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Author Topic: Stihl ms 461  (Read 2239 times)

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Offline Ptayls

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Stihl ms 461
« on: October 30, 2017, 11:28:09 AM »
Hello Iím new to this forum. Iíve been cutting wood for a few years,Iím an amateur Chainsaw user and mainly use a mtronic ms 261. Iím cutting large fallen beech and oak trees and fine my current saw too small as some trunks of these trees are 30-35 inch in diameter. I would like to get a larger saw like the Stihl ms 461 and put a 25 inch bar on it. What put me off is that fact it has an adjustable carburettor and I would struggle to retune it when the need arises. Is it as difficult as Iím imagining or is it relatively easy? I have seen that the Stihl ms 462 is out in the UK next year,mtronic,Iím thinking maybe I should wait for that. Any help and advice would be much appreciated

Offline pine

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Re: Stihl ms 461
« Reply #1 on: October 30, 2017, 11:57:46 AM »
Might be me but I have a strong preference for the adjustable.  I replaced my 460 several years ago to avoid the 461 that was coming out and I would do the same in your situation. 
Can't stand all this auto stuff. One more thing to break and on top of that there is a lot of anecdotal evidence that the auto tuning is running way too lean and folks are having issues.  Maybe not but it sure seems that way.

Offline Ptayls

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Re: Stihl ms 461
« Reply #2 on: October 30, 2017, 12:21:33 PM »
Are they easy enough to adjust though? Any after you buy a new saw thatís set at factory settings do they need to be re-tuned within a short time? Thanks for reply

Offline HolmenTree

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Re: Stihl ms 461
« Reply #3 on: October 30, 2017, 12:33:37 PM »
My latest adjustable carbed  saws come with limiter caps with a special tool slot in the heads.  That  special head screw driver is not available to order. The dealer has thst special tool.
So I ended up removing the caps and then was able to get at the adjustment screws with a regular flat screw driver.  Real pain to remove the caps plus your warranty is voided when they've been tampered with.

I have good experience with the latest Stihl MTronics
The Husky AutoTune not so much.
Making a living with a saw since age 16.

Offline ButchC

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Re: Stihl ms 461
« Reply #4 on: October 30, 2017, 12:47:51 PM »
I am an adjustable carburetor guy also ( I bought a 461 because it is so equipped)  but I also see merit in these  new fangled automatic fueling systems.
Unless you are hauling it up and down mountains or running with dirty air filters or junk fuel you dont have to screw with the carburetor to keep a saw running right. I rarely touch the screws on my saws once set, Ill bet it has been 10 years since my 036 has seen an adjustment.  Let the dealer set up the 461, take it back for a reset after 10 tanks of fuel and  worry about it no more unless you note some change in operation.
That being said the 462 will have better anti vib and the Mtronic seems to be working well on the other models.  I would bet that there will be a pretty big jump in price over the current 461 and there is a weight consideration too. 
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Offline pine

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Re: Stihl ms 461
« Reply #5 on: October 30, 2017, 12:52:00 PM »

I have good experience with the latest Stihl MTronics
The Husky AutoTune not so much.

Now that I think about it most of the anecdotal problems I have heard about are from the Husky line of autotunes. 
Interesting

Offline Maine logger88

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Re: Stihl ms 461
« Reply #6 on: October 30, 2017, 01:06:39 PM »
I haven't had to adjust my 461 yet. We don't keep track of tank fulls but it's probably had between 15 and 20 gallons through it. None of my jonsered or huskys with the adjustable carb ever need to be adjusted very often my newest 2166 is a little over a year old and I haven't had to mess with it yet
79 TJ 225 81 JD 540B Husky and Jonsered saws

Offline Ptayls

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Re: Stihl ms 461
« Reply #7 on: October 30, 2017, 02:04:48 PM »
Thank you all for your replies,sounds like the 461 wonít be as difficult as I imagined and probably cheaper than the new 462 will be to buy

Offline PNWRusty

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Re: Stihl ms 461
« Reply #8 on: October 30, 2017, 02:33:38 PM »
What put me off is that fact it has an adjustable carburettor and I would struggle to retune it when the need arises. Is it as difficult as Iím imagining or is it relatively easy? I have seen that the Stihl ms 462 is out in the UK next year,mtronic,Iím thinking maybe I should wait for that. Any help and advice would be much appreciated

It doesn't take long to tune a manual tune saw so don't let that scare you off. And you can probably get away with never tuning it once it's broken in and running well.

But here's the deal. If you're not re-tuning when you get a new can of fuel, change altitude or are in a high or low pressure weather system, chances are your saw is not tuned very well. A little rich won't hurt anything but you will be filling your tank more often and you might carbon up a bit more over time. On the other hand, you can destroy your engine if it's too lean. A saw equipped with Mtronic is always in tune. So no worries. It's proven to be a very robust system and I think I've noticed less Mtronic owners reporting piston scoring/seizures. Because it's paying attention even when you're not.

So while I never had any trouble keeping my 026 well-tuned, I certainly appreciate the automatic tuning of my 261 C-M. Some people are tech shy so maybe Mtronic is not for them and some people are proud that they know how to tune a saw so they don't want a chip doing it for them. But I've always been a practical guy. Even though I learned to drive using a stick, and never really liked automatics, I didn't avoid them because I was too proud or too manly to let the car shift for me, I avoided them because they only had three speeds, they were inefficient and felt "wrong" to me. As soon as manufacturers came out with crisp shifting A/T's with 4-9 speeds, I had no problem with buying an A/T. Mtronic is a proven system and one of good benefit.

Offline teakwood

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Re: Stihl ms 461
« Reply #9 on: October 30, 2017, 07:17:42 PM »
If you don't know how to tune a saw i would recommend you get a autotune. or let your stihl dealer do it
National Stihl Timbersports Champion Costa Rica 2018

Offline PNWRusty

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Re: Stihl ms 461
« Reply #10 on: October 30, 2017, 07:38:14 PM »
If you don't know how to tune a saw i would recommend you get a autotune. or let your stihl dealer do it

I would recommend learning how to tune a saw before becoming dependent upon a dealer. It would be impractical to take it to the dealer every time you had a doubt about your mixture! Of course with Mtronic you don't have to worry about either.

Offline teakwood

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Re: Stihl ms 461
« Reply #11 on: October 30, 2017, 09:22:00 PM »
I am sure that most chainsaw owners can't tune a saw!  I use chainsaws since age 16 (not full time) and i can tune a saw so she works fine but i'm by no means an expert on tuning.
National Stihl Timbersports Champion Costa Rica 2018

Offline HolmenTree

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Re: Stihl ms 461
« Reply #12 on: October 30, 2017, 10:09:42 PM »
Best word of advice how to tune your saw is read the owner's manual.
Making a living with a saw since age 16.

Offline Ptayls

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Re: Stihl ms 461
« Reply #13 on: October 31, 2017, 04:13:21 AM »
Thanks for the advice everyone

Offline burtle

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Re: Stihl ms 461
« Reply #14 on: October 31, 2017, 11:31:29 PM »
I'm getting ready to pull the trigger on a ms461 as well!

There's one shop that has one left in stock. They want 979.00 for it. 28" bar.


The other stores said they can order me one but it would be around 1,250 with taxes.

Thanks for all your guys's advice (Sorry OP, not trying to hijack your thread)
Never Give Up

Offline HolmenTree

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Re: Stihl ms 461
« Reply #15 on: October 31, 2017, 11:40:28 PM »
Welcome to Forestry Forum burtle!
Making a living with a saw since age 16.

Offline burtle

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Re: Stihl ms 461
« Reply #16 on: November 05, 2017, 11:24:16 PM »
Welcome to Forestry Forum burtle!

Thank you! I'm really enjoying my stay. Tons of great info on here as you know.
Never Give Up

Offline khntr85

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Re: Stihl ms 461
« Reply #17 on: November 15, 2017, 12:50:38 PM »
Might be me but I have a strong preference for the adjustable.  I replaced my 460 several years ago to avoid the 461 that was coming out and I would do the same in your situation. 
Can't stand all this auto stuff. One more thing to break and on top of that there is a lot of anecdotal evidence that the auto tuning is running way too lean and folks are having issues.  Maybe not but it sure seems that way.

You do understand  that the 461 has an ADJUSTABLE carb right!!!!

 It has a Limiter Cap in the H-jet, but anyone who can eat with a fork and knife can solve that problem....

Offline khntr85

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Re: Stihl ms 461
« Reply #18 on: November 15, 2017, 12:58:34 PM »
Well I am here to tell you guys, 9 out of 10 tree guys around me locally donít ever re-tune a saw their whole entire career!!!!

 As a matter of fact most average chainsaw users donít have a clue about tuning a chainsaw....

 If you use a saw a lot, yes you should know how to tune it...if you have good hearing, itís simple....

 As far as the 461, go buy one today.....they are great saws....I have had one for 2-years now, no problems whatsoever....

  I cut hardwoods mainly, and keep a 25Ē bar on my 461....I have to drop a maple a few months ago and got a chance to see what she could do with a 32Ē bar.....well I am here to tell you I was shocked how well the saw did.....I wonít be scared to slap the 32Ē on agian if I need to....


Offline Greenerpastures

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Re: Stihl ms 461
« Reply #19 on: November 19, 2017, 12:47:40 PM »
I would get the 461, it will cost less, and as others have
said, ensure your dealer checks the tune before taking the
saw home.
And bring it back after a month, and even pay to have it re
cheked, it is a small fee for real peace of mind.

In any event, the real danger with tuning is when you take a
saw that was tuned high altitude down to low altitude,
the saw will become much too lean, and will fry,
so it is better to tune for low altitude,
this way if you climb your saw will be too rich, and at least will
not be fried.

I recenty ended up with a 362 mtronic, but this was due to
circumstance, there was no non mtronic saws available in
Stihl, and I could not wait on another brand or saw to arrive
at my place.

If I had time to wait on another saw, I would have been getting
a Dolmar or Makita 6100, and if not available, a Shindaiwa or Echo
CS-620, they are great saws too.

Let us know what you settle on.

Regards, john

Offline Greenerpastures

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Re: Stihl ms 461
« Reply #20 on: November 19, 2017, 01:21:03 PM »
Are they easy enough to adjust though? Any after you buy a new saw thatís set at factory settings do they need to be re-tuned within a short time? Thanks for reply
A saw is easier to adjust when you know how she should sound
when she is right.
But for certain, you need to know to never leave the saw runing too
Lean, meaning not enough fuel getting in, rich means more fuel is present.
Adjusting the L for low, screw, is only neccessary if your saw is bogging down
when you try to rev it up, but before you touch it, ensure your fuel oil mix is
correct and a high enough octane rated fuel was used, also ensure your
air filter is clean, and your muffler is not blocked,
they have a spark screen in there, that needs to be kept clean,
if it is getting dirty and clogged way too often then your either
using slightly too much two stroke oil in your mix, or there is too much fuel
going into your engine and not being burned, or both.
Addressing these issuse may in fact cure your problem, or go a long way
towards resolving it.
So clean spark arrestor, and use fresh fuel with the highest octane you
can get, and mix to the correct ratio.
Then if saw boggs down during accelleration, let it warm up,
then turn out the L screw untill the saw accelerates without hesitation, and
you should be pretty close, note that if you keep turning the L screw
out, you will note that past a certain point no further gain will be acheived
in regard to making the saw rev quicker, and will in fact cause it to have
less power owing to too much fuel in the cylinder that can not be burned
off, so if your saw is almost perfect in the L setting, very little will be required
to make her take throttle and resolve the bogging, also screw the L back in a little if you suspect you have passed the area where any gains have been noted, also be aware that your saw should rev without hesitation even when cold, though not ice cold, and it is better to let any engine heat a little before
revving, though in this instance, a rev ot two when cold should establish whether the engine is in the bogging zone or not.
The H or high screw, again ensure fuel and screen are right before adjusting.
First you need to know why you are adjusting the H screw,
is your saw running too rich, ie a bit of fuel coming out exhaust,
this can also be contributed to too much oil in the mix, so be clear
that is not the problem,
Is your saw running a little slow, or dying too much in the cut,
then if so and all the other factors like oil and air filter being clean have
been addressed, you could adjust the H jet.
Warm up your saw, then throttle it full open for two seconds,
listen intently, is the saw fourstroking, making a burbling noise
at full throttle, it should be, and especially if you think your saw
is dyiing in the cut, this burbling fourstroking sound is caused by
too much fuel getting in, this is the safe side of the fence to be on.
To take away a little of the burbling sound, is to screw IN the H screw.
This leans the mix, puts less fuel in the saw, and if over done will fry
your saw, so on a saw that is almost perfect in the cut, only a little room
remains for screwing in the H screw, 1/16 of a turn may suffice.
It all depends on ensuring the engine is fourstroking a little.

Now at the high setting, DONT be fooled by the limited coils,
they too make the engine cut and sound like its fourstroking,
so to make sure this is not happening, buy a Tachometer and
look what RPM your saw is currently running at, and note the
manufacturers MAX RPM and where the coil cuts in.
Keep way below max rpm, you do not need to be anywhere near
it to have a good cutting saw, a saw chain going too fast is useless,
it will only hop of the wood, and your engine is being worked out,
and over heated in the process due to it being run lean to acheive
the crazy useless high rpms.
Note too that leaning the H will slightly lean the L,
it will be minimal though, and may not require re adjusting
of the L, if how ever you have to lean the H a lot, then keep
an eye to ensure your saw is not bogging down as you excellerate,
and if so a tiny adjustment out on the L should suffice.
Keep your idle within factory spec too, riching the L
will cause the idle speed to drop, depending on how high
the idle was initially set and the amount the L was enriched,
your saw may fire and die (not counting when it does this on choke),
this is simply because the idle screw is no longer touching the
idle mixture lever, so adjust the idle an 1/8 turn, your saw should start,
if not, another 1/8 turn.
It would be highly irregular to find that your adjustment of the L
screw would contribute your saw firing and dying, so check idle first
as I have never seen a reasonably adjusted L causing starting trouble.
Regardless, idle should be set when saw is warm, and should be adjusted
just high enough to ensure your saw starts in COLD weather, after this has
been acheived, idle is only a matter of prefference, usually adjust to
keep saw barking even if it is jumping about a little, if your saw is reving
up and down too much at idle, that is a sign of too low idle, or not enough juice, but as we just set the L to give us fast accelleration, it should be the
idle that needs to go up a bit..

Use a quality oil in your mix, one that has plenty of detergents to keep
your engine clean, the current highest spec regarding detergents is HD,
HC is also perfect. Mix it correctly especially if your saw has a catalitic converter, and a spark screen, a tiny bit too much is ok, but too much will
cause the cat to have problems, and block your spark screen.
So depending on your circumstances, 40:1 to 50:1, one will run a little cleaner than the other.
People also tell me that a saw running a little rich in fuel to air ratio
will lubricate and run cooler, than trying to acheive the same lubrication
by adding more oil as in 40:1 mix.
If your in a very warm climate, use Fully synthetic, if not, standard oil
or synthetic blended oil mix is more than good enough, just use FD or FC
spec to keep the engine and muffler screen clean.


Again, much easier to pay the dealer 30 dollars to tune your saw,
he will already know the limitations of your particular saw, and will
have a tachometer if he needs to double check.

Hope this helps.

Regards, john


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