MS 261 C-M - $559.95 DSRP


The same great MS 261, but with advanced STIHL M-Tronic™ technology for optimized performance in various conditions.

The MS 261 C-M features low emissions, high fuel efficiency and the advanced STIHL M-Tronic™ engine management system. STIHL M-Tronic™ helps deliver maximum performance across a wide range of cutting conditions. The system digitally monitors changes in elevation and temperature and automatically adjusts for fuel quality, varying octane levels and dirty air filters. The MS 261 C-M also features red...Read More
Print Spec Sheets
MS 261 C-M Specifications
DISPLACEMENT 50.2 cc (3.06 cu. in.)
ENGINE POWER 3.0 kW (4.0 bhp)
POWERHEAD WEIGHT 4.9 kg (10.8 Ibs.)
FUEL CAPACITY 500 cc (16.9 oz)
CHAIN OIL CAPACITY 270 cc (9.13 oz)
OILOMATIC® CHAIN 26 RM3
GUIDE BAR LENGTHS* (Recommended ranges) 40 to 50 cm (16" to 20")
STIHL ROLLOMATIC® E
POWER SOURCE Gas
STIHL recommends #3634 (26 RM3 67) OILOMATIC® Saw chain and 16" 3003 008 6813 Ematic™ guide bar combination. The actual listed guide bar length can vary from the effective cutting length based on which powerhead it is installed on.
Model Features
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    Anti-Vibration System
    STIHL has developed a system for minimizing the vibration levels of handheld outdoor power equipment. The STIHL anti-vibration system helps reduce operator fatigue and provides a more comfortable working experience.
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    Pre-Separation Air Filtration System
    This time-saving technology boosts the efficiency of the engine’s filter system, doubling the time between air filter cleanings. Air drawn into the engine is first separated via centrifugal force, ejecting the heavier dirt particles before being routed to the air filter. This pre-separation means less dirt to be captured by the air filter, resulting in less frequent cleaning and maintenance.

    More Information

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    Side-Access Chain Tensioner
    The side-access chain tensioner makes it much more convenient for the user to adjust the saw chain with a bar wrench as opposed to the typical location of the guide bar adjustment screw.
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    Decompression Valve
    The decompression valve, also referred to as 'deco' or 'deco valve', vents compression in the cylinder for easier starting. The decompression valve temporarily reduces the compression in the combustion chamber during cranking and helps reduce the effort needed to pull the starter rope. It is opened manually and closes automatically as soon as the engine fires.
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    Built in the USA
    Indicates products that are built in the United States from domestic and foreign parts and components.

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    Toolless fuel and oil caps with retainers
    Simply lift the lever and twist the caps to remove or tighten. There‘s no need to use a tool to tighten or loosen.
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    Reduced-Emission Engine Technology - Caring for Nature
    The STIHL Inc. “Caring for Nature” seal identifies its powered products that are more environmentally conscious, producing zero or low exhaust emissions. STIHL Inc. defines “low exhaust emissions” as being cleaner than EPA and/or CARB exhaust emission standards.

    More Information

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    STIHL M-Tronic™ 
    This product features M-Tronic™ (M) - a new generation of Intelligent Engine Management that eliminates the low and high speed carburetor adjustment screws, compensates for dirty air filter and changes in elevation and fuel quality for optimum engine power at all times.

    See it in action!

    More Information

Standard Features
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    Common Features for Chainsaws
    View the features common to many STIHL chainsaws.

Important Information
WARNING! The occurrence called “kickback” can cause serious or fatal injury. Always read the instruction manual carefully before using your saw. STIHL uses a green and yellow color-coding system to help you select a powerhead, bar and chain combination that complies with the kickback requirements of ANSI Standard B175.1 (gasoline-powered saws) and §30 of UL 1662/ ANSI Standard B175.1 (electric chainsaws). Ask your STIHL dealer about safe operating procedures and the advantages of the STIHL Quickstop® chain brake, STIHL Quickstop® Plus (Q) additional chain braking feature, STIHL reduced kickback bars and STIHL low-kickback saw chains.

STIHL recommends the use of green reduced kickback bars and green low kickback chains on all STIHL chainsaws.
WARNING! Improper use of any power tool may cause serious or fatal injury. Read, understand and follow carefully the operating and safety instructions in your instruction manual before using such products.

STIHL products sold through U.S. STIHL Dealers are for distribution in the United States only.
Click to view the STIHL Limited Warranty Time Periods
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    •2.6 oz. bottle makes 1 gallon mix

    •5.2 oz. bottle makes 2 gallon mix

    •6.4 oz. bottle makes 2 1/2 gallon mix

    •12.8 oz. bottle makes 5 gallon mix

    STIHL recommends a mix of 50:1 high-quality 89 octane or higher unleaded gasoline to STIHL engine oil. This same mix ratio should be used during break-in.

  • Bar and Chain Oil Zoom
    Bar and Chain Oil
    STIHL Bar and Chain oil is formulated to adhere to the bar and chain, and to reduce wear. Special agents in the oil formulation help keep sap and pitch from clinging to the bar and chain.

    Available in quart and gallon bottles, 5 gallon pails and 55 gallon drums, in both summer and winter weights.

  • Woodsman Chainsaw Carrying Case Zoom
    Woodsman Chainsaw Carrying Case
    Woodsman carrying case. Unique, removable bar scabbard has built-in tool holders to carry tools to the cutting site. Fits MS 170 to MS 460 M with 20" bar.

    Replacement latches and scabbard are available.

  • Complete Filing Kits Zoom
    Complete Filing Kits
    Kits available for the following chain types: STIHL PICCO Mini; 1/4" pitch chain; .325" pitch chain; 3/8" pitch chain; .404" pitch chain.
    Includes file guide, depth gauge, round file, flat file and two file handles in tool pouch.
    Chain Pitch File Diameter File Guide
    Part Number
    Sharpening Kit
    Part Number
    in. mm in. mm Part Number
    3/8 PMN 9.32 5/32 4.0 0811 411 8073

    5605 750 4327

    5605 007 1026

    1/4
    3/8 PM
    6.35
    9.32
    5/32 4.0 0811 411 8091

    5605 750 4327

    5605 007 1027

    0.325 8.25 3/16 4.8 0811 412 8088

    5605 750 4328

    5605 007 1028

    3/8 9.32 13/64 5.2 0814 243 3384 5605 750 4329

    5605 007 1029

    0.404 10.26 7/32 5.5 0811 412 8108 5605 750 4330

    5605 007 1030

For Your Safety
  • Pro Mark™ Forestry Helmet System Zoom
    Pro Mark™ Forestry Helmet System
    The STIHL Pro Mark™ Forestry Helmet System is a premium quality product, designed with NRR 25 hearing protection and adjustable ratchet-style six-point suspension.
  • STIHL Pro Mark™ Hi-Vis Zip Chap Zoom
    STIHL Pro Mark™ Hi-Vis Zip Chap

    If you are a tree care or emergency service professional working along roadways, we recommend the Pro Mark™ Hi-Vis Zip Chaps. They combine full wrap-around lower leg protection with high-visibility nylon fabric that meets Class E reflective requirements and earns a Class 3 reflective rating when worn with the Class 2 reflective vest. The chaps also feature reflective tapes made from Reflexite Brilliance Series GP-340, making them visible by motorists traveling up to 50 mph. Inside, there are nine layers of Avertic™ Pro by Engtex® cut retardant material, helping reduce the risk or severity of injury in the event of contact with a rotating saw chain on a gasoline-powered chainsaw. Rows of heavy-duty zippers run along the entire inseam of the chaps, helping to ensure they are an effective fit and are easy to put on and/or remove. Stop by our showroom today and check out these versatile chaps.


Are You Ready for a STIHL?

MS 261 C-M is rated 4.7 out of 5 by 141.
Rated 2 out of 5 by from "Upgrade" downgraded This is my second MS261CM. The first one was stolen and it ran like a scolded dog. This new one with a facelift surges and I'm pretty sure the bar isn't perpendicular to the powerhead. I can also feel exhaust coming out of the head. Needless to say it's going back to the dealer. Not impressed. I wish I had my old saw but unless it's found I'm stuck with this over priced MS271. Wait a couple years for the bugs to be worked out.
Date published: 2017-09-19
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Finicky! I wish I would have dispensed with all the C-M baloney and just focused on weight and reliable starting
Date published: 2017-09-18
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Great all-around saw This is my first Pro-grade saw. I watched countless youtube videos on the entire lineup and Stihl's direct competitors before making my purchase. I feel that the features of the Pro Series saws are worth the added expense over the Homeowner and Ranch/Farm grade saws regardless of how little you might use one. I enjoy the lighter weight (sub 11 lbs), M-tronic features, decompression valve, tool-less filler caps for the bar oil and fuel, and the fact that they are easily rebuilt for many years of service. The power to weight ratio on this saw is excellent in comparison to the Ranch Series saws of this size that easily weigh 1.5-3 lbs more and are made of a less durable polymer and case that's more difficult to rebuild/replace. I went with a 20" bar and while it runs it with no issue, I believe the perfect combo for this saw and its power is a 18" bar. Since this purchase and the recent events of Hurricane Harvey in my area, I have become saw obsessed and I am nothing more than a weekend-warrior, that said, I am already considering the purchase of a 461 or 661 for my next saw. I guess you can say that I have been bitten by the saw bug.
Date published: 2017-09-18
Rated 5 out of 5 by from MS 261 C-M I have had several Stihl saws from my first an 028 to the largest MS461. In this mix of saws I have a MS 260 Pro. I really didn't need a new saw I really wanted to see what the C-M was all about. A"smart saw"? I have been using this saw to fell and buck trees for firewood about six months. In that six months I have processed about six cord and about three of that with this little saw with an 18" bar and chain.The first use I was working a locust tree that had blown over. The base of the tree was approximately 18" diameter while the length was 60-70' and not many branches. The power of the saw was quite evident as it had no problem cutting this tree up. There was no bogging down of the saw with a new chain(yellow). I did however have trouble starting the saw after shutting it down for a bit. I had flooded it. That was my fault though. I failed to read the manual before using. After all I have been using Stihl saws for forty years, I should know how to operate them. I was using the on/run/choke switch like a conventional saw. With the M-tronic one doesn't have to work the switch in the same manor. After I learned that I had no other issues with the MS 261 C-M. I ran the MS 260 Pro 16" bar and the MS 261C-M 18" bar on the same job to try and get a fair comparison. The 261 wins in all categories. It is faster, stronger, and more fuel efficient. I am glad I purchased this saw only time and usage will solidify that thought.
Date published: 2017-09-16
Rated 1 out of 5 by from Worst Experience Ever I bought this saw early in the year when a big oak fell at my church. I'd owned a Stihl before that I'd purchased from eBay. I never had a problem with that one, but it was stolen. I'd heard about the Stihl MS-260 from Wranglerstar on YouTube for years, so I took the plunge to buy it, knowing that as often as trees go down at my church, I'd need a heavy duty saw. The saw worked fine through that tree, but then, later this year as we started preparation for our annual Youth Camp, it stopped running mid-cut. I took it in and was told there was a known engine problem. They said it would take six weeks to repair. I couldn't be that long without a saw, so I went ahead and purchased a MS 170, the humblest of all Stihl's saws. We were clearing new land for the church, so that little saw got a huge work-out, but it never quit. Camp prep took about four months, so I eventually got my 261 back. Put it back in service, and the same thing happened again after a few days. I took it back in, and this time they replaced it within a week or two. Brand new saw. I put that in service, and probably put thirty hours on it before camp prep was done, without a problem. Then hurricane Irma blew in and took out seven trees at the church. I grabbed my 261 and headed for the church. A tank and a half in to the first big oak and my saw stopped again. I took it directly to my Stihl dealer, then went and got my 170 to continue work. That is a work in progress, barely started, because fuel is scarce still here in Florida, especially the ethanol free, which is all I run in my saws. Yesterday, I got a call from the Stihl dealer that Stihl had determined that my saw had been run "out of spec" because the chain on the saw was dull. I'd sharpened it before I started on Tuesday as I always do, but I'd put a tank and a half through it and I'm sure it was getting dull when it quit. Sawing fallen oak is a tough job for a saw, which is why I'd bought a pro model. I was told they would not honor the warranty. The head is cracked. I'm heartsick about this total loss. I admit that I work my saws hard, but isn't the logical thing to do if you have a tough job to get a saw that is rated for tough work? Perhaps I'm some kind of saw-killing nincompoop, but I never had a problem with the used Stihl I purchased used or the MS 170 I bought as a stand-in for my 261. I wish I'd sprung for the next model up. I can't afford that now, and I've lost confidence in the Stihl pro line. Impossible for me to recommend.
Date published: 2017-09-15
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Best saw ever I just purchased this saw for a major project and it performed better than expected, the power was unreal and the weight was comfortable I used it all day on wet wood and it never complained, I must say it was worth the extra money! wow I am sold on this saw, way to go Stihl, I love my saw.
Date published: 2017-09-14
Rated 5 out of 5 by from I love this saw This is my kind of saw. It has lots of power and cuts like a saw should. I use this saw from 7000 feet to 10,000, at 10,000 feet it starts on the 4th pull when it is cold and starts very easy on one pull when its warm. My old saw was hard to start cold and wouldn't start warm. It is a delight to use, it is light for its horse power and will last me for years to come. Thank you Stihl.
Date published: 2017-09-12
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Nice machine, but hard to cold start I used a neighbors old MS 034 pretty extensively, and was sold on Stihl quality, verses other saws tried. I read and watched a lot of reviews, and settled on the MS 261 C-M, and eventually got one. I like the design, build quality, and 'feel' of the machine very much. I like the pro-grade features. And I especially like the power:weight ratio of this machine. That was the main deciding factor for me in model selection.However, I have two 'cons' to share:(1) it is much harder to start than I had hoped - especially in a machine that is supposedly designed for easy starting (re: the M-tronics and decompression button). Takes about 12 pulls for cold start (1-2 at full choke, until decompression button first pops out; then about 10 more pulls, at half choke again using the decompression feature.) Usually stalls then too, after initial cold start. But will start more easily after that. (So much for M-tronics!) Note too, that you really need to use that decompression button on this model. Else the pull is almost impossible - very stiff and jerky. Warm starts are very good - one pull only (at run position works best on my machine, not on half choke as expected).(2) I am also a bit disappointed in the manual - both paper copy received, and on-line .pdf versions I have found. They are pretty good in most respects, but lack sufficient detail for things like carburetor tuning. There is even confusion about whether the manual received is really for the machine that I have. Which manuals, and which text and pics in the manuals, pertains to the MS 261 vs the MS 261 C-M vs the MS 261 C-MQ is unclear.I would probably still make the same choice again. But my new owner experience, getting acquainted with and comfortable with this machine, is more involved than expected. Am still hopeful that Stihl quality, reliability, and usability will prevail, once I get more familiar with this particular machine.
Date published: 2017-09-04
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