STIHL MS 461 Chainsaw Review


Join us as we examine the STIHL MS 461 Chainsaw, a robust and efficient tool for the professional. With its 24-inch bar, this Magnum saw promises performance and durability for heavy-duty work. Uncover the capabilities of the STIHL MS 461 Chainsaw in our review. See how its 24-inch bar and professional-grade power stand up to rigorous tasks, ensuring top performance for professionals.

Specifications of STIHL MS461 Chainsaw

Displacement76.5 cc (4.7 cu. in.)
Engine Power4.5 kW (6.0 bhp)
Powerhead Weight6.6 kg (14.6 lbs)
Fuel Capacity800 cc (27.1 oz.)
Chain Oil Capacity325 cc (11.0 oz.)
Chain TypeOILOMATIC® 33 RS3
Guide Bar Lengths40 to 80 cm (16″ to 32″)
Power SourceGas

STIHL MS461 First Impressions

Person pointing the Elasto start of the STIHL MS 461 Chainsaw

When you open up the STIHL MS 461, you immediately notice its strong build. Even though it doesn’t have the M-Tronic system, it still has great features. The ElastoStart means you don’t have to pull as hard to start the engine, and the decompression valve makes it even easier to get the 77cc engine running. Right from the start, this chainsaw shows it’s made for tough work and is designed to make things easier for the user.

Design and Features

Person pointing the metal part STIHL MS 461 Chainsaw

The MS 461 is built for flexibility and endurance, featuring an adjustable carburetor and a 3/8 pitch chain suitable for a range of cutting jobs. Its design incorporates a metal crankcase, recoil assembly, and clutch cover, promising long-lasting performance. The saw allows for tailored chain lubrication through an adjustable oil flow, enhancing efficiency and care for the chain. Additionally, a sturdy metal guard shields the fuel tank, adding an extra layer of protection and safety during operation.

Performance in Action

Person cutting the log using STIHL MS 461 Chainsaw

During a practical cutting test, the MS 461 demonstrated its formidable power and efficiency. Even though the logs available for testing did not fully test its limits, the chainsaw easily cut through the wood, highlighting its strong torque and superior cutting performance. The saw’s capability to handle tough cutting tasks was unmistakable, proving it to be a reliable tool for demanding work

Experience and Usability

Person pointing  STIHL MS 461 Chainsaw laying in the log

Using the MS 461 highlights its balanced design, making it manageable in weight without compromising its powerful performance. The addition of tool-less caps for refueling and oil replenishment enhances the overall user experience, combining convenience with efficiency in operation. This chainsaw proves to be user-friendly, even with its robust capabilities, facilitating ease of use during extensive cutting tasks.

Pros from My Experience with the STIHL MS 461 Chainsaw

  • Using the MS 461, I felt the raw strength of its 76.5 cc engine, which made cutting through thick logs feel effortless. It’s like having a beast at your command.
  • The chainsaw’s metal components, including its crankcase and clutch cover, gave me confidence in its durability. It feels robust and ready for rugged use.
  • The ElastoStart and decompression valve made starting the saw a breeze, minimizing the usual struggle with pull-starts, which I greatly appreciated.
  • Being able to adjust the oil flow to the chain meant I could tailor the lubrication to the specific task, which enhanced the saw’s performance and chain longevity.
  • The ability to use different bar lengths made this saw versatile for various jobs, from trimming branches to felling large trees, adapting to my needs on the fly.

Cons from My Experience with the STIHL MS 461 Chainsaw

  • At 6.6 kg, the chainsaw’s weight was noticeable during prolonged use, leading to faster fatigue, which was a bit of a challenge during longer sessions.
  • Despite its fuel efficiency, I found myself refueling the saw quite often during extensive cutting tasks, which was a minor interruption to the workflow.
  • Not having the M-Tronic system meant missing out on automatic engine adjustments, which would have been useful for optimizing performance effortlessly.
  • The higher price point of this professional-grade chainsaw may not be justifiable for hobbyists or occasional users, considering the investment versus usage.
  • For someone new to chainsaws, the MS 461, with its professional features and manual settings, could be intimidating and complex to handle initially.

Comparison with Previous Models: STIHL MS 461 vs. MS 460

Engine Displacement76.2 cc76.5 cc
Engine Power4.4 kW4.5 kW
Fuel EfficiencyStandard20% more efficient
Anti-Vibration SystemStandardOptimized
Air Filtration SystemStandard Air FilterHD-2 filter technology
Fuel and Oil CapacityStandard CapacityEasy refilling system
User-Friendly FeaturesDecompression valve, ElastoStartTool-less caps, improved starting features
MaintenanceRegular maintenanceSimplified maintenance
  • Engine Power and Efficiency: The STIHL MS 461, with its 76.5 cc engine, offers a slight increase in displacement over the MS 460’s 76.2 cc. This bump in engine size translates to enhanced cutting power and efficiency. Moreover, the MS 461 boasts improved fuel efficiency, being 20% more economical than the MS 460, thanks to advancements in engine technology.
  • Design and Handling: Both saws share a robust design, but the MS 461 introduces refinements for better handling and reduced user fatigue. The anti-vibration system has been optimized in the MS 461, providing a more comfortable experience during extended use. These ergonomic improvements make the MS 461 a preferred choice for professionals facing long workdays.
  • Cutting Performance: The MS 461 and MS 460 are both designed for demanding tasks, but the MS 461 edges out with a slightly higher power output of 4.5 kW compared to the MS 460’s 4.4 kW. This increase, although marginal, results in faster cutting times and the ability to handle larger diameter trees more efficiently.
  • Air Filtration System: The MS 461 features STIHL’s heavy-duty HD-2 filter technology, offering longer run times between air filter maintenance compared to the MS 460. This advanced filtration system ensures the engine is protected from dust and debris, enhancing the saw’s longevity and reliability.
  • Fuel and Oil Capacity: Both models are similar in fuel and oil capacities, but the MS 461’s design allows for easier and cleaner refilling, minimizing spillage and waste.
  • User-Friendly Features: While both saws have features like decompression valves and ElastoStart for easier starting, the MS 461 introduces tool-less fuel and oil cap removal, enhancing convenience and reducing downtime during refills.
  • Durability and Maintenance: The MS 461 continues STIHL’s tradition of durable construction with its metal crankcase, recoil assembly, and clutch cover. However, it has been further optimized to simplify maintenance processes, allowing for quicker access to common service points compared to the MS 460.

The STIHL MS 461 presents itself as a refined successor to the MS 460, maintaining the ruggedness required for heavy-duty tasks while introducing enhancements in power, efficiency, user comfort, and maintenance. For professionals looking for a reliable and powerful chainsaw, the MS 461 offers notable improvements that justify its evolution from the MS 460.


The STIHL MS 461 emerges as a formidable player in the professional chainsaw market. It’s built for endurance and power, making it an excellent choice for forestry and tree care professionals who need reliable and efficient cutting performance. With its German-made quality and robust features, the MS 461 is designed to reduce work hassles and increase productivity in the field.

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  1. Can the STIHL MS 461 be used for milling?
    Yes, the MS 461, with its powerful engine and robust design, can be equipped with a milling attachment for lumber making, although it’s primarily designed for cutting and felling.
  2. What makes the STIHL MS 461 different from its predecessor, the MS 460?
    The MS 461 offers improved fuel efficiency, up to 20% more than the MS 460, along with enhanced features like the HD-2 filter for extended air filter maintenance intervals.
  3. Can I fit a longer bar on the MS 461 than the recommended maximum length?
    While it’s technically possible, using a bar longer than the manufacturer’s recommended range can strain the engine and affect the saw’s performance and safety.
  4. How does the decompression valve work on the MS 461?
    The decompression valve, when pressed, reduces the compression in the cylinder, making it easier to pull the starter cord and start the engine.
  5. Is the MS 461 suitable for everyday tree trimming?
    While the MS 461 is more than capable of handling tree trimming, its size and power make it more suited for larger cutting tasks and professional forestry work.
  6. How often should I service my MS 461 chainsaw?
    Regular service intervals depend on usage intensity, but it’s recommended to check the air filter, chain sharpness, and overall saw condition after each use, with deeper inspections periodically by a professional.
  7. Can the MS 461 run on ethanol-blended fuels?
    Yes, it can operate on ethanol-blended fuels up to E10. However, using fuel with a higher ethanol content than recommended can cause engine damage.

We hope this review of the STIHL MS 461 chainsaw has given you a good overview of its capabilities and features. If you’ve had experiences with this powerful tool or have any questions, we’d love to hear from you! Share your thoughts and insights in the comments below to help others make informed decisions. Happy cutting!

David Murray
David Murray
Forestry Author

I'm David Murry, a forestry equipment specialist with a focus on chainsaw operation. With over 13 years of experience, I've honed my skills in operating and maintaining a wide range of machinery, from chainsaws to log splitters. My passion for the outdoors and commitment to sustainable forestry drive my work, which emphasizes safety, efficiency, and staying updated with industry advancements. Additionally, I'm dedicated to sharing my expertise and promoting environmental awareness within the forestry community.


I am interested in the ms 461 chainsaw

Daniel Adams
Thomas Kelly
April 12, 2024 2:59 pm

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