500i or 661

swingdude

De' Island Buzzer
Location
Barbados
Simple but hugely effective. Big gains. Mtronic saws are super simple because carbs tune themselves sweetly. The 391 was a manual adjustment, turned plastic pig into a decent saw.
 

Stumpsprouts

Well-Known Member
Location
Asheville
I am a regular ms661 in-tree user
Badass.

For the OP I would agree with others, a 441/461 is a great saw for the price. My 441 ended up with a weird bar combo- 20” and 28”- the 28” is not for all day everyday but it can handle those few big rigs and a fell and is much lighter than a 661. With a 20” it is so fast I hardly feel like I’m working.
 

Jonny

Well-Known Member
Location
Buffalo
My 441CM wears a 28” almost exclusively. Seems like a happy combination. I do have a spare 20” for it and it’s crazy fast, but I already got plenty of saws with 20” bars.
 

colb

Well-Known Member
Location
Florida
Badass.

For the OP I would agree with others, a 441/461 is a great saw for the price. My 441 ended up with a weird bar combo- 20” and 28”- the 28” is not for all day everyday but it can handle those few big rigs and a fell and is much lighter than a 661. With a 20” it is so fast I hardly feel like I’m working.
I have a buddy who can take down a tree faster than me and rigs really well. He calls my 661 "The Compensator", lol... He's skinny, 6'5", long arms, big hands. He just cuts of 6" 25' limbs with one hand 7 feet our on the limb and the other on his ms201t then chucks them wherever he wants them... Not looking to get into a 1 vs. 2-hand discush, btw... I gave him my ms661 with a dull chain the other day to make an elm spar cut. He tried to avoid getting saw chips on himself, so he's up there with the dogs out of the wood, saw a long way away from his body and up sort of high, struggling to act like he knows what he's doing, lol. I was laughing my ass off. My keys to using a big saw in tree are to not bend my elbows for very long, use the dogs, and use my muscles only to set the kerf.
 

colb

Well-Known Member
Location
Florida
Precisely. Four equal slots. Use the stihl screwdriver to form the fins. Start with the fartherest and come forward.
You have to keep the metal shavings from going into the cylinder, right? Does the muffler open up to allow cleaning, or do you use good technique, air compressor, just raw dog it? Thanks for sharing.

I've had a great time with my ms661. Took it in for a spa date because it had been so long since I bought it and they basically charged me a lookover fee. I've busted the handle while whacking a trunk with the saw. It noticeably does not always start if left in the sun, and I'm curious if that is the mtronic preventing me from doing something bad to the saw. I am now 100% trained to leave it and my other saws in shade.
 

Stumpsprouts

Well-Known Member
Location
Asheville
It noticeably does not always start if left in the sun
I find that’s fairly universal trait in all saws.

Not trying to start a run on saws but had to see for myself. The Stihl gold star tech at the local Ace said stihl is in a bidding war over parts and saws will be delayed and more expensive when they hit the shelves again.
 

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rico

Well-Known Member
Location
redwoods
My keys to using a big saw in tree are to not bend my elbows for very long, use the dogs, and use my muscles only to set the kerf.
I am genuinely interested in hearing how you run a bigger saw in a tree without bending your elbows?
 
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chiselbit

Well-Known Member
That’s easy. You just start at the top and cut below yourself. Let your arms hang straight down. It helps if you get inverted
 

Chris Schultz

Active Member
Location
Minturn
To the guys that are savvy and happy with the 500i: what altitude are you operating at? I only ran a 500i for a few minutes bucking a log over the winter.... it was around 10500’ above sea level. I shouldn’t be quick to judge, but it was nowhere near as snorty as a 661, but similar to my mildly modded 460.
 

rico

Well-Known Member
Location
redwoods
One of the fella's on the job is a Stihl guy, so yesterday I had the opportunity to run a 660 & 661 (both with a 36"), and compare them to my Madsen 395's (with a 42"). Once again Stihl managed to leave me unimpressed and flacid..

Gonna try his 462 next....
 
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rico

Well-Known Member
Location
redwoods
@rico I've herd the larger huskies are preferred by large tree fallers to stihls. Hell I wish I had more rip in the large maple flares and oaks we takedown. They sure aren't redwoodsized...
@Chris Schultz we are sea level.
I spent quit a bit of time with the bigger Stihl's today and I am not sure what to think...The 880 was pure shit with a 5 footer, but pulled a 42"-48" like a boss. This is a 121cc saw so it doesnt really get a whole lot of credit from me for pulling a 4 footer. For the money that should a starting point in performance...

The 661 is another one a can't figure out...Its a 91 cc saw, so in my world in should make a 42" sing, but sadly it didn't...Damned if it was awesome with a 36" though. From my perspective the Stihl's are super smooth and a pleasure to run, but seem to lack that last little bit of angry ass-whoop and grunt that comparable Husky's have....At the end of the day, I would easily take my 395's over both the 880 or the 661... But hey, thats just me...
 
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Location
Buffalo
We asked dealer for another 5hundo , they said it'll be quite awhile before they can get another

They came out in bunches this week in my area. I found one Monday in a little hardware store in pike, ny. Ordered it a year ago and first one they got in. Bought it.
Then that afternoon bought another for a buddy at ace hardware in Attica, ny.
Dealer I’ve been on a wait list for four months in Akron, ny called me Tuesday. They ordered 15 (not sure how many they got in) but I was 11 on the list and said it was in. Obviously didn’t need it though so I passed on it.
 

RyanCafferky

Well-Known Member
I just got my 500i. I was waiting since December. It was well worth the wait. Mine has a 28" lightweight bar which is probably a little short considering the power. After running it a few days I also ordered a 32" bar.

For in tree work it is an amazing saw. Similar weight to my MS362C but a whole bunch more power.

My other big saw for in tree cutting has been my 066. That has plenty of power with the 32" I have it paired with but it is heavy.
 

ConeCollector

Active Member
I just got my 500i. I was waiting since December. It was well worth the wait. Mine has a 28" lightweight bar which is probably a little short considering the power. After running it a few days I also ordered a 32" bar.

For in tree work it is an amazing saw. Similar weight to my MS362C but a whole bunch more power.

My other big saw for in tree cutting has been my 066. That has plenty of power with the 32" I have it paired with but it is heavy.
How do you find the balance with the 28” lightweight bar? I’ve got a 25” lightweight bar on my 500i currently and it’s a touch power head heavy. I prefer a balanced saw.
 

evo

Well-Known Member
Location
My Island, WA
I read lots of nice things about the 500i, but I haven’t read that it’s a replacement for displacement, so 661 gets my vote.
One day when money ain’t a thang, get some 60, 70, and 80cc saws in the mix too, but a good top handle, a good 50cc, and a good 90cc class is a fine set if a climber can only can have 3 saws.
Agreed. Around here it goes ms201 to 440 (or similar) to 660. That is pretty much the minimum line up. Now don’t get me wrong it’s nice to have a 261,361.. and the in between models..
I’m using Stihl for the example because I don’t know husky saws too well. I have a 395 in place of a 661...

In my truck I have a 150, 2511, 020, 261, 361, 461, at all times and the 395 as needed
The most used are 150,261, and the 461 in that order.
 

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