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MS261C Thin Kerf Bar

Started by kyjondeere, January 07, 2024, 07:00:35 PM

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I have a MS261C which in my opinion, is a great saw. It cuts like a beast. That said, it came with an 18" .325 .063 ga bar. I'm thinking I want to get a thin kerf bar and chain for it. I've read that this saw now ships with a .050 ga bar. Stills website is confusing and I can't find part numbers.  I also am considering going to a 20". Is the 261c a good candidate for a 20" bar?  Is there a 20" Stihl bar?  There's about 5 different chains listed and I'm confused. Can anyone help simplify please?
Norwood Lumbermate 2000, John Deere 5083e, John Deere 5075e, Kubota L3240, Stihl MS 461, Stihl MS261CM, Load Trail 16' Dump Trailer


My 460s both had/have  a .050 20" bar with 3/8 sprocket.

My 261c could easily run 20" 050 or 063 chain but I chose it as  18" 063 .
DJ Hoover, Terrific Timbers LLC,  Mystic CT Woodmizer Million Board Foot Club member. 2019 LT70 Super Wide 55 Yanmar,  LogRite fetching arch, WM BMS250 sharpener/BMT250 setter.  2001 F350 7.3L PSD 6 spd manual ZF 4x4 Crew Cab Long Bed


I have a 261CM that is a few years old now and I love it!
It came with a regular Rollomatic E (.050) 18" bar and .325 RS chain but over the years I have changed it up to a Light 04 20" bar and RSPro .325 chain and a 7 pin sprocket set up.
The place I bought the saw from told me they often sold them with 20" 3/8" chain to Government Fire Crews as that is what they prefer, so I figured the .325 on that length would work out great and it seems to!
Stihl claims that this the .325 RSPro chain and narrow bar is a substantially faster cutting deal - but truthfully I haven't actually used it enough since I have that set up on it to really get a good comparison between either the chains or bars when it comes to cutting speed.
All I know is it cuts great and fast enough for my purposes and always amazed me how well and fast it cut and it still (Stihl) does now as well for sure - but whether it is all that much faster, I really can't give you a straight answer..
The Light 04 bar with its very small nose I suppose is better for boring - but I don't do much of that anyway so I can't comment, but it certainly is smaller in all dimensionally than the OEM type of bar so it has to be lighter without doubt.  .
The 20" length I chose so I wouldn't have to bend over as much when bucking up logs on the ground and it seems to balance well for the little I've used it and I feel it does it help my old back some as I don't have to reach quite as much.
Nice little saw - good performance - little hard on gas from my own experiences, but it cuts like hell and out cuts 290 and 250 and older 260 models that I have had by a wide margin!   


I picked up a 18" light 04 bar yesterday and a new chain .325 .05 ga.

I won't have to change the sprocket to run this setup will I?
Norwood Lumbermate 2000, John Deere 5083e, John Deere 5075e, Kubota L3240, Stihl MS 461, Stihl MS261CM, Load Trail 16' Dump Trailer


No, the sprocket will be fine. The only thing the sprocket has to match is pitch.


Every 261 I had I ran 20 inch with 3/8's chain on it and it work great and I cut mainly bigger hardwood , use to carry it on the skidder incase I got stuck with the other saw falling timber


This facinates me - And not to point out anything more than that these saws are sold with 13" B/C 0.50 or 0.58 here in Norway. 
I have a 16" Light 04, and my dealer implied that this was large for the 261. I migth need to try a 20" as well !

Best regards
Norways Westcoast


I ordered my MS261 with an 18" bar and am very pleased.  Heck, I have a 25" bar for my MS362 but it almost always wears the 20" bar.  
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