High Quality Chainsaw Bars Husqvarna Toys Hockfire Saws

Autotune vs M-Tronic??

AnthemBassMan

Well-Known OPE Member
Local time
6:29 PM
User ID
28588
Joined
Feb 25, 2024
Messages
44
Reaction score
123
Location
Ohio
Country flag
Hey there. I am yet another one trying to decide between the Husqvarna 550XP and the Stihl MS261. Around here there’s only about a $20 or so difference in price. Whichever one I decide on will be with the 20” bar. I don’t cut firewood for heat, just a little to burn in the fire pit. The saw I have now is an Echo CS370. It’s been a good little saw, but I’m wanting to upgrade to a 50cc pro saw that is lightweight and will last me quite a long time.

Enough of the rambling. My question is about the computer controlled carbs on the Husqvarna and Stihl. I’m used to tweaking L/H adjustment screws and this will be a first for me. Are there any issues regarding the reliability of either one? I’ve done some searching and haven’t found any info about this one way or another. I just want to make sure that whichever saw I end up getting will be the one with the least amount of issues.

L8R,
Matt
 

FederalQ

Super OPE Member
GoldMember
Local time
5:29 PM
User ID
3210
Joined
May 17, 2017
Messages
179
Reaction score
571
Location
NE Wisconsin
Country flag
The last time I was at the Stihler they had 2 versions of the 261 on the shelf. An Mtronic and a standard manually adjusted carburetor one. I think the 550xp is only Autotune and not sure of the 545. I notice more offerings with regular carburetors now if that illustrates anything?
 

drf256

Dr. Richard Cranium
GoldMember
Local time
6:29 PM
User ID
319
Joined
Dec 29, 2015
Messages
9,423
Reaction score
61,831
Location
Strong Island NY
Country flag
MT all the way. The ergonomics are so much better. Complex system that was executed in simplicity.

Usually any problem is fixed with a solenoid swap, which is around $50.

The Husky system requires a much more complicated “flash” of the carb-I am not a pro on the Husky system though. It just seems that Husky AT problems are generally harder to overcome. MT usually get fixed quite easily.

Sounds like you have dealer support for both.
 

jcarlberg

Well-Known OPE Member
Local time
5:29 PM
User ID
28792
Joined
Mar 25, 2024
Messages
66
Reaction score
192
Location
Winnipeg
Country flag
had this exact same decision between these saws to make this week. Despite already owning a Husky, went with the Shtil ($40 more) after doing a bunch of research on each saw. But, as everyone else says, you will be happy with either!
 

Oldbuzzard

Well-Known OPE Member
Local time
4:29 PM
User ID
15400
Joined
Jan 18, 2021
Messages
50
Reaction score
115
Location
Colorado
Country flag
Autotune all the way. Husqvarna ergonomics are better than Stihl. Autotune system is a little more complicated than Mtronic but Autotune is much more reliable. I’m obviously taking a poke at drf256. I run/repair both Stihl and Husky. Stihl is easier to work on, but my Autotune saws just never fail. If you buy Mtronic you need to buy spare solenoids and learn how to replace them.
 

Loony661

Stock chainsaws suck.
GoldMember
Local time
5:29 PM
User ID
2584
Joined
Feb 4, 2017
Messages
5,220
Reaction score
32,192
Location
Winona County, MN
Country flag
Autotune all the way. Husqvarna ergonomics are better than Stihl. Autotune system is a little more complicated than Mtronic but Autotune is much more reliable. I’m obviously taking a poke at drf256. I run/repair both Stihl and Husky. Stihl is easier to work on, but my Autotune saws just never fail. If you buy Mtronic you need to buy spare solenoids and learn how to replace them.
For what it’s worth, I’ve had MTronic Stihl’s since 2015 and have never replaced a solenoid. I’m a logger, and my saws get used a lot.
 

riisgaard

Well-Known OPE Member
Local time
6:29 PM
User ID
25077
Joined
Sep 29, 2022
Messages
1
Reaction score
2
Location
Caledonia, Ontario,canada
Country flag
For what it’s worth, I’ve had MTronic Stihl’s since 2015 and have never replaced a solenoid. I’m a logger, and my saws get used a lot.
Hey there. I am yet another one trying to decide between the Husqvarna 550XP and the Stihl MS261. Around here there’s only about a $20 or so difference in price. Whichever one I decide on will be with the 20” bar. I don’t cut firewood for heat, just a little to burn in the fire pit. The saw I have now is an Echo CS370. It’s been a good little saw, but I’m wanting to upgrade to a 50cc pro saw that is lightweight and will last me quite a long time.

Enough of the rambling. My question is about the computer controlled carbs on the Husqvarna and Stihl. I’m used to tweaking L/H adjustment screws and this will be a first for me. Are there any issues regarding the reliability of either one? I’ve done some searching and haven’t found any info about this one way or another. I just want to make sure that whichever saw I end up getting will be the one with the least amount of issues.

L8R,
Matt
Filled and ready to cut, power head only, my 545Mk2 is 17 ounces heavier than my Ms261cm.
 

hacskaroly

Super OPE Member
Local time
3:29 PM
User ID
27954
Joined
Nov 24, 2023
Messages
366
Reaction score
834
Location
Northern idaho
Country flag
I’m used to tweaking L/H adjustment screws and this will be a first for me.
The last time I was at the Stihler they had 2 versions of the 261 on the shelf.
Correct, the MS 261 is the carb unit (H/L adjustments) and the MS 261C is the MTronic unit.

Another thing to consider with the 261/261C is that is comes with a .325 chain/bar/rim sprocket, however you can change that out and put a 3/8 chain/bar/rim sprocket on it...gives you options to work with. I have the 261C and really like it, no issues so far (other than I bought it with a scored piston/cylinder and replaced with an aftermarket Mtanlo setup). A coworker of mine prefers tuning carbs and does not care for his MS 261C, he would prefer to have a 261 (carb), his go-to saw is a Husky 560.
 

SCHallenger

Super OPE Member
Local time
6:29 PM
User ID
2144
Joined
Nov 18, 2016
Messages
101
Reaction score
481
Location
Michigan
Country flag
I have had a Husky 562XP & currently have a Stihl241C & Stihl 462C. No problems for me with either system. I also have Stihl 201, 200, & 261, all of which have standard carbs. I like the simplicity of the standard carbs, but, when you switch them from choke to fast idle while in the process of starting, they will rev too high between the time you get your hand off of the pull rope & blip the throttle down to the normal idle (run) position unless you are VERY fast with this maneuver. When you start an AT or Mtronic, they are at a very slow idle with the chain barely moving. I like this aspect of the electronics a lot & consider them to be more convenient overall.
 

jr27236

Super OPE Member
Local time
6:29 PM
User ID
1832
Joined
Sep 9, 2016
Messages
50
Reaction score
146
Location
New York
Country flag
Autotune all the way. Husqvarna ergonomics are better than Stihl. Autotune system is a little more complicated than Mtronic but Autotune is much more reliable. I’m obviously taking a poke at drf256. I run/repair both Stihl and Husky. Stihl is easier to work on, but my Autotune saws just never fail. If you buy Mtronic you need to buy spare solenoids and learn how to replace them.
I personally believe Husky is way easier to work on then Stihl. Stihl parts are locked down like Apple products and only available through the Stealerships. Husky parts are much more available in OEM and the aftermarket world as well.
 

HumBurner

Pinnacle OPE Member
Local time
3:29 PM
User ID
23235
Joined
Apr 19, 2022
Messages
563
Reaction score
1,347
Location
Humboldt
Country flag
The main thing about the computer carbs is that they will try to compensate for air leaks, somewhat obscuring the traditional signs gleaned during normal running on a standard carb.

My opinion.

And whatever you do, don't run the Husqys at 50:1.
 

Sloughfoot

Well-Known OPE Member
Local time
3:29 PM
User ID
26879
Joined
Jun 7, 2023
Messages
109
Reaction score
158
Location
Norcal
Country flag
Correct, the MS 261 is the carb unit (H/L adjustments) and the MS 261C is the MTronic unit.

Another thing to consider with the 261/261C is that is comes with a .325 chain/bar/rim sprocket, however you can change that out and put a 3/8 chain/bar/rim sprocket on it...gives you options to work with. I have the 261C and really like it, no issues so far (other than I bought it with a scored piston/cylinder and replaced with an aftermarket Mtanlo setup). A coworker of mine prefers tuning carbs and does not care for his MS 261C, he would prefer to have a 261 (carb), his go-to saw is a Husky 560.
I cut at sea level, 7k and everything in between and only have manual tune saws. There's been times I wish I had autotune/mtronic when cutting at higher elevations. For whatever reason just can't seem to get it right.
 

WI_Hedgehog

Super OPE Member
Local time
5:29 PM
User ID
27428
Joined
Sep 8, 2023
Messages
334
Reaction score
850
Location
Milwaukee, Wisconsin, U.S.A.
Country flag
I personally believe Husky is way easier to work on then Stihl. Stihl parts are locked down like Apple products and only available through the Stealerships. Husky parts are much more available in OEM and the aftermarket world as well.
Conversely, I find STIHL easier to work on than Husqvarna, and STIHL seems to last longer--last weekend I was sawing with a retired feller running an 034 (deep thump out of the old saws) and it ran like new. The 015 I inherited is something like 40 years old and when cold it starts on the 4th pull, restarts on the first. Both saws have lots of hours on them and are original/no repairs as far as I know. From the easy-to-start and longevity standpoint I think STIHL comes out ahead, at least for someone who's not a saw mechanic.

Husqvarnas I've used do seem smoother, lighter, and as powerful or more powerful than a similar sized STIHL, and they tend to cost a fair amount less up front. Parts (by me) are often backordered, after-sales support seems to be unimportant to the regional Husqvarna rep, selling new saws appears to be his focus, but by you it's likely different from what owners here say. I've been very impressed with older Huskys, reportedly newer ones are built in China and are more prone to having "issues." I keep in mind the lower up-front cost and the majority of new saws seem to be fine as far as I know.

One thing the old feller didn't like about new saws is the electronics, he said it makes them dog-slow and untunable. I think a bunch of that is more due to increasingly stringent EPA regulations and the resulting less torque/more horsepower. I have both types and prefer running the saw instead of tuning it, and recent electronics seem greatly improved and really reliable.

I do landscaping on the side so don't cut as much as others here, so maybe this relates for you, maybe not.
 

Wood Doctor

Edwin
Local time
5:29 PM
User ID
846
Joined
Feb 9, 2016
Messages
2,430
Reaction score
8,464
Location
Omaha, Nebraska
Country flag
I received a 0-compression Husky 550 XP yesterday that has to have a new top end. Piston ring no longer exists and the groove for the ring cannot be seen. Based on this thread, I ordered a new top end and will try to restore the saw. Here's what the owner brought in:
1712246315113.jpeg
Lord knows what else I will run into, but a new top end is a must. My work is cut out for me. Thanks, forum.
 

FederalQ

Super OPE Member
GoldMember
Local time
5:29 PM
User ID
3210
Joined
May 17, 2017
Messages
179
Reaction score
571
Location
NE Wisconsin
Country flag
I know of a guy that purchased a 261 Mtronic and bought their oil to extend the warranty. The piston/cylinder were toast in 9 months. Used the correct oil and ethanol free premium. It passed the pressure/vacuum tests. No clue how it failed. He had to pay the labor costs. Only the piston and cylinder were under warranty.
 

JRHAWK9

Well-Known OPE Member
Local time
5:29 PM
User ID
931
Joined
Feb 23, 2016
Messages
53
Reaction score
165
Location
Lake Delton, WI
Country flag
for entertainment.


FWIW, I was deciding between the two late last year as well. Between the videos I found, -THIS- review and the fact I have a Husky 350 and 346XP that can share bar & chains I decided on a 550XP MK II.
 
Last edited:
Top