Stihl MS 230 Chainsaw Reviews, Specs, Price, and Versions

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The Stihl MS 230 is a 45 cc 2.5 hp chainsaw made between 2002 and 2012.

Our Dad has used this 230 for 15 years, primarily for cutting firewood 4 or 5 days a year. It doesn’t get a huge amount of use, but it always starts and runs well.

It’s a small, lightweight saw perfect for this kind of thing; light, occasional homeowner or hobby farm duties.

Stihl MS230 Chainsaw

how to use stihl 230 saw

The most commonly asked question about this chainsaw is what the designations mean.

For example, you can buy this chainsaw as an MS 230 or 230 C-BE:

  • MS 230 – the standard base model
  • MS 230 C-BE – comfort feature (C) = Quick Chain Tensioning (B), Ergo Start (E)

The C-BE version is a pound heavier than the base model, but has those additional features.

The chainsaw above is called a 230 C Wood Boss. Wood Boss is just a marketing term.

Stihl said of the base model 230:

With more power than the MS 210 and the same features as the MS 250, this occasional use chain saw can definitely hold its own.

With a high power-to-weight ratio for maximum performance and an ergonomic design, the MS 230 is built for a variety of purposes like trimming trees or cutting firewood.

And of the C-BE:

Designed like the MS 230 and with more power than the MS 210, this chain saw’s Easy2Start™ system allows for a virtually effortless jerk-free start.

With the exclusive Quick Chain Adjuster and a high power-to-weight ratio, the MS 230 C-BE weighs in as a fully featured member of our occasional use series chain saws.

What type of work is the MS230 series good for?

  • Limbing and pruning
  • Processing thinner logs for firewood
  • Light clean up and tree clearing
  • As a camping or hunting chainsaw
  • Dropping small trees

The MS230 isn’t designed for frequent use, nor is it the best option for cutting hardwoods.

A 50cc or higher chainsaw, such as the Stihl MS 261, would be better for this type of application.

STIHL MS 230 Reviews

using the stihl 230c

The Stihl MS230 Chainsaw is a good saw for the right person, but it’s not for everyone.

Its capabilities are limited, so it’s best kept as a backup saw or a saw for the small stuff.

Our dad has certainly appreciated it and he’s pushed it to its limits in terms of the size of wood he’s cutting, but it would be faster with a bigger, better saw.

Here are some more comments from users:

  • Jack said, “Had my 230 for 17 trouble-free years. It and my 660 heat 5 houses each winter.”
  • Ron said, “I have one. Paid $35 Canadian for it. Runs like a champ.”
  • Zack said, “Underrated little saw, love my 230.”

To get more out of a 230, Josh said:

Swap out for a MS 250 engine same physical size but has a larger bore.

Open up the muffler, advance the timing, remove carb limiters, and get the carb dialed in.

Ross shared:

The 230 is same saw as 210 but with a longer stroke. The 250 is same stroke with bigger bore, I believe…

230s are fairly inexpensive but reliable homeowner saws.

John said:

If you know what you are doing, mostly any saw will get the job done.

Not everyone needs a pro saw.

I have dropped a lot of trees with an 025, and cleaned up a lot of down trees after ice storms.

But not everyone likes them.

For some, they’re just too small and considered “junk.”

The 230 is never going to win any awards for cutting speed or power, but it’s good enough for many folk who just need a little saw from time to time.

Specs and Features

updated stihl 230 specs

Remember that the specs can vary depending on where and when your Stihl 230 chainsaw was made.

MS 230 specifications:

  • 40.2 cc / 2.45 cu. in.
  • 2.5 hp / 1.9 kW engine
  • 10.1 lbs / 4.6 kgs
  • 101 dB(A)
  • 3/8″P chain pitch
  • 2-stroke gas engine (of course)

Stihl states that it’s suitable for cutting a maximum wood diameter of 18 inches, though as we all know, it all depends on how you use it.

For more info, read the Stihl MS230 manual.

It’s a simple chainsaw that’s easy to use, doesn’t weigh a ton, and is great for light tasks.

STIHL MS 230 Price

stihl chainsaw with side chain tensioner

How much is the Stihl MS230?

It’s one of the cheapest Stihl chainsaws, so it’s not a bad idea to buy it new rather than second-hand (where you don’t always get an accurate history).


We wouldn’t pay more than $200 for a second-hand model, which is still pretty pricey unless it is in mint condition.

Stihl MS 230 Pro Chainsaw

stihl 230 C

You won’t go wrong buying the Stihl 230 if you remember what it’s designed for: light work.

Like all Stihl homeowner saws, they should last for years and perform well. It’s important to remember each model’s limitations and not push it beyond its design.

Professional chainsaws can go all day through the toughest wood and thickest trees, but these homeowner models are best for infrequent use around the home.


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5 thoughts on “Stihl MS 230 Chainsaw Reviews, Specs, Price, and Versions”

    • Same here. I have given my 16 year old MS230 a ton of use including many all day multiple days felling of 20+” trees abd it has never missed a beat. Truly one of the best value for money items I’ve ever purchased.

  1. Compared to my old 031av (49cc/1980) it is a P.O.S. but it ‘does the job’. If I was looking to purchase a new small saw I wouldn’t consider the modern Stihl range, including their ‘professional’ saws. I’d be looking at an Echo, Makita/Dolmar or even a Redmax. I’ll get a lot of howls and cries from the younger set but they know ‘shit-all’; I’ve been using saws since1980 but at 71 years of age am thinking of ‘giving the game away’ (too old).


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