Small Stihl chainsaw
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    Small Stihl chainsaw

    I currently have a MS290 with 20 inch bar and am now looking to also get a smaller saw for light work. Does anyone have any recommendations on the MS170, 171, 180, 181, 211? I don't know much about these new "features" such as low emission, easy start, pre separation air filtration, etc etc. I'm not afraid of these new features, just don't know if they are gimmicks or actually worthwhile. Just looking for a reliable, lightweight, 16 inch bar Stihl saw. Thanks.
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    I can tell you that the easy start is no gimmick. If not for that I would not be able to start any chainsaw.

    I have a 180 now with 16Ē bar and is a great trim saw - about all the saw I can handle now. I previously had a 170 and could just not pull it to start it. The 180 feels very balanced to me and nice and light. Perfect trim saw in my opinion.

    Living in the middle of the woods having a saw is paramount. I can do 90% of what I need with it. All I do anymore is clean up downed trees from storms and/or old age.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ssjfyr View Post
    I currently have a MS290 with 20 inch bar and am now looking to also get a smaller saw for light work. Does anyone have any recommendations on the MS170, 171, 180, 181, 211? I don't know much about these new "features" such as low emission, easy start, pre separation air filtration, etc etc. I'm not afraid of these new features, just don't know if they are gimmicks or actually worthwhile. Just looking for a reliable, lightweight, 16 inch bar Stihl saw. Thanks.
    I never buy at the bottom of a product line. The MS180 is only $20 more that the MS170 and has better power.

    After Hurricane Michael, I worked my MS180 much harder than I should have. It performed admirably for a limbing saw, cutting a lot of rather large oak and pine trees. The anti-kickback chain (PMM3) is all that held it back. The narrow kerf caused some binding and heat buildup. (Hard to blame the saw for that.) Since you already have a larger saw, I don't see any reason to sacrifice cost & weight for more power or advanced features.
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    I have two MS170's.

    One is just recently acquired from a friend. It was barely used.

    The other is 5 years old. When it dies is owes me nothing.

    Like you I also have a MS290 that does the bigger work.

    The 170's do a lot more of the small and dirty work. They go on sale quite often for about $159 ($20 off DSRP).
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    I recommend the MS-170 with easy-start. The dealer I'm most familiar with doubles the length of the factory warranty if a six-pack carton of pre-mix oil is purchased along with the saw. I further recommend running mid-grade or higher grade gasoline in the pre-mix; It burns more efficiently than regular grade gas. Ethanol content plays a huge role also.

    Brian


    Quote Originally Posted by ssjfyr View Post
    I currently have a MS290 with 20 inch bar and am now looking to also get a smaller saw for light work. Does anyone have any recommendations on the MS170, 171, 180, 181, 211? I don't know much about these new "features" such as low emission, easy start, pre separation air filtration, etc etc. I'm not afraid of these new features, just don't know if they are gimmicks or actually worthwhile. Just looking for a reliable, lightweight, 16 inch bar Stihl saw. Thanks.
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    I just bought an ms250 and its tough to start. They make another easy start model that i should have purchased. The 170 is a great little saw and no problem starting
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    I have an MS390 and a Homelite 240 that wonít quit. Every time I think about getting a small Stihl I canít do it. The trusty ole Homelite (got for 100 bucks at a garage sale) just keeps running strong. I do like new toys, so Iíll be following this thread
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    Quote Originally Posted by PikeCoGreenTractorMan View Post
    I recommend the MS-170 with easy-start. The dealer I'm most familiar with doubles the length of the factory warranty if a six-pack carton of pre-mix oil is purchased along with the saw. I further recommend running mid-grade or higher grade gasoline in the pre-mix; It burns more efficiently than regular grade gas. Ethanol content plays a huge role also.

    Brian
    They will also double the warranty if you buy a case of their canned fuel. Thatís all I use now so it worked out great.
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    I just bought a MS-170 when they were on sale at my dealer, $159 and doubled the warranty for picking up a six pack oil. So far it has worked flawlessly though I am going to replace the 16" .38 bar/chain with a 14" .50, if I said that right, I'm not a chainsaw guy but was told by several people that it will bring this little saw to a new level.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kbar View Post
    I have an MS390 and a Homelite 240 that wonít quit. Every time I think about getting a small Stihl I canít do it. The trusty ole Homelite (got for 100 bucks at a garage sale) just keeps running strong. I do like new toys, so Iíll be following this thread
    Haha, I know what you mean about Homelite's. I actually had bad luck with their saws, at work we would always choose the Husky's over the Homelites, but many years ago I was given an old 2nd or 3rd hand Homelite lawnmower. I was going to use it "temporarily" until it died, then get a new one.

    Well, that was 20, yes, 20 years ago, and the thing is still going strong! I felt bad after about 7 or 8 years of owning it and actually changed the oil (what little there was left, lol). Since then every few years I would change the oil, now, I pretty much change the oil and clean the air filter every year. It is all "Frankensteind" together to keep the wheels on, and handle working and it even is missing the shut off cable and I have to do that manually, but it is a great lawnmower.

    It starts on the first or second pull every time. There was a time many years ago that at the start of the year it wouldn't start, and I was just about to say "ok, well, it's done", then on the next pull it started. Now, after doing some maintenance, it starts on about the 4th or 5th pull at the start of the season. It is a 3 hp B&S motor.
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