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Author Topic: Yet another looking at a Stihl MS260/MS250  (Read 6551 times)

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Offline MartyKaras

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Yet another looking at a Stihl MS260/MS250
« on: October 26, 2004, 11:17:21 PM »
I had 12 year old MacCat with an 18" blade that has since been buried.. After all the reviews on saws I am leaning toward a Stihl. Started out with the 250 in mind but like the extra features of the 260, it seems to have better Anti-vibration and also seems to have more solid contruction. I keep reading about some of the problems with carb adjustments and power problems.. .I only plan on using the saw a few times a year at best.. and I know the 250 with a 16" would still be more than I need.. I am just curious, given the amount of use, would these carb problems on the 260 really be an issue, and/or will the 250 have the same kind of carb issues. I have also considered the small Echo 16" saw (think its a 346), Have looked at the Huskys but don't like they way they feel. I did look at the Stihl 270c but don't like the chain adjusting feature on that.

Offline Bushwhacker

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Re: Yet another looking at a Stihl MS260/MS250
« Reply #1 on: October 27, 2004, 08:54:35 AM »
How much are you going to cut in those few times and how big is the wood?  Is it soft wood or hard wood ?
KLH

Offline MartyKaras

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Re: Yet another looking at a Stihl MS260/MS250
« Reply #2 on: October 27, 2004, 09:05:06 AM »
Mostly softwood, sometimes hard but not often. Don't suspect anything would ever be more than 10-12 inches.

Offline SasquatchMan

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Re: Yet another looking at a Stihl MS260/MS250
« Reply #3 on: October 27, 2004, 10:00:24 AM »
When you say "carb problems" are you referring to the non-adjustable carbs?  I understood that Stihl had returned to adjustable ones.... but I could easily be wrong.

You'll find either saw is a huge improvement on your old mac.  The 250 is a pretty good deal, and ideal for the occassional user.  The 260 is a more professional saw, and I guess a guy has to decide how much cutting he's doing.  My thought is that if you've used a mac until now, the 250 is still going to be a vast improvement.
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Offline Chris J

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Re: Yet another looking at a Stihl MS260/MS250
« Reply #4 on: October 27, 2004, 11:39:02 AM »
Have to agree with the advice that the 025/250 would probably be just fine for the use you have given.  I have a 025, & that saw seems more than capable of handling my Harry Homeowner use.

You also mentioned the Echo CS345/3450, & everything that I've read & heard mentions that model as a good quality saw.  If $$ is an issue, and/or dealer support isn't crucial, the Echos can be found for some real good prices with some careful shopping.  If I had to buy a new saw to match my limited use, I'd seriously consider the Echo CS345.

A lot of people criticize Poulan saws (maybe with good reason).  But I've also read & heard good things about the Pro 295 & its Craftsman cousin.  Again, for the $$ & ocassional use, might be worth considering.

Hope I didn't muddy the water too much.    MN
Certified Amateur Chainsaw Tinkerer.  If sucess is built on failure, then one day I'll live on the top of Mt. Everest.

Offline slowzuki

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Re: Yet another looking at a Stihl MS260/MS250
« Reply #5 on: October 27, 2004, 01:57:59 PM »
I've looked at the Pro 295 up close and it appears to be the same as Jonsered's bottom model.  Above the bottom model all the Jonered's look like husqy's.
Ken

Quote
A lot of people criticize Poulan saws (maybe with good reason).  But I've also read & heard good things about the Pro 295 & its Craftsman cousin.  Again, for the $$ & ocassional use, might be worth considering.


Offline MartyKaras

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Re: Yet another looking at a Stihl MS260/MS250
« Reply #6 on: October 27, 2004, 02:04:05 PM »
I think the MS260 has some adjustments just didn't look like the three adjusments I am used to (only 2?). not sure on the 250. They store recommended the 260pro (if I was going to spend the extra for the 260, and said the pro version had alot more upgrades than the regular 260). He was willing to split the cost difference between the two since he had no 260s in stock. He claims the 260 pro is a much better saw then the 250 but also questions the worth for my occasional use. I always have a habit of buying a bit more than I need (up to the pro versions on all 2 cycle equipment). I feel like the 250 is rated as a "homeowner" version, but maybe be this is bad perception on my part. Would I realize the $160 difference in the two saws, or am I really just throwing out $$.

Offline Chris J

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Re: Yet another looking at a Stihl MS260/MS250
« Reply #7 on: October 27, 2004, 03:50:07 PM »
Marty-Unless Stihl has made some recent changes (the subject of much discussion on another site), there is no high speed carb adjustment on the 250 or 260.  I put an older fully adjustable carb on my 025; hope to make some modest muffler mods after doing some research.

Sounds like you're leaning toward Stihl & the 260.  The 026 has been a solid, well received saw for quite a while.  If you like the idea of more saw than you need, the 260 might be your best choice.  I don't think the 'Pro' upgrades (adjustable oiler, decomp valve, etc) are worth the extra $$ for a saw that isn't going to be used that often.  But I can be a tightwad at times ::)
Certified Amateur Chainsaw Tinkerer.  If sucess is built on failure, then one day I'll live on the top of Mt. Everest.

Offline SasquatchMan

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Re: Yet another looking at a Stihl MS260/MS250
« Reply #8 on: October 27, 2004, 05:45:29 PM »
I just spent a day cutting spruce with my friend, who has a 270.  I was impressed with how well the vibration damping worked (compared to my chubby 290).  Very nice saw to handle.
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Offline MartyKaras

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Re: Yet another looking at a Stihl MS260/MS250
« Reply #9 on: October 27, 2004, 06:09:42 PM »
so I guess the choice is to order a 260 or take the 260pro for about $25 more (since the dealer is splitting the difference for instock unit). He said the carb and the engine were slightly different than on the non pro version.. but the specs don't specify anything about that..and how much does this intelli-carb really do if you have a low usage saw... I hope when I go in this week to buy he will have a 250 to look at so I can do a better comparison, it might sway me to save the money. Sounds like no matter what choice I make I will end up with a much better saw then the MacCat I had (which I thought ran pretty long and well with all the use it got), and also much better than the Poulan. I am sure I will be riding around just looking for things to cut...l 8)

Offline jokers

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Re: Yet another looking at a Stihl MS260/MS250
« Reply #10 on: October 27, 2004, 06:37:17 PM »
Marty,

The 250 is a very good saw and is often used by pros on a budget. It would be right in it`s element cutting wood that is mostly soft and less than 12".

Now for what the dealer said about the standard 260 vs the Pro model. The Pro has a decomp button and an adjustable oiler, neither of which does the standard 260 have. The only difference in the engines is the port in the cylinder head of the Pro for the decomp button. Both of these saws are made to run hard, day in and day out. All new 260s should be coming through now with 3 screw Intellicarbs which eliminates one of the more significant former differences. Given the choice, I`d stick with the non-adjustable oiler of the standard version because it seems to oil more generously and it`s got a better reputation for durabilty. A 50 cc saw doesn`t normally need a decomp button either, but the Elasto Start rope and handle are an excellent alternative if you want something to make it spin easier.

Sasquatch, what did you think of the power of the 270? A little weak maybe?

Russ

Offline MartyKaras

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Re: Yet another looking at a Stihl MS260/MS250
« Reply #11 on: October 27, 2004, 07:19:56 PM »
Thanks for the advise.. how would I know if the 260Pro in the store has the new intellicarb with 3 adjustments. Then one in the store looked like only one hole in the middle where the high and low idle would be and then to solid areas labeled high/low on either side of the one hole.. the 280 sthil's web site shows a picture of the carb adjustments and the 260pro I saw did not look the same. Guess to be sure I can have the store order me a new regular 260 and forget about the pro version.

Offline jokers

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Re: Yet another looking at a Stihl MS260/MS250
« Reply #12 on: October 28, 2004, 02:18:19 AM »
Hi Marty,

What you are looking for is adjustability on the Lo and Hi speed  air/fuel mixture screws and the LA(mechanical idle speed or throttle). If you view the side of the saw where the screws are, you will see three holes in the plastic with access to three screw heads. Don`t worry about the plastic limiter caps on the screws, they are removable and replaceable.

On the saw without full adjustability there will three holes in the plastic, but only two holes, T and Lo,will be open with the Hi screw hole being blocked by rubber.

The two screw carbs can be made to work properly but it is trial and error, and added expense and down time while the shop putzes with the saw. I have never heard of a shop that will replace the jets under warranty to get it right, the standard line is always that the saw is running good enough.

By all means get yourself the Pro version if that appeals to you, especially if the difference is only $25. I`ve got three Pros and the oilers haven`t failed on me yet, but of all the oilers that I`ve heard of being trouble, it`s all the Pro version. The adjustable oiler really does seem to oil less however. I also have 4 non-Pros and the chains on those always appear more wet, which seems better to me.

In regard to what the Intellicarb does, a dirty filter is a dirty filter. There may be some marginal performance benefit to the Intellicarb by reducing the amount of fuel sent to the engine when the filter is dirty, thus optimizing the ratio, but the bottom line is the less mass volume of this optimized ratio and air to the engine, the less engine horsepower output. It`s better to keep the filter as clean as possible.

Russ

Offline SasquatchMan

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Re: Yet another looking at a Stihl MS260/MS250
« Reply #13 on: October 28, 2004, 08:06:30 AM »
Russ, I guess I found that 270 a little weak, but it's not a very big saw, so I'm not sure what a guy should expect.  It cut slower than the 290, but not outrageously so.  Most noticeable difference was that the 270 felt much longer - much less of the big square box feel that I am now used to.  And the anti-vibe was just so much better than the 290.

I suspect the 280 would be the saw more people would opt for if Stihl put it on sale like they do the 270!  

It's tought to be fair about the performance comparison, because these saws came from different shops, and I have no idea how my friend's 270 is set up.  Anyway, with two saws and one extra set of legs, we had 15 trees (felled the day before) cut up in about an hour.  

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Offline jokers

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Re: Yet another looking at a Stihl MS260/MS250
« Reply #14 on: October 28, 2004, 08:32:33 AM »
Thanks for the feedback on the 270, T. I`m not really sure where the 270 is supposed to fit in to the lineup. I`m not convinced that it is any better quality than the 250 although it does have better anti-vibe, but it weighs and costs more also. I`ve got a 280 that cuts pretty well for this size saw, but I find the anti-vibe mounts to be too soft giving a mushy feel with little feedback in the cut.

Russ

Offline Bushwhacker

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Re: Yet another looking at a Stihl MS260/MS250
« Reply #15 on: October 28, 2004, 10:19:58 AM »
Marty, If money is not an issue,then I'd say the 260.However, I have a 250 for cutting average size to smaller stuff  and it works good. Non pro saw all right but works good.  Anyway I think either saw will suit your needs. Good Luck and stay safe
KLH

Offline SasquatchMan

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Re: Yet another looking at a Stihl MS260/MS250
« Reply #16 on: October 28, 2004, 11:04:02 AM »
Yeah Jokers, mushy is the word.  There just isn't any feedback at all - you have to listen for it rather than feel it.  But I guess if you were cutting and cutting and cutting, that soft squishy anti-vibe setup would feel a lot nicer at the end of the day than the hard rubber mounts on the 290.
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Offline MartyKaras

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Re: Yet another looking at a Stihl MS260/MS250
« Reply #17 on: October 28, 2004, 12:37:49 PM »
I have decided on the 260 non pro version, the pro version dealer had in stock had the old carb without the high end adjust so they are going to order a standard 260. Does not sound like I will be giving up much. I am thinking the 260 has a better carb than the 250 and will be less trouble starting after sitting for long periods (gas drained or not). Seems most of the pro stuff I have can sit for months and in most cases start right up.. my non pro stuff (what little I have left) seems to need coaxing a bit into turning over.. especially when the climate cools off. Thanks everyone for your help.. I am coming along way from the 20" Poulan I had bought and returned even before I cranked it (their new quick chain adjust is horrible, even before the chain has stretched you still can have a bit of slack with the adjustment all the way to the right, so you would have to manually adjust the bar once the chain stretched out... poor design).


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