Stihl MS250 vs MS271: The Ultimate Comparison Battle [2024]

Patrick McMann


When it comes to chainsaws, Stihl has earned a reputation for crafting durable and reliable machines. The company offers a wide range of Stihl Chainsaw Rancher and Farm variants that have become a popular choice for many home and farm owners. 

If you find yourself contemplating between two popular Stihl models – the MS 250 and MS 271 Farm Boss – this comparison will shed light on their differences. I’ll also explore their respective similarities, pros and cons. So you can determine which variant best suits your specific cutting needs. Let’s help you make an informed decision!

Stihl MS250 vs Stihl MS271 comparison

When choosing between the Stihl MS250 and MS271, consider the MS250 for lighter tasks and the MS271 for heavy-duty cutting needs. The MS250 is lighter and more suitable for home use, while the MS271 is heavier but more powerful for larger trees and demanding tasks.

Stihl MS 250 VS MS 271: Which to Choose?

The Stihl MS 250 is a high-performing compact chainsaw with 3.0 bhp engine power, an 18-inch bar, and an exceptional power-to-weight ratio. On the other hand, the Stihl MS 271 Farm Boss is a heavy-duty yet highly fuel-efficient chainsaw with reduced-emission engine technology. It features 3.49 bhp engine power and an 18-inch bar.

Both cutting machines are ergonomic, run on gas, and are efficient on their own, sharing many similarities. However, they are designed for different cutting scenarios and, thus, have many major differences in size, engine power, and fuel capacity. Let’s have a look at how the Stihl MS 250 differs from the MS 271:


The Stihl MS 250 features a 10.1 lbs powerhead weight, excluding the equipment weight. While the 271 model boasts a 12.3 lbs weight, excluding the equipment weight. The 271 is heavier than the 250 model. 

Coming towards the dimensions of both models, Stihl does not mention specific details such as the length, size, and width of their chainsaws. Besides, the measurements can differ depending on the chosen bar and chain length, as well as any additional accessories. 

To obtain precise dimensions for 250 and 271, I recommend contacting Stihl’s customer service. Remember to specify the bar size you want for your chosen chainsaw.

Engine Power

The Stihl MS 250 comes with a gas-powered engine that produces 3.0 bhp (bhp is the engine power without loss) and 45.4 cc displacement. In comparison, the 271 model has a larger, more powerful, and energy-efficient 2-MIX engine that produces 3.49 bhp and 50.2 cc displacement. 

Moreover, the engine offers up to 20% fuel efficiency, even when operating at high power levels. It provides longer run times between refuelings and reduces emissions by 50%. 

Additionally, the 271 complies with the stringent emissions requirements of the EU Stage V directive. On the other hand, the 250 variant doesn’t come with such fuel-efficient engine technology.

When calculating the RPM, both 250 and 271 models run at 9500 rpm, but the latter can reach a maximum engine speed of 13000 rpm. This is an advantage over 250 when felling trees. 

Bar Length

The Stihl MS 250 and 271 have a standard bar size of 18 inches. However, they both differ in bar length compatibility. The 250 model supports a min 14 inches and max 18 inches bar length. 

Although you can use a 20-inch bar with it, I wouldn’t recommend it as it will bog down the engine. On the other hand, the 271 chainsaw supports a min 16 and max 20-inch bar length. This is an advantage over 250 when cutting through tough and thicker wood.

Fuel Capacity

Having a bigger fuel tank in a cutting machine is definitely an advantage. It makes things so much easier when using the best chainsaw because you don’t have to refill it constantly. 

The MS 250 Stihl has a fuel capacity of 15.9 ounces, but the 271 model takes it up a notch with 16.9 ounces. So you won’t find yourself needing to refuel as often, which is an advantage. 

Besides, the Stihl MS 271 comes with a Four-Channel technology that helps you save on fuel. The four overflow channels guide the fuel-and-air mixture into the cylinder. By doing that, the fuel gets burnt up way more efficiently, giving you better performance from the engine.

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Chain Oil Capacity

Chain oil plays a crucial role in keeping a chainsaw functioning smoothly. It provides essential lubrication to the chain and bar of a gas-powered chainsaw. This is essential for preventing the engine from overheating and experiencing excessive wear and tear, especially when taking on demanding cutting tasks. 

The chain oil capacity of Stihl 250 is 6.8 oz, while the 271 model has an 8.12 oz oil capacity. This means with 271, you can work for longer periods without the need to refuel the oil tank.

Air Filter

Both 250 and 271 come with an air filter system, which is easy to remove for cleaning. However, the 271 model goes the extra mile by adding a pre-separation filter. This smart addition boosts the efficiency of the engine’s filter system. 

Before the air reaches the main air filter, it goes through a centrifugal separation process that removes heavier dirt particles. This means the main air filter captures way less dirt afterward, saving you some cleaning effort. The pre-separation filter is not present in the 250 model.

Sound Power Level

The Stihl MS 250 has a sound decibel level of 111dB(A) and a 99dB(A) sound pressure level. In contrast, the MS 271 has a 115dB(A) sound power level and 103dB(A) sound pressure level. This means it emits more noise than the 250 model.


The chainsaw MS 250 variant featuring an 18-inch bar costs $489.99, while the 271 with the same bar size costs $629.99. But, the higher price of the MS 271 is justified due to its more robust engine and additional advanced features.

Note: Prices may vary depending upon the marketplace you choose to purchase the model.

Stihl MS 250 vs Stihl MS 271 Specs

Stihl MS 250 Specs
Stihl MS 271 Specs
10.1 lbs
12.3 lbs
Engine Power
3.0 bhp
3.49 bhp
Engine Displacement
45.4 cc 
50.2 cc
Bar Length
14-18 inches
16-20 inches
Fuel Capacity
15.9 oz.
16.9 oz.
Chain Oil Capacity
6.8 oz.
8.12 oz.
Sound Power Level
Air Filter
Yes, with Pre-Separation Filter

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Similarities Between Stihl MS 250 and MS 271 Chainsaws

Despite their differences, the Stihl MS 250 and 271 chainsaws also share numerous similarities in their features and functionalities. Check out below how both models are similar to each other:

Side Access Chain Tensioner

Both the Stihl MS 250 and MS 271 variants come equipped with a side-mounted chain tensioner, enabling users to adjust their chainsaw’s chain without needing a bar wrench or guide bar adjustment screw. 

This feature ensures easy and quick chain tensioning and replacement while protecting the user. The tensioning screw is conveniently inserted through the sprocket cover from the side.

Master Controls

The Stihl 250 chainsaw and MS 271 models both feature a convenient Master Control Lever, a single lever serving multiple functions. This lever allows users to easily operate the choke, starting throttle lock, and on-off switch. 

To engage the choke position, the operator simply needs to pull the throttle trigger before moving the master control lever. This design simplifies the starting process and enhances user-friendliness during operation.

The Stihl MS 250 and MS 271 also feature a combi lever that helps in a cold and warm start. With this feature, users no longer need to be concerned about the chainsaw’s status and can immediately apply full throttle, even during a cold start. 

The system automatically supplies the precise amount of fuel needed on demand, and the chainsaw efficiently warms up through optimal acceleration within a few seconds.

Safety Feature

The Stihl MS 250 and MS 271 have a rear hand guard that serves two important functions. Firstly, it helps to reduce the risk of injury caused by kickbacks, providing an added safety feature during operation. 

Secondly, the rear hand guard offers a spacious area for foot placement, which is particularly useful during the starting process. 

Winter/Summer Shutter

Both the MS 250 and MS 271 models are equipped with a Winter/Summer Shutter. It ensures the carburetor operates at its optimal temperature throughout the year. This helps in reliable chainsaw performance even in winter conditions. You can easily switch between the summer and winter mode. 

In the winter setting, the carburetor benefits from a pre-heated intake of air that circulates it. This prevents it from icing up when cutting in temperatures below 50°F (10°C).

Air Filtration System

The Stihl MS 250 and 271 feature an HD2 filter, which does an excellent job of safeguarding the engine against even the tiniest dust particles. 

The filter is crafted from PET material, and its pores are up to 70% finer than traditional fleece and polyamide filters. It’s also water and oil-repellent, making it even easier to clean. 

Plus, with a filter cover, if you ever need to replace the filter cartridge, you don’t require any tools to access it.

Anti-Vibration System

The Stihl MS 250 and MS 271 chainsaws are equipped with Stihl’s exclusive Anti-Vibration Technology. This system addresses the issue of increased fatigue and reduced productivity caused by vibration. 

The system incorporates buffer and spring elements that effectively minimize the transmission of engine vibrations to the handle area and, subsequently, to the operator’s body. This results in a more comfortable grip on the tool, making the work much less tiring and enhancing overall operator comfort during operation.

Easy Maintenance

Both the 250 and 271 variants feature a compensator, which functions as a control system within the carburetor. This innovative feature utilizes pressure compensation to maintain consistent engine performance. 

It also maintains exhaust gas quality and fuel consumption over an extended period, even as the air filter becomes increasingly contaminated. 

As a result, there is only a need to clean the air filter once you notice a significant decrease in the cutting performance. This allows you to operate the cutting machine for extended periods without frequently cleaning the air filter.

Oilomatic Chain

Both 250 and 271 Stihl variants have an Oilomatic .325″ RM3 chain. An oilomatic chain is designed with oil holes drilled into its drive links. These holes enable the continuous oil flow from the chainsaw’s reservoir to the chain. 

The constant oil supply serves two important purposes: it keeps the chain cool during operation and provides essential lubrication, thus reducing wear and tear.

Fuel Caps

The 250 and 271 models feature special caps that allow quick and easy opening and closing of the fuel tank without needing any tools.

Moving ahead, I have summarized a list of pros and cons of the Stihl MS 250 and MS 271 Farm Boss chainsaws. This will help you decide which of these Stihl models aligns better with your cutting requirements and personal preferences.

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Pros of Stihl MS 250 Chainsaw


The Stihl MS 250 is a lightweight and compact chainsaw, making it easy to handle and comfortable to hold even during prolonged use.

Best for Limbing, Pruning, and Cutting Firewood

Designed with a remarkable power-to-weight ratio, the Stihl MS 250 is ideal for firewood cutting and various tasks around the home. Its versatility extends to cutting through small limbs and trees, making it a reliable option for diverse cutting needs.

Cons of Stihl MS 250 Chainsaw

Not for Felling Large Trees

The Stihl MS 250 is specifically tailored for homeowners and is well-suited for cutting small trees and handling lighter cutting tasks. However, it doesn’t possess the necessary engine power to fell large trees, tackle thick branches or limbs, or sustain prolonged heavy-duty cutting sessions.

Lacks Pre-Separation Filter

Unlike the 271 variant, the Stihl MS 250 lacks a pre-separation filter, which results in a need for more cleaning effort on the operator’s part.

Not Fuel Efficient

Unlike the MS 271 chainsaw, the Stihl MS 250 does not feature a fuel-efficient or reduced-emission engine. However, this may only pose a concern if you perform cutting tasks in an area with stringent emissions regulations.

Pros of Stihl MS 271 Farm Boss Chainsaw

Best for Felling Large Trees

The Stihl MS 271 Farm Boss has a powerful engine designed for demanding tasks such as felling large trees and tackling storm cleanup. This model is especially suitable if you have a large farm or orchard where frequent clearing of sizable trees is required.

Comes with a Pre-Separation Filter

The MS 271 comes equipped with a pre-separation filter, reducing dirt accumulation in the air filter. As a result, the chainsaw will need less frequent cleaning and maintenance.

Fuel Efficient Engine

The MS 271 features a highly efficient engine, offering 20% longer run times between refuelings and significantly reducing exhaust emissions by 50%. This makes it an excellent choice for use in areas with stringent emissions regulations.

Cons of Stihl MS 271 Farm Boss Chainsaw


Despite being designed for prolonged use, the MS 271’s weight might not be comfortable for many operators during extended periods of operation. Therefore, consider purchasing this chainsaw only if you frequently need to fell large trees or clear areas with substantial fallen trees.

Frequently Asked Questions

What CC is Stihl MS 250?

The Stihl MS 250 has a 45.4 cc engine displacement. The cc determines the power and cutting capacity of a chainsaw. A 45.4 cc displacement means the MS 250 has enough power for limbing small branches and felling small trees.

How much horsepower is a Stihl 250?

The Stihl MS 250 produces 3.0 bhp and 2.2kW horsepower without power loss. A chainsaw’s horsepower is the measure of its engine output.

What is the fuel ratio for a Stihl MS 250?

The fuel ratio for the Stihl MS 250 is 50:1, meaning you need to add one part of the oil for every fifty parts of gasoline. For example, you can mix 2.6 ounces of oil with one gallon of gas or 12.8 ounces of oil in five gallons of fuel.

How big of a bar can I put on a Stihl 271?

The Stihl 271 supports a minimum 16-inch to maximum 20-inch bar length. Any bar longer than 20 inches can seize or overheat the engine. The longer bar can also cause the cutting machine to unbalance, increasing the risk of kickbacks and injuries.

Is Stihl MS 271 a good saw?

Yes, the Stihl MS 271 is a good chainsaw for landowners and farmers seeking a tool that delivers remarkable power to handle heavy-duty cutting tasks. Its fuel efficiency, advanced features, easy maintainability, and exceptional performance set it apart as a standout choice among similar chainsaws.

What is the difference between a 2-stroke and a Stihl 2-MIX engine?

A 2-stroke engine uses a mixture of fuel and air to move the piston. The fuel and air are mixed in the crankcase to make a blend. When the piston compresses the blend, it sets off a spark, creating an explosion. This explosion pushes the piston down, turning the crankshaft and powering the engine. 

The 2-stroke engine is not necessarily fuel-efficient. On the other hand, a Stihl 2-MIX engine is Stihl’s proprietary 2-stroke engine that’s smarter about fuel efficiency and emissions. 

It uses a “stratified charge system,” which injects a small amount of fuel into the combustion chamber just before the piston hits the top. This clever setup creates a fuel vapor layer in the chamber, allowing more efficient burning of fuel and reducing emissions.

Stihl MS250 VS MS271: Final Verdict

After reading this comparison, you probably understand the pros and cons of the Stihl MS 250 and MS 271 chainsaws. Each model serves different purposes. The 250 is perfect for everyday tasks around the home, such as cutting firewood and pruning. But it can handle felling and limbing small trees as well. 

On the other hand, the MS 271 is a powerhouse ideal for frequent clearing and cutting of large trees and thick branches. Ultimately, the choice between 250 and 271 depends on your specific cutting needs, preferences, and budget. 

Consider what cutting tasks you’ll tackle most in the future, and you’ll be able to choose the Stihl model that best suits your requirements.

Patrick McMann