“ Manufacturer: Stihl / Fuel Type: Petrol / Power Output: 2.6kW / Weight: 4.8 kg „
I have used this saw on countless occassions while i was working for a local tree surgeon and also doing my own gardening/landscaping work. It is a robust and reliable tool with a great operation. it needs to be looked after well but as long as it's maintained there should be no reason this wouldn't last you for years. it's cutting speed and smoothness is great providing the chain is sharpened properly and the saw is correctly maintained.
On the most part it is well designed with ease of use to operate and service your self with the chain tensioner and side panel easily removed and adjusted. also the rear panel for access to the air filter is a doddle thanks to it's tool free design. the only quarm i have is with the new style fuel and oil caps with the twist lock mechanism i have on few occassions thought they have been correctly secured just to have oil spill down my leg when i have picked up the saw to use!
This saw is the one that I use most often. It is an extremely versatile piece of machinery that is suitable for regular use by the professional.
Firstly, the appearance is the trusty "Stihl Orange". It is serviced simply by the standard chainsaw tool to remove the chain and bar, or a clip to remove the air filter cover. All servicing should easily be achieved by someone with basic chainsaw qualifications. I can strip this down to below the clutch and clean it out spotless and put back together in around 5 minutes. I am by no means fluent with power tools but I feel that one of the benefits of Stihl tools is their servicability. This is extremely important when working out in the wood or on private tree jobs where time is of the essence.
I use this with a 15" bar for felling of mainly ash and oak to around 25-30". I then process the entire tree down to "rings" for the butt section and create firewood logs from everything down to wrist diameter. This involves a lot of constant cutting so the engine is going to work at full pelt for long periods of time. This has not been a problem as of yet.
The weight distribution is, as with the MS181 with a 12" bar, perfect. This enables you to get proper good levels on your cuts. The difference is that it is more aggressive than the MS181 due to the bigger engine size. The engine picks up speed much quicker and sustains this throughout the cut. It is not as quick to full speed as Husquvana saw but they seem to lack the user-servicability of Stihls.
Progressing from an MS181, you will notice that it is a lot heavier as obviously bigger engines weigh more. This is something that one can get used to quite easily though through correct posture. With a reasonable level of fitness, you can use this all day without much aching the next day. Throughout the autumn and winter, I use this saw about 2-3 days a week. I have the option of using an MS361 with a 20" bar for the larger trees but I prefer to trust accurate cuts from the MS260, alongside the lower weight. I think that a smaller bar on the MS260 would make this a very fearsome tool. For my line of woodland management though, the 15" is perfect.
There is an "easy start" engine decompression wotchamacallit on the top but I actually find it harder to start with that. The pull cord along with the choke, as standard, is the way I always start it.
You can get a version of this with a heated handle. This is good for lowering the risk of vibration white-finger but I don't use this as my husquvana gloves combined with the dampening system on the saw seem to work a treat.
Maybe this saw might be overkill for the home user unless they have a lot of trees to fell or spend a lot of time chopping firewood. An MS181 would suit the home user. This definitely has it's place in the rangers arsenal.
I would recommend checking for chain oil distribution, particularly after cutting softwoods. It can clog up fairly easily and lead to blueing of the bar. I generally pull the bar off after half hour constant use and give it a clean and scrape out. I imagine some people would happily leave this much longer.