MS 251 C-BE

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A powerful, fuel-efficient chainsaw that’s comfortable to use and easy to adjust.

Product Description

The STIHL MS 251 C-BE Chainsaw features all the comfort and ease of the MS 251, but is easy to start and adjust on the fly. The MS 251 C-BE is perfect for felling small trees, pruning and thinning, and cutting firewood simply and efficiently. And with up to 20 percent fuel savings and 50 percent reduced emissions (as compared to previous models), you can enjoy a longer run time while feeling good about your impact on the environment. A Quick Chain Adjuster also makes it simple to put the correct tension on the saw chain without tools. Plus, features like Easy2Start™ technology, a Master Control Lever™ and reduced vibration make the STIHL MS 251 C-BE a lean, easy-to-use machine that still packs plenty of power.

Model Features

  • Reduced-Emission Engine Technology - Caring for Nature
    The STIHL Inc. “Caring for Nature” seal identifies its powered products that are more environmentally conscious, producing zero or low exhaust emissions. STIHL Inc. defines “low exhaust emissions” as being cleaner than EPA and/or CARB exhaust emission standards.

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  • Built in the USA
    Indicates products that are built in the United States from domestic and foreign parts and components.

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  • STIHL Easy2Start™ (E)
    The STIHL Easy2Start™ system makes starting STIHL outdoor power tools almost effortless, eliminating the need for a strong pull of the starting cord. This advanced starting system is designed to make starting STIHL products easier. The specific system may vary by model, but in each case, a quick pull overcomes the engine’s compression to minimize the strength and effort required to start. Available on selected products.
  • Quick Chain Adjuster (QCA) (B)
    The Quick Chain Adjuster (QCA) (B) allows the user to adjust the tension of the chain without the use of tools. This allows for easy chain adjustment.

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  • Master Control Lever™
    The Master Control Lever™ is an easy to use single lever, operating the choke, starting throttle lock and on-off switch. The operator must pull the throttle trigger before moving the Master Control Lever™ to the choke position.


45.6 cc (2.78 cu. in.)
2.2 kW (3.0 bhp)
5.3 kg (11.9 lbs.)
390 cc (13.2 oz.)
198 cc (6.7 oz.)
.325 RM3
GUIDE BAR LENGTHS (Recommended ranges)
40 to 45 cm (16" to 18")
STIHL recommends #3634 (26 RM3 68) OILOMATIC® saw chain and 18" 3005 008 4717 ROLLOMATIC® E guide bar combination. The actual listed guide bar length can vary from the effective cutting length based on which powerhead it is installed on.

Important Information

* The actual listed guide bar length can vary from the effective cutting length based on which powerhead it is installed on.

WARNING! Improper use of any power tool may cause serious or fatal injury. Read, understand and follow carefully the operating and safety instructions in your instruction manual before using such products.

STIHL products sold through U.S. STIHL Dealers are for distribution in the United States only.


MS 251 C-BE is rated 4.5 out of 5 by 389.
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Great Saw!! Terrific Saw for cutting downs trees, plenty of power. Easy to start. It is a well balanced saw and not extremely heavy. Really great saw.
Date published: 2019-11-12
Rated 5 out of 5 by from So far this has been a great saw. Starts up quickly and has plenty of power looking forward to owning this hopefully for a long time
Date published: 2019-11-10
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Should have bought a long time ago Great saw. Idles wonderfully. Cuts like butter. Not too heavy. Starts easily with very little force required. Love the ability to adjust chain tension without tools.
Date published: 2019-11-07
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Nice upgrade. I went to the Stihl dealer with my mind set on the Farm Boss and ended up buying the lighter duty MS 251 C-BE. Personally, I cut and split approximately 3 to 4 Federal cords of wood each year around our 15 acres. This saw motors through red oak with no problem. At first, I was having issues with starting the saw but it was due to not following the recommended starting procedures. The quick chain adjuster is very convenient and has not given me any problems. I will probably appreciate the weight of this saw as I age.
Date published: 2019-11-05
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Great chainsaw for commercial or private use In my younger years, I was a line clearance tree trimmer and I also did a ton of sidework trimming and removing trees of all sizes. We used a lot of Stihl chainsaws including the 011T, 017, 036 and 044. This new generation of chainsaw is all of what the older saws were and more. The easy start feature and easy chain tension adjustment feature work excellently. I've spent several hours removing trees on my property from 2" diameter all the way up to 16" diameter and it easily cuts through all of them and has never bogged down or stalled. There is virtually no vibration feedback through the handles so it has been very easy to use it almost non-stop for several hours, pausing only to refill it with fuel and bar oil.
Date published: 2019-11-04
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Powerful, easy to start and convenient chain adjustment without tools. At 72, I absolutely love the easy start feature and the no tool chain adjust feature. The power and 18 inch bar length is excellent for my needs. I have a 20 year old 017 chain saw that still runs and I"m confident tha my new 251 C will do the same.
Date published: 2019-11-02
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Very easy to start and restart Too bad they don't offer this start system in all their models. The MS-250 I owned previously was a total PIA to start and restart. I followed their start and restart procedures to a T, and it was still not reliable. If I attempted to use anything other than very expensive premix, it would not start at all. This was using Shell premium and Stihl 2-cycle oil. I spent a small fortune on premix.As I said, the 251 is much better and I have not had any starting issues. I am, however, still using only the premix I purchased when I bought the saw. It will be interesting to see if this is still the case when I change over.It is just a shame they don't offer this starting system on other models. I really would have liked more horsepower, but just couldn't risk another saw with starting issues.
Date published: 2019-10-31
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Stands up to abuse This is my 1st chain saw, it has an 18" chain,. It originally cut like butter, no bucking. The 1st start easy when use the prime bubble, afterwards usually starts on the 1st pull, even after long down times. I cut out a juniper stump the 2nd time I used it & hit some dirt under & between roots & it dulled my chain; but got the stump out even with a dull chain. Chain saw OK after abusive use & a smoking chain. Point to make, it put out a lot of oil when the chain started smoking which saved the blade & chain saw. I just do not like stopping in the middle of a job & at the time had no chain files. Since I got some chain files & sharpened the chain, it is back working fine. I will never cut out a tree stump again. I was originally really afraid of chain saws, but this one is so smooth & reliable I am not scared to death using it.
Date published: 2019-10-31
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Standard Features

  • Common Features for Chainsaws
    View the features common to many STIHL chainsaws.

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