Stihl MS 261 vs Husqvarna 550xp: Which Chainsaw Performs Better?

In the market of chainsaws, the Husqvarna 550xp emerged as a competitor with the Stihl 261. Both chainsaws are of the same qualities and same range. As for their nearer qualities and design, loggers feel confused in picking one between two of them. In this Stihl ms 261 vs Husqvarna 550xp comparison article, we have tried to make a comparison between these two popular chainsaws. It will help you to get a clear conception of the duo and to reach the buying decision. 

Before making a comparison, we first have to know the INS and out of these two saws. Let’s give it a look.

Stihl MS 261 Fuel-Efficient Professional Chainsaw

Cutting capacity

This chainsaw has a robust 50-cc 2-stroke engine. With an 18 inches sufficient-length bar, this chainsaw can cut a log of wood that comes under the diameter of 12-15 inches within 7 seconds. Compared to its weight, the power of this chainsaw is 1.6 kW. In your cutting works like felling trees, limbing, and bucking, it will finish in a short time with less effort. It will cut your wood like you chop down your vegetables. 

Anti-Vibration System

For easy and smooth well maintenance, this chainsaw comprises the Ant-vibration system. This system minimizes the vibrating rate of the saw. For this amenity, the logger can hold the handle of the saw with comfort. That helps him in reducing fatigue and being energetic. 

Side-Access Chain Tensioner

In usual chainsaws, the location of the chain tensioning zone is at a typical position. But in this chainsaw, the location of the chain tensioning zone is at the side of the saw, where the logger keeping him in a comfortable position can tighten the chain.    


The weight of this chainsaw with a bar and chain is 6.34 kg. If you compare it with other gas-powered chainsaws, then you will find that it is a lightweight chainsaw. For this convenience, it is maneuverable anywhere for outdoor cutting works.

A pre-separation air filtration system

This chainsaw comes with an exceptional air filtering system. Usually, in the chainsaws, you find that the air filtering system is of manual effort and a toolbox is needed. For changing that effortful system, this chainsaw comes with an effortless system. In this system, the dirt and debris that enter into the air filter with the air are ejected before entering. Its centrifugal force separates it first that is drawn into the engine. This time-saving system boosts the efficiency of the engine.  

Effortless ergonomic maintenance

In your heavy cutting jobs, the powerful cutting partner with less effort is this chainsaw. You can fell any small to a medium-sized tree in a short time. The design of this chainsaw is made ergonomically. Its decompression valve helps with its easy starting system. The interesting feature is that it has a captive bar nut system. In tensioning the chain, the logger has to open the nuts of the cover of the bar. Sometimes the nuts are lost as the loggers forget where he has put those nuts. But, using this chainsaw, there is no possibility of losing the bar nut. After opening the cover of the bar, the nuts are attached to the cover. That’s why the logger does need additional searching of the nuts of the bar before the attachment of the bar. Its M-Tronic system is another exceptional one. It auto-tunes the chain for the optimal levels. Its electronic ignition helps with the easy starting and the well-operation.


  • It has a powerful engine
  • Efficient Performance
  • Lightweight
  • Low-vibration system
  • Side-Access Chain tensioner


  • Caps of fuel and oil tank are finicky

Husqvarna 550xp Mark II 50cc Chainsaw

Let’s look at the Husqvarna 550xp and see what’s on it

Cutting Capacity

The Husqvarna 550xp comes with a powerful 50cc 2 stroke X torq engine. This X-torq engine is exceptional in all of the engines that are usually used in gas-powered chainsaws. This engine generates more power than the other engines. Besides, this engine consumes the fuel at a reduced level and exhausts the carbon at a minimized level. This engine makes this chainsaw eco-friendly.  

Combined choke

In the starting mechanism of a gas-powered chainsaw, the choke is a fact. It is the controller of the starting system. In the hot and cold starting of a chainsaw, a choke adjustment is an important fact. This chainsaw has a combined choke that is usually absent in other chainsaws.

Translucent fuel level 

In traditional gas-powered chainsaws, the fuel level is not visible. If a logger wants to check the fuel level of the tank, he has to open the cap of the tank and check it. Sometimes the logger forgets to check the fuel level. In this situation, the chainsaw gets automatically stopped. If the chainsaw stops when the bar is in the middle of the wood, the logger will have to face a troublesome situation. Keeping this in mind, the manufacturer of this chainsaw makes the tank visible. Just looking at the tank level, he can check the level of the fuel. 

Trio-brake system 

In the traditional chainsaws, you will notice that their chain brake is activated either by the manual effort or by the automatic process. But the chain brake of these chainsaws is exceptional. With this system, you can activate the chain manually, by inertia release mechanism, or mechanically with your right or left hand.

Ergonomic design

The design of this saw is ergonomic. You can easily open the caps of the fuel and oil tank. It has a side-mounted chain tensioner as the logger can easily tension the chain. For felling the trees, it has felling marks that help to aim the direction of felling the trees. The marks are colored which is easily distinguished from the logger. For cleaning the air filter, the logger can easily access the air filter and can clean it. For cleaning the inner parts of the saw, it has a snap-lock cylinder cover. In cleaning the inner parts of the saw or changing anything on the inside, he has to just pop the snap lock on each side, and then he can do what he is trying to do.  Its air purge removes the air from the carburetor and fuel for easy starting. 


  • Magnificent power
  • Impressive cutting
  • X-torq Engine
  • Easy-maintenance
  • Reduced Vibration


  • Costly 

Before jumping into our in-depth Stihl ms 261 vs Husqvarna 550xp comparison, we first have to know the similarities of these two saws. So let’s give it a look.

Similarities Between Stihl ms 261 and Husqvarna 550xp Chainsaws

Though the duos have a lot of similarities, we have tried to mention the notable’s things that you should know.

We find that both chainsaws deliver 3.00 kW. They both have a 50cc 2-stroke engine that is enough to make a chainsaw heavy and powerful. 

They both are smart, excellent, and pretty in their cutting performance. The qualities of them are beyond the confusion. 

We tried to draw a difference between the two of their vibration systems but could not. In using the Stihl ms261, you will feel more frequency of the vibration in the rear handle. On the other hand, the same thing you will feel in the front hand of the Husqvarna 550xp while using it. So, we can’t differentiate in this case. We can say they are the same in vibration. The sound level of them is also nearer. Though they sound with a different noise, they sound at full throttle equally loud. The noise level of the Stihl ms 261 is 102 dB, and the level of the Husqvarna 550xp is 106 dB. 

In the starting process, we find that, with the first pull of the choke of the Husqvarna 550xp, the primer bulb works effectively with a pop. In the 2nd pull of the choke, the start-up is on. Likes ways, the Stihl ms 261 also has two pulls of choke. The first one is for pop, and the next one is for the start-up. In this case, they also have a similarity.  

The flip caps of the oil tank and the fuel tank are the same in both chainsaws. The caps are easy to open to fill up the oil and fuel. 

Starting both saws with pulling the cord is easy with an indifferent system.

Stihl ms 261 vs husqvarna 550xp mark 2 Feature Comparison 2023

Engine power

Though their engines are of the same qualities and power, we have to favor the Husqvarna 550xp as its idling speed is more than the Stihl ms 261. X-Torque engine!

Winner: Upon the consideration of the engine power, we have to vote for the Husqvarna 550xp. 

Cutting Performance

Though the two chainsaws are nearer in their power, the cutting performance is not the same. In using the Husqvarna 550xp, you will find it quicker than the Stihl ms 261. The delivery of the power makes a bit of difference in the performance as the engine of the Husqvarna can make more torques. 

Using a 15 inches bar for both chainsaws, you will find that the drive links of the chain of Husqvarna 550xp are more than the chain of the Stihl ms261. The Husqvarna has 64 drive links while the Stihl has 62 drive links. That proves that the bar of the Husqvarna is longer than the Stihl. 

During the cutting, the Husky sounds like it run with higher RPM, but only upon the sounding perception, you cannot determine its power. 

At full throttle, it seems they have equal power. The cutting of the Husky is quicker than the Stihl with its 20 inches bar. This saw is a perfect one for taller persons. 

Winner: Here, I will vote for Husqvarna.


By looking at the maintenance system of two chainsaws, you can draw the difference. The rear handle of the Husqvarna 550xp is grip-able to the larger hand. But the rear handle of the Stihl is not suitable for the larger hand; rather, the handle is suitable for the smaller hand. The Husqvarna 550xp suits best here. However, for the small and medium hand, the Stihl ms 261 fits the best. The throttle safety of the Husqvarna 550xp is not sensitive like the Stihl ms261. 

Removing and replacing the cover of the engine is easier in using Husqvarna 550xp. With simple retention, it pops off with a wrench tool and backs to the previous position, just using your thumb. But this maintenance is slower in using Stihl ms 261. 

Though both chainsaws have an automatic oiling system, the logger has to adjust the flow rate manually. In adjusting the oil flow of both, the Husqvarna 550xp has an easier process than the Stihl ms 261. 

Winner: Hereupon, the consideration of maintenance features, we have to vote for Husqvarna 550xp.

Starting process

Husqvarna 550xp vs Stihl ms261: Which one is easy to start? It has made a difference between the saws that the Husqvarna 550xp has a kill switch. For killing ignition, you have to depress the kill switch in a downward motion using your thumb. But in Stihl ms 261, the motion is revered; you have to upward the press. The Stihl ms 261 has the choking preference, and the Husqvarna 550xp has the killing ignition preference. The logger has to stop the saw for the tea breaks, moving limbs, and discussion. For the frequent stopping of the saw, you have to choose the Husqvarna.

Winner: Hereupon the consideration of the starting process, we have to vote for the Husqvarna.

Weight and design

The bar length of the Stihl ms 261 chainsaw is 18 inches, and the bar length of the Husqvarna 550xp is 20 inches. The length difference is nearer here. However, as the engine protrudes more in the Husqvarna, the Stihl bar length is perfect. 

Using both will seem to you that the Stihl ms 261 is more plastic than the Husqvarna 550xp. The inner parts of both are of satisfactory quality. Considering the mounting screws, the silver engine of the Husqvarna, it seems to us this saw as a bit more refined. It does not look like the Stihl is a more expensive one. 

In the case of the weight issue, both are nearer with fuel and oil, but the Stihl looks lighter in dry weight. With bar and chain, the weight of the Husqvarna 550xp is 6kg, and the weight of the Stihl ms 261 is 5.5 kg. On the other side, with the bar and chain, the weight of the Husqvarna 550xp is 6.84 kg, and the weight of the Stihl ms 261 is 6.34 kg. That proves how much lighter the Stihl one is than the Husqvarna. 

The Stihl looks slightly smaller than the Husqvarna. So for this perception, we can say that the Stihl ms 261chinasaw is lighter than the Husqvarna 550xp. 

Winner: Here, the Stihl ms 261 is the winner. 


In considering the balances of them, you will find the differences. Using the Husqvarna 550xp will feel more balanced and comfortable as it is quite good than the Stihl ms 261. The 20-inch bar and chain of this saw are more balanced.  If you use a 20 inches bar in the Stihl, you will not get the expected result that you can get from the Husqvarna 550xp. 

Winner: However, on consideration of their balance, I will vote for Husqvarna 550xp.


What are the warranties of these two chainsaws?

The standard warranty of the Stihl ms 261 is one year. However, you can extend it up to 2 years if you buy Stihl mix-fuel or mixed fuel at the time of the purchase. 

The standard warranty of the Husqvarna 550xp is two years. You can extend it if you buy 96oz or more of Husqvarna XP+ fuel. Here the Husqvarna will give more days of warranty than the Stihl ms 261.

What are the colors of these two chainsaws?

Like many saws, the Husqvarna 550xp and the Stihl ms 261 have no color combination. The design of them is of one orange color. They look closer with the same color.

What are the lengths of their blades?

The length of the blade of the Stihl is 45 cm, and the length of the blade of Husqvarna 550xp is 50 cm. 

What are the oil capacities?

The oil capacity of the Stihl ms 261 and the capacity of the Husqvarna 550xp is the same. The oil capacity of them is 0.27 liters.

What are the fuel capacities of the duo?

The fuel tank capacity of the Stihl ms 261 and Husqvarna 550xp are nearer. The capacities of both are 0.5 liters. 

What are the ratios of the mixtures of the fuel of them?

The ratios of the mixtures of the fuel are the same. The ratio of the mixture is 50:1

Final Decision

In the above Husqvarna 550xp mark 2 vs Stihl 261 discussion, we find that the Stihl ms 261 is a winner in some cases, and in the other cases, the Husqvarna 550xp is the winner. However, in an overall perception, upon considering the performances and prices, we vote for the Husqvarna 550xp chainsaw as a perfect one for your professional cutting jobs. 

Additionally, the Husqvarna 550x poffers extended warranty. Besides, the local dealer’s support is available to your nearer location. So, just grab it. 


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