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Change of heart, Brand new MS261

Post in 'The Gear' started by Todd 2, Apr 9, 2013.

  1. Todd 2

    Todd 2 Feeling the Heat

    Joined:
    Sep 17, 2012
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    418
    Loc:
    NE Ohio
    Hi All, Left the house today with my sights set on getting a new 550XP to replace the faithful orange handled 350 that is getting tired on its locust / oak diet. I have always wanted a pro series saw. View attachment 99199 stihl21.jpg

    And look what the cat drug home !

    Turned out the Stihl Dealer was really good buds with my boss growing up and he made me a deal I couldn't turn down, plus threw in 6 pack of the good mix for the extended warr. gallon of bar oil, pack of stihl files,and a spare chain. I almost felt a little guilty leaving, but He sure made a customer out of me.

    This thing really feels good in your hands running, total different feel than my brothers older stihls, can't wait to make some chips fly this weekend.
    jeff_t and Nixon like this.

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  2. NH_Wood

    NH_Wood Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Dec 24, 2009
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    2,602
    Loc:
    southern NH
    Sweet saw my friend - enjoy that little beast! Cheers!
  3. bogydave

    bogydave Minister of Fire

    Joined:
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    Loc:
    So Cent ALASKA
    Won't be sorry you bought that baby.
    Sweet.
    18 or 20" ?
    RS3 chisel chain?

    PS: The dealer made money $ ;)
  4. MasterMech

    MasterMech Guest

    Sounds like you did good. That was a pretty standard deal (less the discount) when I was selling saws for a pro saw sale. Easy to throw goodies at you and actually was a better value for the customer than shaving a couple bucks off the saw. The discount makes it that much sweeter.

    I have struggled with the MS261 vs 550XP dilemma myself. The 550XP is supposed to be a better runner right out of the box (and you get AutoTune), but rumor has it the MS261 has a LOT of potential to be unlocked if you send it to one of the many voodoo medicine men for some massaging. I'm still leaning towards the 261 for myself personally.

    Dave that looks like a 16" or 18" with RM3 semi-chisel chain on it to me.
  5. bogydave

    bogydave Minister of Fire

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    Must mean it's 18" , calibrated eyes (+/- 2" ) LOL :)

    I see a green link in the chain. Not sure, I think RS3 is safety ?

    (PS : thanks, MM, for the tip on url links ;) )
  6. MasterMech

    MasterMech Guest

    RS3 and RM3 are both "safety" chains. (old versions were labeled RMC3/RSC3)

    RS and RM (or RSC and RMC) are the "you're gonna die" versions.


    Yeah I'm seeing quite a few of y'all using them now. ;hm ;lol
  7. Todd 2

    Todd 2 Feeling the Heat

    Joined:
    Sep 17, 2012
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    418
    Loc:
    NE Ohio
    I know the rounded corner low kick is on it, he gave me the sq. cornered yellow box more aggressive to try.
    Its 325 narrow kirf .063 P w/ an 18" bar.
    I dont know all the Stilh numbers & symbols yet but what do you think chain wise would be good for hard woods with this set up ?
    I also noticed the chain that came on it has like the 2 depth gauges between the cutters, is that sorta like extra low kick back chain ? looks like I will have some experimenting to do.
  8. MasterMech

    MasterMech Guest

    Sounds to me like you have two good chains for it already. Yellow labeled semi-chisel is much more difficult to come by on this side of the country, RM3 (what you have) would be a close 2nd choice for me.

    If your cutting in clean wood, saddle up that RS chisel chain and you will notice the saw work less and the cuts get faster as long as you keep it razor sharp.
  9. bogydave

    bogydave Minister of Fire

    Joined:
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    So Cent ALASKA
    Compare the Part number on the box or sales slip
    to the stihl chain list.

    I think you have the .325 Pitch X .063 gauge X 74 DL (Drive Links)

    26RS74 (2 is pitch .325, -- 6 is gauge, .063 -- R is cuter type, Rapid -- S is cutter shape , Chisel -- 74 Drive links for an 18" bar )


    Part number 3639 would be the RS chain. .325 X .063 Full chisel, fast cutting,
    Several hear say it's the best. Good for clean cutting.

    The rounded chain cutter, RM, (the on on the saw) stays sharper longer, not as fast cutting but better for cutting dirty wood.

    How to identify the chain using the Stihl marketing number : Stihl Saw chain selection guide

    Have fun.
    Try both chains & see if you notice any difference :)
    Todd 2 likes this.
  10. Todd 2

    Todd 2 Feeling the Heat

    Joined:
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    Loc:
    NE Ohio
    Thanks for the info, that is what the dealer explained to me, He's been selling saws for 40 some years, seemed to know what he was talking about, nice to have someone second his answers.
    I was wanting the 550 also considering a 562 so I asked him about possibly the 362. He told me keep her sharp and save your back with the 261, also said bring it back if you think you need more saw but wait till you get up to 6-8 tanks of gas through it first she will positively come to life. Dealers don't usually talk you into spending less, I had to admire that.
  11. Todd 2

    Todd 2 Feeling the Heat

    Joined:
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    Loc:
    NE Ohio
    Thank you Sir good info there. the 26RS74 is the extra chain he gave me, looks alot like what I run on the 350 and liked. I really like the oil dip carriers in the stihl chain and how it works, pretty slick.
    How do the Stihl bars hold up under normal use ?
  12. MasterMech

    MasterMech Guest

    This depends on your cutting habits and the oiler setting on the saw.

    The stock "E" bars hold up for a long time for the average firewood cutter. "ES" bars are among the best you can buy IMO without getting something exotic.
    Todd 2 likes this.
  13. n6crv

    n6crv Feeling the Heat

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    Loc:
    Hillsdale Co. Michigan
    Why don't you ever hear look what the DOG drug home? The Cat always get the blame LOL.
    Todd 2 likes this.

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