Stihl MS 250 Chainsaw

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The Stihl MS 250 chainsaw is a great saw for someone who's looking for a powerful saw that's lightweight and affordable.

I've owned the MS 250 for several years and I absolutely love it!

In fact, do to its size and overall power, it's typically my go-to chainsaw simply because it's so easy to operate.

As the largest model in the Stihl homeowner lineup of chainsaws, the MS 250 works great for storm cleanup, felling medium sized trees and cutting enough firewood to heat your home throughout the winter.

To learn more, let's take a closer look at the chainsaw specs and performance to see whether this is the perfect chainsaw for you.

Features On the Stihl MS 250

The Stihl MS 250 chainsaw is one of Stihl's older chainsaw designs that replaced the Stihl 025 chainsaw.

The 3 hp engine is relatively lightweight at 10.1 pounds, and the saw can handle a bar length up to 18 inches.

Just like a lot of other Stihl chainsaws, the MS 250 has toolless, easy access fuel and bar oil caps.

Although this doesn't sound like a big deal, the easy to open caps give you a lot of leverage without having to use a scrench, making it simple to remove a stubborn gas or bar oil cap that's screwed on extra tight.

Unlike some of the newer Stihl chainsaws that have the ElastoStart feature which promotes a smooth, non-jerky start with the starter rope, an older MS 250 just has a standard starting rope and no decompression button.

With a midsize saw like the MS 250 you really don't need the ElastoStart or decompression button though, it operates just fine with the standard starter rope.

The saw also features a side-access chain tensioner which makes the chain tension easy to adjust, and an automatic oiler to keep the chain lubricated while in use.

How To Start The Stihl MS 250 Chainsaw

When starting the Stihl MS 250 you should always start the saw while it's on the ground by stepping on the handle with the chain brake engaged and pulling the starter rope.

This is the safest way to start any chainsaw, but a lot of people have a problem fitting their boot inside the handle to hold the chainsaw on the ground.

So, many of us "drop start" a chainsaw simply because it's easier and faster, but there's a lot of dangers in drop starting a saw.

There's a risk of the blade tipping back towards your leg when drop starting a saw (although if you use the chain brake every time, the blade will be locked) so it's good to just get into the habit of starting your saw while it's resting safely on the ground.

If you would rather stand up while starting your saw instead of resting it on the ground, you can also use the leg lock method.

To use the leg lock method, simply squeeze the rear handle of the saw between your thighs with the chainsaw bar facing away from you.

This holds the saw firmly in place, allowing you to hold the upper handle with one hand, while pulling the starter rope with the other.

You'll notice the on/off control lever on the MS 250 has 4 positions:

  • Position #1 - Off
  • Position #2 - Run
  • Position #3 - High Idle
  • Position #4 - Choke

To start the Stihl MS 250 chainsaw when it's cold, place the control lever to the choke position and pull the starter rope until the saw "pops" or turns over a few times before stalling.

Then, set the saw to the high idle setting and pull the starter rope again.

This should cause the saw to start and run in the high idle setting.

Finally, just pull the throttle trigger one time which will cause the saw to idle down into its normal idle range.

Maintaining The Stihl MS 250 Chainsaw

One of the easiest ways to keep a chainsaw running efficiently is by changing the air filter and spark plug.

If your saw starts to become "sluggish" start by checking the air filter to see if it's plugged.

Small engines need to breathe.

As you cut with your saw and create sawdust, some of those small particles can clog an air filter if you don't clean it out on a regular basis.

Air Filter Replacement And Spark Plug

The air filter on the MS 250 is really easy to remove (just rock it back to take it off) and clean, or you can simply buy a new replacement for a few dollars.

To clean a dirty air filter simply wash it out in soapy water, then rinse it with clean water.

Just make sure you let the air filter fully dry before reinstalling it back on your saw and running it.

You can also just blow out the air filter (from the inside out) with an air compressor to clean it instead of washing it with soapy water.

While you have the air filter cover off, you can also check your spark plug to make sure it's not fouled out.

A fouled spark plug will cause the engine to misfire and cause your saw to loose power.

So, if your spark plug looks black and sooty when you remove it, just replace it.

Between the air filter and the spark plug is a small plastic piece called the winter/summer shutter that allows heat from the engine to enter the carburetor area to prevent it from icing up in extremely cold weather.

Unless you're cutting in extreme cold conditions, this shutter should not be removed.

Removing it could cause your saw to run too hot, which could damage the chainsaw.

Stihl MS 250 Chainsaw - Overall

If you're looking for a good quality, homeowner chainsaw that can handle just about any job you can throw at it.....the Stihl MS 250 chainsaw is a great choice.

From the occasional storm cleanup to everyday use, the MS 250 is an amazing saw that would be a welcome addition to anyone's chainsaw collection.


About the Author

Nick Greenway

Obsessed with firewood, Nick is behind over 350+ of Firewood For Life's articles, as well as countless reviews, guides and YouTube videos to help readers like you reduce heating costs and create the perfect fire.