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Author Topic: 3/8 chain on a 261c  (Read 1135 times)

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Online Tacotodd

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Re: 3/8 chain on a 261c
« Reply #20 on: January 09, 2021, 03:36:15 PM »
The only way to ever know if you like it is to try it.

Thatís why Iím going to try it, I can always go back.
Trying harder everyday.

Offline Spike60

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Re: 3/8 chain on a 261c
« Reply #21 on: January 10, 2021, 08:24:15 AM »
That's right Todd. And as easy as it is to try it out, anybody who's really curious can find out for themselves whether they like it or not. It's really a matter of personal preference, not a right or wrong thing.
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Offline madosta

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Re: 3/8 chain on a 261c
« Reply #22 on: January 10, 2021, 09:21:22 AM »
My stock 261cm came with 18" .325 - I occasionally run a 18" 3/8 with RSF (full skip) and it's not terrible. I ended up going back to .325 since it's my smaller limbing saw mostly and seems better buried in the cut when I do buck with it. I have a hard time picking the saw and setup so I'd try it out like you said. It's fun.


Offline old guy

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Re: 3/8 chain on a 261c
« Reply #23 on: January 10, 2021, 09:25:14 PM »
I still donít buy it. The 2 drives arenít indexed in his hand the same so still not a fair comparison. Iíve also heard of a arborist local to me using a 3/8 skip chain on his 200T with great success. I donít see still.
The fact that you don't buy it doesn't change the fact that it is so, go buy one of each and see it for yourself.

Online Tacotodd

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Re: 3/8 chain on a 261c
« Reply #24 on: January 11, 2021, 12:44:53 AM »
@old guy  I do plan to just to find out. The chain dl count will be the same and if itís not going to be working then I wonít be out much coin 🪙.
Trying harder everyday.

Offline sumpnz

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Re: 3/8 chain on a 261c
« Reply #25 on: January 12, 2021, 12:26:13 PM »
So I understand this topic better, to run a 3/8 chain on the 261 you just need a different nose sprocket on the bar?  Wouldn't you also need to change the sprocket on the powerhead?

I'm looking at the 261 to replace a Husqvarna 350 as mentioned in another thread.  I also have an MS-461, which of course is set up for a 3/8" 0.050ga chain, and it would be handy to only need to get 1 spool of chain.  I've previously just bought individual chains from the shop, so I have several 78dl .325 chains for that Husky (20" bar), but most of them have been pretty well used up by now anyway.

Looking at the Stihl chart, the 261 generally uses an 0.063ga semi-chisel chain, while the 461 can use either an 0.050 or 0.063ga but either way usually a full chisel.  If one were to standardize the chains between the two saws what would you pick for gauge and chisel type?  

Or, should I not bother trying and just get a second spool so I can run .325 chain on the 261?

Offline sawguy21

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Re: 3/8 chain on a 261c
« Reply #26 on: January 12, 2021, 01:27:56 PM »
You can run .050 on your MS261, just use the matching bar. That is the way most come here, we seldom see .063 except for with .404 on the big Stihls. I have seen 3/8 on the MS260/261 but it has to be kept properly sharpened and not pushed, let the saw do the work.
old age and treachery will always overcome youth and enthusiasm

Offline lxskllr

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Re: 3/8 chain on a 261c
« Reply #27 on: January 12, 2021, 01:32:39 PM »
All parameters have to match. You need the correct drive sprocket, nose sprocket, and gauge. I believe Stihl only sells .325 in .063G, so your old Husky bars won't work unless you convert from one to another.

Everyone says .325 is a nice setup for a 50cc saw, but I don't like it cause it doesn't match anything I have. They're pretty much exclusive to 50cc saws, while 3/8 and 3/8lp have a wide range of application. If *I* were buying a new 261, I'd set it up 3/8 with a 16" bar. It may not be the best, but it simplifies life.

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Re: 3/8 chain on a 261c
« Reply #28 on: January 12, 2021, 05:40:29 PM »
I have bought from my Stihl dealer 2 loops of .325 in .050 RS for my 55cc saw. 

Yes, @lxskllr you said it correctly that you do ALSO need to change the drive sprocket AND everything has to match.

As far as .058 goes. The Stihl dealer may have a difficult time getting the chain for it, but itís listed in their catalog. BUT, just because itís listed doesnít mean that they will have or can easily get the chain in question.
Trying harder everyday.

Offline Greyhound

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Re: 3/8 chain on a 261c
« Reply #29 on: January 12, 2021, 06:08:26 PM »
I run 3/8 RS chain on my MS261 (ported) 16-20" bar/chain, just because that is what I run on my MS361 and MS461.  It's fine.  .325 ran fine too.

Offline lxskllr

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Re: 3/8 chain on a 261c
« Reply #30 on: January 12, 2021, 06:50:50 PM »
Ah, I stand corrected. I didn't see .325 listed with anything other than .063 in their b&c guide, and I hadn't seen any in person. Not being able to run Stihl chain would be a deal breaker for me. If I couldn't get Stihl chain, I wouldn't consider the saw.

Offline hamish

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Re: 3/8 chain on a 261c
« Reply #31 on: January 12, 2021, 09:55:03 PM »
Ah, I stand corrected. I didn't see .325 listed with anything other than .063 in their b&c guide, and I hadn't seen any in person. Not being able to run Stihl chain would be a deal breaker for me. If I couldn't get Stihl chain, I wouldn't consider the saw.
Stihl chain can be had in .050, .058, and .063, its a regional thing.
Norwood ML26, Jonsered 2152, Husqvarna 353, 346,555,372,576

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Re: 3/8 chain on a 261c
« Reply #32 on: January 12, 2021, 10:48:47 PM »
Trying harder everyday.

Offline Reddawg

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Re: 3/8 chain on a 261c
« Reply #33 on: January 13, 2021, 11:06:07 AM »
A .325 on the 261cm is a good way to go in my experience. Have been pushing my dealer for the NK b/c , light 04, that is only available in Europe. 
No telling when it will be state side, but I would run the rollmatic  E 18Ē bar with the 325 semi-chisel . Itís a nice combination until the NK comes around. Then it will come to life!

Online Tacotodd

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Re: 3/8 chain on a 261c
« Reply #34 on: January 13, 2021, 03:12:43 PM »
.325 works great for me, but my ďexperimenting mindĒ just wants to know what kind of difference I can expect it to be.

The 3/8 seems to stay sharper without the constant sharpening of the .325. But  MAYBE Iím just being overly subjective, I donít know.

Like @Spike60 aggreed with me, only 1 way to know, and thatís to try.
Trying harder everyday.

Offline Cruiser_79

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Re: 3/8 chain on a 261c
« Reply #35 on: Yesterday at 04:47:50 AM »
.325 works great for me, but my ďexperimenting mindĒ just wants to know what kind of difference I can expect it to be.

The 3/8 seems to stay sharper without the constant sharpening of the .325. But  MAYBE Iím just being overly subjective, I donít know.

Like @Spike60 aggreed with me, only 1 way to know, and thatís to try.
I have that feeling to. My brother has a saw with .325, and especially in trunks i have the feeling his chains got damaged much sooner due to the sand/gravel on bottom. And it is annoying when I sharpen them with my Oregon sharpener that i have to change discs all the time between .325 and 3/8 chains. 
If I can make a good price for the used 261 I think I try a 3/8 chain, when it doesn't work I can still swap to the original .325 bar. 

Offline olcowhand

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Re: 3/8 chain on a 261c
« Reply #36 on: Yesterday at 04:59:04 AM »
When I bought my MS261C-M, I had the Sprocket, 16" Bar and Chain swapped over to 3/8", for the very reason mentioned. I wanted all my saws to run the same chain so my sharpening tools were common, and B/C combos were interchangeable. That saw has no problem running the 3/8" full Chisel, with a 16" Bar, but I have run the 20" bar on it with no ill effect. I cut all hardwood, and I frequently bury the bar in Maple or Beech. I use a sharp chain and I let the saw tell me when it's "eating to fast", and it does fine. There are many similar posts on this site with good feedback, and mine has consistently been that the 261 will run fine with a 3/8 chain.
I know nothing of the LP version, but I recall Willard posting something related to its use...
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 Old saw fixer

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Re: 3/8 chain on a 261c
« Reply #37 on: Yesterday at 11:24:28 AM »
My 026 was set up with 3/8 chain on a 16 inch bar, I never noticed a problem.  The 261 is stronger, after it's broken in I may try the 16" 3/8 bar combo on it.  I may have a 3/8 rim sprocket that will fit.
Stihl 036, 017, MS 261 CM, MSA 140 CB


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