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Author Topic: MS261 or MS261C-M ??  (Read 2413 times)

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Offline kennyz

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MS261 or MS261C-M ??
« on: October 25, 2019, 10:33:44 AM »
I`ve narrowed my search for a new saw down to the Stihl MS261 series but am undecided on whether to go with the M-Tronic or standard. I would like to hear some feedback on the pros and cons of the M-Tronic and also if the performance of the two saws in equal. TGI

Offline realzed

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Re: MS261 or MS261C-M ??
« Reply #1 on: October 25, 2019, 12:28:57 PM »
Not sure about the performance aspect between the CM and non-CM versions - although I would imagine that if the M-Tronic adjusts the performance as well as it is touted and as it seems to, the CM version should probably have an edge performance-wise in some situations or conditions, in addition to not having to worry about anything else except the actual work at hand..
I have to say I'm completely satisfied with mine.  It's powered it's way through 50 face cords of hard maple and never even come close to breaking into a sweat doing so.
Compared to a 291 that I had previously and liked, and a 026 that I have - there really is no comparison in the way it runs, the way it cuts, and the power and surprising torque it has for it's size..
If I can manage to latch onto one of the newer RSP .325 chains and get it installed, I would imagine I'll be even more impressed with it's cutting abilities from what I hear!
Doubt you can actually go wrong with either - but as someone said in another post - if you just want to fuel, pull, and cut - the M-Tronic version is probably the best available option at this time..


Offline Allar

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Re: MS261 or MS261C-M ??
« Reply #2 on: October 25, 2019, 01:26:53 PM »
By what i'v seen and heard i would go for MS261C-M. 
Firewood & Chainsaw videos: Firewood Warrior - YouTube

Offline barbender

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Re: MS261 or MS261C-M ??
« Reply #3 on: October 25, 2019, 03:00:29 PM »
I've had a CM version for nearly 2 years. It's my first Stihl as I've always had Husky/Jred prior to this. It has been trouble free, and it's a nimble little saw with a lot of torque for it's size. I've ran it from 90F to -20, it's hiccuped a couple times for just a second but I've never did the reset or anything. I just gas it up and go. Nice saw.
Too many irons in the fire

Offline olcowhand

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Re: MS261 or MS261C-M ??
« Reply #4 on: October 25, 2019, 07:02:48 PM »
I have the CM version and I love that saw. It's my Go to until it gripes, then I get one of its big brothers (461 or 661). Until I figured out not to use the cold start sequence when it's warm, I had a problem, but just start it with the settings you pick it up with (when it's warm), and it's a one pull saw.
I recommend you read some of HolmenTree's threads on the subject. It's what sold me....
Steve 
They say the mind is the first to go; I'm glad it's something I don't use!

Ezekiel 36:26-27

Offline lxskllr

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Re: MS261 or MS261C-M ??
« Reply #5 on: October 25, 2019, 07:18:51 PM »
I didn't get an owners manual or good instructions when I bought my 362cm. It was a year before I found out it *had* a cold start procedure. I'd just pull it out, and pull the cord  :^D  Worked surprisingly well. It always started within 5 pulls. I have 2 cm saws, and I like them both. Given a choice, I'd choose the cm.

Offline barbender

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Re: MS261 or MS261C-M ??
« Reply #6 on: October 25, 2019, 10:20:46 PM »
olcowhand, for warm starting, I finally figured out to just pick my 261cm up and pull the cord. The fancy on/off choke switch combo kind of threw me😊 I've never been to good about reading manuals🤷🏽‍♂️
Too many irons in the fire

Offline olcowhand

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Re: MS261 or MS261C-M ??
« Reply #7 on: October 26, 2019, 03:32:54 AM »
Wait; We're supposed to read those things? Who'd-a-thunk? I still haven't read all of mine (Don't try this at home, kids!), but I read these wise posts.....
They say the mind is the first to go; I'm glad it's something I don't use!

Ezekiel 36:26-27

Offline gspren

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Re: MS261 or MS261C-M ??
« Reply #8 on: October 26, 2019, 09:26:24 PM »
I have the non-c-m, bought it before the c-m came out and it's been great. I guess you would need to run both side by side to compare and then they would both need to be broke-in because there was a noticeable power increase after a few tanks of fuel. Unless there's a big price difference I'd probably get the newer C-M version unless you just don't trust it.
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 kennyz

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Re: MS261 or MS261C-M ??
« Reply #9 on: October 28, 2019, 07:52:31 PM »
Well I pulled the trigger and bought the M-Tronic model. Love it so far. I asked them about the fuel mix as I had heard a lot of guys say to run it at 40:1. The guy freaked and told me it would ruin the saw. So  Stihl Motomix for now.

Offline barbender

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Re: MS261 or MS261C-M ??
« Reply #10 on: October 29, 2019, 01:03:59 AM »
He's not very knowledgeable, or full of crap. Mine has gotten a mix on the rich side of 40:1 since new.
Too many irons in the fire

Offline realzed

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Re: MS261 or MS261C-M ??
« Reply #11 on: October 29, 2019, 07:44:27 AM »
Yep - agree - I've always made sure my mixture was a tad on the richer side of 50:1 - and aside from a little burp of smoke at start up you would never know the difference - except when and if it ever has to be taken apart.  
I've seen pictures of the oil film on internals of both 50:1 units and those with richer mixtures and although I'm sure it can be taken too far.. the slightly richer mixtures do seem to leave a better coating or film of oil on bits inside the crankcase and other parts certainly.
If it means a new plug or cleaning an arrestor screen now and then, verses not having to occasionally - I'm all for the better protection from a bit more oil in the mix..

Offline barbender

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Re: MS261 or MS261C-M ??
« Reply #12 on: October 29, 2019, 07:18:31 PM »
I've never once fouled a plug in a saw. In fact, once I was bragging on here about never changing the plugs on my saws, because they never foul. A few days later, the electrode fell off my plug in my Jred 2171 while it was running. Mashed the piston and the top of the jug and I had to install a new p&c. So spark plug failures, yes, but fouling, no.
Too many irons in the fire

Online ladylake

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Re: MS261 or MS261C-M ??
« Reply #13 on: October 30, 2019, 03:46:48 AM »

 I run a little less than 40 to 1 also, I've had 1 plug fail in all of these years and it wasn't oil fouled.   Steve
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Offline Banjo picker

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Re: MS261 or MS261C-M ??
« Reply #14 on: October 30, 2019, 03:25:35 PM »
I got the regular MS261 a little while ago.  I am skittish about anything automatic.  My old Rem. 1100 even gives trouble every now and again.  Banjo
Never explain, your friends don't need it, and your enemies won't believe you any way.

Offline 2308500

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Re: MS261 or MS261C-M ??
« Reply #15 on: November 01, 2019, 06:05:00 PM »
Iown both saws and here is my opinion.

  both saws with new or both sharpened by me chains, same bar length,. same style chain, saem gas (45:1 ish) and in the same wood

on any day pick up either saw and they will cut just about the same. the CM will start slightly better and the old style saw will cut as well but needs a bit of fine tuning to run comparably. both cut well but the CM revs up just a tad quicker and seems to hold more power in the cut. 

It is a very slight difference but it is noticeable. If you are not comfortable adjusting carburetor, the CM has the edge

my next new saw will be a 261 CM

Offline Two Trax

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Re: MS261 or MS261C-M ??
« Reply #16 on: November 01, 2019, 10:48:40 PM »
Well I pulled the trigger and bought the M-Tronic model. Love it so far. I asked them about the fuel mix as I had heard a lot of guys say to run it at 40:1. The guy freaked and told me it would ruin the saw. So  Stihl Motomix for now.
Congrats on the new saw! I have been running one, motronic,  for about 4 years now. Pretty shocked at your dealers comment on the 40/1 mix. My saws never got the message that 40/1 is bad for them 🤣.  I would have very little faith in a dealer making such a stupid remark. I have run 32/1 also, never an issue.


Anyway enjoy the saw! Feed it non ethanol fuel if you can buy it @ 40/1 with confidence!
Livin the dream!


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