MS 261 C-M - $579.95 DSRP


Reserve with STIHL Express for In-Store Pick Up

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)
GUIDE BAR LENGTHS (Recommended ranges) 40 to 50 cm (16" to 20")
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.

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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.
* The actual listed guide bar length can vary from the effective cutting length based on which powerhead it is installed on.
WARNING: Cancer and Reproductive Harm -
ADVERTENCIA: Cáncer y Daño Reproductivo -
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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    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.

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    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.
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    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

    3/8 PM
    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
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    Pro Mark™ Chainsaw Boots
    Before you head out of the door for your next chainsaw job, lace up the stylish STIHL Pro Mark™ Chainsaw Boots. This boot will help keep your feet protected from the elements with its inner GORE-TEX® fabric, delivering water-resistant technology and optimal breathability. Plus, its deep lacing hooks will help keep your feet securely fastened while you’re hard at work. Complete with a padded steel toe and a comfort sole made of rubber, this high-quality black suede work boot is designed with safety in mind. The hardworking STIHL Pro Mark™ Chainsaw Boot meets OSHA requirements for protective footwear in chainsaw use, as well as EN 17249 (Class 2) and EN 20345 S2 requirements for chainsaw protective boots. Swing by our store and try them on for yourself!
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    Pro Mark™ Hi-Vis Zip Chaps - 9 Layer

    If you are a tree care or emergency service professional working along roadways, we recommend the Pro Mark™ Hi-Vis Zip Chaps - 9 Layer. 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.

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Are You Ready for a STIHL?

MS 261 C-M is rated 4.7 out of 5 by 195.
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Exceptional Power Tool So I’ll start the record off by saying that my experience with chainsaws is barely more than minimal, as at the time of purchase the biggest thing I ever had to cut was maybe 2”. I’d also never purchased a chainsaw. I needed a quality saw to maintain my new property which has over 3 acres of dense trees of all types and sizes. The woods have been severely neglected and many problem trees need removed as well as general cleanup.I wanted to learn what I was doing on a medium sized saw of high quality and that’s exactly what I got with this. I got this with an 18” bar and it will be doing a lot of work including felling of trees from 4-24”. The power is unreal given how light the saw is and the speed of the cutting was so fast it actually scared me into buying a full set of PPE. I would recommend this saw to anyone. I have had zero issues with the m-tronic it’s the way to go, I never have to worry about getting my carburetor adjusted or tuned and the saw just keeps getting better with each fuel tank.
Date published: 2018-07-11
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Great replacement for my 026 Pro During a remodel of my lake home, my trusty 026 Pro (purchased in 2000 w/18" bar setup) decided to go home with one of the workmen in 2012! Purchased the ms 261 C-M w/16" bar and broke the engine in on an 18in. dia. Pear tree. My initial impressions were 1) STRONG 50cc. engine, 2) Light weight and good balance w/ 16" bar 3) M-tronics auto adjust works as stated 4) 2-3 pulls to start cold, 1 pull start when Hot. 5) Good replacement for the 026 Pro.***Now, the real proof of value was when I helped a neighbor fell, limb and buck a 16" dia. Maple that was severely damaged during a storm. Neighbor had a Husky 545 and I used it to buck 1/2 the tree. The Husky didn't have the power to 'stay in the cut', bogged down often and was hard to start Hot. My 261 C-M was a TOTALLY different saw, with more than enough power, stayed in the cut easily with no bogging down and started on 1 pull when Hot. The Husky 545 was an ok saw but was frustrating to use... the 261 C-M was much more easy to use, more power, less vibration and MUCH less frustrating and less energy spent that entire afternoon helping the neighbor. I'm not at all sad my trusty old 026 Pro left me! Next up, ms201T c-m break-in!
Date published: 2018-07-07
Rated 1 out of 5 by from Worst saw i have ever owned. For some reason saw starts great initially, but after 5 to 10 minutes of run time if you shut it off good luck getting it started. Saw is just over a month old it has been garbage since day one.
Date published: 2018-05-31
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Nice Chainsaw Weight is a factor when cutting all day, I used to use a Farm Boss 029, (until the engine gave out) this saw was close to 30 years old.Looked into replacing my 029 with a new version of the Farm Boss, but after some research I found the MS 261 C-M, it is lighter and more powerful and a little over $100 more but, weight and power is everything when cutting wood all day. This is a great chainsaw, starts easy (1 or 2 pulls) and runs for hours on a tank of fuel.Best of all it uses the same chains and bar as my old Farm Boss 029. This was a big factor in my purchase, along with the weight and power of the saw.Also, you can extend your warranty by an extra year by purchasing oil to mix with your need it anyway, so why not have some extra oil on hand for another full year of warranty coverage on your saw. As For the cost--YOU GET WHAT YOU PAY FOR--go cheap and be disappointed.
Date published: 2018-05-29
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Does A Good Job Light, seems to have enough power and handles real good
Date published: 2018-05-18
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Smooth and powerful saw makes the job a pleasure. I absolutely love this saw. My toughest project was cutting 66 "pavers" from an oak trunk for about five hours straight, pausing only to sharpen the chain once. The saw worked flawlessly right up to the point at which it died. Evidently, although I used the recommended fuel to oil mix ratio, with non-ethanol gas, the Stihl brand bar lube, the piston seized and would not run beyond that point. I almost take it as a badge of honor that I killed a professional grade saw. It seems we hurt most the ones we love the most. Alas. I'll be buying my second MS 261 C-M very soon.
Date published: 2018-05-15
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Easy start, good power & balance Easy start, good power & balance. I bought this saw for home use after having a couple of "home use" saws that barely get the job done, and require more maintenance then they are worth. Spend the extra money and get a quality saw. This saw is a keeper.
Date published: 2018-05-04
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Great saw so far Yes I haven’t had this saw long but so far so good. This saw has great power for its size and weight. We run stihls at work and they have been great . Yes if you pull starter fast and very quickly they can and will flood. I have seen some other reviews that people are having problems starting there’s so far it’s been one to two pulls every time so far. This is my first m tronics saw of my own. We have a 661 m tronics at work for a few years and haven’t had a bit of problem with it. For a big saw it is a joy to cut with. Back to the ms261cm mine has the 20” bar with 26rm3 chain on it. For as light as this saw is the 18” probably balances the saw the best. If you put scabbard cover on it. The saw kinda leans forward a little. But no problem in hand it is light and compared to my Husqvarnas. I like that the m tronics carb sets itself up for maximum power in different temperatures and elevations. And it doesn’t seem to over rev at all. I am very pleased with this saw it seems to be of good quality. I probably didn’t need a pro series saw but I wanted something I hope lasts me a long time and is serviceable. I highly recommend this saw so far. Will do a follow up review after a while of good use to see how well the saw holds up over time.
Date published: 2018-05-03
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