Starting up MS 261 CM Stihl

Hi !.
I am french; sorry for bad english.

Driving starting up of the chain saw MS 261 c diverse conditions.
Starting up Cold, hot.

I bought a MS 261 C (electronic management) in January, 2017.
I am not professional, I am going to use 20 liters of running a year maxi Motomix.
Cup (Cutting) of firewood, I command (order) 20 cubic meters of wooden oak dimension(size) 2m of length and diameter from 8 to 40 cms.
I cut the whole in 25/30 cm which I re-splits for poële in wood.

I wish to know the best possible procedure of cold start as under heat.
I ran the chain saw on 15 heights running reservoir Motomix developed by Stihl.
The retailer Stihl gave me some advice for the starting up.

And I would like to know your advice (councils) to start MS 261 C.

1) Under cold conditions.
The seller advised (recommended) me to put the lever on position triangle.
Valve of pushed decompression.
And once the started engine, the seller told me to leave turned(shot) the engine in slow motion on the position triangle during approximately 1 minute before pressing on the throttle control so that the position of the lever passes on normal walking(step) (Run).
But according to the outside temperature, what are the instructions (deposits) in respected?.
0 °----------------10 °-----------------20 °-------------------
Start MS 241 C

2) Under heat
Lever on triangle
Valve pushed decompression.
Driving launch, and immediately after starting up immediate brief support on trigger shutter (sector) butterfly.
Possibility of starting up on position Run directly.

Which are your comments.
Thank you for your experience feedback.
See you soon.



Well-Known Member
Welcome to the buzz.
Cold starts: Ignition switch on full choke, pull cord until saw rumbles, set on half choke and pull cord until engine fires and quickly blip the throttle to idle saw down. The saw will race until throttle is pulled with your finger. Some apply the chain break first.
Warm start: Pull cord till saw fires.

If saw doesn't start during "hot" condition, repeat cold start.
Or refuel saw.
Hope this is useful to you.
Thank you for the answer.

But I think the procedure you indicate is suitable for a chainsaw that is not attended by M-Tronic.

In the video at 3.20 minutes it is explained how to do.
I think he says to let the lever one minute on triangle after start engine ?
Can you confirm ?.
Because, I do not understand all that is said :confused:

Merci !


Well-Known Member
I have two MS-261C-MQ saws. I do NOT let them run for one minute. Full choke (START) position, pull rope. When engine fires, flip switch down to half-choke position and pull it again... it should start right up... immediately hit the trigger to let it idle down. When it's warm, just flip it to RUN and pull it.


Well-Known Member
X2 on above post. Only 4-stroke engines need a warm-up. When it's below freezing I let the saw idle for a couple seconds then give it a little throttle until you hear the saw respond quickly. Then your good to go.

I take note of your answers and I do not understand why Jeffgu talks about full choke (start) position choke and half-choke position.
Full choke (START) position, switch down to half-choke position. ?
On my M-Tronic models there is only one start position (triangle).

MS 261 C-MQ is différent to MS 261 CM ???

This is different from the startup as in the picture below.

Last edited:


Well-Known Member
Did you get an owners manual with the saw? They have the same functions. It's a two stroke engine ..... bottom line. They all start with full choke, half choke, and run. They are combined functions on the electronic version. Pull over, it starts hit throttle and your ready to use the saw.
Did you get an owners manual with the saw?

Yes , le manual !.
The manual says there is an off / stop = 0 position
A position I = Run
A triangle (▲) = start position
Cold always put on position start triangle and support briefly on throttle after starting engine.
If hot engine, direct start position I

I will do multiple tests and draw conclusions.
As Stihl sales consultants say to let idle on triangle position(▲) at some point when the engine is starting cold.
Then after a minute go into position run and the chainsaw is ready to operate for cutting.

Combi-lever with a stop button function Thanks to the M-Tronic’s ability to electronically distinguish between a cold or warm start, there is only one start position (▲) on the combi-lever. The exact amount of fuel needed for each kind of start-up is provided automatically. So you don’t have to worry about what operational mode your chain saw is in – with this little beauty you can power up to full speed straight away, even after a cold start. When you stop the engine, the stop switch automatically flips back to operating position (I) which facilitates starting the machine again after brief interruptions.

Thanks for your answers, I will try to see what is the best method over time.


Well-Known Member
Ok, that was my mistake... the saws weren't in front of me... yes, the -MQ model is M-tronic with the QuickBrake feature. There's no "half-choke" position on those ones. If the saw starts up in the "triangle" (choke) position, then just blip the throttle to idle it down. If the engine fires, but doesn't start, then I flip it to the RUN position and start it. I never let it run in the START position for more than a few seconds. If it fires and doesn't start, I flip it to RUN because if you keep trying to start it in the START position, it will often flood and be very hard to start.

I hope that made sense. I push the compression release back in between pulls, when starting, for easier pulling... but it will start fine without doing that. When it's cold, the compression release really helps on those first couple of pulls.


Well-Known Member
BTW, you can flood a M-tronic saw quite easily if you're used to old saws that required holding the throttle open to start. I made that mistake, once. You have to remove the spark plug, cycle it a few times, and let it air out for a bit before replacing the plug and starting over. I had been running an old saw that won't start unless you hold the throttle open, and I just instinctively did the same thing when I picked up my first MS-261C-M that I owned. That was a dumb mistake.

The first time you start the saw when it is new, or if you do a RESET on the M-tronics, you do need to let it run for a full minute in the START position.
Now it's clearer, your explanation is very fair and corresponds to my first conclusions despite the short time to use the chainsaw.

I have experienced having drowned the engine 2 times when I missed the start of the chainsaw time to replenish the gasoline and oil chain.
The error was to pull the string twice in triangle position.
I heard a pop on the second thrown and I threw a triangle 3 times, mistake not to do.
I should have passed on the second run engine in run position if the engine did not start at the first shot when the machine already turned forward on 1 tank.

When the engine is drowned (Warm or cold engine ?).
Exactly as for your explanation, it is necessary to remove the candle, to dry it, and to launch the engine keeping the lever in position off to empty and to ventilate the cylinder of the too rich essence.
After reassembling dry candle, the engine to start from the first shot on triangle position.
And the chainsaw is ready for run immédiatly.
Yes ! it's ok, good procédure, méthode when the engine refuses to start because drowned .

Remains for me to determine the time that one must let the engine turn on triangle position when the chainsaw is cold first start of the day.
Then after x seconds? ............. Switch to normal running = run.
I already tried to go into the run position just after engine start on triangle position with briefly pressing on throttle throttle, but the engine stalled., Plouf.
But température externe was 0 ° and the first start of the day. !

No doubt according to the outside temperatures, I will take notes and I would take stock.
-5 °, 5 °, 10 °?

I will take notes and I would take stock, give feedback here.

Thank you et à bientôt.
Bonne journée à tous.
Last edited:


Well-Known Member
You'll get it figured out... once you get your startup procedure down, and do it that way enough times, it gets to be second nature. Then, you can't explain it to anyone because you don't think about it anymore! You'll love those saws. They always start, always run and they're not too heavy.

EDIT: I just went out and started one of mine. It's snowing, and 32*F / 0*C out there. In the START (triangle) position, I let it run about 8 ~ 10 seconds is all. Then I blip the throttle to RUN and feather the throttle to keep it running. Rev it up every few seconds, and you're ready to go when the engine runs smoothly and doesn't hesitate or try to stall when you throttle it up. Also, if the chain brake is ON then you need to blip the throttle within about 5 seconds, because you don't want to glaze the centrifigul clutch, or push the chain brake off right away and let the chain turn.
Last edited:
Hi !.

I think I understand, and in the future it will be a great pleasure to use the MS 261 C-M.
When I get to know this tool better, i could do a slaughter training for the better understanding of the forest.

Thank you very much for all the advice given. :hola:


Last edited: