MS 261 C-M - $549.95 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.
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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    HP Ultra 2-Cycle Engine Oil
    HP Ultra is a fully synthetic 2-cycle engine oil specially suited for high performance chainsaws and power tools. This oil has outstanding engine cleaning characteristics, plus “ultra” superior lubricating qualities in comparison to other 2-cycle engine oils. It is ideal for use in STIHL 4-MIX® engines. This oil is biodegradable, degrading by 80% in 21 days.

    •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

    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
  • 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 4.8 out of 5 by 128.
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Best mid size saw in the market I was sceptical about this computer carb but I got used to it.Read the cold start manual before you start writing reviews guys.I'm an arborist difficult to impress me.I've had mine for over a year now.Over 389 take downs with it.Falling trees I am less fatigue and that gives me more productivity.Bucking on this saw is kind of tricky but the key is to not force the saw.The ergonomic on this saw is great.We'll balanced.Clutch cover is genius.Makes it lightning fast adjustments or replace the chain.Power is just out of this world.I have dropped oaks and buck them with this saw and never had oil problems nor over heating.Yes live oaks completely dismantled by this saw.Rigging with this saw is heavenly.I have never seen a saw take so much abuse and still starts all the time.My groundsman love it.Best and my onlyMid size saws.I run my 261 cm 18" bar full chisel Run non ethanol and stihl mix grey bottles.Stihl bar oil.Great job guys.
Date published: 2017-08-09
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Over engineering on a great saw First saw had a computer problem, blew up with 1 hour. Second saw, is working fine. This is a super fast saw! Reminds me of an electric saw. Very, very fast! But during short plunge, saw bottoms out a lot faster then my other 261's. So it's fast on surface, stops fast deep. This is due to increased speed. I can feel the difference right away in the saws. Don't buy the CM. But, the 261 is a great saw. Also, both saws you can not stop the saw with your thumb. Which to me is a safety issue. Again this is a great case for, if it's not broke don't fix it! I buy all stihl products for my business. I highly recommend buying the standard ms261.
Date published: 2017-07-30
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Worth the investment I was looking for a midsized saw that didn't wear me out, yet had some power. I looked at different brands and every model, but I was leaning Stihl due to parts availability. Weight to horsepower was a key factor. After weighing the pros and cons, and reading reviews, I opted for a 261cm. It has surprising power for its size. Light, powerful, well built, easy to start. I'm very, very happy with it.
Date published: 2017-07-25
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Great saw This saw is a beast. Starts easy, and every time. On lighter side with huge power for its class. Makes cutting wood not a chore. Eats it right up. Love the M Tronic, no need to mess with carb. Thanks Stihl!
Date published: 2017-07-17
Rated 5 out of 5 by from My wooding cutting friends are always asking to use my saw I bought a professional level saw what a great saw. I use it for getting firewood . Starts great, runs great and has plenty of power. It makes getting wood so much easier than using a home-owners type saw.
Date published: 2017-07-15
Rated 5 out of 5 by from great saw!!!!!!!!!!! I have owned professional saws my whole life as I worked for years as an arborist in one capacity or another. I started using homelites back when they were above average, next came jonsereds when they were highly rated, moved on to (I was stopped from mentioning a competitor brand name here which makes me suspicious any reviews are real!!!) and one big dolmar but always wanted a stihl. I have the 261 c and at this point in my life it is all the saw I will ever want or need. cuts everything and fast! so did the others but this one seems better. if satisfaction counts for anything this saw is better. it is definitely the fastest saw of the neighborhood but that may be because I know some sharpening tricks from my years of experience. buy with confidence this saw is great!
Date published: 2017-07-12
Rated 5 out of 5 by from The little saw that thinks it's a big saw I bought the MS 261 C-M because I wanted to stop lugging my 20 year old Stihl 026 between two locations. My 026 has been such a strong and reliable runner for the last two decades I didn't even consider saving a few bucks by switching brands. I didn't think the new saw could best my old favorite (which runs better than new) but, after three days of firewood cutting, I have a new favorite. The M-tronic engine is awesome! Anyone who claims the EPA is "choking" up new saws doesn't know what they're talking about. The 261 C-M bests the venerable 026 by much more than the extra couple of cc's would suggest. Particularly noticeable is the superior torque. When the saw gets deep in the middle of a big cut you can feel the torque kick in and grunt through without bogging down. This is high praise because my 026 regularly out-cuts every other 50cc saw I've tried as it's a particularly strong runner. The MS 261 C-M takes a couple tanks of fuel to enter it's element. The first tank I was concerned I had made a big mistake. The engine had disconcerting power variations in the middle of a cut and made me feel disconnected from the throttle. By the third tank of fuel, the engine was steady and powerful. I chalk this up to normal break-in process combined with the M-tronic brain "learning" and adjusting to the saw as it broke in. Now it cuts steadily and powerfully through the cut and has instant throttle response.I've run my MS 026 hard in demanding tasks for 20 years on 50:1 gas/oil mix (Stihl synthetic for 18 years) and it has been flawless so I plan to do the same with the new saw. Don't think you're doing your saw a favor by giving it a bit of extra oil. It only needs 50:1 and more oil reduces fuel octane and creates unnecessary and undesirable carbon deposits. The M-tronic engine adjusts for fuel quality so you get the full potential w/ the optimum fuel/oil mix.Starting couldn't be easier. The M-tronic system allows you to start the saw exactly the same every time, hot or cold, low or high altitude, just push the lever to start and pull the starter cord (which has extra smooth action). It starts first or second pull when cold and first pull if a little warm or freshly hot. When it fires up, blip the throttle one time and it's ready to start cutting. The saw is equipped with a compression release but it is unnecessary on a saw that pulls this smoothly and easily so I've stopped using it.The new air cleaning system is quicker and easier to maintain and cuts an impressive amount of wood with minimal loading of wood chips. The centrifugal air cleaning system really does work.You can spend a lot less for a 50cc saw but will it be this good? No, it won't. This saw is light for a 50cc saw but has the cutting performance of many 60cc saws. And that's a big win in my book.
Date published: 2017-06-26
Rated 5 out of 5 by from The perfect saw for home firewood. After 34 years of cutting I finally purchased the perfect chainsaw. Retired the 028 Super. I have nicknamed my 261 "The Wood Beast" for its performance and reliability around the house. Firewood cutting is enjoyable and virtually effortless. Look no further, spend a little extra, and buy this beast. Your wood burner and family will thank you for it come winter.
Date published: 2017-06-18
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