Stihl MS650 and MS260 with RSC chain

Professionals seeking a hard-working, top-end machine should look at Stihl’s new MS650. With its high power, rapid acceleration and extreme robustness, this saw looks set to become a favourite. It’s brutish, has stacks of power and thrives on hard work.
The power-to-weight ratio of the MS650 is simply outstanding and makes this saw ideal for harvesting, logging and thinning big timber as well as for working with hardwood.
What’s more, it is comfortable to use. As we would expect from Stihl, the saw has a highly effective anti-vibration system to absorb vibrations, even at high speeds. But add the innovative Stihl RSC (Rapid Super Comfort) 3/8" chain, and vibrations are even lower. More about that later.
The MS650 has many familiar features. The “hot and cold starting” and “run and stop” are controlled via the master lever control without the operator’s hands leaving the handle.
The ElastoStart grip makes starting the saw easy, and works in combination with a decompression valve to reduce the peak forces that occur when firing up the engine. The acceleration has to be experienced to be believed. This is a well-balanced saw.
Another familiar feature is the Stihl compensator. This carburettor control system is designed to ensure that engine power, exhaust emission quality and fuel consumption remain constant despite increasing contamination of the air filter. Ematic chain lubrication is also found on the MS650, and the tensioning is from the side through the sprocket wheel cover — well clear of the teeth and spiked bumper.
So what about this new chain? The Stihl RSC has a newly profiled cutter that provides a shock-absorbing effect as the cutting edge enters the wood. It prevents the chain hammering back on its heel. The result, says Stihl, is a reduction in vibration of around 40 per cent.
We put it to the test. Two MS260s are brought onto site. They are identical in every aspect, expect that one has a standard chain and the other is fitted with the RSC. Visually, there is no difference.
The standard chain is well received, but with the RSC you can definitely feel the difference; this one is really smooth.
The MS260 is a 50.2cc chainsaw. We used a 40cm bar for the test.

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