Unless you plan on cutting 1-handed, I don't see a benefit of a top handle. I haven't used one much, but ran one for 1/2 hour or so once and I didn't care for it...at all. Maybe that's just personal preference talking, but I'm with Jay...if you aren't in the air and need one hand to hold on to something else...I'd get a rear-handle saw. Don't want to derail this too much...but I'd get the 362 and maybe trade that 261 in on something smaller for a good 3-saw plan. Small saw for limbs, 362 for bucking up to 28", and 660 for the real big stuff. If you know you're going to get a 362 someday...and a small limber...I don't see a lot of need for a 261. My $.02.