1. Welcome Hearth.com Guests and Visitors - Please enjoy our forums!
    Hearth.com GOLD Sponsors who help bring the site content to you:
    Hearthstone Soapstone and Cast-Iron stoves( Wood, Gas or Pellet Stoves and Inserts)

Early Christmas - New MS261!!!

Post in 'The Gear' started by AJS56, Dec 5, 2012.

  1. Jags

    Jags Moderate Moderator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2006
    Messages:
    15,256
    Loc:
    Northern IL
    Go get a loop of Stihl RS and thank me later.;)

    Helpful Sponsor Ads!





  2. fabsroman

    fabsroman Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Jun 1, 2011
    Messages:
    1,012
    Loc:
    West Friendship, Maryland
    Yeah, I was going to continue using RMC on the MS261 until I saw what RSC did on the 660. Was wondering if it was all due to the saw size, or if it had anything to do with the chain, so bought the RSC chain and realized a lot of it had to do with the chain. Put RSC on my dad's sad Craftsman, and even that cuts a lot better now. Just night and day in my opinion.
  3. StihlHead

    StihlHead Guest

    Speaking of mailboxes... the snowplow guy plowed the road here yesterday, clipped and totaled my mailbox! County jerks... took me most of yesterday afternoon to pound it out and reset the post. :confused:
  4. amateur cutter

    amateur cutter Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Aug 20, 2010
    Messages:
    1,170
    Loc:
    West Michigan
    AJ, don't lose the E clip when you change that rim sprocket out on the saw. The little suckers will fly 20 + feet no problem. As Jags said get the RS chain & never look back. Imo you've got one of the best firewood saws made right there. Enjoy it. A C
    Backwoods Savage and AJS56 like this.
  5. amateur cutter

    amateur cutter Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Aug 20, 2010
    Messages:
    1,170
    Loc:
    West Michigan
    Yep, hate it when that happens. Around here you'll see people put plywood or pallet "guards" up to keep the wet slop from flattening their mailbox. Doesn't do much when they hit it with the wing plow though. A C
  6. Duramaximos

    Duramaximos Member

    Joined:
    Dec 18, 2011
    Messages:
    27
    Loc:
    Alberta, Canada
    Been running my 261 for about a year now, and love it!

    Question about chains: how do I know if I have a safety chain or not?
    I bought 2 sthil chains with the saw, but threw away the boxes. Can I see the difference by looking at the chain?
  7. fabsroman

    fabsroman Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Jun 1, 2011
    Messages:
    1,012
    Loc:
    West Friendship, Maryland
    The RM Safety chains wil have a green link in them. The RS full chisel chains with have a yellow link in them. Easiest way to tell them apart when you do not have the box anymore.
  8. Duramaximos

    Duramaximos Member

    Joined:
    Dec 18, 2011
    Messages:
    27
    Loc:
    Alberta, Canada
    ...and what if the chain doesn't have any color coded links?
  9. TreePointer

    TreePointer Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Sep 22, 2010
    Messages:
    2,306
    Loc:
    Western PA
    The low kickback chain (green) will have a guard link in front of the cutter link. The top of the guard link overlaps the depth gauge (raker) of the cutter link.

    [​IMG]

    Click here: http://www.stihlusa.com/products/chain-saws/saw-chains/

    Now click on the RS and RS3 links to compare chain pictures. You will see the guard link on the RS3 (low kickback) chain.
  10. AJS56

    AJS56 Burning Hunk

    Joined:
    Mar 5, 2012
    Messages:
    217
    Loc:
    Central Lower Mich
    So, the RSC Chain cuts faster/better? Is the lack of anti kickback protection noticeable? ALso, I understand they go dull easier? I plan to get a 2nd chain soon, guess I'm wondering if there are any cons to the more agressive chain. I notice many or most on here tend to use them. Thanks.
  11. Researcher1

    Researcher1 Member

    Joined:
    Nov 8, 2011
    Messages:
    45
    Loc:
    Pittsburgh PA
    The safety chains are harder to maintain, at least for me, when filing the rakers. I don't know if they really dull easier. As long as you are careful not to hit the end of the bar, creating kickback then you should be fine. You should be aware of the end of you bar no matter what chain you are using.
  12. amateur cutter

    amateur cutter Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Aug 20, 2010
    Messages:
    1,170
    Loc:
    West Michigan
    Safety chain is usually available in a semi chisel cutter only, non safety chain is available in full or semi chisel style tooth. The semi chisel will stay sharper longer, but is slower cutting. It's good in dirty working conditions, full chisel cuts faster, but will dull a little faster. If there is anything between the teeth on the chain besides a raker that looks like the dorsal fin of a shark, you've got some variety of safety chain. Any chain will kickback if the bar tip comes in contact with another log or any other solid object. As was stated, always know where your bar tip is, & stay out of the plane of the chain. A C
  13. TreePointer

    TreePointer Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Sep 22, 2010
    Messages:
    2,306
    Loc:
    Western PA
    RS3 (formerly RSC3) is full chisel low kickback chain. It has guard links and a sungle humped drive link. In my experience, it performs comparably to regular chain RS (formerly RSC) except when bore cutting.
  14. AJS56

    AJS56 Burning Hunk

    Joined:
    Mar 5, 2012
    Messages:
    217
    Loc:
    Central Lower Mich
    Thanks for the chain info guys. I might just try a slightly more agressive chain.
  15. StihlHead

    StihlHead Guest

    Stihl no longer makes RM2 safety chain. RM is non-safety chain BTW (good semi-chisel chain in my experience). RM is also available in skip, called RMF, and low vibration, called RMC. RM2 used to be the standard chain that came on Stihl saws for many years. It has a large hump on the guard links between the cutter links as well as a hump overlapping the depth gauge on the cutter links. The newer Stihl safety chains are PMC3, RMC3 and RS3 (semi picco, semi, and full chisel, respectively). These also have guard links, but the humps on these guards only overlap the depth gauges on the cutter links and they do not have the characteristic double hump between the cutter links like RM2 did.

    Basically the difference between safety and non-safety chain is the grab that the chain has. This is most apparent at the tip of the bar, and a more grabby chain is more apt to have kickback (spin up and off the wood and toward your head). Similar to safety vs non-safety bars; safety bars have a smaller/narrower nose than non safety bars, and again the reason is that a wider nose bar will have more kickback than a narrow one. Non safety chain will cut faster w/o the guard links to keep the chain floating higher in the cut.
    loadstarken likes this.
  16. loadstarken

    loadstarken Member

    Joined:
    Dec 16, 2012
    Messages:
    227
    Loc:
    Redmond, WA
    Wow this is awesome information on different chain!
    Thanks StihlHead!
  17. MasterMech

    MasterMech Guest

    Yes. No. Yes, in that order for your 1st 3 questions.

    StihlHead's post was on the mark regarding the different chain types. Stihl sells chain in green-labeled boxes and yellow labeled boxes. I'd take pictures but I don't have any green label boxes to show you! :p

    The difference between the two is the yellow label stuff has only what the chain needs to cut and cut consistently. Nothing else. The green-label chain has one or more devices/features that usually prevent the chain from taking a big bite as it travels around the nose of the bar, since that is where the reactive forces are most dangerous. Look closely at the chain on your MS261. The humps on the drive links will sit slightly behind and below the rakers on each cutter link. As the chain travels around the nose of the bar, note how the position of the hump changes to out in front of the raker.

    RSC3 is full-chisel safety chain (green-label) and until the log gets bigger than the bar, you'd be hard pressed to notice a real difference IMO. But as soon as the bar gets buried, not hard with a 16" bar ;), you will see the speed difference. RM/RMC/RMC3 chain is all semi-chisel (the latter being green label and most likely what is currently on that MS261) and while it's not quite as fast in the wood, it does win "in the pits" with far less sharpening required. It is my go-to for dirty, punky, wood that tends to dull chain quickly.

    IMO anybody who has reasonable chainsaw experience is no more at risk using yellow-label chain over green-label. Both types go thru flesh and bone just fine, one just works better in wood. ;)
  18. AJS56

    AJS56 Burning Hunk

    Joined:
    Mar 5, 2012
    Messages:
    217
    Loc:
    Central Lower Mich
    Thanks MasterMech and Stihlhead for all of that excellent chain information. Based on all your help and thoughts I may just try a non-safety chain once to see the difference. Thanaks again guys and Merry Christmas!
  19. StihlHead

    StihlHead Guest

    As MasterMech explains above, safety chain is designed to work mainly when the chain travels around the nose spricket. At that point safety chain rakers pop up and add width, length, or even height to the cutter rakers (depends on the type of safety chain used). RM2 has ridiculously long guard rakers and humps on them. That stuff is really 'super safety' chain. If you are not doing any bore cutting, there is not that big a difference. Bore (or plunge) cuts are used when you want to leave a strap or straps at the back end of a back cut to keep the tree from falling sooner than you want, or if you are cutting at an odd angle to fall the tree at an angle different than the lean of the tree. You cut into the back of the tree using the nose of the bar and then widen the cut area once you are bar deep or through the other side. If you are bucking, limbing, or noodeling, safety chain is just going to be slightly slower than non-safety, but it will still cut wood. Generally the safety rakers prevent the cutters from going as deep into the wood as they would w/o them, which is basically counterproductive to cutting with a saw.

    Once you figure out how safety chain performs compared to non-safety, you will likely want to use non-safety. It has a different feel to it and in my experience, has a better response and is easier to control and cut with.
    AJS56 likes this.
  20. AJS56

    AJS56 Burning Hunk

    Joined:
    Mar 5, 2012
    Messages:
    217
    Loc:
    Central Lower Mich
    Hey, I finally unloaded the pics from my phone (man, just a few years ago that would have been a very odd thing to say...).

    So here is the picture proof that the new Stihl MS261DID happen! And my Mac 610 is included just for nostalgia...

    Attached Files:

    Backwoods Savage and MasterMech like this.
  21. HittinSteel

    HittinSteel Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Aug 11, 2008
    Messages:
    1,587
    Loc:
    Northeastern Ohio
    Dang, that's like parking a gremlin next to a porsche
    MasterMech and AJS56 like this.
  22. AJS56

    AJS56 Burning Hunk

    Joined:
    Mar 5, 2012
    Messages:
    217
    Loc:
    Central Lower Mich
    Hey now, that Gremlin got me through a lot of wood over the years. But yeah, you ain't wrong! ;)
  23. AJS56

    AJS56 Burning Hunk

    Joined:
    Mar 5, 2012
    Messages:
    217
    Loc:
    Central Lower Mich
    LOL, I just noticed that I had in fact posted pics back a while ago. Oh man, CRS strikes again!!!
  24. HittinSteel

    HittinSteel Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Aug 11, 2008
    Messages:
    1,587
    Loc:
    Northeastern Ohio
    what is the crap in front of the handle bar on the mac?..... a safety shield?
  25. Thistle

    Thistle Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Dec 16, 2010
    Messages:
    4,206
    Loc:
    Central IA

    That's one of the 2 designs of chainbrake/handguard the 610 had.I think its the later version,I dont see it as often as the more common one like my old beast had,it looks more like more 'modern' ones pretty much....

    *sniff* ;em I miss the old beast now....It sat under bench for 11 years,filled the tank with fresh fuel,it fired right up.Sold it along with NOS 20" factory bar & NOS air filter still in the bag March 2011. I'll get another one someday,lots of them still out there.It was loud & heavy but pulled a 24" b/c with authority.

    Attached Files:

    AJS56 and Backwoods Savage like this.

Share This Page