The Stihl 460 and 461 are two of the most powerful chainsaws made to date. But have you ever thought about how these two products differ?

Both the crankcase and the cylinder on the 461 are completely new. Additionally, it is more fuel efficient and has better power optimization than the 460 model. However, 460 chainsaws have more spare parts available, which is worth considering too.

There are a couple of other differences between the products that may be of interest to you. I will discuss each of them in depth throughout the article. So let’s get started!

stihl 460 vs 461 there are some big differences
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Comparison Table with Specs for Stihl 460 and 461

Key Factor Stihl MS 460 Stihl MS 461
Crankcase Has an outdated crankcase and cylinder Features a more modern crankcase and cylinder
Weight 14.6 pounds 14.8 pounds
Fuel Economy Not fuel efficient Delivers a 20% improvement in fuel efficiency
Replacement Parts Availability is more widespread A shortage of replacement parts exists
Performance Unable to take full advantage of its power The chainsaw is well-optimized to make full use of its power

Features of Stihl 460 Chainsaw

Features of Stihl 460 Chainsaw

  1. Horsepower

You will come across chainsaws with 4 or 5 horsepower at the maximum. The 460 saw outperforms all of them with a massive 6-horsepower engine.

Having high horsepower makes it possible for the user to cut even the hardest trees and woods.

  1. Capacity

There is a 27.1 oz fuel container included with the chainsaw. By using such a large container, you won’t be forced to refill the tank as often. It will also allow you to work for longer periods of time without interruption.

  1. Chain

One of the best chains Stihl produces is the Rapid Super 3. Thankfully, the 460 chainsaw is fitted with a 3/8″ RS3 chain. It can cut different types of wood quickly due to its full-chisel design.

Kickback can be an issue with many full-chisel chains. However, this particular chain utilizes a single-humped drive link to prevent kickback.

Features of Stihl 461 Chainsaw

Features of Stihl 461 Chainsaw

  1. Fuel Efficient

There is already a high price associated with buying a chainsaw. You probably don’t want to spend more money on fuel every day. With its 20% lower fuel consumption, the 461 can help you cut your fuel bills.

  1. HD2 Filter

Your chainsaw can experience different problems due to a dirty air filter. Hence, it is essential to clean the air filter to keep the saw in good health.

The HD2 filter backs the 461 chainsaw up with a top-notch filtration system that ensures maximum performance with a clean filter.

  1. Displacement

A chainsaw with a displacement of 76.5 cc is not something you see every day. This is almost the highest displacement a chainsaw can deliver at its peak.

With such tremendous power, you can take down trees far more efficiently than other saws. To put it simply, the 461 is among the most powerful chainsaws available today.

Differences Between Stihl 460 and 461

Despite appearing to have no differences, the 460 and 461 actually differ significantly. Here’s how.

Differences Between Stihl 460 and 461

  1. Crankcase and Cylinder

Perhaps the biggest difference between these products is that the 461 chainsaw uses a completely different crankcase.

The crankcase on the 461 chainsaw is definitely better than the one on the 460 model. There is also further delay in scavenging.

Moreover, as expected, you will see that the 461 saw is equipped with a different cylinder.

Winner: Stihl MS 461


  1. Replacement Parts

Chainsaws are prone to malfunction after a while, just like other power tools. Sometimes a chainsaw is beyond repair and requires replacement parts.

You should therefore purchase a product that has more aftermarket parts available.

In this comparison, the 460 chainsaw has better aftermarket parts availability. Because of the availability, they are cheaper. Hence, you won’t have to worry about repairing the saw.

The 461 unit from Stihl is a relatively new chainsaw. As a result, you are unlikely to locate cheap aftermarket parts compatible with it.

Winner: Stihl MS 460


  1. Fuel Economy

There is a drastic change in exhaust stratification in 461 chainsaws from their previous model. Stihl did it solely in an effort to improve fuel economy. And they did succeed!

The fuel efficiency on the 461 saw increased by 20% over the 460 model. Thus, if you do not want to spend a fortune on fuel, going with the 461 will be a wise choice.

Winner: Stihl MS 461


  1. Weight

When buying a chainsaw, I place a high priority on the weight factor. I believe a lightweight tool not only makes it possible to work longer but also boosts productivity.

Both of these chainsaws are heavy-duty power tools and are not particularly lightweight. Having said that, the 460 saw weighs slightly less at 14.6 pounds. On the other hand, you have the 461 unit weighing 14.8 pounds.

In terms of weight, either would be fine since they are only .2 pounds apart.

Winner: Stihl MS 460 (by a narrow margin)


  1. Power

I know some fellas are going to ask, don’t 460 and 461 chainsaws have the same power? The answer to that is yes, but it does not imply that one cannot perform better than the other.

Stihl focused heavily on optimizing the power of the 460’s successor. As a result, the torque of the 461 chainsaw has improved dramatically.

It now uses less fuel than its predecessor while running way smoother than before.

Winner: Stihl MS 461


Also Know: Best Chainsaws for Cutting Firewood

Which Chainsaw Should I Go For?

The Stihl 460 is a reliable product and was once the best chainsaw money could buy. Nevertheless, since the 461 model appeared, the 460 saw does not really stand out anymore.

The 461 is just the better chainsaw because of its improved performance and smooth operation. While being extremely powerful, it is still incredibly fuel efficient. Taking everything into account, the 461 is definitely what my recommendation is going to be.

Which Chainsaw Should I Go For

To Sum Up

With the development of 461 chainsaws, Stihl has succeeded in replacing the 460 chainsaws. The MS 461 comes equipped with a new crankcase, cylinder, and enhanced power. Since the 461 is almost identical to the 460 and has more to offer, it would be foolish not to opt for it.

If you’re eager to see more comparisons, check out this article where I extensively compared Stihl 362 and 462 chainsaws.

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