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  1. #1

    Join Date
    May 2013
    Posts
    24
    Location
    Indiana
    Mower
    John Deere

    interchangeable?

    Hello-I borrowed my brother's Stihl MS 251 chain saw and need to get a replacement chain. Are the MS 251 and MS 261 chains interchangeable? I picked up an Oregon L74 chain at our local Ace Hardware and was told it would work. I just don't want to 'screw up' my bro's saw because of faulty info. Thanks for any info. p'apple

  2.  

  3. #2

    Join Date
    Nov 2014
    Posts
    10,101
    Location
    Australia
    Mower
    Victa slashers & Push , Rover Rancher II's, Cox ( several ) & White LT120 + GT 200

    Re: interchangeable?

    Saw chain size is determined by the length and height of the bar , the width of the groove in the bar and the size of the sprocket fitted.
    So there is no MS 251 chain or MS 261 chain
    Chain is named by the Pitch ( distance between rivets ) and this is determined by the sprocket on the saw and the sprocket on the bar ( if it is a sprocket nose bar )
    Then the width of the drive links and that is in thousanths of an inch, ( despite actually being metric) and that is determined by the width of the groove in the bar .043" .050" .058" .063"
    And the length which is the number of drive links , thus a chain is named 3/8 050 57

    After that there is the shape of the tooth , chisel , semi chisel etc
    Then special features like low kick back , skip tooth , bumper spike , all of which is of little concern to Joe Average.

    On your bar will be a Stihl number which will code out to tell you what chain should be fitted.

    Standard fitment for those saws was 325 ( pitch ) x .063" ( gauge ) so the chain is the same, but the number of drive links was different as the 261 was fitted with a bigger sprocket.

    The caveat to this is if fitted with the alternative 3/8 narrow bar, the chains are identical.
    IT is always best to take your old chain in with you and get it matched to the new one

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