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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 16” 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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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


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 won’t quit. Every time I think about getting a small Stihl I can’t do it. The trusty ole Homelite (got for 100 bucks at a garage sale) just keeps running strong. I do like new toys, so I’ll be following this thread
:munch:
 

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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
They will also double the warranty if you buy a case of their canned fuel. That’s 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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Discussion Starter #10
I have an MS390 and a Homelite 240 that won’t quit. Every time I think about getting a small Stihl I can’t do it. The trusty ole Homelite (got for 100 bucks at a garage sale) just keeps running strong. I do like new toys, so I’ll be following this thread
:munch:
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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Discussion Starter #11
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.
Very interesting, I could probably get by with a 14" bar too.
 

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Thanks for the feedback everyone, keep it coming! I am kind of leaning toward the MS170 as it is on sale right now and there seems to be pretty positive reviews from you fellas about it. :thumbup1gif:
 

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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.
The chain/bar upgrade is great. It replaces the 16" bar .043 low profile chain with a 14" bar, .050 3/8 chain. You can even drop down to a 12" bar if ya want.
The MS170/180 are good saws. I see very little issues. Most issues are operator caused. They dont have a real great air filtration system. So keep your chain sharp!
 

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The chain/bar upgrade is great. It replaces the 16" bar .043 low profile chain with a 14" bar, .050 3/8 chain. You can even drop down to a 12" bar if ya want.
The MS170/180 are good saws. I see very little issues. Most issues are operator caused. They dont have a real great air filtration system. So keep your chain sharp!
So if I go into my Stihl dealer and tell him I want...

A 14” bar with .050 3/8 chain he will know what I want and what to give me?

About how much money are we talking?
 

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So if I go into my Stihl dealer and tell him I want...

A 14” bar with .050 3/8 chain he will know what I want and what to give me?

About how much money are we talking?
The bar part# is 3005 000 4809.
Part# for the chain will vary. There is a "green" chain which is low kick back and the "yellow" chain which is the standard chain. Both will be a 3/8 pitch chain, 050 gauge, with 50 drivers.
Not sure on prices. I can get more info at work tomorrow.

Sent from my LGL52VL using Tapatalk
 

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The bar part# is 3005 000 4809.
Part# for the chain will vary. There is a "green" chain which is low kick back and the "yellow" chain which is the standard chain. Both will be a 3/8 pitch chain, 050 gauge, with 50 drivers.
Not sure on prices. I can get more info at work tomorrow.

Sent from my LGL52VL using Tapatalk
Don’t trouble yourself - I can stop at the dealer when I go to town on Tuesday and find out. Having the bar number is a big help.

Thanks anyway!
 

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I've got 2 170's...One older one & 1 new one.

Took the old one in to get tuned...carb issues?...they said it needed new carb. Dealer won't clean carbs on small stuff?..They say its cheaper in the end to buy new carb. This after they Hit me for a 69.95 $ diagnostic fee:banghead:

Why the diagnostic fee I ask...I told you what I wanted done:banghead:

In the end they discounted the fee off a brand new saw...ok now I have a matching parts saw.

FF 6 months...grab the old saw and it fires right up. Runs a while ..usually a tank or so then quits.
Few weeks / months later will start and go again. I'm thinking its more of a coil issue or whatever.

New one is great and my go to. Have a 026 and a huge Husky 272.

I'll grab the 170 everytime..its just a good light handy safer(in my eyes) saw for general use.

If I've got big logs I'll use the big saws but most times its just a tree in the road or big branch to quickly deal with.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
I've got 2 170's...One older one & 1 new one.

Took the old one in to get tuned...carb issues?...they said it needed new carb. Dealer won't clean carbs on small stuff?..They say its cheaper in the end to buy new carb. This after they Hit me for a 69.95 $ diagnostic fee:banghead:

Why the diagnostic fee I ask...I told you what I wanted done:banghead:

In the end they discounted the fee off a brand new saw...ok now I have a matching parts saw.

FF 6 months...grab the old saw and it fires right up. Runs a while ..usually a tank or so then quits.
Few weeks / months later will start and go again. I'm thinking its more of a coil issue or whatever.

New one is great and my go to. Have a 026 and a huge Husky 272.

I'll grab the 170 everytime..its just a good light handy safer(in my eyes) saw for general use.

If I've got big logs I'll use the big saws but most times its just a tree in the road or big branch to quickly deal with.
That's kind of my thinking, smaller, lighter, less fatiguing as I'm getting older, safer. Won't really know until I try one out, but that's my thought process anyway.
 

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They have the magnisium version for the tree trimmer guys...BUT

Same story on the tiny carb vs bad gas.

I'm not gonna through 600 at a tiny saw that might crap out as I use them Not so often.

Besides the Ergonomics are completely different.

Magnum ( or whatever the pro version is called) is a one handed saw...something I'm just not going to do

Basic 170 is 2 handed with a good amount of space between hands= better leverage.

Seems like it was 169$ I forget.
 

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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.
Since we've resolved the primary issue, I'll chime in on the gasoline discussion.
Although octane isn't an issue, a Stihl dealer in Virginia several years ago used his test kit to show me the difference between regular and premium gas (both contained 10% ethanol). The test tube with regular included a distinct layer of a cloudy, waxy substance. He explained that to reduce cost, the cheapest grades often have much lower quailty and purity than premium. Big engines don't care, but the impurities wreak havoc in tiny carburetors. He said he never ran anything but premium in his lawn equipment if he couldn't find ethanol free fuel.
 
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