/torque. The power to weight ratio seemed a little low to me. Now I know guys love the 241s and word on the street is a modified muffler and timing advanced 241 can run with a 261 all day.

To me I can be in my woods with this 261 and not wish for a bigger OR smaller saw.

Just ran another tank through her today, grinning ear to ear.

Jason


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Having a 241 and a 550 which is nearly identical in specs to the 261 I'd get a 261 if I had to choose between 241/261. The pound of weight isn't noticeable but the power is.

Congrats on the new saw!
 
Wood Doctor

Wood Doctor

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Whenever I read one of these threads on a "state-of-the art" small Stihl M-Tronic saw and all the troubles surrounding them, I usually go out to the garage, pat my Husky 353 on the shroud, wonder over to my Stihl 026 PRO, pat it on the shroud, and then have a good night's sleep.
 
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