Domestic VS Forestry Chainsaws

Domestic VS Forestry Chainsaws

We’re sometimes asked about the difference between consumer-level and forestry chainsaws. Frequently this question comes from those who want something built to last, has the highest quality materials and does the job effectively. )View our full range of Chainsaws in Cork).

To help you decide, we’ll give you a quick comparison of two of the higher-grade STIHL chainsaws, comparing a professional-level saw versus an agricultural model. Keep in mind that for chainsaws it is essential that we speak directly with you to ensure we are providing you with the correct equipment and you are given appropriate safety and handling instructions.

Professional / Forestry Chainsaws

The STIHL 261 C-M is a good mid-range example of a typical professional-level chainsaw. It has a 50.22cc engine. The powerhead (the motor/handling section, as opposed to the blade itself) runs at 5.21kgs. The 261 C-M outputs 3/4.1 kW/bhp (mechanical horsepower).

Farming Saws

The STIHL MS 271 Agricultural Saw has no significant difference in its construction compared with STIHL’s consumer-level saws. The primary differences are the size of the blade and the power of the engine. Compared with the pro-level saws, the MS 271’s powerhead weighs 5.57kg’s, making it significantly heavier than the Pro-level saw. forestry chainsaws

The MS 271 has less strength, outputting 2,6/3,5 kW/bhp (about .45 kW/bhp less than the professional model).

Power-to-Weight Ratio

When it comes to higher end chainsaws, the key metric is its power-to-weight ratio. When you compare these two factors (power and weight) on the professional grade 261 C-M, you get a power-to-weight ratio of .34 horsepower per pound.

Compare this with the Farming MS 271 model’s .284 horsepower per pound, you start to see a significant difference.


Farming saws tend to use materials like polycarbonate clamshell frames to protect the workings. Forestry chainsaws are built with a Magnesium side-cover, frame and a built-in crankshaft to reduce weight. The STIHL 261 C-M also has an electronic component which monitors the fuel levels, which optimises the quality of the fuel, temperature, air pressure, etc., and adjusts the motor as needed for optimal output.

The pro-level chainsaw also has an easy-release cover for the air filter so that you can easily clean it. The air filter itself is different in the forestry saw; It’s comparable to a car’s air filter. It has a larger surface area so it can run for longer without negatively affecting the air pressure.

We hope this gives you some idea of the difference between farming and forestry chainsaws. If you would like to organise a meeting with one of our professionals to discuss chainsaws, please contact us today on 021-4965132