Stihl MS 271 Vs Stihl MS 250 Chainsaw – What’s the Better Option?

Stihl is an excellent choice if you need a mid-sized chainsaw. Today, we will be taking a look at two of their most popular mid-sized saws.

The Stihl MS 250 has been the model of efficiency for a very long time. But what if you need just a little more power? While the Stihl MS 271 is certainly the new kid on the block with more to prove, it is already making a name for itself on ranches, farms and with tree crews all over the country.

But are either of these chainsaws right for your needs? We took a good look at both of these saws and in the following comparison review, we will break down how they perform and what tasks they are best-suited for.

Overview of the Stihl MS 250 Vs the Stihl MS 271

If you are just looking at the specs, there is actually not much that separates these two chainsaws. While the Stihl MS 271 has a slightly larger engine and produces a bit more cutting power (higher chain RPMs), the utility of both of these chainsaws is very similar.

However, we can see why the Stihl MS 250 is such a storied and popular chainsaw. It seemed to be the more durable and reliable between the two. Both are great for felling small-diameter trees; but it seems as though the Stihl MS 250 will be more reliable in the field.

Stihl MS 250 Key Features

  • Carburetor Shutter – This is an adjustable cover for the carburetor that keeps it warmer in the winter and allows for more air flow in the summer.
  • Rear Hand Guard – A simple safety feature that doubles up as handy leverage when starting the saw up.
  • Easy Access Filter Cover – You don’t need any tools to take out the air filter for cleanings or replacement.


Stihl MS 250 Common Issues

Most of the complaints about the Stihl MS 250 have to do with starting issues. Unfortunately, this could indicate a number of problems including fuel issues, carburetor issues or even spark plugs.

Stihl MS 250 Pros & Cons


  • Lightweight bar
  • Easy to use
  • Lighter than the Stihl MS 271
  • Air filter lasts for a long time


  • It can be easy to flood
  • Not quite as powerful as the MS 271


Stihl MS 271 Key Features

  • Side Chain Tensioner – The chain tensioner is conveniently located on the side of the saw.
  • Pre-Separation Air Filter – The Stihl MS 271 actually has a special feature that prevents larger chunks of debris from getting into the air filter.
  • 2cc Engine – A bit larger than the Stihl MS 250, the 50.2cc engine is good for light felling, bucking and storm cleanup.


Stihl MS 271 Common Issues

Some of the issues that customers have experienced with the Stihl MS 271 include rust building up on the chain and overheating.

Stihl MS 271 Pros & Cons


  • Great for cutting hardwood
  • You can easily fit it with a 25” bar
  • Great for round cutting
  • Good power to weight ratio


  • Takes time to cut through oak
  • Needle bearing cage issues


Who Should Buy Each?

The difference in power is almost negligible and so is the difference in price. So we’re going to say that the Stihl MS 250 would be the better choice if you want a dependable saw. If however, you want a saw that can handle a long bar, the Stihl MS 271 would be best for you.

Price Comparison

The Stihl MS 250 sells directly from the manufacturer for $400 while the Stihl MS 271 costs $450.

Weight & Handling Comparison

The Stihl MS 250 weighs just over ten pounds while the Stihl MS 271 powerhead weighs 12 pounds. A small difference on paper but when you are using a 20” bar, those couple of extra pounds add up. The Stihl MS 250 is easier to manage and doesn’t tax your body as much as the Stihl MS 271.

Chain & Blade Comparison


The max recommended blade length for the Stihl MS 250 is 18” and the max recommended blade length for the Stihl MS 271 is 20”. However, the Stihl MS 271 can take a blade as long as 25” and still work well.

Power Comparison


The Stihl MS 250 produces 3 HP compared to the 3.49 HP engine of the Stihl MS 271. The difference in power is negligible but if you’re going to be using a 20” bar then the Stihl MS 271 is more capable of handling it.

Efficiency Comparison

We don’t recommend using either of these saws with an aggressive  blade for very long. They lose their edge pretty quickly and it can be difficult to get through a log. However, with a semi chisel chain both of these saws cut very efficiently.

Durability Comparison


Like most Stihl chainsaws, both the Stihl MS 250 and Stihl MS 271 are very-well built. They handle themselves very well in the field and will stand up to moderate use and abuse.

Other Chainsaws to Consider


Stihl 311

The MS 311 chainsaw holds a lot of gas and oil so it can run for a long time. It’s great for light clearing and field work and sports a 4.2 HP engine.

Overall Score: 97/100

Check Out More Reviews Here:


Echo CS-590

This saw comes with a 20” bar and can be used to cut logs up to 35” in diameter. The oiler responds to a clutch and is very efficient overall.

Overall Score: 97/100

Check Out More Reviews Here:


Ryobi 16” Chainsaw

This is a very affordable chainsaw perfect for light cutting of softwood as it features a 16” bar and has a 37cc engine.

Overall Score: 94/100

Check Out More Reviews Here:


Final Assessment

In the end, the better chainsaw will depend on what you value most.

If you need to cut large logs in short spurts, the Stihl MS 271 will work better for you. If you want a more dependable saw for longer jobs, the Stihl MS 250 is the way to go.