MS 261 C-M

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

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.

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

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  • STIHL M-Tronic™ 
    This product features M-Tronic™ (M) - a new generation of Intelligent Engine Management that eliminates the low and high speed carburetor adjustment screws, compensates for dirty air filter and changes in elevation and fuel quality for optimum engine power at all times.

    See it in action!

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  • Pre-Separation Air Filtration System
    This time-saving technology boosts the efficiency of the engine’s filter system, doubling the time between air filter cleanings. Air drawn into the engine is first separated via centrifugal force, ejecting the heavier dirt particles before being routed to the air filter. This pre-separation means less dirt to be captured by the air filter, resulting in less frequent cleaning and maintenance.

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  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.


50.2 cc (3.06 cu. in.)
3.0 kW (4.0 bhp)
4.9 kg (10.8 Ibs.)
500 cc (16.9 oz)
270 cc (9.13 oz)
26 RM3
GUIDE BAR LENGTHS* (Recommended ranges)
40 to 50 cm (16" to 20")
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.

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.


MS 261 C-M is rated 4.8 out of 5 by 103.
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Awesome Saw I've had the new MS 261cm for about 4 months now and I upgraded to the yellow chain and I'm extremely impressed!! I've had numberous other Stihl saws with my other newest being a 391 Farm Boss but the weight of it got old so I did my homework and settled on this Saw and I couldn't be happier. I'm so glad I bit the bullet and went with a professional model over the other models. This one will run circles around the 391 Farm Boss. It's lightweight, crazy powerful for a Saw this size and runs flawlessly as I've came to expect from all my Stihl products, I have a bunch of different pieces of equipment "11 In All" and you have a customer for life... Not one time has any of them let me down, can't ask for more than that!!! I'm eyeballing the MS 661cm model now just to have a big boy Saw for the rare times I'll need it however I do have a Stihl addiction :). Were about to buy several hundred acres that will require some cleaning up so I'm pretty sure I need it ;) I currently own a MS 180, MS211,MS391, and a MS261cm which is by far my favorite Saw. The others will rarely get used now and I'll be selling the 391 to upgrade to the 661cm. To anyone considering this Saw I can honestly say you will not regret spending the extra money on it, the old sayings true- You Get What You Pay For.... a Saw that you can do just about everything with, trust me I've ran most all of them and these are the Cadillacs of saws!!!! It's a life long investment..
Date published: 2017-03-22
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Smooth running saw. I've only had the saw a couple months and haven't used it much yet but so far seems to be a fine saw. It doesn't start as easy as i thought it would. Pulls easy but usually take 4-5 cranks to get it fired up when it is cold. Once it is warmed up it starts 1st or 2nd pull.
Date published: 2017-03-16
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Nothing but great things to say This saw is amazing. Hands down. From ease of start, great on gas, lots of power, barely any vibration and it cuts through trees like butter. I have 4 acres of wooded property that I am working on clearing with mainly hardwoods and very large poplars and this saw makes quick work of them.It is worth the extra money in my opinion to buy a professional saw. This is something I can see having for 20 years. I replaced an old 1982 Pro Saw from a different company that I got from my grandfather that still runs but was starting to be a bit unreliable. I was leary because that old saw was a powerful beast but this thing is just as powerful if not more.
Date published: 2017-03-14
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Fantastic Saw I am a land owner about to build a house and needed to do some clearing of medium sized trees and dense brush. A friend came over with a small arborist saw to take care of the upper branches and I stayed on the ground with the MS 261. The saw never had a single hiccup during the entire process except a bar oil cap that popped of and drained the bar oil (user error). It handled every tree with ease.I would absolutely recommend this saw if you want a commercial line reliability/power and are willing to pay a bit more for it.
Date published: 2017-03-12
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Powerful Saw Most powerful saw I have ever used. Only con was starting from a cold start. I am hoping once the saw is broken in this will change.
Date published: 2017-03-08
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Pricey but I believe it will be worth it. I've had a ms 250 for several years 6+ now and have loved it. I found myself over the last two years cutting a lot of firewood from tops of trees downed from a logging operation. I loved my 250 but wanted just a little more reach (longer bar) and a little more power (larger engine). I was torn between several models including the 271, 291, and 311 all which were valued in a range that I wanted to be in. However I kept looking into this 261 c-m and ended up spending the extra bones for the lightweight body. As long as this thing holds up like my 250 has I will really believe that it was totally worth the purchase. I've used it the past three weekends and I have found myself looking for things to cut just so I can use it more. It even seems lighter than my 250 I guess because there is little to no vibration from this thing. I didn't select the quality or dependability at this time - to be fair, I haven't had it long enough to make that judgement but, it's lightweight, easy to start, the power that I was looking for, and hopefully with the same great quality that I have gotten out of all of my Stihl products. Good luck in making your decisions, hope this helped.
Date published: 2017-03-08
Rated 1 out of 5 by from Poor return to idle performance! You never know when you let off the throttle if it is going to idle or die. This is a real problem if you need to get the saw back into a falling tree to control it. Also the oil filler cap likes to come open when you are running. Not very good quality for a saw in this price range.
Date published: 2017-03-06
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Love the new M tonic carb No adjustments are necessary! lots of power looks good. I'd recommend it
Date published: 2017-02-26
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Standard Features

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

You Will Also Need

For Your Safety


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