The MS 360 replaced the Stihl 036 chain saw in 2001, when Stihl changed all its model numbers. It was replaced by the MS 361 in 2004 and, in 2010, by the MS 362 C-M and MS 362 C-MQ. Because the MS 360 was manufactured for only three years, the number of used ones is limited compared to the number of other models, but because Stihl manufactures quality saws, it's relatively easy to find an MS 360 in good condition. It's a midrange professional saw good for cutting firewood and for general farm use.
The engine displacement of the MS 360 is 61.5 cubic centimeters (3.75 cubic inches), which is larger than that of the 362 C-M, which has replaced it. Other engine statistics include:
- Engine bore: 48 millimeters (1.89 inches).
- Piston stroke: 34 millimeters (1.34 inches).
- Idle speed: 2,800 rpm.
- Weight without bar and chain: 5.7 kilograms (12.6 pounds).
While it's no lightweight, the MS 360 weighs only about half as much as the 880 Magnum, which is Stihl's most heavy-duty chain saw.
Fuel, Air and Ignition Systems
Like virtually every chain saw ever made, the MS 360 has a two-cycle engine that runs on a mixture of gas and oil. The manufacturer-recommended mixing ratio is 50:1, which means you add 2.6 ounces of two-cycle engine oil to every gallon of gasoline. Do not use marine-grade oil. The fuel cap on the MS 360 has a pop-out handle to make the cap easier to turn.
The diaphragm-style, pressure-compensating carburetor on the MS 360 incorporates an integrated fuel pump, and there is a decompression valve on the top of the housing to make starting easier. The carburetor comes pre-adjusted from the factory, but the idle, low-speed and high-speed screws are all accessible and can be adjusted -- because the MS 360 is an older model, you'll probably have occasion to make these adjustments. The carburetor is accessible under a cover secured by a twist lock.
Two air filters are available for the MS 360 -- a fabric filter is recommended for normal use, while a nonwoven fleece filter should be used when working in dry and dusty environments. Some models are supplied with a spark arresting screen, which is mounted behind the muffler.
The spark plug is mounted on the top right of the engine, just behind the handle. When replacing the plug, use a 9.5-millimeter (0.37-inch), M 14 X 1.25 plug with an electrode gap of 0.5 millimeter (0.02 inch).
Bar and Chain
The MS 360 accepts guide bars of 40, 45 or 50 centimeters (16, 18 or 20 inches). The chain pitch is 0.325 or 3/8 inch. The unit includes an automatic chain oiler and a 0.32-liter (0.68 U.S. pint) reservoir to hold the biodegradable, nonfling lubricating chain oil. There is a screw on the underside of the saw housing for adjusting the oil-feed rate -- longer bars require a faster feed rate.
The MS 360 includes a number of safety and comfort features, many of which are available on most Stihl chain saw models. These include:
- An anti-vibration system to buffer vibrations in the guide bar and the handle.
- A safety handle that activates a chain brake. The brake also activates automatically in the event of kickback, and on the MS 360 QS, you can activate it by removing your hand from the rear handle.
- A convenient location for the chain tensioning screw -- it's accessible through a hole in the rear of the guide bar.
- An extra choke position to make starting easier in cold weather.
- A handle heater to improve grip when working in subzero temperatures.