MS 261 - $569.95 DSRP


Reserve with STIHL Express for In-Store Pick Up

This chainsaw offers an optimized power-to-weight ratio, great fuel efficiency and convenience features.

Designed for large volume cutting, the MS 261 features low emissions, high fuel efficiency and, of course, professional-grade performance. The saw also includes an anti-vibration system to help you stay comfortable during extended use. Its redesigned cylinder and slimmer, ergonomic housing deliver a great power-to-weight ratio, weighing just 10.8 lbs. Its pre-separation air filtration system boost...Read More
Print Spec Sheets
MS 261 Specifications
DISPLACEMENT 50.2 cc (3.06 cu. in.)
ENGINE POWER 3.0kW (4.0 bhp)
POWERHEAD WEIGHT 4.9 kg (10.8 lbs.)
FUEL CAPACITY 500 cc (16.9 oz.)
CHAIN OIL CAPACITY 270 cc (9.13 oz.)
GUIDE BAR LENGTHS (Recommended ranges) 40 to 50 cm (16" to 20") STIHL ROLLOMATIC® E
STIHL recommends #3634 (26 RM3 67) OILOMATIC® saw chain and 16" 3003 008 6813 Ematic™ guide bar combination. The actual listed guide bar length can vary from the effective cutting length based on which powerhead it is installed on.
Model Features
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    Adjustable Automatic Oiler
    The Adjustable Automatic Oiler allows the user to adjust the lubricant of the guide bar and saw chain for different bar lengths and cutting conditions.
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    Anti-Vibration System
    STIHL has developed a system for minimizing the vibration levels of handheld outdoor power equipment. The STIHL anti-vibration system helps reduce operator fatigue and provides a more comfortable working experience.
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    Reduced-Emission Engine Technology - Caring for Nature
    The STIHL Inc. “Caring for Nature” seal identifies its powered products that are more environmentally conscious, producing zero or low exhaust emissions. STIHL Inc. defines “low exhaust emissions” as being cleaner than EPA and/or CARB exhaust emission standards.

    More Information

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    STIHL ElastoStart™
    The ElastoStart™ starter handle is an exclusive feature of STIHL. It is a starting grip with a built-in shock absorber that helps reduce the effort when pulling on the starter cord. The ElastoStart™ starter grip noticeably reduces the sudden peak forces (compression) normally felt during cranking. The forces which occur at the grip after the first compression stroke are smoothed out.
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    IntelliCarb™ Compensating Carburetor
    The IntelliCarb™ Compensating Carburetor is designed to automatically adjust the air/fuel ratio when the air filter becomes restricted or partially clogged and maintains the engine’s correct RPM. IntelliCarb™ uses air from the clean side of the air filter to control the diaphragm and flow of fuel. As the air filter becomes dirty and less air is available for the carburetor, the IntelliCarb™ system adjusts the fuel flow to compensate for the decrease in air flow. This is in contrast to typical carburetors that utilize this air from the “dirty” side of the air box.
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    Side-Access Chain Tensioner
    The side-access chain tensioner makes it much more convenient for the user to adjust the saw chain with a bar wrench as opposed to the typical location of the guide bar adjustment screw.
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    STIHL Quickstop®
    STIHL chainsaws are equipped with a chain stopping system designed to reduce the risk of injury in certain kickback situations. It is called a STIHL Quickstop® chain brake. The STIHL Quickstop® chain brake is designed to stop the rotation of the chain if activated by the operator’s hand or by inertia if the saw kicks back with sufficient force. In some working positions, the STIHL Quickstop® chain brake can be activated by inertia, stopping the chain within fractions of a second.

    See it in action!
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    Ematic™ Lubrication System
    The Ematic™ guide bar, when used with STIHL OILOMATIC® saw chain, will provide proper lubrication and less oil consumption than conventional methods. The system works because two ramps, strategically placed in the guide bar rail, help contain the flow of oil and direct all lubrication to the sliding faces of the bar and chain links as well as the rivets and driver holes, which in turn can reduce bar oil consumption up to 50%.
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    Master Control Lever™
    The Master Control Lever™ is an easy to use single lever, operating the choke, starting throttle lock and on-off switch. The operator must pull the throttle trigger before moving the Master Control Lever™ to the choke position.
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    Decompression Valve
    The decompression valve, also referred to as 'deco' or 'deco valve', vents compression in the cylinder for easier starting. The decompression valve temporarily reduces the compression in the combustion chamber during cranking and helps reduce the effort needed to pull the starter rope. It is opened manually and closes automatically as soon as the engine fires.
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    Built in the USA
    Indicates products that are built in the United States from domestic and foreign parts and components.

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Standard Features
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    Common Features for Chainsaws
    View the features common to many STIHL chainsaws.

Important Information
WARNING! The occurrence called “kickback” can cause serious or fatal injury. Always read the instruction manual carefully before using your saw. STIHL uses a green and yellow color-coding system to help you select a powerhead, bar and chain combination that complies with the kickback requirements of ANSI Standard B175.1 (gasoline-powered saws) and §30 of UL 1662/ ANSI Standard B175.1 (electric chainsaws). Ask your STIHL dealer about safe operating procedures and the advantages of the STIHL Quickstop® chain brake, STIHL Quickstop® Plus (Q) additional chain braking feature, STIHL reduced kickback bars and STIHL low-kickback saw chains.

STIHL recommends the use of green reduced kickback bars and green low kickback chains on all STIHL chainsaws.
* The actual listed guide bar length can vary from the effective cutting length based on which powerhead it is installed on.
Note: STIHL recommends use of fuel with no more than 10% Ethanol content. Using fuel with greater than 10% Ethanol content may cause damage to your equipment and may void your STIHL warranty. Learn More…
WARNING! Improper use of any power tool may cause serious or fatal injury. Read, understand and follow carefully the operating and safety instructions in your instruction manual before using such products.

STIHL products sold through U.S. STIHL Dealers are for distribution in the United States only.
Click to view the STIHL Limited Warranty Time Periods
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    Bar and Chain Oil
    STIHL Bar and Chain oil is formulated to adhere to the bar and chain, and to reduce wear. Special agents in the oil formulation help keep sap and pitch from clinging to the bar and chain.

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    Complete Filing Kits
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    Chain Pitch File Diameter File Guide
    Part Number
    Sharpening Kit
    Part Number
    in. mm in. mm Part Number
    3/8 PMN 9.32 5/32 4.0 0811 411 8073

    5605 750 4327

    5605 007 1026

    3/8 PM
    5/32 4.0 0811 411 8091

    5605 750 4327

    5605 007 1027

    0.325 8.25 3/16 4.8 0811 412 8088

    5605 750 4328

    5605 007 1028

    3/8 9.32 13/64 5.2 0814 243 3384 5605 750 4329

    5605 007 1029

    0.404 10.26 7/32 5.5 0811 412 8108 5605 750 4330

    5605 007 1030

For Your Safety
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    STIHL Pro Mark™ Dynamic Protective Gloves
    Durable and hardworking, STIHL Pro Mark™ Dynamic Gloves deliver professional-grade hand protection. The palm and inner fingers are made of full grain tanned leather, so you can work with comfort without sacrificing a firm hold. Featuring multiple layers of cut-retardant materials – Avertic Pro and Dyneema fabrics by Engtex® – these gloves will help deliver protection without compromising the dexterity you need while operating a chainsaw. Accented with an orange rip-stop nylon backing, these dynamic gloves offer style and protection. Water repellant, breathable and featuring a Velcro wrist closure, STIHL Pro Mark™ Dynamic Gloves are as ready for the woods as you.
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    Blue Mirror Glasses
    The Blue Mirror Glasses from STIHL offer 99% UV protection and meet ANSI standard Z87.1+. And it does it in striking blue style. The soft nose pads deliver all-day comfort, while its polycarbonate, impact-resistant lenses are designed for tough job site work. They’re lightweight, but pack serious styling. Come see these and all our protective eyewear today at our Dealership showroom.
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    Pro Mark™ Apron Chaps - 9 Layer
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MS 261 is rated 4.8 out of 5 by 92.
Rated 5 out of 5 by from its my go to saw i always used a 261 for tree company as ground saw and bought one shortly after i bought my ms362 i run a 3/8 skip tooth chain with 20in bar
Date published: 2018-03-15
Rated 5 out of 5 by from GREAT as all Stihl products are Love this new chainsaw. It did the job in nothing flat. When i need a new tool for the yard, etc. I don't even think of anything but a Stihl. I watched the pros and they all had Stihls on their trailers. So, I bought an edger. I LOVED it. Since then I bought my son one, got their weed eater, leaf vac., got the accessory to attach blades on the edger. I wouldn't buy any other brand. I love their products. They start for me on the 2n or third pull - I am 78. I know I can do my yard work when I want to and I don't have to wait for someone to start the equipment. I LOVE Stihl.
Date published: 2018-03-15
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Great Chain Saw I looked at both the MS261 and the FarmBoss. Both had the same size engine but the 261 was 2 pounds lighter. I also liked the serviceability of the 261. This saw is powerful, starts easily and cuts like it supposed to. Best saw I've ever owned.
Date published: 2018-03-13
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Very dependable with more power than I thought saw this size could have. It's not giving me one seconds problem since the purchase it is outperform saws that were larger cells that I've had in the past would highly recommend for light to medium workload. Never fails to start and runs after 3rd to 4th crank. Definitely worth the price difference from Farm and ranch to Pro.
Date published: 2018-03-13
Rated 5 out of 5 by from I just bought my second 261CM One wasn’t enough. Bought an identical second. Probably the most versatile saw in the line and utterly bulletproof. Superior power to weight ratio. This saw is worth every single penny. Run moto mix, STIHL chains, premium bar oil and this saw will never let you down. I have run it from 15 degrees to 92 degrees outside temp. The M Tronic has been flawless.
Date published: 2018-03-12
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Pound for pound there is no better saw made. I have run other stihl saws both larger and smaller than a MS261. It seems to have more bottom end torque than a MS362 and weighs less, believe it or not! The MS261 Is a nice step up from any Farm Boss which has a much lower power to weight ratio. The 261 performs best with a 16-18 inch bar. I actually prefer either combination over the MS362 with a 20 inch. bar for all but the largest trees.The MS 261 is the best all around saw for my hard earned money!
Date published: 2018-03-11
Rated 3 out of 5 by from 1 month old only only 1 month old and only had to have it in the shop 1 time the chain cover came off stud an all!
Date published: 2018-03-07
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Solid and reliable! After owning my MS261 for 7years, I can say it is one great saw! It has taken a 65-70’ drop and was still running. It has never failed to start and gets used quite often. I am amazed how it can set for a month and fires right up after 3-4 pulls. No regrets what so ever on purchasing this saw. Would do it all over again if I had to, but being a stihl I have a feeling I won’t need to for years to come!!
Date published: 2018-01-06
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