Stihl MS 361 Vs MS 362: Which One Is Better?

Deciding between two seemingly similar products can be a daunting task, especially when it comes to power tools. The Stihl MS 361 Vs MS 362 chainsaws are both popular choices among professionals and homeowners alike, but which one is better? Let’s take a closer look.

The Overview of Stihl MS 361

The Overview of Stihl MS 361

The Stihl MS 361 is a high-powered chainsaw that is perfect for a multitude of tasks, including felling trees, chopping firewood, and general property maintenance. With its impressive 20-inch bar and exceptional chain speed of up to 56 feet per second, this chainsaw stands out as one of the fastest-cutting options on the market.

Not only does it offer incredible cutting speed, but its low-vibration handle and anti-kickback mechanism also make it incredibly user-friendly. Whether you are a professional or a homeowner in need of a reliable chainsaw, the Stihl MS 361 is a formidable choice that will undoubtedly exceed your expectations.

The Overview of Stihl MS 362

The Overview of Stihl MS 362

Featuring a range of impressive features, the Stihl MS 362 chainsaw stands out as a top contender in terms of usability and performance. One notable aspect is its decompression valve, which eases compression in the combustion chamber during startup. This chainsaw also excels with its side-mounted chain tensioner system, enabling convenient adjustments to the chain without interrupting your work.

Moreover, the Stihl MS 362 prioritizes user comfort with its outstanding anti-vibration system, ensuring a smooth operation even at higher RPMs. Additionally, its pre-separation air filtration system minimizes the need for frequent and intensive maintenance tasks. 

Stihl MS 361 Vs MS 362: Comparison Detail


  Stihl MS 361 Stihl MS 362
Powerhead Weight 12.3 pounds 13 pounds
Displacement 59.0 cc 59.0 cc
Chain oil capacity 10.9 oz. 11 oz.
Fuel Capacity 23.16 oz. 20.3 oz.
Engine Power 4.4 bhp 4.6 bhp


Stihl MS 361:

  • Stihl ElastoStart: The Stihl MS 361 incorporates the innovative Stihl ElastoStart technology, which significantly reduces kickback during startup, providing a smoother and safer user experience.
  • Carburetor Heating: With a dedicated toggle switch for summer and winter operations. The winter setting preheats the engine fins through intake air, preventing cold starts and ensuring reliable performance even in low temperatures.
  • Advanced Combustion Technology: The MS 361 owes its exceptional performance to advanced combustion technology. Equipped with four overflow channels, this chainsaw optimizes the air and fuel mixture before ignition, delivering efficient and powerful combustion.
  • Compensator: The MS 361 features a compensator that not only safeguards the air filter from premature degradation but also maintains a consistent air-fuel ratio in the carburetor.

Stihl MS 362:

  • Decompression Valve: The MS 362 features a decompression valve that reduces compression in the combustion chamber, making it easier to start the chainsaw with less effort.
  • Side-Access Chain Tensioner: With the side-mounted chain tensioner system, adjusting the chain on the Stihl MS 362 is a breeze. No need to stop the chainsaw – simply make quick and easy adjustments on the go.
  • Anti-Vibration System: The top-notch anti-vibration system in the MS 362 ensures maximum user comfort, even at higher RPMs. The chainsaw operates smoothly, minimizing vibrations and making it easier to handle, even for beginners.
  • Pre-Separation Air Filtration System: The MS 362 is equipped with a pre-separation air filtration system that reduces maintenance tasks. By expelling larger dirt particles, the chainsaw’s air filter remains unclogged for longer periods.

Power and Performance

When it comes to power and performance, the Stihl MS 361 and MS 362 chainsaws offer similar engine power with their 4.5 HP and 59 cc displacement. However, the difference lies in their engine technology. The MS 361 excels at higher RPMs, making it a formidable choice for tasks that require maximum power. However, at lower RPMs, its engine power remains underutilized.

In contrast, the MS 362, with its more evened-out power curve, delivers impressive torque even at lower RPMs. This makes it a well-balanced option that offers decent power at all levels. If you seek a versatile chainsaw that performs consistently across various RPM ranges, the MS 362 emerges as the superior choice compared to the MS 361.

Fuel Capacity

While fuel capacity may not be the sole determinant of a chainsaw’s quality, it is worth noting the visible difference in this aspect between the Stihl MS 361 and MS 362 models. Interestingly, Stihl took a step back with the newer MS 362, offering a slightly smaller fuel tank compared to its predecessor.

The MS 361 boasted a generous fuel capacity of up to 23.16 ounces, while the MS 362’s capacity decreased to around 20 ounces. Although the efficiency of the MS 362 compensates for the reduced capacity due to its engine framework, a slight disparity still exists. In this regard, the Stihl MS 361 takes the crown, albeit the impact may not be significant in practical terms.

Fuel Efficiency and Emissions

Fuel efficiency is a crucial factor to consider when choosing a chainsaw, as it directly impacts the runtime between refuels. While the Stihl MS 361 boasts a larger fuel capacity, the MS 362 surpasses it in terms of efficiency and emissions due to its Stratton engine technology. Unlike the conventional two-stroke engine design, the MS 362 features a split barrel carburetor with separate intake channels for clean air and the fuel-air mixture.

This innovative design allows the engine to consume less fuel, resulting in extended runtime. Moreover, the Stratto engine technology significantly reduces emissions, addressing one of the main drawbacks of the older MS 361 model. With improved efficiency and emissions, the MS 362 stands as a worthy replacement for its predecessor.

Ease of Use

When considering the ease of use between the Stihl MS 361 and MS 362 chainsaws, the newer MS 362 model brings notable improvements in design and quality-of-life features. One significant enhancement is the superior anti-vibration system, which minimizes noticeable vibrations compared to the MS 361, particularly at higher RPMs.

Additionally, the MS 362 incorporates a pre-separation air filtration system, revolutionizing chainsaw maintenance. This technology extends the lifespan of the air filter and reduces maintenance responsibilities. While the MS 361 may be slightly lighter, the weight difference between the two models is not significant. Considering the enhanced features, the MS 362 emerges as the clear winner in terms of ease of use.


The MS 362 is priced at approximately 850 dollars, making it a considerable investment. In contrast, the MS 361, although discontinued, was previously available for around 600 dollars. While the MS 361 may still be found in some retail stores or second-hand, it presents a more affordable option, particularly for those on a tight budget. Despite the appeal of the newer model, from a value perspective, the Stihl MS 361 stands out as an excellent choice.

Customer Review

Customer Review of stihl ms 361 vs ms 362

Here are three customer reviews of Stihl MS 361 Vs MS 362:

  1. “I have been using the Stihl MS 361 for years, and it has been a reliable workhorse. Its power and performance are exceptional, making it suitable for various cutting tasks. The fuel capacity is ample, and the anti-vibration system adds to the comfort during extended use. The only downside is that it can be a bit heavy for prolonged use, but overall, it’s a great chainsaw for the price.”
  2. “After upgrading to the Stihl MS 362, I have noticed a significant improvement in ease of use and overall performance. The anti-vibration system is noticeably better, and the fuel efficiency is impressive. The chainsaw is well-balanced and delivers consistent power at different RPMs. Although the price is higher than the MS 361, the added features and enhanced design make it a worthwhile investment for professional and demanding tasks.”
  3. “I have used both the Stihl MS 361 and MS 362 for various forestry and property maintenance tasks. While the MS 361 is a solid and robust chainsaw with good power, the MS 362’s efficiency and emissions reduction stand out. The newer model is more user-friendly, with improved features and better technology. However, the price difference is considerable, and for those on a budget, the MS 361 offers excellent value and performance.”

Stihl MS 361 Vs MS 362: Which One Is Better?

The MS 361 is a reliable workhorse with exceptional power and a large fuel capacity, making it suitable for various cutting tasks. However, it can be heavy for prolonged use. On the other hand, the MS 362 offers improved ease of use, better fuel efficiency, and reduced emissions. The updated features and enhanced design make it a worthwhile investment, especially for professional tasks, but it comes with a higher price tag.

For those on a tight budget, the MS 361 provides excellent value and solid performance. Ultimately, the choice between the two models will depend on your specific requirements and preferences, as well as the budget you have available for your investment.


What is the difference between Stihl 361 and 362 C?

The primary difference between the Stihl MS 361 and MS 362 C is that the MS 362 C features M-Tronic electronic engine management and additional advanced features, offering improved performance and functionality compared to the MS 361.

Is the Stihl MS 361 discontinued?

Yes, the MS 361 was discontinued.

Is a Stihl 361 a good chainsaw?

Yes, the Stihl MS 361 is a powerful and efficient chainsaw.

How much is a Stihl 361 worth?

Around $600.


When it comes to choosing between the Stihl MS 361 Vs MS 362 chainsaws, it ultimately boils down to personal preference and specific needs. Both models offer high-quality performance and durability, but the MS 362 may be a better choice for those who require more power and torque. Regardless of which model you choose, investing in a Stihl chainsaw is a wise decision for anyone in need of a reliable and efficient cutting tool.