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MS 461

MS 461
A well-balanced, professional chainsaw that is fuel efficient and low maintenance.

Model Features

  • Reduced-Emission Engine Technology - Caring for Nature
    The STIHL Inc. “Caring for Nature” seal identifies its powered products that are more environmentally conscious, producing zero or low exhaust emissions. STIHL Inc. defines “low exhaust emissions” as being cleaner than EPA and/or CARB exhaust emission standards.

    More information

  • STIHL ElastoStart™
    The ElastoStart™ starter handle is an exclusive feature of STIHL. It is a starting grip with a built-in shock absorber that helps reduce the effort when pulling on the starter cord. The ElastoStart™ starter grip noticeably reduces the sudden peak forces (compression) normally felt during cranking. The forces which occur at the grip after the first compression stroke are smoothed out.
  • Decompression Valve
    The decompression valve, also referred to as 'deco' or 'deco valve', vents compression in the cylinder for easier starting. The decompression valve temporarily reduces the compression in the combustion chamber during cranking and helps reduce the effort needed to pull the starter rope. It is opened manually and closes automatically as soon as the engine fires.
  • IntelliCarb™ Compensating Carburetor
    The IntelliCarb™ Compensating Carburetor is designed to automatically adjust the air/fuel ratio when the air filter becomes restricted or partially clogged and maintains the engine’s correct RPM. IntelliCarb™ uses air from the clean side of the air filter to control the diaphragm and flow of fuel. As the air filter becomes dirty and less air is available for the carburetor, the IntelliCarb™ system adjusts the fuel flow to compensate for the decrease in air flow. This is in contrast to typical carburetors that utilize this air from the “dirty” side of the air box.
  • Side-Access Chain Tensioner
    The side-access chain tensioner makes it much more convenient for the user to adjust the saw chain with a bar wrench as opposed to the typical location of the guide bar adjustment screw.
  • Toolless fuel and oil caps with retainers
    Simply lift the lever and twist the caps to remove or tighten. There‘s no need to use a tool to tighten or loosen.


76.5 cc (4.7 cu. in.)
4.4 kW (5.9 bhp)
6.6 kg (14.6 lbs.)
GUIDE BAR LENGTHS* (Recommended ranges)
40 to 80 cm (16" to 32")
800 cc (27.1 oz.)
325 cc (11.0 oz.)
33 RS3
STIHL recommends #3624 (33 RS3 84) OILOMATIC® saw chain and 25" 3003 000 4030 Ematic™ guide bar combination. The actual listed guide bar length can vary from the effective cutting length depending upon which powerhead it is installed.

Important Information

* The actual listed guide bar length can vary from the effective cutting length depending upon which power head it is installed.

Note: STIHL recommends use of fuel with no more than 10% Ethanol content. Using fuel with greater than 10% Ethanol content may cause damage to your equipment and may void your STIHL warranty. Learn More…

WARNING! Improper use of any power tool may cause serious or fatal injury. Read, understand and follow carefully the operating and safety instructions in your instruction manual before using such products.

STIHL products sold through U.S. STIHL dealers are for distribution in the United States only.


Rated 4.9 out of 5 by 26reviewers.
Rated 5 out of 5 by Ms461 Very good saw lots of power light the only saw I will ever need February 28, 2015
Rated 4 out of 5 by Great All Purpose Saw My "go to" saw for most work. More torque and power with a 25" bar and chain than the MS 441. This would be the perfect 5 star saw if it had the air filtration system and Mtronic features of the MS 441 January 31, 2015
Rated 5 out of 5 by solid chainsaw Good handling for a larger saw. Well built and does a number on most any tree. Puts out 6hp, lotta power and has no problem with the bigger bars but handles good with the average 20" er. January 30, 2015
Rated 5 out of 5 by A Workhorse I've been using Stihl saws and other products for over 30 years. First Stihl product was an 028 Super based on recommendation of Lee's Outdoor Power in New Haven Indiana. It still runs like new. 046 Magnum with 25 inch bar and full chisel chain has the horsepower to cut easily through dead hard ash. I'm looking forward to getting a new 461 to add not replace. I wish all saws had the screw caps. I always use ethanol free gas with Stihl Ultra Oil. It's great that any parts or service from friendly professionals are as close as the nearest independent Stihl dealer. Not at at any big box stores. January 8, 2015
Rated 5 out of 5 by stihl ms 461 lots of power good balance I bought a new ms 461 stihl chainsaw 6 weeks ago. it starts easy(with compression release) runs great, and no end to the power. I had the saw set up with a chisel chain. I looked at a husky 372, but I have always had stihl chainsaws with little or no issues. so I stuck with stihl, no regrets. a little pricey, but you get what you pay for, usually. I would recommend this saw to anybody looking for a powerful, great saw. I have been in the woods with other guys with no name saws and all they did was work on their saws instead of cutting wood. time is money too. December 15, 2014
Rated 5 out of 5 by Great saw The 461 is a great saw, and while there are bigger, faster, heavier saws, this one is a really nice balance of all the attributes I look for in a saw. It eats wood, doesn't easily bog, and chews right on through the wood. I like it and it's my Go-To saw when the wood starts getting big. I even bought the carrying case, as I always do, because it deserves that extra bit of care. December 10, 2014
Rated 5 out of 5 by Only saw to own Years ago my dad bought an 046 brand new and still runs it today. I started out running an 038 magnum which dad ended up trading off for a new ms461 which is sitting in his house now for a year without a drop of gas ever put in it. I downgraded to using an 029 and sometimes got the pleasure of using dads 046 and i finally decided I'd buy a new ms461, which has been so far the best saw iv ever attacked a tree with. I decided on it because I thought dad 046 was a powerhouse. From the first drop of fuel Iv run thru my 461 to now I couldent be happier with it's power and cutting speed, it will work dads 046 backwards. I thought the power of the two saws were suppose to be the same but that couldent be much further from the truth, my 461 is a beast of a saw and I couldent be happier with it November 27, 2014
Rated 5 out of 5 by Great Saw I'm an owner of some Stihl equipment. I have an older MS 290 with a 20” bar, which works just fine and has served me well. Recently though, I restarted a maple syrup operation, and ordered a truck load of log length firewood (poplar, ash, birch, maple, cherry#. The logs ranged in diameter from 6” up to 20”. I quickly realized that the MS 290 was just going to take much longer than I had the patience for to cut through that large pile of wood.I spent a lot of time looking at reviews, reading blogs, and speaking with folks that use saws frequently. I wanted something that would have a bit more oomph than the MS 290. You can easily give yourself a headache just looking at specs and trying to figure out what that means in the real world. After a couple of weeks of trying to decide, I opted for the MS 461 with a 25” bar. I thought that if I were going to make an investment in something for the long haul, I wanted to make sure that it wasn’t going to marginally meet my needs.My setup for cutting the logs is to place three or four of them on a sawbuck and cut them all at once. With the MS 290, a single cut on the sawbuck, would take about 2 – 3 min. #Shorter bar length, needed to be more careful with leaning on the saw#. After having cut a few cords with the MS 461, the same single cut is done in about 35 – 40 sec. #Longer bar, doesn’t matter if you apply a little bit of pressure#. The MS 461 has no problem pulling up to a couple of 10” or 12” logs and just zipping right on through in one swipe.Though the saw does weigh a bit more than the MS 290, I spend a lot less time holding it to cut the bundle of logs. What used to be about 20 min. to cut a bundle on the sawbuck is now done in 4 – 5 min. I find it much less strenuous to handle the heavier saw for less time than the small saw for a longer time.The 25” bar length works just fine for me, I’m 6’ 3” tall and don’t really have to worry too much about letting the bar hit the dirt while cutting in the sawbuck. With the 25” bar installed, the saw is maybe a little bar heavy when sharpening the teeth on an uneven surface #block of wood#. I have ordered a second bumper spike for the chainsaw bar cover, more as a “kickstand” to make it a little bit more stable when sharpening the chain teeth. Being a little bar heavy though all goes away once you start cutting wood.This is the first saw I’ve owned that has decompression valve. One can turn the saw over without using the valve, but it’s in an easy location to press with your thumb while starting the saw on the ground. I find that when the saw is cold, it takes 6 – 7 pulls to get it started. I usually let it warm up for a minute or two before I start heavy duty cutting. Once warmed up, it will almost always restart on the first pull.I seem to be getting the about 15 – 20 min. of run time out of a tank of gas depending on how I run the saw. The bar oil reservoir is a little bit below half full every time I refill the gas tank. It does use a bit more fuel than the MS 290, however, the saw cuts much more wood in less time. I’m thinking the amount of fuel to cut the same amount of wood is probably close. This saw runs quite clean and does not “smoke” from what I can see.The saw vibrates a bit while it’s idling away, not really a surprise given its size. Once you pull the trigger and get the chain into the wood, it runs nice and smooth. All features of the saw #decompression valve, choke, trigger, pull start, etc.# work just fine wearing insulated work gloves #not really a surprise, just a comment)If you are thinking the saw maybe a little bit big for just bucking firewood, I would agree… Right up until that first time you bury the bar into the wood and cut up that small bundle of logs. That’s when I knew it was just right! I’m very pleased with the performance and the way it handles. My overall impression of the saw is very positive. I couldn’t be happier. November 14, 2014

Standard Features

  • Common Features for Chain Saws
    View the features common to many STIHL chain saws.

You Will Also Need

For Your Safety


Chainsaw Safety and Maintenance - Video
Product Instruction Manual (PDF)
Product Safety Manual (PDF)
STIHL Limited Warranty
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