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Posted By AJS56,
Dec 5, 2012 at 11:28 PM
Go get a loop of Stihl RS and thank me later.
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.
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.
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
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
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?
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.
...and what if the chain doesn't have any color coded links?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
Thanks for the chain info guys. I might just try a slightly more agressive chain.
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.
Wow this is awesome information on different chain!
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!
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.
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!
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.
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...
Dang, that's like parking a gremlin next to a porsche
Hey now, that Gremlin got me through a lot of wood over the years. But yeah, you ain't wrong!
LOL, I just noticed that I had in fact posted pics back a while ago. Oh man, CRS strikes again
what is the crap in front of the handle bar on the mac?..... a safety shield?
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* 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.