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Stihl MS250 vs. Husky 345 for homeowner

Post in 'The Gear' started by ecfinn, Jul 25, 2006.

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  1. ecfinn

    ecfinn New Member

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    Hi everyone,

    I'm looking for some advice on a chainsaw. I'm starting to look into processing/collecting my own firewood and I only have an electric model at the moment. Not very portable. Sometime in the next 6 months I hope to have an insert installed so I'll be heating with wood this winter.

    I've started narrowing it down to the Stihl MS250 and the Husky 345. Both are 45 cc engines and I'm leaning towards getting a 16" bar with either. The only real differences I can see between the saws are that the Stihl is a 1 year warranty and Husky 2 year. Also the Husky uses springs in the handle to reduce vibrations whereas the Stihl uses rubber mounts. Lastly Stihl only sells through dealers and Husky is available over the internet. Is there really a difference in reliability between these two models? Also is there any reason I shouldn't buy the Husky over the internet and get 3 spare chains for $30 less than my only local dealer.

    Any comments/suggestions/ideas or other things I should be considering in my decision?

    If it helps, I've got a decent amount of chainsaw experience, but I'm not expert by any means.

    Thanks for your help so far.

    Eric Finn

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  2. Robbie

    Robbie Minister of Fire

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    Eric, both are great saws, both have a loyal following for sure. Get the one you like the best and that suits your budget.

    When I did a search on google for both, I found gleaming reviews for both.

    I have the Stihl 250, I personally like Stihls best..............16" is a perfect size I think.

    If you still have trouble deciding, go to this site below and do a search on both numbers/names, you will certainly find what you need to know I think.

    Let us know which one you get if you don't mind.

    http://www.arboristsite.com/


    Robbie
  3. Sandor

    Sandor Minister of Fire

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    I have the Stihl 025 for four years now. It has never failed me once, and I cut alot of wood.

    Both are great saws.

    The deciding factor may be whether you do your own repairs or not. If you fix the saw yourself, go with the Husky or the Stihl. If your more inclined to dump the saw off at a shop for the repair, go Stihl.

    btw, I have the 18 inch bar and like it. Don't have to bend over or reach out as far to make cuts. And the 025 can pull an 18 bar through some thick oak.

    Either way you go, learn how to file the chain and do it after each tank of fuel.
  4. suematteva

    suematteva New Member

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    Both are good saws. If you buy a husky on Internet, you may want to ask your dealer where that puts you in the service line? There are two husky dealers within 10 miles of where I live. The closer one is very selective over who gets best service. Some of the husky dealers won't work on stuff from big box or internet.. The other is basically first come first serve and he does not mind if you bought the tools somewhere else.
  5. ecfinn

    ecfinn New Member

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    Thanks for the responses so far. So does anyone have the Husky 345 or even the 350? I can get the 350 for less than the MS250. I hope to visit my only local Husky dealertoday to discuss some of these issues with them. Not sure how to bring up the servicing other saws though... So is the warranty really a non-issue on either of these saws given their reliability record?

    Thanks,
    Eric
  6. daninohio

    daninohio New Member

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    Eric,

    I've been using the same Stihl chainsaw for 20 years. I'm not quite sure how old it is, but I suspect my dad bought it about 30 years ago. It's a 031 (16").

    You probably can't go wrong with either of these saws. That said, if I ever need another saw it will definitely be a Stihl as this one has been a real gem.

    About the only real advice I have is the old rule -- buy the best tool you can afford. The last thing you want is to be standing there running that saw thinking that your saw feels chintzy. So long as they both feel well-made to you, I think either choice is fine. They will probably both have parts available for the forseeable future.

    Dan
  7. suematteva

    suematteva New Member

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    Warranty is a role of the dice...

    A good dealer is important..My dealer found out that the mfg was having problems with a particular saw..The first one he sold came back in 2 weeks with a major problem..After digging he finds out that the mfg is having problems with the early production they gave a range of s/n 's he had 5 of them sitting in inventory..The mfg said we are not sure if the problem will continue so sell the ones you have and see what happens and we will stand behind them..He refused and made them take those saws back in exchange for 5 new ones..Where do these saws end up? Are they on ebay as NIB through a 3rd party, ship to another dealer, or scrapped?

    When your saw needs to be fixed you usually want it yesterday..unless you have a backup...
  8. elkimmeg

    elkimmeg Guest

    I like the Makita Dollmar saks chain saws Everbit as goood or better that the Stihl or Husky and I own a good Stihl 30 years of use clearing lots ans roads the Stihl is still working It is my backup to a Makita But I have 6 saws here so I have a lot of backups
  9. Roospike

    Roospike New Member

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    The internet place Wise Generators and Power Equipment ( Ebay sales too user name: jilz1 ) That you mentioned for the Husqvarna chainsaws IS a dealer , you will get Husqvarnas full warranty with the warranty card that come with your saw . When i look at buying i look at a good 10 year out look . In the size chainsaw you are wanting i would go with the Husqvarna 353 . The Stihl 250 & the Husqvarna 345 and 350 are all plactic bodys . The Husqvarna 353 has a metal body and is still light weight and some other upgrades . I have the Husqvarna 359 , two 346xp's and a 372xp all bought off the internet ( from above noted seller ), all under full warranty. The smallest bar i use is 18" and never had an issue with the bar getting in the way . ALSO NOTE: Please take note to have all proper P.P.E. ( personal protective equipment ) when useing a chainsaw. ie: chainsaw helmet -face guard - ear protection , leg chaps , protective leather boots ( steel toe ) gloves are also a good idea . The listed web site is a great site to learn and ask questions if needed . WARNING ! You will be looking for 1 chainsaw , go to this web site and end up wanting 5 chainsaws . ha . GOOD LUCK & be SAFE ! p://www.arboristsite.com/forumdisplay.php?f=9
  10. ecfinn

    ecfinn New Member

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    Well, after much thought, I decided to buy a Husky 350 with 18" bar. I bought it from my local dealer (who sells both Stihl and Husky) after a 45 minute conversation on chainsaws and a few other topics. Turns out he used to heat his house with a wood fired boiler for about 5 years. He's been in business for 35+ years and really knew what he was talking about. He does have a policy of servicing tools bought from him first before those bought elsewhere. I'd kind of decided I wanted the Husky anyway and I got all the extras for very little. He set it up, filled with bar oil and gas and fired it up before sending it home with me. Even took some time to make sure I know how to use it. Overall, I'm glad I bought from a local dealer, even though I could've gotten a better "deal" on the internet. I certainly would never get that kind of service anywhere else. Thanks again folks for your help/reviews. Now off to read my manual and make sure I've got all the right P.P.E. Maybe the next time around I'll buy off the internet but for my first saw I'm glad I went local for now.

    Later,

    Eric (who now needs a trailer and he'll be collecting his own firewood in no time.)
  11. Roospike

    Roospike New Member

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    Comparing a cheaper "home owner" saw from a box store to a top "pro" chainsaw is not oranges to oranges . However i have NEVER had a problem with Husqvarna or service . You can also go to the //www.arboristsite.com site and find thousands & thousands of happy owners of Husqvarna and Stihl . Just because a new "FORD" breaks down and you have bad service does not mean ALL Fords and dealers are bad . There is NOT a company out there that has an item that has not had a breakage issue of some kind . There is NOT a store or company that has not had a service issue . I my self will not buy Stihl .........Why ? Because the service i have had from 3 local dealers was very , very bad . Does that make Stihl a bad chainsaw ? No , but i will not buy Stihl because of it . BTW The stihl 361 is retail of $599. The Stihl 361 was too small for my felling needs so i went with the Husqvarna 372xp. A real chainsaw . Oh , my dad can beat up your dad . HA-Ha-ha.
  12. suematteva

    suematteva New Member

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    Well said Roospike. All the MFG's have had their weak products...

    The person running the shop makes all the difference..6 weeks ago had to change the gas tank out (23 years old), dropped it off at the dealer..told him no rush, stopped in 4 days later, had not gotten to it just swamped and forgot, handed me his personal saw 372 xp(i think) apologized told me it would be ready on monday...Did not even need the saw...these things do happen...when they are honest and respect you, everybody wins. This guy was not in business when i bought the saw....

    Am partial to my Husky 181...As my neighbor said just friday night, he runs a 60-65 cc Jonsereds...Heard you cutting some wood last weekend..Scored some 32-36" diameter sugar maple rounds at the dump....Your saw makes mine sound like a weed wacker...Betsy is all stock no mods.
  13. Sandor

    Sandor Minister of Fire

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    Yep, can't compare a "homeowner" saw to a "professional" saw.

    The Husky 350 and Stihl 025 are homeowner saws.
  14. ecfinn

    ecfinn New Member

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    I thought I read somewhere a while ago that the smaller/cheaper Husky's were no longer made in Sweden. Does anyone recall something similar? And maybe remember the details too. I'm wondering what model Gideon's friend bought and whether it was one of the ones not made by Husky anymore... I'm guessing if it was a $200 saw that its possible.

    Eric
  15. Roospike

    Roospike New Member

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    Yes , The Husqvarna 345 and on up are all Husqvarna . Below the 345 are made by Poulan . Poulan and Husqvarna are owned by thr same company but are not made in the same place. Any $200. saw at a box store is the poulan made Husqvarna .The 353 & 359 are steel cases. These are all chainsaw you might find at a box store . The 353 and the 359 are built more pro grade of the mentioned chainsaws . The 353 is a great chainsaw and the 359 is a beast for power for the average homeowner all around good saw.
  16. suematteva

    suematteva New Member

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    Thanks for the info on poulan/Husky/weedeater etc...Just read Poulan history...
  17. Roospike

    Roospike New Member

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    **********
  18. michael

    michael New Member

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    My advice: buy the Sthil MS250, but buy the 18" bar. It's the perfect size. It doesn't tire you out, nor is it too small to handle large work. I've used one extensively and highly reccomend it.

    For safety concerns, I would also invest in some chainsaw chaps. These are designed to snag the chain and stop the engine. They will not prevent the chain from going through, but are better than nothing.

    Good luck!
  19. wg_bent

    wg_bent Minister of Fire

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    I have Huskys lowest end model that I bought from the dealer just for cutting a few trees around the house before I decided to burn wood to heat. It's been a very good saw, and other than the fact that is stalls every now and then while at idle it runs and cuts well. It's cut at least 17 cords of wood so far.

    That said, The local dealer has stopped carrying Husky because of the kind of attitude above. He continues to service them, but he is tired of dealing with Husky.

    Even though my saw is good, I think I would lean towards a Stihl next time, but I'd have to look REAL hard.

    I do like the rubber handle mounts. I can literally cut wood all day, and my hands NEVER even know I've been cutting wood. My John Deere tractor vibrates more.

    My negative comment IS to be taken very lightly. I would definitely reccomend a Husky saw. Poulan or not, it's a good saw.
  20. BrotherBart

    BrotherBart Hearth.com LLC Mid-Atlantic Division Staff Member

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    It is kinda fun being the only Poulan guy on this forum. Ole Yaller for ripping up the big stuff and the little green box store puppy for limbing and smaller trees.

    Saves me having to get into the Stihl vs. Huskey action.
  21. Sandor

    Sandor Minister of Fire

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    A Poulan was my first saw. Loaned it to my Dad and it came back with a blown piston.

    Further inspection revealed that the carb came loose, ran lean, and demolished the piston.

    Only had maybe 8 hours on it. I'll take the blame since I didn't make sure the carb was tight from the factory.
  22. BrotherBart

    BrotherBart Hearth.com LLC Mid-Atlantic Division Staff Member

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    Ole Yaller is actually a Partner/Pioneer P39 saw made in Canada in the '80s.

    http://tinyurl.com/q4x3c

    Partner and Pioneer were merged after Electrolux bought both of them out. It was being marketed as the Poulan Pro 405 Plus when I paid a dealer $500 for it new in 1989. Figure that one out in 2006 dollars. As to being sure you get a good dealer, wouldn't know. Never had a reason to go back. I just checked and he is long gone.

    After E/lux accumulated so many brands, including Jonsered, they loped off some like Pioneer and Partner.

    The Partner P39/Poulan Pro 405 Plus/Ole Yaller is a heavy son of a gun (20 pounds dry) but has been a very reliable saw for me. And that twenty pounds is even though the engine shroud is Lexan plastic.
  23. Roospike

    Roospike New Member

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    How many cc's is that Poulan Pro 405 BrotherB ? Some if not al lot of the older chainsaw were/are realy good chainsaws. The garbage is starting to come about in todays market. I have a craftsman chainsaw thats 38cc i bought some 15 years ago for yard work and to help out in the neighborhood with damaged limbs and such . Ended up cutting my own wood vs buying it and used that chainsaw for 13 years to cut all my own firewood . (House with added heat woodstove ) Now that i have a new house and use 100% wood heat and i work from home so i took the step to 4 new Husqvarnas and still use the craftsman for limbing . My son is now 16 is why the need for 5 chainsaws as we both fell , limb and buck wood . Anyway as mentioned , the older Poulan , Craftsman ect .. ect chainsaws were / are some great saws . I had bought a Poulan Pro 330 ( 54 cc $325. ) chiansaw 2 years ago and it lasted about about 11 cords of wood and that was as a felling / bucking saw so it only did about 85% of the work , 11 cords later its shot , done , dead & and not worth (to me ) to spend the $$ to fit it .
  24. michael

    michael New Member

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    That's kind what I was trying to say. The guy I know that had to "use" his chaps was unhurt, save for his jeans getting cut and a slight crease above the knee.

    I wear mine each and every time where before I did not.
  25. BrotherBart

    BrotherBart Hearth.com LLC Mid-Atlantic Division Staff Member

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    Roo:

    "How many cc’s is that Poulan Pro 405 BrotherB ?"

    65cc
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