New Stihl?

yomax4

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I sold my 029 due to it being as heavy as my 361 and there is no comparison. I use my old 026 pro with a muff mod for all smaller stuff and limbing. It would run with the 029 any day at much less weight. Some of the equation is how well the saws are tuned.
 

Loaderman22

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The 029 still runs fine. I'll take a look at the 261 again. As I get older, heavier isn't the way I want to go. Maybe the 261 with a 18" bar and stay away from the big stuff. I plan on keeping the 029 as a backup.
Just playing with ya on the 029, at this rate mine may never need parts... With the 261, you can run the 18" bar and cut a pretty big tree, there are techniques to minimize the holding wood so you can get a darn big tree on the ground with a shorter chain. I am also assuming you could put a 20" bar on it for those occasionally larger tress, and just cut from both sides.
 

Mudfarmer

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I'm on my third Stihl 261 with 20-inch bar. The first one froze the engine just short of the 2 year warranty. Stihl didn't replace it, instead they sent the dealer parts to rebuild it - lasted another year. About three years later I pinched the second saw in a large (about two foot) horizontal spruce limb, torqued the bar and broke off the shaft, unfixable. I'm on my third one - they may not last, but they are the right size and power. Be sure to buy the hi-grade Stihl mix six-pack (the grey bottles) at the time of purchase - homeowners (not pros) get a one year warranty extension with that. Essentially Stihl expects their pro saws to last a year or so with everyday use; they expect their farmer/homeowner saws to last a couple of years with occasional weekend use. The main reason for buying a stihl in our area is that there are no other dealer serviced brands available.
 

Loaderman22

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You can't blame Stihl longevity on you pinching the bar in a spruce limb and mangling it beyond all recognition.... That's what is called "User error".
 

dodge man

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I have had 2 Stihl saws, a MS 250 and a newer MS 261. I have a 18 inch bar on both. The 261 easily pulls an 18” bar, the 250 not nearly as well. I’m pretty sure a 261 would pull a 20” bar well also. If you need bigger than a 20” bar, than I’d step up to a bigger saw.

The pic is some “noodling” I did with my 261. With a sharp chain it cuts really well. I noodle the bigger stuff so I can lift it up on my splitter, it’s horizontal only.
FB9A5496-49ED-4209-A43B-C5124A707135.jpeg
 
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oldballs

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I run a 20 inch bar on both my 290 and my new 261. The 290 worked fine ...but the 261 works better because it has a more aggressive chain.
Cheers,
Mike
 
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beenthere

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I'm more than impressed with my MS261 m-c and the MS362 m-c. 18" and 20" bar respectively.

Replaced a long-lived Farm Boss 041 that was an impressive saw for 30+ years.
Had the MS250 before the MS261 became available, and it to was a faithful Stihl saw. Never a complaint how that saw would run and run.
 

Milo

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I looked at the 261. The dealer said I would be stepping down in power from my 029... I don't cut that much, just in the fall and winter. The 029 has been a good saw, just getting tired if not having the power for the bigger stuff and dead ash. I do like the weight of the 261...
According to the specs your 029 made 3.7 hp when new, a MS 261 C-M makes 4 hp.

I have had 2 Stihl saws, a MS 250 and a newer MS 261. I have a 18 inch bar on both. The 261 easily pulls an 18” bar, the 250 not nearly as well. I’m pretty sure a 261 would pull a 20” bar well also. If you need bigger than a 20” bar, than I’d step up to a bigger saw.
Interestingly I have the same two saws, after just buying the MS 261 C-M. I run an 18" bar on the 250 but using the whole length works it pretty hard. My 261 came with a 20" which it runs better than the 250 does on an 18", as it should since the MS 250 only made 3 hp when new. I also bought an 18" bar and couple chains for the 261 and will probably use the 18" most of the time. Interestingly the 18" on the 261 is longer than the MS 250's 18".
For me the MS 261 C-M is replacing two saws my MS 250 (my main saw) and heavier 60cc Echo Timberwolf with 20" bar (only for larger stuff) and so far I think it's perfect for me. It's almost as light as the 250 yet much more powerful and smoother running, and will cut just as large of stuff as the heavier, buzzier, Timberwolf can.
 

Milo

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I'm not sure if there other differences but the chain for a MS 261 with 18" bar has (I believe 6-8) more links than one for MS250 with 18" bar.
 
 
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