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alphahotel
alphahotel New Reader
5/15/20 9:12 p.m.

I bought a Stihl MS250 last year when it was on sale (just bought a wooded property).

I was very frustrated with it not wanting to start until I learned the secret (which is not in the manual) that it is quite easy to flood.  Take the choke off after the first pull where it sounds like it might want to start at all.  One I figured that out, it has been great.

 

Tom_Spangler (Forum Supporter)
Tom_Spangler (Forum Supporter) PowerDork
5/15/20 9:41 p.m.

I cut this guy down with my MS211C last year:

Even with the 18" bar, I couldn't get all the way to the middle. We ended up pulling it down with the Expedition after cutting as much as we could.

Woody
Woody MegaDork
5/15/20 9:43 p.m.
alphahotel said:

I bought a Stihl MS250 last year when it was on sale (just bought a wooded property).

I was very frustrated with it not wanting to start until I learned the secret (which is not in the manual) that it is quite easy to flood.  Take the choke off after the first pull where it sounds like it might want to start at all.  One I figured that out, it has been great.

 

I agree. Never more than two or three pulls on full choke.

Azryael
Azryael Reader
5/15/20 10:18 p.m.

In reply to Tom_Spangler (Forum Supporter) :

That's impressive.

ClemSparks
ClemSparks UltimaDork
5/16/20 9:56 p.m.
Woody said:
alphahotel said:

I bought a Stihl MS250 last year when it was on sale (just bought a wooded property).

I was very frustrated with it not wanting to start until I learned the secret (which is not in the manual) that it is quite easy to flood.  Take the choke off after the first pull where it sounds like it might want to start at all.  One I figured that out, it has been great.

 

I agree. Never more than two or three pulls on full choke.

Your posts made me realize something:  When we bought our saw new (MS271...I used it quite a bit today so I remembered to look at the model number) the dealer set the saw up and gave us a 5-10 minute intro and started and tested the saw right there at their location.   That's something I assume you don't get with a throw-away chainsaw.

The process they told us was to do full choke until the first time it fired (and subsequently died).  Then turn off the choke and it fires up and runs on the next pull.

Curtis73 (Forum Supporter)
Curtis73 (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
5/17/20 9:14 a.m.

Stihl fanboi here.  The only one I have right now is an older 028AV Super and it refuses to die.  I used to have an 036 and after decades of use supplying three houses with wood for stove heating, and maintaining four farms between me, dad, and grandpa, it finally needed an oil pump so I gave it to my nephew who has a budding (no pun intended) lawn care business.  He replaced the oil pump and it was just used last tuesday to cut down and process three large Ash trees, one hickory, and one oak.

I also have a mid-sized Echo that I bought at HD as a clearance item.  Looked like someone bought it to use it once to cut up a branch that fell in their yard and then returned it.  It has been remarkably bulletproof, but I've only owned it for about a year and it has processed about 6 trees.  I'm pleasantly surprised at its reliability given the fact that most of that stuff is made for really light use.

I have also used Husqvarna saws and liked them, but I don't really like the weight balance.

Stihl saws are also surprisingly inexpensive for the quality you get.  I have never had a problem with parts... partly because I rarely need them (quality saws) and partly because Amazon has had every part I needed, even if the dealer didn't.

Mndsm
Mndsm MegaDork
5/17/20 11:51 a.m.

I've passed over this thread several times now, mostly because everyone else has already said what I'm going to. 

 

Buy a Stihl. The ms170 is am excellent entry level saw that will take care of most homeowner level saw problems with ease, and be reliable as gravity. Bars and chains are super easy to come by, and a 5 min install. Depending on your needs you can stop at a 211, or go all the way to 311 and beyond. 

Woody
Woody MegaDork
5/17/20 12:37 p.m.

The other really nice feature about my Stihl MS 250 is that the chain tension adjuster is very, very easy to use, as it is 90 degrees from the bar, rather than in line and under it. I don't know why all saws aren't set up this way.

 

Woody
Woody MegaDork
5/17/20 12:39 p.m.

The0retical (Forum Supporter)
The0retical (Forum Supporter) UberDork
5/17/20 1:20 p.m.
Woody said:

The other really nice feature about my Stihl MS 250 is that the chain tension adjuster is very, very easy to use, as it is 90 degrees from the bar, rather than in line and under it. I don't know why all saws aren't set up this way.

 

Wait. Other saws aren't setup like that? I can't imagine doing it another way. I guess I'm spoiled too having had only STHIL saws in the family for 25+ years.

stukndapast
stukndapast New Reader
5/17/20 1:55 p.m.

I'm on 40 acres of woodland and there is always something that needs attention with a saw.  I have a 25 year old Stihl 023, and a 12 year old MS310.  I use the 023 way more than the 310 which only comes out for bigger jobs.  The little saw is much lighter and easier to manage especially when you are working with it all day.  If you are a homeowner that is only doing smaller jobs, I wouldn't buy a large gas powered saw as it is just overkill and will tire you out.  Both of my saws have the same starting characteristics that others have described.  Full choke till it fires once, click it up to the fast idle position and it starts within two pulls.  The biggest issue with any chainsaw is keeping it sharp, and sharpening the chain properly is a real skill.  Also, WEAR CHAPS and be aware that chaps for gas saws are NOT suitable for electric saws.

 

stukndapast
stukndapast New Reader
5/17/20 1:57 p.m.
The0retical (Forum Supporter) said:
Woody said:

The other really nice feature about my Stihl MS 250 is that the chain tension adjuster is very, very easy to use, as it is 90 degrees from the bar, rather than in line and under it. I don't know why all saws aren't set up this way.

 

Wait. Other saws aren't setup like that? I can't imagine doing it another way. I guess I'm spoiled too having had only STHIL saws in the family for 25+ years.

Some older Stihls aren't like that.  My 023 has the adjuster screw on the front of the saw, right next to the bar.  My 310 has it like the picture of the 250.

Mndsm
Mndsm MegaDork
5/17/20 3:12 p.m.
Woody said:

The other really nice feature about my Stihl MS 250 is that the chain tension adjuster is very, very easy to use, as it is 90 degrees from the bar, rather than in line and under it. I don't know why all saws aren't set up this way.

 

Most of their modern saws are like that- God knows I put enough of them together. 

03Panther
03Panther Reader
5/17/20 10:29 p.m.

I’ve had a Stihl 024, (considered a pro saw back when Stihl numbered them that way... even number) and my FIL’s 025 (considered homeowners line. New numbers make it a 250) and either is a great durable saw. Much better than the low end stuff my dad always had. Wanted a smaller saw; bought a echo top handle. LOVE it. Found a lightly used echo 400... cuts as well as my 024, is holding up fine, and starts LOTS easier. I have jumped ship to the echo’s fan club. 

Don’t care for the corded saws, but they cut fine. Have heard great things about the cordless stuff, in real saw sizes. The Kobalt 40V has been calling me...

lotusseven7 (Forum Supporter)
lotusseven7 (Forum Supporter) Reader
5/18/20 8:59 a.m.

310 for bigger stuff, 180 for smaller. 

Peabody
Peabody UltimaDork
5/18/20 9:13 a.m.

I had a Poulan because I was being cheap and the price was really right, but it was OK, especially for what I paid.  

After the carb was replaced under warranty it started every time and ran great. The biggest problem I had with it was that it wouldn't die. I kept saying, when this thing dies I'm buying a quality saw. One year when we went through the whole property cutting or trimming over a hundred trees, it started to run like E36 M3, getting all boggy and hard to start. I didn't even want to know what was wrong with it and sold it for $40.

I looked at Stihl, Echo, and Husqvarna and because the Huskies were on sale that's what I bought. I was surprised at just how much better it was over the Poulan and I wish I'd spent the money years ago.

P3PPY
P3PPY HalfDork
5/18/20 9:54 a.m.
stukndapast said:

I'm on 40 acres of woodland and there is always something that needs attention with a saw.  I have a 25 year old Stihl 023, and a 12 year old MS310.  I use the 023 way more than the 310 which only comes out for bigger jobs.  The little saw is much lighter and easier to manage especially when you are working with it all day.  If you are a homeowner that is only doing smaller jobs, I wouldn't buy a large gas powered saw as it is just overkill and will tire you out.  Both of my saws have the same starting characteristics that others have described.  Full choke till it fires once, click it up to the fast idle position and it starts within two pulls.  The biggest issue with any chainsaw is keeping it sharp, and sharpening the chain properly is a real skill.  Also, WEAR CHAPS and be aware that chaps for gas saws are NOT suitable for electric saws.

 

What does that mean?

03Panther
03Panther Reader
5/18/20 10:31 a.m.

I know that chaps are designed to choke-out a gas saw... the fibers are made to hang it up. The torque of the electric saws won’t get stalled out like that. 

Don't know if they make anything for the electric or not. 

Pete. (l33t FS)
Pete. (l33t FS) MegaDork
5/18/20 7:51 p.m.
Pete. (l33t FS) said:
EvanB (Forum Supporter) said:

I was all set to buy a new Stihl a couple years ago when I found a good deal on a used Dolmar from an arborist. It has been great so far. They also make Makita saws so I would add Makita to the Stihl and Husqvarna list.

How well can you make food with it?

Hah!  Posted to YouTube an hour ago

 

Azryael
Azryael Reader
5/18/20 8:53 p.m.

In reply to Pete. (l33t FS) :

Life of Boris is my favorite.

stukndapast
stukndapast New Reader
5/18/20 9:35 p.m.
03Panther said:

I know that chaps are designed to choke-out a gas saw... the fibers are made to hang it up. The torque of the electric saws won’t get stalled out like that. 

Don't know if they make anything for the electric or not. 

There are chaps that are made specifically for electric chain saws.  The torque characteristics of an electric motor vs a gas engine are totally different and a chap designed to stop the chain of a gas engine won't necessarily stop an electric chainsaw.  Just look for the appropriate certification depending on what sort of saw you use.  That being said, any chap is better than none.  Denim or canvas is no match for any sort of chainsaw.

P3PPY
P3PPY HalfDork
5/18/20 9:59 p.m.

In reply to stukndapast :

Well thank you for the education. I truly had no idea whatsoever.

And I'll just throw in my experience since we're at it. The answer is NOT POULAN. or however it's spelled. My neighbor called out the other day asking if I needed to use his chainsaw. He said it's finicky but it might help. I don't really need it because I have my own that's finicky but I'm new to the 'hood and that's a good way to make friends. I told him sure because mine runs for about one minute then turns itself off and then after forever you can start it again. He was like "oh! That's what mine does too!" Poulan, both of them. They're probably just running lean and overheating but they have some unique idle adjust screw

collinskl1
collinskl1 Reader
5/19/20 6:33 a.m.
stukndapast said:
That being said, any chap is better than none.  Denim or canvas is no match for any sort of chainsaw.

The two layers of 24 stitches each in my left thigh can confirm this.

Fueled by Caffeine
Fueled by Caffeine MegaDork
5/19/20 8:14 a.m.

In reply to P3PPY :

Hipa Carburetor Adjustment Tool Kit Screwdriver # 530035560 for 2 Cycle Poulan Homelite STIHL Husqvarna Echo Chainsaw Trimmer Lawn Mower Edger https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00UFFA68G/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_api_i_jT9WEbG4V7Z2N

 

the cheaper saws are super lean from the factory. Fatten then up so they burbble at full throttle but not under load at full throttle and you'll be fine. 
 

 

P3PPY
P3PPY HalfDork
5/19/20 8:55 a.m.

Thanks; I had just tried to make do with a flathead in the past but I'll add this to the upcoming Amazon order. I found a cheap, light, battery powered string trimmer on there at the end of last season and once I wrangle it up again I'll be placing that order

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