*** REVISITED ***
Okay, this is a visceral reaction to my Husky. My use of it, for the first few months.
It sees a lot of use. It is a great all-purpose saw with enough horsepower to fell moderate sized trees, but also light enough to buck and brush down. I find that it has meant the MS 460 does a lot more sitting around- especially in the forest – though, of course, the big saw (460) comes out on most large residential removals.
As for the starting sequence – the priming bulb is a little different, and I find that you have to prime the saw, especially in the cold, if it has been sitting more than a few minutes. Having said that, I’ve not had any problems with flooding or starting issues, and have worked the saw as low as -20 degrees C. Not bad…
Maintenance is also a little more involved- even so far as to apply a shot of lube to the centripetal clutch. Aligning the face plate is a little tricker, though I mean minimally trickier- however, once in place, I find adjusting chain tension to be quite a bit nicer.
Ergonomics are very different on the Husky- it’s definitely more of a ‘bigger hands’ saw- the diameter of the rear and wrap handle feels larger. The wrap handle is also aluminum, which is nice- the new Stihls have gone to plastic handles. I prefer the Husky screw caps- we’ll see how well they endure, but I’m quite tired of taking a saw up the tree, only to have the oil cap unseat (improperly seated) and leak all over my saw pants. The other problem with the Stihl cap is that it can get pretty dirty and is tough to clean without a toothbrush, whereas you can just wipe the Husky and get it pretty clean.
I run an 18″ Oregon Powermatch bar- anything longer and you are sacrificing torque for bar length- in which case I’d recommend just bumping up to the 460- especially if cutting Eastern Hardwoods.
We also (on the recommendation of a saw-tech-modifier fellow) run a 40-1 fuel mix rather than a 50-1. Apparently it prolongs the life of the saw- they’d had some experience burning out the 572XP within the year, which isn’t ideal. Again- I’m sure my last MS261 was a Friday build, but I’d really like for my 1000 dollar saw to give me more than a year’s work.
*** FIRST IMPRESSIONS ***
So I finally gave up on the 261. They started with such promise, and ended in pieces on the floor of the sea container.
Such is life.
I’ve used Husky’s before – the 550XP when I was surveying in the bush years back. It was light, easy to start, seemed alright… but I WAS a Stihl guy. I still run my dad’s 026, and I’ve been fiercely loyal to my 460 and first version 201T for years.
Don’t know. The chipped saws seem like they are problematic across the board. This 261 has been in the shop five times, and failed again, when needed, on the job. We have backups, but they’re not exactly reliable.
Not these new Stihls, anyway.
I notice the spark arrestors are tarry after a few days use (…and we do proper mixes with high-octane fuels…) They often just stall, especially when engaging the chain brake. The air filter, cleaned weekly, apparently needs more TLC than even that (which is a lot to aks, especially when you’re working FAR from a kitchen sink and hand soap – and a dryer).
Unreasonable when compared to the 460 which just runs.
So, i’ll run the Husky. It will be used tomorrow, and everyday after that for, hopefully, many years to come. I just really hope that these companies are not slowly introducing the idea of planned obsolescene and the disposability of saws.
Time will tell.