The Forestry Forum

General Forestry => Chainsaws => Topic started by: HolmenTree on June 06, 2017, 10:46:34 PM

Title: Official MS261CM vs 550XP test
Post by: HolmenTree on June 06, 2017, 10:46:34 PM
Well it's only official in my books  8)
I recently bought a brand new 32 week of 2016 Husqvarna 550XP which at the moment has 1 hour and 40 minutes on it. Reason why I know the exact time on it is because my dealer's tech had to reboot the Auto Tune today. Saw has run off and on good to terrible.

So while at the dealer who also sells Stihl I bought the latest edition MS261CM.
So starting tomorrow hopefully I'll be commencing with years to come of service from these saws within  my tree service company.
All my saws only use Shell non ethanol 91 octane premium gasoline mixed with Stihl Ultra full synthetic mix.

The 550 is running the H30 .325 narrow kerf chain which I like very much on a 50cc saw. Too bad Stihl doesn't make a similar semi chisel .325NK chain.
But the 261 will be sporting a chain similar if not better in performance... the 63PS MS261 Tuning Kit .
This kit sold here in Canada is 3 loops of 63Picco Super 16" sawchain. A 3/8 Picco rim sprocket and a Stihl 3003 mount 16" Picco sprocket nose bar.
The 261 came with a .325 23RS chain. The same chain I run on my Husqvarna 562XP.
Stay tuned.
 

 (http://www.forestryforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/21589/20170606_171738.jpg?easyrotate_cache=1496803532)
Title: Re: Official MS261CM vs 550XP test
Post by: John Mc on June 07, 2017, 09:57:09 AM
If you can't run the H25 on your MS261, can you run the 63PS chain on your 550XP?
Title: Re: Official MS261CM vs 550XP test
Post by: nativewolf on June 07, 2017, 10:32:56 AM
Finally a real world test to answer questions we'd all like to know.  Thanks

Do they have the same length bar? 

Everyone says that with the new Stihl autotune you have to run several tanks of gas to really get the tuning finished so it will optimize performance.  Do you expect the same with the Husky?
Title: Re: Official MS261CM vs 550XP test
Post by: John Mc on June 07, 2017, 10:40:39 AM
Everyone says that with the new Stihl autotune you have to run several tanks of gas to really get the tuning finished so it will optimize performance.  Do you expect the same with the Husky?

I've found on every saw I've owned, the saw needs a few tanks of gas through it before it really "wakes up". I've yet to own an autotune saw, but everything I've heard about the Husky autotune system says that you do need to run it a bit to get the autotune dialed in properly (I didn't realize the autotune part took several tanks of gas, but perhaps it's responding to the other changes the saw is going through as it breaks in?)
Title: Re: Official MS261CM vs 550XP test
Post by: HolmenTree on June 07, 2017, 12:23:40 PM
If you can't run the H25 on your MS261, can you run the 63PS chain on your 550XP?
John, you can get either b/c to fit either saw with a simple modification to the Husky bar slot or a stud adapter to fit the Stihl bar to the Husky.
But there is no Picco or lo profile rim sprocket available to fit the Husky small 7 spline clutch drum. So the 63PS chain can't be run on the 550XP.
Title: Re: Official MS261CM vs 550XP test
Post by: HolmenTree on June 07, 2017, 12:43:36 PM
Finally a real world test to answer questions we'd all like to know.  Thanks

Do they have the same length bar? 

Everyone says that with the new Stihl autotune you have to run several tanks of gas to really get the tuning finished so it will optimize performance.  Do you expect the same with the Husky?
Hello nativewolf , yes they are both 16". Perfect fit for my application of using a 50cc saw.
At one time a few years back Husqvarna recommended owners to run in the AutoTune new out of the box for a steady 5 minutes at WOT under load on biggest possible wood. I just made downward rip cuts through a round of firewood standing on its end.
Now they no longer recommend that.
Like you said just run them normal for a few tanks.

This morning I was busy stump grinding stumps.  Just having lunch in my truck and then will get onto this dead poplar to finish the day.
Probably won't let the 261 cut today as I got to see how the 550 runs after the dealer tech rebooted it's Auto Tune. The saw only has 1 hr and 40 minutes on it.
Will be using the Husqvarna T536 Li XP battery saw to aerial disassemble it on spurs. Then the 550XP will block it up. If it can't finish the job then the 261 will take over.
 

 (http://www.forestryforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/21589/20170607_110652.jpg?easyrotate_cache=1496853780)
Title: Re: Official MS261CM vs 550XP test
Post by: khntr85 on June 07, 2017, 05:09:53 PM
Awesome, can't wait for your review of the 261....

  As some one else said my ms461 gotnstronger tonupwards of 15-20 tanks....I know it sounds hard to believe....I could actually feel the compression in the pull cord go up!!
Title: Re: Official MS261CM vs 550XP test
Post by: gspren on June 07, 2017, 07:20:29 PM
....I know it sounds hard to believe....I could actually feel the compression in the pull cord go up!!

  Over the past 10 years all of my rope start equipment has gone up in compression, even my ancient 041 Farm Boss.  :D :D
Title: Re: Official MS261CM vs 550XP test
Post by: HolmenTree on June 07, 2017, 11:26:32 PM
Well the 550 managed to get that poplar bucked up this afternoon, just barely.
I took it back to the dealer and the tech is looking at it plus I brought him some bigger wood to test it out on.
All he had yesterday was a little 6 inch diameter log that he cut 6 cookies off with the 550.

Long story short the 550 has a severe lean condition with a really bad bog while reving it up. Which eventually goes away.
Appears the old flooding problem with the old AutoTunes doesn't apply to this 31 week of 2016 model.
Now it needs to be choked to restart it even when fully warmed up.
I suspect the carbs inlet needle is not set at the right height.
Will be using the MS261 for its first time  cutting wood tomorrow while the dealer sorts out the 550.
Here's a few pics from that poplar removal this afternoon with the T536 Li XP and 550XP.
Last pic shows 5 Swedes and 1 German in the back of my pickup. :D
 

 (http://www.forestryforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/21589/20170607_120927_resized_2.jpg?easyrotate_cache=1496892153) 

 (http://www.forestryforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/21589/20170607_161507_resized_5.jpg?easyrotate_cache=1496892178) 

 (http://www.forestryforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/21589/20170607_143650_resized_1.jpg?easyrotate_cache=1496892229) 

 (http://www.forestryforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/21589/20170607_131637_resized.jpg?easyrotate_cache=1496892273)
Title: Re: Official MS261CM vs 550XP test
Post by: ButchC on June 09, 2017, 07:09:38 AM
I am not sure that there is any difference between a 3/8 LP and a regular full size 3/8 drive rim but you may be right?  Years ago I made up a Carton N1C 3/8LP x .050  chain and threw it on my 036 just for giggles and it ran just fine after I replaced the worn rim with a new one. It cut real fast too. But it sure stretched quickly and really needed a narrower bar.

Will be interesting how the shoot out turns out. I have never ran a 261 but we have a very late 260 that was a dealer  hold over after the 261s came out. I also own the very first 550 that my Husky dealer sold. It will run circles around the 260 in any circumstance (that is when running correctly)  and is just plain a better saw all around (and I am a Stihl guy!)  Mine suffers from none of the known 550 tuning or starting malady's. It does have "quirks" that are mainly due to my saw operating habits. I dont habitually run my saws wide open out of the cut and the 550 needs to see that now and then to tune itself. Seems like If it doesn't see red line RPM now and then it leans itself out trying to achieve them and will get to the condition you describe where it it is so lean it doesn't run right. It goes against my grain but holding it wide open out of the cut for 10 seconds or so resets it and it goes fine once more. 

Few years ago we were at the Paul Bunyan show early on the first day and at the Husky display one of the  reps was starting saws and just flat footing them for like 60 seconds, I wanted to go over and bend one of the bars over his head for being an idiot but gave him the chance to explain what he was doing, which was setting the tunes on the saws so when people wanted to test them they would be at optimum. 

Title: Re: Official MS261CM vs 550XP test
Post by: HolmenTree on June 09, 2017, 09:54:50 AM
Thanks Butch for the good post.
Lots to report from yesterday  but was our 15th wedding anniversary so my wife and I were out late so no time to report.  Will post more tonight as I'm on my way to work.

Here's a little from yesterday.
The 550XP is still out of commission at the dealership so I had a whole day devoted to the MS261CM making its first cuts in wood.
Now to remind everyone this is not the same saw as the old 260/261.
The saw started and ran perfect throughout the day. It's master control switch makes the 550's switch look outdated. One push down on the 261's switch puts it in choke mode. No primer bulb to fiddle with. Couple of pulls on the rope and immediately squeeze the throttle trigger to bring it to idle.
There's no fumbling with the switch like on the 550 to put it on fast idle and then restarting the saw.
The 261 also has the Auto on switch mode. Just tap it upwards and it shuts off then ready again for the next startup.
When you remove the one piece top cover with the three 1/4 turn screw locks which is so easy to use plus when reinstalling it takes a bit of torque with the scrench to relock them. So no worries about them shaking loose.

After I got the 261's top cover off I saw the full HD canister air filter that also screws off with a 1/4 twist.
Very impressive looking cylinder design with a intake setup that looks very high tech to me :D
The oil and fuel flippy caps worked really nice, much improved over the olders one on my old MS200T.
I'll find more to report as the season goes on but I really like the new design of the MS261CM. The 550XP is now "old technology". Husqvarna has some catching up to do with a new redesigned 50cc saw.
The new edition MS261CM looks like a small version of the new highly anticipated MS462C

The 63PS Picco 3/8 chisel cuts good with a narrow 0.300" kerf. Its .325 23RS has a wider 0.400" kerf. Both chains have the same cutter length for equal sharpening life.
But Stihl needs to make a 6 tooth mini 7 spline rim sprocket. The 7 tooth Picco rim is actually larger in diameter then the standard 3/8 7 tooth rim at 1.432"  The standard 3/8 is 1.382"
The Picco needs to get down to the smaller size of the .325 7 tooth rim at 1.250"
I know the MS241 and saws like the MS250 also have the Picco 7 rim and that's way to big for those small saws.

 

 (http://www.forestryforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/21589/20170608_145259.jpg?easyrotate_cache=1497015221) 

 (http://www.forestryforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/21589/20170608_114854.jpg?easyrotate_cache=1497015350) 

 (http://www.forestryforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/21589/20170608_134432.jpg?easyrotate_cache=1497015418)

Title: Re: Official MS261CM vs 550XP test
Post by: HolmenTree on June 09, 2017, 03:28:01 PM
Spike60 just sent me a message this morning. I'm sitting in my truck have a late lunch. Here is what Bob said:

Willard, does your dealer keep up with his service bulletins?

All 2016 550s with the AT-12 carb need to have the firmware updated and the fuel settings reset. I'm doing this at the time of sale, not waiting to see if a problem exists and make the customer drive back.

Something changed with the new carb and some new fuel parameters are needed. Very simple to do. Just update the firmware and then hit the default reset on the fuel settings. "L" values will show 90 and you're good to go. Funny that I noticed this thread cause I have to do 10 of them this morning on a fleet deal for a tree company..These 550's run the way they should have from the beginning.

And Happy Anniversary!
Title: Re: Official MS261CM vs 550XP test
Post by: khntr85 on June 09, 2017, 04:50:06 PM
Thanks Butch for the good post.
Lots to report from yesterday  but was our 15th wedding anniversary so my wife and I were out late so no time to report.  Will post more tonight as I'm on my way to work.

Here's a little from yesterday.
The 550XP is still out of commission at the dealership so I had a whole day devoted to the MS261CM making its first cuts in wood.
Now to remind everyone this is not the same saw as the old 260/261.
The saw started and ran perfect throughout the day. It's master control switch makes the 550's switch look outdated. One push down on the 261's switch puts it in choke mode. No primer bulb to fiddle with. Couple of pulls on the rope and immediately squeeze the throttle trigger to bring it to idle.
There's no fumbling with the switch like on the 550 to put it on fast idle and then restarting the saw.
The 261 also has the Auto on switch mode. Just tap it upwards and it shuts off then ready again for the next startup.
When you remove the one piece top cover with the three 1/4 turn screw locks which is so easy to use plus when reinstalling it takes a bit of torque with the scrench to relock them. So no worries about them shaking loose.

After I got the 261's top cover off I saw the full HD canister air filter that also screws off with a 1/4 twist.
Very impressive looking cylinder design with a intake setup that looks very high tech to me :D
The oil and fuel flippy caps worked really nice, much improved over the olders one on my old MS200T.
I'll find more to report as the season goes on but I really like the new design of the MS261CM. The 550XP is now "old technology". Husqvarna has some catching up to do with a new redesigned 50cc saw.
The new edition MS261CM looks like a small version of the new highly anticipated MS462C

The 63PS Picco 3/8 chisel cuts good with a narrow 0.300" kerf. Its .325 23RS has a wider 0.400" kerf. Both chains have the same cutter length for equal sharpening life.
But Stihl needs to make a 6 tooth mini 7 spline rim sprocket. The 7 tooth Picco rim is actually larger in diameter then the standard 3/8 7 tooth rim at 1.432"  The standard 3/8 is 1.382"
The Picco needs to get down to the smaller size of the .325 7 tooth rim at 1.250"
I know the MS241 and saws like the MS250 also have the Picco 7 rim and that's way to big for those small saws.

 

 (http://www.forestryforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/21589/20170608_145259.jpg?easyrotate_cache=1497015221) 

 (http://www.forestryforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/21589/20170608_114854.jpg?easyrotate_cache=1497015350) 

 (http://www.forestryforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/21589/20170608_134432.jpg?easyrotate_cache=1497015418)

Well darn I can't wait til that husky is right....I can't wait to hear how they compare when they are both running up to par!!!

  Glad you are liking the 261 so far, does it have decent power even though it ain't broke in yet...

  I also want to say I am glad there are still a few honest people out here...it's obvious you run mainly huskys, but for you to give the Stihl a fair shake says a lot about you, your honest flat out.....even thought it's the faceless Internet, some traits are still noticeable, thanks agian sir, I always look forward to your post!!!!!
Title: Re: Official MS261CM vs 550XP test
Post by: HolmenTree on June 09, 2017, 10:45:38 PM
Khntr85, thanks for the good words.
I have run Stihls exclusively for years in the past. The whole decade of the 1980's and 1990's.
 Besides the models of MS200Ts I've bought in the past decade,  my last bigger Stihl I bought was my 066 Arctic Magnum in 1992.

This new series of MS261CM and soon to come MS462C is a total game changer in design. Very innovative user friendly saws .
Right out of the box the MS261CM is a strong smooth performer.  So light and ergonomic with a nice top handle to hold onto. I'm still undecided what to do with the sharp stainless steel dogs. Works great but I may switch it out for a aluminum smooth bumper like I did to the 550.

Too early to say but the 261 doesn't seem to have the spool up capabilities of the Rev Boost of the 550. But the 261 does have very quick throttle response to WOT.
I think more hours on the 261 plus maybe a mild muffler mod enlarging the exhaust will do the trick.
Plus the bigger diameter 7 T Picco rim will effect the 261's throttle response too most definitely.
The 550's smaller .325 7 tooth rim with H25 NK chain definitely improves throttle response.

I'll  have to try the 261 with the .325 7 tooth rim and 23RS chisel chain and makes some times cuts between both saws with their respective bar/chain setups.
Clean 10"x10" spruce, a steady hand and a stop watch doesn't lie. That will come later this summer with some more hours on  the saws.
Title: Re: Official MS261CM vs 550XP test
Post by: ladylake on June 10, 2017, 05:30:54 AM
 

 If one or the other is a second or 2 behind the other in a longer cut no big deal, I'm guessing they will be close.  I'd get the more reliable one.  Steve
Title: Re: Official MS261CM vs 550XP test
Post by: khntr85 on June 10, 2017, 02:11:37 PM
Khntr85, thanks for the good words.
I have run Stihls exclusively for years in the past. The whole decade of the 1980's and 1990's.
 Besides the models of MS200Ts I've bought in the past decade,  my last bigger Stihl I bought was my 066 Arctic Magnum in 1992.

This new series of MS261CM and soon to come MS462C is a total game changer in design. Very innovative user friendly saws .
Right out of the box the MS261CM is a strong smooth performer.  So light and ergonomic with a nice top handle to hold onto. I'm still undecided what to do with the sharp stainless steel dogs. Works great but I may switch it out for a aluminum smooth bumper like I did to the 550.

Too early to say but the 261 doesn't seem to have the spool up capabilities of the Rev Boost of the 550. But the 261 does have very quick throttle response to WOT.
I think more hours on the 261 plus maybe a mild muffler mod enlarging the exhaust will do the trick.
Plus the bigger diameter 7 T Picco rim will effect the 261's throttle response too most definitely.
The 550's smaller .325 7 tooth rim with H25 NK chain definitely improves throttle response.

I'll  have to try the 261 with the .325 7 tooth rim and 23RS chisel chain and makes some times cuts between both saws with their respective bar/chain setups.
Clean 10"x10" spruce, a steady hand and a stop watch doesn't lie. That will come later this summer with some more hours on  the saws.

I am anxious to see if the Stihl or husky had more low end power once they are both broken in...I know people say that the husky revs higher, faster....
Title: Re: Official MS261CM vs 550XP test
Post by: HolmenTree on June 10, 2017, 09:31:41 PM
I made a few cuts this evening with the 550XP since the dealership's tech reset its fuel settings.
Works like a charm now, no more bog and smooth quick throttle response.
Thanks again to Bob aka Spike60 for the much appreciated advice!
Title: Re: Official MS261CM vs 550XP test
Post by: khntr85 on June 10, 2017, 10:17:26 PM
I made a few cuts this evening with the 550XP since the dealership's tech reset its fuel settings.
Works like a charm now, no more bog and smooth quick throttle response.
Thanks again to Bob aka Spike60 for the much appreciated advice!

Sweet now we can get a fair comparison....I like Stihl butbiblike thenlooks of that husky!!
Title: Re: Official MS261CM vs 550XP test
Post by: HolmenTree on June 10, 2017, 10:35:24 PM
Yep the little Husky is a nifty streamlined little saw.
But the 261 is basically the same dimensions except has a wider top handle.
I find the 550's top handle is too skinny and slippery to hold on to.
261 handles have a real nice feel to them.
Title: Re: Official MS261CM vs 550XP test
Post by: gspren on June 11, 2017, 07:23:00 AM
  When I got my 261 it was partly because it just felt "right" in my hands, the huskys not so much.
Title: Re: Official MS261CM vs 550XP test
Post by: HolmenTree on June 11, 2017, 01:10:18 PM
I thought I'd share another pic of my mini version of a MS462C.
Plus a pic of a neighboring beaver's work . :D :)
 

 (http://www.forestryforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/21589/20170611_113500_resized.jpg?easyrotate_cache=1497200942) 

 (http://www.forestryforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/21589/FB_IMG_1497195091229.jpg?easyrotate_cache=1497200974)
Title: Re: Official MS261CM vs 550XP test
Post by: DonT on June 11, 2017, 02:43:48 PM
Great thread.  I have a 550xp I bought last September. Right from the start I have had warm starts with it .Dealer replaced the carb this winter and did all the updates but it still is a frustrating saw.  I use it for limbing , beside the chipper , and blocking down medium sized trees.I have tried to follow all the warm start instructions but still struggle with it.Hand this saw to a student employee and they are lost.My saw does not have the hole or slit in the right side of the top cover to release heat as all the new ones have.Does yours have this hole?  As I stated I like this saw and my 562 but warm starts are an issue with both saws. Holding the throttle open and yanking one handed in frustration are not the appropriate way to start a saw. On a positive note I love my little battery powered top handle when up in a tree pruning,it starts real easy.
Title: Re: Official MS261CM vs 550XP test
Post by: HolmenTree on June 11, 2017, 10:49:09 PM
Don, yes my 2016 - 31 week 550XP has the vented top cover. 
Spike 60 gave good advice in post#11 about the updates and resetting the fuel settings.
 On another forum he mentioned his 10 550s he sold and reset that morning were built in the 32 week, a week after mine.
Yes I like my little Husky top handle battery saw too. Stihl will soon introduce their top handle.
Title: Re: Official MS261CM vs 550XP test
Post by: ButchC on June 12, 2017, 08:28:33 AM
Great thread.  I have a 550xp I bought last September. Right from the start I have had warm starts with it .Dealer replaced the carb this winter and did all the updates but it still is a frustrating saw.  I use it for limbing , beside the chipper , and blocking down medium sized trees.I have tried to follow all the warm start instructions but still struggle with it.Hand this saw to a student employee and they are lost.My saw does not have the hole or slit in the right side of the top cover to release heat as all the new ones have.Does yours have this hole?  As I stated I like this saw and my 562 but warm starts are an issue with both saws. Holding the throttle open and yanking one handed in frustration are not the appropriate way to start a saw. On a positive note I love my little battery powered top handle when up in a tree pruning,it starts real easy.

Don, I know what you mean when you say hand it to an employee. No employees here but my youngest son wont even run the 550 due to the "quirks" one of them being hot starts. Mine MUST be placed on high idle when warm or it wont go, just pops weakly.

Since I have figured out how to make mine start and go once it is started I am afraid to take it back for updates,, and have to relearn it. I like my 550  but as you guys said, a person ought to be able to start and run a saw without taking a class or keeping notes,,,
Title: Re: Official MS261CM vs 550XP test
Post by: HolmenTree on June 13, 2017, 12:02:06 AM
Wasn't a hot day today (18C for a high )so didn't have any hot start issues with either saw.
But for quick warm up the 261 won the contest. From cold the 261 was ready to go WOT within seconds.
The 550 took close to a minute.
Both saws with still lots of break in time to come. I'm finding the 261 revs just as high as the 550.
A tachometer will get the numbers when both are fully broke in.
Title: Re: Official MS261CM vs 550XP test
Post by: Kel71 on June 13, 2017, 03:57:46 PM
261 is at the top of my next saw list. I can't wait for you to get
20-30 hours on it.

Those beavers do nice work. Have you trained any to split the wood
or just to buck it like that?
Title: Re: Official MS261CM vs 550XP test
Post by: HolmenTree on June 13, 2017, 06:07:38 PM

Those beavers do nice work. Have you trained any to split the wood
or just to buck it like that?
No unfortunately it's not in their plan to split the rounds.
They wouldn't be able to roll them to the water if they did.
I'm just happy with the job they do. All they leave behind is the stump and chips
 :D ;D :)
Title: Re: Official MS261CM vs 550XP test
Post by: HolmenTree on June 14, 2017, 10:29:10 AM
Did a little exploring on some more features of the new edition Stihl MS261CM.
Nicely designed air injection to separate dirt and debris from the intake air off the flywheel. Delivering clean air to the air box and air filter.
 

 (http://www.forestryforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/21589/20170614_091124.jpg?easyrotate_cache=1497450447) 

 (http://www.forestryforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/21589/20170614_091331.jpg?easyrotate_cache=1497450485)
Title: Re: Official MS261CM vs 550XP test
Post by: Woodcutter_Mo on June 14, 2017, 11:07:32 AM
Did a little exploring on some more features of the new edition Stihl MS261CM.
Nicely designed air injection to separate dirt and debris from the intake air off the flywheel. Delivering clean air to the air box and air filter.
 

 (http://www.forestryforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/21589/20170614_091124.jpg?easyrotate_cache=1497450447) 

 (http://www.forestryforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/21589/20170614_091331.jpg?easyrotate_cache=1497450485)

 I'm glad Stihl finally started doing this, that's one thing that always annoyed me about the older Stihls is the air filter bay constantly being filled with sawdust.
Title: Re: Official MS261CM vs 550XP test
Post by: HolmenTree on June 14, 2017, 05:32:00 PM
Actually Stihl introduced their air injection and spring anti vibe mounts on the MS441 over 10 1/2 years ago.
Title: Re: Official MS261CM vs 550XP test
Post by: Canadiana on June 14, 2017, 08:45:33 PM
Anyone know the differences between the updated 261cm with the more stylish side cover and the older version of the 261cm. Is one rumored to cut faster/last longer? In 14" spruce  n pine the 261cm was just a hair slower than the 044, not trying to derail a thread. I'd love to hear about some 550xp vs 261cm cut times
Title: Re: Official MS261CM vs 550XP test
Post by: Canadiana on June 14, 2017, 08:47:55 PM
Oops. I see the above
Title: Re: Official MS261CM vs 550XP test
Post by: HolmenTree on June 14, 2017, 09:41:58 PM
Oops. I see the above

Canadiana, this new edition Stihl MS261CM was just recently introduced .
Like I said I ran Stihls for 25 years during the 1980's 1990's and into 2005 when I bought my first Husqvarna a early edition 372XP with more models to follow.

There's a big shake up in the Stihl corporation with a MS462C recently introduced.
The new edition MS261CM is a whole new design based after the big brother 462.
Very exciting times for this company and it sure caught my attention.
Husqvarna has new models under their sleeve too soon to be introduced. But what I seen so far their prototype of one certain model still has a primer bulb with not much change of design from what they already have for the last 7 years.
Title: Re: Official MS261CM vs 550XP test
Post by: HolmenTree on June 14, 2017, 10:39:17 PM
This new edition Stihl MS261CM is a whole new model.
50.1cc
4.1 bhp
10.8 lbs

2017 Husqvarna 550XP
50.1cc
3.75 bhp
10.8 lbs.
Title: Re: Official MS261CM vs 550XP test
Post by: ladylake on June 15, 2017, 05:43:09 AM
 
 Paper specs don't mean much, company's have been fudging the numbers for years.   Steve
Title: Re: Official MS261CM vs 550XP test
Post by: HolmenTree on June 15, 2017, 10:57:51 AM

At least there are numbers from both manufacturers. 3.75 and 4.1
One says bhp other hp?
Title: Re: Official MS261CM vs 550XP test
Post by: ladylake on June 15, 2017, 11:55:34 AM

 If they are really close one of them is fudging, Stihl fudged a lot on their best selling saw the MS290 to make sales. They had it rated at 3.8hp when it was more like 3.2hp as any pro 50 cc saw rated around 3.8 hp would cut way faster.   Steve
Title: Re: Official MS261CM vs 550XP test
Post by: HolmenTree on June 15, 2017, 12:39:48 PM
I may have to setup a homemade all engine water brake dyno to get some kw measurements, something I have put off for too long.
Originally was planned in my Yamaha YZ  bikesaw build over 30 years.
Will be a fair test for these 2 saws as both were bought new at about the same time.




 
Title: Re: Official MS261CM vs 550XP test
Post by: Ed on June 18, 2017, 12:06:06 AM
Very interested to know the fuel usage on the 261CM, dad bought one last fall......goes through fuel like a pig eating fresh swill.

Ed
Title: Re: Official MS261CM vs 550XP test
Post by: gspren on June 18, 2017, 08:17:18 AM
Very interested to know the fuel usage on the 261, dad bought one last fall......goes through fuel like a pig eating fresh swill.

Ed
  I have had my 261 for several years, not the CM, and I thought it was easy on gas.
Title: Re: Official MS261CM vs 550XP test
Post by: HolmenTree on June 18, 2017, 12:31:57 PM
Very interested to know the fuel usage on the 261, dad bought one last fall......goes through fuel like a pig eating fresh swill.

Ed
Ed, both the 550XP and MS261CM seem to burn fuel at the same rate, so far.
Title: Re: Official MS261CM vs 550XP test
Post by: Ed on June 19, 2017, 03:42:47 PM
Had to edit my post, forgot to state it's a "CM" version.

My old 026 has always been good on fuel, so far the "CM", not so much.

Ed
Title: Re: Official MS261CM vs 550XP test
Post by: HolmenTree on June 19, 2017, 05:45:11 PM
I'll check the MS261CM 's fuel tank capacity compared to the 026/260.
You'd think with the CM's huge HD canister air filter that it would breath real easy saving fuel.
Title: Re: Official MS261CM vs 550XP test
Post by: mad murdock on June 21, 2017, 09:19:38 AM
Great thread HT! As far as fuel consumption is concerned, I know you know this as you have tweaked many an engine in your past to get more power out of it. My guess would be that if the new Stihl lives up to the HP numbers, it will burn more gas to get there, there is only so much power in a cc of fuel. More power out means more fuel in, until someone invents that magic "pill" or whatever to get to "crack" the hydrocarbon molecule so you can really unleash the potential of an internal combustion engine, but then again with the constant re- formulation to "gasoline" over the years, that begins to be near impossible also. 
Title: Re: Official MS261CM vs 550XP test
Post by: HolmenTree on June 21, 2017, 09:56:03 AM
Thanks Murdock, yes seeing this new edition Stihl MS261CM is posted at 4.1bhp and the old MS260 is 3.2bhp more fuel would be burned.
But also checking Stihls website the 261 has a larger 500cc fuel tank, the 260 is 460cc.
I pulled the spark arrestor screen out of the 261's muffler yesterday and noticed a small increase in power.
I pulled the 550's too but never tried it yet....I'm having too much fun with the MS261CM  :D
Title: Re: Official MS261CM vs 550XP test
Post by: ButchC on June 21, 2017, 10:11:03 AM

I pulled the 550's too but never tried it yet....I'm having too much fun with the MS261CM  :D

Me think you have a favorite child,,,  8)     And you are giving me the new saw itch too.
Title: Re: Official MS261CM vs 550XP test
Post by: HolmenTree on June 21, 2017, 08:59:46 PM

I pulled the 550's too but never tried it yet....I'm having too much fun with the MS261CM  :D

Me think you have a favorite child,,,  8)     And you are giving me the new saw itch too.
Yes it seems to be becoming that way Butch ;D
My 562XP go to saw was light to me but this new MS261 feels so light it feels like a toy. Until you bury it's bar, it really surprises me.
I removed 4 large  birches for a customer today . Buried the 16" bar bucking up 16"long rounds. Even lowering the stumps to the ground having to cut them 360 degree wasn't much of a challenge for it.

It hit 77-78F today with lots of humidity and no hot starts issues what so ever. I don't think the saw even has a fast idle, don't need it. Once it revved up a little bit weird while cutting but I think it was just adjusting it's self.

Had the new 23RS .325 chisel chain on it today for the first time and never even put a file to it yet, but cut real nice otherwise. :o

The little 63PS chisel chain I had on it from the first tank to yesterday was a good combination and will cut faster then the bigger .325 23RS by the stop watch being lighter built and making a narrower kerf. But I can't really tell when working.
If I had touched up the new 23RS with the file first thing this morning it definitely would cut faster them it did new out of the box.
 
The 7 T .325 rim is quite a bit smaller in diameter then the Picco 7T 3/8 rim so the 23RS would be as easy pulling for the 261 compared to the narrower Picco chisel with the larger diameter rim sprocket.

23RS has more meat to it so would be a sturdier edge holding chain.
I'm running the 23RS on my 562XP too and  it's a nice smooth quick combo
Title: Re: Official MS261CM vs 550XP test
Post by: HolmenTree on June 22, 2017, 04:06:41 PM
Removed some Manitoba maples today for a customer with the 550XP getting it's turn.
Much cooler today 61F/16C with 80% humidity. The 550 has about 8 tanks through it already and since the dealer reset the Auto Tune fuel settings it's  running almost normal now.
Still taking it's time warming up with what seems like a pre ignition miss that takes even longer to go away. Maybe it needs a new spark plug already.
 

 (http://www.forestryforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/21589/20170622_143412_resized_1.jpg?easyrotate_cache=1498161919)
Title: Re: Official MS261CM vs 550XP test
Post by: John Mc on June 22, 2017, 05:39:57 PM
This thread is bumming me out. I really like the local Husky dealer. The 550XP was on my list to get when my Jonsered 2152 finally wears out. Looks as though I might have to get to know my Stihl dealer a bit better.
Title: Re: Official MS261CM vs 550XP test
Post by: HolmenTree on June 22, 2017, 06:06:56 PM
John, I've had good experiences with 550XP s over the years. It just needs some more time on it, once it gets totally  warmed up it runs great. Make a good logging saw 8 hr a day 5 day a week.
Title: Re: Official MS261CM vs 550XP test
Post by: HolmenTree on June 22, 2017, 06:39:37 PM
My dealer officially  has been a Husqvarna dealer for over 40 years. They just took on Stihl a couple of years ago when the previous Stihl dealer retired.

The MS261 didn't need any fuel settings reset etc. Just came from the factory the way it is. That I like.
Title: Re: Official MS261CM vs 550XP test
Post by: khntr85 on June 23, 2017, 12:55:34 PM
Wow what a great thread you have made very nice bud!!!

  I am glad you are liking that 261, you are making me want one more and more...seem to be a saw that is ready to work right off the shelf!!!
Title: Re: Official MS261CM vs 550XP test
Post by: CR888 on June 23, 2017, 01:38:51 PM
Most of the features being discussed here are ALL on the OE standard carb MS261....same part numbers. The non upright cylinder (laid back) is a different cast, it has fewer cooling fins and shed some weight but port timing is the same. The 1/4 turn airfilter has been out for near a decade since the release of the MS241 then 261. The intake manifold setup is slightly different the front dawg has changed and is a pressed design. And the clutch cover. Don't get me wrong their are some improvements and Stihl is heading in right direction but the major changes were made when the ms260 was replaced by the ms261.
Title: Re: Official MS261CM vs 550XP test
Post by: PNWRusty on June 23, 2017, 04:03:36 PM
The little 63PS chisel chain I had on it from the first tank to yesterday was a good combination and will cut faster then the bigger .325 23RS by the stop watch being lighter built and making a narrower kerf. But I can't really tell when working.
If I had touched up the new 23RS with the file first thing this morning it definitely would cut faster them it did new out of the box.
 
The 7 T .325 rim is quite a bit smaller in diameter then the Picco 7T 3/8 rim so the 23RS would be as easy pulling for the 261 compared to the narrower Picco chisel with the larger diameter rim sprocket.

23RS has more meat to it so would be a sturdier edge holding chain.
I'm running the 23RS on my 562XP too and  it's a nice smooth quick combo

I picked up a MS 261 C-M a couple weeks ago to supplement the 026 I've owned from new (20 years). The 026 runs stronger than freshly broken in but it has seen enough hard running in bigger wood where a larger saw might have been more appropriate that I felt having a second saw would be a good thing. Most people would have supplemented the old 026 with a bigger or smaller saw but I like the 50 cc size so much and have never found a need that the 026 couldn't get done if I put my longest bar (20") on it. And since I only do ground work I didn't need a smaller saw.

The 261 MC was a little down on power brand new, as expected. And while it always started right up, it had some odd power fluctuations in the cut that I found disturbing. It came with a 20" bar and a green .325, .063 chain that didn't cut worth a darn out of the gate. The chain was dry right from the start so I cleared the oiler passages and groove and made sure the bar/saw mating surfaces were clean upon re-assembly. Even with the oiler turned on high I didn't get significant oil on the chain until I removed the thin stainless shim just inside the bar and reinstalled it. I never did find out what was the issue but oil is now flowing to the chain. Before that I manually oiled the chain between each cut just to run my new saw a bit. I can happily report that yesterday, on the third full tank the engine really came alive. It had been steadily improving up to that point and I have no reason to believe it wont continue to gradually gain power. It is already stronger than the 026 by a significant margin (and the 026 is a particularly strong and reliable runner). The odd power fluctuations in the cut have disappeared and it is quickly becoming a very likeable and quick/strong little buddy.

The only way the 026 bests it after three tanks through the 261 CM is the 026 is slightly lighter.  I think the powerhead difference is 8 oz. but the 026 20" bar/chain feels lighter as well even though they are both Rollomatics and both have Stihl chains (I haven't weighed them yet). The 026 has 20" .50, 3/8  w/ semi-chisel yellow chain vs. 261 with 20" .063, .325 w/ semi-chisel green chain.

Is the green chain so much heavier that it negates the smaller .325 chain? I haven't bought any spare chains or bars yet because I'm still deciding what I want to run. I'll be getting a 16-18" bar but I don't know if I should stick with .325 and .063 or bring both my saws into the same setup so they can share chains/bars between them. I want to go light and cut fast, not interested in extra durability.

If I switch the 026 over to .325, .063, I'll have two orphan bars and a couple of chains that are not showing excessive wear, if I go the other way, I'll have one almost new orphan bar and chain (that came on the new saw). I'm not opposed to running two different setups, just thought it might make sense to converge them before I start buying chains/bars for the new saw.

What do you guys think? I cut mostly downed softwood 4-36" in diameter (occasionally larger) but also some PNW hardwood, with occasional Madrone or Oak being the hardest, and the occasional felling of a dead or undesirable tree up to about 24". Since the green chain supplied with the 261 is the only .325 chain I've ever cut with, I don't know enough to decide which I like better.

This is what I think I know, please correct:

1) 3/8 (vs. .325) will have a faster chain speed with less torque (assuming 7 tooth sprocket) but fewer cutters in contact with a given cut.
2) Most 3/8 chain cuts a wider kerf than .325.
3) Typical .050 bar will be slightly narrower than equivalent .063 bar in the same pitch.
4) Typical .325 bar will be slightly narrower than equivalent 3/8 bar in the same gauge (assuming sprocket tip here).

 
Title: Re: Official MS261CM vs 550XP test
Post by: 49er on June 23, 2017, 04:25:54 PM
On my 50cc saw, Jonsered 2253 modified by tlandrum, I recently switched to 3/8's with square file chain. It is both faster and smoother than .325, on my saw anyway. I tried square filed .325 but it is too much of a pain to sharpen. I am very happy with this setup :).
Title: Re: Official MS261CM vs 550XP test
Post by: 49er on June 23, 2017, 04:30:49 PM
Removed some Manitoba maples today for a customer with the 550XP getting it's turn.
Much cooler today 61F/16C with 80% humidity. The 550 has about 8 tanks through it already and since the dealer reset the Auto Tune fuel settings it's  running almost normal now.
Still taking it's time warming up with what seems like a pre ignition miss that takes even longer to go away. Maybe it needs a new spark plug already.
 

 (http://www.forestryforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/21589/20170622_143412_resized_1.jpg?easyrotate_cache=1498161919)
I have had trouble with those little spark plugs. The problem is internal to the plug. The saw would rev up and then die, new plug and it ran fine.
Title: Re: Official MS261CM vs 550XP test
Post by: HolmenTree on June 24, 2017, 12:30:47 AM
CR888, great information .
Before my recent purchase of my new MS261CM besides a number of new MS200s , the last new Stihl I bought was my 1992 066Mag. I'm  learning lots here about the new Stihls. Never used a OE 261
This new edition Stihl MS261CM introduced in 2016 seems to have the best of everything and I think the biggest improvement is the new CM technology that controls it.
Yes like you said Stihl is going in the right direction, which  I know for a fact is a very true statement. Being proven with the recent introduction of the new MS462C in Germany.
The New edition MS261 and MS462 share the same design.


PNWRusty welcome to the forum!
You and I are on the same page both of us having similar hour 261s. Please keep up your input.
On your question on sawchain differences, I could write 10 pages on design but would only scratch the surface.
Stihl does not make a narrow kerf .325 bar/chain like the Oregon 95 series or the Husqvarna H25.
But they do make an excellent chisel .325 23RS chain but it is still .063 gauge drive links stepped down to .050

If you want lighter narrower kerf chain try the 3/8 low profile 63PS Picco chisel. It's a true full narrow gauge .050 drive link chain. But like my pic below shows the 7 tooth Picco rim is larger in diameter then the 7 tooth .325 rim.
Top chain and rim is the 23RS combo, bottom 63PS.
I don't recommend full size standard 3/8 chain on a factory stock 50cc saw.
 

 (http://www.forestryforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/21589/20170623_223733.jpg?easyrotate_cache=1498278566)
Title: Re: Official MS261CM vs 550XP test
Post by: PNWRusty on June 24, 2017, 10:00:45 AM
Thank-you for the warm welcome! I'll certainly keep everyone updated on my experiences with the 261 MC but I have an issue. I mostly cut firewood and I'm getting stuffed to the gills with the stuff. There is no place to put it! My house is built on a boulder field comprised of boulders sized from woodstoves to trucks (remnants of a mountain that fractured and collapsed) and I've run out of places to put new wood stacks. And I was just starting to have fun with my new saw! Maybe I can unload new rounds at homes of my wood-burning friends!

I'm interested in learning the finer points of different chain sizes/designs. I understand the basics of fitment and compatibility and the tradeoffs of different cutter designs (because this stuff is commonly explained on forums and in articles) but since I've been cutting exclusively with 3/8, .050 chain for the last 20 years I don't have a feel for some of the finer differences (for example how a narrower kerf would impact the tendency for a log under load to bind on the bar). My intuition tells me this would be more a function of the difference between the bar thickness and kerf width. And yet I've seen no mention of this ratio or whether anyone even pays attention to it (besides chainsaw saw/chain manufacturers). I would assume that the ratio varies with different bar/chain combinations.

One thing I'm actually confused by is that knowledgeable persons often talk of .325 chain requiring less power than 3/8 chain because of the sprocket size difference (effective gear ratio). Your earlier comment (reposted below) is a variation on that concept with the additional variable of different kerf widths:

Quote
The 7 T .325 rim is quite a bit smaller in diameter then the Picco 7T 3/8 rim so the 23RS would be as easy pulling for the 261 compared to the narrower Picco chisel with the larger diameter rim sprocket.

Here's my confusion. Lets compare power requirements for two chains of the same kerf width and cutter design, one being .325 and the other 3/8. Using a 7 tooth sprocket on each, we know the larger pitch of the 3/8 will have a larger diameter drive sprocket which will cause a higher chain speed and lower torque. However, wouldn't the lower torque be balanced out by the fact that the larger pitch will also result in a larger space between the cutters (which will result in fewer cutters working at any given moment)?

This is what has me scratching my head from a theoretical standpoint. I understand from a practical standpoint that the .325 typically has a narrower kerf and therefore is the easier pulling chain but this difference is typically attributed to the .325 pitch, not the kerf width. Am I missing something here or is (almost) everyone just speaking in generalities and using imprecise language? ???
Title: Re: Official MS261CM vs 550XP test
Post by: HolmenTree on June 24, 2017, 10:50:21 AM
Rusty, seeing your from the PNW I gather your under the influence of semi skip and full skip professional sawchain.
In timbersport speed bucking races standard space  sequence chain is proven to be faster cutting then skip tooth chain.
Full skip chain works well when a a 25" or longer bar is buried under  work conditions in the horizontal felling position.
.325 full skip is available btw. But you can run full 3/8 chain on your 261 but just be patient when the cutters are new.
When you get the cutters filed down to the laser witness marks you will have lots of chain speed in the wood plus binding.

Not my greatest post as I'm out of town with my family at a hotel restraunt.
Title: Re: Official MS261CM vs 550XP test
Post by: CR888 on June 25, 2017, 10:39:18 AM
Willard with regards to the rims sprockets I think you may have it confused a little. (I have both 550xp and 2 MS261's). The 261 takes the 'Micro™spline' rim which is slightly smaller size than the regular small rim that comes with a 550xp. The micro is availible in picco7/8pin, .325-7/8pin, standard full size 3/8- in 7&8pin & even a 1/4" sprocket too (I think). Now the 550xp has the old school small spline which should be available in lo pro, .325 etc. I have a standard 3/8 rim on my 550 atm, I believe you should be able to get a low pro sprocket for the 550. Also, I have a 555 husky and you can swap clutch covers if you want an all orange saw, you can also swap clutch drums to put a large spline (probably wouldn't want too) on the 550 or vice versa.
Title: Re: Official MS261CM vs 550XP test
Post by: HolmenTree on June 25, 2017, 11:50:38 PM
Willard with regards to the rims sprockets I think you may have it confused a little. (I have both 550xp and 2 MS261's). The 261 takes the 'Micro™spline' rim which is slightly smaller size than the regular small rim that comes with a 550xp. The micro is availible in picco7/8pin, .325-7/8pin, standard full size 3/8- in 7&8pin & even a 1/4" sprocket too (I think). Now the 550xp has the old school small spline which should be available in lo pro, .325 etc. I have a standard 3/8 rim on my 550 atm, I believe you should be able to get a low pro sprocket for the 550. Also, I have a 555 husky and you can swap clutch covers if you want an all orange saw, you can also swap clutch drums to put a large spline (probably wouldn't want too) on the 550 or vice versa.
CR888, there's no lo pro 3/8 rim sprocket in small 7 spline bore available for the 550XP.
Stihl only makes a mini 7 spline bore rim and a standard 7 spline bore rim sprocket.
Husqvarna with Oregon only make a small 7 spline and a standard 7 spline rim sprocket.
The only Picco or 3/8 lo profile rims available are for Stihl in mini 7 spline.
All other lo profile 3/8 are on spur sprocket drum.

The only 1/4" rims available (I'm not including the homemade pin style Danzco rims) in cast rim style are Jax brand made down under. I have them in small 7 spline bore which will fit a 550XP. But why would you want 1/4" on a 550. I do have the 1/4" Jax small 7 spline rim on my 338XPT
For Stihl you would have to get a 1/4" pitch spur sprocket drum listed in a 024/026AV IPL.

.325 rims are available in 7t-8t in mini 7 spline, small  7 spline.
In standard 7 spline bore only 9 tooth .325 rims are available.
Title: Re: Official MS261CM vs 550XP test
Post by: barbender on June 26, 2017, 12:36:07 AM
I'm watching this with interest. I have a 346xp that is getting tired,  I was looking at the 550xp but to be honest, I would kind of like to try  Stihl. I've always had Husky and Jred, and both have had a fair share of problems. I love how that little 346 cuts, but that little saw always seems to have something wrong with it. One of my buddies switched to Stihl a couple years back, he said he'll never go back to Husky. So, I'm watching to see how this 2611cm stacks up.
Title: Re: Official MS261CM vs 550XP test
Post by: HolmenTree on June 26, 2017, 01:01:11 AM
Yes I'm waiting for some real hot weather to test the 261.
But so far at 77F I had to use the fast idle on the new 550XP to avoid  hot start iissues.
Don't need to do that with the 261.
Title: Re: Official MS261CM vs 550XP test
Post by: PNWRusty on June 26, 2017, 12:36:55 PM
Rusty, seeing your from the PNW I gather your under the influence of semi skip and full skip professional sawchain.

Hope you had a good vacation weekend. You probably deserved it!

I've never felt like I would benefit from a skip/semi-skip chain (but have never tried one). My reference to fewer cutters in the cut was regarding the difference between 3/8" pitch and .325. Wouldn't the finer pitch of the .325 have more cutters in any given cut? And wouldn't this difference be directly proportional to the extra torque gained by the smaller .325 sprocket (effectively cancelling each other out with regard to power needed to drive each chain). Thus leaving kerf width differences as the primary difference in power requirements between a .325 and 3/8 pitch?

 
Title: Re: Official MS261CM vs 550XP test
Post by: HolmenTree on June 26, 2017, 11:41:28 PM
what just quoted
 Thus leaving kerf width differences as the primary difference in power requirements between a .325 and 3/8 pitch?
Rusty what you just quoted is all you need to base your theory on. Bigger wider heavier hungrier chain takes more power to feed it, with proper sharpened angles and settings.
You don't have to over think it, unless of course if your interested in entering your saw in timbersport speed cutting competitions ;D
Title: Re: Official MS261CM vs 550XP test
Post by: PNWRusty on June 27, 2017, 05:28:44 AM

You don't have to over think it, unless of course if your interested in entering your saw in timbersport speed cutting competitions ;D

A few days ago I found a mature deadfall alder on our woodlot. It was pretty straight and well situated to buck up into rounds with minimal mucking about. I fired up the 261 C-M and made quick work of it from butt to tip while my wife waited. The saw and chain were in their element and I felt like I was winning a speed cutting competition as the rounds fell to the ground one after another. Unfortunately, my wife, who has never run a chainsaw in her life, didn't know enough to be impressed in the slightest. :(

I was looking at the fit of the airbox cover of the 261 today and noticed how well it's seals with the rubber seal by the sparkplug and the tight fit around the lipped base. I can only see three ways for air to get in (or out). There is the plenum that is force fed centrifugally filtered air by the air blades on the flywheel, the small circular hole the throttle linkage goes through and the slot for the choke/run/stop lever. Other than that it looks pretty buttoned up so, depending upon how much air the fan moves vs. how much air the engine breathes, there may be a slight supercharging effect at high rpm's.

It might be interesting to build some duct tape seals around the slot and round hole and see what happens. A supercharged 261?

Title: Re: Official MS261CM vs 550XP test
Post by: HolmenTree on June 27, 2017, 09:40:58 AM
PNWRusty, good post well said and thought out.
Yes I noticed the partially sealed up top cover too.
Nice to see Stihl has over the last few years capitalized with the 1 piece top cover design.
I think with making a proper stable environment for the CM technology on a saw. It starts at the carburetor and a  air box under a 1 piece top cover with properly regulated air flow would definitely work with the sensors and operation of the engine.
Yes there may be a minor supercharging effect but I think cooling of the carb/sensors and seperation from cylinder crankcase heat is how the whole process comes together.
Way back in 1987/88 Jonsered along partnership with Partner they introduced the first series of air injection cleaning saws, trademarked "Turbo".
 About 2 years later Husqvarna introduced their trademark "Air Injection."

In 2007 Stihl introduced their version of air injection on the MS441. I don't think they trademarked a name for it though. :)
Title: Re: Official MS261CM vs 550XP test
Post by: PNWRusty on June 27, 2017, 12:23:51 PM
Way back in 1987/88 Jonsered along partnership with Partner they introduced the first series of air injection cleaning saws, trademarked "Turbo".
 About 2 years later Husqvarna introduced their trademark "Air Injection."

Interesting history of centrifugal air cleaning on chainsaws. Do you know if either company's marketing departments ever implied it increased horsepower (in addition to extending air filter maintenance intervals)?

Speaking of horsepower, I've seen two horsepower specs for the 261 C-M, 4.1 hp and 4.0 hp. My owners manual and the Stihl USA website both say 4.0 hp. What is the source for the 4.1 hp spec I've seen here and elsewhere on the Internet? Not to over-think this, just curious.
Title: Re: Official MS261CM vs 550XP test
Post by: HolmenTree on June 27, 2017, 10:40:16 PM
My owners manual says 4.1 bhp. Manual came from Germany.
Poplar Mechanics magazine voted the Jonsered Turbo 2051 as the best new product of the year in 1988. In their review I think I recall the Turbo centrifugal air cleaning  did give it a slight turbo effect :D
 

 (http://www.forestryforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/21589/20170627_213809.jpg?easyrotate_cache=1498617576)
Title: Re: Official MS261CM vs 550XP test
Post by: HolmenTree on June 27, 2017, 10:41:58 PM
Nothing to report on the 550/261 as I've been grinding stumps for the last few days.
Title: Re: Official MS261CM vs 550XP test
Post by: PNWRusty on June 29, 2017, 01:42:00 PM
My owners manual says 4.1 bhp. Manual came from Germany.
 

 (http://www.forestryforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/21589/20170627_213809.jpg?easyrotate_cache=1498617576)

That makes sense. Although the manual for my 261 C-M (purchased in the U.S.) also says 3.0 kW, it says 4.0 HP (vs. 4.1). Looking at conversion tables for units of power I see that 4.0 HP (UK HP) = 4.1 HP (metric HP). So it's just two slightly different units of measure used in different markets.
Title: Re: Official MS261CM vs 550XP test
Post by: HolmenTree on June 29, 2017, 06:20:34 PM
I've been stumping with my stump grinder every day this week. Only saw work is with the 395XP-36" lowering stumps.
 

 (http://www.forestryforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/21589/20170620_215255.jpg?easyrotate_cache=1498774444) 

 (http://www.forestryforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/21589/20170602_113225.jpg?easyrotate_cache=1498774764)
Title: Re: Official MS261CM vs 550XP test
Post by: Kel71 on June 29, 2017, 10:17:20 PM
Plywood's a nice idea.
Title: Re: Official MS261CM vs 550XP test
Post by: ButchC on June 29, 2017, 10:19:20 PM
What do you run for chain when stumping?  Dad always saved a few that were on their last leg for that work, a habit that I picked up from him. Now I find myself in need for my long bar and no junker chains. I am wondering if RM type chain would be a better choice since dirt, sand rocks etc are always encountered to so extent.
Title: Re: Official MS261CM vs 550XP test
Post by: HolmenTree on June 29, 2017, 11:58:47 PM
What do you run for chain when stumping?  Dad always saved a few that were on their last leg for that work, a habit that I picked up from him. Now I find myself in need for my long bar and no junker chains. I am wondering if RM type chain would be a better choice since dirt, sand rocks etc are always encountered to so extent.
Butch, I run Stihl 46RS and RM .404
Sometimes I run Stihl .404 harvester chain, that chain is  really tough.   ;D
Plywood's a nice idea.
Kel, yep 3/8" plywood 3 feet high saves alot of  cleanup. With 3 pairs of HD hinges it folds up nice and flat so I can store it between the grinder and chipper on the trailer.
Title: Re: Official MS261CM vs 550XP test
Post by: HolmenTree on June 30, 2017, 12:34:11 AM
Speaking of the Stihl harvester chain I have used some old Stihl .063  RMH that I bought years ago. Still have a couple of loops broken down from loops for a  5 foot 090 bar when I used to cut paper rolls for the local paper mill. Can't  find new anymore as I think Stihl no longer sells it. Probably for safety reasons as guys like me who run it on chainsaws.
Tough chain.
Title: Re: Official MS261CM vs 550XP test
Post by: ButchC on June 30, 2017, 06:56:09 AM

'couple years ago when I was assembling the parts and pieces for my firewood processor build there was a 100' spool of that Stiihl .404 .063 harvester chain on Ebay for small money but I couldn't find a .063 bar to fit my already completed bar mount. Guy listed it several times and as far as I know it never sold on that venue.  Guess I will try some RM for stump duty and see how it goes.
Title: Re: Official MS261CM vs 550XP test
Post by: khntr85 on June 30, 2017, 10:37:57 AM

'couple years ago when I was assembling the parts and pieces for my firewood processor build there was a 100' spool of that Stiihl .404 .063 harvester chain on Ebay for small money but I couldn't find a .063 bar to fit my already completed bar mount. Guy listed it several times and as far as I know it never sold on that venue.  Guess I will try some RM for stump duty and see how it goes.
I always use old RM semi-chise when stumping...I have never stumped with full chisel, cant imagine it would last long...
Title: Re: Official MS261CM vs 550XP test
Post by: HolmenTree on July 04, 2017, 12:09:45 AM
Got up to 80F today and the 261 with 16" 23RS chain perfomed really nice.
Did some "heavy pruning" in some Northwest poplar with a little help with my pickup truck on a redirected 3/4" rope.
Lateral stems almost as big as the tree its self. I love when people plant these trees, makes work for years to come :D
 

 (http://www.forestryforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/21589/20170703_225805.jpg?easyrotate_cache=1499141020) 

 (http://www.forestryforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/21589/20170703_225859.jpg?easyrotate_cache=1499141177)
Title: Re: Official MS261CM vs 550XP test
Post by: HolmenTree on July 05, 2017, 10:07:23 AM
Here's a job I did yesterday afternoon with temperature close to 85F. A storm front rolled through a couple of hours earlier and dumped about a hour of heavy rain.
Humidity was still close to 100% when the sun was bright while doing this job.

I needed production as I had more jobs later in the afternoon to grind stumps so I used the 562XP.
Had 4 poplar here to fell and cut up, customer will do the cleanup :o
562 managed the first tree but getting into the 2nd tree it started running rich and would no longer run.
I pulled on the starter rope while holding  WOT and couldn't get it to start.

Thought about grabbing the new 550XP  but the MS261 was closer. The 261 motored through the last 3 poplars running perfectly.
Lowered the stumps for the stump grinder with the 395XP-36".

Weather is getting hotter here now that we're getting into summer. Will be lots of tests on the 550/261 in 90F plus heat with lots of humidity.
Got 2 more days of work here, then on Friday I'll be taking my family to the west coast in Vancouver, B.C. for a week holiday.
 

 (http://www.forestryforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/21589/20170704_172641.jpg?easyrotate_cache=1499263616)
Title: Re: Official MS261CM vs 550XP test
Post by: HolmenTree on July 05, 2017, 12:45:57 PM
I'm just having my lunch here on another stump removal job.
I remember my old Stihls where the rewind handle would always spin around while cutting, and I would always have to turn it back in the right position to get a good grip on it when restarting.  Grip was very important on the old 064/066 without a decompression button.

Now what I noticed yesterday was my new MS261CM seems to have the old problem engineered out ???
After starting it sometimes the handle will rest in the backwards position but after cutting a bit it will turn back into the right position in the rewind cover's indented grommet.
I can't see for sure what changes they did but it works. One thing that may help is the handle is at a slight sideways angle to help it rotate back into the indentation.

When I worked for Stihl in the last 6 months of 1979 as a technical services manager, I was sitting next to Hans Peter Stihl while having dinner with then Stihl Canada president Fred Whyte and my Edmonton branch manager Steve Meriam.
Mr. Stihl had his note book out and was taking notes on what changes could be made on the then newly introduced 044AV. I suggested from experience with my 044 while logging the chain brake  mechanism should be tightened up a little as the chain brake tripped easily when cutting.

Well it wasn't long Fred followed me to the salad bar and he said to me.
"Willard, you have to be careful what you say to Mr.Stihl. He will now probably  have some poor engineer  down in the dungeons working for days on that chain brake."

It looks like the Stihl engineering department  is still doing a great job! 
 8)

Title: Re: Official MS261CM vs 550XP test
Post by: khntr85 on July 05, 2017, 05:11:48 PM
Here's a job I did yesterday afternoon with temperature close to 85F. A storm front rolled through a couple of hours earlier and dumped about a hour of heavy rain.
Humidity was still close to 100% when the sun was bright while doing this job.

I needed production as I had more jobs later in the afternoon to grind stumps so I used the 562XP.
Had 4 poplar here to fell and cut up, customer will do the cleanup :o
562 managed the first tree but getting into the 2nd tree it started running rich and would no longer run.
I pulled on the starter rope while holding  WOT and couldn't get it to start.

Thought about grabbing the new 550XP  but the MS261 was closer. The 261 motored through the last 3 poplars running perfectly.
Lowered the stumps for the stump grinder with the 395XP-36".

Weather is getting hotter here now that we're getting into summer. Will be lots of tests on the 550/261 in 90F plus heat with lots of humidity.
Got 2 more days of work here, then on Friday I'll be taking my family to the west coast in Vancouver, B.C. for a week holiday.
 

 (http://www.forestryforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/21589/20170704_172641.jpg?easyrotate_cache=1499263616)

The 562 is giving you problems too????

 Man that's is to bad!!!
Title: Re: Official MS261CM vs 550XP test
Post by: HolmenTree on July 05, 2017, 06:23:24 PM
Yep the 562 let me down in the 85F heat and high humidity. MS261CM just kept on cutting without a whimper.
The 562 wasn't fully fueled up at the start of the job and when it ran out of fuel in the 2nd tree I couldn't get it started after refueling.
I blame it on the tiny NGK CMR6H Husqvarna went to.
The MS261CM stuck with the full size BPMR 7A.

What was Husqvarna's thinking...trying to save weight?
I might be wrong but that's my educated guess.

In my pic you'll notice my saws ride on 3 inch thick foam pads in the back of my pickup.
 

 (http://www.forestryforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/21589/20170705_170227.jpg?easyrotate_cache=1499293258) 

 (http://www.forestryforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/21589/20170705_170316.jpg?easyrotate_cache=1499293288)

Title: Re: Official MS261CM vs 550XP test
Post by: HolmenTree on July 06, 2017, 12:17:13 AM
I put the 550XP on light duty on a pruning job this evening. Just got home as it's now 11:05 PM and it's just getting dark.

I put a new plug in the 550 but it still didn't cure the missing while warming up. Takes a good 2 minutes before it's fully warmed up even after sitting for about 10- 20 minutes.
2 minutes is like 20 minutes to me if I have to wait for a saw to make production. I guess time will tell when the hot weather comes around, maybe then it'll take half the time to warm up. But I have a funny feeling every time I go to start it I'll have to fumble with the fast idle.

 

 (http://www.forestryforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/21589/20170705_210828.jpg?easyrotate_cache=1499314416) 

 (http://www.forestryforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/21589/20170529_215043.jpg?easyrotate_cache=1499314575)
Title: Re: Official MS261CM vs 550XP test
Post by: khntr85 on July 06, 2017, 11:03:42 AM
Well I sure do appreciate this post of yours, good info here!!

  I am hoping the best for the 550 as I will be getting a used one soon from a saw buddy of mine....I can't wait to run it, I really hope is does t have any issues, but who knows....I am like you when I grab a saw it has to work...I don't care to let it idle for a minute, but if I have to hope/worry about it starting at all, it won't get any respect from me...

  There are times or jobs when I only grab one saw....if I am finishing a job, or maybe going to grab a quick load of firewood there are many times I have just grabbed 1-saw...I couldn't have a saw in my stable that I couldn't trust, just not worth the worry or wasted time.....I sure hope your 550 and the one I will be getting work out In the end!!
Title: Re: Official MS261CM vs 550XP test
Post by: ehp on July 07, 2017, 06:47:27 PM
the small sparkplug idea was to leave more metal in the combustion chamber  so the was to transfer more heat from the sparkplug to the metal of the cylinder.
Title: Re: Official MS261CM vs 550XP test
Post by: ehp on July 07, 2017, 06:52:29 PM
I bought a new 261C today just to carry around and lower the tops once done logging , I donot use the .325 chain you guys use . I hate that stuff, 18 inch 3/8's full size  setup on it . Not sure if Im going to mod this one but the one I just did for Jeff was a pretty much dead heat running 20 inch setup on cutting bigger red oak, I timed the saw against a 372 XPG and both saws were 23 seconds per cut
Title: Re: Official MS261CM vs 550XP test
Post by: HolmenTree on July 07, 2017, 10:09:59 PM
Thanks for explaining the plug difference Ed.
If I was logging I wouldn't run .325 either, just not enough filing life plus binding and stretching would be a PITA.

For my tree service on cutting alot fewer trees a day the .325 is a  nice fit on my smaller stock saws from the top handles to the 562 with 18" and under bars.
Title: Re: Official MS261CM vs 550XP test
Post by: HolmenTree on July 08, 2017, 11:33:51 AM
the small sparkplug idea was to leave more metal in the combustion chamber  so the was to transfer more heat from the sparkplug to the metal of the cylinder.
Thanks Ed.
But now that I think more about it, while the engine is running cooling air flow through the cylinder would expel that cylinder and plug heat.  But with my experience with the Husqvarna AutoTune is when the engine is shut down for a bit that is where the heat sink and flooding problem is.
So I'm thinking maybe a larger standard spark plug with a larger threaded base with larger electrode and insulator would stay cooler.
Probably why Stihl never went to the smaller plug to work with the new micro processor technology.

 

 (http://www.forestryforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/21589/20170705_170316.jpg?easyrotate_cache=1499293288)
Title: Re: Official MS261CM vs 550XP test
Post by: PNWRusty on July 08, 2017, 12:08:51 PM
Spark plugs typically have a good thermal bridge with the cylinder head (seeing how they are threaded into the aluminum head). The temperature of the spark plug in a running engine is mostly a function of how far it reaches into the combustion chamber. Once the engine is shut off I don't think it matters much as the temperature of the cylinder head and plug will quickly equalize.

The larger diameter plug allows for more space between the insulator and body of the plug so it would naturally be more resistant to fouling in this area. But I think most fouling happens at the tip, no? And this would be corrected by using a plug with a different heat range. But manufacturer specified heat ranges have always worked for me.
Everything I've heard about your hot start/hot running issues leads me to think it's the fuel system, not the plug diameter.
Title: Re: Official MS261CM vs 550XP test
Post by: ehp on July 09, 2017, 06:59:11 PM
yes but the smaller diameter sparkplug allows you to shape the combustion chamber different , I did not say I agreed with the factory thinking but that was the reason I was gave,

I got abit of time on the 261, so far no problems .
Title: Re: Official MS261CM vs 550XP test
Post by: HolmenTree on July 12, 2017, 03:10:03 PM
I'm still out here on the West coast at Vancouver,B.C.with my family, will be home next week.

It's sad to hear Fred Whyte former Stihl Inc. president passed away recently at age 70. Fred is a native of Vancouver, B.C.
When I first met Fred in 1989 the first thing he said to me upon shaking hands, was "Willard you are a true chainsaw man."
I really liked Fred , he was was a great leader with substance and style!


Here's a pic of some big second growth Douglas Fir we came upon in the Lyn Canyon in North Vancouver.
 

 (http://www.forestryforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/21589/20170709_132734.jpg?easyrotate_cache=1499886241)
Title: Re: Official MS261CM vs 550XP test
Post by: HolmenTree on July 15, 2017, 09:55:37 PM
Well back to work in 2 days on Monday morning.
One more pic of big 2nd growth in Capilano Park in Vancouver, B.C.
We were walking 50 feet above ground amongst these giants.

I wanted to visit Mike Acres chainsaw museum in nearby Burnaby but plans didn't work out with our schedule.....next trip. :)
 

 (http://www.forestryforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/21589/20170712_154122.jpg?easyrotate_cache=1500169942) 

 (http://www.forestryforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/21589/20170712_153543.jpg?easyrotate_cache=1500170038)
Title: Re: Official MS261CM vs 550XP test
Post by: HolmenTree on July 16, 2017, 12:11:05 AM
the small sparkplug idea was to leave more metal in the combustion chamber  so the was to transfer more heat from the sparkplug to the metal of the cylinder.
Thanks Ed.
But now that I think more about it, while the engine is running cooling air flow through the cylinder would expel that cylinder and plug heat.  But with my experience with the Husqvarna AutoTune is when the engine is shut down for a bit that is where the heat sink and flooding problem is.
So I'm thinking maybe a larger standard spark plug with a larger threaded base with larger electrode and insulator would stay cooler.
Probably why Stihl never went to the smaller plug to work with the new micro processor technology.

 

 (http://www.forestryforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/21589/20170705_170316.jpg?easyrotate_cache=1499293288)
I just found out some interesting info about these plugs.
From information a dealer who has been servicing the prototype Husqvarna 572's. He claims the 572XP uses a full size BPMR plug, not the mini  CMR plugs the 550/562 use.

Some food for thought here.......
Title: Re: Official MS261CM vs 550XP test
Post by: ehp on July 16, 2017, 07:24:16 PM
they can say what they want, In my small mind I still say the smaller plug is more a money grab, you pretty much have to go to a saw dealer to buy one, the larger plug you can buy at most stores
Title: Re: Official MS261CM vs 550XP test
Post by: HolmenTree on July 18, 2017, 02:46:57 PM
My Morbark chipper's Wisconsin air cooled V4 engine takes a big spark plug that needs a 1 inch socket to remove them.
Also had a old SkiDoo 640cc twin that took a plug that big too.

Back to work today with light rain showers.
61F. Pressure is 101.3 kPa with 55% humidity.
First tree removal job of the day was 2 willows and 1 spruce.
Started out with the 550XP on the first willow. Tried to warm it up on a few small stems but boggy and when the boggy condition went away I was stuck with a ignition miss. Looked up and saw the customer and neighbors were watching me.
Felt a little embarrassed  :D so I grabbed the 261. Warmed up real quick on the small stems with no bog or ignition miss. Cut up all 3 trees with the 261with 16" 23RS chain.
Great running  torque producing 50cc saw!
 

 (http://www.forestryforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/21589/20170718_132452.jpg?easyrotate_cache=1500403576)
Title: Re: Official MS261CM vs 550XP test
Post by: HolmenTree on July 19, 2017, 02:59:10 PM
Sorry everyone for reporting one sided like this with just the MS261C.
As the season goes on the 550XP will get lots of exposure too.
Doing stumps today and forgot to throw the 395XP-36 " on the truck for lowering stumps with my stump grinder.
Used the 261 with 16" 23RS chain in some stumps over 20inch diameter. The 261 has close to 20 tanks through it now and boy is it developing some serious torque.
Seems really weird for a little factory stock 50cc saw to put out steady power like this and works really well with the stainless steel dogs.

Fuel consumption is low and seems to be getting better. After alot of cutting I think I should fill up the 261 but get surprised when I open the fuel cap and see lots of fuel left.
Title: Re: Official MS261CM vs 550XP test
Post by: HolmenTree on July 19, 2017, 06:22:19 PM
This came in my mailbox today from Stihl.
My warranty confirmation, coupons and a chance to win $250 in Stihl Bucks.
Very nice touch for purchasing the MS261C.  :)

 (http://www.forestryforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/21589/20170719_171625.jpg?easyrotate_cache=1500502844)
Title: Re: Official MS261CM vs 550XP test
Post by: trapper on July 19, 2017, 10:56:45 PM
Have you had a chance to run it in hot weather?  My dealer has had problems with other m tronic saws idling in hot weather.  With my 241 which has only had 6 tanks of gas had minor problems idling when it was about 87F if I let it idle far longer than normal between cuts.  So far I like it and may trade my 290 for a 261.  PS he has a phobia about the m tronic but I buy from him because he takes care of me.  If he is not too busy he will do minor things while I wait.
Title: Re: Official MS261CM vs 550XP test
Post by: HolmenTree on July 19, 2017, 11:29:41 PM
Had it working around 80F a week ago and worked fine . Normally up here we get our hottest weather in August.
Forecast is for 85 by this weekend, record temps here a few years ago got up to 108F (42C) so hot you could see a mirage on the parking lot....wasn't cutting that day lol.
Title: Re: Official MS261CM vs 550XP test
Post by: HolmenTree on July 20, 2017, 08:41:34 PM
I did 6 smaller jobs for 6 customers with a high of 60F (17C) today.
I ran the MS261C in the first 2 jobs.
When starting my 2nd job exactly one hour since shutting off the 261, I did not set the choke amd made one pull on the starter, the 261 fired right up and started cutting right away with no bog. Ran just like I shut it off a minute ago.
How many saws can be started with one pull and with no choke after sitting for an hour?

Later on I put the 550XP to work in 4 medium poplars. Once warmed up it cut through the wood like butter with the .325 H25 chain.
But it still took a while to get rid of the ignition miss.  Even when the miss went away after working a bit, when I let it sit for s few minutes it would cool off enough to start to miss again when I started it up.

I'm going to have to take the 550 back to the dealer and get them to check it over again before the warranty runs out.
Both Stihl and Husqvarna offer only 90 day warranty for professional used saws.
 

 (http://www.forestryforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/21589/20170720_184358.jpg?easyrotate_cache=1500597513) 

 (http://www.forestryforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/21589/20170720_152810.jpg?easyrotate_cache=1500597556)
Title: Re: Official MS261CM vs 550XP test
Post by: PNWRusty on July 20, 2017, 11:46:52 PM
How many saws can be started with one pull and with no choke after sitting for an hour?

Well my chainsaw starts with one pull, no choke after sitting an hour. No problem!

Oh, wait, it's a 261 C-M too!

I thought my 026 was an unusually easy starting chainsaw but I have to admit, the 261 C-M is even easier.
Title: Re: Official MS261CM vs 550XP test
Post by: barbender on July 21, 2017, 12:42:04 AM
If my saw won't run at 95F, I figure it's time to head home😊
Title: Re: Official MS261CM vs 550XP test
Post by: John Mc on July 21, 2017, 07:25:09 AM
If my saw won't run at 95F, I figure it's time to head home😊

My saws generally won't run when it's 95... It's due to a failure of one of the more expensive and complex components. There are times when my wife might be tempted to replace that component, but I'm still here, so I guess it hasn't gotten that bad.
Title: Re: Official MS261CM vs 550XP test
Post by: teakwood on July 21, 2017, 08:35:27 AM
I have 5 Stihls and they all work without any issues at hot temps, 80-95.  The coldest we ever get is 70 and thats in the morning, a cold day is 77. normal is 80-90, so i couldn't use any chainsaw that won't work in hot temps, although we can't buy the stihl tronic saws yet. all older models for sale here
Title: Re: Official MS261CM vs 550XP test
Post by: nativewolf on July 23, 2017, 09:22:08 PM
I have 5 Stihls and they all work without any issues at hot temps, 80-95.  The coldest we ever get is 70 and thats in the morning, a cold day is 77. normal is 80-90, so i couldn't use any chainsaw that won't work in hot temps, although we can't buy the stihl tronic saws yet. all older models for sale here

I think the component that was not working...was an expensive biological component of significant complexity ie...owner.
Title: Re: Official MS261CM vs 550XP test
Post by: nativewolf on July 23, 2017, 09:42:44 PM
I did 6 smaller jobs for 6 customers with a high of 60F (17C) today.
I ran the MS261C in the first 2 jobs.
When starting my 2nd job exactly one hour since shutting off the 261, I did not set the choke amd made one pull on the starter, the 261 fired right up and started cutting right away with no bog. Ran just like I shut it off a minute ago.
How many saws can be started with one pull and with no choke after sitting for an hour?

Later on I put the 550XP to work in 4 medium poplars. Once warmed up it cut through the wood like butter with the .325 H25 chain.
But it still took a while to get rid of the ignition miss.  Even when the miss went away after working a bit, when I let it sit for s few minutes it would cool off enough to start to miss again when I started it up.

I'm going to have to take the 550 back to the dealer and get them to check it over again before the warranty runs out.
Both Stihl and Husqvarna offer only 90 day warranty for professional used saws.
 

 (http://www.forestryforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/21589/20170720_184358.jpg?easyrotate_cache=1500597513) 

 (http://www.forestryforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/21589/20170720_152810.jpg?easyrotate_cache=1500597556)

Really enjoying your ongoing analysis.  I'm looking at a slightly used 261 right now.  I'll be using it for light felling, limbing, firewood duties.  What would you suggest in terms of chains?  I haven't had a new saw in ..well it must be 14 years.  Two old ones still working but a newer more powerful lighter saw would be nice. 
Title: Re: Official MS261CM vs 550XP test
Post by: HolmenTree on July 23, 2017, 10:48:11 PM
Thanks nativewolf I'm glad you're enjoying it.
This MS261C I'm using is the latest upgraded model first introduced last year in 2016.
I'm not sure if it's a 2017 or 2016 as I don't know the serial # code Stihl uses today.
Here's it's  serial # below  if anyone can help me out.

Best chain I recommend is the Stihl 23RS or RM.
Last pic is a 23RS I've run for a long time on my 562XP. Almost filed back to the witness marks with still lots to go.
Chain's links look well used but it's running on a high hp 60cc saw so it's at the maximum limit of wear and tear.
 

 (http://www.forestryforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/21589/20170723_213533.jpg?easyrotate_cache=1500864390) 

 (http://www.forestryforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/21589/20170723_211857.jpg?easyrotate_cache=1500864452)
Title: Re: Official MS261CM vs 550XP test
Post by: PNWRusty on July 24, 2017, 01:24:38 AM
I can't help decipher the SN but mine is a LOT higher at # 511848661. Something tells me they haven't made 330 million of these between now and then. It was shipped to my dealer last month.
Title: Re: Official MS261CM vs 550XP test
Post by: nativewolf on July 24, 2017, 06:53:16 AM
I can't help decipher the SN but mine is a LOT higher at # 511848661. Something tells me they haven't made 330 million of these between now and then. It was shipped to my dealer last month.

Should be something like an auto VIN where the first 2 numbers tells us what county or factory, then a date and then a run number, something like that.  Not sure with Stihl but it should be a code basically.
Title: Re: Official MS261CM vs 550XP test
Post by: nativewolf on July 24, 2017, 06:54:23 AM
Thanks nativewolf I'm glad you're enjoying it.
This MS261C I'm using is the latest upgraded model first introduced last year in 2016.
I'm not sure if it's a 2017 or 2016 as I don't know the serial # code Stihl uses today.
Here's it's  serial # below  if anyone can help me out.

Best chain I recommend is the Stihl 23RS or RM.
Last pic is a 23RS I've run for a long time on my 562XP. Almost filed back to the witness marks with still lots to go.
Chain's links look well used but it's running on a high hp 60cc saw so it's at the maximum limit of wear and tear.
 

 (http://www.forestryforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/21589/20170723_213533.jpg?easyrotate_cache=1500864390) 

 (http://www.forestryforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/21589/20170723_211857.jpg?easyrotate_cache=1500864452)

and I see that chain is .325, not what the loggers love but you're a fan, right?
Title: Re: Official MS261CM vs 550XP test
Post by: HolmenTree on July 24, 2017, 10:07:14 AM
Thanks nativewolf I'm glad you're enjoying it.
This MS261C I'm using is the latest upgraded model first introduced last year in 2016.
I'm not sure if it's a 2017 or 2016 as I don't know the serial # code Stihl uses today.
Here's it's  serial # below  if anyone can help me out.

Best chain I recommend is the Stihl 23RS or RM.
Last pic is a 23RS I've run for a long time on my 562XP. Almost filed back to the witness marks with still lots to go.
Chain's links look well used but it's running on a high hp 60cc saw so it's at the maximum limit of wear and tear.
 

 (http://www.forestryforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/21589/20170723_213533.jpg?easyrotate_cache=1500864390) 

 (http://www.forestryforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/21589/20170723_211857.jpg?easyrotate_cache=1500864452)

and I see that chain is .325, not what the loggers love but you're a fan, right?
I've been an arborist for the last 20 years and for 20 before that I was a logger.
I myself would not use a saw any smaller then 70cc if I went back falling as a logger so I definitely would run standard 3/8".

Arborist work is different with alot fewer trees cut in a day . Just a fraction of saw work compared to logging.
My 562XP is my main go to saw at the moment (until the MS462C is available which is 73cc and only a lb heavier).
For safety and smoothness during felling limbing bucking and sometimes with the 562 up in the tree.....the best combo I found is a 18" Cannon Super Mini bar in .325
As the pic shows the bar has a small radius nose which greatly reduces kickback. On these small nose bars a tall  high profile standard 3/8" chain derail very easily so the lower profile .325 works the best.
 

 (http://www.forestryforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/21589/20140326_165144.jpg?easyrotate_cache=1395888564)


 
Title: Re: Official MS261CM vs 550XP test
Post by: John Mc on July 24, 2017, 02:20:28 PM
I'm no expert on Stihl serial numbers, but I've always heard the first digit is a country code (1 is Germany, not surprisingly). I'm less sure about the rest of this, but I don't believe Stihl codes the date of manufacture into it; they just assign blocks of numbers to each manufacturing plant.
Title: Re: Official MS261CM vs 550XP test
Post by: HolmenTree on July 24, 2017, 04:11:26 PM
There was a sticker on the saw under the muffler that said the MS261C was made in Germany.

But some info I read from Stihl IPLs there is a progression of serial numbers for years of manufacture. I found that with the part changes throughout the years with the 066.
Title: Re: Official MS261CM vs 550XP test
Post by: HolmenTree on July 25, 2017, 12:05:58 AM
Weather forecast is calling for 90F (32C) this Friday. :laugh:
Now we're we'll see how these 2 saws stack up.
Day off today with thunder showers and lots to do in the shop.
Title: Re: Official MS261CM vs 550XP test
Post by: teakwood on July 25, 2017, 09:02:02 AM
every professional stihl chainsaw sold here comes from germany, the rest is from brasil.

do they have a fabric in the US? I have never seen any stihl product that says made in america
Title: Re: Official MS261CM vs 550XP test
Post by: HolmenTree on July 25, 2017, 09:52:17 AM
The MS241C I saw at my dealer says Made in USA or Virginia Beach, Virginia, can't remember which one???
Title: Re: Official MS261CM vs 550XP test
Post by: PNWRusty on July 25, 2017, 02:10:49 PM
My MS 261 C-M says "Manufactured by Stihl USA with foreign and domestic components". So I imagine it's in their Virginia Beach facility.
Title: Re: Official MS261CM vs 550XP test
Post by: HolmenTree on July 25, 2017, 02:24:04 PM
My MS 261 C-M says "Manufactured by Stihl USA with foreign and domestic components". So I imagine it's in their Virginia Beach facility.
Well it appears our Canadian MS261C s are made in Germany. Here's a pic of what's left of the sticker.
 

 (http://www.forestryforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/21589/20170725_131629.jpg?easyrotate_cache=1501006922) 

 (http://www.forestryforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/21589/20170725_131729.jpg?easyrotate_cache=1501007003)
Title: Re: Official MS261CM vs 550XP test
Post by: trapper on July 25, 2017, 05:13:13 PM
My 241c says the same as PNWRusty's 261.  Made in america.
Title: Re: Official MS261CM vs 550XP test
Post by: HolmenTree on July 25, 2017, 11:35:58 PM
Dropped the 550XP off this morning at the dealer so their tech can figure out its miss firing problem.

Looked at the new Stihls on display and saw the MS241C was made by Stihl Inc USA.
MS261 271 291 391 and larger are Made in Germany.

Gave the MS261C a good workout today on a residential 10 tree removal job.
Temperature of 80F under bright sun with 72% humidity. Humidex made it feel like 86F.

Had some saw chips almost cover the entire air intake grille on the rewind housing while doing some heavy bucking .
I guess it overheated a bit causing a slight hot restart issue, but with 2 pulls on the rope with the throttle wide open it ran good again.

Has any one noticed their 261's chain tensioner doesn't tighten the chain up snug without putting lots of pressure on the scrench?
I noticed mine does that as I like to snug up the chain  while I'm filing the chain but still loose enough to turn by hand easy enough.

So interesting thing happened when I forgot to release the tension on the chain the engine would turn the chain but under a hesitant bog.
So I loosed it back to where the tensioner likes it to be ....with the chain just barely touching the bottom of the bar rails. The micro processor seems to like that and while out of the wood it revs right back to WOT with no problem.

I remember the old Stihls when you got the chain tensioned just right but when you go to tighten the bar nuts the chain would tighten just a touch more again. I blamed it on a slight taper on the tensioner pin , Husqvarna or Jonsered didn't do that.

It's going to be in the 90s  temp wise by Thursday and Friday so should have the 550 back in time to prove it's worth.

Here's a pic of the 261 taking a rest after some bucking and getting dull on a rusted roll of chain link fence . Wasn't the only thing I cut into the owner of this property had a real junk yard. Place looked better with the trees on it to hide the mess.
 Metal junk and bottles scattered everywhere, took about 6 good filings and touchups within 5hours. Too bad the 550 wasn't on hand to share the dulling.
 

 (http://www.forestryforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/21589/20170725_151714.jpg?easyrotate_cache=1501040013) 

 (http://www.forestryforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/21589/20170725_164416.jpg?easyrotate_cache=1501040054)

Title: Re: Official MS261CM vs 550XP test
Post by: PNWRusty on July 26, 2017, 11:55:24 AM
Yeah, mine takes more torque on the adjuster than I'm accustomed to (even when the bar and chain are really loose). I imagine this is an intentional change to reduce the likelihood that some yahoo will over-tighten it because it starts to get really hard to turn right at that point where you shouldn't go any tighter. If you like it really tight for sharpening, I can see the issue. On the other hand, it's risky to over tighten when the chain is hot even if you slack it off later. Bearings don't like huge pressure (even if it's static pressure) which is what happens as the chain cools down and shrinks. Similar principle as freezing water being able to split iron pipe open.

The other thing I notice about the 261 C chain tensioner is that it seems to have very noticeable detents as it's turned. I prefer a smooth adjustment. But that is a very minor and inconsequential criticism.
Title: Re: Official MS261CM vs 550XP test
Post by: HolmenTree on July 26, 2017, 01:45:31 PM
Thanks for your input PNW, here I thought I was the only one with this tensioner thing and am going a little crazy..
I'll have to take a close look at it as I think it's a engineered feature to prevent over tensioning to keep the m tonic working efficiently plus like you say reducing main bearing damage.

In competitions when I do speed cutting cookies I leave the chain tension just enough to keep the chain from contacting the bottom of the middle of the bar . When the chain is rotating at WOT while cutting it snugs up on its own.

Saves alot of power that's transferred to the wood increasing chain speed.
Title: Re: Official MS261CM vs 550XP test
Post by: JJinAK on July 26, 2017, 02:07:34 PM
That is funny that you guys mention about the tensioning.  I recently purchased a brand new MS461, and I noticed the same thing.  At first I thought it was just "me" or the fact that it's a new saw.  Good to know.

Great thread btw.

JaJ
Title: Re: Official MS261CM vs 550XP test
Post by: PNWRusty on July 26, 2017, 02:54:13 PM
Thanks for your input PNW, here I thought I was the only one with this tensioner thing and am going a little crazy..
I'll have to take a close look at it as I think it's a engineered feature to prevent over tensioning to keep the m tonic working efficiently plus like you say reducing main bearing damage.

Without having disassembled the tensioner mechanism, or even looked at it, here's my best guess. Stihl has redesigned the tensioner such that if the operator neglects to put enough torque on the bar nuts, the tensioner won't creep looser as the saw chain is repeated loaded and unloaded in cuts. Because the chain could possibly get loose enough to cause serious injury. Of course this seldom happened because almost everyone tightens the bar nuts sufficiently. But in case someone gets distracted and forgets, the results might not be catastrophic.

I've always torqued my bar nuts firm so I can't say it's possible the old style tensioner would creep in such a situation but it seems plausible. The new tensioner just feels more "bound up".
Title: Re: Official MS261CM vs 550XP test
Post by: HolmenTree on July 26, 2017, 07:47:08 PM
Thanks JaJ and welcome to the forum.
Yep good theory there PNW!

It's warming up here in northern Manitoba.  Today was 81F with 40% humidity and the humidex felt like 85F .

I finished yesterday's job today on a 50 ft tall maple and a overgrown willow bush jammed between the house and surrounded by a beat up chain link fence and a garden shed.
I used the MS261C on the entire job including climbing with it disassembling the tree from the top down .
Even lowered the stump with it and carved out the section of the tree that grew into the fence.

It appeared that it had a hot start issue when finishing the stump cut it revved up kind of weird and  adjusted its self then cut good again finishing the cut.
I turned it off for a few minutes then went to restart it and wouldn't start even after pulling it over for a few times at WOT.
I instinctively opened the fuel cap and looked in....the tank was empty with only a couple table spoons of fuel left in the tank.
I  refueled it and with the choke set and a couple of pulls it fired right up.
I can't seem to find a fast idle mode on the 261, I don't think it has one. Probably why it doesn't need it.
We'll see tomorrow how the 550XP handles the heat after I pick it up from the dealer. Got 6 big poplars to remove.
It will be getting up into the 95F range with lots of humidity.
 

 (http://www.forestryforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/21589/20170726_135349.jpg?easyrotate_cache=1501112584) 

 (http://www.forestryforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/21589/20170726_140204.jpg?easyrotate_cache=1501112626) 

 (http://www.forestryforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/21589/20170726_140643.jpg?easyrotate_cache=1501112671) 

 (http://www.forestryforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/21589/20170726_140756.jpg?easyrotate_cache=1501112710)

Title: Re: Official MS261CM vs 550XP test
Post by: PNWRusty on July 26, 2017, 10:42:05 PM
I finished yesterday's job today on a 50 ft tall maple and a overgrown willow bush jammed between the house and surrounded by a beat up chain link fence and a garden shed.
I used the MS261C on the entire job including climbing with it disassembling the tree from the top down .
Even lowered the stump with it and carved out the section of the tree that grew into the fence.

Now that shows just how versatile the MS 261 C is. Because I know you have plenty of more powerful as well as smaller, lighter saws sitting in your truck!

Quote
It appeared that it had a hot start issue when finishing the stump cut it revved up kind of weird and  adjusted its self then cut good again finishing the cut.
I turned it off for a few minutes then went to restart it and wouldn't start even after pulling it over for a few times at WOT.
I instinctively opened the fuel cap and looked in....the tank was empty with only a couple table spoons of fuel left in the tank.
I  refueled it and with the choke set and a couple of pulls it fired right up.

Haha! That's a good one. You were all ready to start thinking the new saw was having heat soak troubles but it was just the nut behind the bar that forgot it needed gas once in a while!

Quote
I can't seem to find a fast idle mode on the 261, I don't think it has one. Probably why it doesn't need it.


Doesn't yours stay revved high on a cold start until you blip the throttle once? I recall that's how mine works but, it's been so reliable, I haven't given it much thought. And, yes, it doesn't appear to need much, if any, warming up to settle into a reliable idle. I've just blipped the throttle once as soon as it revs up on a cold start and it settles into a reliable idle immediately.  I haven't tried it below 55 degrees F. yet but I imagine it won't be much different.
Title: Re: Official MS261CM vs 550XP test
Post by: CR888 on July 27, 2017, 08:15:16 AM
One thing you will like about the 550xp when you get it sorted out is the throttle response. Being an owner of 2 MS261's and a 550xp that's one thing the Stihl lacks, that near instant light switch speed throttle. I do use my 261's most days and occaisionally use my 550, both good saws though just very different personalities.
Title: Re: Official MS261CM vs 550XP test
Post by: HolmenTree on July 27, 2017, 10:34:23 AM
CR888, just waiting for the dealer to give me the rundown on the 550XP. Is your MS261's the latest upgraded models? Mine with this new cylinder and not sure what else has good throttle response, it sounds like it's ported.

PNWrusty, yes my 261 has a fast idle coupled with the choke but there is no indent on the master control switch to set it on fast idle.
Can't see looking at it in the parking lot with the top cover and air filter off. I can't even see the choke butterfly (if it has one)

At 8:30 am here it was already 75F with 94 % humidity.
According to the local radio station it's going to be close to a high of a 100F this afternoon with a chance of a shower :o
Title: Re: Official MS261CM vs 550XP test
Post by: HolmenTree on July 27, 2017, 03:47:49 PM
Well I hate to inform everyone.....the 550XP is out of the test running.
The dealer's service manager says the tech reported the 550 is down on compression and there is scoring on the cylinder! The saw has only 3 hours on it he also said. Their now going through the warranty process with Husqvarna so it will be a while before I get "A" saw back.

So as crappy as I did feel I still went to the new job site and started on the job. Still not climatized to the heat that is now in the mid 90s with almost 50% humidity . I packed it up and decided to do estimates for new customers for the rest of the day.

Hotter tomorrow but cooler next week so may leave  this job for the MS261C then....seeing the test witj the 550 won't be on for a while.
 

 (http://www.forestryforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/21589/20170727_142322.jpg?easyrotate_cache=1501184822)
Title: Re: Official MS261CM vs 550XP test
Post by: Kel71 on July 27, 2017, 03:59:58 PM
My saws are dealing with the heat way better than I am. So I tried a little experiment.
I hired a 24 yr old to run the chipper. He loves it and does a good job. This might work out real good.
Title: Re: Official MS261CM vs 550XP test
Post by: HolmenTree on July 27, 2017, 11:08:18 PM
My saws are dealing with the heat way better than I am. So I tried a little experiment.
I hired a 24 yr old to run the chipper. He loves it and does a good job. This might work out real good.
Last time I had a hired employee was 10 years ago, I've been working solo ever since. Had enough trouble with baby sitting.

I can deal with the heat, I just know my limitations. Last year I put in a 14 hr day in 90F heat (up here 18 hrs of sunlight on a summer day). When I start to temporary  lose my vision in my right eye that's when I shut it down.
Title: Re: Official MS261CM vs 550XP test
Post by: teakwood on July 28, 2017, 09:16:20 AM
yesterday was the first day i put some real workhours in the plantations. i went 3 hours in the morning and 3 hours in the afternoon using that new 361. i like the saw, have about 10 tanks in it. 
i was on steep steep slope and it was still pretty wet so walking was hard and downsliding was normal. It was just 85 but 100% humidity. After the second shift in the noon i was so tired i could barely lift up my legs and stumbled over everything, what a PITA. just 3 small trees left to cut down in that area so i didn't had to come back another day, so i finished them. after that i started to have the chills and then you know you have to quit, that's the first sign of a heatstroke.
I drank a lot of water but you sweat like a horse in that humidity.
Title: Re: Official MS261CM vs 550XP test
Post by: HolmenTree on July 28, 2017, 10:07:56 AM
teakwood, I hear you. Humidity decides how much heat a worker  (and saw) can endure.
I'm taking the day off today and  get a few things done around home. Maybe go back to the dealer and take a look at the warranty claim 550XP.

Forecast high here today is 100.4 F (38C) with the humidex.
Last night this is how my family and I cooled off.
Long days here, this pic was taken at 9:30 PM. Temp was still 80F (27C)
 

 (http://www.forestryforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/21589/20170728_085419.jpg?easyrotate_cache=1501250815)
Title: Re: Official MS261CM vs 550XP test
Post by: PNWRusty on July 28, 2017, 10:13:41 AM
Well I hate to inform everyone.....the 550XP is out of the test running.
The dealer's service manager says the tech reported the 550 is down on compression and there is scoring on the cylinder! The saw has only 3 hours on it he also said.

That's too bad, I was really enjoying this.

I guess the MS 261 C wins this Lightweight prize fight with a technical KO in round 1 (break in)! Hopefully the next challenger is still standing at the end of round 1.

Do you think the failure was a result of defective manufacture of piston/cylinder or a inability of the auto-tune system to auto-tune? It sounds like you weren't able to inspect it yourself so maybe the Warranty folks will offer an analysis. I assume you were running the same fuel/oil in both saws in this test?

Madsen's saw shop has interesting photos and analysis of various piston failures:

http://www.madsens1.com/saw_piston_fail.htm

Stay cool!
Title: Re: Official MS261CM vs 550XP test
Post by: JJinAK on July 28, 2017, 11:10:53 AM
I agree w/ PNW- I was really enjoying this thread.  It was as close to an apples/apples comparison as I've seen.  He brings up a good question about whether anything could be related to the autotune.

Title: Re: Official MS261CM vs 550XP test
Post by: HolmenTree on July 28, 2017, 01:00:51 PM
Spike60 just sent me a message this morning. I'm sitting in my truck have a late lunch. Here is what Bob said:

Willard, does your dealer keep up with his service bulletins?

All 2016 550s with the AT-12 carb need to have the firmware updated and the fuel settings reset. I'm doing this at the time of sale, not waiting to see if a problem exists and make the customer drive back.

Something changed with the new carb and some new fuel parameters are needed. Very simple to do. Just update the firmware and then hit the default reset on the fuel settings. "L" values will show 90 and you're good to go. Funny that I noticed this thread cause I have to do 10 of them this morning on a fleet deal for a tree company..These 550's run the way they should have from the beginning.

And Happy Anniversary!
I thought I'd repost this post from Spike60 from earlier in this thread.

Well I was just down at the dealer and spoke with the service manager. I asked if I could take pictures of the cylinder and she said she'll go take pics and email them to me.
Minutes later she comes back from the shop and says the saw is not disassembled yet but the tech put a camera probe in the cylinder and saw the scuffing.

According to the service manager Husqvarna is sending new parts then they will do a test on it.
I also reminded her they originally didn't update their firmware and properly  reset the fuel settings as needed before the saw was released to the customer.
So their on the hook for that......
Title: Re: Official MS261CM vs 550XP test
Post by: Spike60 on July 28, 2017, 03:08:38 PM
Well, this isn't a happy ending.............. yet............. but this is good news.  :)  I'm glad this thing got roasted; in the context of putting an end to the mystery of what the heck is wrong with it. Particularly in this "official test" where it keeps falling on it's face. These online discussions tend to apply what is happening to a single saw to all of them.

This saw almost certainly has an air leak somewhere to blow up with just 3 hours on it. There's likely some failure codes to confirm that. So, a post rebuild pressure/vac test is in order to make sure she's tight before going out. If they still haven't taken it apart, they should do the test before hand. Transfer covers? Intake boot? Crank seal? Gotta find it! I don't think the initial fuel settings were a contributing factor in the saw's demise. That was strictly a lo speed deal where the saw would not accelerate, and in many cases wouldn't even idle.

I really have to add this for the Husky fans who are understandably getting depressed following this thread  :laugh: A month ago a large tree company from PA came in and bought 10 550XP's. Two weeks later they came back and bought 15 more cause the guys love them. What were they running before? You guessed it, MS261's. And it's in the middle of the summer and plenty hot around here.  :)  Not one of them has come back with any issues.

Guys, that is NOT a knock on the 261, which is a fantastic saw. The point is, they both are.
Title: Re: Official MS261CM vs 550XP test
Post by: HolmenTree on July 28, 2017, 03:25:34 PM
Thanks for your input Spike60.

Most everyone on this site knows about the 3 older 550XP's my  Husqvarna dealer in The Pas, Manitoba who sponsors my February winter festival  competitions with.

Those saws right out of the box for the last 4 years delivered reliably with no trouble what so ever.
They have been handled on the average by 60 men and women competitors in temps on the average of -20 to -30 below.

But a sad thing turned out of those events for next February.  My sponsor dropped the Husqvarna franchise over Husqvarna not honoring  warranties and a case of a large lawn mower being stolen during shipment, and they won't cover the loss.

Our festival committee is working on a new sponsor possibly with another 2 dealers with either Echo or Stihl.
Or our last sponsor may get into another line of saws, just haven't heard any thing yet. Not even a rumor.

Title: Re: Official MS261CM vs 550XP test
Post by: PNWRusty on July 29, 2017, 01:32:07 AM
According to the service manager Husqvarna is sending new parts then they will do a test on it.
I also reminded her they originally didn't update their firmware and properly  reset the fuel settings as needed before the saw was released to the customer.
So their on the hook for that......

With zero evidence of the fault being on your end, I would think the warranty department would just say that saw was defective and hand over a new one. It's not normal for a saw to self destruct in 3 hours of operation. That's what I might expect from an illegal Chinese clone.
Title: Re: Official MS261CM vs 550XP test
Post by: HolmenTree on July 29, 2017, 10:47:05 AM
PNW, if it was my old Husqvarna dealer where I used to live 3 years ago he would without question given me a new saw.
I might just have to put my foot down with this new dealer (and I've bought alot of equipment, boat & motor etc. off them in the last 3 years).
Title: Re: Official MS261CM vs 550XP test
Post by: ehp on July 29, 2017, 07:04:14 PM
my 261 is made in Germany also and so far not a single problem with it
Title: Re: Official MS261CM vs 550XP test
Post by: HolmenTree on July 29, 2017, 07:44:01 PM
my 261 is made in Germany also and so far not a single problem with it
Ed, are you going to do some porting work on your 261?


Title: Re: Official MS261CM vs 550XP test
Post by: ehp on July 30, 2017, 10:28:02 AM
Not sure at this point for this saw, I have ported quite a few 261's thou for friends and they work very well and I would say they turn out to be the strongest 50cc saw that has no problems and last a long time , I liked my 550 but I bought a new 261 so that should say something
Title: Re: Official MS261CM vs 550XP test
Post by: HolmenTree on July 30, 2017, 02:03:30 PM
It would be interesting to see what Stihl did to the port numbers and any other changes over the older 261.
Title: Re: Official MS261CM vs 550XP test
Post by: HolmenTree on July 31, 2017, 11:48:37 PM
Warm muggy day here today got up around 80F(27C) with 90% humidity. Still 77% right now 10:30 PM.
Job was 6 tall trees in a postage stamp sized back yard with power lines and phone lines everywhere.
Weird how this high humidity warm weather affects things.  Was pouring fuel into my chipper's fuel tank with a 5 gallon plastic  jerry can. The spout pulled right out of the threaded cap when I started pouring.
Rope hitches and knots slip differently then normal.
Both the Husqvarna 562 an 338XPT wouldn't start. Flooded with wet mufflers.
372 OE ran fine but it had a 24" b/c on it.

Had to use the T536 LiXP battery saw and the MS261C.  Both handled the whole job perfectly.
 

 (http://www.forestryforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/21589/20170731_111614.jpg?easyrotate_cache=1501558507) 

 (http://www.forestryforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/21589/20170731_141644.jpg?easyrotate_cache=1501558812) 

 (http://www.forestryforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/21589/20170731_181032.jpg?easyrotate_cache=1501558653) 

 (http://www.forestryforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/21589/20170731_180943.jpg?easyrotate_cache=1501558990)
Title: Re: Official MS261CM vs 550XP test
Post by: HolmenTree on August 01, 2017, 10:56:54 AM
I filled up the MS261C this morning and  came to release I removed those 6 trees yesterday all cut up on less then a tank of fuel. ;D
Doing stumps today.
Title: Re: Official MS261CM vs 550XP test
Post by: DelawhereJoe on August 01, 2017, 11:37:20 AM
Sounds like your new 550xp may just because another 261 c-m.......
Title: Re: Official MS261CM vs 550XP test
Post by: HolmenTree on August 01, 2017, 01:52:06 PM
Sounds like your new 550xp may just become another 261 c-m.......
Yes we'll see how the warranty claim goes.
But in my opinion there should be no need for a claim when the factory quality control missed what's presumably an air leak.

Send it back to the factory and give me another saw.
I paid over $900 CDN  for that 550XP!
Title: Re: Official MS261CM vs 550XP test
Post by: ehp on August 01, 2017, 08:51:00 PM
WOW, I paid less than that for my 372 xpws , paid 2/3 of that for the 261
Title: Re: Official MS261CM vs 550XP test
Post by: HolmenTree on August 01, 2017, 10:23:52 PM
That's with PST and GST taxes included .
Husqvarna Canada now has a sale on the 550XP at the moment $759 retail.
Title: Re: Official MS261CM vs 550XP test
Post by: HolmenTree on August 02, 2017, 09:04:41 PM
I should now call this the "Stihl MS261C vs Husqvarna T536 LiXP" thread . :D

This is one of some interesting jobs I did today. I had to climb this leaning poplar with the little Husqvarna battery saw to get it cut down below the eavestrough.
The MS261C then finished it off.  Too bad Stihl doesn't make a Li ion battery top handle saw.

 

 (http://www.forestryforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/21589/20170802_113003.jpg?easyrotate_cache=1501721618) 

 (http://www.forestryforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/21589/20170802_194403.jpg?easyrotate_cache=1501722242)
Title: Re: Official MS261CM vs 550XP test
Post by: trapper on August 02, 2017, 10:21:07 PM
The blue max.  A power wheelbarrow? 
Title: Re: Official MS261CM vs 550XP test
Post by: HolmenTree on August 02, 2017, 10:51:52 PM
The blue max.  A power wheelbarrow?
trapper, yes it's called a Muck Truck Max 4x4 power barrow rated to carry 800lbs up a 40% incline. Will even climb stairs loaded up.
Bought it about 10 years ago and no trouble with it yet. Little Honda OHV with 4 speed Peerless transaxle just keeps going.
Best hired man I ever had haha.
 

 (http://www.forestryforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/21589/20150526_133816.jpg?easyrotate_cache=1432682345) 

 (http://www.forestryforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/21589/20160425_150105.jpg?easyrotate_cache=1463404475) 

 (http://www.forestryforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/21589/20160425_143507.jpg?easyrotate_cache=1463404711)
Title: Re: Official MS261CM vs 550XP test
Post by: ButchC on August 03, 2017, 07:20:36 AM
That's a nice dumper you have, never seen that brand before.  Most I see are designed around concrete work and the hopper is sized for such thus is realy 2 X too small for wood and general usage. I am waiting for a bargain to come my way but they sure seem to hold value right until the are used up :(
Title: Re: Official MS261CM vs 550XP test
Post by: HolmenTree on August 03, 2017, 07:57:05 AM
Butch, I build the orange rack on top of the hopper.
Protects the controls from brush etc plus extra carrying capacity.
If you Google the Muck Truck site you'll see there's lots of optional accessories for it.
I'd like to get the dual wheel setup for it and maybe the forklift attachment.
But so far it does everything I need it for. Little machine weighs 285 lbs without the rack.
Title: Re: Official MS261CM vs 550XP test
Post by: HolmenTree on August 03, 2017, 01:23:42 PM
Working this morning on another tree removal job I tealized something else about my new MS261C.
It doesn't leak bar oil :)

I can leave the 261 and my Huskies sit over night on the work bench, the next day I'd be wiping up after the Huskies.
261 nice and dry.
 

 (http://www.forestryforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/21589/20170803_111934.jpg?easyrotate_cache=1501780991)
Title: Re: Official MS261CM vs 550XP test
Post by: DelawhereJoe on August 03, 2017, 02:33:41 PM
Somehow I'm not sure if you are going to want the 550xp back after you have used that 261 c-m so much, 1 man can only use 1 50cc saw at a time.
Title: Re: Official MS261CM vs 550XP test
Post by: HolmenTree on August 03, 2017, 04:26:40 PM
I totally agree Joe,  but in this business it's nice to have a spare saw on hand in each displacement when one hits dirt, metal etc.

But I know which ones will be the backup :)
Title: Re: Official MS261CM vs 550XP test
Post by: John Mc on August 03, 2017, 04:35:53 PM
I've got a Husky 357XP that does not leak any bar oil to speak of (and I bought it used and beat up). The Jonsered 2152 I bought new has leaked since the day I bought it. It's really annoying. I took it back to the dealer and his response was "some of them just do that". Since then, I've seen a video or two about how to repair a common leak point in this family of saws (Husky 353) where a small rubber hose hooks into the oil pump. I just haven't gotten around to tearing it apart to see if that's the source.
Title: Re: Official MS261CM vs 550XP test
Post by: ehp on August 03, 2017, 08:24:05 PM
I still paid more than a $100 less for this 261 that that, so far so good with it but to be honest I still would sure like it to be with a carb
Title: Re: Official MS261CM vs 550XP test
Post by: HolmenTree on August 03, 2017, 08:48:27 PM
Stihl Canada puts a spring and fall sale flyer out where prices drop considerably. But I bought it between sales.
Ed you must buy quite a few new saws for yourself and customers who hire your custom saw modifications.  So I'd imagine you'd get a good deal.

I myself am a poor buyer not being aggressive enough.  But when I give my customers a quote for their tree removal I'm now in charge and alot of people say my prices are expensive......
I guess I can't have everything :D
It's  a good thing that I can get years out of a saw. :)
Title: Re: Official MS261CM vs 550XP test
Post by: HolmenTree on August 04, 2017, 07:43:40 PM
Was in at the dealer today and no word of anything happening with the 550XP.
Their excuse was " being August alot of people are on holidays and it's hard to get things done."

So with that reasoning I did the math.  When my 550XP came off the assembly line in Sweden according to its serial # it was the 900th unit built in the 32 week of 2016.
So my math says the 32 week would be about the 3rd week of August.
Now my thinking goes like this, alot of Swedes like us Canadians go through a long cool winter and by the time the kids are out of school in July /August there will be alot of workers on the assembly line and quality control taking holidays .
Many replacement workers take over and maybe things don't go as smooth as normal, especially when pumping out 900 and probably alot more units in that one week.

Just my 2 cents.
Title: Re: Official MS261CM vs 550XP test
Post by: gspren on August 04, 2017, 08:58:40 PM
  That may be an excuse but not a good excuse. If he has another one there he should hand it over.
Title: Re: Official MS261CM vs 550XP test
Post by: DelawhereJoe on August 04, 2017, 09:00:07 PM
So does that mean that because you are using it for commercial use your warranty of 90 days is slightly over and that this issue will be "by your expense" ? If they keep waiting past the 1 year mark then it will really be your cost not warranty work.
Title: Re: Official MS261CM vs 550XP test
Post by: HolmenTree on August 04, 2017, 11:22:29 PM
So does that mean that because you are using it for commercial use your warranty of 90 days is slightly over and that this issue will be "by your expense" ? If they keep waiting past the 1 year mark then it will really be your cost not warranty work.
I just checked out about my warranty and they say my warranty runs out in 2019 so either they messed up or don't know any better. I got the 2 year consumer warranty.
  That may be an excuse but not a good excuse. If he has another one there he should hand it over.
They got 5 other 550's in inventory, all with serial #'s in the same week as mine.
Plus they got a brand new 2014 on discount. Maybe that saw I should have bought as my 3 550's my sponsor donates for the winter festival competition are about that year and they run flawless.
Title: Re: Official MS261CM vs 550XP test
Post by: HolmenTree on August 04, 2017, 11:43:05 PM
 

 (http://www.forestryforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/21589/20140214_152141.jpg?easyrotate_cache=1392827638)
Here they are when I ran them in about 4 years ago.
Now that my dealer sponsor dropped Husqvarna I don't know what we'll use for saws next festival.
These saws will be sold off quick.....
Title: Re: Official MS261CM vs 550XP test
Post by: PNWRusty on August 05, 2017, 02:10:14 AM
Maybe you should buy one of those? It sounds like they haven't had too much use/abuse.
Title: Re: Official MS261CM vs 550XP test
Post by: HolmenTree on August 05, 2017, 10:32:09 AM
Maybe you should buy one of those? It sounds like they haven't had too much use/abuse.
Found out this morning they're sold. Two of them have about 10-12 hours on them. The 3rd(spare) has about 10 minutes. They were at my old dealer 4 hour drive from here.

Yep going back to the local dealer and see the saleslady and have a serious discussion about grabbing another new 550.
Title: Re: Official MS261CM vs 550XP test
Post by: PNWRusty on August 05, 2017, 11:34:56 AM
As much as I would like to see this comparison continue with a replacement Husqvarna, wouldn't it make more sense to just have two 261 C's? That way you can share bars, plugs, air filters, etc. A lot less stocking of spare parts.

On the other hand, where's the fun in that?
Title: Re: Official MS261CM vs 550XP test
Post by: HolmenTree on August 05, 2017, 12:03:07 PM
As much as I would like to see this comparison continue with a replacement Husqvarna, wouldn't it make more sense to just have two 261 C's? That way you can share bars, plugs, air filters, etc. A lot less stocking of spare parts.

On the other hand, where's the fun in that?
I work solo so I don't need 2 of a certain model. It's nice to have a different backup saw for a change.

I was just on Husqvarna Canada's web site and saw they offer a 7 day guarantee return policy on 300 and 500 series professional chainsaws.  If customer is not happy with it return for a new one.

Unfortunately it's the long weekend here and they are closed today(Saturday) until Tuesday.
I got a big bone to pick with this dealer .
Title: Re: Official MS261CM vs 550XP test
Post by: DelawhereJoe on August 05, 2017, 01:15:14 PM
If you did convert over just to Stihl your 261 all the way up to a 661 would use the same bar mount...I know you know this already...but anyway, it may be more of a selling point to convert to Stihl then run multiple different companies saws. Also with all the hot start issues that have been posted about the new Husqvarna saws, maybe just maybe the tide has shifted and its time for you to go back to Stihl.
Title: Re: Official MS261CM vs 550XP test
Post by: nitehawk55 on August 05, 2017, 04:09:46 PM
The nice thing with Stihl , and you would know that having worked for them too is you can always call their head office  and get hold of the Tech dept. to explain the situation .

Was sorry to hear of Fred's passing in July , also lost the former Tech manager Dave Ellis who took over when Larry Howard left .
Ian Addlington that worked in purchasing with Stihl was at Echo and the company restructured positions and he retired .
Title: Re: Official MS261CM vs 550XP test
Post by: btulloh on August 07, 2017, 09:13:43 AM
This problem with your 550xp reminds me of Oldjarheads issues with his new saw.   I think you were in on that thread, which went on for a while.  (We haven't seen a post from Oldjarhead in a while - I hope he's ok.  Maybe just too busy.)  I suppose if it was  a common problem, we'd see more people posting about it here, so hopefully it's just a few saws here and there and not a trend. 

From what I hear from a guy who does saw repair, the new Husky's and new Stihl's are not as robust as they used to be, especially the down-market models like the farm and ranch saws and the homeowner saws.  He says even the pro saws have gone downhill a little.  I don't know.  It's really just gossip more than information.

I use Stihl, mainly because I have good dealers available for Stihl and it's an old habit.  I have a 026 that's twenty years old with a lot of miles and it runs great.  Nothing but some routine maintenance and a carb rebuild.  The only new saw I have is the MS362 which performs well.  It will take another 19 years to see if lasts 20  years though.

This has been an interesting thread and I'll keep following it.

BT
Title: Re: Official MS261CM vs 550XP test
Post by: HolmenTree on August 07, 2017, 11:38:46 PM
I found these 2 Husqvarna 550XP videos just recently published July 7.
Part 1 and Part 2. Some good information on the unit.
But you will notice how it miss fires at the end of each video while in the wood.
Really bad miss firing at the end of 2nd video.

https://youtu.be/ZApk6txp0A8
https://youtu.be/h-fGlMcWoP4

Title: Re: Official MS261CM vs 550XP test
Post by: HolmenTree on August 08, 2017, 03:43:54 PM
Now that the long weekend is over I stopped in at the dealer first thing this morning to check on the 550XP.
I got the sales manager involved in it this time seeing she's the one that sold it to me. She talked to the young tech then came back and said "he had to order a diagnostic tool for the saw, it will be in today".
I said "I thought he had all that already with updated firmware yet?"
Just got a shrug for a answer....service manager was nearby with no answer.

So I reminded them that their dealership has been a full service Husqvarna dealer for over 40 years. I don't expect this.

On a happier note here I am this afternoon working the MS261C in some storm damage at cottage country.
Sure appreciate this little beauty in this kind of wood and it's exhaust note is sounding stronger every day.  :)

 

 (http://www.forestryforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/21589/20170808_143810.jpg?easyrotate_cache=1502221345) 

 (http://www.forestryforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/21589/20170808_120514.jpg?easyrotate_cache=1502219716)
Title: Re: Official MS261CM vs 550XP test
Post by: HolmenTree on August 10, 2017, 09:44:30 AM
Just an update and some pics of a little logging .
After work yesterday stopped in at the dealer service manager looked really nervous when I approached.
Manager said "Sorry the diagnostic tool hasn't come in yet, has to be in tomorrow. "
 ::)

With my diesel pickup and 200 feet of 3/4" stablebraid rope, I skidded all the trees up from the customers shoreline yesterday and put them on top of the firewood pile.
MS261C did the bucking, nearby chipper handled
the limbs and tops.
 

 (http://www.forestryforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/21589/20170809_123750.jpg?easyrotate_cache=1502372544) 

 (http://www.forestryforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/21589/20170809_123837.jpg?easyrotate_cache=1502372430)
Title: Re: Official MS261CM vs 550XP test
Post by: HolmenTree on August 10, 2017, 10:52:37 PM
Warm one today, 85F with over 50% humidity.
Finished this last tree today out at cottage country.
90 ft white spruce with a heavy lean over the cottage.
Installed a 90 degree to lay guy rope with my big shot slingshot and line. Tensioned off on a 3 ton block pulley with my diesel pickup.
Used the 395XP-36 to fell it into a hole in a stand of remaining shoreline trees, not to cause any damage. 
Then skidded the Tree onto the wood pile for the MS261 to limb and buckup. Noodle split the first 10 rounds into quarters with the 395.
Both saws ran flawless in the high heat humidex.
 

 (http://www.forestryforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/21589/20170810_114132.jpg?easyrotate_cache=1502419809) 

 (http://www.forestryforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/21589/20170810_114431.jpg?easyrotate_cache=1502419627) 

 (http://www.forestryforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/21589/20170810_211931.jpg?easyrotate_cache=1502419669) 

 (http://www.forestryforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/21589/20170810_212203.jpg?easyrotate_cache=1502419728) 

 (http://www.forestryforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/21589/20170810_165901.jpg?easyrotate_cache=1502419785)
Title: Re: Official MS261CM vs 550XP test
Post by: teakwood on August 11, 2017, 08:12:45 AM
Nice work! I always enjoy watching your pics and reading the posts
Title: Re: Official MS261CM vs 550XP test
Post by: PNWRusty on August 11, 2017, 10:51:26 AM
From what I hear from a guy who does saw repair, the new Husky's and new Stihl's are not as robust as they used to be, especially the down-market models like the farm and ranch saws and the homeowner saws.  He says even the pro saws have gone downhill a little.  I don't know.  It's really just gossip more than information.

Well, it's possible, especially with the down-market models since they  are so price sensitive, but I think you hit the nail on the head when you said it was more gossip than information. Because I've been hearing the exact same gossip for about 30 years. It started as a indignant disbelief that a chainsaw would have plastic components. But I would never go back to the saws that had all metal cases!

If anything, it seems like the newer saws can do more cutting before expiring than the old saws. But a properly operated saw still lasts such a long time and cuts so much wood that it will be a few years before anyone has a big enough sample size of well used auto-tune saws to make informed observations. My guess is they will last longer, on average, due to the self-adjusting fuel mixture.

On the other hand, technologies like centrifugal air cleaning could actually shorten a saws life. Because the older saws often ran adequately with a thick coating of coarse wood shavings surrounding the air filter. This reduced cutting power and helped the engine run cooler (assuming the rest of the engine wasn't coated in chips too). And, if the chain was nice and sharp, the coarse chips let enough air through to run well enough for all but the most demanding cutting and they acted like a pre-filter for finer particles.  With centrifugal cleaning, only the finest particles reach the air filter. While the filters now have more surface area to deal with this, I think more super fine particles get through. These are the particles so fine that they don't cause "damage", per say, just slightly accelerated wear.

Overall durability probably hasn't changed too much, one way or the other, although I'm sure some models still have better records than others. Even if saws only lasted 1000 hours total, that would be 60,000 minutes and a $600 saw would cost less than a penny/minute of cutting, basically free! But a good saw lasts much longer than that!

Amazing machines!
Title: Re: Official MS261CM vs 550XP test
Post by: btulloh on August 11, 2017, 07:56:41 PM
Good points.  Maybe it's like people saying the dial telephones were better. It will take a while before we really know how autotune saws hold up.  So far so good for me.  I'll stick with the pro saws, but there are plenty of people on here doing well with the other tier saws. 

Maybe HolmanTree oughta put a farm and ranch saw into his test. ??
Title: Re: Official MS261CM vs 550XP test
Post by: HolmenTree on August 11, 2017, 10:32:11 PM
btulloh, I'll keep it even platform. 550 should be all checked out tomorrow or perhaps a new one.

Regardless which it'll be, we have lots of 90F's weather forecasted for next week with a good ammount of humidity to put the 2 saws through.

But I'll take it easy on them, that kind of heat I prefer to get some odd jobs done around home. Not sweating it out on a tree in someone's back yard.
Maybe this "new smart AutoTune MTronic " is smarter then the average Joe running them :D
Title: Re: Official MS261CM vs 550XP test
Post by: HolmenTree on August 12, 2017, 10:57:59 PM
Beautiful hot summer day today and I wasn't cutting wood :D
I took my family out on the lake and we had a barbeque.  Didn't catch any fish so we settled for hot dogs. ;D

Got home later this evening (Saturday) and no phone message from my untrustworthy Husqvarna dealer ::)
 

 (http://www.forestryforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/21589/20170812_140919.jpg?easyrotate_cache=1502593048)
Title: Re: Official MS261CM vs 550XP test
Post by: PNWRusty on August 14, 2017, 02:05:00 AM
Nice!

I can't help but wonder where you stash that top-handle pruning saw on your party barge in case an emergency arises. Like maybe someone needs a hot dog cut in half or something...Sure to impress the ladies...

Just make sure the oil reservoir is filled with canola oil. ;D
Title: Re: Official MS261CM vs 550XP test
Post by: Spike60 on August 14, 2017, 07:00:33 AM
This has taken an interesting turn. The diagnostic tool is properly called the "common service tool", or CST for short. The "common" aspect meaning that it is used for all AT saws, (except the 576), and all of the 536 battery tools as well.

It is impossible for them to have done the earlier firmware update without one. That leaves 2 possibilities: Either they broke their's and needed a replacement, or they never had one to begin with. "had to order a tool" and the shrug kind of suggests the latter, doesn't it?

And when dealing with tech service, you will be asked questions that can only be answered with info that is read from the CST. Things like fuel settings, carb temps, error codes, and most importantly, how much time is on the saw. Time is the big one as you can sometimes "stretch" a warranty by the fact that a saw has very little run time on it.  :)  They may ask for pressure and vacuum readings. Air leak? Where is it?

This situation is really not unusual. Probably half the dealers can't handle AT and they are faking it at best. It really falls on the dealers to get up to speed. In my experience, Husky is really good with standing behind their stuff. And they make all of this info and training available to dealers. But they can't force dealers to get their act together. It's also true that many dealers spin stories to blame the OEM for their own shortcomings, so the customer directs their anger at the manufacturer and not the dealer.

Bigger the dealer, the more common the problem. And it goes beyond AT type stuff also. Many big dealers don't have a decent 2 stroke guy. Some don't even have a bad one. LOL  Pretty much the norm for big AG dealers like many of the John Deere dealers who took on Stihl. Then you have all these levels of people with different job titles. Sales manager, service manager. Never even get to talk with the guy who's working on the saw.

Title: Re: Official MS261CM vs 550XP test
Post by: HolmenTree on August 14, 2017, 11:00:08 AM
Thanks for your good post Spike60. And yes the bigger the dealer with other merchandise like Mercury, Yamaha, Ski Doo  etc. is a problem.
Their complex covers a good square half city block. Takes a good jaunt to get back to where the techs work.

The dealer is closed today (Monday) Tuesday to Saturday is their business days.
Like I said they've been a Husqvarna dealer for over 40 years. They bought out all of a competitor's Stihl franchise a couple of years ago.

We'll see what happens tomorrow.
Title: Re: Official MS261CM vs 550XP test
Post by: PNWRusty on August 15, 2017, 10:26:14 AM
We'll see what happens tomorrow.

I have a good feeling that they will make it right.

Good luck!
Title: Re: Official MS261CM vs 550XP test
Post by: nitehawk55 on August 16, 2017, 01:43:23 AM
I know with Stihl that it would be a requirement for a full service dealership to have all the diagnostic equipment in order to remain a dealership . Having the needed equipment to do diagnostic on all the new saws with auto tune you would think that would be one piece of equipment that they would have to have in their shop . Is Husky not requiring dealers to have this equipment and looking the other way ? I can't see it being so .

A Husky dealer just north of me has this testing unit , told me he cannot diagnose or repair the new saws without it .
Title: Re: Official MS261CM vs 550XP test
Post by: Spike60 on August 16, 2017, 06:33:37 AM
Written requirements and enforced requirements are two different realities with all of these companies. Another example is a dealer with multiple locations. "Well, we don't have parts and service at this location, just at our main store an hour away." They aren't going to let their policies get in the way of sales. Stihl is no different.

They can't force a dealer to be competent. They can require a dealer to send someone to sleep through a tech class, but they can't force him to learn anythng. There can be a requirement that a dealer "stock parts", but not which parts and how many. They can't prevent a good tech from quitting his job to do something else, and they can't change the simple reality that finding good help is very difficult for a small business.

They can't force a dealer that sells farm or construction equipment with 6 digit price tags or a hardware/home center selling a million dollars a month in lumber to get excited about a $500 chain saw.
Title: Re: Official MS261CM vs 550XP test
Post by: HolmenTree on August 16, 2017, 11:31:57 AM
I got things rolling yesterday at the dealership. Nothing was done with the saw, the general manager overheard me saying  ""I'm going to the shop to talk with the tech"!
He reassured me that he will talk to the tech immediately and get to the bottom of it.

This morning the service manager called and said the diagnostic tool finally came in ::)
Through further questioning she said the diagnostic tool was a pressure tester. The crankcase was not holding pressure.
  She also added the tech is tearing the saw down to see what damage is done, then they will get back to Husqvarna support staff for the final verdict.
She added I might just get a new saw.
Title: Re: Official MS261CM vs 550XP test
Post by: John Mc on August 16, 2017, 11:38:54 AM
Wait... so a long-time Husqvarna servicer/dealer did not have a pressure tester?
Title: Re: Official MS261CM vs 550XP test
Post by: HolmenTree on August 16, 2017, 12:05:15 PM
Wait... so a long-time Husqvarna servicer/dealer did not have a pressure tester?
:D Yep  that is exactly what I'll ask them this afternoon.
 I wasn't going to put her on the spot over the phone. I'll do that when I can see her face reactions this afternoon.
Title: Re: Official MS261CM vs 550XP test
Post by: John Mc on August 16, 2017, 12:19:30 PM
Makes me wonder if their service guys own all their own tools, and someone left, taking theirs with them (though I would have thought the dealership would have at least owned the CST)
Title: Re: Official MS261CM vs 550XP test
Post by: HolmenTree on August 16, 2017, 04:56:54 PM
Well,  time was on my side this time. As I was walking through the dealers front door the general manager called me on my cell phone.
Within seconds I walked into his office with the service manager sitting across the desk from him holding the tech's report.

I was then informed warranty will cover the repair of the saw. New P/C, seals , inlet pipe?? and 1 1/2 hrs of labor.
I said "Ok with about $500CDN in parts plus 1 1/2 hrs of labor the saw could be replaced for the cost value. Plus there is no guarantee the lower connecting  rod and main bearings are not damaged."

The tech's report said the saw has 3 hours on it with 70 psi compression due to 360° p/c scuffing and crankcase vacuum test won't hold pressure.
Also something about a cracked inlet pipe???

The general manager said "we'll call tech support right now for you on speaker phone to put in our claim for saw replacement, no secrets held back on your part".

The Husqvarna tech support guy had a strong American accent showing he was based in the U.S.

Now this is the confusing part, he said he still hasn't received pictures of the saw from the tech who took it apart.
So I'm thinking to myself how can the warranty be approved if it's not approved on his end. Did the general manager of my dealership just decide to cover it themselves?

So the Husqvarna tech support guy said "I can't make any promises for saw replacement and I have to see some pictures of the saw."

So the call ended and in walks a senior dealer tech wearing a Husqvarna hat. He says the Husqvarna warranty support is a nightmare as there's guy's  contracted out all over the U.S. some working out of their homes to handle warranty claims.

My dealer's general manager says "Sorry Willard, we'll get the pics emailed to him right away and we'll call you tomorrow."

Oh and BTW he said the tech's don't supply the diagnostic tools. The dealership supplies them.

Spike60, was there a run of 550's about a year back that had air leaks? I thought I read that over on OPE?
This 550XP of mine is 2016 31week 900unit.


Title: Re: Official MS261CM vs 550XP test
Post by: HolmenTree on August 16, 2017, 05:24:26 PM
Good news !!
Taylor the service manager just called and she said the general manager decided to replace my 550XP with a brand new one.
Title: Re: Official MS261CM vs 550XP test
Post by: nitehawk55 on August 16, 2017, 05:42:10 PM
Written requirements and enforced requirements are two different realities with all of these companies. Another example is a dealer with multiple locations. "Well, we don't have parts and service at this location, just at our main store an hour away." They aren't going to let their policies get in the way of sales. Stihl is no different.

They can't force a dealer to be competent. They can require a dealer to send someone to sleep through a tech class, but they can't force him to learn anythng. There can be a requirement that a dealer "stock parts", but not which parts and how many. They can't prevent a good tech from quitting his job to do something else, and they can't change the simple reality that finding good help is very difficult for a small business.

They can't force a dealer that sells farm or construction equipment with 6 digit price tags or a hardware/home center selling a million dollars a month in lumber to get excited about a $500 chain saw.

I can see your point and things I'm sure have changed since my tenure with Stihl but I think Willard will agree that Stihl put pressure on the dealers to have the needed test equipment and required factory training , at least back some years ago and that was in Canada , the USA may treat it's dealers differently .
And of course we didn't have need for computer diagnostics back then either but you were expected to do a pressure / vacuum test on any questionable saws with running issues or a failure . If the dealer wasn't sure of the cause then it went to the regional or head office Tech departments to determine the cause and warranty . It wasn't unusual for Stihl to be pretty good about covering warranty and we even did it on saws that were a bit out of warranty (a few times quite a bit because the saw looked almost like new) just to keep the customers happy .  :)
Title: Re: Official MS261CM vs 550XP test
Post by: nitehawk55 on August 16, 2017, 06:02:12 PM
That's good , glad they came thru finally . Seems Husky hands out saws a fair bit , I know the dealer up north of me pushes for a new one if he feels it's justified .
The sweet part for him is he can keep the saw but he has to remove the serial tag and is supposed to junk it . I guess Husky usually doesn't want the saws returned which is something Stihl would definately want .
Title: Re: Official MS261CM vs 550XP test
Post by: HolmenTree on August 16, 2017, 06:44:24 PM
nitehawk, I agree Stihl does back up their dealers differently...like family. Husqvarna dealers on the other hand are dealing in a cut throat environment where almost every big box store are selling their product also.

I ran Jonsered for the first 7 years , Stihl for the next 27 years and Husqvarna for almost the last 10 years.
Only reason I switched to Husqvarna was my sponsorship switched from Stihl to Husqvarna for my logger sports I've been running for the last 20 years.
Now my sponsor no longer carries Husqvarna.
So I'm no longer product loyal, kinda like you. :)
Title: Re: Official MS261CM vs 550XP test
Post by: nitehawk55 on August 16, 2017, 07:09:40 PM

I didn't agree with Stihl setting up John Deere tractor as dealerships , that **pithed off a lot of good dealers in Ontario .

I don't own a Stihl chainsaw at all right now and only a 346xp....hahaha .
I do have 2 Stihl FR 350 backpack brush saws tho , the only 2 in Canada and maybe all of North-Am ? These were brought in but never caught on here but I guess they are popular in Europe .
Most of my arsonal is Echo , 590 , 501 saws, pole saw and Shindawa blower , a couple Dolmar saws and a little Maruyama that was on sale last year at Rona for cheap .
Title: Re: Official MS261CM vs 550XP test
Post by: gspren on August 16, 2017, 07:45:56 PM
   All of this makes me even happier that my local Stihl dealer specializes in saws, in fact the name of his business ends in "Saw Shop"
Title: Re: Official MS261CM vs 550XP test
Post by: PNWRusty on August 16, 2017, 08:30:52 PM
Good news !!  the general manager decided to replace my 550XP with a brand new one.

I thought they would come around. Too bad it took so much hemming and hawing though.

Now the official test can begin once again!   smiley_clapping smiley_chop smiley_bull_stomp 
Title: Re: Official MS261CM vs 550XP test
Post by: HolmenTree on August 16, 2017, 08:52:26 PM
This new 550 will have some catching up to do, now that the 261 is near broke in. ;D
Title: Re: Official MS261CM vs 550XP test
Post by: HolmenTree on August 16, 2017, 09:00:10 PM
Good news !!  the general manager decided to replace my 550XP with a brand new one.

I thought they would come around. Too bad it took so much hemming and hawing though.

Now the official test can begin once again!   smiley_clapping smiley_chop smiley_bull_stomp
Yeah I guess they couldn't  bluff or make anymore excuses once I had the general manager involved.

But I do know their shop was extremely busy this summer changing bottom ends on outboard motors.
This year our lakes were up 3 to 4 feet above normal hiding lots of rock reefs.
Title: Re: Official MS261CM vs 550XP test
Post by: ButchC on August 17, 2017, 08:26:54 AM
You have been more patient with that dealer than I would have been but glad they are finally making it right.  Also hope you get a good one this time as my 550 gets a favored spot on the saw rack, been a good saw and handles nicely when working in the branches.
Title: Re: Official MS261CM vs 550XP test
Post by: HolmenTree on August 17, 2017, 03:31:15 PM
I think I got a good 550XP this time Butch.
This one is a April/May built saw. Unit #351 built in the 20th week of 2016.
Only put a tank of fuel through it so far today and it's meeting my expectations with a good strong high rpm WOT already.
This is it's first tree, a sappy white spruce dripping sap everywhere including on the saw on this hot day.

 

 (http://www.forestryforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/21589/20170817_141037.jpg?easyrotate_cache=1502997242) 

 (http://www.forestryforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/21589/20170817_141001.jpg?easyrotate_cache=1502997380)
Title: Re: Official MS261CM vs 550XP test
Post by: ButchC on August 18, 2017, 06:23:19 AM

This is it's first tree, a sappy white spruce dripping sap everywhere including on the saw on this hot day.


Yuk, I have worked in various Pine and Spuce just enough to be glad that 99% of my chainsaw work is in Appalachian hardwoods, ;D
Title: Re: Official MS261CM vs 550XP test
Post by: HolmenTree on August 18, 2017, 09:46:42 AM
About 80% of the wood I cut is spruce, pine, balsam fir and tamarack. My saws don't look pretty, I'd have to clean them every night which I don't  ;D

Not much to report today guys, I broke a main leaf spring on my work trailer last night.
Title: Re: Official MS261CM vs 550XP test
Post by: 630red on August 18, 2017, 06:13:31 PM
glad you got sorted out in the end.but it was sloppy service on their side
Title: Re: Official MS261CM vs 550XP test
Post by: HolmenTree on August 21, 2017, 11:10:56 PM
glad you got sorted out in the end.but it was sloppy service on their side
Yes I'm not impressed either 630.
  I'm probably the first end-user they met in about 25 years who makes a living with a saw and had no idea how to handle me.

No wood cutting today or tomorrow, as I'm in the shop doing equipment repairs. Just a "mid  season getting everthing back in order."

I posted this on the 572XP thread but should be on this thread too.
This is what my 550XP owner's manual says how to start the saw after it's warmed up.
How can a company put a saw on the market for all these years now and expect the customer to go through all these steps to start it after being warmed up??
This new 550XP I just got runs alot better then the first one, but even after cutting up that one spruce tree....I had to set the fast idle to get it to start after fully warmed up.
 

 (http://www.forestryforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/21589/20170821_102537.jpg?easyrotate_cache=1503329661)
Title: Re: Official MS261CM vs 550XP test
Post by: ButchC on August 22, 2017, 08:28:14 AM
I agree, lots of steps and should be easier.. the model has been out too long to still be saddled with such things,
I have my 550 figured out, which frankly took a while and now I wont take it back for updates being afraid that they will screw up my routine.  Biggest hurdle I face is luke warm starts. Cold is easy, just like old times, pull to it pops, take choke off and it starts. Hot restarts are easy as falling down, pull the rope and it runs. The restart that will "get ya" is a luke warm one such as when the saw has sat for 15  minutes, It wont hit a lick on low idle, sometimes it will start on fast idle but most often you need to choke it for a couple pulls then take it off. If you choke waiting for it to pop you just flooded it. 

I like the 550 for a lot of reasons but it sure wasn't love after the first date let me tell ya.
Title: Re: Official MS261CM vs 550XP test
Post by: Woodcutter_Mo on August 22, 2017, 10:23:43 AM
 I notice it indicates not to use the decompression valve, is that common practice with all saws with a de-comp valve? I don't recall seeing that in any of my other saw manuals but maybe I just didn't read that far.  :-[
Title: Re: Official MS261CM vs 550XP test
Post by: HolmenTree on August 22, 2017, 10:24:41 AM
Good post Butch.
My biggest dilemma with my 562 and 550 hot start issues is when they run out of fuel.

The AutoTune does a wonderful job of using up the last drop of fuel by adjusting the fuel delivery so efficiently that I don't notice it's running out of gas.

My older saws give me a warning, even my new MS261CM gives a quick High rev warning before going back to adjusting the declining fuel flow.
But when you run a Auto tune's tank dry they are really hard to stop from flooding after refueling.
I guess I have to pump the primer bulb 15 times to cool the carb down , from the latest information I found from Husqvarna.
Title: Re: Official MS261CM vs 550XP test
Post by: HolmenTree on August 22, 2017, 10:26:09 AM
I notice it indicates not to use the decompression valve, is that common all saws with a de-comp valve? I don't recall seeing that in any of my other saw manuals but maybe I just didn't read that far.  :-[
Just for the Husqvarna AutoTune as far as I know. Maybe some of the older MTronics
Title: Re: Official MS261CM vs 550XP test
Post by: John Mc on August 22, 2017, 12:49:41 PM
I notice it indicates not to use the decompression valve, is that common practice with all saws with a de-comp valve? I don't recall seeing that in any of my other saw manuals but maybe I just didn't read that far.  :-[

I've been told that all saws fire better when the decomp is not used - assuming you can pull them over.
Title: Re: Official MS261CM vs 550XP test
Post by: HolmenTree on August 25, 2017, 11:19:00 AM
A little update this morning on the 550XP.
On stump removal  today but gave the 550 a good run yesterday in a half dozen spruce.
Only got up to a high of 70F and future forecasts doesn't show any more 90F, so the 550 may have dodged the test.

I'm a little spoiled after running the MS261C as the 550 master control switch takes that extra step to set the fast idle after setting the choke to start from cold.
550XP is only into its second tank of fuel and is starting to perform nice. First couple of trees I could hear the AutoTune was resetting itself with a little miss firing even when fully warmed but cleared out nicely into the other trees.
Got it good and hot and had no problem starting it on the first pull immediately after shutting off. Let it sit for a few minutes then the fast idle needs to be used.
Still too early to make any judgements, we'll get into that later.

I look at the 550XP and MS261C side by side and I see the 550 powerhead looks like a running shoe, with the muffler end being the toe.
Very nice streamlined design with the lower top cover and thinner diameter top handle. That right there makes the 550 look  less bulky then the 261. A design of saw that would enable the operator to delimb thick limbed conifer in the boreal forests of Sweden, Russia and North America.
But I do see a problem with the tighter quarters of the 550's top cover not allowing as much cooling air flow as the 261's cover and cylinder arrangement does.
Husqvarna has added a vent hole near the decomp valve. But they still have to upgrade the airbox partition in the top cover with a insulated membrane, like they did with their new 572XP.
Something they need to do with the 562XP also.

I have good experience with 3 other 550's over the last 4-5 years at my winter festival chain saw speed cutting competition. With their winter pre heater kits installed they ran perfect right down to minus -50 below wind chill as the last pic shows.
Very tough saw even in the hands of 50-60 competitors with some never using a saw before non stop over 3 hrs.
 

 (http://www.forestryforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/21589/20170824_111009.jpg?easyrotate_cache=1503674025) 

 (http://www.forestryforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/21589/SDC11128~0.JPG?easyrotate_cache=1386176347) 

 (http://www.forestryforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/21589/FB_IMG_1441523821458.jpg?easyrotate_cache=1441528205)
Title: Re: Official MS261CM vs 550XP test
Post by: HolmenTree on August 25, 2017, 04:19:16 PM
I found two good sized paper birch for the 550XP this afternoon.
550 is on its 3rd tank now and starting to run the way it should. With a outdoor temperature at 77F I only had to use the fast idle once during a hot start.
Even started on one pull without the choke after sitting for almost an hour.

As these pics show this is where good old experience comes in ;D
I had to fall the 2 birch between the customer's septic tank and a pile of metal roofing.
 

 (http://www.forestryforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/21589/20170825_124141.jpg?easyrotate_cache=1503691509) 

 (http://www.forestryforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/21589/20170825_150839.jpg?easyrotate_cache=1503691959) 

 (http://www.forestryforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/21589/20170825_151531.jpg?easyrotate_cache=1503692267)
Title: Re: Official MS261CM vs 550XP test
Post by: HolmenTree on August 25, 2017, 07:05:12 PM
To add to my last post, I found this chunk of Chaga in one of the birch trees.
This stuff is worth its weight in gold. Big demand for this stuff.
A few years back I found a 5 lb chunk of it.
 

 (http://www.forestryforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/21589/20170825_125539.jpg?easyrotate_cache=1503702279)
Title: Re: Official MS261CM vs 550XP test
Post by: barbender on August 26, 2017, 12:09:49 AM
Chaga is the rage around here, a few of our guys collect it and sell it too. I haven't yet, if I did it's another thing I'd have my eyes bugged out, scavenging for😊
Title: Re: Official MS261CM vs 550XP test
Post by: Fishnuts2 on August 26, 2017, 09:50:52 AM
We have a large Birch near our cabin that has a huge chunk of this black material growing from it.  Tree is dying, and I was planning to cut it down next Spring.  Now it is much more interesting than just which saw I should use to cut it.  Lots of knowledge in these forums!
Title: Re: Official MS261CM vs 550XP test
Post by: PNWRusty on August 26, 2017, 10:27:06 AM
We have a large Birch near our cabin that has a huge chunk of this black material growing from it.  Tree is dying, and I was planning to cut it down next Spring.  Now it is much more interesting than just which saw I should use to cut it.  Lots of knowledge in these forums!

You can harvest the Chaga from the tree. The tree will still be infected but, depending upon how much life the tree has left, you may be able to make multiple Chaga harvests. It takes about 3-5 years for it to reach harvestable size.
Title: Re: Official MS261CM vs 550XP test
Post by: btulloh on August 26, 2017, 08:58:08 PM
What is chaga used for?
Title: Re: Official MS261CM vs 550XP test
Post by: barbender on August 26, 2017, 09:02:09 PM
People make a tea out of it, it's supposed to have health benefits ranging from curing an upset stomach to raising the dead :D I was tild by one of the guys that collect it, that it tastes like dirt :)
Title: Re: Official MS261CM vs 550XP test
Post by: khntr85 on August 30, 2017, 09:46:22 PM
Well whats the chaga a fungus????

 I want to try it now!!!
Title: Re: Official MS261CM vs 550XP test
Post by: AnvilRW on August 30, 2017, 11:30:51 PM
Worth its weight in gold would pry me out of my Lazy Boy and get me headed north.  Unfortunately, you can buy it on Amazon for $4.50/oz.

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B007KWQJO2
Title: Re: Official MS261CM vs 550XP test
Post by: HolmenTree on August 31, 2017, 12:56:36 PM
Worth its weight in gold would pry me out of my Lazy Boy and get me headed north.  Unfortunately, you can buy it on Amazon for $4.50/oz.

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B007KWQJO2
Chaga prices all depends where it comes from. The world's largest forest the Boreal forest of northern Russia, Scandinavia and North America grow the desired wild birch Chaga.
We have a family up here who harvest Chaga and birch sap for syrup and those trees are their weight in gold for them. Many other plants in the Boreal forest are a valuable commodity such as Labrador tea.

Not much to report on the 550XP and MS261C as this week I finished up a bunch of stump removal and starting renovations to my chainsaw shop.
This fall I'm starting up a chainsaw sharpening business. I will also offer a retail service selling sawchain, bars and sprockets. No saw powerhead repair.
Since moving to this most northerly city 3 years ago my winter off season is now 5 months long.
So time to step up and offer another service  :)
Title: Re: Official MS261CM vs 550XP test
Post by: nitehawk55 on September 02, 2017, 05:52:35 PM
Sounds like a good business Willard , not too much overhead and no headaches of dealing with an OPE company trying to push you to up your inventory .
Also hard to please customers with saw issues or is it saws with people issues ?  :D

What lines of chain and bars you planning on selling ?
Title: Re: Official MS261CM vs 550XP test
Post by: HolmenTree on September 02, 2017, 11:49:58 PM
Thanks nitehawk. Oregon, Stihl and Carlton are what I presently already have in my own inventory. Over the last 25 years I have been hoarding sawchain, bars, sprockets and sprocket noses plus files that I bought from auctions of gone out of business dealers, and dealers about to go out of business.
I also have roughly 300 loops of used chains of every pitch, length and brand to resharpen to sell off too.
Eventually I hope to have a principle sawchain brand as a franchise .

Business will basically revolve on the customer's cutting end of their saws. I'll offer a bar reconditioning service also
 I may offer a tuneup service to certain repeat customers.

Title: Re: Official MS261CM vs 550XP test
Post by: DonT on September 03, 2017, 02:55:52 PM
Are you doing mail order or on-line sales?  I saw the pic of the trailer and the chipper pic. What type of chipper is that? Do you have to plate your chipper? 
Title: Re: Official MS261CM vs 550XP test
Post by: HolmenTree on September 03, 2017, 03:49:35 PM
Are you doing mail order or on-line sales?  I saw the pic of the trailer and the chipper pic. What type of chipper is that? Do you have to plate your chipper?
Don I think I'll have enough local business to keep me busy.
My chipper is a Morbark 2060D with a 35 h.p Wisconsin V4 gas engine controlled by a auto feed roller on a 13"×6" infeed. Yes trailer has a commercial license plate.
Fully loaded with chips my homemade unit weighs under 10k lbs so DOT has no concerns.
 

 (http://www.forestryforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/21589/SDC10682.JPG?easyrotate_cache=1358663744) 

 (http://www.forestryforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/21589/SDC10674.JPG?easyrotate_cache=1358663882) 

 (http://www.forestryforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/21589/20160425_100417-1.jpg?easyrotate_cache=1504468138)
Title: Re: Official MS261CM vs 550XP test
Post by: DonT on September 03, 2017, 08:06:02 PM
That's a well thought out unit. I like the ramps for the stump grinder. I believe bandit makes a unit somewhat similar. My chipper is not plated and can be towed behind my 5 ton dump trailer.
Title: Re: Official MS261CM vs 550XP test
Post by: HolmenTree on September 12, 2017, 04:31:11 PM
Beautiful sunny day today with a great working temperature of 54F.
So it looks like the 550XP has dodged the hot humid weather as we're now getting into fall.
Not much interesting to report on the 550XP cutting for the last few days.  I have now come to the conclusion the proper procedure to run the 550XP from cold is to let it sit and idle for a few minutes before cutting. It does not share the same quick warm up characteristics of the MS261CM ll.
The 550XP can be frustrating with its fast idle hot starts and cold blooded warming up cycle
But it does perform and handle real nice. It does feel heavier then the MS261CM ll even though they weigh the same. I blame the grip of the 550's thinner diameter top handle makes it feel heavier.
Probably a better all day logging saw than a few trees a day arborist saw.

This is one of 3 jobs I did today with the 550XP.
We had alot of high wind yesterday and this was one result of it.
 This rental agency got this tree blown down landing on one of their apartments.
I set a pull rope up into a neighboring tree's crotch with my Bigshot slingshot, throwline and I pulled the tree with my diesel pickup standing it back up.
Trouble was the root ball was completely severed from its lateral roots and I had to shoot up another rope and then pulled it sideways landing it right behind my chipper on the street.

The agency's maintenance men were on hand to haul the rounds away. I chipped the brush into my dump box.
Last pic shows the 550 sitting on a round next to the root ball stump which is laying upside down to show the broken roots.
No need to grind out that stump ;D

 

 (http://www.forestryforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/21589/20170912_101326.jpg?easyrotate_cache=1505247237) 

 (http://www.forestryforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/21589/20170912_101255.jpg?easyrotate_cache=1505247461) 

 (http://www.forestryforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/21589/20170912_102814.jpg?easyrotate_cache=1505247601)
 

 (http://www.forestryforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/21589/20170912_103249.jpg?easyrotate_cache=1505351546)
 

 (http://www.forestryforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/21589/20170912_111024.jpg?easyrotate_cache=1505247672)
Title: Re: Official MS261CM vs 550XP test
Post by: HolmenTree on September 16, 2017, 08:45:29 PM
I took this tamarack out today along with its stump.
I left the 550XP in the truck and grabbed the little torque monster MS261CM.
 A real pleasure running that little saw. :)
 

 (http://www.forestryforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/21589/20170916_135224.jpg?easyrotate_cache=1505609104)
Title: Re: Official MS261CM vs 550XP test
Post by: HolmenTree on September 18, 2017, 12:08:35 PM
Property manager has me back removing hazard trees before one falls on a roof again.
Little 550XP is on its 6th tank and performing nicely now.
Towards the end of the season when both saws are equal in tankfills I'll put the 550 and 261 up against each other with the same bar/chain in some 2 year old dry 10"×10" white spruce.
 

 (http://www.forestryforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/21589/20170918_100721.jpg?easyrotate_cache=1505750864)
Title: Re: Official MS261CM vs 550XP test
Post by: HolmenTree on September 18, 2017, 01:01:18 PM
I sure notice the 550 doesn't have the grunt of the little torque monster MS261.
Just a little carelessness on the dogs and the 550's chain stalls easily.
I also noticed that on my OE 372XP-24" too .
 

 (http://www.forestryforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/21589/20170918_113754.jpg?easyrotate_cache=1505754051)
Title: Re: Official MS261CM vs 550XP test
Post by: ehp on September 19, 2017, 12:21:05 AM
Holmen, richen the XT up some, their way to lean from the factory . You will see the xt has a lot more torque then, they will drive a 24 inch bar pretty easy
Title: Re: Official MS261CM vs 550XP test
Post by: ehp on September 19, 2017, 12:25:56 AM
Been running my new 261 doing a clear cut and cutting oak up to about 35 inches with it , I got the skidder hooked to the oak to pull them away from the building so the 261 works great at that , my 461's are just to fast doing that kind of work , Running a 20 inch 3/8's set up on it and its doing pretty good , I have not had a single problem with restarts or any carb trouble 
Title: Re: Official MS261CM vs 550XP test
Post by: HolmenTree on September 19, 2017, 10:01:20 AM
Holmen, richen the XT up some, their way to lean from the factory . You will see the xt has a lot more torque then, they will drive a 24 inch bar pretty easy
Thanks Ed.
My 372XP is a 2006 old edition 372XP. It was my first Husqvarna I ever bought. Since new and 11 years later it's still running strong, I never used it for logging just for a few trees a day arborist tree service work.
When I bury the bar it cuts like crazy but if I keep the saw too close to the tree chips plug up the sprocket cover and seizes the b/c. Then I have to scratch the chain back on forth on the tree to free up the chain.
Been running my new 261 doing a clear cut and cutting oak up to about 35 inches with it , I got the skidder hooked to the oak to pull them away from the building so the 261 works great at that , my 461's are just to fast doing that kind of work , Running a 20 inch 3/8's set up on it and its doing pretty good , I have not had a single problem with restarts or any carb trouble 
That good to hear about your 261. I wish you could take a look at mine when it's parked for the winter....
I saw a video of one 261with a strong woods port ...that saw looked freaky blasting through a 12"×12" like a 100cc saw.
Title: Re: Official MS261CM vs 550XP test
Post by: ehp on September 19, 2017, 12:36:10 PM
ya the saws with less torque at idle jam up bad, I find the 562 is bad for that as well , you got to keep the chain spinning to clear the bar out before letting it idle , my stock 261 is like that to
Title: Re: Official MS261CM vs 550XP test
Post by: PNWRusty on September 19, 2017, 09:34:37 PM
ya the saws with less torque at idle jam up bad, I find the 562 is bad for that as well , you got to keep the chain spinning to clear the bar out before letting it idle , my stock 261 is like that to

My stock 261 pulls with authority right off idle - like magic. It thinks it's part 4-stroke.
Title: Re: Official MS261CM vs 550XP test
Post by: Pine Ridge on September 19, 2017, 10:13:22 PM
Used my 550 Xp for a couple hours the last two evenings clearing a log landing on the neighbors property, weather here is in the low 90s, get a good sweat up in a hurry. I really like the 550s, this one runs perfect and cuts fast for 50cc, perfect small saw for what I use it for.
Title: Re: Official MS261CM vs 550XP test
Post by: HolmenTree on September 20, 2017, 10:16:02 AM
Good hard rain here today so time to get caught up with errands.
Beautiful sunny day yesterday with temps in the 60'sF.    A customer hired me to take out these 2 poplars, one broke in half in a recent wind storm half ways up right where a woodpecker nest hole was.
12K volt powerlines behind up against them, garage, fence and the top of the whole tree just cleared the house eaves trough. That tree had a heavy side lean so it needed a anchored side guy rope to guide it from falling on the garage.
Stumps  came out also, customer kept the rounds.

550XP running real nice with the 16" semi chisel .325.    I thought about selling it the other day but now concluded it's a perfect partner for the MS261CM.  Always nice to have a spare saw to grab  when you run the other in the dirt.
 

 (http://www.forestryforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/21589/20170919_110022.jpg?easyrotate_cache=1505916816) 

 (http://www.forestryforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/21589/20170919_114827.jpg?easyrotate_cache=1505916869) 

 (http://www.forestryforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/21589/20170919_125308.jpg?easyrotate_cache=1505916927)
Title: Re: Official MS261CM vs 550XP test
Post by: John Mc on September 20, 2017, 11:22:10 AM
Holmen, richen the XT up some, their way to lean from the factory . You will see the xt has a lot more torque then, they will drive a 24 inch bar pretty easy

I wonder if some of these autotune saws might benefit from a little tweak to their program to make them run a bit richer? I've been thinking about a 550XP/555/562XP (which one depends on whether my Jonsered 2152 or my 357XP wears out first, and how rich I'm feeling at the time). Is that adjustment something anyone with the proper tools/software could do, or is the program locked from the factory?

I do like the local Husky dealer (it took me a bit to find out who the good one was when some of the old-timers started closing up their shops). The Stihl dealer is where I bought my tractor. I've found them to be very customer-oriented and capable on tractors, but had no dealings with their service department on chainsaws. They do sell a lot of Stihl saws, and their customers include a lot of pro users, so I may have to add the 261 to my list of saws to consider.
Title: Re: Official MS261CM vs 550XP test
Post by: CR888 on September 20, 2017, 11:22:32 PM
It would be interesting to see what Stihl did to the port numbers and any other changes over the older 261.
I wondered the same when I saw the typeII with the laid back cylinder fin design but unfortunately they are exactly the same port timings as the OE. Thats not so bad, the cylinder is a great design with good torque high rpm & great fuel economy. One way to really bring them to life is to gut the strato intake and advance the timing a few degrees. They become a totally different beast. Though you do loose fuel economy in the process. I know guys from your part of the planet don't like spikes on 50cc saws but here they are useful. The slightly larger MS362 dual spike/roller catcher kit is a direct bolt on accessory for the 261. If you remove the plastic chain guides in the clutch cover you will see the cast hexagonal spots that hold the nuts, you just drill those to holes out. 660 spikes will fit too, but they don't work well and bog things down the 362 kit is perfect. Then you remove the regular chain catcher.
Title: Re: Official MS261CM vs 550XP test
Post by: HolmenTree on September 21, 2017, 09:48:01 AM
CR888, thanks for the information good post!
I believe your down under. Are your 261s made in Australia, China, Germany or Brazil?
Here in Canada ours are made in Germany, from what I gather the ones sold in the U.S. are made in Virginia Beach USA.
Different countries have different environmental protection engine designs.
Seeing California for example has been on the witch hunt to ban 2 stroke motors for over 30 years, engine designs have to be altered before they can be imported from other countries.
Title: Re: Official MS261CM vs 550XP test
Post by: PNWRusty on September 22, 2017, 02:08:53 AM
The Stihl dealer is where I bought my tractor. I've found them to be very customer-oriented and capable on tractors, but had no dealings with their service department on chainsaws. They do sell a lot of Stihl saws, and their customers include a lot of pro users, so I may have to add the 261 to my list of saws to consider.

The 261 C-M is a great little saw that cuts faster than any stock 50cc saw you've ever used. And it starts and runs like a Swiss watch.

Today I was outside and a neighbor I don't know was attempting to do some sawing. It sounded like a 60-70 cc pro saw but not a Stihl, unless it was modded. It sounded good as it revved up right until it hit that point that you would normally drop it into the wood where it would suddenly die. No lean rpm increase before dying, just suddenly nothing. Idled fine and revved strongly. This went on about 12 or 15 times until he put it away for a while. An hour later he was back at it with the same results.

I think trying to save $200 or so on a saw is false economy if it's not as reliable. Who has time for that. Certainly any saw can develop a problem but some are more reliable than others.
Title: Re: Official MS261CM vs 550XP test
Post by: PNWRusty on September 22, 2017, 02:18:30 AM
CR888, thanks for the information good post!
I believe your down under. Are your 261s made in Australia, China, Germany or Brazil?
Here in Canada ours are made in Germany, from what I gather the ones sold in the U.S. are made in Virginia Beach USA.
Different countries have different environmental protection engine designs.
Seeing California for example has been on the witch hunt to ban 2 stroke motors for over 30 years, engine designs have to be altered before they can be imported from other countries.

I wonder why Stihl publishes identical power and rpm specs for German and USA made saws. I think they simply make them in the country that provides the best profit with regard  to taxes and import tariffs. Also, "Made in USA" allows them to sell to people, companies and governments that have that preference or, in many cases, that requirement. Do you know that Canada has different emission requirements than the U.S.? Because with autos, Canada tends to adopt whatever the US requires.

But I am slightly jealous of your German made 261 C-M. I can't help but think it might be assembled more precisely or competently (even though I can't discern anything wrong with mine). 
Title: Re: Official MS261CM vs 550XP test
Post by: ButchC on September 22, 2017, 05:54:47 AM

Today I was outside and a neighbor I don't know was attempting to do some sawing. It sounded like a 60-70 cc pro saw but not a Stihl, unless it was modded. It sounded good as it revved up right until it hit that point that you would normally drop it into the wood where it would suddenly die. No lean rpm increase before dying, just suddenly nothing. Idled fine and revved strongly. This went on about 12 or 15 times until he put it away for a while. An hour later he was back at it with the same results.

I think trying to save $200 or so on a saw is false economy if it's not as reliable. Who has time for that. Certainly any saw can develop a problem but some are more reliable than others.

Hmm, seems I am not the only guy who pays close attention whenever there is a saw running near by, LOL.

For the last 10 years we have hosted a rather large gathering of our church to cut firewood. Usually 15-20 saws running.  Bad operating techniques is a source of entertainment (as long as they are not gong to hurt somebody)  but wow, that poor under maintained equipment, stinky old fuel,, dull chains,,,,,  Its fun to see 4-5 guys lined up on a limb cutting away thinking they are producing and then proceed to out cut all of them combined with one properly running saw with sharp cutting equipment.
 
Title: Re: Official MS261CM vs 550XP test
Post by: Spike60 on September 22, 2017, 06:32:54 AM


550XP running real nice with the 16" semi chisel .325.    I thought about selling it the other day but now concluded it's a perfect partner for the MS261CM.  Always nice to have a spare saw to grab  when you run the other in the dirt.

Glad to hear it's running good and earning it's keep. And back up saws are a must on a job. But you'd be surprised how many independent guys don't have them. We have a lot of one man tree operations around here Willard, and you'd be surprised at how unprofessional some of them are. These guys have a 2-3 saw line up. A top handle and maybe some kind of 50cc-70cc combo. And they aren't exactly new saws; like 17 year old 372's and 51's or 345's. I try to work with these guys, but no backup's and 15 year old saws means it's often a crisis. Sometimes it irritates me that because they won't invest in saws that I have to drop what I'm doing so they can get their job done. Simple repairs are one thing, but you can't always pull a rabbit out of the hat while the guy is standing at the counter.

Sorry to jump off topic here, but you mentioned keeping the saw almost as an after thought, and I can't imagine that you'd be anything but fully equiped on a job.  :)  Even out cutting firewood, I always have a backup or 2. I fire up everything before I leave the house, but with all the older saws in my "little" saw collection, you never know; or you'll break a rope or hit a rock or find a maple tap in a tree. And filing in the field isn't one of my strong points.  :D
Title: Re: Official MS261CM vs 550XP test
Post by: HolmenTree on September 22, 2017, 11:53:07 AM
Spike 60, saw shortage is nothing I have a problem with, I actually have to cull my herd :D
I was thinking about buying another MS261C but thought why not keep the 550XP in the fleet and keep this test thread going for a few more years ;D.

Lots of new models being introduced from both camp's...Husky and Stihl and I like to try them out.
Gotta sell off about a dozen older saws  including a brand new 1993 Husqvarna 272XP with only a tank through it . This is the early non decompression valve 272XP.

Title: Re: Official MS261CM vs 550XP test
Post by: CR888 on September 22, 2017, 12:22:50 PM
CR888, thanks for the information good post!
I believe your down under. Are your 261s made in Australia, China, Germany or Brazil?
Here in Canada ours are made in Germany, from what I gather the ones sold in the U.S. are made in Virginia Beach USA.
Different countries have different environmental protection engine designs.
Seeing California for example has been on the witch hunt to ban 2 stroke motors for over 30 years, engine designs have to be altered before they can be imported from other countries.
Willard Aussie delivered MS261's are from Germany which I like. But I have a Virginia Beach 261 as well, same saw as far as I can tell, main difference is the one I bought locally was 1499msrp compared to the one I imported from the US which was $569usd. There are differences on some saws as our emission regs are not yet as harsh as the states...you would like the MS381/382 we can buy off the shelf, bit of an Aussie farmers favourite fat bottomed firewood saw the 038/380 series. We get dual port mufflers on some saws and richer jetting on a few. You have viewed the saw market much longer than I and I too agree right now is very exciting with what's on the horizon & whats on the shelf right nos, a few months ago most of my saws were current models now theyfeel old hat. Pro saws are getting lighter again like the days of the 044/064 days of old where OEMs focussed on power to weight ratios and prided themselves on it. The 572, 462 & ultra new MS500i fuel injected saw in my favourite 80cc class are having me save my pennies. Glad to see you sorted the 550xp sarga out and I say keep it & keep this thread going. They are nice saws when they are doing as they should.
Title: Re: Official MS261CM vs 550XP test
Post by: CR888 on September 22, 2017, 12:35:59 PM
Also Willard are you happy with the MS261 oiler? They are not to stingy when turned up but if you'd like more oil I can talk you through removing the oil pump, taking out the control bolt that regulates the piston travel on the pump so more oil can be pumped per stroke of the piston so it oils more when the oiler is turned up to max.
Title: Re: Official MS261CM vs 550XP test
Post by: HolmenTree on September 22, 2017, 02:40:09 PM
Thanks CR , my 261 is oiling good. I'll always keep a 16" on it but thanks for the advice anyways.

Yes those "fat bottom"  038/381 saws!
Niko SawTroll if you're reading this please chime. You were the person who invented that fat bottom term. We all miss you and are a little worried about you too!

Yes CR888 there's lots of cool new product coming out. I want to start a MS462C versus 572XP thread but I'll need to sell more saws then just my 272XP.
Some saws I will sell are:
I have a early 1990's Stihl 090AV I bought new back then. It's the newest model with new style A/V handles. There's alot of old style A/V and non A/V 090s on the market but I never see any new ones like mine.
I just put both new OEM top cover with tags and new rewind cover on it. Also going through it with a total cleanup and polish.
Also restoring a 1979 Jonsereds 70E, first year 066 Mag Arctic red light. First year 1986 Stihl 064AV and 1989 Stihl 044AV 10mm.
Also old edition 2006 372XP and 2008 395XP.
Got more stashed away 1994?? 066 poly wheel, 1985 038 Mag. Plus more :D

No 550 261 test today . I'm stuck on a pruning job for another large housing rental company . 4 apartment blocks all done by hand tools ::)
I'm getting too old for this kind of overhead work day after day. Real pain in the neck and shoulders.
 

 (http://www.forestryforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/21589/20170922_125437.jpg?easyrotate_cache=1506105504)
Title: Re: Official MS261CM vs 550XP test
Post by: ladylake on September 22, 2017, 03:18:34 PM
 When are going to see back to back timed cuts between these 2 saws in bigger wood, I'd be surprised if there 1 second difference.  Steve
Title: Re: Official MS261CM vs 550XP test
Post by: HolmenTree on September 22, 2017, 03:21:36 PM
I can't neglect to say that I am using my little Husqvarna T536 LiXP battery saw on some of the bigger pruning cuts on this job.
But find it makes a real handy chipper trim saw for some of the more gnarly limbs I'm feeding.

Stihl needs to get on board and introduce a top handle battery saw.
 

 (http://www.forestryforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/21589/20170922_135937.jpg?easyrotate_cache=1506108071)
Title: Re: Official MS261CM vs 550XP test
Post by: HolmenTree on September 22, 2017, 03:24:20 PM
When are going to see back to back timed cuts between these 2 saws in bigger wood, I'd be surprised if there 1 second difference.  Steve
I'll get those 2 together on the same b/c when the snow starts flying here. Hopefully not for another month or two as treework business is still coming in.
Title: Re: Official MS261CM vs 550XP test
Post by: PNWRusty on September 22, 2017, 03:58:18 PM

For the last 10 years we have hosted a rather large gathering of our church to cut firewood. Usually 15-20 saws running.  Bad operating techniques is a source of entertainment (as long as they are not gong to hurt somebody)  but wow, that poor under maintained equipment, stinky old fuel,, dull chains,,,,,  Its fun to see 4-5 guys lined up on a limb cutting away thinking they are producing and then proceed to out cut all of them combined with one properly running saw with sharp cutting equipment.

Dull chains can cut too. You just gotta use good technique and have faith that it works:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=1&v=u_imqdeTLbc

 :)

Title: Re: Official MS261CM vs 550XP test
Post by: teakwood on September 23, 2017, 05:40:22 AM
 :o :o what excellent cutting performance  :D :D

I think a chain put on backwards would cut more than that!
Title: Re: Official MS261CM vs 550XP test
Post by: teakwood on September 23, 2017, 05:43:35 AM
Thanks CR , my 261 is oiling good. I'll always keep a 16" on it but thanks for the advice anyways.

Yes those "fat bottom"  038/381 saws!
Niko SawTroll if you're reading this please chime. You were the person who invented that fat bottom term. We all miss you and are a little worried about you too!

Yes CR888 there's lots of cool new product coming out. I want to start a MS462C versus 572XP thread but I'll need to sell more saws then just my 272XP.
I have a early 1990's Stihl 090AV I bought new back then. It's the newest model with new style A/V handles. There's alot of old style A/V and non A/V 090s on the market but I never see any new ones like mine.
I just put both new OEM top cover with tags and new rewind cover on it. Also going through it with a total cleanup and polish.
Also restoring a 1979 Jonsereds 70E, first year 066 Mag Arctic red light. First year 1986 Stihl 064AV and 1989 Stihl 044AV 10mm.
Also old edition 2006 372XP and 2008 395XP.
Got more stashed away 1994?? 066 poly wheel, 1985 038 Mag. Plus more :D

No 550 261 test today . I'm stuck on a pruning job for another large housing rental company . 4 apartment blocks all done by hand tools ::)
I'm getting too old for this kind of overhead work day after day. Real pain in the neck and shoulders.
 

 (http://www.forestryforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/21589/20170922_125437.jpg?easyrotate_cache=1506105504)

 :D :D Now you know how i feel. for the last 2 weeks 3-4 hours a day, hand pruning. 200-300 trees a day
Title: Re: Official MS261CM vs 550XP test
Post by: nativewolf on September 23, 2017, 09:09:05 AM
Teakwood, you don't trust the hired help to prune?  Have you ever thought about putting goats/cows in the plantation to eat the underbrush?  In SE Asia we'd see many plantations with cow herds or water buffalo.
Title: Re: Official MS261CM vs 550XP test
Post by: nativewolf on September 23, 2017, 09:25:49 AM
I can't neglect to say that I am using my little Husqvarna T536 LiXP battery saw on some of the bigger pruning cuts on this job.
But find it makes a real handy chipper trim saw for some of the more gnarly limbs I'm feeding.

Stihl needs to get on board and introduce a top handle battery saw.
 

 (http://www.forestryforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/21589/20170922_135937.jpg?easyrotate_cache=1506108071)

Battery powered chainsaws have huge potential, will be interesting to see fuel injected and battery saws making impact on professionals.
Title: Re: Official MS261CM vs 550XP test
Post by: teakwood on September 23, 2017, 06:34:09 PM
Teakwood, you don't trust the hired help to prune?  Have you ever thought about putting goats/cows in the plantation to eat the underbrush?  In SE Asia we'd see many plantations with cow herds or water buffalo.

I answered the cow question in my other topic in the logging section.  http://www.forestryforum.com/board/index.php/topic,97910.0.html

Yes i have one worker that i trust with the pruning but this month (we have just 2 weeks every month because of the moon cycle) he let mi down and didn't show up for work, so i did it myself as i hadn't much other work. sure makes you feel how hard those works actually are by doing them yourself. He does 90% of the pruning.

"Battery powered chainsaws have huge potential"
I went to the stihl dealer and ask for the battery pruning saw, he said that they don't exist in costa rica but called the head office and they have 3 HTA 85 laying around. At 900$ they are off the table for me, too much money. never the less i told him: i would love to try one! and he said no problem, i can speak with the main office and we come to your farm and you can make a couple of cuts.  ??? I toughed they lend mi one for a day or something like this. Well, long story short i never heard form them again! and i have bought 6 saws, and 3 trimmers from them!
That happens when there is no competition around. just one stihl dealer in the whole county and the only competition for them is husqvarna an they do an even worse job than stihl.
I think the pruning saw would be to short anyway. 
Title: Re: Official MS261CM vs 550XP test
Post by: caveman on September 24, 2017, 09:12:41 AM
Sister's saw chain is Nun too sharp. 
Title: Re: Official MS261CM vs 550XP test
Post by: Hilltop366 on September 24, 2017, 10:30:13 AM
It's a bad habit to not keep your saw sharp. ::)
Title: Re: Official MS261CM vs 550XP test
Post by: HolmenTree on September 30, 2017, 11:13:46 PM
Sunny day today here in northern Manitoba, temps in the 70's.
Took down some white spruce out in cottage country today. MS261CM ll with its 16" b/c powered through this 20" dbh 92 footer in the middle up against the cottage, felled it just short of the powerlines and bucked it up into 18" firewood.
Worked out there right till sundown. :)
Snappy 261 is equal in throttle response to the 550 from what I can see.
562XP -18" has been sitting for some time now as I'm getting spoiled with the lightweight 50cc combos.  ;D
 

 (http://www.forestryforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/21589/20170930_145138.jpg?easyrotate_cache=1506827029) 

 (http://www.forestryforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/21589/20170930_152517.jpg?easyrotate_cache=1506827222) 

 (http://www.forestryforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/21589/20170930_183823.jpg?easyrotate_cache=1506827276)
Title: Re: Official MS261CM vs 550XP test
Post by: ehp on October 01, 2017, 07:20:13 PM
was over 100F here last week, once the 261 was hot I had to hold the throttle wide open but it started everytime , new 562 would not run no matter what you did to it at that temp, my ported 461's never missed a beat cut 40 inch plus oak on the stump all day long . I took a temp reading of the steel on my skidder, arch was 167 F, front main frame was 174 F, steel beside my seat was 181F . To say it was hot would be a understatement . Am thinking Im going to port the 261, I need more power
Title: Re: Official MS261CM vs 550XP test
Post by: ehp on October 01, 2017, 07:21:02 PM
OH ya and it froze hard here this morning , weather does not know what its doing
Title: Re: Official MS261CM vs 550XP test
Post by: gspren on October 01, 2017, 09:18:49 PM
  HolmenTree, I'm with you on getting spoiled by a 50cc saw, especially since I've got a few years on you. When I got my 261 I thought I'd use it for limbing and bucking under 8-9 inches and keep using the trusty 044 for anything bigger. Now it's the 261 for under 16-18 inches and the 044 for bigger, I'm a firewood cutter that cuts whatever falls over or dies in my woods, I'm sometimes tempted to check out a 241.
Title: Re: Official MS261CM vs 550XP test
Post by: nativewolf on October 02, 2017, 06:47:03 AM
gspern:  you may like the battery saw too. 
Title: Re: Official MS261CM vs 550XP test
Post by: Hilltop366 on October 02, 2017, 08:05:15 AM
   I'm sometimes tempted to check out a 241.

I was thinking the same thing so last week I looked at them at the dealer and realized they are the same weight. Which got me wondering what would be the point of having a 241, I would rather have more cc and then I looked at the price and the 261 is reduced to $10 less than the 241. Am I missing something here?
Title: Re: Official MS261CM vs 550XP test
Post by: gspren on October 02, 2017, 08:26:49 AM
  I've heard good reports on the 241 so I assumed it would be lighter, if not then I'm still more than satisfied with the 261.
Title: Re: Official MS261CM vs 550XP test
Post by: Hilltop366 on October 02, 2017, 09:13:44 AM
I was looking at the tags in the shop for weight and they were both listed as 10.8 lbs, so i checked the Canadian website and they are both listed at 10.8 lbs without fuel bar and chain.

Just checked the USA website, it shows the 261 at 10.8 lbs and the 241 at 9.9 lbs for power head only.

The 261 holds more fuel and chain oil and i think the (241) bar and chain is lighter as well so you probably assumed correctly.

In the real world where people use a chainsaw with a bar and chain and gas and oil it would be nice to know the real weight of a saw ready to use.
Title: Re: Official MS261CM vs 550XP test
Post by: HolmenTree on October 02, 2017, 04:27:58 PM
was over 100F here last week, once the 261 was hot I had to hold the throttle wide open but it started everytime , new 562 would not run no matter what you did to it at that temp, my ported 461's never missed a beat cut 40 inch plus oak on the stump all day long . I took a temp reading of the steel on my skidder, arch was 167 F, front main frame was 174 F, steel beside my seat was 181F . To say it was hot would be a understatement . Am thinking Im going to port the 261, I need more power
Ed, thanks for the report. On the hottest week here when it was in the mid 90's F and close to 90% humidity my 562XP wouldn't run either, I guess that old saying Huskies make great cold weather saws still hangs true..  The 550XP missed out on the heat as it was sitting at the dealer with all the problems it had.
The MS261CM II ran excellent the whole time without a whimper. The only one who was whimpering was myself,  with that kind of heat I'd sooner be home in the workshop. :D
  HolmenTree, I'm with you on getting spoiled by a 50cc saw, especially since I've got a few years on you. When I got my 261 I thought I'd use it for limbing and bucking under 8-9 inches and keep using the trusty 044 for anything bigger. Now it's the 261 for under 16-18 inches and the 044 for bigger, I'm a firewood cutter that cuts whatever falls over or dies in my woods, I'm sometimes tempted to check out a 241.
gspren, yeah I had a look at the MS241CM too and it is such a nice little saw something you could  nicely work with in real small wood.
But myself changing down from a 60cc go to saw the 261 feels very light for me.
MS241 would be perfect with the little Picco 63PS  chisel chain on a 16" .
Title: Re: Official MS261CM vs 550XP test
Post by: HolmenTree on October 05, 2017, 11:07:05 PM
Back out in cottage country today 30 minutes from my house.
Removed a dozen smaller spruce which proved what the 550XP was designed for in its Swedish homeland. Felling, limbing and bucking small conifer  is s perfect fit for this little saw.

I just came to realize now on the 550's spare chain . The first chain the dealer put on the saw was a narrow kerf H30 .050 installed by mistake on a .058 bar. I knew I had a NK chain from day 1 but was unfamiliar with Husqvarna's numbers as I have run Oregon 95VXL chain.
The spare chain was a H25 (.058) standard semi chisel .325 and here I was calling the H30 ...H25. :D

I got a  bar/chain project for the 550XP.  I have a dozen or more old (brand new never used)Homelite and McCulloch 16" bars in early style Windsor Speed Tip and hard nose.
I have a .050 Homelite Windsor 15" that I'm going to cut down to a 14" then run Stihl 3/8" low profile 33Topic Super chisel chain on it. Will be super light, fast and ergonomic on the 550XP.
 

 (http://www.forestryforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/21589/20171005_130934.jpg?easyrotate_cache=1507259167)
 
Title: Re: Official MS261CM vs 550XP test
Post by: HolmenTree on October 05, 2017, 11:18:46 PM
To add to my last post.
With the 550XP converted to 14" with the dogs replaced by a aluminum smooth bumper .
The much more  torquey MS261CM will retain its dogs and I'll try a 18" on it, either .050 Speed Tip or hard nose Armor Tip on it, again like the 550XP a Stihl 3/8 low profile   33Topic Super chisel chain.
 

 (http://www.forestryforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/21589/20171005_114945.jpg?easyrotate_cache=1507260033)
Title: Re: Official MS261CM vs 550XP test
Post by: weimedog on October 06, 2017, 06:51:56 AM
Does your 550 have the latest and greatest carb & software updates? Some 550's would really benefit from those. Might be fun (for me) to take an early version and build it into the latest possible iteration with a tweak or two. Junk pile saw build to match in performance the best you can buy in the class now..:)
Title: Re: Official MS261CM vs 550XP test
Post by: John Mc on October 06, 2017, 07:25:13 AM
Sounds as though that dealer has some issues. You have to wonder how common the sorts of things you've run into are with them -- and how many less-knowledgeable customers never figure it out.
Title: Re: Official MS261CM vs 550XP test
Post by: HolmenTree on October 06, 2017, 08:28:18 AM
Sounds as though that dealer has some issues. You have to wonder how common the sorts of things you've run into are with them -- and how many less-knowledgeable customers never figure it out.
John, absolutely.
 Since hand logging has been extinct in this area for over 20 years the market is homeowner and casual.
I have finally come to realize I need to start up a service for my community to repair and sharpen chainsaws plus get into the retail end too.
Does your 550 have the latest and greatest carb & software updates? Some 550's would really benefit from those. Might be fun (for me) to take an early version and build it into the latest possible iteration with a tweak or two. Junk pile saw build to match in performance the best you can buy in the class now..:)
Walter, this 550  is brand new built in the spring of 2016. The first 550 on this test with all the defects was built in August 2016.
Not sure about the latest upgrades.  I take for granted my dealer tech did all that for me.
So far it's running great, a little cold blooded warming up and staying warm but is a little stick of dynamite delimbing spruce and  fir.
Title: Re: Official MS261CM vs 550XP test
Post by: HolmenTree on October 06, 2017, 11:08:50 AM
Here is the 45 year old 15 inch .050 bar I plan on cutting down to 13 inch or 14 inch and run it on the 550XP.
On it is the now extinct low profile 3/8" Stihl 33 Topic Super chisel chain. Cutter size of a .325, both take a 3/16" file.
The 33Topic Super has a full 3/8" chassis that will fit on a standard 3/8" rim and bar nose sprocket.

Bottom pic is of a 33RS (top) 33TS (middle) and a .325 pitch 35 RM on the bottom.

The 13 or 14" bar with large 11 T nose sprocket would be highly durable and ergonomic in high production small conifer cutting.
Plus the low profile 33Topic Super chisel chain would offer a chain with a stronger chassis then a .325
And offer a smoother lower kickback energy chain on the larger 11 tooth bar nose sprocket.

 

 (http://www.forestryforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/21589/20171006_094642.jpg?easyrotate_cache=1507302460) 

 (http://www.forestryforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/21589/20171006_094544.jpg?easyrotate_cache=1507302492)
Title: Re: Official MS261CM vs 550XP test
Post by: weimedog on October 06, 2017, 07:55:00 PM
Walter, this 550  is brand new built in the spring of 2016. The first 550 on this test with all the defects was built in August 2016.
Not sure about the latest upgrades.  I take for granted my dealer tech did all that for me.
So far it's running great, a little cold blooded warming up and staying warm but is a little stick of dynamite delimbing spruce and  fir.

Sounds like 550 "2.0" is ripping along just fine then. Bob would know when the latest and greatest entered the pipeline. As far as dealers are concerned, I'm fortunate to have Bob in the mix and the local dealers have radically upgraded their capability...:) As far as upgrades, its taken a while for me to "settle" with the concept if a saw is running really well....it doesn't need upgrades. Statistically there will be a few that should have never left the factory, and some at the wrong end of a tolerance stack where its worth going through the upgrades. Sounds like the two you have (had) represent the first scenario ..runs great..leave it along! AND the last where it should never have left the factory. Also sounds like Husqvarna made things right. Is that a fair representation? Learned of a couple of upgrades but it sounds like your saw isn't a candidate or already has them..:) Definitely a older 550 saw with starting issues would benefit..I have a "dead" early one I acquired....going to build it...:)
Title: Re: Official MS261CM vs 550XP test
Post by: HolmenTree on October 07, 2017, 01:51:30 PM
I got a phone call last night from a reader here on Forestry Forum.
He was asking why I would run a short 13 or 14 inch bar and chain on my 550XP.

Well as I have explained in above posts the 550XP is a highly desired saw for production cutting in small conifer (spruce, pine, balsam fir) what is found in the Boreal forests of Scandinavian and other parts of the upper northern hemisphere, where I am also included.

I've posted this video before but as a reminder and as new information for readers here who not seen it.
Take a look at this old video from the early 1980's of Soren Eriksson a renowned Swedish logging instructor and founder of the Game of Logging.

He explains the advantages of the bench height 6 point delimbing technique.
What appears to be a 16" inch b/c on his 034AV he still shows how ergonomic this saw can be.
Scandinavian professional loggers back in the day and probably the few hand loggers still left today prefer the 14 inch b/c on a 40-50cc saw.

http://youtu.be/xX9Xj0faq3g
Title: Re: Official MS261CM vs 550XP test
Post by: HolmenTree on October 10, 2017, 10:25:15 PM
Put alot of wood on the ground for 2 customers today, with the MS261 and 550XP.
I got the 550XP converted over to a 13 inch b/c that I modified from a old 15" Homelite bar. Running  a loop of Stihl 33TS low profile chisel 3/8" on it.
It cuts like a light saber in the small spruce and amazing to handle.
 The bar is over 40 years old and the chain is 30.

You have to remember when these felled spruce are laying on the ground the trunks are up in the air at knee level, which makes the 13 inch b/c work really well for limbing and bucking.
 

 (http://www.forestryforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/21589/20171010_121434.jpg?easyrotate_cache=1507687733) 

 (http://www.forestryforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/21589/20171010_211717.jpg?easyrotate_cache=1507688310) 

 (http://www.forestryforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/21589/20171010_204308.jpg?easyrotate_cache=1507688433) 

 (http://www.forestryforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/21589/20171010_211446.jpg?easyrotate_cache=1507688530)

Title: Re: Official MS261CM vs 550XP test
Post by: ButchC on October 11, 2017, 09:50:44 AM
Back in the 70s-80s McCulloch also had small chassis full chisel, short cutter 3/8 chain similar to that 33TS. It was factory issue chain on saws like the Pro Mac 610 and 650 and of course available where they sold the saws. I wasnt enough into saws at that time to know any part numbers or who made it but I do remember distinctly when it was no longer available  and their was some talk of patent infringements at the saw shop? That chain sharpened with a 3/16 or 5/32? file and was VERY fast in the cut.  This chain is not to be confused with their mini 3/8  saw chain that sharpened with a  file the size of a needle, I think 1/8?  When McCulloch chain was no longer available my saw shop switched to a regular full sized Oregon chain it slowed my old PM 650 down considerably and I hated it. I bought quite a few PM 610 and 650 saws at farm sales just to get the McCulloch chains off of them. If they ran I refitted Oregon chains and sold them,if not they went in the heap of back of the shop.  Yes I had a lot of money in those chains but back in the day we didnt have the Internet to make us smart from reading threads like this ;) and we went with what we knew worked well.
Title: Re: Official MS261CM vs 550XP test
Post by: HolmenTree on October 11, 2017, 12:09:05 PM
Excellent post Butch.
The Stihl 33-35 Topic Super and Oregon 76-77 LG takes a 3/16" file. The smaller Stihl 60 series Picco and Oregon 91 series take a 5/32" file.

Every sawchain and chainsaw company back in the 1970's tried to out do each other with patents.
But Oregon on numerous attempts to patent the 90 series and then the 76 series ended up suing everybody . Kind of like the big neighborhood bully.

The whole idea of making these smaller 3/8" chains was to save money in the manufacturing process....fewer pieces to make a foot of chain.

Starting back in the early 1960's when cheaper low powered consumer saws became poplar, the saw companies needed a small chain to enable these saws to cut efficiently.
So born was the 1/4"-.250 chain. But with so many more smaller pieces per foot it wasn't economical.
Thus in the early 1970's  the Oregon 91 series was invented (patent law suits as another company invented it too, bigger company wins out).
 91 series was a extended 1/4" pitch cutter bit on a 3/8" chassis. But the extra small links needed a slightly larger sprocket which changed the pitch slightly . Only 91 series bar nose and drive sprockets were a match.

The 76 series and Topic Super 3/8 chisels were basically a extended .325 pitch cutter bit on a 3/8" pitch chassis. These chains were compatible to be run on a standard 3/8" pitch sprockets.

Back in the 1970's the timbersport competitors figured out to make a fast race chain you can put full size 3/8" chisel bit cutters on the smaller 76LG chassis.
Like in this pic.
 

 (http://www.forestryforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/21589/20131226_202107_LLS.jpg?easyrotate_cache=1388112846)
Title: Re: Official MS261CM vs 550XP test
Post by: Weekend_Sawyer on October 11, 2017, 12:34:44 PM
How did you cut down the bar.

That would be a good thread to start.

Thanks
Jon
Title: Re: Official MS261CM vs 550XP test
Post by: HolmenTree on October 11, 2017, 12:53:09 PM
How did you cut down the bar.

That would be a good thread to start.

Thanks
Jon
Jon, I'd like to start a post on it but later this winter in my off season. Still lots of cutting to do yet.

I got about about 10 of these old Homelite bars some up to 20".
As you can see they have a skinny little tail that I easily cut off and shaped with a side grinder thin disc.
Even cut the rail slot out with the grinder disc as I shaped the tail to fit the Husqvarna small mount.
The Homelite mount slot is the same size as the 550's which was easy to go by when extending the slot further ahead.
You can do alot in a short time with a bench vise, power tools and a file.

 

 (http://www.forestryforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/21589/20171006_094642.jpg?easyrotate_cache=1507302460) 

 (http://www.forestryforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/21589/20131216_130911.jpg?easyrotate_cache=1387242020)
Title: Re: Official MS261CM vs 550XP test
Post by: HolmenTree on October 12, 2017, 11:10:58 AM
Here's a few pics I saved on the 13" bar build.
As first pic shows bar tail has to match a standard 3/8" 7 tooth small 7 spline rim sprocket.
Two tail pieces are cut off with side grinder. Tail is  marked for shaping, then shaped with a 6" diameter green stone on a bench grinder.
Then finished smoothing hardened rails with a fine oil stone. Still lots of factory hardened rail surface left as it's a 1/4" deep from the rail surface.
One more hole was drilled at end of marked slot to finish cutting with cut off wheel.
2 blind oil holes were then drilled along with 2 adjuster pin holes.

Last pic shows thickness of side grinder cut off disc is .052". Perfect for cutting the depth of the .050 rail groove on the new tail.

 

 (http://www.forestryforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/21589/20171012_095422.jpg?easyrotate_cache=1507820963) 

 (http://www.forestryforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/21589/20171012_095724.jpg?easyrotate_cache=1507821020)
Title: Re: Official MS261CM vs 550XP test
Post by: Weekend_Sawyer on October 12, 2017, 12:20:24 PM

Amazing, I never would have thought of cutting a chainsaw bar down.
Thanks, your posts are always interesting.

Jon
Title: Re: Official MS261CM vs 550XP test
Post by: Maine372 on October 12, 2017, 01:47:35 PM
what can you tell us about the roller nose bar tip?
Title: Re: Official MS261CM vs 550XP test
Post by: HolmenTree on October 12, 2017, 04:20:53 PM
what can you tell us about the roller nose bar tip?
That 2 7/8" roller nose attached to the sprocket nose tip was a little modification I did so I could run either .404 or 3/8 chain on my Alaskan mill.

That bar was a 36" .404 12 tooth sprocket nose bar that originally came on my Stihl 090AV when I bought it new 25 years ago.
No fancy machinist tools needed, just a side grinder, bench grinder and a drill press. :)
 

 (http://www.forestryforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/21589/20131216_130911.jpg?easyrotate_cache=1387242020) 

 (http://www.forestryforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/21589/20131216_160230.jpg?easyrotate_cache=1387242092)
Title: Re: Official MS261CM vs 550XP test
Post by: thecfarm on October 12, 2017, 08:01:53 PM
I have an Efco 152,about 50cc with an 18 inch bar. Bury the bar and it does not like it. I agree with the short bar. Short chains and bars cost less too.  ;D  But the bigger bar makes the saw look more powerful.
Title: Re: Official MS261CM vs 550XP test
Post by: John Mc on October 12, 2017, 08:51:06 PM
But the bigger bar makes the saw look more powerful.

Which is why the big box stores always put ridiculously large bars on their cheap saws - it makes them look like something they are not.
Title: Re: Official MS261CM vs 550XP test
Post by: Maine372 on October 13, 2017, 06:57:29 AM
not to hijack the thread, but why did the roller nose fall out of style? are they still available anywhere? wouldn't there be an issue with smaller limbs getting in that little gap and derailing the chain?
Title: Re: Official MS261CM vs 550XP test
Post by: ButchC on October 13, 2017, 07:32:13 AM
But the bigger bar makes the saw look more powerful.

Which is why the big box stores always put ridiculously large bars on their cheap saws - it makes them look like something they are not.


And many people know little more about a saw than how long the bar is,,,

 My father in law was astonished that I have over $1000 in a "20 inch" saw when he only paid $150 for his 18" saw,,,  Mine is a 461 Stihl, his is a Wild Thing,,,
Title: Re: Official MS261CM vs 550XP test
Post by: HolmenTree on October 13, 2017, 11:51:44 AM
not to hijack the thread, but why did the roller nose fall out of style? are they still available anywhere? wouldn't there be an issue with smaller limbs getting in that little gap and derailing the chain?
Maine372,
Windsor introduced the Speed Tip replaceable sprocket nose bar in 1971.  After that those old rollers went out of production.
Their weakness was not so much the problem of twigs  getting into the gap and derailing the chain. Main problem was the nose to bar joint was weak  and the rollers broke off easily.
Very hard to find them today, I have 6 Oregon 2 7/8" rollers, a couple still brand new in their paper envelops.
Here's 4 of them hanging on my wall. Longest is a 5 footer with helper handle, next one up is my 36" milling bar. Last 2 above are competition bars for my Yamaha bike saw.
 

 (http://www.forestryforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/21589/20171013_103533.jpg?easyrotate_cache=1507909876)
Title: Re: Official MS261CM vs 550XP test
Post by: Maine372 on October 13, 2017, 10:02:23 PM
I think they are really neat, thank you for sharing.
Title: Re: Official MS261CM vs 550XP test
Post by: HolmenTree on October 13, 2017, 10:35:48 PM
I think they are really neat, thank you for sharing.
Your welcome buddy,
It's Friday night, starting to snow outside and I'm motivated to get my chainsaw shop organized for the winter off season.

Tree work business is winding down for the year, and I decided to get into the chainsaw repair and sharpening business for my 5 month winter off season.
I still got to do the 550XP vs MS261C power bucking test. That might have  to happen in February when I'm doing the Northern Manitoba Trappers Festival Logger Sports.

This is what I have on my bench tonight trying to organize  :D
 

 (http://www.forestryforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/21589/20171013_212514.jpg?easyrotate_cache=1507948489)
Title: Re: Official MS261CM vs 550XP test
Post by: JJinAK on October 17, 2017, 06:44:05 PM
HolmanTree- what is the vice looking thing in the lower right of your pic?  Is that a chain breaker?
Title: Re: Official MS261CM vs 550XP test
Post by: HolmenTree on October 18, 2017, 03:32:50 PM
JJ, that's a chain spinner . Use that to make up loops of chain. The yellow thing behind and to the right of it is a Stihl bench mount chain breaker. Best breaker I've ever owned.
Title: Re: Official MS261CM vs 550XP test
Post by: HolmenTree on October 19, 2017, 10:03:30 AM
Well it's official. My newspaper ad from yesterday.
I spent over 40 years working on my own saws, now it's time to work on others. I'm open to any advice.
 

 (http://www.forestryforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/21589/20171018_185314.jpg?easyrotate_cache=1508421783)
Title: Re: Official MS261CM vs 550XP test
Post by: BradMarks on October 19, 2017, 11:30:43 AM
Hard to give advice to someone who has been in biz 40 yrs already ;D. Only thing I can say is good luck and don't make promises!
Title: Re: Official MS261CM vs 550XP test
Post by: PNWRusty on October 19, 2017, 04:46:51 PM
Well it's official. My newspaper ad from yesterday.
I spent over 40 years working on my own saws, now it's time to work on others. I'm open to any advice.
 

 (http://www.forestryforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/21589/20171018_185314.jpg?easyrotate_cache=1508421783)

Very nice!

Make sure you get your first customer to pay in cash so you can pin the first dollar on the wall!
Title: Re: Official MS261CM vs 550XP test
Post by: HolmenTree on October 19, 2017, 04:49:36 PM
Thanks Brad.
It's easy enough fixing and sharpening my own saws.
But the few homeowner saws that I just finished working on was not as easy as I thought.
This is whole new territory for me and yes "don't make promises" :D
Title: Re: Official MS261CM vs 550XP test
Post by: HolmenTree on October 19, 2017, 04:54:44 PM
Well it's official. My newspaper ad from yesterday.
I spent over 40 years working on my own saws, now it's time to work on others. I'm open to any advice.
 

 (http://www.forestryforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/21589/20171018_185314.jpg?easyrotate_cache=1508421783)

Very nice!

Make sure you get your first customer to pay in cash so you can pin the first dollar on the wall!
:D Will a check do?
All I can say is this should keep me busy through the 5 months of my off season. But the repair part is going to be very limited. I just want to spin up loops of chain off the roll, and get repeat business sharpening them. Not going to get rich :D
What I found out here locally the majority is just 4 different chain pitchs.
.050 .325 and 3/8
.058 .325 and 3/8.
Stihl and Husky makes that simple.
Title: Re: Official MS261CM vs 550XP test
Post by: HolmenTree on October 19, 2017, 05:11:03 PM
I just finished sorting out many years of my used chain. Got almost 150 loops here with majority of it with 75% of cutter left.
 .325 , 3/8 and .404.   half Stihl 1/4 Oregon 1/4 Husq
Mostly 20 24 32 inch.

Will just sell it off over the years hopefully just to get the customer in the door.
A loop of new Stihl 33RS is selling up here for over .60 cents a DL
 

 (http://www.forestryforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/21589/20171019_160909.jpg?easyrotate_cache=1508447418)
Title: Re: Official MS261CM vs 550XP test
Post by: ehp on October 19, 2017, 07:09:00 PM
WOW, here I buy stihl 33RS chain for .33 a driver from either dealers here , same thing with bars, price wrote on them is Crazy but they sell to me for a lot less
Title: Re: Official MS261CM vs 550XP test
Post by: DelawhereJoe on October 19, 2017, 09:18:49 PM
Last I checked here Stihl chain ran about 50 cents a drive link.
Title: Re: Official MS261CM vs 550XP test
Post by: HolmenTree on October 19, 2017, 10:08:23 PM
WOW, here I buy stihl 33RS chain for .33 a driver from either dealers here , same thing with bars, price wrote on them is Crazy but they sell to me for a lot less
Ed, might be because you're right next door to Stihl Canada. Out West here and way up north shipping can be a deciding factor.
The local dealer sells Oregon Husqvarna chain quite a bit cheaper then the Stihl. But most customers here want the Stihl chain.
Title: Re: Official MS261CM vs 550XP test
Post by: joe_indi on October 20, 2017, 04:13:36 AM
Currently  here 36RSC retails for around 23-25 cents (cdn) per drive link
Title: Re: Official MS261CM vs 550XP test
Post by: thecfarm on October 20, 2017, 06:03:02 AM
HolmanTree,Good luck with the new business.
There are a A LOT and I mean A LOT of chain saw owners that have no idea how to sharpen a chain. I work in a hardware store and see it.  :o
Title: Re: Official MS261CM vs 550XP test
Post by: gspren on October 20, 2017, 08:02:31 AM
HolmanTree,Good luck with the new business.
There are a A LOT and I mean A LOT of chain saw owners that have no idea how to sharpen a chain. I work in a hardware store and see it.  :o

 Last week I watched a guy with a big local tree service trying to file a chain and he was sawing back and forth with the file ends going up and down, this guy was in his 40s and looked like he was in charge. :o
Title: Re: Official MS261CM vs 550XP test
Post by: teakwood on October 20, 2017, 08:04:12 AM
We pay around 28 cents
Title: Re: Official MS261CM vs 550XP test
Post by: HolmenTree on October 20, 2017, 10:23:32 PM
HolmanTree,Good luck with the new business.
There are a A LOT and I mean A LOT of chain saw owners that have no idea how to sharpen a chain. I work in a hardware store and see it.  :o

 Last week I watched a guy with a big local tree service trying to file a chain and he was sawing back and forth with the file ends going up and down, this guy was in his 40s and looked like he was in charge. :o
gspren, thanks to my first 20 years in the workforce as a chainsaw forestry logger, then onto running my own tree service as a climbing arborist.
 I have seen the competence of other tree service operators and their employees  operating and maintaining chainsaws.
Really makes me chuckle seeing their over inflated egos focused on the latest equipment and climbing techniques, but totally come at odds with the one piece of equipment that spells "production"....the Chainsaw. :)

HolmanTree,Good luck with the new business.
There are a A LOT and I mean A LOT of chain saw owners that have no idea how to sharpen a chain. I work in a hardware store and see it.  :o
Thanks farm, yes I'm finding that as I'm getting into this new adventure.
A very fit lady in her 60's dropped off her little saw this afternoon to get it sharpened. She said "In 30 years my saw has never been sharpened, I'm so happy someone like you has taken the time to offer this service."

I told her "for $15 I'll have it cutting like new, I'll drop it off at your house tomorrow ".
Well after I had a closer look at it later on my bench I could see it's original mini 370 chain has almost all of it layer of chrome worn off! But she still kept it cutting, so rather then trying to sharpen it .I replaced it with a used loop of Stihl 63PM of mine and put a good edge on it with a 5/32" Stihl file.
She'll be happy. ;D
 

 (http://www.forestryforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/21589/20171020_202839.jpg?easyrotate_cache=1508552580)
Title: Re: Official MS261CM vs 550XP test
Post by: Maine372 on October 22, 2017, 09:26:56 PM
does that little hose on the back screw onto the motomix can?
Title: Re: Official MS261CM vs 550XP test
Post by: HolmenTree on October 22, 2017, 09:55:37 PM
does that little hose on the back screw onto the motomix can?
Plugs into it's NOS tank :D
Title: Re: Official MS261CM vs 550XP test
Post by: thecfarm on October 23, 2017, 06:25:33 AM
No wonder it don't cut good,the bars on upside down.  ;D
Title: Re: Official MS261CM vs 550XP test
Post by: teakwood on October 23, 2017, 08:23:56 AM
 :D :D you'r killing me guys :D
Title: Re: Official MS261CM vs 550XP test
Post by: John Mc on October 23, 2017, 09:47:44 AM
You'd be surprised how many times I've had someone point out to me "your bar is upside down".

Even funnier is the guy returning a new chainsaw to Sears and arguing with the Sears employee that "it just won't cut. About all it will do is knock some bark off, and I have to lean on it to get it to do that. The sears guy is convinced this guy just doesn't know how to operate a chainsaw: the "blade" is sharp and the engine runs fine - so he starts telling him how to use a chainsaw. The customer gets *pithed: "I know how to use a chainsaw!"

My friend (retired director of the Forestry and Natural Resources program at a nearby technical education center) wanders over, observes the conversation for a bit, and then quietly observes: "you know, that saw would probably cut better if the chain wasn't on backwards."  (I'm guessing it must have come that way from Sears, because the customer did not know how to change a chain. My friend demonstrated it for him.)
Title: Re: Official MS261CM vs 550XP test
Post by: HolmenTree on October 23, 2017, 11:16:27 AM
That's funny John!
I noticed something about the bar on this little 1970's-80's McCulloch electric saw. It had a layer of black teflon on it like on a frying pan.
This pic of it was before I sharpened and cleaned up this saw but the bar was quite "slippery ". Something that probably was a good idea on a consumer saw.
 

 (http://www.forestryforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/21589/20171023_100936.jpg?easyrotate_cache=1508771729)
Title: Re: Official MS261CM vs 550XP test
Post by: 630red on October 27, 2017, 05:36:37 PM
best of luck Holmen,  all the years you have in forestry you should have had a repair shop years ago, all the best
Title: Re: Official MS261CM vs 550XP test
Post by: HolmenTree on October 28, 2017, 12:27:13 AM
best of luck Holmen,  all the years you have in forestry you should have had a repair shop years ago, all the best
Thanks 630red , yes I always dreamed of running a repair shop, after getting into operating a full time tree service was just too busy cutting and keeping my own equipment maintained.
Got myself setup with a good sawshop now and getting customers dailey  in my first 2 weeks operating.  Still finding time to do treework for the dwindling customers as the season is coming to a end.
Been filing alot of 23RS chain.
Title: Re: Official MS261CM vs 550XP test
Post by: HolmenTree on October 30, 2017, 03:52:47 PM
Today With the big dump of snow yesterday and falling into a deep freeze temps, I'm officially putting the MS261 and 550XP into hibernation.
Finished up a couple mundane jobs with the 261 a few days ago before winter set in, didn't even think to take a few pics, only just one now from the end of my driveway.
With the colder temps the 261 nicely reset it's self very quick, just seemed like a little burp and then it was back to business.
Got the heat on in the saw shop and the only calls I'm getting is for chain sales, sharpening  and some light repairs.
Life is good I can get used to this.
 

 (http://www.forestryforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/21589/20171030_144101.jpg?easyrotate_cache=1509393063)
Title: Re: Official MS261CM vs 550XP test
Post by: HolmenTree on January 09, 2018, 05:11:39 PM
Well I'm happy to revive this thread. Presently it's January 9th 2018 and about mid way into my tree service winter off season.
I got a call from a customer yesterday to remove a couple of tall spruce near his cottage, one was hit by lightning last fall.

Well todays high is -6F (-21C) with windchill it feels like -22F (-30C) with 70% humidity. I just got back last weekend from a 2 week vacation in Mexico and it was 83F (28C) everyday :o

So I got the 550XP and MS261CM prepped this morning outfitted with their winter preheater kits. My 550XP came with the rewind housing winter cover, the 261 didn't so I have no choice to run it without it.
Here's some pics. Gotta go pickup my kids from school, will report about the saws and job in a bit.
 

 (http://www.forestryforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/21589/20180109_091546.jpg?easyrotate_cache=1515535665) 

 (http://www.forestryforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/21589/20180109_091730.jpg?easyrotate_cache=1515535708) 

 (http://www.forestryforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/21589/20180109_092404.jpg?easyrotate_cache=1515535745)
Title: Re: Official MS261CM vs 550XP test
Post by: HolmenTree on January 09, 2018, 08:39:32 PM
From 83F a couple of days ago in Mexico, to -22 below F windchill and 70% humidity and knee deep snow out at my customers cottage!

My report on the 2 saws goes like this.
Each saw only burnt about a half tank each of Stihl MotoMix fuel between the 2 trees cut. The trees were felled limbed and bucked up into 12" rounds.
The saws haven't run for almost 3 months and they both started up with 3 or 4 pulls. But when they fired to life the AutoTune and MTronic processors had to deal with the new much colder freezing temps. The MS261 took about a minute to warm up and adjusted nicely. But the 550XP 's processor took alot longer to register.
The 550 would first have a bad bog off idle then as it warmed up would back fire a bit. But after it felled the first tree and blocked about 10 rounds it ran perfect and was ready to work all day.

The MS261CM ll warmed up from freezing cold with no hesitation, just smoothly picked up throttle speed as I gradually worked the throttle. By the time it got into it's 2nd round of wood it had a very high peaky WOT.
The 550 was alot more cold blooded even though it had the rewind housing preheater cover....but both saws performed very well (and the 261 didn't have a preheater winter cover on the rewind housing.)

As my pics show I had 2 spruce to fell and cut up with no cleanup.
The tall spruce on the left in the first pic was badly damaged by lightning and with heavy side limb weight it posed a threat falling on the cottage.

It took my BigShot slingshot to install the anchored guy line side rope. The smaller spruce was in the path of the rope when I fell the tree, so it had to be felled first.

Second last pic shows the lightening damage.
The last pic shows where the lightening grounded to the green steel fence and the arc burnt a couple patches of paint off.

Oops photo gallery is currently off line.
Will post now before it times out and will post pics later. >:(
Title: Re: Official MS261CM vs 550XP test
Post by: Kel71 on January 10, 2018, 12:17:37 PM
83 , sounds like you had a nice vacation.
-22 I wouldn't have gone back. LOL
Title: Re: Official MS261CM vs 550XP test
Post by: HolmenTree on January 10, 2018, 02:10:37 PM
83 , sounds like you had a nice vacation.
-22 I wouldn't have gone back. LOL
Yep while my family and I were enjoying 83F it was in the -40 below with -50 below windchill range at home almost everyday.
I'll take the -22 below :D
Title: Re: Official MS261CM vs 550XP test
Post by: DelawhereJoe on January 10, 2018, 05:31:32 PM
So from your professional opinion, what is your saw that you would buy and stick with or prefer over the other ?
Title: Re: Official MS261CM vs 550XP test
Post by: HolmenTree on January 10, 2018, 08:38:01 PM
MS261CM ll hands down. :)
Title: Re: Official MS261CM vs 550XP test
Post by: Weekend_Sawyer on January 11, 2018, 08:43:04 AM
 8) 8)
Makes me happy because that's the saw I bought!
 8) 8)
Title: Re: Official MS261CM vs 550XP test
Post by: Crusarius on January 11, 2018, 08:57:48 AM
I want that one but owwy. It is pricey.

I was thinking MS250 but then after test driving it I like the 270 better. Not sure I can justify the cost for the 261.
Title: Re: Official MS261CM vs 550XP test
Post by: HolmenTree on January 11, 2018, 05:51:20 PM


Oops photo gallery is currently off line.
Will post now before it times out and will post pics later. >:(
Is it just me locked out or is everybodies photo gallery currently off line?
Been over 2 days now and still can't post pics from the gallery.
Title: Re: Official MS261CM vs 550XP test
Post by: ronwood on January 11, 2018, 06:10:35 PM
Jeff is moving the forum to a new server. I believe  he had to shut down the gallary for the move
Title: Re: Official MS261CM vs 550XP test
Post by: HolmenTree on January 11, 2018, 06:41:55 PM
Jeff is moving the forum to a new server. I believe  he had to shut down the gallary for the move
Thanks ronwood.
 I last heard there's about a 100K photos on the forestry gallery!
Time for some more room.
Title: Re: Official MS261CM vs 550XP test
Post by: gspren on January 12, 2018, 09:01:27 AM
I want that one but owwy. It is pricey.

I was thinking MS250 but then after test driving it I like the 270 better. Not sure I can justify the cost for the 261.
  If you can afford it without harming anything/anyone, get it! You will only feel the money pinch for a month or two but you will enjoy having the saw you want for years.
Title: Re: Official MS261CM vs 550XP test
Post by: Crusarius on January 12, 2018, 09:07:44 AM
I need to run one for sure. I do love fuel injection.
Title: Re: Official MS261CM vs 550XP test
Post by: HolmenTree on January 12, 2018, 05:36:54 PM
I need to run one for sure. I do love fuel injection.
Sorry fuel injection not currently available :D
Title: Re: Official MS261CM vs 550XP test
Post by: HolmenTree on January 12, 2018, 06:52:21 PM
Now to try out this new photo gallery upgrade.
No videos but take my word for it on my saw test.
But pay attention to my pictures and how I safely felled a side limb  heavy tree with a 90° to lay guy line (side support rope).
 I use a 4 ft drywall T square to sight in my 90° degree to lay anchor point by setting one straight edge of the square in the face cut pointing to my anchor point. The other straight edge is pointing to where I want the tree to lay. Luckily I found a stump to anchor to at 90°  but if you can't find one a vehicle etc. works just fine.
No matter how much side lean or side limb heavy the tree is opposite the guy line, the guy line will steer the tree to lay. Of course the swing will break the preset hingewood, but the tree will land exactly 90° to the anchor point.


As my pics show I had 2 spruce to fell and cut up with no cleanup.
The tall spruce on the left in the first pic was badly damaged by lightning and with heavy side limb weight it posed a threat falling on the cottage.

It took my BigShot slingshot to install the anchored guy line side rope. The smaller spruce was in the path of the rope when I was to fell the larger damaged tree, so it had to be felled first.
 What appears to be the trees leaning towards the anchor point is just an optical illusion from the angle I took the pictures from. The trees were actually standing verticle.

Second last pic shows the lightening damage.
The last pic shows where the lightening grounded to the green steel fence and the arc burnt a couple patches of paint off.


 (http://www.forestryforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/21589/20180109_104551.jpg?easyrotate_cache=1515799590) 

 (http://www.forestryforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/21589/20180109_114431.jpg?easyrotate_cache=1515799788) 

 (http://www.forestryforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/21589/20180109_120640.jpg?easyrotate_cache=1515799912) 

 (http://www.forestryforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/21589/20180109_132806.jpg?easyrotate_cache=1515800120) 

 (http://www.forestryforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/21589/20180109_131117.jpg?easyrotate_cache=1515800232)
Title: Re: Official MS261CM vs 550XP test
Post by: HolmenTree on January 12, 2018, 06:54:54 PM
Forgot to show the anchor point picture.
 

 (http://www.forestryforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/21589/20180109_131326.jpg?easyrotate_cache=1515800021)
Title: Re: Official MS261CM vs 550XP test
Post by: HolmenTree on January 12, 2018, 10:19:13 PM
I believe that tree at the moment the lightening hit it would not be standing, if it wasn't for the steel fence grounding it out.
Title: Re: Official MS261CM vs 550XP test
Post by: Spike60 on January 14, 2018, 09:22:40 AM
How cold was it the day you dropped those trees?  :D  10 degrees here ths morning and I'm debating should I take a quick ride and cut a pick up load of wood. And I've got saws with heated grips. Kind of shaming me into it, so going to fuel up the 2163WH and head out.

Really enjoy the pics of the tree jobs and your descriptions on how you are attacking the problems Willard. Thanks for sharing the details.  :)
Title: Re: Official MS261CM vs 550XP test
Post by: HolmenTree on January 14, 2018, 02:55:11 PM
Thanks Spike60. Actually the week before that job temps were in the highs of -40 range(F and C equal at minus40). It only warmed up that day because it was clouded over and periods of snowfall hence the 70% humidity.
I started early in the morning never got anywhere near the afternoon high. So temps was around -20F that morning but humidity was still 70%.

 Reason I answered MS261CM hands down of my choice is  for the reason of my work application and how well the261 adjusts itself.
Doing stop and go arborist residential removals the 261 is not frustrating warming up and immediately goes to task making a few cuts.
The 550XP is a saw that performs the best when logging or cutting alot of firewood steady throughout the day "once" it gets warmed up.
I have a feeling the 261 has the latest MTronic technology with very quick adjustment processes.

Title: Re: Official MS261CM vs 550XP test
Post by: Spike60 on January 15, 2018, 08:13:17 AM
"warm up" in those temps is a whole lot different that anything most of us would experience. And obviously shutting off the saw between cuts means a rapid cool down, so any saw must do some warming up on restart Good that Stihl has gotten the 261 and 362 right the second time around. The 362 I understand has significant changes and many of the parts don't interchange with the originals. I don't believe the 261 received extensive changes like that, but I really don't know the Stihls that well.

I agree that all of this new technology should be adjusting for things like temp and that any saw so equipped should respond quicker on restart. They do all have temp sensors in them. But this has me curious now as I want to run one of these saws in the cold and then plug it in and see what the fuel settings are. On a 550 they should be either 75 or 90 on the low setting depending on what carb is in the saw. 7 degrees this morning, going to the teens. Almost T-shirt weather for you. Wind blew down an ash tree at the store on Sat, so maybe I'll get out to play if it's not busy. Will also check on what temp Husky recommends that blue air restrictor be installed. Certainly well above the temps you were cutting in. They obviously want to keep some heat in the saw and I wonder if yours was ever getting warm enough at all in those temps.

This technology is constantly changing though. And I think it's fair to say we are moving from the introductory phase to where this stuff is more fully developed now. Gen 3 auto tune will be arriving later in the year along with some other "enhancements" to both the 550 and 562 families. All kinds of good stuff on the way from both companies. 2018 will be an interesting saw year for sure. 
Title: Re: Official MS261CM vs 550XP test
Post by: HolmenTree on January 15, 2018, 11:46:16 AM
"warm up" in those temps is a whole lot different that anything most of us would experience. And obviously shutting off the saw between cuts means a rapid cool down, so any saw must do some warming up on restart Good that Stihl has gotten the 261 and 362 right the second time around. The 362 I understand has significant changes and many of the parts don't interchange with the originals. I don't believe the 261 received extensive changes like that, but I really don't know the Stihls that well.

Excellent post Spike60,Thanks.
Yes my information tells me this new MS261CM is a clone of the latest upgraded new MS362CM. Both saws have the design changes originally designed for the new MS462.

But I have proved back in February 2013 how well the 550XP's handle severe cold when I first used them at my competition replacing the 576XP AutoTunes's.
As the start of the video shows very cold conditions (-30 below F windchill) and these two 550's were brand new right out of the box.
Plus I didn't have the winter pre heater kits on them.
I'm the guy on the microphone and helping out the first competitor (my 6' 6" son in law)warm up his 550.
https://youtu.be/vx_fF0Ofa9U

Title: Re: Official MS261CM vs 550XP test
Post by: HolmenTree on January 15, 2018, 01:31:06 PM
2 years later February 2015 competition morning temps it was -55C ( -67 below F) windchill.
 Wind was so strong I had brace the rear wall on the stage.
550's had their winter pre heater kits on and we kept them running the whole afternoon so they didn't cool down. Had to be careful refueling them.
 

 (http://www.forestryforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/21589/FB_IMG_1441523821458~0.jpg?easyrotate_cache=1516040879)
Title: Re: Official MS261CM vs 550XP test
Post by: ehp on January 16, 2018, 10:29:51 PM
I speed tested both 550 against 261 and both were about even in cutting speed running same chain . But you got to run each saw different , 261 has more torque so you shove harder on that saw . Ported the 261 is pretty much in a league of its own
Title: Re: Official MS261CM vs 550XP test
Post by: HolmenTree on January 16, 2018, 10:49:09 PM
Ed, I take your word for it about porting the 261. That little saw feels like it has lots of potential just how it cuts new right out of the box. It's got lots of torque alright and really winds out high on top end too.
 Speaking of ported saws I would like to see 3 saws in my fleet next season, MS261CM, MS362CM and a MS462CM. All 3 with some porting work on their P/C's would be a pretty awesome combo. ;D
Title: Re: Official MS261CM vs 550XP test
Post by: HolmenTree on January 17, 2018, 10:40:48 AM
I forgot one saw on my saw trio wish list.
The 80cc MS500i.
Now we have a Quartet.... 8)
Title: Re: Official MS261CM vs 550XP test
Post by: realzed on January 19, 2018, 03:34:57 PM
A week back I sold my MS290 which was in perfect shape and bought a new MS261C-M when I saw just how light and well balanced it felt.
Once home I peeled it apart some and I now see many of the new features it has compared to my son's old 026 version and it seems there is a lot of good thought going into these saws now - hopefully the M-Tronic will prove to be a continuation in that direction too.
I previously had converted the 290 over to a rim sprocket and 20" bar using the .325 chain to save my back some when cutting firewood - and decided I would get a 20" bar on the new 261 as well.
My dealer swapped in a 20" Rollomatic E (3003 000 7821 - yellow) and couple of 3/8" 33RS .050"(3623 002 0072) chains to go with it..
The sprocket was changed to one marked 3/8 - 7 and assume they know which one is appropriate since they sell a lot of these to the MNR as they are apparently the 'go to' saw for bush and fire crews from what I was told.
Care to pass along if you believe I have here what you consider is the best  chain/bar/sprocket combination for again mainly cutting and bucking firewood logs and downed trees up to 18 or 20" in diameter.. mainly mixed wood and usually 12" or less in diameter?
I'm not too worried about winning any races with cutting speed - just a good reliable and workable combo that cuts well and holds a good edge for reasonably decent periods of fairly average usage.
I have yet to run the saw in wood - but already can see the obvious advantages of the air and filter system over my old 290, and the balance seems perfect as does the general size and weight of the whole package in comparison..
Hope it runs and lasts as good as it looks and even better than the 290 and I'll be happy!
Your thread here is very interesting!
Thanks for your insight and any answers or info you might wish to pass along..
Randy
Title: Re: Official MS261CM vs 550XP test
Post by: HolmenTree on January 19, 2018, 05:06:47 PM
Welcome to Forestry Forum Randy.
The 3/8" 33RS chain with 7 T rim sprocket is a great setup  on your new MS261CM.
It will offer longer sharpening life and a little extra durability over the .325 23RS setup.
I'm in the business of getting paid for how long it takes to get my jobs done so the .325  does do that for me.
Any questions about your new saw your very much welcome to share them here.
Title: Re: Official MS261CM vs 550XP test
Post by: realzed on January 19, 2018, 05:33:04 PM
Thanks for your comments..
Just a couple of quick questions - the manual shows the rim sprocket to be installed with 'cavities' facing outwards from the drum..
Mine was when I got the new saw, the same way I always installed any previously.. the opposite way with the flat side (ID script) facing outwards.. any reason Stihl would even mention this - it doesn't really appear to make any dimensional differences from what I can see - is the there a purpose for Stihl to even mention this specifically?
and:
I intended to add some of the 100LL AV gas I use in my old car (50/50) with Shell 91 along with the Ultra synthetic oil at a fuel/oil ratio between 40 & 50:1, does this mixture sound like a good workable arrangement right from the start of break-in or even one that actually that would make any real difference and worth the trouble?
Title: Re: Official MS261CM vs 550XP test
Post by: gspren on January 19, 2018, 07:10:40 PM
  When I first got my 261 part way through the first tank of gas I thought maybe I made a mistake, it just wasn't what I expected, by the third tank I wasn't too concerned and by the fifth tank I was down right happy, it took a few tanks to wake up. I've always run 89 oct, eth free gas 40-1 with stihl full synthetic.
Title: Re: Official MS261CM vs 550XP test
Post by: John Mc on January 19, 2018, 07:30:07 PM
Do yourself a favor and skip the 100LL aviation gas. I'm a pilot, and deal with this fuel regularly. I also spent a couple decades working in a manufacturing plant that heat treated steel wire in molten lead - and went through regular safety training on lead.

Lead is a neuro-toxin. The tetra-ethyl lead in leaded gas is a particularly nasty form of lead. It's one thing coming out of a car or aircraft exhaust where it is diffused before you might breath it. It's another when it's filling the air a couple feet from your nose. The extra octane in the 100LL might be worthwhile in a modified race saw, but it is not getting you anything in a stock saw.

Just use premium auto gas - ethanol-free if you can get it, if not make sure the gas you use is fresh, and run your saw dry if it will be sitting unused for a while.
Title: Re: Official MS261CM vs 550XP test
Post by: ehp on January 19, 2018, 08:11:37 PM
running 3/8 on 50 cc saws you have to really watch how you file , you need to make your chain cut free to make it cut fast . My stock 261 running a 20 inch setup with me filing my chain cuts just about the same as my stock 372xpg with brandnew 20 inch bar and chain , right now my wood is really hard cause of so much water in the wood that's frozen hard , new chains donot cut this wood very good at best ,
Title: Re: Official MS261CM vs 550XP test
Post by: HolmenTree on January 19, 2018, 08:41:36 PM
Thanks for your comments..
Just a couple of quick questions - the manual shows the rim sprocket to be installed with 'cavities' facing outwards from the drum..
Mine was when I got the new saw, the same way I always installed any previously.. the opposite way with the flat side (ID script) facing outwards.. any reason Stihl would even mention this - it doesn't really appear to make any dimensional differences from what I can see - is the there a purpose for Stihl to even mention this specifically?
and:
I intended to add some of the 100LL AV gas I use in my old car (50/50) with Shell 91 along with the Ultra synthetic oil at a fuel/oil ratio between 40 & 50:1, does this mixture sound like a good workable arrangement right from the start of break-in or even one that actually that would make any real difference and worth the trouble?
Randy, as John Mc said stay away from leaded AV gas.
Run Stihl Ultra full synthetic at 50:1 with premium unleaded ethonal free gas.
I damaged my lungs running leaded gas in my saws back in the 1970's and 80's.  I grew up with it as a adolescent.  Today scientists say adolescence is from age 10 to 25.

There are 2 style of rim sprockets for your 261 as my pictures show.
First pic is a 3/8" Picco rim with the wood chip exhaust ports on the one side of the rim that faces outwards to exhaust properly.
The second pic is a .325 radial port rim sprocket that's on my 261.
As my pic shows my screwdriver is pointing to the exhaust ports on the face of the rim. Both sides of this style of rim is solid. Wood chips flow radially off the rim face with centrifugal force.
 

 (http://www.forestryforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/21589/20180119_190604.jpg?easyrotate_cache=1516411709) 

 (http://www.forestryforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/21589/20180119_190537.jpg?easyrotate_cache=1516411761)
Title: Re: Official MS261CM vs 550XP test
Post by: trapper on January 19, 2018, 09:38:04 PM
If stihl still offers the extra year warranty using their oil it is worth using their oil
Title: Re: Official MS261CM vs 550XP test
Post by: barbender on January 19, 2018, 10:14:32 PM
I just picked up a new MS261c today, my first Stihl. I have been looking to update my 346 Husky, and I decided to go with the 261 based on what I've seen on this thread. Thanks for the comparison, and all the info, Holmen👍🏼👍🏼 PS I've only got to make 2 little cuts with it, I'll give my opinion after I get some time on it.
Title: Re: Official MS261CM vs 550XP test
Post by: HolmenTree on January 19, 2018, 10:47:42 PM
I just picked up a new MS261c today, my first Stihl. I have been looking to update my 346 Husky, and I decided to go with the 261 based on what I've seen on this thread. Thanks for the comparison, and all the info, Holmen👍🏼👍🏼 PS I've only got to make 2 little cuts with it, I'll give my opinion after I get some time on it.
You won't be disappointed barbender!
Put about 10 tanks thru it and be presently surprised.
I only wish I had this saw back in the day when I bought my first 56cc 034AV
Title: Re: Official MS261CM vs 550XP test
Post by: chet on January 19, 2018, 11:25:04 PM
You won't be disappointed bartender!

  :)
Title: Re: Official MS261CM vs 550XP test
Post by: barbender on January 20, 2018, 12:32:06 AM
My handle gets mixed up sometimes (Barbender for Bartender) I came up with it after mangling a new 24" Windsor bar. I haven't drank in 20 years and I don't serve any up, either😁
Title: Re: Official MS261CM vs 550XP test
Post by: realzed on January 20, 2018, 08:16:09 AM

There are 2 style of rim sprockets for your 261 as my pictures show.
First pic is a 3/8" Picco rim with the wood chip exhaust ports on the one side of the rim that faces outwards to exhaust properly.
The second pic is a .325 radial port rim sprocket that's on my 261.
As my pic shows my screwdriver is pointing to the exhaust ports on the face of the rim. Both sides of this style of rim is solid. Wood chips flow radially off the rim face with centrifugal force.
 

 (http://www.forestryforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/21589/20180119_190604.jpg?easyrotate_cache=1516411709) 

 (http://www.forestryforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/21589/20180119_190537.jpg?easyrotate_cache=1516411761)
[/quote]

Is one style of sprocket preferable over the other -- depending on the type of wood cut or do both work equally well regardless?
Thanks - Randy
Title: Re: Official MS261CM vs 550XP test
Post by: HolmenTree on January 20, 2018, 11:15:29 AM
My handle gets mixed up sometimes (Barbender for Bartender) I came up with it after mangling a new 24" Windsor bar. I haven't drank in 20 years and I don't serve any up, either😁
That's funny. :D My stupid phone's auto correct seems to have a mind of its own :laugh:
Title: Re: Official MS261CM vs 550XP test
Post by: HolmenTree on January 20, 2018, 11:23:07 AM
Randy,
The radial port rim was introduced in the mid 1980's.  I was one of the loggers who field tested it .
Both side and radial port styles have their preferences. Smaller diameter rims as pictured on my 261 doesn't have the room for efficient sized ports on the side.
Some say the larger side port rims on higher horse powered saws run cooler.
Title: Re: Official MS261CM vs 550XP test
Post by: realzed on January 20, 2018, 12:15:31 PM
Thanks for all of your responses to my on-going questions which I'm sure are a PITA..
I may try and swap the spare 33RS chain I got with the saw and bar for a 63PS version if my dealer even has one stocked so I can compare them at some point - maybe I too will prefer it..
Thanks again - Randy

EDIT.. Dealer says I would have to change bar (tip sprocket wrong) etc.. and not worth the trouble apparently for any if any benefit in cutting, for the cost involved.. It does come as a 'tune up kit' he allowed though with a couple of boxes of chain, bar, and sprocket @ approx. $100.
 
Title: Re: Official MS261CM vs 550XP test
Post by: John Mc on January 20, 2018, 01:29:55 PM
Randy,
The radial port rim was introduced in the mid 1980's.  I was one of the loggers who field tested it .
Both side and radial port styles have their preferences. Smaller diameter rims as pictured on my 261 doesn't have the room for efficient sized ports on the side.
Some say the larger side port rims on higher horse powered saws run cooler.

Do the side port models work OK on saws with outboard clutches? Seems as though the clutch drum might interfere, but maybe there is enough clearance for it not to be an issue?
Title: Re: Official MS261CM vs 550XP test
Post by: HolmenTree on January 20, 2018, 03:02:49 PM
Randy,
The radial port rim was introduced in the mid 1980's.  I was one of the loggers who field tested it .
Both side and radial port styles have their preferences. Smaller diameter rims as pictured on my 261 doesn't have the room for efficient sized ports on the side.
Some say the larger side port rims on higher horse powered saws run cooler.

Do the side port models work OK on saws with outboard clutches? Seems as though the clutch drum might interfere, but maybe there is enough clearance for it not to be an issue?
John, on a outboard clutch drum the rim's side ports always face towards the crankcase.
A major benefit of a radial port rim is the rim can be flipped 360° to get even wear life on both ends of the drive slots.
Title: Re: Official MS261CM vs 550XP test
Post by: teakwood on January 21, 2018, 10:26:06 AM
Happy Birthday Holmen!  smiley_beertoast
Title: Re: Official MS261CM vs 550XP test
Post by: HolmenTree on January 21, 2018, 11:47:15 AM
Thanks Teakwood.
It takes a while for a fella to turn 60 :D
Title: Re: Official MS261CM vs 550XP test
Post by: John Mc on January 21, 2018, 12:36:58 PM
It takes a while for a fella to turn 60 :D

I'm just a few years behind you.

I appreciate your presence here in FF!
Title: Re: Official MS261CM vs 550XP test
Post by: barbender on January 21, 2018, 04:36:22 PM
Happy birthday, the big 60!
Title: Re: Official MS261CM vs 550XP test
Post by: trapper on January 21, 2018, 04:50:29 PM
Happy birthday.  Thanks for this thread and all the other information you provide.  I realy like the 241cm that I replaced my 250 with.  20 plus tanks of gas now.  Hope to replace my 290 with the 261cm this summer.  My dealer is afraid of the cm models but after my experience with the 241cm he plans to carry them.
Title: Re: Official MS261CM vs 550XP test
Post by: HolmenTree on January 21, 2018, 07:56:33 PM
Thanks John, barbender and Trapper.
Yes the MS241C is on my wishlist too!
Title: Re: Official MS261CM vs 550XP test
Post by: chet on January 21, 2018, 08:07:10 PM
Thanks Teakwood.
It takes a while for a fella to turn 60 :D

Hang on 'cause I heard da next 60 goes lots faster.  :D :D :D
Title: Re: Official MS261CM vs 550XP test
Post by: Kel71 on January 22, 2018, 10:16:55 PM
Happy Birthday and thanks for your posts. I see a 261 in my near future.
Title: Re: Official MS261CM vs 550XP test
Post by: barbender on January 22, 2018, 11:22:47 PM
I've only run my new 261 for a total of maybe 15 minutes, but I see us forming a long term relationship❤❤❤😂 It's light, smooth, and torquey.  If it treats me right, maybe one of those new 462's in my future as well👍🏼
Title: Re: Official MS261CM vs 550XP test
Post by: HolmenTree on January 22, 2018, 11:30:56 PM
I've  run quite a few 50cc saws over the last 35 years or so but the strong torque this 261 puts out just feels weird.
In a good way  :D
Title: Re: Official MS261CM vs 550XP test
Post by: Weekend_Sawyer on January 23, 2018, 06:25:35 AM
I've only run my new 261 for a total of maybe 15 minutes, but I see us forming a long term relationship❤❤❤😂 It's light, smooth, and torquey.  If it treats me right, maybe one of those new 462's in my future as well👍🏼

Wait till you get it broken in. It really comes alive.
Title: Re: Official MS261CM vs 550XP test
Post by: HolmenTree on January 29, 2018, 08:32:50 PM
I'm sorry to announce I have to end this "Official MS261CM vs 550XP test."
This evening I sold the Husqvarna 550XP  to a customer who needed it alot more them I do.
I upgraded it with a brand new Sandvik/Windsor Mini Pro bar....Just to make it look a little better. :D
I'm not stopping there as I'm selling off all my older Husqvarna's from 338XPT up to the 395XP.
I'm excited to go back solely to Stihl with a near future addition of the latest MS362CM and either the MS461 or MS462CM when it's available.

I was a little sorry to see the shiny very low hour 550XP go after all the trouble and warranty hassles with the first 550.

But it is time for myself and Stihl with their latest technology and super new models. The future looks bright.

Like my old business card laying on the invoice says from my 6 month stint with Stihl... in the big city way back in 1989.
I always was a "Man of Stihl." :)

More tests to come!
 

 (http://www.forestryforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/21589/20180128_124158.jpg?easyrotate_cache=1517275803) 

 (http://www.forestryforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/21589/20180129_190549.jpg?easyrotate_cache=1517275859)

Title: Re: Official MS261CM vs 550XP test
Post by: teakwood on January 30, 2018, 06:55:38 AM
Nice, back to Stihl! ;D
Title: Re: Official MS261CM vs 550XP test
Post by: JJinAK on January 30, 2018, 12:59:34 PM
Willard:

I thought you did an excellent job on this thread.  I'm a Stihl guy, and admittedly don't know much about the Husky saws, but your coverage on both models was fantastic.  I appreciated the constant feedback and education.

I'm looking forward to your future 461 vs. 462 comparison, and your Fuel Injection Break-In Reports!  Ha.

Again- excellent job on this thread.

JaJ
Title: Re: Official MS261CM vs 550XP test
Post by: Crusarius on January 30, 2018, 01:04:01 PM
I am not sure if you did an excellent job or not. I went from wanting to buy a $300 saw to wanting to buy something over $600. :)

Thanx for the thread it really has been great.
Title: Re: Official MS261CM vs 550XP test
Post by: HolmenTree on January 30, 2018, 03:23:03 PM
Willard:

I thought you did an excellent job on this thread.  I'm a Stihl guy, and admittedly don't know much about the Husky saws, but your coverage on both models was fantastic.  I appreciated the constant feedback and education.

I'm looking forward to your future 461 vs. 462 comparison, and your Fuel Injection Break-In Reports!  Ha.

Again- excellent job on this thread.

JaJ
Thanks JaJ, it sure was alot of fun doing it and I promise there's more to come.
Yes I can't wait until spring when this 4 feet of snow goes away and things thaw out.
Yes just saying the name MS462CM sure has a nice ring to it.
Now a MS500i fuel injected 80cc chainsaw really sounds interesting! :)
Title: Re: Official MS261CM vs 550XP test
Post by: HolmenTree on January 30, 2018, 03:29:31 PM
I am not sure if you did an excellent job or not. I went from wanting to buy a $300 saw to wanting to buy something over $600. :)

Thanx for the thread it really has been great.
Thanks Crusarius,  yes it was great doing the comparison. And it kept me motivated doing treework while working alone.
Yeah you'll appreciate the extra $300 you spent from the years of enjoyment that you'll get out of that saw. :)

Wow over 23,250 views on a 7 month old thread.
Title: Re: Official MS261CM vs 550XP test
Post by: stanwelch on January 31, 2018, 03:02:27 PM
I too thank you for this thread. My 20+year old 026 started acting up in December and my wife asked what I wanted for Christmas. Without hesitation I said a new MS261CM  :) It is a sweet saw from my sweet wife 8)
Title: Re: Official MS261CM vs 550XP test
Post by: HolmenTree on January 31, 2018, 04:50:25 PM
I too thank you for this thread. My 20+year old 026 started acting up in December and my wife asked what I wanted for Christmas. Without hesitation I said a new MS261CM  :) It is a sweet saw from my sweet wife 8)
You're welcome Stan, that worked out really good for you. Congratulations and enjoy your new saw.

20 years ago I split up with my common in law wife of 6 years for various reasons even though she had a good paying job.
One Christmas she gets me a brand new small saw setup with a carver b/c.
I thought to myself  "that was really nice of Judy to buy me that expensive little saw."....until 2 months later the dealer calls me and asks "Willard are you going to put some money down on that saw". :D
Another Christmas she gets me a new down filled parka, then I find she put it on my Sears card.
Anyways enough of that rant she's happy now she snagged a unsuspecting hotel owner, feel sorry for him  :D

So what I determined the problem the Husqvarna 550XP has is it was ergonomically over designed.
To make it more compact then the competition (MS261) they just didn't allow enough room under the top cover for cooling.
As the first picture shows, a couple of years ago Husqvarna added a oblong shaped hole in the top cover behind the top handle.
They were hoping this hole would release more cylinder heat, but unfortunately it didn't  help solve their hot start issues.
The MS261CM and 550XP are dead even weighing 10.8 lbs. each.
550XP at 3.75 h.p.
MS261CM 4 h.p.
 

 (http://www.forestryforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/21589/20180131_144914.jpg?easyrotate_cache=1517434733) 

 (http://www.forestryforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/21589/20180109_131117~0.jpg?easyrotate_cache=1517434821)
Title: Re: Official MS261CM vs 550XP test
Post by: PNWRusty on February 02, 2018, 02:04:54 PM
I'm sorry to announce I have to end this "Official MS261CM vs 550XP test."

I'm sad to see it go. Thanks for the fun and educational thread. Much appreciated!

As to whether or not it's a good thing that this thread has caused more than one person to buy a more expensive saw than planned, here's my take:

When I needed a 50cc saw for property maintenance and annual firewood cutting duty 21 years ago, I briefly considered cheaper saws but ended up going with the most expensive, a 1997 Stihl 026. I properly maintained and used the saw for over 20 years but never babied it. I often left gas in it for months at a time (89 octane w/10% ethanol and 50:1 Stihl Ultra synthetic oil). The saw has been 100% reliable with the exception of needing a new fuel pickup due to a split line. Other than that one simple repair the saw has started and run perfectly for 21 years under everything from arctic freezes to hot summer days. And it has always been a strong performer even when taxing it beyond it's intended purpose, running a 20" bar in big wood cutting big rounds non-stop in summer heat. I think it was $329 in 1997 which seemed like a lot of money back then. But, I can only imagine how much time and money this saw saved vs. the less expensive options. And the pleasure of having a saw that starts so reliably and runs so strong, well, how can you put a price on that?

My new 261CM shows every sign of being at least as reliable and that makes it a real value in my book. The fact that it has more torque and cuts a bit faster is just icing on the cake. I can fix just about anything, usually without spending much money, but I prefer to not have to. Once you cost the price of a new saw over 20 years the difference in initial purchase price of a cheaper saw becomes insignificant. And if the cheaper saw is less reliable, it becomes a poorer value at any price.

The point is, if this thread caused anyone to spend more money, I'm pretty sure that's a GOOD thing! Thanks HT!

Title: Re: Official MS261CM vs 550XP test
Post by: Crusarius on February 02, 2018, 02:24:48 PM
it hurts when you buy it but every time you use it you say it was worth it. That is how my weedeater purchase was. bought a nice Stihl. never looked back.
Title: Re: Official MS261CM vs 550XP test
Post by: HolmenTree on February 02, 2018, 02:55:10 PM
Great post PNWRusty thanks for sharing!
I still have a 066Mag Arctic-28" that I bought new 25 years ago. Still to this day it never had its cylinder removed. But upon a recent inspection its clutch side main crank bearing needs to be changed.
That saw for years has noodle split big oversize hardwood rounds first for firewood business then into my tree service.
Alaskan milled in the thousands of bf lumber.
My age is telling me now to run a MS661CM, so at 60 if I get 25 years out of it I'm doing pretty good.Hahaha.
Title: Re: Official MS261CM vs 550XP test
Post by: HolmenTree on February 02, 2018, 02:57:21 PM
it hurts when you buy it but every time you use it you say it was worth it. That is how my weedeater purchase was. bought a nice Stihl. never looked back.
Yes and service ftom your Stihl dealer makes a difference too.
Good post Crusarius.
Title: Re: Official MS261CM vs 550XP test
Post by: teakwood on February 04, 2018, 05:48:46 PM
Excellent post PNWRusty!  I feel exactly the same way.


Title: Re: Official MS261CM vs 550XP test
Post by: teakwood on February 04, 2018, 05:49:24 PM
Thanks for that very good topic on those two saws Willard, keep up the good work  smiley_thumbsup
Title: Re: Official MS261CM vs 550XP test
Post by: barbender on February 04, 2018, 08:36:23 PM
I said before, I bought my first Stihl (ms261c) after having owned nothing but husky and Jred my whole life, because of this post and all the real world info on it. I'm only on my second tank of gas but I'm liking this little saw. It is torquey and from what every one tells me is only going to get better. I love a saw with good torque, I think they are less tiring and less dangerous to operate. I actually preferred my 2165 Jred to the 2171 Jred I replaced it with, for that reason. Torque. My 2171 is getting a little tired , and I'd lije to replace that with a torque machine, too. 576xp? 461? 462? I'm waiting for Willard's next test😉
Title: Re: Official MS261CM vs 550XP test
Post by: HolmenTree on February 04, 2018, 09:57:20 PM
Thanks for that very good topic on those two saws Willard, keep up the good work  smiley_thumbsup
Thanks teakwood, it was alot of fun doing it.
I'm interested to hear about the MS382 if you decide to buy one.
Title: Re: Official MS261CM vs 550XP test
Post by: HolmenTree on February 04, 2018, 10:09:50 PM
576xp? 461? 462? I'm waiting for Willard's next test😉
Thanks barbender.
I guess to make it a official test and I upgrade to lets say a MS462CM, I would have to buy another Husqvarna.  So I would have to make the decision on a 572XP????
But I think I'll be waiting a while until when ever they get introduced here in North America.

Meanwhile I'm cleaning up all my old Huskies and a few older Stihls too.
I have the 395XP and 272XP ready for a couple of customers to look at tomorrow.  Then it's onto the 372XP  562XP.
 
(http://forestryforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/21589/20180204_140918.jpg?easyrotate_cache=1517800148)
 
(http://forestryforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/21589/20180201_211305_resized_2.jpg?easyrotate_cache=1517800136)
 
Title: Re: Official MS261CM vs 550XP test
Post by: barbender on February 05, 2018, 01:26:46 AM
Those saws look great!
Title: Re: Official MS261CM vs 550XP test
Post by: Crusarius on February 05, 2018, 07:42:11 AM
hmmm. I am heading to New york Farm show at the end of this month. I wonder what kind of a deal I can get on the 261 and a pair of chaps from there?

Title: Re: Official MS261CM vs 550XP test
Post by: John Mc on February 05, 2018, 08:15:45 AM
hmmm. I am heading to New york Farm show at the end of this month. I wonder what kind of a deal I can get on the 261 and a pair of chaps from there?

I got some great deals on chaps and other smaller purchases a few years ago at the VT Logging Expo several years ago: show up on the last day, when everyone is thinking about packing things up. Sometimes they'll cut a deal to avoid packing things up.
Title: Re: Official MS261CM vs 550XP test
Post by: Crusarius on February 05, 2018, 08:30:41 AM
That used to be the case but in the last few years I notice that happening less and less. Unfortunately Stihl trailer is at the show but its just for showing stuff. if you want to buy something the sales guys say come by my store I will beat all these prices. Kind of a pain but we will see what happens.

I do prefer to buy it from a local place so I have local support.
Title: Re: Official MS261CM vs 550XP test
Post by: teakwood on February 06, 2018, 05:15:59 PM
Thanks for that very good topic on those two saws Willard, keep up the good work  smiley_thumbsup
Thanks teakwood, it was alot of fun doing it.
I'm interested to hear about the MS382 if you decide to buy one.

some days ago my help tells me that he wants to buy a saw to cut in pieces all the firewood he is getting from me (all the teak leftovers) so i told him: i sell you my old 260 (14years old but all seals and hoses are new with a new bar) for 180$ and i buy a new saw. ;D he agreed.
I'm left with a 260 (4years), 361 (1 year) and my old 066.
i went to the nearest dealer and inspected the 382. i didn't like what i saw.
Stihl claims it to be of the professional line but i'm not convinced:

it's made in Brasil, all professional saws they ever sold here came from Germany and i always liked that.
It has rubber mounts instead of springs
of course it comes with a 25" duromatic bar (which i hate)
all the edges on the plastic covers are sharp, like not smoothed out. almost looks like a cheap knockoff
Now i know why they don't sell this saw in north america and just in the lesser professional latin market.

the good thing is they have promotions now, the 382 is 750$ instead of 950$.

I think i will buy another 361 (of course this model has no special discount ::)), i like that saw so much that i buy another one for the help. The 361 is really a step up compared to the 260, and as my trees are getting bigger and bigger it surely will be a wise purchase.
Title: Re: Official MS261CM vs 550XP test
Post by: HolmenTree on February 06, 2018, 05:20:42 PM
Teakwood,
Can you get the MS362 CM there? Or are you only getting the Brazilian saws, no German made?
Title: Re: Official MS261CM vs 550XP test
Post by: teakwood on February 06, 2018, 05:23:45 PM
We can't get the new saws here, just old ones ::) ::)

But the real professional saws are all German made: 260, 361, 460, 660, 880 (that's why i'm confused with the 382)

all the farm and hobby saws are Brazilian made: 170, 180, 250, 310, 390

and then there are the prehistoric "chunk" saws, still available in 2018: 051, 076, " the Tanks" ::)
Title: Re: Official MS261CM vs 550XP test
Post by: teakwood on February 06, 2018, 05:28:03 PM
the dealers all belong to the same and only importer and they decided to stay away from M tronic models, maybe they afraid that they won't be able to repair them  ??? ???
so sadly we are stucked with the antique models and duromatic bars only>:( >:(

No 262, 362, 462, 661 in Costa Rica
Title: Re: Official MS261CM vs 550XP test
Post by: DelawhereJoe on February 06, 2018, 07:29:32 PM
I just went looking at a site selling Stihl down in Costa Rica and it looked like they were still selling the ms 051, is this true ? They had some other odd ducks like the ms 650 and ms 780 but a guess the ms 382 like the others is just a de-tuned saw. Old technology isn't always bad technology, its alot easier to change a carb and tune it with a screw driver in the middle of the jungle then it is to plug it into a computer.
Title: Re: Official MS261CM vs 550XP test
Post by: HolmenTree on February 06, 2018, 08:30:52 PM
If Joe indie could chime in here...I hear the MS382 which is sold in India, Australia and many other countries shares alot of parts from the MS460/461 on its 038 Mag/MS381 chassis.

Title: Re: Official MS261CM vs 550XP test
Post by: DelawhereJoe on February 06, 2018, 09:53:23 PM
I was thinking more on the lines of a de-tuned ms 440 kinda like the 365 is a de-tuned 372xp
Title: Re: Official MS261CM vs 550XP test
Post by: teakwood on February 07, 2018, 06:24:59 AM
the 382 is definitely a new design, the cylinder is leaned  backwards like the new 261C, 362, 462
Title: Re: Official MS261CM vs 550XP test
Post by: teakwood on February 11, 2018, 10:11:42 AM
Bought a new 361 ;D

We did a 300 mile road trip to a dealer who treats me well. Also visited some friends.

the new and the "old" (half year) MS361
 

 (http://forestryforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/37555/P1010804.JPG?easyrotate_cache=1518360495)

the dealer wanted to start the saw but i told him that's ok because i didn't want him to put a gas mix in i didn't knew. I like to use my mix from the first pull to the last of the chainsaws life.
I regret it now ::), this morning i assembled the saw and after 20 pulls i didn't start. ok, check spark or fuel.
Found the spark cap bad assembled, no problem. fixed it and still no spark! ???

 (http://forestryforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/37555/20180211_080531.jpg?easyrotate_cache=1518361604) 

Opened the ignition module side cover, MODIFIED BY ADMIN, FAMILY SITE

 (http://forestryforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/37555/20180211_081139.jpg?easyrotate_cache=1518360898)

Well, after 15 years in this country nothing astonishes me anymore. We all make mistakes. He still didn't read my messages because it's sunday in the morning but i hope he come thru and send me that part ASAP tomorrow.   
Title: Re: Official MS261CM vs 550XP test
Post by: DelawhereJoe on February 11, 2018, 10:44:50 AM
Well thats not right....
Title: Re: Official MS261CM vs 550XP test
Post by: teakwood on February 14, 2018, 05:08:22 PM
Tuesday at midday i had the part and the saw is running perfect.
Title: Re: Official MS261CM vs 550XP test
Post by: olcowhand on February 16, 2018, 08:02:56 PM
Gents,
I've been a Lurker for quite a few years, and became a FF member a couple months ago. I've worked my way through a few longer threads, and this is a very interesting one.
I'm not a pro, but I spend almost every weekend in the woods cutting firewood and the occasional Grade Saw Log. I've been that type of Weekend Warrior since I was 14.
I worked my way through every type of "Homeowner" type saw since then (mainly focused on my perception of economic value). I finally bought the best saw I could afford in 2000- a Stihl 039. I experienced a few common problems with that saw (i.e. fuel tube leak), but all in all- a great saw.
Now (based on opinions I read here) I run a MS461 (that saw is a beast, but I wish I could hook up an auxiliary Bar oil pump).
I recently bought an MS211 to replace my MS170, and I'm not satisfied with that saw at all. I'm primarily looking for a saw that can conserve fuel and my energy when Limbing, Bucking and cutting smaller diameters.
I think I will get myself one of these MS211CMs.
Also, a word of acknowledgement and commendation to Willard and all the contributors to this and other threads that are giving advice and wisdom so freely. We all know you're doing it in the best interest of other FF members, and I can't say enough about the valuable words we all get here. Thanks.
Title: Re: Official MS261CM vs 550XP test
Post by: teakwood on February 16, 2018, 09:14:48 PM
Welcome to the FF.  Lots of knowledge here from real pros!!
Title: Re: Official MS261CM vs 550XP test
Post by: HolmenTree on February 16, 2018, 09:23:56 PM
Yes welcome to FF 0lcowhand and thank you for the kind words.
I have been on many chainsaw and tree sites. But this site has always been my favorite.
Members here and newbies are as down to earth as anyone can get. It doesn't get any better then that :)
Title: Re: Official MS261CM vs 550XP test
Post by: Spike60 on February 19, 2018, 10:20:15 AM
Both Husky and Stihl sell a lot of "wish we could still get 'em" models in other markets. It's not just EPA type stuff, but some of the older, and "detuned" models that are produced are more tolerant of the lower quality fuels that are available in some parts of the world.

Title: Re: Official MS261CM vs 550XP test
Post by: Spike60 on February 19, 2018, 10:25:36 AM
Other thing I find comical is that in Europe and North America both companies like to brag about how "green" they are, but then they produce all of these older saws where there are no emission regulations.  :)
Title: Re: Official MS261CM vs 550XP test
Post by: weimedog on February 19, 2018, 11:39:23 AM
Bought a new 361 ;D

We did a 300 mile road trip to a dealer who treats me well. Also visited some friends.

the new and the "old" (half year) MS361
 

 (http://forestryforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/37555/P1010804.JPG?easyrotate_cache=1518360495)

the dealer wanted to start the saw but i told him that's ok because i didn't want him to put a gas mix in i didn't knew. I like to use my mix from the first pull to the last of the chainsaws life.
I regret it now ::), this morning i assembled the saw and after 20 pulls i didn't start. ok, check spark or fuel.
Found the spark cap bad assembled, no problem. fixed it and still no spark! ???

 (http://forestryforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/37555/20180211_080531.jpg?easyrotate_cache=1518361604) 

Opened the ignition module side cover, MODIFIED BY ADMIN, FAMILY SITE

 (http://forestryforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/37555/20180211_081139.jpg?easyrotate_cache=1518360898)

Well, after 15 years in this country nothing astonishes me anymore. We all make mistakes. He still didn't read my messages because it's sunday in the morning but i hope he come thru and send me that part ASAP tomorrow.

Unfortunately a game of statistics. Happens to the very best. I had a ms170 given to me a few years ago..almost as a joke. Because it had been bounced around the repair shops and even though brand new...wouldn't run for more than a few seconds. (Certain it was a take back on a warranty deal in retrospect and used as a gaff to the FIRST in a long line of arrogant know it all fools....and I was the last in that line.) SO I did what everyone else probably had done...and could not figure it out either. I don't know why the last time I looked at it I wanted to see if the pulse hole was plugged.......before the manifold and carb. So I went looking to put a wire through it. But it wasn't there. :)

( A small drill fixed that saw)
Title: Re: Official MS261CM vs 550XP test
Post by: Canadiana on February 20, 2018, 01:45:12 AM
Never an impulse line? QC booboo?
Title: Re: Official MS261CM vs 550XP test
Post by: weimedog on February 21, 2018, 04:53:52 PM
Never an impulse line? QC booboo?
They don't have lines...just holes.:) That one was missing one...
Title: Re: Official MS261CM vs 550XP test
Post by: weimedog on February 21, 2018, 04:55:54 PM
What makes this the Official Test?  :)
Title: Re: Official MS261CM vs 550XP test
Post by: HolmenTree on February 21, 2018, 05:26:29 PM
What makes this the Official Test?  :)
Well just finished another tiring but very full filling Northern Manitoba Trappers Festival Chainsaw Events.
New major sponsor and is a new Husqvarna dealer for the area.
They gave out 3 Husqvarna 450's for prizes along with 3 new 23 week of 2017  550XP's for the supplied saws in the Men's and women's speed cutting events.
Little saws were right out of the box and they performed excellent for the whole afternoon . Running semi chisel .325 and I was impressed.
 It was a cool breezy -25 below F windchill throughout the day and the Husqvarna's proved what they do best running in cold temperatures .

And darn it if I didn't bring my MS261CM to test against them...next year.





Title: Re: Official MS261CM vs 550XP test
Post by: HolmenTree on February 21, 2018, 05:33:07 PM
Having problems posting pics????
Title: Re: Official MS261CM vs 550XP test
Post by: weimedog on February 21, 2018, 06:14:45 PM
Having problems posting pics????
I'm not. Put up a pic of some roasted cranks..no issue. I put together a "crush damage" customer 261..:) It's a nice little saw. It was new, maybe an hour of real run time before cosmetic catastrophe, Needed a lot of plastic. Handle, tank handle, covers, etc. Going to have a cameo in a few video's this year. Right now its out with a logger as a skidder saw. BUT it will be back. Have a 550 build going to happen too. Haven't decided yet if I will blend the two into the same video yet.
Title: Re: Official MS261CM vs 550XP test
Post by: HolmenTree on March 01, 2018, 11:49:55 PM
I think I got the photo posting thing here figured out.
Here's the 1st 2nd and 3rd winners of the chainsaw carving event I also put on for the festival.
These guys carved these in 4 hours out of 24" diameter wood and the weather wasn't tropical.
Windchill was in the -25 below F most of the day.

(http://forestryforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/21589/20180223_092920.jpg?easyrotate_cache=1519966043)
 
(http://forestryforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/21589/20180221_160949.jpg?easyrotate_cache=1519966150)
 
(http://forestryforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/21589/20180223_092134.jpg?easyrotate_cache=1519966088)
Title: Re: Official MS261CM vs 550XP test
Post by: HolmenTree on March 02, 2018, 12:01:27 AM
Stihl was the  preferred saw of most of the 7 carvers who participated.

(http://forestryforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/21589/20180301_225646~0.jpg?easyrotate_cache=1519966865)
 
Title: Re: Official MS261CM vs 550XP test
Post by: cb_cutter on March 03, 2018, 10:17:13 PM
i run the 23rs chain on my 261 and i find it takes to much of a bite in the hardwoods. what do you think of the picco chain on yours? i absolutely love my 261 other wise. 
Title: Re: Official MS261CM vs 550XP test
Post by: HolmenTree on March 03, 2018, 11:16:28 PM
Welcome to FF cb_cutter .
Is that cb for Cape Breton?
Is that too much bite when the chain is brand new right out of the box or after you sharpen it?
I have no problem with the 23RS chain on the MS261CM in hardwood like birch, elm, ash . You have alot of sugar maple and red maple in Nova Scotia.
I really like the 63PS Picco on the 261. But I'm pretty well limited to 16" which is fine for the chain.

I have Windsor mini pro bar noses in Picco pitch but the trouble with these pro grade solid body bars is they are too thick when the Picco cutters are filed down small. 
I hear there are 18"-20" Picco laminated bars made by Stihl in 3003 mount but I have yet to find them.
Title: Re: Official MS261CM vs 550XP test
Post by: cb_cutter on March 04, 2018, 07:16:31 PM
thanks and yes it is cape breton as well.

yes it is a new chain i find really grabby. its like you said once its filed down 1 or 2 times its not to bad. im mostly cutting small to madium size hard and softwood up here. i ran a ms390 for almost 10 years and then upgraded to the 261 last year. what a difference between the two saws. i love the weight and av system of the 261 way more.
Title: Re: Official MS261CM vs 550XP test
Post by: HolmenTree on March 04, 2018, 08:03:47 PM
thanks and yes it is cape breton as well.

yes it is a new chain i find really grabby. its like you said once its filed down 1 or 2 times its not to bad. im mostly cutting small to madium size hard and softwood up here. i ran a ms390 for almost 10 years and then upgraded to the 261 last year. what a difference between the two saws. i love the weight and av system of the 261 way more.
cb_cutter, I think you're talking about the 33RS standard 3/8" chain, not the .325 23RS .
Yes when the 33RS cutters are filed back to about 2/3 cutter length the MS261 really performs .
Two summers ago my family and I drove the whole Cabot Trail around the entire coast of Cape Breton Island.  
Beautiful country and coastline, I highly recommend the trip to everyone.
Title: Re: Official MS261CM vs 550XP test
Post by: cb_cutter on March 04, 2018, 09:22:38 PM
i work part time at a koa campground all summer and we always recommend goin around the trail counter clockwise. 

the saw does have the 23rs chain .325 pitch. i will take a few pics of the saw in the next couple days. the saw is well used and i did notice that when blocking wood the recoil cover will plug up with chips. justa quick wipe and its good to go again tho. i do run my saw a fair amount usually about 4-6 tanks a day of 8ft wood plus firewood on weekends and evenings. gotta stay busy some how.
Title: Re: Official MS261CM vs 550XP test
Post by: HolmenTree on March 05, 2018, 09:48:19 PM
So from my winter festival chainsaw competitions February 16th
New Husqvarna dealer sponsor, 3 brand new 550XPs' with 3 brand new 450s' and over $2000  for prizes.
Over the afternoon 47 men and women some who have never run a saw before, tortured the 550s' cutting  cookies in a breezy -25 below F windchill.
Look at that Canadian flag in the first pic taking the full brunt of that northwest wind.

Had the saws winter kits installed and they didn't miss a beat for the whole time. One thing I credit Husky saws for...... operating well in freezing temps.

(http://forestryforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/21589/FB_IMG_1519014793243~1.jpg?easyrotate_cache=1520303963)
 
(http://forestryforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/21589/20180217_131001~0.jpg?easyrotate_cache=1520304061)
 
(http://forestryforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/21589/20180217_124541~1.jpg?easyrotate_cache=1520304171)
 
(http://forestryforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/21589/20180217_115203~2.jpg?easyrotate_cache=1520304463)
Title: Re: Official MS261CM vs 550XP test
Post by: HolmenTree on March 10, 2018, 08:56:44 AM
Here is the results on the scoresheet .
Speed cutting involves on the command "go" pickup idling saw and make 3 downward cuts with brand new Husqvarna 550XP with .325 semi chisel chain.
8.5"×8.5" dry spruce.

(http://forestryforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/21589/20180310_075059.jpg?easyrotate_cache=1520690157)
 
Title: Re: Official MS261CM vs 550XP test
Post by: HolmenTree on March 10, 2018, 09:00:39 AM
Men's 1st place winner Jason Mailhot...14.22 seconds.
Jason bought my 1994 Stihl 090AV-60"

(http://forestryforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/21589/20180222_173748.jpg?easyrotate_cache=1520690413)
Title: Re: Official MS261CM vs 550XP test
Post by: HolmenTree on March 10, 2018, 06:21:53 PM
Not all the competitors were Canadian.
Jacob Mans drove all the way up from Minneapolis, Minnesota.  :)

(http://forestryforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/21589/20180310_171839.jpg?easyrotate_cache=1520724101)
 
Title: Re: Official MS261CM vs 550XP test
Post by: Crusarius on March 16, 2018, 09:54:51 AM
I got my MS261 cm yesterday. 

I started it up. took about 5 pulls and fired right up. I started revving gently then it popped and died. It restarted with 1 pull and ran great after that. Wow that is on torquey saw. Can't wait to try it in some wood. Now if the NYCAMH ppl will get back to me about the game of logging life would be great.
Title: Re: Official MS261CM vs 550XP test
Post by: HolmenTree on March 16, 2018, 02:08:39 PM
Good to hear about the new 261 Crusarius.
Put it in some wood then you'll feel good torque.
I heard the founder of Game Of Logging Soren Eriksson died recently.
Title: Re: Official MS261CM vs 550XP test
Post by: John Mc on March 16, 2018, 03:33:15 PM
I heard the founder of Game Of Logging Soren Ericcson died recently.
Yes, he was almost 80.
http://c.ymcdn.com/sites/www.ohioforest.org/resource/resmgr/2018_Timber_Talk/Soren_Eriksson_article_01-01.pdf (http://c.ymcdn.com/sites/www.ohioforest.org/resource/resmgr/2018_Timber_Talk/Soren_Eriksson_article_01-01.pdf)
Title: Re: Official MS261CM vs 550XP test
Post by: Woodcutter_Mo on April 02, 2018, 04:18:24 PM
 I recently acquired a new 550XP so I've been reading back on this thread to make sure this saw doesn't display any of the symptoms of the bad saw that started in this thread started with. So far it seems to be doing fine with only a few tanks of fuel through it.

 The one problem I have so far is that the saw did not come with a scrench for the spark plug, it has one of the regular Husqvarna saw wrenches but doesn't fit the small spark plug on this saw. Im thinking they may have misplaced it when they assembled the saw at the store as the little accessory tool bag had been opened , but they told me it should have the correct one. Did did yours come with a scrench that fits the spark plug?
Title: Re: Official MS261CM vs 550XP test
Post by: HolmenTree on April 02, 2018, 09:02:03 PM
Yep it came with the 13mm x 16mm scrench. Also the winter kit, spare air filter, T Allen wrench and L Allen wrench, grease gun and grease. But no more bar scabbard. They want you to buy a carry case.

(http://forestryforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/21589/20180402_195835.jpg?easyrotate_cache=1522717308)
Title: Re: Official MS261CM vs 550XP test
Post by: Woodcutter_Mo on April 02, 2018, 09:28:42 PM
Thanks for the info, it looks like I am missing one of the screnches, the grease gun and grease. I didn't see a parts list in the manual anywhere so I wasn't for sure. 
Title: Re: Official MS261CM vs 550XP test
Post by: Caloren on April 02, 2018, 11:54:28 PM
Does this mean Stihl now has bars with grease holes in them?
Title: Re: Official MS261CM vs 550XP test
Post by: HolmenTree on April 03, 2018, 09:02:02 AM
The grease gun that came with my 550XP according to its owners manual shows it's for greasing the clutch drum bearing.
Grease is pumped through a hole on the end of the crankshaft .
Title: Re: Official MS261CM vs 550XP test
Post by: gspren on April 03, 2018, 09:14:35 AM
Does this mean Stihl now has bars with grease holes in them?
In this case they're talking about the 550 Husky. My older Stihls (041 & 044) came with bars that had grease holes for the roller noses but not my newer, 261. Long ago my chainsaw dude said to clean out the grease and just put some chain oil in the roller when ever I have the chain off.
Title: Re: Official MS261CM vs 550XP test
Post by: HolmenTree on April 03, 2018, 10:48:22 AM
A chainsaw field engineer once told me greasing the bar nose forces water from melted snow out of the bearings to prevent freezing.
How many of you guys have knocked your bar nose on a log to free up the chain first thing on a cold frosty morning?😁
Title: Re: Official MS261CM vs 550XP test
Post by: chet on April 03, 2018, 01:58:49 PM
Not me, nope, not ever, never  smiley_smug01  And never knocked it against a log ta git it movin' again, after it got jammed up with saw dust. And absolutely never did that after throwin' da chain and getting a burr.   ;D
Title: Re: Official MS261CM vs 550XP test
Post by: Woodcutter_Mo on April 03, 2018, 09:37:10 PM
Thanks for the info, it looks like I am missing one of the screnches, the grease gun and grease. I didn't see a parts list in the manual anywhere so I wasn't for sure.
 It turns out this scrench does fit the spark plug, I'm not for sure why I couldn't get it to fit when I first tried it. As for why there is no grease tool or second wrench, maybe they stopped sending those with the saws? 
Title: Re: Official MS261CM vs 550XP test
Post by: teakwood on April 04, 2018, 07:38:51 AM
The grease gun that came with my 550XP according to its owners manual shows it's for greasing the clutch drum bearing.
Grease is pumped through a hole on the end of the crankshaft .
is that greasing procedure still necessary these days on stihl saws? I have never greased those needle bearings  
Title: Re: Official MS261CM vs 550XP test
Post by: HolmenTree on April 04, 2018, 08:12:20 AM
Too be honest I never greased them that way.  With regular maintenance whenever I flipped the rim sprocket around 180 ° or replaced it, I would then grease the bearing by rubbing some grease into it with my finger. 

The grease gun procedure through the crankshaft hole must have been for some kind of severe logging conditions, water, dirt?
I would be worried too much grease might get into the clutch.
Title: Re: Official MS261CM vs 550XP test
Post by: Weekend_Sawyer on April 04, 2018, 10:16:36 AM
I have one of those little grease applicators for use with an Oregon bar.
I notice that the little hole always gets filled with sawdust so I only use it after I blow out the bar with compressed air, about every 3rd sharpening.

I learned about the grease hole by not greasing the tip on a little Homelite saw I had a thousand years ago. The tip seased and the end of the bar split open.

I once asked a dealer why Stihl bars didn't have a grease hole in the tip.
He sad they were better made and didn't need it.

True stories.
Jon
Title: Re: Official MS261CM vs 550XP test
Post by: barbender on April 04, 2018, 12:42:57 PM
Coincidence maybe, but I use to grease the tips on my Windsor bars, and then I would blow a tip. So I gave up the habit. Processors bars don't have a greasable tip and they endure waaay more than a chainsaw bar. I think greasable tips might be a holdover from the days of the manual thumb oiler, where the chain wouldn't get enough oil out to the sprocket tip because we got lazy on the pumpin'😊
Title: Re: Official MS261CM vs 550XP test
Post by: teakwood on April 04, 2018, 10:31:32 PM
As those needle bearings just turn when the saw is at idle they maybe don't need the grease. Never ever did i had to replace a bearing 
Title: Re: Official MS261CM vs 550XP test
Post by: Woodcutter_Mo on April 05, 2018, 10:48:07 AM
 I'm going to pick up one of those grease guns today to grease the needle bearing in the clutch. 

 I've gotten a couple more tanks of gas through the saw, so far so good! It's extremely tempting to do a little work on the muffler, but thanks to this thread I think I'll try my best to wait out the warranty duration just in case  :D
Title: Re: Official MS261CM vs 550XP test
Post by: HolmenTree on April 18, 2018, 09:06:29 PM
To all Canadians and outlying U.S. citizens,  Stihl Canada's spring flyer just came out.
$110 off on the MS261CM
$649.95 ($514 USD)
These are the German made saws.

(http://forestryforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/21589/20180418_195953.jpg?easyrotate_cache=1524099968)
Title: Re: Official MS261CM vs 550XP test
Post by: DelawhereJoe on April 19, 2018, 12:59:51 AM
Are you trying to see how many people sleep on their couchs after they bring that saw home ? Its like drinking an ice cold beer infront of someone who just quit, its just not nice.
Title: Re: Official MS261CM vs 550XP test
Post by: Crusarius on April 19, 2018, 07:12:10 AM
I did finally run mine though a punky red oak log. sure cut nice for its first cut. can't wait to get it into some real wood.
Title: Re: Official MS261CM vs 550XP test
Post by: Weekend_Sawyer on April 19, 2018, 12:24:00 PM
I ran mine out of fuel the other day.
It took something like 30 pulls to get it started.
I'm going to try not to do that again.
Title: Re: Official MS261CM vs 550XP test
Post by: trapper on April 27, 2018, 12:13:14 AM
Sold my 290 on craigslist today and ordered the 261cm .  Will be here next week.  I love my 241cm that I replaced the 250 with.  I will buy the stihl oil to get the extended warranty since I use it anyway.
Title: Re: Official MS261CM vs 550XP test
Post by: gspren on April 29, 2018, 07:55:54 PM
Sold my 290 on craigslist today and ordered the 261cm .  Will be here next week.  I love my 241cm that I replaced the 250 with.  I will buy the stihl oil to get the extended warranty since I use it anyway.
After you run the 261 awhile give us a comparison on the 261 to the 241 as to felt weight and power.
Title: Re: Official MS261CM vs 550XP test
Post by: Crusarius on May 02, 2018, 08:47:10 PM
Holmen tree I want to thank you for taking the time to do this real world test. I finally got to use my MS261 cm for real tonight. I ran 1 tank of fuel through it. I have never had a saw cut anything like this one did and that was just the first tank.

The other user that mentioned running out of fuel is bad. I completely agree. It was a real pain to get it running again after running it out of fuel. I really wish stihl had put a primer bubble on it.

Overall. best saw I have ever run. it went through a 12" pine like a hot knife through butter. I can actually say now that I will no longer delay getting the saw out to cut something. Before it took an act of god to get me to fight with the stupid saw. Now I am sooo happy. It hurt when I bought it but it sure felt great to saw with it.

Thanx again. Keep up the great work. Love to see some more real world testing on other things I need to buy :)

I did buy a stihl power broom that also works great.
Title: Re: Official MS261CM vs 550XP test
Post by: DelawhereJoe on May 02, 2018, 09:39:17 PM
I've noticed with my 362 c-m when it gets low on fuel it will start to miss a few times when ot gets low on fuel, then I stop and refuel it. I've never completely run her dry so I've never experienced what you guys are talking about, I know its a different saw but it should act about the same.
Title: Re: Official MS261CM vs 550XP test
Post by: Crusarius on May 03, 2018, 07:42:18 AM
I did notice the same thing on mine. now I know and I will try not to run it out anymore.
Title: Re: Official MS261CM vs 550XP test
Post by: trapper on July 14, 2018, 10:52:30 AM
Not broke in yet but my 261 does not like hot weather.  Make a few cuts or noodle a round if I shut it off It does not restart  and I have to use the 241.
Have not used it in cold weather yet. Leave it sit a day and it starts right up.  Will a shorter bar help?  Dealer talked me into the 20 inch.  Yes the baffle in the carb is set for summer.
Title: Re: Official MS261CM vs 550XP test
Post by: John Mc on July 14, 2018, 12:03:21 PM
I would not use a 20" bar on a 50cc chainsaw. On the 50cc saws I've used, I find a 16" bar a better match - in terms of both power and balance.

However, I doubt that has much to do with your hard starting when hot.
Title: Re: Official MS261CM vs 550XP test
Post by: HolmenTree on July 14, 2018, 02:43:10 PM
trapper, take it into your dealer and they may have to do a upgrade on the fuel settings with just a few clicks of the mouse on the laptop.
It should still be on warranty and my advice to other buyers the extended warranty is worth it.
Knock on wood my 261 is flawless running in the heat been good so far.
Title: Re: Official MS261CM vs 550XP test
Post by: weimedog on July 14, 2018, 07:37:26 PM
trapper, take it into your dealer and they may have to do a upgrade on the fuel settings with just a few clicks of the mouse on the laptop.
It should still be on warranty and my advice to other buyers the extended warranty is worth it.
Knock on wood my 261 is flawless running in the heat been good so far.
Should sounds familiar because the system used is..well..:)  
Title: Re: Official MS261CM vs 550XP test
Post by: HolmenTree on July 14, 2018, 08:38:15 PM
trapper, take it into your dealer and they may have to do a upgrade on the fuel settings with just a few clicks of the mouse on the laptop.
It should still be on warranty and my advice to other buyers the extended warranty is worth it.
Knock on wood my 261 is flawless running in the heat been good so far.
Should sounds familiar because the system used is..well..:)  
I'll use the correct term, "it shall be on warranty." :)
Seeing trapper said it wasn't broke in yet.
Here's a pic of the 550XP my Husky dealer gave me to  replace the faulty 550 with.
Looks pretty good outfitted with a professional grade Windsor Mini Pro bar and Stihl 23RS chain. None of this consumer laminated bar stuff.
The new owner was very happy with this not broke in yet saw when I sold it to him last winter. :)

(http://forestryforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/21589/20180128_124158~2.jpg?easyrotate_cache=1531615076)
 
Title: Re: Official MS261CM vs 550XP test
Post by: trapper on July 14, 2018, 09:57:57 PM
I bought the stihl oil to get the extended warranty on both the 241 and the 261.  It is all I use along with premium gas without ethanol. 
Title: Re: Official MS261CM vs 550XP test
Post by: HolmenTree on July 14, 2018, 10:25:30 PM
You're good to go trapper, hopefully your dealer and tech have all the proper software and training.
Title: Re: Official MS261CM vs 550XP test
Post by: weimedog on July 15, 2018, 07:17:35 AM
trapper, take it into your dealer and they may have to do a upgrade on the fuel settings with just a few clicks of the mouse on the laptop.
It should still be on warranty and my advice to other buyers the extended warranty is worth it.
Knock on wood my 261 is flawless running in the heat been good so far.
Should sounds familiar because the system used is..well..:)  
I'll use the correct term, "it shall be on warranty." :)
Seeing trapper said it wasn't broke in yet.
Here's a pic of the 550XP my Husky dealer gave me to  replace the faulty 550 with.
Looks pretty good outfitted with a professional grade Windsor Mini Pro bar and Stihl 23RS chain. None of this consumer laminated bar stuff.
The new owner was very happy with this not broke in yet saw when I sold it to him last winter. :)

(http://forestryforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/21589/20180128_124158~2.jpg?easyrotate_cache=1531615076)

Used to an old southern saying  "From the frying pan into the fire"..:) I've said it for a while, all the manufacturers have to learn the new technology. AND both Stihl & Husqvarna being responsible will support their "learning" curves with good customer support. The biggest difference is the open nature of the discussion with Husqvarna's vs. a more controlled style in the other community. The "Autotune" systems are essentially the same technology. Both have matured and the later versions statistically have evolved to a good place. Same with the "blend" of Autotune to fuel efficient porting strategies that run hotter. What many don't know is there have been substantial upgrades to the 550 over its life span. A kit is available that replaces some internals to the carb along with the fuel line to get it in a cooler place. Makes a lot of difference. And also the new designs from both companies are a product of what they have learned. 572 case and point. One thing I like with the Husqvarna's is all the upgrades to this point with the 550 series and 562 series saws can be retro'ed to the earlier versions. They have evolved the product so there is a way to maintain the investment with the newer parts. I don't know the Stihl product line enough to comment on their upgrades but I assume they have done similar things.

Relative to "hot start", one really simple thing to check is if the "air valve" side of the carb (to the strato ports) actually snaps shut. I've seen them on some of the other Stihl M-tronics systems where for some reason they will hang a little and the saw won't drop back to idle as fast as it should and sometimes simply won't restart. Scares the hell out of the owner with the high idle and slow to get to low idle symptoms and all related things, but is not a big deal. Not sure the best fix, sometimes a simple cleaning of the area works. Either way the folks who went to a Stihl dealer had it resolved.
Title: Re: Official MS261CM vs 550XP test
Post by: trapper on July 15, 2018, 02:59:51 PM
You're good to go trapper, hopefully your dealer and tech have all the proper software and training.
The owner and tech are the same person.  Says he has the software and has had good experience with the 261.  When I bought it he ordered one instead of giving me one from stock to get the latest technology.  I buy all my lawn and garden equipment from him and he gives me good service at times dropping what he is doing to take care of a small problem.  
Title: Re: Official MS261CM vs 550XP test
Post by: teakwood on July 16, 2018, 08:22:32 AM
I would also never run a 20" on a 261. more like 16"
Title: Re: Official MS261CM vs 550XP test
Post by: Crusarius on July 16, 2018, 08:35:34 AM
Friend of mine had a nice big walnut come down blocking his driveway yesterday. I have a 20" bar on my 261 and it rocked through all of that tree. The smallest log I cut was 9". The largest was around 14" I think. Did not measure all of them on the trailer. Still have 24' of saw logs that need to be removed but the trunk is almost 24" diameter. 

I don't see why you guys say you would not run a 20" bar on the 261. I am super happy with my 261. It is the best saw I have ever run. 
Title: Re: Official MS261CM vs 550XP test
Post by: John Mc on July 16, 2018, 09:08:16 AM
Crusarius - the 261 is a really nice saw, I just find that a 16" bar is a far better match in terms of the power available and the weight and balance of the saw for all of the 50 cc saws I've ever used. I cut mainly hardwoods. Maybe I would feel differently if I cut softwoods (though I doubt it, since I still don't like the balance of a 20" bar on my 50cc saws).

If I need a longer bar, I go to a 60cc saw (though even my 357XP also wears a 16" bar 95% of the time). If I know I'm going to be doing a lot of cutting greater than 16" diameter, I'll use a saw that can handle a longer bar well (for example, if I'm bucking up a bunch of stuff greater than 16" for firewood). If I'm thinning a stand while felling for firewood, most of what I'm cutting is under 16". I'd rather use the shorter bar and carry around a lighter saw which works just fine for the vast majority of what I'm cutting - yes, I do occasionally have to fell a larger tree by cutting from both sides, but I'll accept that trade-off for carrying a lighter saw with a shorter bar that is more maneuverable and can more easily double as a limbing saw.

I know some people like longer bars when limbing because it extends their reach and avoids having to bend down so much. Personally, I find that a false economy: working out at the wrong end of a longer lever negates and of the reach and bending advantages, and the longer bar just gets in the way when manuevering for efficient limbing. I prefer to get right up to where I'm cutting, rather than reaching out. (An old neck and upper back injury from wrestling in college forces me to pay close attention to using good ergonomics when cutting, or I'll end up with multiple trips to the Chiropractor - my physical therapist wife has gotten tired of fixing me when I'm broken).

I'm not saying my way is the only way, or the beast way. It's just what works for me and the techniques I use (or am forced to adopt as my body gets older and creakier). If the longer bar works for you, go for it.
Title: Re: Official MS261CM vs 550XP test
Post by: trapper on July 16, 2018, 10:20:51 AM
The 261 being my largest saw would putting a 14 on the 241  A 16 on the 261 and saving the 20 for when I need it be better?  I cut everything but mostly hardwood.  The other day sparks were flying as I was cutting hickory for a friend with the 241.  Also is there any way to keep the chain from getting plugged under the clutch cover when noodling.   Tree trimmer sometimes brings me some big pieces and that is the only way to get them small enough to handle
Title: Re: Official MS261CM vs 550XP test
Post by: gspren on July 16, 2018, 10:35:03 AM
Trapper, how do you like the 241 vs the 261? Is it enough difference to have both?
Title: Re: Official MS261CM vs 550XP test
Post by: John Mc on July 16, 2018, 10:39:58 AM
My 20" bar will fit either my 50cc or my 60cc saw. Both of them wear a 16" bar most of the time, and the 20" gets put on when I know I have larger wood to cut. When I had a 40cc saw, it also wore a 16" bar (mostly for convenience: it used the same bar and chain as my 50cc saw).

Which size bar works for you depends a lot on personal preference. If you have a 16" bar that will fit your 261, try it out in a variety of applications and see what you think. Having two bars to fit the saw (regardless of size) can make some sense anyway: you have a spare if one gets damaged, and if you get pinched in a tree, you can remove the bar, put on the spare and cut yourself out (not so much needed if you have another saw with you).
Title: Re: Official MS261CM vs 550XP test
Post by: HolmenTree on July 16, 2018, 12:28:43 PM
The 261 being my largest saw would putting a 14 on the 241  A 16 on the 261 and saving the 20 for when I need it be better?  I cut everything but mostly hardwood.  The other day sparks were flying as I was cutting hickory for a friend with the 241.  Also is there any way to keep the chain from getting plugged under the clutch cover when noodling.   Tree trimmer sometimes brings me some big pieces and that is the only way to get them small enough to handle
I don't know what chain you have on the 241but I would stick with a 16" on both the 241/261. And yes a 20" b/c for backup would be perfect.
For noodling I remove the sprocket cover and shim up the bar studs onto the bar with washers, then put the nuts back on. Now you have free noodle chip clearance that will just fall off the saw and your chain brake still works.
You will have to use older style bar nuts as the 261's bar nuts are captive to the cover.
Title: Re: Official MS261CM vs 550XP test
Post by: John Mc on July 16, 2018, 01:22:51 PM
Another thing that helps with noodling is to lift the saw handle up a bit so you are cutting at an angle to the log, rather than exactly parallel to the grain. The further you lift it, the smaller the chips. I find 30˚ or so works OK for me, but I'm cutting with a different saw than you are.
Title: Re: Official MS261CM vs 550XP test
Post by: teakwood on July 16, 2018, 07:22:28 PM
Crusarius - the 261 is a really nice saw, I just find that a 16" bar is a far better match in terms of the power available and the weight and balance of the saw for all of the 50 cc saws I've ever used. I cut mainly hardwoods. Maybe I would feel differently if I cut softwoods (though I doubt it, since I still don't like the balance of a 20" bar on my 50cc saws).

If I need a longer bar, I go to a 60cc saw (though even my 357XP also wears a 16" bar 95% of the time). If I know I'm going to be doing a lot of cutting greater than 16" diameter, I'll use a saw that can handle a longer bar well (for example, if I'm bucking up a bunch of stuff greater than 16" for firewood). If I'm thinning a stand while felling for firewood, most of what I'm cutting is under 16". I'd rather use the shorter bar and carry around a lighter saw which works just fine for the vast majority of what I'm cutting - yes, I do occasionally have to fell a larger tree by cutting from both sides, but I'll accept that trade-off for carrying a lighter saw with a shorter bar that is more maneuverable and can more easily double as a limbing saw.

I know some people like longer bars when limbing because it extends their reach and avoids having to bend down so much. Personally, I find that a false economy: working out at the wrong end of a longer lever negates and of the reach and bending advantages, and the longer bar just gets in the way when manuevering for efficient limbing. I prefer to get right up to where I'm cutting, rather than reaching out. (An old neck and upper back injury from wrestling in college forces me to pay close attention to using good ergonomics when cutting, or I'll end up with multiple trips to the Chiropractor - my physical therapist wife has gotten tired of fixing me when I'm broken).

I'm not saying my way is the only way, or the beast way. It's just what works for me and the techniques I use (or am forced to adopt as my body gets older and creakier). If the longer bar works for you, go for it.
I feel exactly the same as John MC with that post!  Excellent explanation. 
Title: Re: Official MS261CM vs 550XP test
Post by: teakwood on July 16, 2018, 07:34:52 PM
I don't see why you guys say you would not run a 20" bar on the 261. I am super happy with my 261. It is the best saw I have ever run.


You misunderstood us. We don't say you can't run a 20" on a 261. Heck you can run a 24" if you want, the saw will always cut.
But a 20" makes a 50cc saw point heavy, out of balance, so the saw don't handles that well as if it would be balanced.
I use my 260 with a .325" 18" bar and for me it's the absolute limit length wise, 16" would be better. and even with the 18" the saw has not enough force to bury the whole length in the cut. The 50cc was getting to slow for my growing teaktrees. If the tree is over 10" the 260 bogged down to much and i couldn't stand the cutting speed. so i upgraded to the 361, muffler moded. Dang do i love that saw! Still light but a whole other animal than the 260

I use 18" 3/8" on the 361 which i find perfect for this 60cc saw, powerful and light weight, super balanced.
On the new 462, 70cc,(when i finally can buy one) i will go definitively with a 20" ES light bar.
Title: Re: Official MS261CM vs 550XP test
Post by: trapper on July 18, 2018, 01:55:24 PM
Didnt get the 261 back yet but took my 241 to test a chain I just sharpened.
74 degrees and buried the 16 inch bar cutting a 20 inch ash.  Made 3 cuts and shut the saw off.  Tried starting the saw and it started first pull every time.
Title: Re: Official MS261CM vs 550XP test
Post by: realzed on July 18, 2018, 07:12:18 PM
Willard - since it was just a bit over a year ago that this thread started up and also since that time the discussion here has diverged since then into many different topics and areas, many with nothing at all to do with the original subject - the 261 verses 550.
I was wondering if you would care to return to the original intent of it and give us some of your final or at least current up to this point impressions of the 261C-M (and 550XP) both of which you were going to put up against each other longer term and give us all some feedback on your thoughts about each and how they finally stacked up? 
I assume you have had by now, ample time to really part a lot of bark and get down and dirty with each and I'm of course really interested in your take on the MTronic version and how you view Stihl's M Tronic technology as displayed in the newest version II model verses Husky's.. in addition to any other facets of usefulness and/or convenience each saw may bring to the table for prospective buyers.
Thanks - Randy  
Title: Re: Official MS261CM vs 550XP test
Post by: DelawhereJoe on July 18, 2018, 07:59:05 PM
I think HolmenTree sold his 550xp this past winter, ending the Official 261 vs 550 test. Now its just the 261 vs the trees.
Title: Re: Official MS261CM vs 550XP test
Post by: HolmenTree on July 18, 2018, 09:12:35 PM
That is correct Joe  :D
Randy realzed,
As Joe said I sold the 550XP to a very happy utility linesmen who is a fire wood cutter on the weekends.
If I was to summarize the over all test ...I had 2 of the best 50cc professional grade saws ever built. Period.
Now I never had a chance to test the MS261CM in our cold Canadian winters as I no longer log and I don't run my tree service in the winter.

But I still think the comparison standard still stands over the last 40 years......the Husqvarna XP saws are the best cold weather winter saws and no one makes a better hot weather summer saw then Stihl.

I have three 550XP saws (576XP AT before that) for the last 10 or more years that flawlessly run in down to 50 below wind chill with winter pre heater kits installed, up on a stage with up to 60 (mostly novice) competitors in a speed cutting competition. Auto tune does its job even at those severe temps, they get set down and idle perfect waiting for the next competitor.

The MS261CM is very user friendly with a master control switch that does not need the switch to be reset to fast idle after doing a cold start with the choke.
550XP does need the fast idle manually set after a choke cold start plus it usually needs the fast idle to be set when doing a hot start.
Husqvarna always did that. Back in the day the Husqvarna 162 or 266 etc. had the separate fast idle knob in the rear handle, separate choke slide  plus a 3rd on off toggle switch.
Now the Jonsereds 630 670 which are basically rebadged red and black Husqvarna 162 266 had the on off toggle switch but had the choke and fast idle mode incorporated in a single slide switch.

Now to compare these two saws to a professional job they were designed for on the world wide market. Pulp cutting.
In Sweden the land of endless conifer spruce and pine forests the 550XP with its hyper quick Rev Boost acceleration would dominate in softwood pulpwood production limbing these small diameter closely spaced limbs and the capability to run well in snowy freezing conditions.

The Stihl MS261CM with it's strong torquey powerband and slightly higher h.p. would do excellent in hardwood pulpwood production as limbing in hardwood is more like "continually bucking" through thick stems and crotches close to the log.  
But don't let my Husqvarna "best winter saw " comment distract you. The MS261CM VW with electronically heated carb and handles is now available in Canada.

So there you go for the time being.
Saw design technology is always rapidly evolving, Husqvarna is making their own chain now and from reports it is good chain. Stihl always made good chain as long as I remember.
On both 550XP and MS261 CM whether its 16" 18" or 20" run 7 tooth .325 rim sprockets with either chisel or semi chisel .325 chain filed with a 3/16" file.
You'll have a fully functional all round saw  in biggest and the smallest diameter wood they can handle.
Title: Re: Official MS261CM vs 550XP test
Post by: weimedog on July 19, 2018, 09:28:32 AM
I would be curious to hear you explain the differences between the Husqvarna Autotune technology vs. Stihl's M-Tronic, for example what software handles are available one vs. the other, and things like the frequency & duration they do their "lean out" testing...etc. Memory and how much & what particular info is stored for how long. All things related. And how easy are they for the techs to hook up to down load history and update firmware one vs. the other. And how far back in years or models can update be retro'ed...when did the first 50cc M-tronic saw come out in that class vs. the 550xp? A bit of history from the other side would be of interest. I'm quite familiar with the Husqvarna side of that discussion but haven't spent a lot of time on the M-tronics.. Bottom line for me on these two is there are a lot of folks using them and like all things there are those who favor one over the other for a variety of reasons...but at this point both are excellent saws. Only going to get better as time in the field works its way back to the engineering from both companies.
Title: Re: Official MS261CM vs 550XP test
Post by: teakwood on July 20, 2018, 09:12:57 AM
Why don't you explain that part from the husky side? We know you're a husky guy and have vast knowledge of them. So i think it would be interesting for people to hear about the upgrades in the auto tune. What has been improved on the 550xp? 
Title: Re: Official MS261CM vs 550XP test
Post by: weimedog on July 20, 2018, 10:49:21 AM
Kind of want to hear it from the resident experts (of which I am NOT and don't claim to be on those two brands collectively. ) where a point by point comparison can be made with actual experience & knowledge with both. Hence the question. But I do understand the system concepts and characteristics because of a prior life. I really can't do that side by side comparison as I have a "one sided" knowledge set. Which is why out of curiosity I'm asking the expert..:) AND BTW the most meaningful 550 upgrade actually is the carb kits and fuel line update to go along with a firmware update. A great reason to have a good relationship with your Husqvarna dealer. I have three EXCELLENT dealers within driving distance so don't have to worry about knowledge with CST or support for the same.

To START a discussion how about a generic overview & begin an outline definition of the parameters for a discussion related to these systems:
I will say that a typical autotune system is a fairly simplistic system where it uses throttle position, carb temperature and rpms as data to alter fuel mixture based on system parameters. For the Husqvarna system the three "special" conditions focused on are "start", idle, and under load which Husqvarna calls "tuning mode".

On the starting "mode" as soon as there are a few rotations from stop, pull starting, there is a calculation real time based on parameters to decide a fuel mixture setting to enhance easy starts. Of course this is where many "fight" as the "choke" is a manual device that isn't a part of the autotune system..:) Why more that three pulls on a healthy saw with the choke on means flooding..

Idle Mode. Based on the throttle position sensor , autotune systems adjust ignition timing and then fuel supply to get a smooth idle, ever hear those come down a "step down" from a higher idle to the steady slower idle?

Load defined by throttle position or "Tuning mode" for Husqvarna's. Higher throttle openings, load is assumed, the tuning mode is an iteration where periodically ( How often? question number one...:) ) the system restricts the fuel for a short time ( Time for test? question number two :) ) and based on the change in RPM's subsequently adds or subtracts fuel to get that saw in that particular situation to a higher RPM, or maximum power. Say hypothetically the test cycle is 6 RPM's done at some pre defined frequency...and as the fuel is restricted, the saw picks up RPM's...that means the saw was too rich, so the system subsequently closes the fuel valve for a little longer during its "open - close" cycle until the NEXT test. How it defines fuel supply is that cyclical opening and closing for periods of time of a effectively solenoid operated or "magnetic" fuel valve in the carburetor. If that saw reduces RPM's during the test, the system defines that as a lean condition and will adjust the fuel valve to open for a longer period of time...adding more fuel to the mixture. This process is going on constantly while the saw is running, an iterative process always testing and adjusting to get max RPM's; and why these systems can cover up issues like dirty air filters, different fuels, altitude etc.  Questions number three ultimately is how quickly the system can adapt as the system "speed" and characteristics will effect things like the time or RPM length of the test required to get desired results. Memory, how much history data can be stored locally. Just basics system questions like any other are going to be part of the saw discussion over time...and is interesting to me.

Just like a comparison of mechanical design, these cyber space characteristics more and more effect the power characteristics and reliability of a saw. Like compression ratio's and port layout,  Autotune "hardware" speed & characteristics promote the speed and accuracy of this test cycle :) there for how a saw runs within its physical limitations.  SO of course one vs. the other on particular saws is the same as comparing weight, rpms, power etc as now its all interrelated. When they evolve, as they most certainly will, conversations about accessibility, aftermarket enhancements, and eventually the change to "efi "will certainly follow just as with all the other motorsports.

Firmware? Essentially the way a to alter how the system react to input..:) AND I might add is one of the "value adds" to the current Husqvarna versions as they are constantly tweaking firmware as more and more real experience in gained. They are pretty good at what they do and also a way to update older saws with those systems.

Some of the earlier "Autotune" systems such as with the 576's and 441c's what came with the saw is what it had, no "firmware" adjustments to use existing systems possible..you would have to litterally change the carb and ignition to get later itterations. A closed system. The current Husqvarna more open system allow "firmware" updates to reach back to the earliest versions, on 562's even the defamed el44's can be made to run better; and have. To get an idea of the information available with the systems, ALL of which is essentially available on the 550's therefore relevant to this comparison; I have to reference a YouTube video:

Husqvarna CST (Common Service Tool) Evaluating Husqvarna 562xp and Jonsered cs2258 Chainsaws - YouTube (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zlQau8S3GEs)
Title: Re: Official MS261CM vs 550XP test
Post by: weimedog on July 20, 2018, 10:50:48 AM
One thing I do know is the Husqvarna "system" from saw to CST is an excellent, well thought out and now mature concept and I really appreciate what it brings to the table for Husqvarna saw owners through their dealers. AND Husqvarna is not standing still on this. I doubt Stihl is either. Which is why a discussion of this entire cabal is relevant almost necessary when comparing these new saws from either company. When there is a "break down" in the system, its just as catastrophic as a mechanical blow up. I like the 550xp's don't know a thing about the new Stihl's DO know the 441c's are essentially the same era technology as the 576's....So where does the 261 fit into this technology time frame? Your turn.
Title: Re: Official MS261CM vs 550XP test
Post by: HolmenTree on July 20, 2018, 04:28:24 PM
Kind of want to hear it from the resident experts (of which I am NOT and don't claim to be on those two brands collectively. ) where a point by point comparison can be made with actual experience & knowledge with both. Hence the question. But I do understand the system concepts and characteristics because of a prior life. I really can't do that side by side comparison as I have a "one sided" knowledge set. Which is why out of curiosity I'm asking the expert..:)

Husqvarna CST (Common Service Tool) Evaluating Husqvarna 562xp and Jonsered cs2258 Chainsaws - YouTube (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zlQau8S3GEs)
Weimedog,
I'm sorry this is as far as I can quote into your long post. :D
I skimmed a bit further into it but it only seems like you were copying off a Husqvarna service manual and spitting out random information. ::)
If I need (which I usually don't) to know the deep technical information I want concise easy to follow info from a factory design engineer or field engineer who I'm working the saw for.
In the 40 some odd years I've been making a living with a chainsaw I have on one particular date spoken for hours to a engineer who designed the Stihl 038 he came from the factory in Germany just to talk to me.
He didn't meet me to talk about the intake velocity or ignition timing on the saw. He wanted to share hands on operation with the saw on the logging site in minus -30 below F temperatures. I gave him what he needed to know and take back with him to the laboratory.
Engineers from product research and development need to constantly know what the end user is getting out of their product and how it can be improved.
Like the video you made of the 572XP Spike 60 received, I got pretty excited with wow the guys got the first hand feel for the new generation saw in the forest!
But I'm sorry to say there was so much void of any report I was  certain anything that really stuck out about the saw while operating it could have bit you in the butt and you guys wouldn't even have noticed it :)
Anyways back to regular programming.....
Title: Re: Official MS261CM vs 550XP test
Post by: weimedog on July 20, 2018, 09:43:02 PM
So hopefully more will add to the discussion. I don't have a service manual right now but have gone to training so that's pretty much memory & "seat of the pants" but I would assume the service manual would say something similar...at least I hope it would! Other wise I would be way off and the training would have been a waste of time. So basically your post says you have nothing to offer relative to this...and that's fine, but also would expect the concepts to be "random information" to a person who's focus & understanding is simply the end results which ultimately is most important I guess. The second thing you imply is since it doesn't matter to you, it shouldn't matter to anyone else! :) But I suspect there are a few who do know a LOT more about this subject here than I can offer. And the point I would like to make is as time goes on, this subject of the controls and components will become more and more relevant as they are a major factor in serviceability and simply how the saw runs. But I was hoping you at least could let us know what the basics are for the 261's vs. take the "defensive" response. This thread is about the 550 vs 261 right? While it may not matter to you, it does to me. And since I'm about learning, I don't want a "spat" with you, I want to know and get the real info from those who do know. A similar concept as with many other specifications. Do they (the 261's) have the same generation controls? I think I've heard Stihl has a very similar setup but simply don't know. Why I asked. And how can you compare saws without addressing this, is the second point. A major part of life with these machines.
Title: Re: Official MS261CM vs 550XP test
Post by: HolmenTree on July 21, 2018, 11:00:37 AM
Walter weimedog, yes taking the "defensive response" seems to revolve in a rotation from both sides doesn't it? ;)

Myself as a professional chainsaw end user my primary focus is making a living removing trees for customers in a urban residential worksite.
My focus is to safely and efficiently remove any type of tree in the shortest time frame and make a profit without damaging someone else's property.
Thanks to a past life as a 5 day a week cut and skid piecework hand faller, I learned the basics on how to maintain and operate a chainsaw  keeping the repetitive flow of  timber into the landing.

Like the other day when going to a new job my diesel pickup had a hiccup,  the engine light came on and the automatic transmission started shifting weird. So I went to my Dodge dealer and after a hour they successfully reprogrammed and upgraded the transmission with a laptop computer and some very expensive attachments.
I'm back moments later cutting wood.....I expect guys like you and your Husqvarna dealer friend Spike60 to do the same for my saw should it have a hiccup.  

You do what you do best and I'll do what I do best. In the real world outside of the internet we need each other to make a living.
Rather then rambling on trying to decipher each others posts on a chainsaw forum I prefer the hands on approach to settle any issues.

I did that approach through this "Official MS261CM vs 550XP test" with a year in hands on report operating them sharing their differences and stirring up some conversation.

Now to change the channel and hopefully soon we'll have the "Official MS462CM vs 572XP test". :)

I can't wait to get the MS462 in my hands whether it's a CM or non CM and comparing it to my MS261

Also comparing the 572XP to my older 562XP.
Lots of things to see and do.



Title: Re: Official MS261CM vs 550XP test
Post by: HolmenTree on July 23, 2018, 10:01:18 AM
Hot off the press yesterday.
Randy in Tennessee has a new Stihl MS462CM and Husqvsrna 572XPG sent to him.
Several others shared these videos before me.
70cc 572XPG 15.146 lbs (had a few ounces of oil in it)
72cc 462CM 13.34 lbs.

Husqvarna 572XPG VS Stihl MS462CM Comparison - YouTube (https://youtu.be/i10m-CP88bU)
Title: Re: Official MS261CM vs 550XP test
Post by: John Mc on July 23, 2018, 12:13:48 PM
Looks like the Stihl was about 2 seconds slower than the Husky in that video, but his technique varied a bit from cut to cut, and it could just as well be a difference in chains.
Title: Re: Official MS261CM vs 550XP test
Post by: HolmenTree on July 23, 2018, 01:24:07 PM
Yes cookie cutting really  proves nothing but does show  the saws in action in a good sized piece of wood with lots of knots to slow them down.

Here's one more in 12"×12" white pine. I didn't bother timing them but 462 looked faster.
Husqvarna 572XP VS Stihl MS462CM - YouTube (https://youtu.be/uboOsgxBF8U)
Title: Re: Official MS261CM vs 550XP test
Post by: HolmenTree on July 23, 2018, 06:55:38 PM
Pouring rain today so in the shop tinkering with my saws.
Replaced the dogs on my MS261 with a smooth bumper I had kicking around for the last 30 or more years.
Beautiful thing about Stihl is they don't redesign a proven design that will fit all their saws in this example a 3003 bar mount.
This bumper came off a 038  from almost 40 years ago.
Fits perfect on the 2017 MS261CM. :)

(http://forestryforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/21589/20180723_174552.jpg?easyrotate_cache=1532386494)
 
Title: Re: Official MS261CM vs 550XP test
Post by: teakwood on July 23, 2018, 08:12:26 PM
The cookie cutting videos are worthless for real day by day work situations in the woods. It doesn't matter if one saw is half a second faster than the other.
What really matters is how a saw feels and handles. the weight is important too. 
So for every person these feelings are different. You have to try which saw and manufacturer you like most.
Title: Re: Official MS261CM vs 550XP test
Post by: John Mc on July 23, 2018, 09:18:28 PM
The cookie cutting videos are worthless for real day by day work situations in the woods. It doesn't matter if one saw is half a second faster than the other.
What really matters is how a saw feels and handles. the weight is important too.
So for every person these feelings are different. You have to try which saw and manufacturer you like most.
It's certainly not the only criteria on which I'd base a purchasing decision. I have an old neck and upper back injury that is aggravated by using a chainsaw, so the weight and how the saw fits me is critical to me. However, I don;t find cookie cutter videos worthless: it is interesting information. I don' worry about an extra second in the cut if a saw feels good to me, but I'm interested to see if they are at least close.
Title: Re: Official MS261CM vs 550XP test
Post by: HolmenTree on July 23, 2018, 11:07:27 PM
So true guys...
if 2 saws perform good together in the same log ( easy to see their both sharp pulling nice chips) there is nothing wrong with that.
But too many get hung up on weight of a few ounces. But in this case almost 2 lbs more for the same class of saw will wear you down in a day,  a week, a month, over a year
Title: Re: Official MS261CM vs 550XP test
Post by: barbender on July 23, 2018, 11:36:56 PM
I don't get why he "dropped out" over the specs of the new saw?
Title: Re: Official MS261CM vs 550XP test
Post by: HolmenTree on July 24, 2018, 12:50:44 AM
I don't get why he "dropped out" over the specs of the new saw?
You may not know Sawtroll Niko well enough barbender. :laugh:
Maybe this is not the place to say this outside a PM
But he really was good at specifications especially Husqvarna's and Stihl's and what I heard he said he had enough with the same old song and dance with saw talk.
But I really do believe he was disappointed with the outcome from the Husqvarna camp.
Title: Re: Official MS261CM vs 550XP test
Post by: weimedog on July 24, 2018, 10:15:42 AM
Most here recognize cookie cutting is about orders of magnitude....the wood changes, chains change even if you use the same B&C which wasn't done here. Both saws look and sounded good is the take away for me, either one an awesome new saw...and I heard the typical "step down" to idle the newer Husqvarna Autotunes do on the 572xp. And Specs ..ultimately its what saw feels best new that makes that initial impression that does effect initial sales decisions, and what my customers remind me over and over again is how well those saws work a year or two into the service life that effects subsequent sales. Service is a part of that. Can't see that "life with a saw" with either a online opinion about feel or a YouTube video with a few seconds of cookie time.

My guess? Its about statistics. Each person's review is a sample of a few saws and that person's opinion. That's it. Over the next couple of years these new saw models will pan out positive or negative in the marketplace based on their performance over time. AND there will be vocal advocates for both. Positive and negative. Really looking forward to this next evolution of controls though. While the technology hasn't yet been absorbed by the saw repair community, its just a matter of time, and also will have a huge impact of the service side and reliability side...:)

( One the focus was weight & possibly ergo's, the other reliability at the expense of weight, an engineering and marketing gamble for both, time will tell which works best in the marketplace )
Title: Re: Official MS261CM vs 550XP test
Post by: Weekend_Sawyer on July 24, 2018, 12:44:27 PM

 "I like them both, couple of good running saws"

I think that sums it up pretty well.

Jon
Title: Re: Official MS261CM vs 550XP test
Post by: HolmenTree on July 24, 2018, 01:36:54 PM
That is correct Joe  :D
Randy realzed,
As Joe said I sold the 550XP to a very happy utility linesmen who is a fire wood cutter on the weekends.
If I was to summarize the over all test ...I had 2 of the best 50cc professional grade saws ever built. Period.
Now I never had a chance to test the MS261CM in our cold Canadian winters as I no longer log and I don't run my tree service in the winter.

But I still think the comparison standard still stands over the last 40 years......the Husqvarna XP saws are the best cold weather winter saws and no one makes a better hot weather summer saw then Stihl.

I have three 550XP saws (576XP AT before that) for the last 10 or more years that flawlessly run in down to 50 below wind chill with winter pre heater kits installed, up on a stage with up to 60 (mostly novice) competitors in a speed cutting competition. Auto tune does its job even at those severe temps, they get set down and idle perfect waiting for the next competitor.

The MS261CM is very user friendly with a master control switch that does not need the switch to be reset to fast idle after doing a cold start with the choke.
550XP does need the fast idle manually set after a choke cold start plus it usually needs the fast idle to be set when doing a hot start.
Husqvarna always did that. Back in the day the Husqvarna 162 or 266 etc. had the separate fast idle knob in the rear handle, separate choke slide  plus a 3rd on off toggle switch.
Now the Jonsereds 630 670 which are basically rebadged red and black Husqvarna 162 266 had the on off toggle switch but had the choke and fast idle mode incorporated in a single slide switch.

Now to compare these two saws to a professional job they were designed for on the world wide market. Pulp cutting.
In Sweden the land of endless conifer spruce and pine forests the 550XP with its hyper quick Rev Boost acceleration would dominate in softwood pulpwood production limbing these small diameter closely spaced limbs and the capability to run well in snowy freezing conditions.

The Stihl MS261CM with it's strong torquey powerband and slightly higher h.p. would do excellent in hardwood pulpwood production as limbing in hardwood is more like "continually bucking" through thick stems and crotches close to the log.  
But don't let my Husqvarna "best winter saw " comment distract you. The MS261CM VW with electronically heated carb and handles is now available in Canada.

So there you go for the time being.
Saw design technology is always rapidly evolving, Husqvarna is making their own chain now and from reports it is good chain. Stihl always made good chain as long as I remember.
On both 550XP and MS261 CM whether its 16" 18" or 20" run 7 tooth .325 rim sprockets with either chisel or semi chisel .325 chain filed with a 3/16" file.
You'll have a fully functional all round saw  in biggest and the smallest diameter wood they can handle.
Thought I would repost my "official" final comments from a short time ago.

About all I have to say now is this one year old thread is now pushing 40,000 views , was a great run and thankyou everyone for being involved 8)
Title: Re: Official MS261CM vs 550XP test
Post by: John Mc on July 24, 2018, 01:49:24 PM
Husqvarna is making their own chain now and from reports it is good chain.

What is Husqvarna's new chain called? I keep meaning to try some, but can't remember the designation.
Title: Re: Official MS261CM vs 550XP test
Post by: weimedog on July 24, 2018, 02:18:25 PM
They have a new "X-Force" bar and X-Cut "Edge" chains, made in Sweden
Title: Re: Official MS261CM vs 550XP test
Post by: John Mc on July 24, 2018, 02:33:50 PM
They have a new "X-Force" bar and X-Cut "Edge" chains, made in Sweden
Do the two need to be used together, or will the X-cut chains fit on an older bar?
All I can find is .325 pitch, .050 gauge semi chisel chain (SP33G). All of my .325 pitch bars are .058 gauge.
Title: Re: Official MS261CM vs 550XP test
Post by: HolmenTree on July 24, 2018, 04:10:09 PM
Husqvarna is making their own chain now and from reports it is good chain.

What is Husqvarna's new chain called? I keep meaning to try some, but can't remember the designation.
John, I believe Husqvarna XCut .325 semi chisel is only available in the US at the moment.
But the Husqvarna C85 equivalent to Stihl 35RS Oregon 73LGX  will not arrive until the Husqvarna 572XP arrives. According to the company only C85 chain will be mounted on the 572XP to make optimum performance.
Heres a video with more trailing it. Notice the XCut incorporated a Stihl style oil o matic design in it's drive link. A design Stihl first introduced in 1971.
Chain for Husqvarna X-CUT or Oregon SpeedCut ??? - YouTube (https://youtu.be/GZFZ5z4lxw0)
Title: Re: Official MS261CM vs 550XP test
Post by: HolmenTree on July 24, 2018, 05:10:55 PM
They have a new "X-Force" bar and X-Cut "Edge" chains, made in Sweden
Do the two need to be used together, or will the X-cut chains fit on an older bar?
All I can find is .325 pitch, .050 gauge semi chisel chain (SP33G). All of my .325 pitch bars are .058 gauge.
John,
the new Husqvarna XCut .325 SP33G like the Oregon 95 chain are NK (narrow kerf) and yes need a matched thinner bar readily available through Oregon or Husqvarna sold here on consumer saws for years.
Title: Re: Official MS261CM vs 550XP test
Post by: weimedog on July 25, 2018, 06:30:15 AM
Oregon's 95TXL is here right now and available for those looking for those "newer" .325 options. It's all in .050 though. Along with the "Speedcut" light weight bar is/will be quite a bit less expensive than the Husqvarna options when they arrive.  A great light weigh alternative to Sugihara's at a much lower cost. In the process of switching over as stuff wears out.

Have the Versa Cut bars & DPX chain on two of the bigger MS660 saws now trying to keep the cost and weight down. Haven't run them enough for an opinion, mostly using the smaller 555/560's & smaller yet 120i this year, but other than not having replaceable tips, first impressions its a better  option for folks out here in hard wood country than the Total/Tsumara's Light bars which have really delicate tips. Neither in the Stihl Rollomatic ES territory for durability though. Not even close  for those out here who bore cut everything.

The "New" DPX seems to be similar in performance to the older LGX. Supposed to be an advance. Time will tell.
Title: Re: Official MS261CM vs 550XP test
Post by: Woodcutter_Mo on August 05, 2018, 08:06:21 PM
 The x-cut sp33g and the Oregon 95txl are very similar, I have a couple of each I use. Both work well so far. The sp33g stretches less from new than the 95txl chain but both seem to cut and hold up well. 
Title: Re: Official MS261CM vs 550XP test
Post by: Crusarius on August 06, 2018, 07:49:51 AM
So glad I had the 20" bar this past weekend. I had a 36'x18" walnut I had to remove from a trail and a 36'x16" hickory that needed to be relocated to my saw pile.

I have never run a nicer saw than the 261cm. I cannot believe how amazing it cut. Never had power issue but on the 3rd cut on the walnut I started smoking a bunch. decided it was time to sharpen the chain. Cut great rest of the day. I had no idea how dense hickory is until that day. wholly molly.
Title: Re: Official MS261CM vs 550XP test
Post by: HolmenTree on August 18, 2018, 09:56:40 PM
Well tonight I'm finally doing a muffler mod to my MS261 CM.

Going to keep it simple and only enlarging the exhaust outlet as much as I can to about 50% larger in diameter.
Will put in a larger screen from my 066 saws cut down to fit under the deflector.
The muffler is basically a empty tin can . Theres a small ledge to grind out inside just past the  outlet hole.

This is far better then some other examples I've seen of gills on the opposite side of the muffler or holes in the front.
So we'll see how the saw performs on Monday at the jobsite. :)

(http://forestryforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/21589/20180818_204328.jpg?easyrotate_cache=1534643772)
Title: Re: Official MS261CM vs 550XP test
Post by: HolmenTree on August 18, 2018, 11:57:48 PM
Well it worked out to rather then 50% larger outlet ,I made it double the size.
I made up a new screen and  installed. Nothing pretty trying to work around the exhaust deflector, but it will work just fine. :)

(http://forestryforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/21589/20180818_223038.jpg?easyrotate_cache=1534651029)
 
(http://forestryforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/21589/20180818_225003.jpg?easyrotate_cache=1534651059)
Title: Re: Official MS261CM vs 550XP test
Post by: realzed on August 19, 2018, 04:52:44 AM
I for one am very interested to know just how much of an improvement you find from this.. AND especially just how well and/or quickly the M-Tronic compensates for the obvious changes needed in mixture settings because of all of this. 
Title: Re: Official MS261CM vs 550XP test
Post by: HolmenTree on August 19, 2018, 10:35:44 AM
I won't know until tomorrow Randy, but I did start it up last night in the shop (not to bother the neighbors ;D) But that enlarged muffler outlet gave off a sound of a much larger saw.
At wide open throttle free wheeling it appeared to be running slightly rich, probably protecting itself. So I'm confident when it's in some wood it will adapt nicely.
Title: Re: Official MS261CM vs 550XP test
Post by: Crusarius on August 19, 2018, 11:29:27 AM
I am very interested to know how this works to. I doubt I will do any mods to my saw though. especially since it is still the best saw I have ever run.
Title: Re: Official MS261CM vs 550XP test
Post by: HolmenTree on August 20, 2018, 02:58:01 PM
I had a nice pleasant surprise today running my MS261CM after doing a muffler mod.
The MTronic must have adjusted itself when I free wheeled it at wide open throttle for those few seconds right after I did the muffler mod. Because when I first put it to work in this 60 foot spruce pictured below it seemed like a whole new saw.  :laugh:

A different sounding exhaust note, not annoying or much louder then it was. Just sounded more responsive and more eager in the wood.
Definitely has increased in power and pulled the 23RSC chain better then it ever did.

Free wheeling for a few seconds at WOT after finishing the tree it had a strong higher rpm break tone with a slight 4 cycle note. So I can say the MTronic is doing its job just fine, only difference from days of old it can now adjust in just a few seconds not minutes.

(http://forestryforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/21589/20180820_123730.jpg?easyrotate_cache=1534791224)
 
(http://forestryforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/21589/20180820_124641.jpg?easyrotate_cache=1534791384)
 
Title: Re: Official MS261CM vs 550XP test
Post by: HolmenTree on August 20, 2018, 08:57:39 PM
BTW I climbed and limbed the first 50 feet of that spruce before I felled it. Needed it narrow enough to avoid getting it deflected by the birch and possibly landing on the shed or camper.
Seeing I work alone I didn't want to top it and blocking it down risking blocks rolling down the hill into the lake :laugh:

Nice view of Paint Lake, Manitoba.

(http://forestryforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/21589/20180820_104220.jpg?easyrotate_cache=1534813045)
  
Title: Re: Official MS261CM vs 550XP test
Post by: realzed on August 20, 2018, 09:40:49 PM
I've heard some claim that there isn't a whole lot of difference between a late version 261CM and a stock 362CM when it comes to cutting ability and power, but I take that as being pretty optimistic. But after the mod to the muffler would you say the difference is getting a lot smaller considering? 
And as for noise does it just sound more like a larger displacement saw after it is all said and done? My biggest reluctance to doing such a modification would have been the noise factor - but if it truly isn't all that much louder I guess that then wipes that argument off the table and pretty much makes it a no-brainer..
The M-Tronic I hoped would make such things easy and reliable - guess so far it seems to be everything Stihl claims it to be.. and maybe more!  
Title: Re: Official MS261CM vs 550XP test
Post by: HolmenTree on August 20, 2018, 09:59:49 PM
From day one I always thought my 261 was a "little too stuffed up".
But with OSHA and EPA regulations a saw company has to do what it has to do to get it on the market.

Back in 1991 before all these stiff regulations I bought a brand new Stihl 066 Magnum with a dual exhaust outlet muffler. Man that saw put out good power and 27 years later after a rebuild it still does.

After letting the 261 breathe a little better I can see the saw was designed to perform this way, after it's in the endusers hands and when the warranty runs out.
The warranty part I think is up to the owner, normally after about 15 tank fills I would know if it's a lemon or not.

And... a big And, myself making a living with a saw...a peppy performing and peppy sounding saw makes me work with more energy too. :D
Title: Re: Official MS261CM vs 550XP test
Post by: HolmenTree on August 21, 2018, 04:36:03 PM
Well another pleasant surprise today.
I took out this 78 foot x 22" DBH poplar with my muffler modded MS261CM.
 Before I started I took out the muffler screen and what a surprise. More power with slightly more noise.
I guess the solid piece of the screen was partially covering the outlet too.

So it is safe to say I can enlarge the outlet even more ,then put the screen back in.
I blocked the whole tree up into short 16 inch long blocks plus another tree that it pushed over.
It appears the saws fuel economy may have been improved as the last pic shows. Between 1/3 to 1/2 tankful left after all that cutting.

The MTronic adjusted beautifully, I didn't notice any time it took.

(http://forestryforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/21589/20180821_132401.jpg?easyrotate_cache=1534881956)
 
(http://forestryforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/21589/20180821_123043.jpg?easyrotate_cache=1534882153)
 
(http://forestryforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/21589/20180821_124728.jpg?easyrotate_cache=1534882334)
 
Title: Re: Official MS261CM vs 550XP test
Post by: DelawhereJoe on August 21, 2018, 07:47:21 PM
Any chance of you putting a 20" bar on it and telling us how it cuts with the bar full in wood ?
Title: Re: Official MS261CM vs 550XP test
Post by: HolmenTree on August 21, 2018, 09:28:45 PM
Any chance of you putting a 20" bar on it and telling us how it cuts with the bar full in wood ?
Yep as  matter of fact my Stihl dealer called me this afternoon and said my new 20" ES Light bar came in .
$140 USD
Only trouble its 3/8 so I will have to use a 1/2 filed back 33RS
Title: Re: Official MS261CM vs 550XP test
Post by: Maine logger88 on August 21, 2018, 09:52:17 PM
Why 1/2 filed 3/8 chain?
Title: Re: Official MS261CM vs 550XP test
Post by: John Mc on August 21, 2018, 09:54:36 PM
Why 1/2 filed 3/8 chain?
Chain cuts a little more efficiently when it has been filed back a good bit.
Title: Re: Official MS261CM vs 550XP test
Post by: HolmenTree on August 21, 2018, 10:17:18 PM
Why 1/2 filed 3/8 chain?
Maine, 1/2 filed back 33RS 3/8 pulls in the kerf about equal to a new loop of 23RS .325
I'm all about production with how fast my saws cut, I'm not expecting too much out of a 50cc saw.
But I do have this 261 churning pretty good without doing mods to the cylinder. That I refuse to do, my 066 Magnum went 27 years before its cylinder was removed for a OEM rebuild.
I don't expect the 261 to go near that many years as it will get used alot more often.
But seriously the longest bar that will stay on the 261 is a 16". Until the MS462 is in my hands my 562XP will sport a18" b/c and the 066Mag /064 hybrid will get the new 20" ES Light bar backed up with a 28" ES when needed.
Found out recently why my Stihl dealer won't order Stihl Ultra mix oil anymore,  because he had a hard time selling it .
His past excuse was it's no longer sold in Canada :D
So I'm looking at this full synthetic mix I can buy from a local hardware store. $11 USD for a 16 ounce bottle. It claims a 5% to 10% increase in power and extra protection. I think the 261 and 066 will like it alot :)

(http://forestryforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/21589/20180819_114705.jpg?easyrotate_cache=1534878088)
Title: Re: Official MS261CM vs 550XP test
Post by: Maine logger88 on August 21, 2018, 11:38:46 PM
Ok I was just curious i have noticed 1/2 to 1/3 filed is my favorite range on a chain. I have a friend who plans on getting  a 261 and he wants to run 3/8 on it
Title: Re: Official MS261CM vs 550XP test
Post by: olcowhand on August 22, 2018, 04:19:32 AM
I run a 16" 3/8 on my stock MS 261 CM. I use the saw mainly to Limb and Buck smaller rounds behind my MS 461. It's not an issue, although I don't bury the bar.....
Title: Re: Official MS261CM vs 550XP test
Post by: John Mc on August 22, 2018, 07:45:16 AM
Willard -

Is that RedLine mix oil designed for air-cooled engines?
Title: Re: Official MS261CM vs 550XP test
Post by: Crusarius on August 22, 2018, 07:52:04 AM
I have a 20" bar on mine and it has been buried on quite a few walnut trees and some hickory. Still the most powerful best cutting saw I have run.  I find anytime I use the points to pivot I stall the chain but if I let it do its thing it fly's through everything I have let it attack.

I am not sure if what I am cutting is that hard on chains or if the hand filing I am doing is not very good. but it seems the sharp blade does not last very long. Good news is it doesn't take long to do a quick touchup but be nice if it lasted longer
Title: Re: Official MS261CM vs 550XP test
Post by: teakwood on August 22, 2018, 08:30:53 AM
Willard -

Is that RedLine mix oil designed for air-cooled engines?
Are you sure you want to change to another oil??
i'm no fan of changing oil in my chainsaws, always used stihl oil my whole life and never had a problem with any saw. and i mix them as recomended 1:50
Title: Re: Official MS261CM vs 550XP test
Post by: HolmenTree on August 22, 2018, 11:13:33 AM
Willard -

Is that RedLine mix oil designed for air-cooled engines?
Are you sure you want to change to another oil??
i'm no fan of changing oil in my chainsaws, always used stihl oil my whole life and never had a problem with any saw. and i mix them as recomended 1:50
teakwood and John,
Yes it is rated for air cooled engines. This Redline oil has the same JASCO FB/FC and API TC rating as the Stihl and Husqvarna pre mixes.
I noticed some varnish on my 261's piston when I did the muffler mod so I may need some extra cleaning and protection with this full synthetic oil.
Varnish can be caused by stale fuel or improper fuel mix ratio. But I always use fresh premium gas and 40:1 over 50:1 shouldn't be a problem with these new high performance Stihl engines rated for 50:1.
But who knows I haven't been able to get full synthetic Stihl Ultra mix for a few years now. My dealer says he will only order a whole case for me as he can't sell it locally for its high price.
By the time (years) that I use up all those bottles some of the solvents will have already leached through the plastic bottles.
The next nearest Stihl dealer is 600 miles away.
I feel confident this RedLine mix oil will be safe at 50:1.

(http://forestryforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/21589/20180822_084357.jpg?easyrotate_cache=1534950798)
Title: Re: Official MS261CM vs 550XP test
Post by: HolmenTree on August 22, 2018, 09:50:27 PM
Nothing to report on the MS261CM today as I put my 066Mag-28" to work removing 5 oversize spruce, jack pine and poplar.
The old 066 really impresses me how much power it really does have.
I'm running a 8 tooth rim with a loop of 28" 33RSC chain and it rips with the bar completely sunk in wood.
Amazing thing about the 27 year old 066 is I recently rebuilt it with new OEM bearings, seals and rubber parts but still running the original P/C and rings.
And get this, I never changed the original carb diaphrams!

Got my new 20" Stihl ES Light bar today. Will be running it on the 066 to back up the 562XP-18".
I weighed it and it weighs 2 lbs exact. I weighed a Cannon 20" bar I have and it weighs 4 lbs 1 oz :o
So the light bar should seem pretty impressive especially on the 066.

As the last pic shows I wasn't too impressed with the surface of the aluminum insert on the left hand side. The right hand side was perfectly flat with no indent lines.
Will see how the bar holds up, hope I don't bend this expensive bar as my normal practice of hammering them straight might seperate the insert.

(http://forestryforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/21589/20180822_202202.jpg?easyrotate_cache=1534988850)
 
(http://forestryforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/21589/20180822_202354.jpg?easyrotate_cache=1534988878)
Title: Re: Official MS261CM vs 550XP test
Post by: teakwood on August 23, 2018, 08:13:22 AM
Nice, i definitely need to buy this bar too for the 361.

there is a person in Great Britain who sells them pretty cheap
EBAY AD REMOVED BY ADMIN, REFER TO POSTING RULES
Title: Re: Official MS261CM vs 550XP test
Post by: HolmenTree on August 23, 2018, 08:54:52 AM
Must be $95US?
I paid over $180 CDN with tax for mine.
Title: Re: Official MS261CM vs 550XP test
Post by: realzed on August 23, 2018, 03:33:27 PM

Found out recently why my Stihl dealer won't order Stihl Ultra mix oil anymore,  because he had a hard time selling it .
His past excuse was it's no longer sold in Canada :D
So I'm looking at this full synthetic mix I can buy from a local hardware store. $11 USD for a 16 ounce bottle. It claims a 5% to 10% increase in power and extra protection. I think the 261 and 066 will like it alot :)

(http://forestryforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/21589/20180819_114705.jpg?easyrotate_cache=1534878088)

Willard - if you are looking for some Stihl Ultra here is a response I got this AM regarding some Ultra from a dealer close to you.. 
Hope this may help - I'm sure you could get some Bus Expressed to you at any point pretty cheaply or the next time you or a friend passes through there..


bcpower@mymts.net

reply
[size={defaultattr}]|  
Today, 12:10 PM



[/size]
HI Randy
Yes we stock all the Stihl products and accessories 200 ml mix oil is $3.00 ea and can be purchased in any quantities.
Thanks
Chris

 
--
 
B&C Power Products
 86 LaRose Ave
 The Pas, MB
 Box 1620
 Ph: 204-623-5791
 Fx: 204-623-7226

Title: Re: Official MS261CM vs 550XP test
Post by: HolmenTree on August 23, 2018, 05:50:12 PM
Randy, thanks for contacting Chris at B&C in The Pas. But Chris doesn't sell Ultra anymore either. He stopped selling it 5 years ago , a year before I moved out of The Pas. That $3 price is for 200ml of regular Stihl mix.

So I got my 066 Mag/064 Hybrid suited up today with a brand new 20" Stihl ES Light bar. Sure balances the saw nice, got a spare 25" 28" and 36" all .050 gauge and big dog sprocket cover to handle anything else.
Very versatile and nothing this 7.8 h.p. ole girl can't handle :)

(http://forestryforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/21589/20180823_161420.jpg?easyrotate_cache=1535060975)
  
Title: Re: Official MS261CM vs 550XP test
Post by: olcowhand on August 23, 2018, 06:08:55 PM
Willard,
That bar looks downright disproportionate to the saw now, although I bet it is much easier to handle (I have visions of the saw flying upward when you go to pick it up, because you gathered an un- needed bunch of energy to hoist it compared to the old saw/ Bar combo). Much the way I feel when I go to pick up my MS 261 CM after running my MS 461 for a while (maybe I should get one of those bars for the 461).
Thanks again for sharing your knowledge and experiences with us.
Ps. If I send you the muffler off my MS 261 with some frog pelts rolled up in it, will you do that mod and send it back (I'll pay the comm to FF.)?
Title: Re: Official MS261CM vs 550XP test
Post by: realzed on August 23, 2018, 07:51:51 PM
Willard - Chris must not read very well obviously as my question was "do you stock and sell Stihl Ultra premix oil".. I mentioned that I found it hard to find in that area and specifically mentioned 'ULTRA'.. the price did seem a bit less than I expected - as I pay $24 - $25 per 6 pack of Ultra here though..
Sorry - It certainly sounded like I had found you a neighborhood source - when all I guess I found was a neighborhood guy who couldn't or doesn't read well! :D
Title: Re: Official MS261CM vs 550XP test
Post by: HolmenTree on August 23, 2018, 08:34:55 PM
Willard - Chris must not read very well obviously as my question was "do you stock and sell Stihl Ultra premix oil".. I mentioned that I found it hard to find in that area and specifically mentioned 'ULTRA'.. the price did seem a bit less than I expected - as I pay $24 - $25 per 6 pack of Ultra here though..
Sorry - It certainly sounded like I had found you a neighborhood source - when all I guess I found was a neighborhood guy who couldn't or doesn't read well! :D
Chris has had other problems of late, Arctic Cat pulled the plug on his franchise.
But he does very well with his Mercury outboard motors and Lund boats. He recently bought a gas station, car wash and quick lube  too.

He is a  very loyal Stihl dealer for sure, his day job is a freight train engineer. His wife and grandson plus 2 employees run the dealership.
Title: Re: Official MS261CM vs 550XP test
Post by: HolmenTree on August 23, 2018, 08:46:03 PM
Willard,
That bar looks downright disproportionate to the saw now, although I bet it is much easier to handle (I have visions of the saw flying upward when you go to pick it up, because you gathered an un- needed bunch of energy to hoist it compared to the old saw/ Bar combo). Much the way I feel when I go to pick up my MS 261 CM after running my MS 461 for a while (maybe I should get one of those bars for the 461).
Thanks again for sharing your knowledge and experiences with us.
Ps. If I send you the muffler off my MS 261 with some frog pelts rolled up in it, will you do that mod and send it back (I'll pay the comm to FF.)?
Thanks olcowhand for the offer, I definitely have to do a much better job doing that muffler mod. Pretty rough quick mod I did there so I would never expect anyone to pay for that.HaHa.
The outlet deflector has to be removed to do a proper job enlarging the outlet, then needs to be silver soldered back on. But I'm right out of acetylene  for my torch.
 Matter of fact a whole new larger outlet deflector would need to be installed.
Might be a good winter off season project  :)
Title: Re: Official MS261CM vs 550XP test
Post by: teakwood on August 25, 2018, 08:55:40 AM
(maybe I should get one of those bars for the 461).


That bar will be the perfect match for a 461
Title: Re: Official MS261CM vs 550XP test
Post by: Pulphook on August 27, 2018, 07:29:29 AM
Glad U.S. pricing is not Canada ! You do pay through the nose for those nice govn't "services".
I did muffler mod my old but hot climbing saw Stihl top handle 009. It's the one to pack one for trail work with a 14" bar. But opening the muffler makes the little barker sound like a 440.
Nice posts Holmen.
Title: Re: Official MS261CM vs 550XP test
Post by: HolmenTree on September 17, 2018, 10:58:12 AM

Found out recently why my Stihl dealer won't order Stihl Ultra mix oil anymore,  because he had a hard time selling it .
His past excuse was it's no longer sold in Canada :D
So I'm looking at this full synthetic mix I can buy from a local hardware store. $11 USD for a 16 ounce bottle. It claims a 5% to 10% increase in power and extra protection. I think the 261 and 066 will like it alot :)

(http://forestryforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/21589/20180819_114705.jpg?easyrotate_cache=1534878088)

Willard - if you are looking for some Stihl Ultra here is a response I got this AM regarding some Ultra from a dealer close to you..
Hope this may help - I'm sure you could get some Bus Expressed to you at any point pretty cheaply or the next time you or a friend passes through there..


bcpower@mymts.net



reply
[size={defaultattr}]|  
Today, 12:10 PM



[/size]
HI Randy
Yes we stock all the Stihl products and accessories 200 ml mix oil is $3.00 ea and can be purchased in any quantities.
Thanks
Chris

 
--
 
B&C Power Products
 86 LaRose Ave
 The Pas, MB
 Box 1620
 Ph: 204-623-5791
 Fx: 204-623-7226

Bad news on the weekend, 59 year old Stihl dealer Chris Rushton who is a full time locomotive engineer is in hospital with life threatening injuries. His 38 year old conductor died during a derailment they were in when a bridge collapsed .
They were operating 3 locomotives pulling 27 cars of gasoline and propane. They were trapped in the front locomotive for hours.
It sounds like they saw it coming as one of them while trapped reported to the paramedics "there was no bridge when we came around the curve, you just can't stop this thing like a car."
Title: Re: Official MS261CM vs 550XP test
Post by: realzed on September 17, 2018, 01:23:47 PM
That's sad to hear for sure - hopefully he makes it.. was the accident on the line up your way or somewhere else?
That line from the Pas used to be crazy rough in the Winter and so bad you had to watch not to crack a tooth or more when drinking in the 'bar car'... ask me how I know! ;D
I've been on lots of roads a lot less bumpy and off camber that that line! Hard to imagine there aren't a lot more derailments and washouts heading towards Thompson, Gillam, and Churchill.. not to mention having to 'back into' that Thompson depot :).
Title: Re: Official MS261CM vs 550XP test
Post by: HolmenTree on September 17, 2018, 02:09:41 PM
Randy, it happened at Ponton between The Pas and Thompson.

It's hard to believe there's 600 tons or more of locomotives lying in that creek.
Plus 27 rail car full of propane and gasoline.hopefully still on the tracks.

Easy to google the news feed of the northern Manitoba train derailment.
Some of the news reports mistakenly says the 2 guys were conductors.

But latest reports says a conductor died and the engineer (Chris) survived. 
Title: Re: Official MS261CM vs 550XP test
Post by: realzed on September 17, 2018, 05:44:00 PM
Best Wishes to his Family and Friends.. for a good outcome to all of this for him!
Title: Re: Official MS261CM vs 550XP test
Post by: HolmenTree on September 17, 2018, 07:58:18 PM
My old friend Chris Rushton Stihl dealer owner of B&C Power Products in The Pas, Manitoba passed away this afternoon from his injuries in his train derailment.

I've known Chris for about 30 years and I have never met a more dedicated and loyal Stihl dealer. 
When someone walked through his store's front door he always took the time to talk with every single one of his customers like they were family.




Title: Re: Official MS261CM vs 550XP test
Post by: lxskllr on September 17, 2018, 08:07:19 PM
Sorry to hear that. Condolences  :'^(
Title: Re: Official MS261CM vs 550XP test
Post by: Hilltop366 on September 17, 2018, 08:15:43 PM
HolmenTree sorry to hear about the loss of your friend.
Title: Re: Official MS261CM vs 550XP test
Post by: realzed on September 17, 2018, 08:22:36 PM
Willard - My condolences to you and especially to his family.. 
Sounds from your description that he was quite a guy and good friend and also a kind and helpful human being! 
May you Rest In Peace Chris Rushton!
Title: Re: Official MS261CM vs 550XP test
Post by: barbender on September 17, 2018, 08:24:19 PM
Sorry for your loss, Willard.
Title: Re: Official MS261CM vs 550XP test
Post by: HolmenTree on September 17, 2018, 09:23:25 PM
Thanks guys.
Title: Re: Official MS261CM vs 550XP test
Post by: HolmenTree on September 19, 2018, 09:13:17 AM
Well fellas there is quite the turn of events up here in northern Manitoba.
It turns out Chris is still alive and recovering :o
Last Monday when I posted the news my wife's co- worker who is also a judge and a good friend of Chris, said his wife called from The Pas and said Chris passed away.

So me with my little pea brain says to myself "well I can't find any better source of information then that."

So sorry everyone.... and Chris if you are reading this give Todd and Sharon a poke in the ribs for me. :D
Title: Re: Official MS261CM vs 550XP test
Post by: Weekend_Sawyer on September 19, 2018, 10:37:15 AM
wow, now that is quite the recovery.
I'm truly glad your friend is still alive.
Jon
Title: Re: Official MS261CM vs 550XP test
Post by: JJinAK on September 19, 2018, 10:39:27 AM
Very glad to hear this.  Evidently the Great Stihl in the Sky wasn't ready for him just yet.  Here's hoping for a speedy recovery.

JaJ
Title: Re: Official MS261CM vs 550XP test
Post by: Hilltop366 on September 19, 2018, 10:48:29 AM
Apparently the reports of his death was an exaggeration! 
Title: Re: Official MS261CM vs 550XP test
Post by: realzed on September 19, 2018, 02:00:05 PM
Chainsaw Forum = divine intervention???  Lets hope so!  
Good News sometimes comes in mysterious ways I guess..
Title: Re: Official MS261CM vs 550XP test
Post by: barbender on September 19, 2018, 02:49:06 PM
That's certainly a good turn of events! It would kind of be nice to be reported  dead, just to see all of the nice things everyone says about you😂 I don't want to take away from the seriousness of the situation, and the fact that the other man lost his life. But, this was good news!  
  A humorous memory I have that illustrates the fact that we always say nice stuff about folks when they're dead or dying (and maybe we should concentrate on the positives when they're still alive)- a local trucking company owner got cancer and he was real sick. He was rumored to only have a very short time to live. Now, he always had the reputation for the "pennies lining up on his side", especially with his employees. I was visiting about his illness with an old trucker friend of mine, who was a former employee of the sick fellow. He said, "he was always straight with me, he always treated me well". About a month passed and the sick guy was doing some treatments and starting to rally and do quite well. His former employee and I were doing a project that I bought some gravel from the sick man. I hired my friend to haul it. He asked me "how much did he charge you for that material?" I told him the price, and he exclaimed "that cheap (Admin language edit)!!"😂😂😂 I guess it turned out we thought less of him when he was feeling better!😁
Title: Re: Official MS261CM vs 550XP test
Post by: HolmenTree on September 19, 2018, 05:57:45 PM
Apparently the reports of his death was an exaggeration!
Yes the cycle  of small town rumor mills. :D
Title: Re: Official MS261CM vs 550XP test
Post by: Weekend_Sawyer on September 21, 2018, 01:55:57 PM
 I'm still loving my 261CM.
I recently took down an 18" Chestnut Oak and when I started cutting it up I had to check and see if it was rotted inside. The saw was flying through the wood. I'm running the stock 20" bar and a yellow stihl chain. I have extensively used an 029, 028 and a huskey 455 and this saw cuts circles around them. Needless to say I am liking this saw.
Title: Re: Official MS261CM vs 550XP test
Post by: realzed on October 03, 2018, 10:05:19 PM
Willard - just wondering about your friend Chris and how is doing. Have you heard any more details about the accident itself or about how he is coming along?  
That line is so important to all of the communities North-Eastward from Thompson especially, and the washout of the section of it last year closer to Churchill was a real blow to that community for sure..  
I'm assuming they have the accident site well fixed up by now - but I really haven't seen or heard anything at all more about it.. any news?
Title: Re: Official MS261CM vs 550XP test
Post by: HolmenTree on October 04, 2018, 08:01:42 AM
Randy, he's recovering ok. Lots in the news here about his train derailment.

Latest blames  beavers flooding the area of mishap in this very remote location.
The Teamsters union is asking why it took emergency responders 9 hours to cut the 2 men out of the wreckage. The 38 year old conductor bled to death from a broken arm or leg.

Emergency responders said with the locomotives leaking diesel fuel and 27 cars of gasoline and propane a hazmat had to be setup first to secure the site.

An inquest is in the process.
Title: Re: Official MS261CM vs 550XP test
Post by: HolmenTree on October 04, 2018, 09:13:45 AM
Photo here of the wreck. As shown most of the tanker cars were pulled away from the site for safety.
Chris is one lucky Stihl dealer to be alive.

(http://forestryforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/21589/cpt132501210.jpg?easyrotate_cache=1538658811)
Title: Re: Official MS261CM vs 550XP test
Post by: HolmenTree on October 04, 2018, 04:06:45 PM
Put the muffler modded MS261CM to work this morning in one big hairy white spruce.

Its older sibling the 1997 066 Magnum-28" did the chores of felling the tree plus bucking a few oversize rounds off.

The snappy 261 was a pleasure delimbing this monstrosity of a tree.
Each limb was like a small tree.
 
(http://forestryforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/21589/20181004_122728.jpg?easyrotate_cache=1538683594)
  
Title: Re: Official MS261CM vs 550XP test
Post by: realzed on October 04, 2018, 09:52:49 PM
It's truly a shame that someone would or could die from such a relatively common injury.. I realize a compound fracture can lead to blood loss - but to take so long for whatever reason to finally get him out is a real cry'n shame to say the least..
As shown during 9/11 many true first responders often risk all and in fact give their lives on the pretext that they can save someone else's - and to not strive to that goal is bewildering and somewhat troubling. 
Maybe the Teamsters have a point - but then again I don't know all of the details!
Regardless, glad to hear your bud Chris is doing well - considering he went through it all as well - he must have a lot of questions in his own mind that need to be answered..
Title: Re: Official MS261CM vs 550XP test
Post by: realzed on October 27, 2018, 01:02:00 AM
In a somewhat different topic - but certainly still newer 261CM model related, Willard.. since it is now cooling down considerably around here  (probably nowhere near as much so as 'North of 55') I am trying to get my huge stack of maple logs bucked, stacked, and covered up before the real cold weather lands in my lap probably in a couple of weeks.
What do you consider is the point where it is best to be flipping over the cold weather shutter on any newer 261 (or older 026 like my son's for that matter) to keep them running better or creating a situation where the least amount of c/p wear is caused by cooler temperatures?
I felt last weekend when it was around 0 - 3 degrees C, that my saw ran great with the shutter still closed, but I thought I read that Stihl recommends that would probably be at the point where the shutter should be flipped to add warm air to the carb area.
I know that at -10 or -20 or beyond there certainly isn't any doubt about it being appropriate and worthy - but it seems that if done with it at or just below '0' temperatures we are getting into now, it could actually make the saw run too hot once up and running for a while - yet to not do so almost means you are running it with a cylinder and piston that could benefit from some extra heat added especially if you shut it down occasionally to pile wood or take breaks and allow it to cool off considerably!
On another note - after 10 to 12 tanks through the saw now finally, I can actually really feel the power - especially the torque as it is finally getting broken in and making quite a noticeable difference.
Previously with the 20" bar completely buried in the hard maple it sometimes needed to be 'babied' a bit but now it never even flinches and actually seems to run better the heavier the load is on it.  
Amazing how much some break-in time makes in the performance!  I was skeptical hearing this often was the case - but certainly no more after experiencing it first hand!
I'm like you, tempted to pull out the screen and actually see if I can get even more out of it - not that I need it really..
Going to have to try and cut logs all weekend and into next week to somewhat make up for lost time due to the nice Summer and early Fall weather that made it too warm here to cut much (at least that was my excuse!) if the rain/snow holds off, but I don't want the saw to run too warm - yet don't want to make it run too cold either..
Next thing I guess will be temperature controlled shutters that will take such guesswork out..
Your experience and impressions as always, are much appreciated!
Thx - Randy  
Title: Re: Official MS261CM vs 550XP test
Post by: HolmenTree on October 27, 2018, 12:33:55 PM
Randy,
Between your son's 026 and your 261 snow is the bigger hazard then is cold.
With the air box partition shutter open more cutting debris and moisture from snow will get onto the air filter. Enough moisture can cause damage to the piston. This would usually apply to a faller felling trees near ground level when there is snow cover, or clumps of snow falling out of evergreen trees onto the running saw.

There is a rewind housing grille winter cover available from your dealer (page 26 in owners manual) to help restrict snow intake when the saw is set down in the snow when idling plus restrict cold air intake.
Manual recommends -10°C and colder for the cover but their recommendation to open shutter below+20°C I would not recommend for the 026. On both saws the air filter will get dirtier faster with the shutter open.

The 026 does have a winter preheater kit rubber flanged airbox cover to seal the top covers gap and a rewind grille cover. Which I highly recommend for Canadian winter operation.

Similar to the air injection intake on the Husqvarnas, the 261 has this flywheel air cleaning centrifugal system also.
Works great separating dirt from clean air for the airbox intake but under the right colder conditions it doesn't separate lighter snow as well. Some of the Husqvarna models have a piece in their winter kit that blocks off the air injection.

Best thing Stihl did for the colder climate market is making the top cover one piece from the older 026 two piece era.

Muffler mods...more power will be expected and the saw will run cooler in warm weather. But get used to the extra noise and wait a bit longer for the saw to warm up in cold weather.
I don't see much difference in fuel economy as the MTronic seems to be doing a good job regulating its operation.

Here's some pics of snow intake damage to the piston.
First pic also explains alcohol or ether in gas can cause this damage too.

(http://forestryforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/21589/20181027_112959.jpg?easyrotate_cache=1540657997)
 
(http://forestryforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/21589/20181027_113044.jpg?easyrotate_cache=1540658026)
 




Title: Re: Official MS261CM vs 550XP test
Post by: HolmenTree on October 28, 2018, 07:51:41 AM
But there definitely is a miss print in the MS 261 C-M owner's manual.

They say to set the shutter for pre heating the carburetor below +10°C(50F), then in the next paragraph it says to return the shutter to summer position at temperatures above +20°C (68F)

20°C/68F is a nice warm summer. day. ???

(http://forestryforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/21589/20181028_064209.jpg?easyrotate_cache=1540727448)
 
(http://forestryforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/21589/20181028_063923.jpg?easyrotate_cache=1540727490)
 
Title: Re: Official MS261CM vs 550XP test
Post by: realzed on October 28, 2018, 09:23:21 AM
That is what I recalled reading and found pretty odd to say the least Willard.. If that was truly the case we hardly ever would find days to use our saws around here in the 'Summer' setting as +20 degree highs constitute only a small number of our Summer days here some years!
Maybe Stihl needs to drop the following '0' off of their printed numbers or something?!  :)
Woke up to about 2" of wet new snow this morning - so I'd better get cracking open shutter or otherwise!
Lots of places all around us here have already experienced first Fall snow and we've been fortunate to have avoided the pleasure until now - guess we've been pretty lucky considering..
It gets a lot harder every year to see and have to deal with this crap - I need to win some money in sufficient amount to move away for 6 or more months!
I've lived, played, worked, and otherwise enjoyed the 'white stuff' for decades - but the novelty is long gone now certainly!
Title: Re: Official MS261CM vs 550XP test
Post by: HolmenTree on October 28, 2018, 04:58:08 PM
My retired inlaws from Winnipeg hide away every January, February and March in a little fishing village a couple hours north of Puerta Vallerta, Mexico.  Along with 20 other retired couples from Flin Flon.

They got it down to a science and say they can live there alot cheaper then at home. Some of the couples buy Mexican cars and register insure  them with Mexican license plates. Store the vehicles there when they go back home.

My wife and I along with our kids will spend a couple weeks with them every other year. Sure is a nice way to get a break from the snow and cold.
Title: Re: Official MS261CM vs 550XP test
Post by: HolmenTree on October 28, 2018, 05:02:19 PM
And just to keep this thread current here's a pic of a local Mexican cutting firewood for his beach front restaurant grille.

(http://forestryforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/21589/SDC11275.JPG?easyrotate_cache=1399040071)
 
(http://forestryforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/21589/SDC11273.JPG?easyrotate_cache=1399039901)
 
Title: Re: Official MS261CM vs 550XP test
Post by: DelawhereJoe on October 28, 2018, 05:55:13 PM
There's something fishy about that ms360.....
Title: Re: Official MS261CM vs 550XP test
Post by: realzed on October 28, 2018, 06:57:43 PM
After the latest storm a couple of weeks back - do your relatives even have a place to return to this Winter season?  I thought that was exactly where the storm was projected to hit hardest.
And the area around PV has been getting pretty sketchy over the past few years as the drug trade moves ever closer - A retire cop-friend says they and their friends basically stay within the controlled compound they rent in now every year except for the occasional trip out for supplies every few days and I figure he would know better than your average tourist..
My wife and I used to go away for a couple of weeks to warmer places to try and take a break from each Winter and attempt to try and make at least some of the time more fun - but after Mexico & Dominican Republic (both more than a few times each), Costa Rica, Florida, El Salvador, and others - we have sort of given it up as the travelling is often just not worth all of the hassles and bother as having older family members left behind without proper and timely care when we do go, is a getting to be an even bigger consideration now..
Sure makes for a long Winter from this time of year clear through to often mid April or even early May in some years though!
Title: Re: Official MS261CM vs 550XP test
Post by: HolmenTree on October 28, 2018, 11:08:09 PM
Too much hassle and expense just to go for 2 weeks, but we're still working full salary and got kids to raise.
Retired and 3 months is short. They are in Ricon De Guibitios which is a sheltered large bay area with 2 large islands protecting the bay. Little damage there we heard.
They stay in a Mexican family run hotel and no drug problems there then there is in larger centers.
For many holidays we have walked all through the town and into the next at all hours of the night and never had a problem. Very safe there, the locals make sure of that for their tourist friends.....
Title: Re: Official MS261CM vs 550XP test
Post by: HolmenTree on October 31, 2018, 09:23:44 AM
I heard from some sources lately that the newest Husqvarna 550XP models have a lot of new improvements.

Now I don't want to go out and buy one of these to test :laugh: , but was hoping anyone that are using these newest 550XP's could share some of their experiences.
Title: Re: Official MS261CM vs 550XP test
Post by: John Mc on October 31, 2018, 11:47:11 AM
what are the improvements? Are any of them easily visible so you can tell whether you are holding a "new" one?
Title: Re: Official MS261CM vs 550XP test
Post by: John Mc on November 13, 2018, 07:58:08 AM
I heard from some sources lately that the newest Husqvarna 550XP models have a lot of new improvements.

Now I don't want to go out and buy one of these to test :laugh: , but was hoping anyone that are using these newest 550XP's could share some of their experiences.
HolmenTree - did you ever hear from anyone who had tried the newer 550XP?  Any word on what the changes were made to the new ones?
Title: Re: Official MS261CM vs 550XP test
Post by: HolmenTree on November 13, 2018, 08:50:00 AM
John, I heard about the upgraded 550XP from a MIA member here CR888.
I didn't ask him any questions on the site he posted on, hopefully Spike 60 will have some information for us.

Try tagging Spike 60. I would but don't know how to do it. 
Title: Re: Official MS261CM vs 550XP test
Post by: John Mc on November 13, 2018, 10:49:39 AM
@Spike60 (http://forestryforum.com/board/index.php?action=profile;u=13669) - any info on the changes to the 550XP?

(
@HolmenTree (http://forestryforum.com/board/index.php?action=profile;u=11589) - to tag someone, just put @ in front of their username. For some reason, it does not always work for me, ut when it is working properly, as I type @ and start to type a username, it will show me a list of usernames that match what I've typed so far)
Title: Re: Official MS261CM vs 550XP test
Post by: HolmenTree on November 13, 2018, 11:12:17 AM
Thanks for the info, I figured the @ had something to do with it.  :laugh:
Title: Re: Official MS261CM vs 550XP test
Post by: Spike60 on November 13, 2018, 11:15:15 AM
550xp "Mark II" is supposed be out sometime next year. There are some pics of the updated 545 over on OPE.

Saws looks like a mini 572 to me. Changes are significant, including a new crankcase. Most of what they have done with the 572 is being applied to these saws. Heat barrier, air filter, muffler, auto-tune 3. Think it gains a half pound, but power is supposed to be up a little as well.

There are no IPL's, prices, dates or anything posted anywhere on the dealer site, so there are obviously no answers to any of the usual questions we have. As we've seen with most saws, ya can't put much faith in dates to begin with.

Title: Re: Official MS261CM vs 550XP test
Post by: HolmenTree on November 13, 2018, 12:05:43 PM
Thanks for the update Bob.
As I mentioned earlier about member CR888 based in Australia. I believe he has been up close on the new 562XP, as I'm not sure if it was a prototype or is already for sale there.
Guys in Australia are so far ahead of anyone when it comes to chainsaws. :D
Title: Re: Official MS261CM vs 550XP test
Post by: Spike60 on November 13, 2018, 12:50:43 PM
562's are supposed to be getting the same enhancements at some point. Not clear yet if it will be running changes or it will also get the "Mark II" model designation, which is my guess.

The degree of changes to the 550 chassis is good in the context of let's do it right with no shortcuts. But the extent of the changes mean that they are unlikey to retro fit older saws.
Title: Re: Official MS261CM vs 550XP test
Post by: HolmenTree on November 13, 2018, 06:18:31 PM
Thanks for the update Bob.
As I mentioned earlier about member CR888 based in Australia. I believe he has been up close on the new 562XP, as I'm not sure if it was a prototype or is already for sale there.
Guys in Australia are so far ahead of anyone when it comes to chainsaws. :D

Sorry Bob, I meant 550XP.  I had just  turned my 562XP off before I posted above earlier in the day so was thinking 562 :D


These darn smart phones are too handy and too easy to post on the site while on the worksite.  :laugh:
Title: Re: Official MS261CM vs 550XP test
Post by: Spike60 on November 14, 2018, 11:47:17 AM
Maybe these aren't too far off after all.

Got an e-mail from Husky and they are offering us a deal on 550's and 372's; clearing them out for new models? :)
Title: Re: Official MS261CM vs 550XP test
Post by: outinthewood on November 14, 2018, 05:20:48 PM
My understanding is the 550 "mark 2" will be arriving start of '19 ? here in Europe only whats in stock is now available of the "old" 550.
When the 572 was almost here the 576 went off the line up as did the 372 but it reappeared and is still on the line up as is the 365 although it's been replaced by the 565 , I have yet to see a 565 in a dealers ! 
With regards to the upgrades on the "old" 550, two carbs and three software changes I think. The most important was the cooling slot in '16 on 550,560 562 and as seen on the 572. I did a very short video on my youtube which I found on the 550 with a  slotted top cover was 3-4 degrees cooler.
The 550 I found was a good saw and just like the 346 and the Stihl 028,026 it was over used by guys that should of maybe been using the next saw in the line up ! 
Title: Re: Official MS261CM vs 550XP test
Post by: realzed on November 17, 2018, 12:12:48 AM
Well tonight I'm finally doing a muffler mod to my MS261 CM.

Going to keep it simple and only enlarging the exhaust outlet as much as I can to about 50% larger in diameter.
Will put in a larger screen from my 066 saws cut down to fit under the deflector.
The muffler is basically a empty tin can . Theres a small ledge to grind out inside just past the  outlet hole.

This is far better then some other examples I've seen of gills on the opposite side of the muffler or holes in the front.
So we'll see how the saw performs on Monday at the jobsite. :)

(http://forestryforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/21589/20180818_204328.jpg?easyrotate_cache=1534643772)

Willard - as per your pictures here from back in August when you played around with the muffler.. I found this evening that I don't seem to have a muffler screen/ spark arrestor whichever term applies - on my saw.  After a couple of weeks of cutting my shipment of wood, I figured it looked like the weather and my bad hands were shutting me down for the cutting season, and I would clean up the saw and get it ready for some storage and me for some snow blowing instead!.
I was checking everything over while cleaning around the bar, clutch, and chain area, and thought I would take a peek at just how easy it would be if I decided in the Spring to take a shot at playing with the muffler shroud.
I especially thought I too would pull the arrestor screen first and give it a shot to see on my remaining wood  just how much it changed the exhaust note and/or added some power - only to be surprised tonight that I don't seem to have one.
The screw and flat plate that the screw threads through to hold it to the body of the muffler are there and in place - but there is no screen itself or anything that makes it appear that it would have been at one time there and broke off (as in rough edges or bits of screen on the edge facing the open exhaust port!
Is it possible Stihl did this on purpose on later models than yours of which mine is one? I somehow doubt this..
Is it possible and/or common for these things to break off due to vibration (the wood is all maple and quite hard and does shake up the saw considerably especially when starting each cut into these logs)..
When I look in under the shrouded area where the screen should be aside from the screw head and solid metal holder, all I see is a drop area into the muffler with a small 1/2'' or so, exhaust port maybe 1/2" or more below the level of where the screen should sit ???
Any ideas?
I always thought my saw had quite a bark to it from day 1 - like a real sharp well-tuned 2 stroke/dirt bike kind of bark - maybe I now know why!  :D
Title: Re: Official MS261CM vs 550XP test
Post by: HolmenTree on November 17, 2018, 12:27:16 AM
Interesting Randy, the screen is inside the muffler not on the exterior like the one I rigged up over the enlarged outlet hole.
It probably is inside, just remove the screw and try pulling out the plate with some needle nose pliers. The screen should be attached.

After I enlarged the outlet hole I found the saw ran better with the screen installed. There is a point where too much exhaust flow is detrimental to the saws porting design
Title: Re: Official MS261CM vs 550XP test
Post by: realzed on November 17, 2018, 03:37:44 PM
Guess it was getting late!
I took a much stronger look today and now see that in fact I was wrong and way - way down inside I can see a screen inside the muffler as you mention. It wasn't visible to me late last evening..
I saw your posted picture of the 'after porting' and buttoned up muffler back in August - and assumed (you know how well that works - eh) that it was the stock screen you just had just replaced back AFTER your work - thus mine looked to be missing in comparison!
The plate that holds the factory screen in place looks in fact much the same but WITHOUT the mesh attached and going across the exit port and I now see the screen is below it and instead goes down and into the lower section of the muffler.
Convoluted little placement for sure and a b***h to get out I found just now.. Why Stihl would make sure a convoluted arrangement is beyond me, when the one you adapted is much easier and logical.. but whatever.
My mistake again.. and I do apparently have an arrestor (and a very clean one at that) after its all said and done..
I know you stated you pulled the screen and found no improvement, but did you try it before you cut the muffler as well, or only after?
I'm tempted to remove it in the Spring and give it a shot verses hacking up the metal body - since it seems to be such a tough place to get at easily!
Randy..
Title: Re: Official MS261CM vs 550XP test
Post by: HolmenTree on November 17, 2018, 03:59:17 PM
Yes with the screen removed on a factory stock muffler the motor will breathe a bit better.
Matter of fact some of the European and beyond MS261 saws don't have screens.
Just here in  North America forest fire laws are more strict.
Title: Re: Official MS261CM vs 550XP test
Post by: HolmenTree on December 13, 2018, 02:00:13 PM
Every day I learn something new about saws.
This is a conversation I had on another forum recently with a USA, German and U.K. members.
I can't copy and paste so am doing this the hard way.

Holmen Tree
I can cold start my 2016 MS261 CM Version 2 on choke and leave it on choke for a good 30 seconds as it warms up. Could go longer. Great feature as it eliminates a fast idle setting.

USA Member
On a serious side, does the 261 actually have a full choke setting, or are they doing that electronically?
30 seconds with a choke plate closed would normally flood any saw, so they must be doing something different there.

Holmen Tree
On my 261the MTronic must be doing its job regulating the fuel intake while the choke shutter is closed for 30 seconds. I find it's nice to just click the throttle trigger once to set it to "run" after a cold start.

German Member
The M-Tronic models have a choke shutter with a small hole to let air flow through. With the choke shutter closed also the micro switch is activated. This lets the control unit calculate the necessary amount of fuel and ignition timing for starting.
While starting the air mixture is highly enriched. After initial combustion, the quantity of fuel is reduced and the engine does not flood or stall because of a too rich fuel air mixture. The engine can be accelerated immediately.
Blipping the throttle trigger brings the master control lever to the normal running mode and the micro switch is opened. The control unit receives the information the choke shutter is open and adjusts the amount of fuel.

U.K. Member
That's very interesting....I did wonder how the saw could keep running on the start setting for the 90 second "Re Calibrate" procedure that I think still is in place for the Version 2.0 saw.

German Member
Yes, the 90 second calibration.

Edit: All MTronic (example MS361 up 90 second at idle with choke on.
2016 version 2 and up, choke on for  30 seconds at idle,  then immediately with choke still on and chain brake released hold WOT for another 30 seconds. (60 seconds toral with choke on.)
Title: Re: Official MS261CM vs 550XP test
Post by: trapper on December 13, 2018, 03:59:11 PM
HolmenTree (http://forestryforum.com/board/index.php?action=profile;u=11589) The 90 second calibration is new to me.  Please explain it.
Thanks 
Title: Re: Official MS261CM vs 550XP test
Post by: HolmenTree on December 13, 2018, 09:56:40 PM
@trapper (http://forestryforum.com/board/index.php?action=profile;u=5228) , this is all news to me too. Was hoping others may chime in here. From what I gather it's a reset procedure for the M-tronic.

But as I said in my above post the new M-tronic is very unique for everyone to see how advanced this technology has come along ushering it in for the new fuel injection units.

Kind of like when I realized how much better my 1992 F150 fuel injected computerized pickup ran over my older 1980's pickups.
Now into 2018 with my latest diesel pickup I'm astounded.
Title: Re: Official MS261CM vs 550XP test
Post by: seanq on December 21, 2018, 10:40:57 AM
This video covers the reset process.

How to reset a Stihl M-Tronic chainsaw - YouTube (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R8J3061XgS0)
Title: Re: Official MS261CM vs 550XP test
Post by: Weekend_Sawyer on December 21, 2018, 10:46:54 AM
Maybe this isn't the smartest question I have ever asked but,
If it automatically adjusts the carb, why would you have to run this reset procedure?

isn't 90 seconds at WOT not under load kind of a long time?
Title: Re: Official MS261CM vs 550XP test
Post by: John Mc on December 21, 2018, 01:39:16 PM
Maybe this isn't the smartest question I have ever asked but,
If it automatically adjusts the carb, why would you have to run this reset procedure?

isn't 90 seconds at WOT not under load kind of a long time?
It's explained in the video: the older Mtronic saws are start (with brake off) and idle for 90 seconds (or a few seconds more). The newest 362 and the 462 are start and idle with chain brake on for 30 seconds, then turn chain brake off and go to full throttle for about 30 seconds. You'll notice the RPMs don't go all the way to full, despite holding WOT. (I think he mentions it's limited to about 10,000 RPM.) As you get close to 30 seconds of WOT, the RPMs will increase for a few seconds, then go back down to the limited (10,000 RPM). At this point, release the throttle and let it return to idle, then shut off. Neither uses 90 seconds WOT, and even the 30 second WOT is automaticaly limited to 10,000 RPM most of the time.
Title: Re: Official MS261CM vs 550XP test
Post by: HolmenTree on December 21, 2018, 02:02:17 PM
Remember he had the choke set the whole time in both resets so no harm or risk of the saw over revving .

Thanks seanq for posting that video.
And welcome to our forum!
Title: Re: Official MS261CM vs 550XP test
Post by: HolmenTree on January 30, 2019, 11:23:45 AM
With the recent introduction of the Husqvarna 545/550XP Mark ll it tells me Husqvarna is not throwing in the towel.
The 10 year old Husqvarna 550/560/562XP series has gone through some major changes with the recent introduction of redesigned saws following the latest 572XP design.
The 550XP has gained a little weight but has more h.p., torque and 30% better acceleration then the old 550XP.
The saw is totally rebuilt with more strength and thermal efficiency.
Pictured is the 545G. Notice the extra space between the muffler and crankcase housing.

(http://forestryforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/21589/ad9b00d4c938cf2acdff334c157a85e1.jpg?easyrotate_cache=1548865227)
 
(http://forestryforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/21589/5c9be410969827d094898a859f27cff8.jpg?easyrotate_cache=1548865246)
 
(http://forestryforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/21589/128f964ba5643507ee063071bb81d4ed.jpg?easyrotate_cache=1548865280)
Title: Re: Official MS261CM vs 550XP test
Post by: HolmenTree on January 30, 2019, 11:43:21 AM
There was some confusion over the G models being heavier. That's because they have a built in generator and heated handles/carb.
The Rev Boost is discontinued but saw now has 30% more acceleration.

(http://forestryforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/21589/5167dbd96d028100796c695047d916a9.jpg?easyrotate_cache=1548866592)
Title: Re: Official MS261CM vs 550XP test
Post by: Inaotherlife on January 30, 2019, 09:05:19 PM
I remember my first Husqavarna. It was a real dinasaur in the weight department. But what a motor!
Looked something like this

(http://forestryforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/51951/bikepics-2460370-full.jpg?easyrotate_cache=1548900256)
 '82 CR250
Title: Re: Official MS261CM vs 550XP test
Post by: realzed on February 01, 2019, 05:42:47 PM

 the older Mtronic saws are start (with brake off) and idle for 90 seconds (or a few seconds more). The newest 362 and the 462 are start and idle with chain brake on for 30 seconds, then turn chain brake off and go to full throttle for about 30 seconds. You'll notice the RPMs don't go all the way to full, despite holding WOT. (I think he mentions it's limited to about 10,000 RPM.) As you get close to 30 seconds of WOT, the RPMs will increase for a few seconds, then go back down to the limited (10,000 RPM). At this point, release the throttle and let it return to idle, then shut off. Neither uses 90 seconds WOT, and even the 30 second WOT is automaticaly limited to 10,000 RPM most of the time.
Any idea (probably best being asked of Willard - but..) which models of 261C including the newer-style side cover versions are to be considered the referred to 'older models' - or indeed should ALL 261C-M-Tronic saws be considered versions that require the longer 'chain brake off' 90 second fast idle reset procedure verses the 362 and 462 models with the shorter 30 sec higher rpm deal?
Title: Re: Official MS261CM vs 550XP test
Post by: Weekend_Sawyer on February 04, 2019, 07:39:12 AM
OK, I got it. Some times you have to write it on a brick and hit me with it.

My 261 would be at least 90 seconds at idle to reset.

Why would you need to reset it?
In the video the only reason he stated as to why you would run this procedure would be if you had just changed out the solenoid valve.

By the way I am still amazed at this chainsaw.
I am running a bone stock second generation saw with a 20" bar.
I bought it to replace my 028 and Husky 455. Both good saws that 2 friends of mine are happy to have.

This weekend I cut down a 14" black oak and a 18" chestnut oak. Both standing dead trees. The saw was dropping through them so quickly that I had to look at the end grain to make sure they weren't punky.
Title: Re: Official MS261CM vs 550XP test
Post by: realzed on February 04, 2019, 09:32:07 AM
Thus my question and apparently your confusion as well somewhat, too..  As per the quote here from Willard's previous post:

(Quote)..
Edit: All M-Tronic (example MS361 up 90 second at idle with choke on.
2016 version 2 and up, choke on for  30 seconds at idle,  then immediately with choke still on and chain brake released hold WOT for another 30 seconds. (60 seconds toral with choke on.)
(Quote)..

Which tells me a 2018 version II or even 2017 M-Tronic 261 C-M should require the full throttle - 90 second full reset procedure even though they only state it being used in the 362 and 462 versions..
So am I reading this wrong that it is the 90 sec reset for ALL M-Tronic saws past 2016 by year of manufacture or ANY saws 362 and up by displacement and up - that require a reset for some reason, and any others below that in size are by default to have the 30 chain brake off fast idle version?
I don't know obviously where or when the M-Tronic version II came into being or on which saws it is found - thus my question(s).
I don't expect to ever need or have to do a reset - but in the case where it my saw obviously struggles operation-wise it would be interesting to know which reset is preferable and required to try to bring it back - before having to bother with a needless trip to a dealership to attempt to get things straightened out, if it could all have been achieved at home or in the bush to correct things!  
Title: Re: Official MS261CM vs 550XP test
Post by: Weekend_Sawyer on February 04, 2019, 10:25:28 AM

 For the 261 it's, cold start position, chain brake off, start and let it run without touching the throttle for 90 seconds.

check out the video starting at the 45 second mark.
Title: Re: Official MS261CM vs 550XP test
Post by: HolmenTree on February 04, 2019, 12:03:13 PM
There's nothing further to explain except which models are "version ll".
At this time of posting there may be a version lll or lV :D

Ok. There was a major change in the 261 362 leading up to the 462. The version ll 261 and 362 were introduced in 2016 before the 462 even made a press release.

The differences are the version ll has a newer style sprocket cover and the cylinder fins (not the cylinder) are sloped at a much more backwards angle then the older 261 361 362. Also with upgrades to the MTronic.

What the whole previous conversation started with was my observation of how my MS261CM ll can be cold started and left to idle with the choke on as it warms up not needing a fast idle position on the master control switch.
I don't recommend warm up the saw with the choke on because the owners manual instructions doesn't say that.
If you bring your saw out of storage to cut in hot weather and the last time  it ran was in freezing weather you may need to do the reset procedure as explained.
BUT only if it doesn't reset itself after a few minutes of cutting after a normal by the owners manual starting instructions.
Title: Re: Official MS261CM vs 550XP test
Post by: weimedog on February 04, 2019, 12:06:52 PM
When does the 550 MKII enter into this fray?

550XP Mk2 in Cookie Cutting Challenge with the old Husqy 550 and 560XP - YouTube (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WWZ2aWvw3OI)
Title: Re: Official MS261CM vs 550XP test
Post by: HolmenTree on February 04, 2019, 04:05:43 PM
Are we going to see the 550 mark ll this year Walter?
Title: Re: Official MS261CM vs 550XP test
Post by: weimedog on February 04, 2019, 05:22:38 PM
Are we going to see the 550 mark ll this year Walter?
Think So...have to ask Bob for certain. So does that mean when they show up your going to have access to one?
Title: Re: Official MS261CM vs 550XP test
Post by: HolmenTree on February 04, 2019, 07:23:28 PM
Are we going to see the 550 mark ll this year Walter?
Think So...have to ask Bob for certain. So does that mean when they show up your going to have access to one?
Don't temp me :D
We'll probably get them  first here in Canada from what I've seen in the past with new models.
Only trouble is I'm slowly winding my tree service down and got my sights on retirement.
I never thought I'd ever say that but it sure sounds good right about now.
I'm afraid I may miss out on the 462, 572, 500i......
Title: Re: Official MS261CM vs 550XP test
Post by: weimedog on February 05, 2019, 01:12:16 AM
Are we going to see the 550 mark ll this year Walter?
Think So...have to ask Bob for certain. So does that mean when they show up your going to have access to one?
Don't temp me :D
We'll probably get them  first here in Canada from what I've seen in the past with new models.
Only trouble is I'm slowly winding my tree service down and got my sights on retirement.
I never thought I'd ever say that but it sure sounds good right about now.
I'm afraid I may miss out on the 462, 572, 500i......
That doesn't mean you have to miss out on them at all, retirement means you can get them and use them how ever you feel like when ever you feel like...:) I'm hoping to pick up a 572 in March. I'm very much a retiree. Do I need another saw to add to the pile? No. I just want one. Retirement gives that option. Then next year a 562 Mk 2, the saws I don't use go into the saw retirement home. Still will use my goofy Jonsered 2175 (71 with a xpw top end ) for most everything until I can't. 
Title: Re: Official MS261CM vs 550XP test
Post by: HolmenTree on February 05, 2019, 12:37:02 PM
I'm just getting used to this retirement idea now that I'm 61.
Last month I collected my first check from a retirement fund that I can draw once a year for now without penalties.

I'm holding onto my equipment probably into my 70's :laugh:so I can still go out once a week and do a job when I feel like it. But that definitely won't be a proper endurance test for the most frail of saws.

New 562 Mark2?  I still run my 2012 562 and it's still my best all round saw for what I do. I don't need any improvement in it and it taught me to swear an oath to never work in high heat again. (Its smarter then I am)

My MS261CM is the best small rear handle saw I'll ever need.
The Ms462 would remind me so much as when the 044 was introduced over 30 years ago, but I got it's near identical little brother 261.
Big cube saws I got two of the finest 066 models out there.
And I still have a very nice shape Jonsereds 70E to rebuild. A saw I never got to run even back in the day. So it would be a classic to do a once a week tree job for a customer every now and then.

The only saw I may buy next is the fuel injected MS500i and call it my last.....
Unless of course Husqvarna introduces their own and then I'll need to have one of those too. :)

Title: Re: Official MS261CM vs 550XP test
Post by: weimedog on February 05, 2019, 02:36:13 PM
See?  that brings back the concept of fun vs. work. Fun is running them when I want until I'm tired to the point of falling over....I keep telling my kids who simply don't get it, its like going on a trail ride with the dirt bikes. Same mentality. Just its a saw. Work is when I cut because I HAVE to or have to fit some one else's time schedule. Huge difference once I was retired. :) While my hip was disintegrating, I was all in with the 560 I built (UOMS) because every day, in fact every task was defined around how much pain it was going to be. Once the hip healed after surgery, NOW I can actually run my older 2171's even 920's with out undue pain....so UOMS is a back up on the back burner. My goofy Jonsereds 2165 & 2171's with a 372xpw top ends are the saw's I prefer, for no other reason than I built them, its fun to run them for me, and I like them. No real rational past that..:) I think they are to me what your 066 is to you. ( THAT'S a cool build concept in my way of thinking BTW) No numbers can quantify those things. Retirement allows that..:) Not certain if the 572 can crack that egg....we will see. It's either a shelf queen like the 2172 is or it will be like that 562 HTSS which was the back bone for a few years because it was easy to live with, probably same as your 562. The 562 MK II will replace it next year, its getting tired between me and my lending it out, it has hours and hours on it. BUT we are having this conversation.....and retirement completely changes the "metrics" about how I approach life, maybe you will as well....just hope ALL of us can retire healthy enough to do what we love and be able to share with our kids and grand kids before the knowledge is lost..
Title: Re: Official MS261CM vs 550XP test
Post by: gspren on February 05, 2019, 07:29:31 PM
I'm 67 and retired when I was 59, never did make a living with a chainsaw but 20 some years ago I sold enough firewood to pay for my brand new 044 that I still use. I bought my MS261 before the CM happened and I use it most, I have no idea how it compares to the newer ones and maybe that's good :D, and while all I cut is personal firewood I sometimes think about another new saw maybe a 241 just because I can. The wife doesn't know how many chainsaws, guns, etc. I have anyway.
Title: Re: Official MS261CM vs 550XP test
Post by: Inaotherlife on February 05, 2019, 09:23:37 PM
I wouldn't go so far as to say my saws are just for fun. But I can't think of any other good reason why I'd have more than two or three.

I had a couple of old ones, then bought a couple of new ones for some work I had to do, and then they kept multiplying.
Now I have a large collection of homeowner sized saws. Echo 2511 and 361. Couple of Craftsman poulan micro 25 and s25da, xl2, 009l, ....oh, and a minty 346....
of the echo variety.
Then a couple of medium sized saws in an old 3400 and a new echo 490.
And my big saw is a gently used 372xp.

The local Stihl guy is having 15% off open house, but I just don't need a 241 or 261, or really any other saw.....unless I was to stumble across a real old big cc saw at a steal of a deal, then I might see if I could rig up some kind of home made mill to cut a couple of big logs I have.
Title: Re: Official MS261CM vs 550XP test
Post by: HolmenTree on June 05, 2019, 07:45:30 AM
Another excellent video from the guys out of Sweden.
 Cut4fun posted this on his repair forum a day ago.
Husqvarna 550 XP Mark 2 i jämförelse med Stihl MS 261 - YouTube (https://youtu.be/pWIUpCOZ66E)
Title: Re: Official MS261CM vs 550XP test
Post by: John Mc on June 05, 2019, 10:14:52 AM
Great review. Wishing he had done it with the exact same chain on the two saws. (I'm guessing that would be a pain, given the different drive link count.)
Title: Re: Official MS261CM vs 550XP test
Post by: HolmenTree on June 05, 2019, 04:19:14 PM
The little Picco chain on the 261 will need alot more sharpening maintenance affecting production too.
Title: Re: Official MS261CM vs 550XP test
Post by: HotRail on June 05, 2019, 04:33:52 PM
Another excellent video from the guys out of Sweden.
 Cut4fun posted this on his repair forum a day ago.
Husqvarna 550 XP Mark 2 i jämförelse med Stihl MS 261 - YouTube (https://youtu.be/pWIUpCOZ66E)
Yep, i referenced this video a couple days ago I think but no link, thanks....anyways very well done and no bias detected in this review.  Only thing is yes, fuel tank and oil tanks on the 550xp mk2 are larger but this imo doesnt account for being heavier. Last time I was on the forums heavy, all the new huskys were the lighter of the two.  (Husky vs. Stihl)  Looks like Stihl took some lessons...
Title: Re: Official MS261CM vs 550XP test
Post by: HolmenTree on June 05, 2019, 07:55:10 PM
I was comparing the oil tank capacities of my 562XP and 066 the other day and found they're both the same size. 
Title: Re: Official MS261CM vs 550XP test
Post by: Cutter Q on June 12, 2019, 07:25:46 AM
I have both a 550xp and 261cm. If my 550 would start every time when I wanted it to I feel like I would prefer that over the 261. But there is no comparison with how easy the 261 starts, so it now has become my primary saw. I brought my 550 in to dealers to check it out and other than a few updates they say everything is fine. I’m actually really disappointed that I’m having such issues with it. I was so pro husky that I even bought my son the 440 toy to play with every time I would pull out the 550 or was up in a tree with my husky 334t.