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Thread: Stihl 261 C-M chainsaw?

  1. #16
    Join Date
    Jun 2017
    Location
    Connecticut
    Posts
    29
    I own a 261 and 661. The 261 is used 98% of the time. Itís a very capable saw and is likely overkill from a quality perspective given the use cases you outlined. Donít be tempted to spend another 50-500 dollars and get the next model up. Youíre back will thank you for it. Buy a second saw when the need comes for more power.

  2. #17
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Location
    Northern Arizona
    Posts
    673
    The first of the year has arrived and I'm about ready to pull the trigger on another chainsaw. Sales taxes have decreased here after the Jan. 1 is the reason for postponing the purchase until now. I stopped by our local Stihl dealer a few days ago and they recommended the 391 instead of the 261 C-M primarily because of personal preference but also the larger bar capability. I still like the lighter weight of the 261 C-M and I don't think a larger than 20" bar is needed. I also don't think a more powerful engine is needed in my situation so the 550xp or larger saws mentioned don't seem to make sense to me. I realize the Professional 261 C-M is more saw than I need but I do appreciate the better build quality and at this stage of my life don't mind paying for it. None of my tools will actually pay for themselves in terms of money but I do get a good amount of satisfaction in owning and using them. I never considered an electric chainsaw before, either corded or battery operated but mention of them here has changed my outlook. I still plan to get the gas version for now but will later consider getting an electric because of the now realized convenience they offer.

  3. #18
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    Northern Virginia
    Posts
    458
    I have a few 79cc saws and a couple 45cc saws.. get the 261 if your want it. Bigger saws are nice until you have to carry them around.

  4. #19
    Join Date
    Feb 2014
    Location
    Lake Gaston, Henrico, NC
    Posts
    3,346
    Steve, I'm guessing the Stihl store had a 391 in stock. I expect there are few that have a 261 C-M in stock. The 391 is just a big Farm and Ranch saw, which are heavy and underpowered but designed for abuse like bouncing around in the back of a truck. I haven't looked at the specs, but know that it's the largest saw our Ace hardware keeps in stock, and they don't sell any pro saws. I know someone who sells firewood, and bought a 391 without doing any research-only assuming it was a good saw because of the name on it, and being the largest saw sold locally. It lasted a couple of years.

    Do some reading over in the chainsaw forum at the forestryforum, and maybe ask some questions there. There are a number of pros posting, and many with small places to keep up too.

  5. #20
    Join Date
    Feb 2014
    Location
    Lake Gaston, Henrico, NC
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    3,346
    For curiousity, I just compared specs. The 261 C-M (and do note there are several 261 models) has 4.0 hp, and weighs 10.8 pounds
    361 4.7 hp 12.3
    391 4.4 13.67

    The 361 (later version of my 036) costs less than the 261 C-M. I keep a 24" bar on it, not to cut down trees that size, but so I don't have to bend over so much.

  6. #21
    Join Date
    Jun 2017
    Location
    Northeast Ohio
    Posts
    19
    I run a 20" bar on my 261 with no problem in the oiling or power department.
    I have found if your not looking to win a race, you can run bigger than recommended with no adverse effects. I run a 24" and a 36" bar on my ms460, which is supposed to max out at 32". Most guys on the logging forum won't put longer than a 24" bar on that 70cc saw, but it handles the 36" just fine. Most of the time I do not have all 36" of real estate covered (cutting slab wood in a v jig) but I have had it buried before in a tree trunk and never felt like I wanted more saw.
    The m-tronic is real nice technology, never having to adjust the carb settings is nice. You can usually here it adjusting itself in the cut even. My opinion is whatever you go with, at least get the m-tronic. I held out for a while when the technology first came out as I was pretty skeptical about it, but it has seemingly held up pretty well with few problems

  7. #22
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Location
    Northern Arizona
    Posts
    673
    Quote Originally Posted by Tom M King View Post
    Steve, I'm guessing the Stihl store had a 391 in stock. I expect there are few that have a 261 C-M in stock. The 391 is just a big Farm and Ranch saw, which are heavy and underpowered but designed for abuse like bouncing around in the back of a truck. I haven't looked at the specs, but know that it's the largest saw our Ace hardware keeps in stock, and they don't sell any pro saws. I know someone who sells firewood, and bought a 391 without doing any research-only assuming it was a good saw because of the name on it, and being the largest saw sold locally. It lasted a couple of years.

    Do some reading over in the chainsaw forum at the forestryforum, and maybe ask some questions there. There are a number of pros posting, and many with small places to keep up too.
    You're probably correct about pushing the 391 because of what they had in stock. You're also correct that the 261 C-M is not in stock and will have to be ordered. Planning on doing that tomorrow.

  8. #23
    Join Date
    Mar 2016
    Location
    Florida
    Posts
    927
    Sounds crazy but check out the ryobi 40v cordless ones. Weíve been using one on the farm in place of a couple of stihl saws and itís shocking how well the cordless model works. You would need to be doing logging for it to not make sense for a home owner and wood worker wanting to make blanks. Only issue might be bar length but not sure. Iím thinking of selling my small stihl and getting the 36v Makita variant one of these days since I have the batteries already.

  9. #24
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Location
    Williamstown,ma
    Posts
    862
    A smaller pro saw, like the 261 is a much better fit, unless you are cutting big stuff all the time. I ran Husqvarnas for years, a big one with a 24Ē bar, and a small one with a 16Ē bar. The small one was used for everything that it could be, due to weight and nimbleness.
    Husqvarna had some issues a while back with bad fuel lines, on lots of saws over several years.
    So, I switched to Stihl. Bought a 361, and put a small bar - 16Ē on it. All it needs, and I can run 30Ē if i need it. Great saws, and I now own 3 of them.
    The only complaint I have on the Stihlís, is the fuel cap design is a PITA.
    Guys who buy a big saw with a big bar, for occasional work, get what they deserve in my opinion.
    Sounds like the 261 is the right choice based on your description of use.

  10. #25
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Location
    Northern Arizona
    Posts
    673
    I received my Stihl chainsaw today but realized after bringing it home it was the higher priced Stihl 261 C-MQ instead of the ordered 261 C-M. I paid the manufacturer's list price for the latter. The Q version is supposed to be about $150 more and have their Quickstop feature as well as a few other enhancements. I'm a little concerned that the dealer may be trying to unload some slow moving stock from the manufacturer and was able to sell the higher priced saw at the same price. I'm also not fond of the extra weight of the Q version and its added complexity. Anyone have the Q version and comment on it?

  11. #26
    Join Date
    Dec 2014
    Location
    Cuero, Texas--Not too far from the third coast.
    Posts
    52
    I bought a 261 after I got tired of wearing out Poulans. Mine has a 20 inch bar & I love it. Had told my dealer that when I do cut it’s a lot, so he recommended this one. I process my own wood for projects— lots of Mesquite. For my longer ripping cuts I’ll use the 441 with a 30” bar.
    Last edited by David Hill; 01-15-2019 at 9:17 PM.
    Using Texas woods--especially Mesquite, the "Queen" of woods.

  12. #27
    Join Date
    Feb 2014
    Location
    Lake Gaston, Henrico, NC
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    3,346
    I didn't even know what the Q was, so went to the Stihl page. Looks like an extra 2/3 lb. to stop the chain instantly any time you release the rear handle. Personally, I wouldn't want the extra weight, but I have grown up running chainsaws. You can check the boxes for which saws you want to compare, and then hit the compare box to see the individual specs.

    https://www.stihlusa.com/products/ch...essional-saws/

  13. #28
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Location
    Northern Arizona
    Posts
    673
    Quote Originally Posted by Tom M King View Post
    I didn't even know what the Q was, so went to the Stihl page. Looks like an extra 2/3 lb. to stop the chain instantly any time you release the rear handle. Personally, I wouldn't want the extra weight, but I have grown up running chainsaws. You can check the boxes for which saws you want to compare, and then hit the compare box to see the individual specs.

    https://www.stihlusa.com/products/ch...essional-saws/
    I went through all of the comparisons and research before settling on and ordering the 261 C-M. The C-MQ was an additional $150 and added almost another pound to the saw. The price and added complexity is what made me decide on the C-M. The dealer removed the price obstacle by giving me the C-MQ for the same price but I'm wondering why they would do it. Is it because the manufacturer is overstocked with them. I'm just skeptical.

  14. #29
    Re: electric chain saws

    I always where kevlar chaps when using my (gas) chain saw for the sake of safety. I saw a demo that showed that due to the higher torque of an electric chain saw, the kevlar chaps are pretty much worthless with an electric. So in spite of using a saw that appears to be smaller and safer, it is actually far more dangerous.

    Of course that assumes you use safety gear.

  15. #30
    Join Date
    Feb 2014
    Location
    Lake Gaston, Henrico, NC
    Posts
    3,346
    I would think probably trying to move them, so the manufacturer is probably giving the dealer incentives for moving them. I doubt many would go for the added weight of the Q. Hopefully, they will swap it if you want the C-M.

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