STIHL MS 361 Chainsaw Review – A Reliable and Versatile Performer


Today, I want to share my insights on the Stihl MS 361, a reliable and versatile chainsaw that I’ve been using for the past three years.

STIHL MS 361 Performance and Power

The Stihl MS 361 is a powerful and efficient chainsaw, boasting a 59cc engine that delivers 4.4 horsepower. This power output makes it an ideal choice for medium to heavy-duty cutting tasks. The MS 361 is well-suited for felling, limbing, and bucking medium-sized trees, as well as firewood processing.

STIHL MS 361 Fuel Efficiency and Emissions

One of the MS 361’s most impressive features is its fuel efficiency. Equipped with Stihl’s IntelliCarb compensating carburetor, it automatically adjusts the air-fuel ratio to maintain optimal performance, even in changing altitudes and temperatures. This ensures consistent power delivery and increased fuel efficiency. The MS 361 also meets stringent emissions regulations, making it an eco-friendly choice for environmentally conscious users.

STIHL MS 361 Ergonomics and Design

Stihl MS 361

Stihl has prioritized user comfort and ergonomics in the design of the MS 361. The chainsaw features an anti-vibration system that significantly reduces vibrations, leading to less fatigue during extended work sessions. The saw’s compact design and relatively low weight (12.3 lbs without bar and chain) make it easy to maneuver, even in tight spaces.

STIHL MS 361 Maintenance and Durability

The MS 361 is designed for easy maintenance and a long service life. Its air filtration system features a pre-separation mechanism that removes larger particles before they reach the main air filter, reducing the need for frequent filter cleanings. Additionally, the side-access chain tensioner makes it simple to adjust the chain tension, ensuring optimal cutting performance and reduced wear.

Stihl MS 361

Pros of Stihl MS 361 Chainsaw:

  1. Power: The MS 361 is known for its robust power output, making it suitable for a range of heavy-duty tasks.
  2. Fuel Efficiency: Equipped with a 2-MIX engine, the chainsaw promises lower fuel consumption and reduced emission levels.
  3. Versatility: It can accommodate various bar lengths, making it adaptable to different cutting needs.
  4. Build Quality: Stihl is known for its high-quality materials and construction, ensuring longevity.
  5. Anti-Vibration System: It features an anti-vibration system that reduces operator fatigue.

Cons of Stihl MS 361 Chainsaw:

  1. Weight: Some users find the chainsaw a bit heavy, which can make it challenging to handle during extended use.
  2. Price: The Stihl MS 361 tends to be more expensive than some other chainsaws with similar features.
  3. Availability of Parts: Some users have reported difficulties in finding replacement parts.
  4. Complex Maintenance: Some routine maintenance tasks, like cleaning the air filter or adjusting the carburetor, may require more effort and tools than comparable models.
  5. Starting Difficulty: Some users reported that the saw can be hard to start, especially in colder weather.

Remember that personal experiences with tools can vary widely, and what works well for one user may not for another. Always consider your specific needs and circumstances when choosing a chainsaw.

Comparison and Recommendations

When considering alternatives to the Stihl MS 361, the Husqvarna 460 Rancher and the Echo CS-590 Timber Wolf are both excellent options for similar cutting tasks. The Husqvarna 460 Rancher has a larger engine displacement and slightly more power, while the Echo CS-590 Timber Wolf offers comparable power at a lower price point.

For users who prioritize fuel efficiency and low emissions, the Stihl MS 361 is a top choice. If you need a chainsaw for heavier cutting tasks, consider the Husqvarna 460 Rancher. For those on a budget, the Echo CS-590 Timber Wolf is a great value pick.


In summary, the Stihl MS 361 is a reliable and versatile chainsaw that’s perfect for medium to heavy-duty cutting tasks. Its fuel efficiency, low emissions, comfortable ergonomics, and easy maintenance make it a fantastic choice for both professional arborists and homeowners. I highly recommend the MS 361 to anyone in need of a dependable and powerful chainsaw.

Additional Accessories and Tips

To get the most out of your Stihl MS 361, consider investing in a few useful accessories. A protective case or scabbard can help keep your chainsaw in good condition during storage and transport. Additionally, a sharpening kit and extra chains can extend the life of your saw and ensure optimal cutting performance.

When operating any chainsaw, always remember to follow proper safety precautions, such as wearing appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE) like gloves, safety goggles, and ear protection. Regular maintenance, including cleaning the air filter, checking the chain tension, and inspecting the bar, will also contribute to the longevity and performance of your chainsaw.

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. What is the STIHL MS 361 chainsaw?
    The STIHL MS 361 is a professional-grade chainsaw designed for demanding cutting tasks, such as felling large trees, limbing, and bucking. It belongs to the mid-range power category of STIHL chainsaws, offering a good balance of power and weight.
  2. What is the engine size and power output of the MS 361?
    The MS 361 is equipped with a 59 cc two-stroke engine that delivers a certain amount of horsepower and cutting performance. The specific power output may vary based on the model and version.
  3. What type of bar and chain does the MS 361 use?
    The STIHL MS 361 typically uses a guide bar and chain designed for professional use, with various length options available. The recommended bar length depends on the specific cutting application.
  4. Is the MS 361 suitable for professional use?
    Yes, the STIHL MS 361 is considered a professional-grade chainsaw and is commonly used by forestry professionals, arborists, and experienced users for demanding cutting tasks.
  5. What safety features does the MS 361 have?
    STIHL chainsaws, including the MS 361, are equipped with several safety features, such as chain brake systems and anti-vibration technology, to enhance user safety and reduce operator fatigue during extended use.
  6. How do I maintain the MS 361 chainsaw?
    Proper maintenance is essential to keep your chainsaw running efficiently and prolong its lifespan. Routine maintenance tasks include cleaning, chain sharpening, air filter cleaning/replacement, and regular checks of the guide bar and chain tension.
John Carlos
John Carlos
Forestry Author

The beauty of logging isn't just about felling trees. It's about understanding nature, mastering the art of chainsaws, and respecting the environment. I believe in sharing my experiences and knowledge, ensuring that we move towards a sustainable future together.


I used to be Stihl only. I bought a 455 rancher in 2012. The guy said run this premixed fuel and this saw will give 0 trouble. I cut between 12 -14 cords of firwood each year. The saw starts in one pull and has the orig sparkplugand never had to adjust carb. Been through several bars and chainsthats all husky only .

Daniel Adams
Mike gosden
May 2, 2023 10:15 am

Ich beantrage die Motors├Ąge und hoffe das ich sie bekommen werde. MFG Bernd

Daniel Adams
April 30, 2023 11:43 pm

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