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MS250 vs MS261..not the kind of thread you think

Discussion in 'Chainsaw' started by husqORbust, Oct 11, 2019.

  1. husqORbust

    husqORbust ArboristSite Lurker

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    Kind of a rhetorical thread title... the ms261 flat out destroys the ms250 in every aspect straight out of the box performance wise, stronger construction, more power, probably better subcomponents, has the "pro" saw title, everyone is of the opinion it is a better saw...NO matter what, BUY IT. Buy the best baddest biggest saw you can afford. Well, why?

    I own an extremely low hour ms250 non molested saw...bought it second hand. The saw hasnt been reliable in any way shape or form. Dont know what the previous owner did or didnt do with it. Im in the process of diag and repair but it mostly checks out...cant be too many things left that could be the problem with it.

    Kind of regret buying it. Pretty big waste of time so far.

    I can/couldve afforded ms261 instead of this ms250.

    But thats not the point.

    If the goal is to:

    -Not ever modify the p/c
    -Not ever mod the exhaust
    -sharpen/replace chain as needed
    -Just put bar oil and ethanol free fuel in it and stabilizer/stihl oil and use it a dozen times a year for less than a tank of fuel at a time
    -HAS to start rain snow or shine in 5-10 pulls or less when its pulled out of the case and run immaculately....zero fuss; buckin wood in a minute or less everytime
    -has to do it for a decade+ without major components (anything more than a plug, air filter, fuel filter, impulse line or fuel line is a major component to me)

    Is there actually any advantage going with a 261 over a 250 given those conditions I am seeking a saw for?

    Why is there 50 m250 "my saw is a piece of %&@&" threads for every 1 ms261 "my saw is a piece of #@$!/" thread?

    Is there something inherently wrong with ms250/clam shell/"cheaper" saws?
    (Even though the ms250 is still 3x the price of a poulan...and I know of poulans that run better than my saw...but I bought a stihl because I thought they were turn key saws no fuss?)

    Or is it likely people who buy an ms250 are careless, run ethanol fuel, toss it in the back 40 after 1 cut then go to use it and now its not running right?
    And people who buy a 261 take care of their tool, use it often enough, etc?

    I'm failing to see how my saw turned into such a piece of crap reliability wise.

    Both saws are on the air/compression + fuel + spark and they run theory...

    Should I buy a ms261 for inherent reliability?

    If I had just bought a brand new ms250 and treated it properly, would I not be having issues?

    Once I baseline my ms250, is it going to run flawlessly for the conditions I want a saw for?
    Will a 261 do it any better?

    Do all chainsaws run like pieces of crap if theyre not used regularly from day 1 purchase?

    Shed some light here please
     
  2. Andyshine77

    Andyshine77 Addicted to ArboristSite

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    One must pick the proper too for the job. If the proper tool is chosen, used within its design parameters and the tool is cared for properly, reliability should not be a problem.

    Now when it comes to the ms250 vs the ms261, you really can't compare them. They're of different displacements, constructed differently and are intended for different applications.
     
  3. windthrown

    windthrown 361 Junkie

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    I have had about a dozen 1123 saws (210, 230 and 250) and eight or so 026/260/261 saws. Run stock? THERE IS SIMPLY NO COMPARISON. Working on the 250 saws is a PITA. Everything is jammed in and hard to tear apart. Also has a clamshell engine bolted into a plastic case. Also more plastic on these, like side covers that tend to fail. Yes, it will do a fair job. But reliability and longevity of the 250 simply pales compared to the 260 line of saws. The plastic is also a lot cheaper. I had a bunch of the 1123 saws and then got an older 026, and I never looked back. They are far superior. I also put the Picco B&C on my 260 saws with the rare large mount bars for them. That way they SIMPLY SCREAM through the wood! That is using the full chisel picco low profile non-safety chain. My experience with these saws anyway. I prefer the 026 and 260 over the 261 as well. The 026 is basically the same as the 260. The 261 is a different beast.

    Saws do not need to be run regularly to remain in prime condition. I store my saws over winter for months on end. If they are to be stored more than 6 months I drain the gas and put some WD40 into the jug and pull the starter. I keep them in a dry store room in the house. They can last forever that way. I usually keep gas in them, but I use stabilizer. And I use non-ethanol Premium fuel. And I use full synthetic FD rated oil in them. And I keep them tuned and sharp and I clean the air filters after every use with a compressor.

    Now this said, the MS250 is better than a lot of other crap saws out there. Case in point the 3000 series Echo saws. Echos are OK, but they are pretty much all plastic and the intake is at the front of the saw. Bad design. They also fall apart over time from standard use wear. I used a lot of Echos, and I replaced them early on with my 1123 line of Stihls. Then I replaced them with the 026 line, of which I still have one. Also the 210 was/is a joke. Too small an engine. I called it the wood massager, and left mine with my ex when we split up. The 230 is OK, the 250 is the best of the line. I ran wider kerf 325 B&C on the 025/250 saws, but that seemed to bind a lot more than Picco low profile 3/8. The newer full chisel Stihl picco low profile 3/8 B&C is better on this size saw as well. Narrower kerf, less wood cut, faster cutting. I use that on my 211 saw as well. The 211 is way better than the 210 ever was.

    My 2 cents worth.
     
  4. U&A

    U&A Addicted to ArboristSite

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    When in doubt go with a saw that will make you smile more


    Sent while firmly grasping my redline lubed RAM
     
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  5. HarleyT

    HarleyT Tree Freak

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    Well, the ratio of folks that own a ms250, to the number of folks that own the ms261,
    is probably 200:1.

    Would be the main reason there are so many more threads with problems with the ms250.
    And too, only folks with saw problems make any posts about them...
     
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  6. holeycow

    holeycow Addicted to ArboristSite

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    The ms250 is a decent little saw. It cuts wood. It vibrates. It's not real tough.

    It's light and handy and it works.

    see U&A's post above, that's where the ms250 gets clobbered.
     
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  7. Cope1024

    Cope1024 Stihl Crazy

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    I have a 20 year old 025. I was thinking about selling it and buying a MS241. People here talked me out of it, and I'm glad they did. It's a tough little saw.
     
  8. Andyshine77

    Andyshine77 Addicted to ArboristSite

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    There is nothing wrong with the 250 if used for it's intended purpose. Problem is because it has Stihl written on the side, some people think it's an ms880.
     
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  9. husqORbust

    husqORbust ArboristSite Lurker

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    I dont think my intended purpose is that extreme... its actually pretty mild.

    My use ranges from pulling up to a blowdown on a trail 6" in diam and making 8 cuts to clear the way(or maybe its a 24" tree blown down.....and the saw just needs to run and get the job done. Its not a race) to bucking up a blown down 12" diam tree to use for firewood for the night/weekend.

    My saw hasnt ever just fired up in 5 pulls and worked til it needed gas or I chose to shut it off. I'm aware that theres something wrong with my saw...just wondering if theres almost always going to be something wrong with it at any given time because of its cheap nature.

    I dont need more power, or less vibe, or whatever.

    All I want is to put gas in a chainsaw and yank the cord 5 times after sitting for a month and have it be running like a swiss watch.

    I dont want to pull the saw out and wonder if its going to work or not.
     
  10. Andyshine77

    Andyshine77 Addicted to ArboristSite

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    We don't know how the saw was ran or cared for. Other than the saw not starting in a few pulls "five isn't many for a saw that's been sitting" how is it exactly not running properly? Have you ever tuned the carb? A poorly tuned carb will make any saw run like ****. Make sure the fuel is fresh, even non ethonal fuel doesn't last forever.
     
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  11. husqORbust

    husqORbust ArboristSite Lurker

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  12. Andyshine77

    Andyshine77 Addicted to ArboristSite

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    So did you replace the carb?

    Don't take this as a slight, but I believe there are other issues involved than just the saw itself. If a new carb doesn't help, take it to a shop, or get a new saw.
     
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  13. husqORbust

    husqORbust ArboristSite Lurker

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    Not yet. Did you read anything else in the thread?

    Believe whatever you want, lol... it aint rocket science get a working saw running :laugh:
     
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  14. Andyshine77

    Andyshine77 Addicted to ArboristSite

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    I did read through some of it. It became hard to read. It sounds like the carb, or just really improper carb tuning. Follow the instructions in this video and see if that helps. Slow down and diagnose and eliminate things one step at a time.

     
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  15. husqORbust

    husqORbust ArboristSite Lurker

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    That's exactly what I'm doing. Thanks for your insight.
     
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  16. Woodslasher

    Woodslasher Sucker for thrashed saws.

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    I got a used MS250 that had an hour + or - of run time before ethanol killed it as my first real saw. I spent $40 on an OEM Stihl Zama carb, $10 or so on a fuel line, and a new a/f cover before my brother found the original one to make it a runner. It ran like a champ and I used it for weeks dropping, limbing, and bucking trees down by my creek. It even took down a pair of 90-100 footer pines as it was with me and a bigger saw wasn't. The only problem I've had was over time it became harder and harder to start so it fell out of favor with me. One day I was talking to a guy at my local saw shop and was grumbling about the 250 not wanting to start and maybe needing carb work when he told me it was probably just the diaphragm was getting a little stiff, so advance the low and high idle screws a little and that should fix it. I did that and it has been reliable ever since. It weighs less than a Husky 445 and yet it can pull the same 18 inch bar and chain combo as the 445. I've heard lots of people call 250's junk but mine has been the best small saw I've run. At some point I decided that when it comes to saws, if I love it, why should I give a darn about what other people say about it?
     
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  17. Nathan Graff

    Nathan Graff ArboristSite Operative

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    I've got a 250 that a friend grabbed for me by mistake. Don't think much of the saw. The MS241 eats it for breakfast.

    Also the 250 loves flooding it seems. And I'm starting to think that it has a crankcase leak as it bogs increasingly as it warms up. If I get the 250 fixed, I may keep it as a loaner saw, or I think it's more likely that I'll sell it, and buy the saw I wanted in the first place- an MS200.
     
  18. holeycow

    holeycow Addicted to ArboristSite

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    Father and son friends had an ms250 each. Their main firewood saws.Neither saw was running correctly.

    I simply turned some screws and both saws became good tools. They liked their saws again.

    I kinda liked those two saws. Handy, light saws with adequate power.
     
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  19. Ryan'smilling

    Ryan'smilling Addicted to ArboristSite

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    Nothing wrong with an 025 or ms250 from a durability standpoint. It's not a pro saw, but they're pretty much the saw of choice for chainsaw carvers. Those guys run high throttle with low load and do cuts that really vibrate saws. Probably partial throttle also.

    Not starting easily is usually a tuning issue.
     
  20. henry r

    henry r ArboristSite Lurker

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    I can't talk about a 261 but i have a little time on a friends 250.

    I really like it. It doesn't get used much but just works every time it is needed. It isnt a first pull saw for me but i have limited experience with it so thats likely me.

    So light compared to the bigger saws, goes well for a little saw when the chain is sharp and you keep the revs up.
    Two weeks ago I put tank after tank through it till i ran out of sharp chains.

    From what i have been told this saw has cut TONS and TONS of wood being thier only saw for several years.
     
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