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MS 261 C-M

The same great MS 261, but with advanced STIHL M-Tronic™ technology for optimized performance in various conditions.

MS 261 C-M
Rated 4.8 out of 5 by 46reviewers.
Rated 5 out of 5 by Mean Machine This chainsaw rocks! It'll eat through anything you put in front of it. Just keep the chain sharp and you'll be slinging rooster tails of saw dust behind you. But seriously this is the most powerful saw in the lightest configuration out there. As close to perfect as it gets. March 30, 2015
Rated 5 out of 5 by Get What you Pay For I was looking very seriously at the 311 for use around my property and had thought about the 261 but didn't know if the added cost was really justified since the bar is already pretty high for the Farm and Ranch saws. While I don't run a saw every day, I do need it frequently enough to warrant buying a good one that I can trust. While at my dealer he showed me the pro features that set their pro saws apart from the rest. This, with the great power-to-weight ratio of the 261, was enough to convince me to spend the extra coin for the 261. On 1st use it became abundantly clear that this was a very wise choice. Some have suggested that it's a bit small to pull a 20" bar, but this has not been my experience at all as it plows through red oak and maple with no problem. I've only got 2 tanks of gas through it thus far but I can already say without reservation that this is one of the best tool buying decisions I've ever made. Starts up easily, and with the M-tronic system in play I can't see how anyone could possibly flood it. March 27, 2015
Rated 5 out of 5 by Nice All Around Say I have had this saw for a few months now and I am impressed with its ease of starting compared to some other Stihl saws I have owned. The Mtronics is great. I had the 261 and let my dad have it because he needed a replacement. I really enjoyed that saw so I replaced it with the 261 C-M. The performance difference with the M tronic is night and day. I have a reagular 441 and now am thinking to upgrade to the M tronic version of that or possibly the 661 C-M. I am sold on the M tronic. This saw is light enough for being an all around saw if you are not looking for to big of a cut. I have a 18 inch bar on this and it is a fast cutter. March 16, 2015
Rated 5 out of 5 by My favorite saw. This saw is great. I've been using this to clear fields of honey locust, hickory and cedar 8 hours a day since purchase and it is a joy to use. This is the perfect size saw for around the farm. Can easily fell 16" trees all day. Has no lack of power and is really easy on the hands. My only critique is that the oiler is stingy at factory setting. Using the default "E" setting just doesn't oil the bar enough and the chain tends to get really hot and dry. For me, setting the oiler to just below maximum solved the issue and I haven't had trouble since.This is by far the best saw I've ever owned. The M-Tronic was the key selling point for me. You can hear the computer calculating mix right on start-up which I think is cool as can be The saw just never dies at idle regardless of temp. I was surprised at how simple and elegant the m-tronic system's design is. It is basically 3 wires and 2 sensors with a solenoid in the carb connected to a simple ECM that is powered via the magneto. So cool! March 15, 2015
Rated 2 out of 5 by Things have changed.... I am an avid Stihl user! I use Stihl products professionally for park and forestry work. However, I was extremely disappointed with this saw! After my new crew pored straight gas in my MS260 pros last year, I needed a replacement. With MS260's being discontinued, I settled for two MS261c's. They have both been a pain since day one. First of all, they run really hot and have since their first major use. All the metal on the both saws have this iridescent sheen to it from heat. Even the little rubber piece the sprocket sits on melted. Second, the saw has problems starting. I'm used to this from older saws, but brand new saw, no. The saws generally start up just fine the first pull and run well; however, once the saw is shut off it is really difficult to start again. It floods quickly too. Really inconvenient when you run a saw all day. Other in my industry has purchased this saw and had the same complaints. I love Stihl, but not sure whats going on with this saw! February 27, 2015
Rated 5 out of 5 by excellent saw, very light and powerful very versatile saw for anyone needing a a saw to several things from felling 20 inch trees to limbing trees. I highly recommend this saw with its adjustable oiler for the chainsaw and many other pro features. You regret this purchase!!! February 20, 2015
Rated 5 out of 5 by All-around strong performer Purchased in the fall, and I've taken down about 25 trees, ranging in diameter from 6 to 18 inches, with it now. Starts easy, runs strong and doesn't stall. Seems to be getting stronger with more use. I spent more than hoped to get this saw but am glad I did, as I expect it to last a long time. Great tool! February 12, 2015
Rated 5 out of 5 by Strong compact and fuel efficient! I have borrowed many saws before purchasing my own and many other brands sold in the box stores do not come close to the reliability the ms261 cm has. I find the anti vibration system on this saw helps me from becoming fatigued and I no longer have issues with my hands going numb from use at the end of the day. February 12, 2015
Rated 5 out of 5 by Perfection? I have owned several Stihl chainsaws over the years from an 0-26, MS250, MS260, MS-261. The features and performance of my current MS260, make it as close to the perfect saw as I have ever come across. The weight to power ratio is better than any saw I have ever owned. In the four years that I have owned this saw it has been extremely reliable. Cutting approximately, nine or ten cords a year for my home heating purposes. The only part I have ever had to replace has been the chain! The air cleaner design is excellent! The anti-vibration feature is superb! I enjoy cutting with this saw so much, that I hope I never have to replace it.If you are going to own ONE saw, that you need to be able to do all of your cutting tasks....Then look no further, because you will not find a more capable and versatile saw than the MS-261....It is a winner! January 20, 2015
Rated 5 out of 5 by Excellant features and durability After doing countless hours of research on which saw to buy, I choose the MS 261, and am I ever happy I did. Amazing power for a 50cc saw. Just a well balanced and designed saw. I can see were this saw will be worth just as much as I paid for it in 15 years time. January 16, 2015
Rated 5 out of 5 by powerful and awesome chainsaw in all my years doing wood this MS 261 C-M is everything they say light and powerful,i purchase it last week and don't talk to me about any other saws ,this baby as it all,i wish i had purchase the one long time ago,i own ms 290 ms 251 ms 170 and this is the one that will follow me from now on ,the MS 261 C-M as my ms 290 beat all way around December 4, 2014
Rated 5 out of 5 by Another Great Stihl Have had several Stihl models, 025s, 028s and was presented this one as a retirement gift. I LOVE my 025's(had 2) and thought I might never use the 261 but after I tried it out, WHAM, what's not to love about it ? It doesn't feel heavier but you can sure feel the power difference. The easy start is awesome as I'm not getting any younger/stronger. It cuts through the biggest and hardest timber and seems effortless...its now my "go-to saw", often leaving the 025/028s at home; I'd take one saw for felling/bucking and one just for limbing, not anymore the 261 is powerful enough - yet light enough to do both. Awesome choice for any person who chooses to heat with wood. October 19, 2014
Rated 5 out of 5 by Really excellent, smooth, powerful saw! Bought a MS 261 C-M, with 20" bar and full-chisel chain, a few weeks ago and have been using it to fell and buck (cut up) quite a few trees on our property. Most of the trees have been in the 18" to 24" category with some larger and some smaller. All are oak or hickory and about a third of them died a year or so ago from a bad drought we had. So this is some pretty tough cutting. This saw is a hoss! It has made quick work of these trees, cutting them down to firewood lengths.I'm impressed with the power-to-weight ratio of this saw. This is important to me since I'm nearly 60 y/o, so the weight of a saw concerns me more than it used to. I really like the compression release for ease of starting. Didn't think I would want it or use it, but once I did a couple of times, I'm glad I've got it, especially since I had shoulder surgery few years ago. That compression release makes this powerful saw easy to start.A couple of other things I like about this saw are 1) how smooth and effective the anti-vibration system works, and 2) how well balanced and ergonomically efficient the design of the saw is. I have another saw (not Stihl) that is more powerful than this one, but after a half a day of running it, I'm worn out. After 4 or 5 hours of running this MS 261, I even feel better than I did running one of my smaller, less powerful saws (also not Stihl).Also, since I've been cutting both dry and green wood, it's nice being able to easily turn the chain oiler up for the dry wood and down for the green wood.My only problem with this saw is that I wish I had bought one much earlier. October 7, 2014
Rated 5 out of 5 by Light to work with I have used Stihl chain saws for decades.. From the old 090 and 64 models of the 70's and the 460 and 260 pro series of late.. I like this ms261.. It is light and starts first pull EVERY time…. August 21, 2014
Rated 5 out of 5 by Great all around chain saw Had a ms 250 but needed something with a little more power . The ms 261cm is lightweight and has the extra power I was looking for . The decompression valve makes starting very easy . August 11, 2014
Rated 5 out of 5 by A Great Saw With Plenty of Power After 38 years it was time to replace my faithful 1976 041 Farm Boss. After many questions, I settled on the MS 261 CM. It has a smaller engine than my old 041 but the lighter weight was an attractive feature (14.5 lbs vs. 17.5 lbs with 16" bars). The first task was to cut up the 23" diameter white oak trunk sections (left by the tree service) into stove lengths. The MS 261 CM did fine using about half throttle. I noticed the absence of vibration (and fatigue). Cutting was reasonable fast and more enjoyable. I appreciated the lower fuel consumption and the pre-stretched chain required minimal adjustments despite the heavy cutting of those oak trunk sections. The engine started, idled and ran beautifully with no adjustments required! Now, with about 6 hours on the saw, the engine is running stronger even with less throttle. This saw has more than enough power. It is a worthy successor to my old 041! August 1, 2014
Rated 5 out of 5 by Cuts and handles like a dream. For the homeowner who wants more power to weight then the prosumer saws with the legendary Stihl durability and reliability, the 261 is the way to go. July 10, 2014
Rated 4 out of 5 by A hard starter Great saw, awesome power, Some good features. My only complaint is it is a hard starter. Can take 10 or more pulls to get it to start.. It would be nice to have a prime pump. something to get fuel to the carburetor. With the funny controls on the "start" control you never know where you are too much fuel or not enough. . July 5, 2014
Rated 5 out of 5 by Great Power & RPM for it's size Decompression button saves your shoulder while starting. Honestly, this is NOT anything like my little "EasyStart" MS180 BC-E to get started, but the decompression button really does help out by reducing pulling effort during start-ups. Saw runs and runs... until fuel runs out. This unit will flat out cut some wood! Try installing the carbide chain on 20 inch bar as that combo works very well. I always use the Stihl silver 2-stroke mix (each bottle makes a gallon). June 2, 2014
Rated 1 out of 5 by 10 weeks old already been back to shop I would not recommend buying as it seems to unreliable it seems very hit and miss when starting. May 22, 2014
Rated 5 out of 5 by My favorite saw...... I had an 028 for many years and when it finally gave up (after 23 years) I opted for the 261. Our hiking trail asssociation had a grand task, clearing 24,500' of trail #seven sections involved# after a tornado hit our PIne Mountan Trail in FDR State Park #GA# in April of 2011. I got the 261 the first week after the tornado and we went to work. The association also bought two new 290's as did my brother. Although they cut great too, I found I could run longer on a tank of fuel than them by far, and cut faster and my saw was somewhat smaller and lighter and with the anti-vibe fear...more comfortable to use. We bought them all with 18" bars #with 3/8 chains.# . The 261 is a running "mochine". Starts easy. Clean up is easy and the saw is well made. The round air filter is easy to remove and clean. One thing we found to keep all our Stihl units running well is we ONLY use NON-ethanol midgrade gas. Also using the new silver can synthetic oils. May 14, 2014
Rated 5 out of 5 by This small saw has features that are normally found on bigger pro saws. This is a great saw. I put a 20" 3/8 bar and chain on it and it was like a different saw. The air filter is a major improvement over the old flocked filter. I've got a bigger Stihl for felling big stuff, but this is the saw I run the most. I've had 026's and MS260 but this is the best of that class. When you know how they are made you will buy a Stihl. May 14, 2014
Rated 5 out of 5 by Impressive little saw After running my old O66 for awhile I was less than enthusiastic when this little 261 showed up on our job site as a trim saw. Boy was I wrong! It is the perfect little saw for limbing felled timber. The savings in weight is great, and you wont believe the power for such a small saw! Still have my O66 for falling timber but thr little 261 SURE IS NICE FOR LIMBING ALL DAY. May 1, 2014
Rated 5 out of 5 by My 1st Stihl Chainsaw Purchase Rode the McCulloch chainsaw for 25'ish years before she gave-up the ghost so a new purchase was in-order. Met with and talked to several people plus a little research on-line and ended up at a local Stihl Dealer. A representative from Stihl was actually there and we discussed my needs and expectations. I had them write it up and i took it home. I am totally amazed at the MS261. The power, simplicity and the overall user experience has been exceptional; Kudos !!! April 21, 2014
Rated 5 out of 5 by awesome saw. m-tronic is amazing, i cut every weekend and sell firewood. this is by far my favorite saw stihl has to offer. i also like the bar nut feature, and the fact you cant flood the engine. March 25, 2014
Rated 5 out of 5 by Excellent chainsaw for the 50 cc range Excellent power to weight ratio service is also excellent, excellent firewood saw March 21, 2014
Rated 5 out of 5 by Awesome Saw!!! This is a great product, read the owners manual 4 times!! Used the saw in southern Iowa to clear some land. I have run 4 other name brand saws over the last 25 years and this is hands down the best saw. I love the decompression valve it is woth the money, makes starting so much easier. Just remember you get what you pay for!!! March 12, 2014
Rated 5 out of 5 by Great Saw For a Wide Range of People I'll start by saying I'm an intermediate chainsaw user. I've used them in the past on occasion, I know how to use them properly but don't use them on a regular basis. I buy and flip houses for a living and trimming trees is expensive so since I have a dumpster at the properties already anyway I decided I would start doing the tree trimming myself. I needed a chainsaw since I didn't already own one. I ran down to an orange logo big box store and picked up another popular brand chainsaw with a 36cc motor. I proceeded to cut down a bigger than average mesquite tree. Though the saw did the job, it felt under powered and a bit like a toy so I returned it. I was planning to buy a better model of that same brand but decided to wait and do some more research on the other brand. I spontaneously decided on the Stihl 311 because of price and specs without doing much research on Stihls. The 311 is an amazing saw with a lot of power and aggressive chain. I was very impressed but it felt like it had almost too much power for my needs. I did more research on Stihls and decided I wanted the features of a pro model instead so I considered the 362 C-M but I also was considering the 261 C-M because it was lighter and had a little less power. I ended up returning the 311 under Stihls 7 day satisfaction guarantee and I opted for the 261. I used it for a couple of hours today and was very impressed. It is lighter, smaller, and more maneuverable than the 311 but still has quite a bit of power. For me I think it is a good blend of the amount of power I need and in an easier to wield package. I'm still a little on the fence as I really did like the power of the 311 and part of me would like to have the 362 but I'm being sensible about my needs and trading a little less power for easier maneuverability. The 311/362 should have enough power for some serious wood cutting, however, in my opinion, I don't know why anyone who needed a chainsaw would buy one smaller than 50cc's. If you want an amazing easy to handle saw with impressive power for its size, this is an excellent choice. If you want to make sure you have plenty of power in case you run into a big job then you might want a 311 or 362 depending on your budget and feature preference. By the way, I spoke with 2 support people at Stihl this morning to help me make my decision and they were really great and sounded happy to be helping me. The other company whose saw I purchased first acted like it was a burden to talk to me about their product. I'm truly impressed and happy to pay a little extra for a great product from a great company. Spend a little extra money and get a Stihl. It's well worth it. February 14, 2014
Rated 4 out of 5 by M-tronic is not for me Not a fan of the m-tronic seems like more to go wrong which will lead to more costly repairs down the road... My little orange screwdriver works for me. January 3, 2014
Rated 5 out of 5 by Best deal for the money...versatile and reliable! Bought the model MS261 after looking at the MS291 but found this one to weigh less, come with the M-Tronic engine management system, utilize a magnesium case for longer life. I did not want to pay this much for a saw but after comparing different manufacturers I found this saw to be a better deal for what you get in a saw. Plus Stihl has a great reputation and for good reason as every professional logger or tree trimming business I know owns and uses Stihl. I have found this saw to sip fuel for the power it produces. It starts great, idles great, runs great and cuts great! I bought it with a 20" bar and there is plenty of power to handle even a full chain's worth of tree when cutting. I have cut up 6 trees with an average of an 18"-20" diameters and it cut like a knife going through butter. I have also found the chains to be of excellent quality and to last a long time before any stretch (I have not had to sharpen the chain yet either). I use non-oxygenated 92 octane with the Stihl mix oil plus the Stihl bar oil. I think their products are great and for me I feel it is an inexpensive insurance to keep the saw running great. I highly recommend this saw and it should be the last saw you will need to purchase...it's that versatile and reliable. December 5, 2013
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