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Author Topic: best bar length for MS261cm  (Read 861 times)

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Offline CJinCO

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best bar length for MS261cm
« on: January 21, 2019, 03:00:20 PM »
Have been reading posts on this forum about which is a good chainsaw for some time now, and because of everyone's superior knowledge making the decision of which chainsaw would be best for me was a lot easier. I would definitely not fall into the professional category. Is there a reason anyone has that this the MS261cm wouldn't be appropriate for an average skilled person? I will use it for felling 12-24" trees and cutting firewood. Also, is there an optimum bar length?  Thanks. 

Offline Inaotherlife

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Re: best bar length for MS261cm
« Reply #1 on: January 21, 2019, 03:22:33 PM »
I'd guess 18" is most common, followed by 16 and 20.

Seems a little on the small size if it's purpose is mainly 12 to 24 inch trees.
But that's a great size saw that splits duty between small and latge saw.

Offline DelawhereJoe

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Re: best bar length for MS261cm
« Reply #2 on: January 21, 2019, 03:41:13 PM »
On my old 026 it mostly had an 18" bar on it it did a good job, when it got old and tired I upgraded to a 362 and wished I had done it years ago. If I was starting over from no saws and on a budget I would look into echo. You also may want to think about how many big trees you have to take down, if the majority of trees are +20" you may want to consider a larger saw to start with and follow up with a 30-35cc saw.
WD-40, DUCT TAPE, 024, 026, 362c-m, 041, homelite xl, JD 2510

Offline Allar

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Re: best bar length for MS261cm
« Reply #3 on: January 21, 2019, 04:24:18 PM »
Use the smallest bar possible, especially for firewood.

Felling a tree takes no time but limbing in the other hand takes alot of time, with bigger bar you can't rest your chainsaw on the tree without hitting the ground. With a smaller bar you can rest your chainsaw on the log and limb it with ease.

There's really nice videos on how to fell trees with shorter bar on husqavarna's website.

I would say that 15'' would be a good size but that's just my opinion.

Firewood & Chainsaw videos: Firewood Warrior - YouTube

Offline realzed

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Re: best bar length for MS261cm
« Reply #4 on: January 21, 2019, 06:51:43 PM »
I bought a new 261C-M last Spring and have used it to mostly buck up a really big shipment of hardwood logs I got late last Summer.
I bought it with a 20" bar to mainly do this work. The length helps me not have to bend down as much when cutting and save some wear and tear on my back as does the light weight.
I stayed with the .326 RS chain but may try out a 3/8 size in the future which my dealer initially urged me to switch to when buying - it cuts like mad even with the .326 at the 20" length. Easily goes thru hardwood logs up to or more than 20" diameters - but as always with any saw or chain combo, keeping it sharp is the most important factor, which I do - touching it up every few fillings or at least every day for sure. I often cut two logs at once - just because.. well I can, if they are back to back in the pile and it makes little if any difference, in the cutting speed or how this saw handles the extra load!
I got through 2/3's of my pile of wood before I quit because of our early Winter this year and to that point had no issues at all with either the bar, chain (same initial one used and it's still barely even worn at all), or any oiling issues which many needlessly warned about if I chose to use a longer bar.
Great little saw, tons of grunt over my son's 026 model and my previous 290, great on gas and not at all unbalanced using the 20 bar as many also warned it would be and it was still getting stronger with each refuel, to the point where I quit for the year!.
I've yet to cut any decent sized standing trees with it, but after practicing some bore cuts on the very hard logs I have now, showed me it is quite capable and easy to do with this bar and chain, and almost too fast when hitting softwoods - if that's possible..  

Offline gspren

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Re: best bar length for MS261cm
« Reply #5 on: January 21, 2019, 07:15:50 PM »
I keep a 16" on my 261 and it feels good with that.
Stihl 041, 044 & 261, JD 2355 4X4 w/fel, JD 620, Yamaha Kodiak 400 & trailer, Kubota 400 RTV,  P&M OWB, 75 acres to play.

Offline olcowhand

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Re: best bar length for MS261cm
« Reply #6 on: January 21, 2019, 07:25:54 PM »
I run a 16" Bar with 3/8 full chisel on my MS 261C-M, much to the consternation of some of our Members. It runs that B/C Combo so well, I've almost forgotten that I have an MS 461 with 20", 24" and 32" B/C Combos. All Hardwood, and I feel I've optimized the Power and weight of that saw....
They say the mind is the first to go; I'm glad it's something I don't use!

Ezekiel 36:26-27

Offline John Mc

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Re: best bar length for MS261cm
« Reply #7 on: January 21, 2019, 08:59:34 PM »
16" bar is what I would use on that saw. I might push it to 18" if I were cutting mainly softwoods.
If the only tool you have is a hammer, you tend to see every problem as a nail.   - Abraham Maslow

Offline CJinCO

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Re: best bar length for MS261cm
« Reply #8 on: January 21, 2019, 09:35:09 PM »
Thanks everyone. I appreciate you're input.  

Offline zach613

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Re: best bar length for MS261cm
« Reply #9 on: February 04, 2019, 12:09:28 AM »
it screams for a 16" .325 B/C

Offline Air Lad

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Re: best bar length for MS261cm
« Reply #10 on: February 04, 2019, 04:41:57 AM »
16" bar is what I would use on that saw. I might push it to 18" if I were cutting mainly softwoods.
I have the 260c
It came with a semi stuffed 16 bar
I have 2 other saws with 16 so I got a new 18 and chain
It does it ok but yesterday I helped a mate clean up some storm damage
The timber here is generally quite hard
There was lots of stuff laying on the ground so I changed back to the 16 with some old chains and was surprised how this saw came to life
Felt like a good balance
Think this is the best fit for our conditions
2 x Ms 170/260c /039...Husk 142e/240e 41  272xp...Unloved Chinese 51.2cc that hasn't done anything wrong...2 x dead Mculloch's ..Vintage Poulan.. and a vintage Echo that still runs beaut

Offline Weekend_Sawyer

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Re: best bar length for MS261cm
« Reply #11 on: February 04, 2019, 07:45:56 AM »
My 261 came with a 20" bar, it's what I'm used to and what I ran on my old saws.
This saw out performs all the other saws I had of similar size.
I like it a lot.
Imagine, Me a Tree Farmer.
Jon, Appalachian American Wannabe. ... and it looks like my dream will come true!

Offline Tasha

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Re: best bar length for MS261cm
« Reply #12 on: February 04, 2019, 01:06:56 PM »
I have an older 026 model with a 20 inch bar running 3/8 chisel and it is great.  
I also have a MS460, MS201T and an older Stihl 088.  Overall I will gravitate to the 026 with the 20 inch bar as it has the most flexibility.  The others have less flexibility but definitely have their place when the 026 and 20" bar are not right.


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