Shindaiwa 488 or Stihl MS250CBE

Roofer(St. Louis, MO)January 16, 2007

I don't want to start a brand war. I've read the posts, but I have a couple other questions. I've owned Stihl. I currently have a Shindaiwa multitool (really like the pole saw attachment).

In my area, the saws are the same retail price with an 18" bar. Weight is the same, I believe.

The Stihl has the easy start thing and toolless chain tensioning. 1 yr warrantee.

The Shindaiwa has more power and an automatic chain oiling pump. 2 yr warrantee.

I limb branches off our big ol trees and cut some firewood. I'll also be cutting up bowl blanks for my new addiction - turning. So being able to rip a 20" diameter trunk chunk is important. I weigh 230, so being able to start the saw won't be an issue for me.

I'm looking for a reliable, well built tool. I know they both are, but considering the difference in features between the two, which would you say is more important for a fairly inexperienced chainsaw owner and occasional user?

Many thanks.

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You might want to visit

There are many chain saw experts there and can help you better understand the pro/cons of your chain saw choice.

IMHO, neither saw is going to "rip" 20" diameter trunks. Cut them with some patience? Yes.

I would buy from the brand with the better dealer in your area.

I recently bought a mid range saw, and instead of the $300-400 saws, I decided to invest in something with more power and an engine designed for pro use. I bought the Stihl MS361 and this saw does rip through 20" trunks. :) However, this extra reliability and power comes at a price tag about twice that of the MS250. But IMHO, the MS361 is worth make twice the price.

Good luck with your saw purchase. Visit the arborit site if you would like to get some professional and weekend wood warrior opinions.

    Bookmark   January 16, 2007 at 9:20PM
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Ditto, I'm planning on purchasing a new saw and those guys are incredible. They respond and respond fast. Good luck, Greg

    Bookmark   January 16, 2007 at 10:19PM
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canguy(British Columbia)

The MS250 is a consumer saw, albeit a decent one, but the Shindaiwa is pro quality and one of the very best in it's class. Stihl's easy to start and quick chain adjust are gimmicks for the lazy consumer, save yer dinero and go with the standard version if that is your choice.

    Bookmark   January 16, 2007 at 10:39PM
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nevada_walrus(Boulder City)

Some good advise already. Will just toss in my two cents. "bytehoven" suggestion regarding picking the better dealer means a lot more then most folks realize. Do your homework in that decision and it will return your time when some time in the future your saw needs help. Everything breaks sometime.

    Bookmark   January 17, 2007 at 2:33AM
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All good advise above. I love my 488, but it wouldn't be my first choice if I wanted to saw logs in half lengthwise. If you like your Shindaiwa dealer there is a lot to be said for one-stop shopping. For machines under warranty it's nice to be able to use the same 2-stroke oil, too.

As far as starting gimmicks, the Shindaiwa is one of the easiest starting engines I have ever owned. My Husqvarna 55 had a compression release to make starting easier, and I don't miss it on the Shindaiwa.

At the same price, you are either getting an incredible discount on the Shindaiwa 488 or royally ripped off on the Stihl MS250. Before you step up to a Stihl 361 I'd suggest you shop some other Stihl dealers.

Sorry, I haven't discovered what it is about arborsite that makes it ten times better than this forum for chain saw questions. A large percentage of the content is people talking about how to cut up their mufflers for more power, and another large percentage involves people shipping their saws off to some guru to have them modified. I used to do that kind of thing with motorcycles, so I understand the attraction, but I don't see how it applies to the average firewood cutter.

Not to say arborsite has no value. If you want to ask what chain is best suited for a specific kind of wood or some other detail question, the people there are very helpful.

    Bookmark   January 17, 2007 at 9:47AM
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montesa: The value of Arborist site is many of the contributors use a chain saw for a living. They have 1st hand knowledge regarding what saws hold up best over time, what saws have the most power for their weight, and how to best circumvent some of the loss of performance due to EPA modifications and not only help the saw run better but last longer.

Their info base goes well beyond recommending what chain to use, as they can be very helpful to folks who have questions about "what to do" when they have a tree problem.

I would admit they can be a little over the top as far suggesting bigger professional quality saws when a small reliable homeowner saw would do the job. However, there are plenty of people there who help "keep it real" for folks asking about situations where a homeowner saw would be just fine.

IMHO, the top reason some folks don't like the arborist site, is because they get answer they don't want to hear.

    Bookmark   January 17, 2007 at 11:04AM
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canguy(British Columbia)

"IMHO, the top reason some folks don't like the arborist site, is because they get answer they don't want to hear."
Granted there is a lot of good info on AS but a number of them can be very childish toward posters they disagree with. That is why I quit going there

    Bookmark   January 17, 2007 at 1:24PM
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