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MS261 technology

Post in 'The Gear' started by ampamp, May 23, 2013.

  1. ampamp

    ampamp Member

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    Looking at new 50cc saws and I'm going pro grade. Not the most comfortable with the whole autotune that husky offers on the new 550xp. Not sure really, but do the new stihls offer a similar technology. I'm trying to go with a 'old school' saw if possible. My local shop actually has a 346xpg on the shelf...not sure if it's oe or ne, but was thinking about the ms261....and maybe ruling out the 550xp. any thoughts on the ms261

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  2. PLAYS WITH FIRE

    PLAYS WITH FIRE Minister of Fire

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    I have the 261 and it is a little power house! But dont shy from the M-tronic or Autotune saws. They are very powerful, smooth and reliable. Check on the arboristsite for better info. I have only run the 441 M-tronic and have the standard 441 myself. Quite a difference in smooth ness
  3. MasterMech

    MasterMech Guest

    If you want Old School, get far away from the new saw racks. Stratocharged 2 strokes (rampant in both Stihl and Husky line-ups) and ever more complicated carburetors are all that await you. This is coming from a guy that loves this stuff.

    I'd suggest picking up a used saw. Watch the forum (For Sale) here and other sites like ArboristSite.com. Lot's of clean 026's, MS260's, 346XP's and similar out there. There's an 028 for sale here, it's an older saw, but you'd be hard pressed to find one cleaner.

    http://www.hearth.com/talk/threads/stihl-028-wood-boss-av.109272/
    DexterDay likes this.
  4. TreePointer

    TreePointer Minister of Fire

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    That 346XP is probably the best 50cc saw without a stratocharged engine or a computer carb. The "G" is a nice bonus in cold weather.

    If it's new and has the sliver clutch cover (not orange) then it's the 50cc version.
  5. bogydave

    bogydave Minister of Fire

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    Gets good reviews.
    IMO, a real good choice in the 50cc range.
  6. StihlHead

    StihlHead Guest

    None of the Stihl saws has the autotune (called M-tronic) feature in the US except the 441, which now only comes in the M-tronic versions (unless you find an older one on the shelf). As others have said above, most of the new Stihl saws have strato-charged porting to inject air between the fuel mix to reduce emissions (for smog laws in the US). Husky has a similar design and calls strato-charge saws X-torque and it works the same. Autotune/M-tronic is a different feature than X-torque/starto-charged. Also air-injection is different than X-troque or strato-charged; air injection is a centrifugal flywheel driven flow of air to the carb air intake of the saw.

    In particular, the 261 has strato-charged porting but not the M-tronic computer controlled ignition and carb tuning. The Husky 550 has both the X-torque and auto-tune features. Neither the Stihl 260 or the Husky 346 has strato/X-torque or M-tronic/autotune features. As someone posted above there are two versions of the Husky 346; an earlier versions 45cc and the better later version 50cc (called the New Edition) with the silver clutch cover. Husky also has/had a weird late model safety trio-brake version of the 346 which I had and returned because I did not like it. That is also available on the 550.
  7. TreePointer

    TreePointer Minister of Fire

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    If you want an M-Tronic 261, talk to your dealer to see if you can preorder one (USA release in July):
    http://www.stihl.com/stihl-grows-faster-than-industry-in-2012.aspx
    MasterMech likes this.
  8. HittinSteel

    HittinSteel Minister of Fire

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    What is the price on the 346XPG?
  9. StihlHead

    StihlHead Guest

    Interesting, but the theme of this thread is the OP wanting to avoid Autotune and M-tronic saws...
  10. TreePointer

    TreePointer Minister of Fire

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    Understood. I was just making note that the aforementioned 441 will very soon have company in Stihl's M-Tronic chainsaw offerings in the USA.
  11. StihlHead

    StihlHead Guest

    I see. Well, the 241 also has the M-tronic option, but that saw is not available stateside (so I left it out of my reply, as the topic is confusing as it is). From what I glean they are adding it to the larger version saw of the series (the 261) after being debugged in the 241 overseas.
  12. MasterMech

    MasterMech Guest


    To the best of my knowledge, and this is how Stihl has operated in the past, the dealers will not know an exact release date until the saw actually becomes available. My guess is Stihl has recently begun doing this because pro users and internet saw-hounds will hold off until the new saws are released, and the outgoing models could rot on shelves/warehouses for quite a bit longer than they would otherwise.
  13. ampamp

    ampamp Member

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    You guys essentially answered every question I had (M-tronic, strato, old school, new school). I'll get my 555 looked at (probably take 2 wks) and I'll post a note on what I did. Thanks again.
    MasterMech likes this.
  14. MasterMech

    MasterMech Guest

    Did you get that from the article? I didn't see anything to that effect. Most likely both will be available for a short time (I'm guessing very short) as the last of the old MS261's come out of distributor inventory. (funny, the MS250 is still widely available even with the MS251 having been around for months now...) We might see a launch similar to the MS441C-M but at this point in the game, I think we'll see a significantly faster transition. Seems to be that the extremely good sellers take longer to transition than the lesser models. Look at the 171 and 181, 251 and 291 (predecessor saws still available), how long was the MS440 available alongside the MS441? The MS260 isn't nearly as good a seller as those saws and the transitions to the MS211, MS271, MS311, MS391 were all pretty much overnight. The MS362 and the MS461 are anomalies, both good sellers but rapid transitions. Not to mention the tech is already proven on the platform, with the MS241C-M making waves overseas.

    Speaking of new Stihl tech, have you seen the MS150 yet? Talk about a lightweight! Very noticeable difference in weight between that and the MS192T. :eek:
  15. They referred to it as an 'upmarket' version of the 261. Makes me think both will be available for at least a little while.

    The next innovation was presented with the new STIHL MS 261 C-M chain saw: It will be launched in July as an upmarket version of the standard MS 261 with the fully electronic M-Tronic engine management system. It controls ignition timing and fuel flow for the best possible engine performance at all times without the need for manual adjustments, and also takes account of changes in altitude, ambient temperature and fuel quality. The intelligent electronic system recognizes the machine's operating status at any given time. As a result, only one starting position is needed on the Master Control lever. The new chain saw is intended for professional users in forestry, agriculture, horticulture and landscaping but will also appeal to demanding occasional users.
  16. MasterMech

    MasterMech Guest

    Either way, we're gonna find out soon enough. And I'm an "upmarket" kind of guy. ::-) At least when it comes to saws. :confused:;lol
  17. StihlHead

    StihlHead Guest

    My bet is that the 261-M versions will ease into the markets like the 441-M did, and eventually they may remove the 261 standard model. Conjecture on our part as to what they will actually do. They have replaced the 441 and 241 with M-only versions in North America, Oz and Europe, and they have developed and proven the 261-M design and it is already available in Germany in 4 versions, along with the regular 261 in 5 versions. Seems like too many saws to keep on shelves, so likely they will replace the 261 with the M models longer term. Husky has also dedicated themselves to autotune, so Stihl has to compete.

    Too bad we do not have the Stihl saws available that they do in South Africa. Their lists include the 290, 310, 260, 261, 361, 362, 381, 440, 441 regular, 441 M, 460, 660, 720, 780, & 880.
  18. lukem

    lukem Minister of Fire

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    Remember when solid state ignition and EFI was a bunch of hokey? Glad to see they are innovating.
  19. MasterMech

    MasterMech Guest

    Stihl has an EFI system for two-strokes. Kinda hoping that it finds it's way onto the MS661. It's out there now on the TS 500i.
  20. StihlHead

    StihlHead Guest

    How do they lube the lower engine with FI? Does it have a oil bath crankcase? No information that I can find online...
  21. MasterMech

    MasterMech Guest

    Same as with a carb AFAIK. Pre-mix is mixed with air, that charge is fed to the crankcase, thru the transfers, etc....
  22. Norton has a 2 stroke cut off saw with direct oil injection. No need to mix gas.

    Personally I don't see the point... Overly complicates, adds weight and cost. For what? A 1/2 second faster cut and some fuel savings. Maybe I'll be proven wrong. And these saws will be as reliable and as easy to fix as what they are replacing.

    I doubt it, but to each their own.
  23. StihlHead

    StihlHead Guest

    I had a Suzuki 2-stroke dirt bike with direct oil injection, and that was in 1973.... it was a simple system that worked well.
  24. StihlHead

    StihlHead Guest

    Ah with this info I was able to find it using Google. Stihl has a lousy web site when you need to find simple information.

    http://www.stihl.com/the-world-first-stihl-injection-electronically-controlled-fuel-injection.aspx

    "On command by the controller the injection valve sprays the optimum quantity of fuel directly into the crankcase. This process is synchronized perfectly with the combustion cycle."

    Its a more complex system, and will cost more mullah, for sure. Requires a generator, computers, fuel pump, injector, and sensors. The advantage is that both fuel and ignition are variably timed by throttle and torque (loading). Better fuel efficiency and cleaner burning. As it requires a generator it would also likely come with the W type heated handles. No need for the Arctic carb heater though... o_O
    MasterMech likes this.

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