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MS251 has landed, first look and comparison photos.

Post in 'The Gear' started by MasterMech, Feb 20, 2013.

  1. MasterMech

    MasterMech Guest

    So while visiting my friendly Stihl dealer today, noticed that they had a bunch of boxes that said MS251 on the side. I tore it open like a 4 year-old on Christmas morning and assembled the saw so I could compare it to the venerable MS250.

    0220131338.jpg 0220131344.jpg 0220131342.jpg 0220131343.jpg

    MS251 on the left and the MS250 on the right. The MS251 feels slimmer and better balanced side to side. No discernable difference in overall weight. Both saws were wearing 18" bars with .325 chain. (26RMC3) Notice only 1 bar nut on the MS251, but IMO that's adequate for this saw and it's intended application.

    0220131340a.jpg

    Yup, it's official, the MS251 is ridin' on springs. That's going to be a very noticeable improvement over the MS250.

    0220131339a.jpg 0220131339.jpg

    Here is another big difference and I gotta say, way to go Stihl! The air filter not only seals up better to the airbox, it has a lot more surface area as well. It simply twist-locks on or off the mount.

    0220131344a.jpg 0220131345.jpg

    All 3 carb adjustments present and accounted for on both saws. The 1 thing I really miss from the MS250 is that the air filter is no longer accessible without tools. You need a scrench or T27 to pop the top on the MS251.

    0220131343a.jpg

    Check out the translucent fuel tank. Another thumbs up!

    Holding the MS251, the huge improvement in the overall build quality of the saw is obvious. The rear handle is better plastic, feels much more smooth and solid too. This saw looks and feels an awful lot closer to the pro saws than the MS250 ever did. The MS250 was a tough little saw but apparently Stihl has had a lot of time to think this one over, as the 025 (The 250's grand-pappy) was introduced 20 years ago, give or take.

    Another thing I noticed is the felling sights carry over the recoil side of the saw, over the top and to the clutch cover as well. 10 seconds with a sharpie or a paint marker and you'd have much more useful sights on the saw than the smooth topped MS250 had.

    The choke/ignition lever feels great, not flimsy or mushy at all.

    One look at the muffler tells me that there is probably quite a bit of extra power to be found with a drill/dremel. ;)

    Overall? I love it, really considered taking it home with me to feed it some wood! But my sensible side prevailed (hate it when that happens) and I'll have to wait for one of you to buy one and post some video. Get on it. ;lol

    Oh yeah..... everyone's wondering, what's all this improvement cost? Honestly, less than I thought. $359 for the saw in the pics and $379 for the C-BE version with Easy2Start. Is there another $60 bucks worth of saw here (MS250 = $299.95)? I think so. . It's inevitable that the price on complete model revisions will edge upwards and Stihl held the $300 line on the MS250 for a LONG time.

    Whadda y'all think? >>

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  2. Nixon

    Nixon Minister of Fire

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    I hate you ! You know that you just caused my CAD to flair up again . I was down at the dealer just yesterday picking up a few items . I stayed out of the display area on purpose ,as I know I have a. Mild acquisition problem. There was even a 5' stihl ( logrite) cant hook that i resisted buying ! And now you post this ! ;)
  3. Freeheat

    Freeheat Minister of Fire

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    Hey Master Mech are you like "NORM" when you walk into the dealer?? JK Looks good don't know about the one nut on the blade thing .
  4. MasterMech

    MasterMech Guest

    They let me tear into that stack of new MS251's no problem. ;lol ;) (they think I'm 'amusing', I used to work for them.)

    Stihl has had lots of bars held on with one nut/stud for a long time now. Heck, they did it with the MS270/280 and the quick-adjust chain tension option. And you could run a full-sized (3003 mount) 20" bar on that setup. _g MS200(T) ran one nut and you could do a 3005 mount 16" bar on that saw with no prob.
  5. Boog

    Boog Minister of Fire

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    As the owner of an 025 (just replaced its one screw with a new OEM two screw carb for $25 shipped, and drilled out/modified the muffler on it today) and a 250C-BE, that new MS251 looks pretty sweet to me. I've always loved this saw even though others think lesser of it. That price seems fair to me, right about where it should be.
  6. fabsroman

    fabsroman Minister of Fire

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    I have the Stihl cant hook and it is one of the best hand tools I have. Both my dad and I really like it.
    Nixon likes this.
  7. Nixon

    Nixon Minister of Fire

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    You're not helping me here. :) I'm Trying to resist the call of CAD . ;)
  8. fabsroman

    fabsroman Minister of Fire

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    Buy the cant hook, it is cheaper and if you don't have one already it will actually help the wood processing. Also, it is cheaper than a new saw. So, you will still feel good when leaving the store because you left without buying a saw, left with something new, and left with something that can help you process firewood faster. Oh yeah, it is also a back saver.
  9. Nixon

    Nixon Minister of Fire

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    Let me guess, you work for Stihl :), And do family counseling on weekends :) Actually I do have a cant hook , but its not all that well made . As to not buying yet another saw..... I need an intervention , i just like high powered 2 cycles.
    The 346xp is bound for Tennessee around the first of the month . Sad, i know . I feel so ashamed of my weakness.
    mikefrommaine likes this.
  10. fabsroman

    fabsroman Minister of Fire

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    Yeah, I am trying to resist a MS201 and MS362 urge right now. Telling myself I can use the money on other stuff. Don't know which voice on my shoulder is going to win.
    Nixon likes this.
  11. Nixon

    Nixon Minister of Fire

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    I do ! ;)
  12. Nixon

    Nixon Minister of Fire

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    MM ,
    Seriously ,the 251 looks like a real beauty ! I've been looking for a saw that is small ,light ,has decent power ,and sips fuel to ride with me in my truck as a scrounge saw . The 251 seems ideal . Keep it full of SEF 94 at 40-1 ,and it should be ready to go all the time . That , and i have more huskys than stihl ,so a rebalance is in order to protect the universe and stuff
    MasterMech and Boog like this.
  13. smokinj

    smokinj Minister of Fire

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    You cant because your just like the rest of use jackwagons..........:cool:
    TreePointer and Nixon like this.
  14. fabsroman

    fabsroman Minister of Fire

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    Yep, just a day or two ago I was arguing with J about how I "need" another saw as he was trying to talk me out of it. lol Turns out I just "want" another saw or three.
  15. WarmGuy

    WarmGuy Feeling the Heat

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    The air filter change looks like a good idea. I clean mine out after every tankful. I'm glad to hear that my MS250 is venerable.
  16. MasterMech

    MasterMech Guest

    It was, and still is, for a short time, the most saw $300 will buy. That desgin has been around 20+ years, everybody and their cousin has one, and for good reason. ;)
  17. bogydave

    bogydave Minister of Fire

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    No need for a 45 cc saw.
    A new small one for liming some day maybe.

    Sorry MM.
    251 doesn't get me excited to buy a new saw.
    Now the 362 has a lot of appeal :)
  18. MasterMech

    MasterMech Guest

    Maybe not for you Dave but I bet somebody out there is eyeing up the 40-45cc category. ;)

    Actually the point is that the incoming saw appears to be a worthy successor to the outgoing model.

    I'm not really in the market for a 250/251 either, but as I said before, plenty of others are. ==c
  19. fabsroman

    fabsroman Minister of Fire

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    Yeah, I would guess that a MS251 would fit the bill for most firewood cutters. I could probably even get by with one. That might be the saw we (i.e., me and my siblings) end up buying for my dad. I actually like what they did with it.
  20. Boog

    Boog Minister of Fire

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    That would be a great one for him, and splurge for the C-BE.......................I could take or leave the chain adjuster, I actually sold the one off my 250C-BE on ebay for $36, used the money to get the "standard" 2 stud replacement parts. Probably can't do that with this "one stud version" of the 251, but the Easy2start and the primer bulb were worth the extra $50.
  21. mecreature

    mecreature Minister of Fire

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    Looks like a good saw.

    I have an MS280 and it has 2 bolts. Did they change at some time?

    My Husq 435 has a single bolt and I have no problems with it. I wish it was bigger like the stihls/
  22. Nixon

    Nixon Minister of Fire

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    MM, does it have an adjustable oiler.?
  23. MasterMech

    MasterMech Guest

    You know, I didn't see one but on a MS251 I wasn't looking for it either. Not really a need for one either since it's limited to 2 bar sizes, 16" and 18".

    The C-QS version (with the extra chain brake in the rear handle and the quick chain adjuster) of the MS270 and MS280 only had 1 bar stud, the regular MS270C and MS280C (The 99%, ;lol) had 2 studs.

    If you add the quick chain adjuster to a MS270C or MS280C then you would also only have 1 stud.
  24. missedbass

    missedbass Member

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    looks like it may be classified as a mid range or farm saw instead of a homeowner saw
  25. Jack Fate

    Jack Fate Feeling the Heat

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    Had one in my hands & yes it felt good , not big into the single nut ,Does have that pro saw feel (not running)

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