Stihl 261 Vs Stihl 271 Comparison | Choosing The Right Chainsaw

In the world of woodcutting, where precision and performance reign supreme, STIHL chainsaws have gained supremacy everywhere. Among their unmatched and best lineup, the STIHL 261 and STIHL 271 chainsaws stand as epitomes of excellence, each bearing the iconic brand’s hallmark of reliability and innovation. With their unmatched determination, these woodcutting titans have captured the hearts of professional loggers and arborists, as well as seasoned DIY enthusiasts alike.

In this exciting comparative analysis, we embark on a journey to explore the amazing capabilities of the STIHL 261 and STIHL 271 chainsaws. They are meticulously engineered to perfection. We will compare these cutting companions according to their features, unveil their strengths, and unmask their limitations. Whether you’re a seasoned woodcutter or a passionate beginner, seeking the perfect timber-taming tool, this article is your gateway to decision-making.

So let’s start and join us as we unravel the mysteries that set these woodcutting marvels apart.

Specifications STIHL 261 Chainsaw STIHL 271 Chainsaw
Engine Power 3.0 kW (4.0 bhp) 3.49 kW (4.69 bhp)
Bar Length Options 16″, 18″, or 20″ 16″, 18″, 20″, or 25″
Weight 12.3 lbs (5.6 kg) Approx. 14 lbs (6.4 kg)
Fuel Capacity 0.5 liters (16.9 fl. oz.) 0.5 liters (16.9 fl. oz.)
Chain Oil Capacity 0.26 liters (8.8 fl. oz.) 0.26 liters (8.8 fl. oz.)
Chain Tensioning Side chain tensioner Side chain tensioner
Vibration Damping STIHL anti-vibration system N/A
Decompression Valve Yes Yes
Air Filtration System HD2 filter with radial seal HD2 filter with radial seal
Handle Design Wrap handle or standard handle Standard handle
Intended Use Versatile for pruning, limbing, and tree felling Ideal for professional use and heavy-duty tasks

STIHL 261 and STIHL 271 chainsaws – Features

Engine Power

STIHL 261: The 261 is equipped with a powerful engine generating 3.0 kW of power. It is suitable for a wide range of cutting tasks, including pruning, limbing, and smaller to medium-sized tree felling.

STIHL 271: The 271 boasts a more potent engine, delivering 3.49 kW of power. This higher power output makes it ideal for heavy-duty applications, such as felling larger trees and cutting through hardwoods.

Verdict: The STIHL 271 has a clear advantage in terms of engine power, making it a more suitable choice for professional loggers and experienced woodcutters who regularly tackle demanding cutting tasks. However, for more general and lighter tasks, the STIHL 261’s power is sufficient.

Weight and Design

STIHL 261: Weighing just over 12 pounds, the 261 is lighter and more maneuverable. Its lightweight design makes it an excellent option for woodcutters and homeowners who need a chainsaw that is easy to handle in various positions.

STIHL 271: The 271 is heavier than the 261, and while its weight is not specified, it is typically over 14 pounds. This additional weight can lead to increased operator fatigue during prolonged use.

Verdict: The STIHL 261 wins in terms of portability and ease of use due to its lighter weight. For applications that require extended periods of cutting or tasks where the chainsaw needs to be held at different angles, the 261’s lighter build offers an advantage.

Vibration Levels

STIHL 261: This model is equipped with STIHL’s anti-vibration technology, reducing operator fatigue and increasing comfort during prolonged use.

STIHL 271: While vibration levels for the 271 are not explicitly stated, it typically lacks the same level of advanced anti-vibration features as the 261.

Verdict: The STIHL 261 has the upper hand in terms of reduced vibration levels, making it a more comfortable choice for extended cutting sessions. This feature is especially beneficial for users who prioritize ergonomic design and want to minimize strain on their hands and arms.

Vibration Levels

Suitability and User Level

STIHL 261: Due to its versatility and user-friendly design, the 261 is suitable for a wide range of users, including arborists, homeowners, and DIY enthusiasts.

STIHL 271: The 271 is designed for more experienced users and professional loggers. Its high power output and heavy-duty construction make it ideal for challenging cutting tasks.

Verdict: The STIHL 261 wins in terms of user accessibility, as it caters to a broader range of users with varying levels of expertise. The 271 is better suited for experienced users seeking a powerful tool to tackle demanding woodcutting projects.


STIHL 261: Generally, the STIHL 261 is more affordable compared to the STIHL 271 due to its lower power output and lighter construction.

STIHL 271: The 271 usually comes with a higher price tag because of its increased power and professional-grade features.

Verdict: The STIHL 261 is the more budget-friendly option for those looking for a reliable chainsaw without breaking the bank. However, the STIHL 271’s higher price may be justified for professionals or dedicated woodcutters seeking its unparalleled power and durability.

STIHL 261 and STIHL 271 chainsaws – Pros and Cons

Here are the tables comprising of pros and cons of each product:

STIHL 261 Chainsaw

  • Versatile for various cutting tasks
  • Lightweight and easy to handle
  • User-friendly design
  • Reduced vibration levels for comfort
  • Reliable performance for most cutting tasks
  • Limited power for extremely thick or hardwoods
  • Standard bar length may limit cutting capacity

STIHL 271 Chainsaw

  • Durable build for rugged usage
  • Powerful engine for heavy-duty cutting
  • Fuel-efficient with extended operation time
  • Ideal for professional loggers and experienced users
  • Heavier compared to the STIHL 261
  • Not suitable for beginners or occasional users
  • Higher price point compared to the STIHL 261

STIHL 261 and STIHL 271 chainsaws – Working Principle

The working principles of the STIHL 261 and STIHL 271 chainsaws are similar, as they both operate based on the same fundamental chainsaw design. Both models are powered by a two-stroke internal combustion engine that drives a chain around a guide bar, facilitating woodcutting tasks with precision and efficiency. You can also read our article on how a chainsaw work for more detailed information. Let’s delve into the working of each chainsaw:

Working on STIHL 261 Chainsaw

  • Fuel and Oil Mix: The STIHL 261 uses a fuel mixture of gasoline and two-stroke engine oil. This fuel mix is stored in a fuel tank, while the chain oil, responsible for lubricating the chain and guide bar during operation, is stored in a separate oil tank. For better understanding, first understand the parts of chainsaws. 
  • Starting the Engine: To start the chainsaw, the operator must first activate the choke and set the Master Control Lever to the cold start position. Next, they pull the starter cord with a swift motion. The decompression valve reduces the engine’s compression during starting, making the pull easier.
  • Ignition and Combustion: When the starter cord is pulled, the engine’s flywheel rotates rapidly, creating the necessary spark for ignition. The ignited fuel-air mixture drives the piston down, converting the chemical energy in the fuel into mechanical energy.
  • Chain Rotation: The mechanical energy generated by the engine moves the crankshaft, which, in turn, rotates the sprocket and chain around the guide bar. The sharp teeth of the chain make contact with the wood, allowing the chainsaw to cut through the material.
  • Safety Features: Both the STIHL 261 and STIHL 271 are equipped with safety features, such as chain brakes and throttle triggers, to prevent accidental engagement of the chain and minimize potential hazards during operation.
  • Air Filtration and Cooling: During operation, the engine draws in air through the air filtration system, preventing dust and debris from entering the engine. This filtration system is designed to extend the engine’s life by keeping it clean. Additionally, the engine’s cooling system ensures that it does not overheat during prolonged use.

STIHL 261 and STIHL 271 chainsaws - Working Principle

Working on STIHL 271 Chainsaw

The working of the STIHL 271 chainsaw is essentially the same as the STIHL 261, with the following key differences:

  • Higher Power Output: The STIHL 271 features a more powerful engine with a higher power output (3.49 kW) compared to the STIHL 261 (3.0 kW). This increased power allows the STIHL 271 to handle heavy-duty woodcutting tasks with ease, including felling larger trees and cutting through hardwoods.
  • Durable Build: The STIHL 271 is built with a magnesium housing, making it more durable and suitable for rugged usage in professional logging and demanding cutting environments.
  • Weight: Due to its more robust construction and higher power output, the STIHL 271 is slightly heavier than the STIHL 261. The additional weight may be a consideration for extended use or when handling the chainsaw in various positions.


Both chainsaws, the STIHL 261 and STIHL 271 embody the hallmark quality and performance associated with the STIHL brand. Their reliable engines, user-friendly features, and precision cutting capabilities make them trusted tools for a variety of woodcutting tasks. As with any power tool, it is essential to follow safety guidelines and operating instructions to ensure safe and efficient use.

Stihl 261 Vs Stihl 271 Comparison – FAQs

What mix ratio for STIHL 261?
The recommended fuel mix ratio for the STIHL 261 chainsaw is 50:1, which means 50 parts of gasoline to 1 part of two-stroke engine oil.
How many ccss does a STIHL 271 have?
The STIHL 271 chainsaw has an engine displacement of 50.2 cc (cubic centimeters).
What CC is a STIHL MS 261?
The STIHL MS 261 chainsaw also has an engine displacement of 50.2 cc (cubic centimeters).



In summary, the STIHL 261 and STIHL 271 chainsaws are both excellent tools, each with its own strengths and intended use. The STIHL 261 excels in portability, versatility, and user accessibility, making it a top choice for arborists, homeowners, and DIY enthusiasts. On the other hand, the STIHL 271 stands out with its raw power, heavy-duty construction, and professional-grade performance, catering to experienced users and loggers handling challenging woodcutting tasks.

Choosing between the two chainsaws boils down to your specific cutting needs, experience level, and budget. If you require a lightweight and versatile chainsaw for general tasks, the STIHL 261 is a solid option. However, if you’re seeking unmatched power and durability for professional applications, the STIHL 271 is the way to go. Both models embody STIHL’s reputation for reliability and performance, ensuring a trustworthy cutting companion for any woodcutting endeavor. If you visit our website you will find the comparison article between Stihl MS250 Vs MS251; these products are once again the epitome of perfection. 

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