Midsize saw purchase help

Looking at picking up another saw. I have a 970 Olympyk (70cc) saw that I’ve owned for 25 years. It runs strong, I have a 18 and a 30” bar for it. Then I have a John Deere CS36 35cc chainsaw I purchased while I worked at a John Deere dealer. It was made by Efco which is what Olympyk was. Both saws have some age on them but currently run reliably. Then I have a new T435 top handle Husqvarna, and a Husqvarna gas powered pole saw as well.

I started looking at the Stihl MS261C-M or the Husqvarna 550XP. Talked to a long time friend that is a professional logger, but doesn’t do any off the ground/climbing. He was pushing me towards the Stihl MS362CM. He loves the new saws that have the Mtronic controlled carb. I have read some bad reviews on the Husky 550xp, but many are years old and wonder if that was when they first came out. I also read on the forum that if you buy a 362 60cc saw to go ahead and step up to the 70cc class which i already have, but yet it’s 25 years old at this point. I’m a tall healthy guy so maybe a 25” bar on the 362 would be a good fit running on the ground, but if I’m gonna be doing some bigger in tree work the 261 sounds nice and handy.

Also there is a brand new unused Stihl MS261C (not Mtronic) locally to me on Craigslist for $500, that’s 150$ cheaper after you factor in sales tax but no warranty. Are people loving the computer controlled (not user tunable carbs) on these newest saws? Doubt I’ll really have any problems with a new saw???

I know Husky/Stihl debate, open to thoughts or suggestions. Really between the 261 or 362 is only 2 pounds difference

Thanks for any and all suggestions!!!!!
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Well-Known Member
Unless you're cutting pine/fir/cedar only, 25" is too long a bar for a 362. Mine is ported and I run a 20" bar, but I also cut hardwood almost exclusively. I would tend to agree that getting a 462 is a better option than a 362 just because they weigh nearly the same and the 462 has more power, but it really depends on your specific needs. I think your top handle, plus a 261, plus your big saw is a good 3 saw plan. I've never run a 550xp but I have a 346xp and it is a badass saw that runs like a ported saw after only a muffler mod. No longer made however. I've run a 260 and the 346 is far superior with a 16" bar and .325 chain. Food for thought I hope!


Well-Known Member
Atglen, PA
Personally, I am very much a Stihl fan, so I can’t speak much to the Husky saws. The unused 261 non-electronic sounds like a good deal, as long as you only want to run 18-20” bars on it; it’s a good match to an 18” bar. A friend of mine climbs with one for crane work. We use all 362s with 20” bars here, as our “small” size ground saw and crane climbing saw.

I prefer the non-electronic saws for their simplicity, but we buy all new saws so we get the MTronics because that’s what’s available now. They’ve been decent, but we have had a few issues that required a dealer carburetor reprogramming.


Well-Known Member
I'm not head over heels in love with my 362 like I am my 241, but I deal with oaks that need more than 20", particular when doing finish cuts on limb removals without repositioning. A 261 wouldn't get me there. So I put a 24" Oregon Versacut on a muffler modded 362 and it gets the job done without complaint. I picked it up in mint condition on eBay for $500. Otherwise, I would have gone 462. I tried using 20" bars for big limb removals and it just wasnt't happening doing the finish cut. Much happier using the 24".
I love mtronic though and would highly recommend them. Just learn your calibration procedure, and read up on those fuel solenoids ( and have one backup). But worth it.
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Well-Known Member
I had the same question last year. Came down to 261 or 55p for me. I bought the 261 MTronic - my first Stihl. I based decision on rated power:weight ratio. I think either would be a "winner"... I've been happy with it.

Will stein

New Member
Berkshire county
Husky 550xp is the perfect ground saw for me. I have a 362 with 25" bar even with a skip tooth it is only good for softwood.its been sitting for 2 years. As for the 550xp get a muffler mod from the saw king at mettle Creek saw shop and she really screams.

Good luck
Thru further research I think the MS261c is a Mtronic saw like the MS261CM. I think I would need to go to a MS261 to get a mechanical carburetor. That makes me not want to go for the $500 Craigslist saw.


Enderby, BC
I have two ms362c . They are great saws. best power to weight ratio. I run them with a 20" bar and a 24" bar. No problem in the tree. I see no point for a smaller medium saw between the 200t/201t and 362.

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