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)
    Caluwe - Passion for Fire and Water ( Pellet and Wood Hydronic and Space Heating)

Which Stihl for my dad?

Post in 'The Gear' started by fabsroman, Jan 4, 2013.

  1. fabsroman

    fabsroman Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Jun 1, 2011
    Messages:
    977
    Loc:
    West Friendship, Maryland
    My brothers and sisters are most likely going to buy a new saw for my dad for his birthday. Probably going to be a Stihl since that is all he keeps looking at since using mine. Question is going to be which one.

    He and I do most of our wood cutting and splitting together. So, I will usually have my MS261 and MS660 along, and will be buying a MS170 right after tax season (i.e., when I get back to some serious cutting again).

    Was thinking about getting him an MS261 just like mine, but then thought why have two of the same saws on the job most of the time. So, I am leaning toward the MS362 for him instead. He will have his Craftsman as a backup/limbing saw when he is not with me.

    What do you guys think? MS261, MS362, MS440, MS460, or something else entirely?
    ScotO likes this.

    Helpful Sponsor Ads!





  2. StihlHead

    StihlHead Guest

    Either 261 or 362. The 362 would fit your gap and stay on the lower AV side (far less fatigue than a 440). Both are good all-around firewood saws. 440 would be the best fill for your gap power-wise, but that is a lot of saw for cutting firewood. A pair of 261s is a mean force cutting firewoo, as is a 261 & 362. The more I think about it though, the more I would recommend a 362. I use my 361s the most and they are my go to firewood saws.

    I would also opt for a 211 over the 170. A lot more power and about the same size and weight. I bought a 211 to ship to a friend overseas, and I liked it so much I bought another one for myself. For a small saw it has a lot of zip. The 211 is on the same frame as the 171 and is the largest in the line. The 211 is far better than the 210 that I had.
  3. DexterDay

    DexterDay Guest

    MS-362 is arguably one of the best Firewood saws on the Market. (562XP in Husq form).

    Great Power to Weight ratio.

    The 261 is a mean machine too. What size wood are you cutting?

    My voice of reason says 261. But the other voice says 461!!

    My 2 pennies... Though they don't help much. :)
  4. fabsroman

    fabsroman Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Jun 1, 2011
    Messages:
    977
    Loc:
    West Friendship, Maryland
    We cut pretty much whatever we run into. This past couple of weeks we were dealing with a 36" white oak that had pretty much been bucked up by the people that cut it down. Just had to do a couple cuts there. Last year, we dealt with several 24" to 26" oaks, and had a friend send a 36"+ white oak my way that I actually declined because my wife was asking where it was all going to go. lol We have done 18" stuff too. My dad saw a 40"+ tree down the other day and told me he thought about taking the 660 to it but then decided to pass on it because it was getting cold out.

    I am leaning toward the 362 for him. The thing with having another 261 is that I could run the same bar and chain on both of them and have plenty of chains at the ready for him.
  5. fabsroman

    fabsroman Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Jun 1, 2011
    Messages:
    977
    Loc:
    West Friendship, Maryland
    Thought you had talked me into a better saw. Problem is, the 211 is a pound heavier than the 170. The 171 and 211 are the same weight and I would definitely take the 211 over the 171. However, I want this saw just for limbing, and the idea was to have the lightest saw possible for that versus an 11.5 pound 261. The 170 is 8.5 pounds, and I bet that 3 pound difference can really be felt.
  6. bogydave

    bogydave Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Dec 4, 2009
    Messages:
    8,426
    Loc:
    So Cent ALASKA
  7. Bigg_Redd

    Bigg_Redd Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2008
    Messages:
    3,723
    Loc:
    Shelton, WA
    440 (or 460) - these are the last generation of saws that were built for power, weight and reliability without regard to emissions.
  8. StihlHead

    StihlHead Guest

    Just under a pound for 35% more power is not that bad. The 211 also has way better AV. I was very surprised with the 211 performance, and it was way better than I expected. I could run the 211 all day and all night and not get tired. I would suggest you try them and see the difference for yourself before you buy one. Running my 026s and smaller saws I do not notice the weight of the saws much. The higher vibration of the 180 and 250 both bothered me though. My 210 was too underpowered and I gave it to my ex.

    If you want to lose about a pound where it will make a difference, get a good used 361 instead of the 362. IMO the 361 is the best saw that Stihl ever made. For the size and type of wood that you are dealing with, it is a good choice. I have felled and bucked a lot of 2 ft DBH oaks with one of my 361s and a 25 inch bar. I can run that saw all day and not get tired either. I cannot say that about the 044, the 460 or the 066. Vibration is a big problem for me running the 460 and 660 (I sold my 460).

    BTW: the Husky 562xp has an outboard clutch, like the 346xp. They are good saws, but if you pinch an outboard clutch saw, you are going to have a fun time pulling the power head off the bar before you can cut it out with another saw.
  9. Freakingstang

    Freakingstang Feeling the Heat

    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2012
    Messages:
    261
    Loc:
    Berlin Center, Ohio
    The 361/2 is a great saw, but if he is used to running your 261 is that going to be too much taxing weight on him over all days use? Just a thought.... either saw wiukd be awesome for him.
    TreePointer likes this.
  10. Freakingstang

    Freakingstang Feeling the Heat

    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2012
    Messages:
    261
    Loc:
    Berlin Center, Ohio
    who says that? the 361 is lighter with more power... now whats it saw when an itty bitty saw that lighter and only 50cc out runs a mid 60cc saw 2-3lbs heavier? I'll stick with my 550xp the new best firewood saw.

  11. Freakingstang

    Freakingstang Feeling the Heat

    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2012
    Messages:
    261
    Loc:
    Berlin Center, Ohio
    The newer saws are here to stay. they have more power, better antivibe and use 1/3 less fuel. Like it or not, they are here to stay. I'll gladly trade my old rattle boxes for newer, more effiecient, more powerful saws
    TreePointer and DexterDay like this.
  12. DexterDay

    DexterDay Guest

    Dammit! Now I want a 550xp....

    My BIL has the 562xp and I must admit, it not only revs quicker, but higher than my 460. Not as much power as the 460, but still a MEAN Machine! :cool:
  13. TreePointer

    TreePointer Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Sep 22, 2010
    Messages:
    2,113
    Loc:
    Western PA
    I'm confused. Is this a gift for your father or are you trying to round out your collection?

    If this really is a gift for your father, then get him the saw he'll enjoy and use most regardless of what you already have.
    Sorghum, Ralphie Boy, ScotO and 2 others like this.
  14. Freakingstang

    Freakingstang Feeling the Heat

    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2012
    Messages:
    261
    Loc:
    Berlin Center, Ohio
    you are comparing a 62cc saw to a 80 cc saw.... duh, of course it isn't going to have the power
  15. Freakingstang

    Freakingstang Feeling the Heat

    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2012
    Messages:
    261
    Loc:
    Berlin Center, Ohio
    I guess there is much to be said for experience and propper technique. I've never gotten a saw stuck to where I had to remove a bar. if you use wedges and pay attention to the direction of forces you should never get a saw stuck.
  16. Freakingstang

    Freakingstang Feeling the Heat

    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2012
    Messages:
    261
    Loc:
    Berlin Center, Ohio
    I still bet it would outcut the larger 460 in most wood up to 24"
  17. ScotO

    ScotO Guest

    Get your dad a reliable, dealer-supported saw (any dealer-supported brands in your area?). Stay away from the box store Stihls and Huskys... Get him one that he can easily handle, start, and do general maintenace on. I'd definatetly go pro, and if it's just for firewood/occasional use, he don't need a huge, ported, 6hp monster.....

    I love how these threads turns into a 'my saw is better than your saw' argument.......The guy is buying his dad a saw, not a racing machine....
    LEES WOOD-CO, Thistle and Ralphie Boy like this.
  18. smokinj

    smokinj Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Aug 11, 2008
    Messages:
    15,972
    Loc:
    Anderson, Indiana
    With the 660 you already have will out work three guys with two splitters. Heck I would buy him a part-time worker! ;)
  19. DexterDay

    DexterDay Guest

    Agreed.. They seem to always go towards the "Mine is Bigger" !!

    If you wanna save a few bucks, a simple 250 or 290 will do just fine. Good saws.. Many users here that love them.

    But a 261 (even though you have one), is a Saw I know my Father would enjoy to run all day. A good Pro saw, that light weight, and dependable.

    A few extra Dollars, but money well spent in my Book. :)

    Good luck on whatever the purchase may be. Sounds like he raised some fine children, to get him such a gift. (How many siblings do you have? How many ways will the cost be split?)
    Thistle, LEES WOOD-CO and ScotO like this.
  20. Bigg_Redd

    Bigg_Redd Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2008
    Messages:
    3,723
    Loc:
    Shelton, WA
    Maybe you missed it in my post, but I said the 440 and 460 are the last generation of saws to be designed and built purely for performance and without regard to emissions. The 441 is not lighter, and is not more powerful than my 440 (for example). Also, I'm not saying the new models aren't any good, but I am saying they aren't as good as they could have been without the stink of superfluous regulation all over them. As for vibes - running a chainsaw is a man's game. If the vibes are that detrimental I'd suggest a pellet stove.
    StihlHead and LEES WOOD-CO like this.
  21. Sorghum

    Sorghum Member

    Joined:
    Apr 16, 2009
    Messages:
    27
    Loc:
    south central Minnesota
    Get dad the new MS261. He already likes it. Then sell your 261 on Craigslist or trade it for the MS362.
    Thistle and ScotO like this.
  22. PapaDave

    PapaDave Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Feb 23, 2008
    Messages:
    5,740
    Loc:
    Northern MI - in the mitten
    Especially when running a 16" b/c.;)
    I think I need one of those now.>>
    LEES WOOD-CO likes this.
  23. DexterDay

    DexterDay Guest

    59cc vs 76.5cc actually ;) and yeah, it can still run with it. .But there is no replacement for displacement :cool:
  24. fabsroman

    fabsroman Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Jun 1, 2011
    Messages:
    977
    Loc:
    West Friendship, Maryland
    My dad is a monster compared to me. I am 5' 9" and 165lbs now (i.e., I am overweight) and he is 6' 1" and 250 lbs. His fingers are thick as can be, mine are dainty. lol He worked construction almost all his life and is a bruiser. Only issue now at his age is with some pain he has in his hip. I keep telling him to go see the doctor about it. Anyway, if it turns out he prefers the 261 over whatever saw I get him, I'll just give him my 261 or buy him one and take the saw we give him. Guess I am answering my own question here. Buy the 361/362 and let him test it out, and if he does not like it, then get him the 261 and take the 361/362 for me. If I get him the 361/362, might go with the 25" bar and chain on it, and then go to a 36" bar and chain on my 660.
  25. fabsroman

    fabsroman Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Jun 1, 2011
    Messages:
    977
    Loc:
    West Friendship, Maryland
    My dad would smack me if I did something like that. If nothing else, my parents and I are extremely practical. If I were to buy him a new 261 and sell my 16 month old 261 on e-bay or Craigslist and take a loss to buy the 361/362, he would kick me, and I would kick myself. I am pretty sure he would take the 16 month old 261 from me without a single complaint.

    Might have a better way of figuring this one out. Buy the 211 and 361/362, let him use all 3 saws (i.e., not willing to part with my 660), and then tell him he can pick whichever one he wants and take it home with him to use when he isn't cutting with me.

Share This Page