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MS 261

MS 261
This chainsaw offers an optimized power-to-weight ratio, great fuel efficiency and convenience features.

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

  • Built in the USA
    Indicates products that are built in the United States from domestic and foreign parts and components.

    More information

  • STIHL Quickstop®
    STIHL chainsaws are equipped with a chain stopping system designed to reduce the risk of injury in certain kickback situations. It is called a STIHL Quickstop® chain brake. The STIHL Quickstop® chain brake is designed to stop the rotation of the chain if activated by the operator’s hand or by inertia if the saw kicks back with sufficient force. In some working positions, the STIHL Quickstop® chain brake can be activated by inertia, stopping the chain within fractions of a second.

    See it in action!
  • Anti-Vibration System
    STIHL has developed a system for minimizing the vibration levels of handheld outdoor power equipment. The STIHL anti-vibration system helps reduce operator fatigue and provides a more comfortable working experience.
  • 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.
  • Ematic™ Lubrication System
    The Ematic™ guide bar, when used with STIHL OILOMATIC® saw chain, will provide proper lubrication and less oil consumption than conventional methods. The system works because two ramps, strategically placed in the guide bar rail, help contain the flow of oil and direct all lubrication to the sliding faces of the bar and chain links as well as the rivets and driver holes, which in turn can reduce bar oil consumption up to 50%.
  • 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.
  • Master Control Lever™
    The Master Control Lever™ is an easy to use single lever, operating the choke, starting throttle lock and on-off switch. The operator must pull the throttle trigger before moving the Master Control Lever™ to the choke position.
  • Adjustable Automatic Oiler
    The Adjustable Automatic Oiler allows the user to adjust the lubricant of the guide bar and saw chain for different bar lengths and cutting conditions.

Specifications

DISPLACEMENT
50.2 cc (3.06 cu. in.)
ENGINE POWER
3.0kW (4.0 bhp)
POWERHEAD WEIGHT
4.9 kg (10.8 lbs.)
FUEL CAPACITY
500 cc (16.9 oz.)
CHAIN OIL CAPACITY
270 cc (9.13 oz.)
OILOMATIC® CHAIN
26 RM3
GUIDE BAR LENGTHS* (Recommended ranges)
40 to 50 cm (16" to 20") STIHL ROLLOMATIC® E
POWER SOURCE
Gas
STIHL recommends #3634 (26 RM3 67) OILOMATIC® saw chain and 16" 3003 008 6813 Ematic™ guide bar combination. The actual listed guide bar length can vary from the effective cutting length based on which powerhead it is installed on.

Important Information

WARNING! The occurrence called “kickback” can cause serious or fatal injury. Always read the instruction manual carefully before using your saw. STIHL uses a green and yellow color-coding system to help you select a powerhead, bar and chain combination that complies with the kickback requirements of ANSI Standard B175.1 (gasoline-powered saws) and §30 of UL 1662/ ANSI Standard B175.1 (electric chainsaws). Ask your STIHL dealer about safe operating procedures and the advantages of the STIHL Quickstop® chain brake, STIHL Quickstop® Plus (Q) additional chain braking feature, STIHL reduced kickback bars and STIHL low-kickback saw chains.

STIHL recommends the use of green reduced kickback bars and green low kickback chains on all STIHL chainsaws.

* The actual listed guide bar length can vary from the effective cutting length based on which powerhead it is installed on.

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.

Reviews

MS 261 is rated 4.8 out of 5 by 69.
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Excellent power to weight ratio. I especially like the canister air filter. Out of all the Stihl saws I have owned and ran this is my favorite. This is my go-to saw for nearly everything. Great power to weight ratio and features like the canister air filter and decompression button make this a great saw that is easy to start and run. I put a 3/8" bar, chain and sprocket on my saw and it made a world of difference in performance. This is my favorite saw out of all the saws I have owned and ran. When you now how they are made you'll choose STIHL.
Date published: 2017-05-15
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Well worth the price. I bought this saw about a year ago and I've been working it hard since. It has MORE than enough power to run the 18" bar through anything I've come across, namely mesquite, oak, pine, and cedar. I turned up the oil as high as it would go because oil is cheap compared to a bar and it really only uses a half a tank for every full tank of gas. My father in law has a MS251 that he uses for the same thing I do and it just doesn't have the power to cut as fast and can sometimes bog down when the whole bar is cutting. He also prefers to run the oil on the preset and his bar gets signivantly hotter than mine. My only gripe is when traveling from 500' to 7500' the automatic fuel/air can take a long time to adjust causing the saw to bog or never warm up fully. After 15 minutes or so it's right back at it. Don't buy anything else to save a few bucks. This saw is worth every penny
Date published: 2017-04-25
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Worth the extra money I bought this saw for a combination of everything, firewood, trimming, hinge cutting, etc. It did not disappoint. It's starts like clockwork on the 5th pull. I've got close to 100 hours on this saw with no hiccups. Great, dependable saw. I'm glad I spent the extra money. I have since bought a 170 for my smaller work, but still regularly use my 261.
Date published: 2017-04-21
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Typical Stihl Typical Stihl ... Dealer was very helpful and knowledgeable on product. Saw is everything I need and nothing I don't. I don't even bother shopping other brands now and haven't for years.
Date published: 2017-04-20
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Great Saw, low weight. This saw is just a beauty to operate. For a 4 hp saw, it's not heavy like some makes. Easy starting, A pro model that will last me forever.
Date published: 2017-04-18
Rated 5 out of 5 by from lightweight smooth powerful saw very easy starting great power to weight very well balanced and smooth just a comfortable saw to run . I like the capture nuts on the side cover that is a real nice feature .the tank covers are also nice. I worked for a tree surgeon in the 80s we had 09 to 090 stihl it is amazing to see the advancement in technology. this saw just keeps making power up to incredibly high rpm and stays smooth .it has great performance .
Date published: 2017-04-11
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Great Chainsaw This is my first Stihl product. It was recommended by others and I had reviewed it on-line. I am very much pleased with this chainsaw. It out performs my old one hands down. I was able to do the same amount of work in about 1/3 the time. I can't wait to use it again and put it through a harder workout. I would recommend this Pro Chainsaw to anyone.
Date published: 2017-03-16
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Awesome Saw! I haven't had too much time with this saw yet, but I was able to test it out. I dropped a pretty big tree with it, limbed it and cut it up in approximately an hour with this saw. It preformed flawlessly!It has a great deal of power and speed for a lighter saw. It is a lot easier to handle than my MS 441. I am looking forward to getting a load of logs so I can have some more fun with this new saw! I would definitely recommend this saw!
Date published: 2017-03-09
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Standard Features

  • Common Features for Chainsaws
    View the features common to many STIHL chainsaws.

You Will Also Need

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Support

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