I could not understand why Stihl would release two chainsaws with almost identical features and similar model numbers. I thought the MS 251 Wood Boss and MS 251 C-BE chainsaws were exactly the same.

However, I had a change of heart as soon as I began using them. After cutting a few trees with these chainsaws, I noticed how different they are.

The Stihl MS 251 Wood Boss and MS 251 C-BE are mainly distinguished by their weight, starting mechanism, power-to-weight ratio, and chain adjustment. Their prices are different too.

In the article, I go into more detail about how they differ. I have also recommended the product I believe to be superior at the end of the article.

Let’s jump right in!

stihl ms 251 c-be vs ms 251 wood boss
Stihl MS251C Review: 2022 Chainsaw ...
Stihl MS251C Review: 2022 Chainsaw Champion

Comparison Table with Specs for Stihl MS 251 Wood Boss Vs MS 251 C-BE

Key Factor Stihl 251 Wood Boss Stihl 251 C-BE
Starting Method Electric Starter Technology Pull Starter technology
Weight 11 Pounds 11.5 Pounds
Quick Chain Adjustment Not Available Available
Power-to-Weight Ratio 0.273 HP/Pound 0.261 HP/Pound
Price CHECK LATEST PRICE CHECK LATEST PRICE

Features of Stihl 251 Wood Boss

Here are the key features of the Stihl 251 Wood Boss chainsaw.

Features of Stihl 251 Wood Boss And Stihl 251 C-BE

  1. Lightweight

The Stihl MS 251 Wood Boss saw features a lightweight frame that makes it easy to maneuver. At only 11 pounds, you can experience high power without sacrificing comfort.

  1. Master Control Lever

Stihl included their master control lever with the Wood Boss chainsaw. Unlike other levers, this one is super easy to use, even for beginners.

You can use this feature to start the throttle lock and operate the choke.

  1. Anti-vibration System

In case you are not aware, chainsaw vibration can be extremely harmful. You can develop neurological and musculoskeletal disorders from overusing vibrating chainsaws.

Thankfully, Wood Boss does not produce a lot of vibration since it has an anti-vibration system.

Features of Stihl 251 C-Be

Here are the key features of the Stihl 251 C-Be chainsaw.

Features of Stihl 251 Wood Boss And Stihl 251 C-BE

  1. Easy2Start

One of the best features of the MS 251 C-BE is its Easy2Start function.

This simplifies the starting process, even for those who are new to chainsaws. The saw will start right up with just a quick pull of the cord.

  1. Fuel Efficient

Another benefit of the C-BE is its outstanding fuel economy. There is a 20% increase in fuel economy compared to its predecessors. As a result, you save a great deal of money on fuel.

  1. Low Emission

If you want an easy-to-use chainsaw that is also good for the environment, the 251 C-BE is a great choice. In comparison to previous Stihl saws, this one emits 50% fewer emissions.

Read Also: Stihl 211 VS 251 (All the Major Differences)

Differences Between Stihl 251 Wood Boss and Stihl 251 C-BE

Let’s compare these chainsaws based on the five major differences.

Differences Between Stihl 251 Wood Boss And Stihl 251 C-BE

  1. Weight

While many people overlook weight when buying a chainsaw, I always consider it first.

The reason is that whenever you use a saw, you always carry it with you. So if the weight is too heavy, I doubt the tool will be comfortable to use.

At worst, your hands will be in severe pain after a few hours of work.

Weight-wise, the Wood Boss outperforms the competition. It weighs 11 pounds as opposed to 11.5 pounds for C-BE.

I understand that the difference is not huge, but I prefer the .5-pound lighter chainsaw.

Winner: Stihl MS 251 Wood Boss


  1. Start-up Procedure

The pull start feature has been an integral part of gas chainsaws for years. It is a reliable starting method that comes naturally to loggers.

However, Stihl offers an electric start on the Wood Boss chainsaw. I know it doesn’t require physical effort, but it can sometimes be inconvenient.

For example, you attempt to start the power tool, but it does not turn on. Why? It’s just that the battery is dead.

Hence, the C-BE uses the traditional pull-start mechanism.

Moreover, Stihl claims this saw won’t require much effort to pull. It has Easy2Start, a feature that makes pulling a breeze.

Winner: Stihl MS 251 C-BE


  1. Power-to-weight Ratio

There are times when the horsepower alone won’t give you an accurate picture of the strength of a chainsaw. You must determine the power from the PWR (power-to-weight ratio).

The Stihl 251 Wood Boss has a PWR of 0.273 hp/lb. On the other hand, the Stihl 251 C-BE delivers 0.261 horsepower per pound.

Based on these figures, the Wood Boss is clearly more powerful thanks to its higher power-to-weight ratio.

Winner: Stihl MS 251 Wood Boss


  1. Chain Adjustment

Adjusting the chain on a saw is something you have to do constantly. Unfortunately, it is difficult for most chainsaws since you need different tools for the job.

The C-BE saw is equipped with a Quick Chain Adjuster to ease this hassle. With this feature, you are able to adjust chain tension without using any tools.

As disappointing as it is, the 251 Wood Boss lacks this essential feature.

Winner: Stihl MS 251 C-BE


  1. Price

In spite of how good a chainsaw is, if the price is out of your budget, you won’t be able to afford it.

When it comes to affordability, the Wood Boss unit stands out. It is loaded with so many features yet costs only $400 with an 18-inch bar.

On the other side, despite being so similar to the 251 Wood Boss, the 251 C-BE is surprisingly more expensive at $440.

Winner: Stihl MS 251 Wood Boss


Which Chainsaw Would Be The Best For You?

These two saws are almost equivalent in performance and many other aspects, making it hard to choose one over the other.

The MS 251 Wood Boss is an impressive chainsaw with strong power output, a decent PWR, and a lightweight design. In addition, it has a lower price. Hence, if I had to pick one, I would choose the Wood Boss.

Having said that, the MS 251 C-BE cannot be considered inferior. It also boasts excellent performance and has some notable features like a quick chain adjustment and a more reliable starting mechanism.

Which Chainsaw Would Be The Best For You

Stihl 251 Wood Boss Short Review

The Stihl 251 Wood Boss is a top-notch chainsaw that delivers exceptional performance with a lightweight design.

It also offers numerous features, such as master control lever and anti-vibration system.

What I find impressive is that you can get this feature-rich chainsaw at a very affordable price.

To Sum Up

I hope I was able to demonstrate how different the 251 Wood Boss and C-BE chainsaws are. If you are willing to spend more money, you can choose the 251 C-BE for some additional features.

On the other hand, if you have a limited budget, pick the Wood Boss saw, as it comes with almost everything you need.

Looking for more articles that compare Stihl chainsaws? Here is another one where I compared the Stihl 362 and 462 chainsaws.

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