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Stihl MS 231 or 251 – Which chainsaw should I choose?

In this article we will compare two popular models from Stihl, the MS 231 and the MS 251. We hope this article will help you make the right choice.

An overview of the Stihl MS 231 and 251 chainsaws

The Stihl MS 231 and MS 251 are powerful and versatile chainsaws that are perfect for work in the private sector and in craft businesses.

Stihl MS 251
Stihl MS 251

Both models are robust, offer high cutting performance and are equipped with a number of technical functions that make your work easier and more efficient.

Stihl MS 231
Stihl MS 231

Comparison table: technical data

Properties Stihl MS 231 Stihl MS 251
Displacement 42.6 cm³ 45.6 cm³
bar length 30-35 cm 35-40 cm
Performance 2.0/2.7 kW/hp 2.2/3.0 kW/hp
Weight 5.1 kg 4.8 kg
Power-to-weight ratio 2.6 kg/kW 2.2 kg/kW
Sound pressure level 103 dB(A) 103 dB(A)
Sound power level 114 dB(A) 114 dB(A)
Vibration value left/right 3.9/3.9 m/s² 3.9/3.9 m/s²
Saw chain pitch 3/8″ P .325″

Design and optics Stihl MS 231 vs 251

Both chainsaws have a similar design with the characteristic orange and gray colors typical of the Stihl brand. The shape and layout of the controls are almost identical on both models, making them user-friendly and easy to use.

Cutting times – which is faster?

Without specific information about the intersection times of the two models, it is difficult to make a definitive statement about which model is faster. However, given the higher power and longer bar length of the MS 251, one can assume that it may have a slight advantage in terms of cutting speed.

Husqvarna 130 or 135 Mark II


At 45.6 cm³, the Stihl MS 251 has a slightly larger cubic capacity than the MS 231 at 42.6 cm³, which is reflected in a higher output.

rail length

The MS 251 has a longer rail length (35-40 cm) compared to the MS 231 (30-35 cm). This can make it possible to cut thicker trees or larger pieces of wood.


The MS 251 has a higher output of 2.2 kW/3.0 hp compared to the MS 231 with 2.0 kW/2.7 hp. This can result in faster and more efficient work, especially on more demanding tasks.


Although the performance of the MS 251 is higher, at 4.8 kg it actually weighs less than the MS 231 at 5.1 kg. This might make them a bit more manageable and pleasant to use, especially over long periods of time.

Noise emissions

Both models have the same sound levels, both in terms of sound pressure level (103 dB(A)) and sound power level (114 dB(A)). This means they are pretty similar in terms of noise emissions.


The vibrations are also identical for both models, with a vibration value of 3.9 m/s² on both the left and right. This is important because too much vibration can cause fatigue and discomfort.

Differences Stihl MS 231 and 251

The main differences between the two models are displacement, power, track length and weight. The MS 251 has a larger displacement and higher power, which probably makes it more efficient on more difficult tasks. It also has a longer rail length, which offers more versatility at work, and it weighs less, which could result in a more comfortable working experience.

Similarities Stihl MS 231 and 251

The two models share many functions and properties, such as B. the noise emissions, vibrations and the STIHL 2-MIX engine technology. Both have the STIHL anti-vibration system and a tool-free tank cap for easy filling. In addition, both models have a pre-separation that protects the filter from coarse particles and the option of retrofitting the HD2 air filter.

Conclusion for comparison: Stihl MS 231 or 251?

Both chainsaws, the MS 231 and the MS 251, are powerful, efficient and robust tools that are ideal for private and craft work. Which model you choose ultimately depends on your specific needs and preferences. If you need a little more power and flexibility at work, the MS 251 might be a better choice. However, if weight is more of a concern, the slightly lighter MS 231 might be a better option.

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