Compare Stihl MS 170 and MS 251 C-BE, Find The Differences

The Stihl MS 170 and MS 251 C-BE are both powerful chainsaws from the same manufacturer. They offer a multitude of features, such as tool-less fuel caps, anti-vibration fittings, and easy to use systems for oiling the chain. They also have differences that make them suitable for different tasks.

Detail Comparison

Technical specifications MS 170 MS 251 C-BE
Displacement ­cm³ 30,1 45,6
Power output ­kW/bhp 1,2/1,6 2,2/3
Weight ­kg 4,1 1) 5,1 1)
Power-to-weight ratio ­kg/kW 3,4 2,4
Sound pressure level ­dB(A) 100 2) 103 2)
STIHL Oilomatic saw chain type ­ PMM3 Rapid Micro (RM)
Sound power level ­dB(A) 111 3) 114 3)
Vibration level left/right ­m/s² 5,2/5,5 4) 3,9/3,9 4)
Saw chain pitch ­ 3/8″P .325″


The STIHL MS 170 is a light, powerful chainsaw for homeowners seeking a great value. The MS 251 C-BE is comparable to the MS 170 in many ways, but it has additional features that some consumers may find beneficial. We’ll take a look at these two Stihl chainsaws to see how they stack up against each other and determine which one may be best for your specific needs.

The MS 170 has a slightly smaller engine displacement (1.3 bhp vs. 2.2 bhp), a lower power output (1.3 bhp vs. 2.2 bhp), weighs less (9 lbs vs. 10 lbs.), and comes with a smaller guide bar. The MS 251 C-BE also offers more features that make it easier to use, like STIHL’s Easy2Start system, which makes starting your chainsaw effortless by reducing the force needed to pull the starter rope by half; the tool-free fuel and oil caps that make for easier refueling; and an advanced anti-vibration system that provides greater comfort when in use over longer periods of time.


Stihl MS 170 and MS 251 C-BE

The STIHL MS 251 C-BE is a mid-sized chainsaw with all the features of its larger counterparts, but in a more comfortable and maneuverable package. It’s equipped with the STIHL Easy2Start™ system, making this chainsaw virtually effortless to start. Its quick chain adjuster lets you easily adjust your saw’s chain tension on the job site. But the highlight of this chainsaw is its innovative Quick Chain Adjuster (B) which eliminates the need for tools when adjusting your saw’s chain tension. The MS 251 C-BE has an advanced anti-vibration system for increased comfort during long work days.

251 C-BE has a high torque, even at low engine speeds, and every one of its parts has been designed for increased efficiency, minimal emissions and excellent fuel economy. The MS 251 features our Quick Chain Adjuster (B) that allows you to adjust the saw chain with just a touch of a button while wearing work gloves. The tool-less fuel and oil caps with retainers make refilling easier and reduce the risk of losing them in the field.

STIHL MS 251 C-BE is a powerful and efficient chain saw that is comfortable to use and easy to handle. With its ergonomic design, low vibration technology and excellent power-to-weight ratio, this chain saw will let you cut through each job with ease. The MS 251 C-BE features the Easy2Start system for effortless starting, as well as an advanced anti-vibration system for user comfort. The pre-separation air filtration system extends the cleaning life of the air filter so you have less maintenance. An economical 2 MIX engine powers the MS 251 C-BE, offering greater fuel economy while reducing emissions.

STIHL MS 170 vs MS 251 C-BE|Engine Displacement

The Stihl MS 170 has a 31.8-cc displacement and the MS 251 C-BE has 45.4 cc. This means that the MS 170 has less power than its counterpart, but it’s also lighter in weight (9 lbs vs. 10 lbs). It’s true that the difference in engine size isn’t a huge one, but especially if you’re chopping through thick wood or dealing with heavy trimming, you’re going to feel it in your muscles over time! If you have smaller loads or lighter projects around your property, however, this lower displacement might be just right for you.

The STIHL MS 251 C-BE is an improved version of the STIHL MS 170, the lightweight chainsaw. It is the successor of the MS 250 C-BE and has a number of improvements over its predecessor. The MS 251 C-BE features a new engine technology with pre-separation air filtration systems to help extend engine life. This makes it much easier to start and operate than the previous model. The MS 251 C-BE is a professional grade chainsaw with a powerful engine, excellent cutting capabilities and reliable performance.

STIHL MS 170 vs MS 251 C-BE|Power output

Power Output: The MS 170 uses a 32.2 cc engine, while the MS 251 C-BE uses a 40.2 cc engine.

STIHL MS 170 is good for jobs such as clearing dead branches or cutting logs while the STIHL MS 251 C-BE is better suited to pulling bigger tasks like cutting down trees or clearing dense woods. While both chainsaws are gas-powered, the STIHL MS 170 requires you to manually pull on its cord in order to start it up while the STIHL MS 251 C-BE comes equipped with an electronic quick stop.

Both the STIHL MS 170 and the MS 251 C-BE are chainsaws for hobbyists with smaller yards. Both of these chainsaws are compact, lightweight, and easy to start. They offer lots of features you wouldn’t expect in smaller saws, like anti-vibration systems and automatic chain lubrication. The MS 251 C-BE has a few extra features that make it worth the extra cost if you have a larger yard or want to do more serious cutting. 

STIHL MS 170 vs MS 251 C-BE|Weight

MS 251 C-BE weighs 9.1 pounds, while the MS 170 weighs 8.5 pounds. Though they are both very lightweight chainsaws, if you plan on using your chainsaw for long periods of time, that half-pound difference can have an impact on comfort and fatigue.

The STIHL MS 170 and STIHL MS 251 C-BE are two upgradeable saws, with the MS 170 starting out as a lightweight chainsaw with an easy-to-manage body, and the MS 251 C-BE starting off as a low-vibration saw that is easy to use all day long. Both of these models can be upgraded with a variety of features, including longer shafts for better reach, control handles for easier maneuvering, and mufflers to reduce noise. Below we have compared both models, and broken down the differences between them to help you decide which model would be best for your needs.

STIHL MS 170 vs MS 251 C-BE|Power-to-weight ratio

STIHL’s MS 170 and MS 251 C-BE have an impressive power-to-weight ratio of 3.8 kg/kW—meaning they both cut through wood with ease.both great chainsaws for home use. The MS 170 is STIHL’s entry-level chainsaw and is perfect for homeowners who need a lightweight, easy-to-operate saw.

The MS 251 C-BE has more power with additional features that make it better for heavier cutting jobs. Both models come equipped with our anti-vibration system that reduces vibration levels on the handles to make your work more comfortable. However, the MS 251 C-BE also features a tool-free fuel caps for easier refueling and removal of debris, as well as a side chain tensioner for fast adjustments and easy maintenance. Both saws have an air filter system designed to reduce fuel consumption and prolong engine life. But, the MS 251 C-BE also has a preseparation air filtration system that keeps the air filter cleaner for longer which means your saw will run longer between filter cleanings.

STIHL MS 170 vs MS 251 C-BE|Sound pressure level

The sound pressure level of the Stihl MS 170 is 102 dB(A). The sound pressure level of the Stihl MS 251 C-BE is 112 dB(A). Both chainsaws have a 2-MIX engine that helps to reduce emissions while also increasing power output.

The MS 170 is a bit smaller than the MS 251 C-BE, which means that it has a smaller engine and a narrower cutting blade. That makes it great for quick jobs around your home, while the MS 251 C-BE has more power and is better suited to longer jobs or cutting through denser wood. The MS 170 has a manual fuel pump, which you’ll use to purge air from the fuel system before you start your saw. The MS 251 C-BE has an automatic fuel pump, which does this for you—just pull the trigger and it’s ready to go!

The sound pressure level is specified in decibels (dB) at a distance of 1 metre from the source (round figure) and refers to the A scale (A). The A scale weighings take into account the human ear’s response to different frequencies. The sound power level is specified in decibels (dB) at a distance of 1 metre from the source (round figure) and refers to the A scale (A).

STIHL MS 170 vs MS 251 C-BE|Sound power level

The most significant difference between these two saws is their sound power level. The MS 170 has a sound power level of 107 dB while the MS 251 C-BE has a sound power level of 102 dB. This means that the MS 251 C-BE is about five decibels quieter than the MS 170. It is also worth noting that both chainsaws come with STIHL’s Quickstop Plus feature which allows them to stop in fractions of a second when necessary.

The MS 170 is STIHL’s most popular entry-level chainsaw and has been for some time. It’s lightweight, affordable and easy to operate. The MS 251 C-BE is a bit more powerful, at 3.9 horsepower. While the MS 251 C-BE has all the same great features as the MS 250 C-BE, it also offers a high torque over a broad range of speeds, making it perfect for cutting firewood and felling trees.

STIHL MS 170 vs MS 251 C-BE|Vibration level left/right

Vibration level left/right – MS 170: 2.3 / 2.3 m/s² – MS 251C-BE: 2.3 / 2.3 m/s². The vibration levels given are defined as the daily exposure limit (A8) for these machines, and are taken from the A-weighted root mean square (GRMS) acceleration, measured at the handle of the saw when it is idle.

The MS 251 C-BE also has a slightly longer stroke length of 0.039 inches compared to 0.035 inches in the MS 170. The performance difference between these two models is probably not going to be too noticeable when it comes to cutting power, but it’s there nonetheless. The next difference between these two models is in the design of their air filters and air injection systems.

The air filter on the MS 251 C-BE is positioned near the bottom of the saw and it’s protected by a plastic cover that snaps onto the side of the saw housing in order to keep dirt out of your filter while you’re working on uneven terrain or in dusty environments like open fields with dry grasses blowing around all over the place (not recommended for most people). If you’re cutting firewood for your home or just need a quick trimming job done.

Stihl MS 170 and MS 251 C-BE|which is more better

The STIHL MS 170 and STIHL MS 251 C-BE are both lightweight chainsaws that are easy to use and maintain. These saws feature quick chain adjustments and automatic chain lubrication systems so that you can keep working without interruption.

Both models have similar anti-vibration systems as well, which means that they will not cause any undue strain on your hands as you’re working with them. They also both have a chain brake system for added safety and protection against kickbacks.

MS 170 The STIHL MS170 is a powerful chainsaw designed for small to medium sized jobs. It is lightweight and easy to maneuver, making it well suited for busy work sites or cutting smaller branches and brush.

You’ll probably love the STIHL MS 251 C-BE. It’s a little more expensive, but with some really awesome features. One of the most notable features is the anti-vibration system that reduces user fatigue and makes using this saw much more comfortable. The saw also has an easy-access air filter to keep your engine running smoothly and increase its longevity.


Either STIHL MS 170 or MS 251 would be a great choice, depending on what you are looking for. The MS 170 is the slightly smaller of the two, which makes it appropriate for people with smaller gardens and yards, while the MS 251 offers greater assembly versatility, making it more suitable for different sized gardens.