MS261 Stihl saw
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    MS261 Stihl saw

    I recently purchased this saw as a replacement for my MS180C and 029 saws. Nothing particularly special about this MS261 other than the fact that it is one of the few with the typical carburetor versus the electronic M-tronic carb. I had read several reviews about the M-Tronic equipped MS261,and apparently there have been complaints about it's performance under certain circumstances;plus,I don't like the procedure of letting it idle for 90 seconds so it can 'sniff' the atmosphere to make it's adjustments for the day's work. These regular carb MS261's are somewhat scarce /not well known,one Stihl dealer told me they didn't exist and the other dealer was able to get only two of them(he kept one for his collection). He asked why the limit and Stihl told him that there was a very limited quantity to be distributed amongst the dealer network.Go figure.... He summed it up nicely when told me " Sh!t,I don't know whether to use it,bronze it or Ebay it!!" LOL
    I have yet to use the saw,but am looking forward to it,as it is light(magnesium case) and has the de-compression valve.
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    Drifterbike's Avatar
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    you are replacing the exact same two saws I have!! good luck
    etcallhome, rtgt, JKR and 2 others like this.
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    I bought one of those with the mtronic set up last spring I think. It has the highest power output of the 50cc saws on the market and I believe it may be the lightest weight. I run an 18 inch .325 full chisel on it.

    It is my second mtronic saw and I really like them. I think the hertz reference for performance feedback is at least 9. When I am cutting through logs I can actually feel and hear the saw change to accommodate hardness and length of chain engagement.

    The 60 second relearn technique is not normally required. If the operating conditions are dramatically different from the last time you ran the saw then as soon as you begin cutting the saw will compensate itself within moments to the new conditions.

    I did have a hard time with a hot restart last summer when it was 95 out and I was breaking down a huge willow branch that broke off the tree. It would start but bog with throttle until it had run a minute. I was going to take it to the dealer for warranty but I used it a lot after that and it never happened again.

    I know I have limited diagnostic capabilities compared to the older models and that is a disadvantage but when it works as designed I think they run like son of guns.

    I am debating whether to purchase a soon to be introduced new model, the Stihl 462, or maybe send my regular carbureted 441 to Randy Evans in Tennessee (Mastermind Worksaws) for porting.

    The 441 is pretty sweet, I run a 25 inch on it, but I want a touch more power than it kicks out.

    I know you are going to love that saw. For me, the smallest saw does the most work.
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    J3 Driver's Avatar
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    That’s a good saw. I really like the predecessor version that I have.

    026.




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    I have the older 026 version. Great saw. Ive had mine since '95 Just mind the ethanol fuel, its hard on gas lines etc.

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    Yank's Avatar
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    If I bought another saw this would be the one. I cheaped out a few years ago and got the MS250. Told myself when it died I would get the 261. Problem is, it runs great. I gutted the muffler and gained a whole lot of power. That little saw screams. Ideally, I would like to have a small and big saw. My idea setup would be a 261 and a 362 or 441.
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    J3 Driver's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bgdv1 View Post
    I have the older 026 version. Great saw. Ive had mine since '95 Just mind the ethanol fuel, its hard on gas lines etc.

    Sent from my SM-G892A using Tapatalk
    I’m fortunate to have a local gas station that carries ethanol free fuel. It’s all I run in my small engines.
    Or 100LL Avgas.


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    636mullet's Avatar
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    I absolutely love my MS261 CM-Q saw. It has the extra safety in the handle to stop the chain. With my sporadic use I figured it wouldn't hurt. I bought it when it was just coming out. Haven't had any issues so far and boy does it run. I've let a few buddies run it and they've all been pretty impressed. It was pretty spendy, but it's been worth it so far.

    -636
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    I replaced a MS250 last year with a 261 CM, there is little comparison and I have zero issues with the M-tronic carb.
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    Pro use

    Quote Originally Posted by 636mullet View Post
    I absolutely love my MS261 CM-Q saw. It has the extra safety in the handle to stop the chain. With my sporadic use I figured it wouldn't hurt. I bought it when it was just coming out. Haven't had any issues so far and boy does it run. I've let a few buddies run it and they've all been pretty impressed. It was pretty spendy, but it's been worth it so far.

    -636
    The tree contractor that showed up to cut a tree off the power lines used a 261. Three man crew but only one did any cutting, the other two were pure gofers. I had to help the cutter out when he stuck the saw and said the company wouldn't buy them wedges. Fortunately, I had a set in my truck. . .

    I think the 261 has to be a pretty tough saw as I'm not sure the crews do much maintenance on them.

    As a side note, our local volunteer fire department had to give up on buying gas and mixing fuel. Too many people trying to mix fuel and getting it wrong so they just gave up and now buy 5 gallons of the premix at a time. It's stabilized and the right ratio so they have fewer carb problems. Now if they can just convince some of the newer members that running the chain into pavement or dirt is a no-no, they will cut down on their maintenance as well. My brother was paired with one of the newer guys in this last storm. After the guy tried to cut pavement my brother took one of our farm saws along during the last storm. It was his saw and nobody else could touch it so no maintenance was required. . .

    Treefarmer
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