STIHL MS 250 Chainsaw Review: A User’s Perspective


As an experienced lumberjack and someone who has been testing and using chainsaws for more than a decade, I have had the opportunity to try many different chainsaw models from various brands. Today, I will be reviewing the STIHL MS250, a popular model among homeowners and professionals alike.


STIHL MS 250 Performance and Measurements

The STIHL MS250 is a powerful, lightweight chainsaw that offers an impressive power-to-weight ratio. Its 45.4 cc engine delivers 2.77 hp, which is more than enough for most homeowner applications. I was able to put the MS 250 to the test in various cutting scenarios, and it consistently delivered exceptional performance.

Person holding a STIHL MS 250 Chainsaw over a tree trunk.

In terms of quantitative measurements, the Chain saw stihl MS 250 excels in several key categories:

  • Power: 2.77 hp
  • Weight: 10.1 lbs (4.6 kg) without bar and chain
  • Fuel capacity: 1.25 US pints (470 cc)
  • Chain pitch: 0.325 inches
  • Chain speed: 64.1 ft/s (19.5 m/s)

STIHL MS 250 Design and User Experience

A STIHL MS 250 Chainsaw on a wooden table with a blurred workshop background.

The design of the STIHL MS250 places a strong emphasis on ensuring user comfort and safety, catering to the needs of its users. For example, the anti-vibration system is a standout feature that not only helps in reducing fatigue but also plays a crucial role in minimizing the risk of long-term health issues linked to using vibrating tools. Moreover, the MS 250 comes with a chain brake – a safety feature that quickly stops the chain in the event of a kickback – which is not a standard feature in all chainsaws in its class.

The key design choices of the STIHL MS 250 prioritize user comfort and safety, making it an ideal option for those who value a chainsaw that is not only powerful but also user-friendly. The anti-vibration system, chain brake, and ergonomic design all contribute to a more enjoyable and secure chainsaw experience.

Comparison to Competitors

In my experience, these features have made the STIHL MS 250 a superior choice when compared to other chainsaws in its class. Its impressive power-to-weight ratio, advanced anti-vibration system, and easy-start system all contribute to a more enjoyable and efficient chainsaw experience, setting it apart from competitors like the Husqvarna 445e II, Poulan Pro PR5020, and Echo CS-490.

Husqvarna 445e II

Husqvarna 445e II

The MS 250 excels in offering an exceptional power-to-weight ratio, allowing for extended use without causing excessive fatigue. I’ve found this to be a significant advantage over other chainsaws in its class, such as the Husqvarna 445e II. Although the 445e II has a similar engine size, it weighs more at 11.2 lbs (5.1 kg), which can make a noticeable difference when using the chainsaw for extended periods.

Poulan Pro PR5020

Poulan Pro PR5020

The STIHL MS 250 comes with an advanced anti-vibration system that reduces operator fatigue and makes it more comfortable to use for longer durations. This feature has been invaluable in my experience, as it is not present in all chainsaws in its class. For example, the Poulan Pro PR5020 lacks this feature, which makes the MS 250 stand out as a more comfortable and user-friendly option.

Echo CS-490

Echo CS-490

Another aspect that sets the STIHL MS 250 apart from competitors is its easy-start system. This feature enables smoother and quicker starts, reducing the effort required to get the chainsaw running. I’ve found this to be particularly convenient, especially when compared to models like the Echo CS-490, which do not have this feature.

Comparison Table

FeatureSTIHL MS 250Husqvarna 445e IIPoulan Pro PR5020Echo CS-490
Engine Displacement (cc)45.445.750.050.2
Power Output (hp)2.772.83.13.0
Weight (lbs/kg)10.1/4.611.2/5.113.0/5.910.6/4.8
Power-to-Weight RatioExcellentGoodAverageGood
Anti-vibration SystemYesYesNoYes
Chain BrakeYesYesYesYes
Easy-start SystemYesYesYesNo

This table provides a clear comparison of the STIHL MS 250 and its competitors, showcasing the chainsaw’s strengths in power-to-weight ratio, anti-vibration system, and easy-start system. While all four chainsaws have their unique features, the STIHL MS 250 stands out with its excellent balance of power, weight, and user-friendly design.

Benefits and Drawbacks of STIHL MS 250

As with any product, the STIHL MS 250 comes with its own set of benefits and drawbacks. After using the chainsaw extensively, I’ve observed the following advantages and disadvantages

Pros and Cons


  • The MS 250 offers an impressive power-to-weight ratio, making it a versatile and efficient chainsaw for various tasks. It’s powerful enough for cutting through sizable logs yet lightweight enough for easy maneuverability.
  • The ergonomic design, advanced anti-vibration system, and easy-start mechanism all contribute to the MS 250’s overall ease of use. These features allow users to work comfortably for extended periods, which is especially important for those tackling larger projects.
  • The inclusion of a chain brake is a significant advantage, as it provides an extra layer of safety during operation. This feature can help prevent injuries in the event of a kickback, which is a crucial consideration for any chainsaw user.
  • The STIHL MS 250 has proven to be a reliable tool, consistently delivering strong performance during various cutting tasks. The chainsaw’s durability and dependability make it an excellent choice for both homeowners and professionals alike.


  • The STIHL MS 250 may be more expensive than other chainsaws in its class. While the chainsaw offers numerous benefits, the higher price point might be a deterrent for some potential buyers, especially those on a tight budget.
  • Although the MS 250 is powerful enough for most homeowner applications, it may not be the best choice for heavy-duty or professional logging tasks. For these types of jobs, users might require a more powerful chainsaw with a larger engine.
  • STIHL chainsaws are not available for purchase online and can only be bought through authorized STIHL dealers. This limited availability might make it challenging for some users to find and purchase the MS 250, especially if they don’t live near a dealer.

Evolution from Previous Models

A person holding a STIHL MS 250 Chainsaw in front of a STIHL banner.

The STIHL MS 250 demonstrates a considerable advancement over its earlier counterpart, the MS 230. This updated model features a number of vital enhancements that tackle certain problems users faced with the older model, resulting in a more dependable and user-friendly chainsaw experience. Let’s delve deeper into these key improvements and see how they have transformed the MS 250.

  1. Power-to-weight ratio: The MS 250 features a 45.4 cc engine that delivers 2.77 hp, a noticeable increase from the MS 230’s 42.2 cc engine with 2.3 hp. This enhancement provides the MS 250 with a better power-to-weight ratio, allowing users to tackle more demanding tasks without significantly increasing the chainsaw’s weight. As a result, the MS 250 offers improved cutting performance and versatility compared to the MS 230.
  2. Anti-vibration system: The STIHL MS 250 incorporates an enhanced anti-vibration system, which is designed to absorb and reduce vibrations generated by the chainsaw during operation. This improvement offers a more comfortable user experience compared to the MS 230, as it minimizes fatigue and the risk of developing vibration-related health issues, such as Hand-Arm Vibration Syndrome (HAVS). The advanced anti-vibration system allows users to work with the MS 250 for extended periods, making it a more practical choice for various cutting tasks.
  3. Easy-start system: The MS 250’s refined easy-start system is another notable improvement over the MS 230. The easy-start system consists of a decompression valve, a primer bulb, and an improved recoil mechanism. These features work together to ensure that the chainsaw starts more smoothly and with less effort compared to the previous model. This upgrade not only reduces the time and energy required to start the chainsaw but also contributes to a more user-friendly experience.
  4. Fuel efficiency and emissions: The STIHL MS 250 also benefits from an upgraded fuel system, which improves fuel efficiency and reduces emissions compared to the MS 230. This improvement is achieved through the implementation of STIHL’s 2-MIX engine technology, which combines stratified scavenging and two-channel technology to optimize the combustion process. As a result, the MS 250 consumes less fuel and emits fewer harmful emissions, making it a more environmentally friendly choice.


In conclusion, the STIHL MS250 18 in. 45.4 cc Gas Chainsaw is a reliable, powerful, and user-friendly chainsaw that offers several advantages over its competitors. With an excellent power-to-weight ratio, advanced anti-vibration system, and easy-start system, it is a top choice for homeowners and professionals alike. While it may have some drawbacks in terms of price and availability of replacement parts, its overall performance and features make it a worthwhile investment.

Close-up of a STIHL MS 250 Chainsaw with orange and white body and black chain.

Where to Buy

Looking for a cordless chainsaw for small to medium-sized cutting tasks? Check out the STIHL MS 250! Click to buy online.


  1. What sets the STIHL MS 250 apart from other chainsaws in its class?
    The STIHL MS 250 is renowned for its perfect blend of lightweight design and powerful performance. It stands out with its high power-to-weight ratio, making it ideal for a range of tasks from firewood cutting to small tree felling and cleanup.
  2. Can the MS 250 be used for professional tree service work?
    While primarily designed for homeowners and occasional users, the MS 250’s robust engine and versatile capabilities make it a suitable option for light professional tasks, such as trimming or pruning in tree service work.
  3. How does the Easy2Start™ feature on the MS 250 enhance its usability?
    The Easy2Start™ system is a significant feature that allows for the almost effortless starting of the chainsaw. It’s particularly beneficial for users who might find the traditional pull-start mechanism challenging, making the MS 250 more accessible to a wider range of users.
  4. What safety features are included in the STIHL MS 250?
    The MS 250 includes several safety features such as the Chain Brake, which stops the chain almost instantly in certain kickback situations, and the Master Control Lever™, which is an easy-to-use single lever that controls the choke, starting throttle lock, and on-off switch.
  5. How does the anti-vibration system in the MS 250 benefit the user?
    The anti-vibration system significantly reduces the vibrations transmitted to the user’s hands and arms. This means less fatigue and more comfort during extended use, which is especially important for users who operate the chainsaw frequently or for long periods.
  6. Is the MS 250 suitable for cutting hardwoods?
    Yes, the MS 250 is capable of cutting through hardwoods. Its powerful engine and durable chain make it suitable for a variety of wood types, although the cutting efficiency may vary depending on the hardness of the wood and the sharpness of the chain.
  7. Can the bar and chain length of the MS 250 be adjusted or replaced?
    The MS 250 is compatible with a range of bar lengths, allowing users to choose the appropriate size for their specific task. The chain and bar can be easily replaced or adjusted, offering flexibility and convenience in maintenance and task adaptation.
  8. What maintenance does the STIHL MS 250 require to ensure longevity and optimal performance?
    Regular maintenance for the MS 250 includes cleaning the air filter, checking and sharpening the chain, ensuring the bar is in good condition, and checking the tension of the chain. Additionally, it’s important to use fresh fuel and to regularly inspect and clean the spark plug and cooling system.
  9. How environmentally friendly is the STIHL MS 250?
    The MS 250 incorporates STIHL’s advanced engine technology, which aims to reduce emissions and increase fuel efficiency. While it is a gasoline-powered tool, its design reflects an effort to balance performance with environmental considerations.
  10. What are some recommended accessories or attachments for the MS 250 for enhanced functionality?
    Popular accessories for the MS 250 include different sizes of guide bars and chains for various cutting tasks, a chainsaw case for transportation and storage, and personal protective equipment like gloves, helmets, and ear protection for safety during operation.
Kevin Lallab
Kevin Lallab
Forestry Author

Snow and land management isn't just a profession for me; it's a calling. My aim is to make life safer and more comfortable for those in my community while ensuring that our environment remains healthy and vibrant. Whether you need advice on snow removal, chimney maintenance, wood stoves, or land management, I'm here to help. Together, we can create a safer and more sustainable future.


I’ve had a MS 250 for the past 3 years and I’ve had no problems with the saw, starts easily and is lite enough for me To use, I have an older husky 254 that is considerably heavier to use although the husky is faster Cutting

Daniel Adams
Doug Glew
September 23, 2023 8:33 pm

I purchased an MS 250 in Jan 2023 and it doesn't have an Easy Start System or primer bulb and has been very difficult to start from day one. What gives?

Daniel Adams
August 30, 2023 3:40 pm

Kristin Watsons
September 26, 2023 9:53 pm

The 250 is an excellent chain saw except for the oiling system. When using oil sprays over every thing. When not in use oil leaks out making a mess. Taken in to have checked and was told this was normal on some saws and I should open the cap to relieve any pressure. This was done with no success. Oil tank must be drained when not using. Would not recommend due to the oiling problem.

Daniel Adams
wayne l
August 15, 2023 2:02 pm

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