Disappointed With My Stihl

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johnpma

Feeling the Heat
Jan 29, 2014
365
W. Mass
Purchased a 251 "homeowner" saw in December. I've had a Jonsered 455 for years that has served me well.

The cutting I've done has mostly been on the saw buck. Most the wood we are cutting are downed maple, oak, and cherry from the last two seasons of late fall winter storms.

On Saturday I dropped a leftover maple trunk who's top was snapped off during the storm. Once dropped I begin cutting into logs on the ground then roll the trunk to finish my cuts.

Chips looked great! Plenty of bar oil! Things are going great. I consider this "homeowner" type cutting!!!

Well while cutting my saw completely becomes dismantled. There is a stud with a coarse thread that is threaded into a PLASTIC housing that pulled out of the plastic allowing the nut/stud, side cover, the bar, and the chain to come flying off the side of the saw. WHAT THE HECK IS THIS!! Really ??!! PLASTIC!! Do I really need to purchase an industrial Stihl saw to do weekend cutting as a "homeowner"!! I am so disgusted with my decision!!! I read all the great Stihl reviews and then the company makes the weak link of the product a metal stud into a plastic housing!! GRRRRRRRRRRRRR
 

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Still under warranty, I hope?

It's pretty much standard for the chassis to be plastic on homeowner saws, regardless of brand, and it's usually fine.
 
Do I really need to purchase an industrial Stihl saw to do weekend cutting as a "homeowner"!! I am so disgusted with my decision!!! I read all the great Stihl reviews and then the company makes the weak link of the product a metal stud into a plastic housing!!

Uhhh, yeah.

Homeowner grade Stihls (and Husqys) are no better than WalMart sold Pulans. It's not a big secret.
 
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Uhhh, yeah.

Homeowner grade Stihls (and Husqys) are no better than WalMart sold Pulans. It's not a big secret.

Echo makes one " grade" of each piece of equipment, commercial grade....... Just saying. 5yr homeowner warranty
 
Echo makes one " grade" of each piece of equipment, commercial grade....... Just saying. 5yr homeowner warranty

I have only handled and worked on one Echo saw so I am no expert on their product line, but the one I worked on was a clamshell engine in a plastic chassis, just like the homeowner saws of other brands.
 
This saw is less than homeowner grade IMHO It has about 16 hours on it......what makes anyone think that even their top of the line is any better internally??? If a $350 saw won't hold up for three half day cuts of doing cord wood then you have to spend $600 for what??? The saw to hold up for longer than 16 hours....

Chinese garbage!!!
 
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John, that saw should be under warranty for a year, I would certainly pursue that - I agree with you, 350.00 should last longer.
 
I've had a few issues with my MS290, and found that my Craftsman 36cc with a 16 in Bar to be more reliable.....cuts slower, but will cut all day long, and that saw has gotta be close to 10 years old. Now the Stihl, seems to be more of a maintenance hog.....I've never done a thing to the Craftsman except a couple of Chains.....the Stihl....seems I gotta tear it down and clean and adjust after each use.....Craftsman, never
 
That does suck and I agree that should not happen after 16 hours of use. Warranty should cover it so once it is fixed, sell it and put that money towards another brand if you no longer want to run Stihl. Keep us posted as to how things go with your dealer and having it fixed under warranty.
 
John, that saw should be under warranty for a year, I would certainly pursue that - I agree with you, 350.00 should last longer.
Thanks yeah I'm going to look into it. Problem is that even If I got it fixed and upgraded to something a little better I don't even feel comfortable selling this thing used to another homeowner because I know the "weak link" in the saw design.....I would never feel right doing that to someone
 
That's kind of an impractical burden to put on yourself. You aren't responsible for the saw's design, prospective buyers have access to reviews and the warranty will go with it. Besides, you don't know nearly enough to chalk this failure up to faulty design. It could just as easily be due to a flawed plastic part, incorrect assembly or overtightening the bar nut. I'd be angry too, but you're jumping to a lot of conclusions.
 
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Am I reading this right, the bar studs are mounted in plastic?
 
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That's kind of an impractical burden to put on yourself. You aren't responsible for the saw's design, prospective buyers have access to reviews and the warranty will go with it. Besides, you don't know nearly enough to chalk this failure up to faulty design. It could just as easily be due to a flawed plastic part, incorrect assembly or overtightening the bar nut. I'd be angry too, but you're jumping to a lot of conclusions.

Correct!! However I'm a mechanical engineer that specializes in the plastics industry......a stainless stud threaded into plastic is an extremely poor design as the plastic will always be the weak link. If they wanted to use the plastic parts then at the lease they could have installed an oversize stainless thread insert into the plastic housing to take some of the torque of the screw...... you could even pinch the bar, give the saw a little twist and pop the bar stud

As far as resale to another consumer I tend to think of how I would feel......

Disappointed With My Stihl
 
I have only handled and worked on one Echo saw so I am no expert on their product line, but the one I worked on was a clamshell engine in a plastic chassis, just like the homeowner saws of other brands.

You are right, but clamshell does not mean less reliable, just a little more work to tear down. Last i looked my echos have 2 bar studs........
 
Called Stihl
1.) yes they are aware of the problem
2.) they have not changed the design, issued a recall, or offer an upgrade
3.) it's under warranty and the dealer will install an oversize stud into the plastic stripped out hole but use lock tite this time

The only answer is bring it to a dealer for repair

SAD!!!
 
Another way I've seen this done, which I feel better about, is studs that have a large head on the back and are pushed through from inside the oil tank, instead of being threaded in from the outside. Still a plastic housing, but no threads to strip. I wonder why Stihl did this one this way?
 
I wonder why Stihl did this one this way?

Stihl is trying to make the design cheaper so they can max out the profits and minimize the cost to produce.

Poulan was a decent chainsaw at one time too!
 
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That is too bad. My MS250 has been a work horse for me. I've used it well out of its pay grade and it has been flawless. Does it share this deficiency that is mentioned by the OP or did they cheap out the MS251 (and raise the price!)?
 
I just checked the parts list and the 250 has the same sort of threaded-in stud, but it has 2 of them so each is under less stress.
 
Not much better with a proffesional Grade ms460 melted piston 12 months later with approx 20 hrs on it. Sadly disappointed.
 
Just a thought for the OP -- if you do decide to replace the 251 you might consider a Dolmar PS420. I've read a lot of good things about them, including that they're built like pro saws (split magnesium crankcase), relatively affordable and nice to run in general. The 420 is slightly lighter and has a little less power than a 251, but is close enough.
 
I'm just curious, what is the retail price on a 251?
 
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