Stihl Wood Boss vs Farm Boss: Which one is the best in 2024?

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By Jake Hill


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Stihl prides itself on producing some of the best chainsaw models in the world. Its saws are famous for their innovative design, functionality, and durability. Among the significant Stihl collections are the wood boss and the farm boss. Their names may cause some confusion, but the saws are very different.

If you are curious about their differences, keep reading this detailed comparison of Stihl wood boss vs. Farm boss. We’ll help you understand Stihl MS 251 ( wood boss) and MS 271 ( farm boss).

Stihl Wood Boss vs. Farm Boss: A Quick Overview

Both chainsaws have many similarities but won’t provide the same performance. You can’t use them interchangeably, either. The wood boss will efficiently take on softwood trees that are not large. So, any small-scale cutting project will fit the abilities of this Stihl model.

The Stihl MS 251 has a compact design and is lightweight. It weighs nearly 5 kilograms ( 10.8 pounds). Its small engine has a capacity of 45.6 ccs. This translates into a horsepower output of 3.0 hp. So, if you are a homeowner, you will enjoy what this machine offers.

The farm boss model, on the other hand, provides a lot of power. Such incredible power makes it more capable of performing tougher cutting tasks. So, it is a type of professional chainsaw. However, professional-level saws remain more powerful and heavier in terms of weight.

The Farm Boss has a strong engine with a displacement of 50.2 ccs. Its engine power is 3.49 hp. Like many other models of Stihl saws, this one is equipped with innovative reduced exhaust technology and decreased vibrations.

Stihl Wood Boss Overview

Domestic and occasional users swear by this machine. Aside from being lightweight, this saw is fuel efficient. According to the manufacturer, this machine can save around 20% of fuel consumption compared to similar chainsaws. 

Besides, you will be able to know when to refill the fuel tank. The transparent fuel tank allows you to determine when refueling time comes accurately.

Moreover, you will be able to start this machine quickly. Starting the Stihl 251 wood boss is easier than many similar homeowner saws. All this happens thanks to a single lever that contains four adjustment positions. This operational control lever consists of on and off positions, choke, and throttle.

The saw is equipped with various options when it comes to maintaining the sharp chain. Wood Boss has an Ematic bar oiling system. This option keeps the bar and chain properly and automatically lubricated. Moreover, the saw has an advanced chain brake system to increase safety.

This system allows for an instant chain stop in the case of a kickback.

Stihl Farm Boss Overview

Like the wood boss, this farm boss is known for fuel efficiency. Despite its powerful engine, the machine can maintain its gasoline supply 20% longer than its equivalent from other brands.

Moreover, you can use shorter or longer guide bars with the Stihl MS 271You can use any bar between 16 and 20 inches on this chainsaw. According to the manufacturer, it works best with an 18-inch bar.

You can use the larger bar lengths for cutting thicker logs. With the Stihl MS 271 Farm Boss, you can efficiently cut any wood with a thickness of 20 inches.

With 5.5 kilograms of powerhead weight, this machine is not considered lightweight. It is a heavy-duty chainsaw that addresses the needs of domestic but regular users. 

Despite the heavy dry weight, this machine has a compact and sleek design. Also, the saw comes with anti-vibration technology. This way, you will feel more comfortable while holding the handle.

In addition to all the great features of the farm boss, it is equipped with a winter/summer shutter. This option helps the carburetor adjust to cold weather. It also prevents the carburetor from icing when operating below 10 degrees Celsius.

Stihl Wood Boss vs. Farm Boss: The Comparison

While their names might indicate similarities, these two Stihl chainsaws differ significantly. Coming from the same manufacturer gives them similar designs and ergonomics. Still, you can’t efficiently use one machine instead of the other. Here is an in-depth look at their massive differences.

1. Powerhead Weight

Generally, Stihl makes lightweight chainsaws that offer excellent maneuverability. However, the Stihl MS 251 wood boss is one of the lightest gas-powered chainsaws ever made. It weighs 4.9 kilograms (11 pounds). As for the Stihl MS 271 farm boss, it has a dry weight of 5.57 kilograms (12.3) pounds.

Both saws have polycarbonate crankcases, which add to their durability and portability. Other professional-level saws would come with magnesium cases that made them heavier.

2. Engine Displacement 

When it comes to power and performance, users pay a lot of attention. Engine displacement reflects the overall engine capacity. There is a vast difference between these two saws in this matter. The Wood Boss comes with a smaller engine capacity of only 45.6 ccs.

Meanwhile, the Stihl MS 271 farm boss has a more powerful engine with a capacity of 50.2 ccs.

3. Horsepower

Horsepower is a significant factor in determining the reliability of a chainsaw’s motor. Generally, the hp 2-stroke gas motor will be of low value. However, the higher it gets, the better performance you can expect from a saw. The farm boss comes with a decent horsepower value, reaching 3.49 bhp.

Meanwhile, horsepower is not one of the wood boss’s strengths. It only offers 2.95 bhp. So, it can be used for chopping firewood but there are better matches for cutting down large trees.

4. Pairable Bars 

While the manufacturer recommends an 18-inch bar for both saws, you can make some changes per your needs. You can match the farm boss with a shorter bar, particularly a 16-inch bar. 

Different from what you might think, the wood boss will be more functional with a 16-inch guide bar. It cuts more efficiently with the recommended bar length. The 18″ bar increases the cutting speed and accuracy.

5. Fuel Tank Capacity 

If you use your chainsaw more frequently, you will need a larger fuel tank. Simply having such a tank will spare you the hassle of ongoing refueling. This feature is found in the farm boss, while the wood boss lacks it. The former has a tank capacity of nearly 17 ounces, while the latter only has a capacity of 13 ounces.

6. Chain Oil Capacity

Another point that makes the farm boss a better option is the capacity of the chain oil tank. Its tank can hold up to 8.11 ounces of the recommended lubricant. The MS 251 wood boss has a smaller tank of only 6.6 ounces.

7. Purchase Price

Unlike professional users, the price factor comes at the top of the list for domestic users. They might choose one chainsaw over the other because of its affordability. The former is the clear winner in this point of the Stihl wood boss vs. farm boss. It would only cost less than $450. 

Meanwhile, the price of the farm boss would be determined according to the guide bar length. It would cost between $620 and $640. 

8. Ease of Maintenance 

As the vast majority of farm and ranch chainsaws, the Farm Boss is complicated to maintain. However, an experienced chainsaw operator can easily understand what it takes to maintain the Stihl MS 271 properly.

That said, removing and reinstalling the farm boss filters is pretty simple. Meanwhile, the wood boss is simpler to maintain. You can easily access its cylinders for regular cleaning through their holes.

9. Uses

As its name suggests, a farm boss is used by farmers for pruning and felling tasks. Wood boss, on the other hand, is used for cutting newbies due to its lightweight and convenience. The former can cut thicker and larger trees, while the latter is best used for delimbing and maintaining a yard. 

Stihl Wood Boss vs. Farm Boss: Which one is the best? 

If you’re looking for the best Chainsaws Made? Stihl chainsaws are everything you are looking for. The wood boss and farm boss are high-speed chainsaws that vary in their performances and target audience

The Wood Boss is an ideal item in the entry-level chainsaw category. The Farm Boss is a more powerful tool that addresses the needs of regular domestic users.

The farm boss is more efficient and durable as far as heavier cutting projects are concerned. However, it is not as portable or maneuverable as the wood boss. Moreover, the latter remains a more cost-efficient option. Additionally, it can compensate for its reduced power with its long guide bar.

So, depending on your needs and budget, you can determine which is best for you. But at the end of the day, you will end up with a decently powerful, fuel-efficient chainsaw.

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