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Chainsaws: Comparing the Husqvarna 440e with the Stihl Ms 250

Posts: 168
Location: Port Elizabeth, South Africa (34 degrees south)
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Husqvarna 440e

40.9 cc 1.8 kW 4.4 kg

Paid (USD 274.00) R3400.00 incl vat in March 2014

Stihl MS 250

45.4 cc 2.3 kw 4.6 kg

Paid (USD 314.00) R3900.00 incl vat in March 2015

I am already enjoying the MS 250 quite a bit more than the 440e. Make no mistake, I really enjoyed the Husqvarna. It gave me many hours of pleasure clearing bush, felling small trees, cutting fire wood and fence poles. The MS 250 is more powerful though and the additional weight is not really noticeable. I suppose it is an unfair comparison, I should be comparing the 45 cc Husqvarna with the MS 250. The truth though, in my part of the world, is that the Husqvarna is a more expensive machine. Right now the new 440e sells for R600.00 more than the MS250. So the expectation is that the more expensive technology should at least be able to compare, even if it is a slightly lower spec.

My experience with the two beautiful machines is as follows:

The 440 e has more features. It has a fuel gauge of sorts. It has a button you press a few times to prime the carburettor with fuel. The choke and on off switch has a simple easy action. It also has a tool-less chain tensioning mechanism. It has very easy to use clips that allow access to the air filter and the spark plugs. My experience was though that I struggled to start the 440e when I first got it. I would slug away at in and exhaust myself before I began even to do any cutting. With time though I learned a very specific routine: Two pulls with the choke closed, then one with the choke open. Starts every time. the other problem I had in the beginning was with the chain coming off. I think I was fiddling with the tension setting too much and had it too slack. But for whatever reason I had to replace two chains before I got the hang of it.

Its very early days, but I can see that the MS 250 is less tiring to use. Even though it is a bit heavier, progress is faster and it less of a battle to do the kind of bush clearing that I am doing. The start is quite easy, but maybe its just because I am now used to the idea of fiddling with the choke. I also find that the safety brake is not as sensitive as with the 440e, where I would very often have to unlock.I presume because it is a little more powerful, the blade does not get pinched quite as quickly. In the bush clearing that I am doing it is not always easy to see which side to cut from, so pinching happens and it can really slow me down. If the MS 250 does use more fuel, it is still almost next to nothing. I cut for about 3 hours today and still hardly made a dent in the 5 l of fuel that I bought.

So I hope this comparison helps, but really you cant go wrong with either machine. But, if forced to choose between the Husqvarna 440e and the Stihl MS250, I would have to go with the Stihl.
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