STIHL MS 162 Chainsaw Review


The Stihl MS 162 is the latest addition to the renowned lineup of Stihl chainsaws, designed to offer an efficient and user-friendly experience for homeowners and occasional users. With new features and updates, this model promises performance and comfort. Here’s everything you need to know about the MS 162, based on a comprehensive examination and firsthand usage.

Specifications of STIHL MS 162

  • Power Source: Gas
  • Powerhead Weight: 9.9 lbs.
  • Recommended Guide Bar Length: 16 in.
  • Chain Type: 3/8″ PMM3 OILOMATIC Chain
  • Chain Oil Capacity: 9.5 oz.
  • Engine Power: 1.6 bhp
  • Fuel Capacity: 13.5 oz.
  • Displacement: 30.1 cc

Unboxing and First Impressions

Upon receiving the Stihl MS 162, the excitement begins right from the unboxing. The package includes a bar and chain adjusting tool, a scabbard to protect the bar and chain, a user manual, and the chainsaw itself equipped with a 16-inch 3/8 Pico micro narrow chain. This chain is standard across several models like the MS 170 and MS 181, ensuring compatibility and ease of replacement.

Close-up of a person's hand adjusting the control on a STIHL MS 162 chainsaw, showcasing the ergonomic handle and design details.

The MS 162 features a sleek design that mirrors Stihl’s commercial saws but with a practical twist—the commercial saws’ magnesium bar cover is substituted with durable plastic in this model, maintaining the rugged silhouette but at a more consumer-friendly price point.

Key Features and Enhancements

Master Control Lever

The MS 162 introduces an improved master control lever that simplifies operation with a spring-back-off position, enhancing safety and usability.

A person's hands adjusting the settings on an orange and white STIHL MS 162 chainsaw, highlighting the chainsaw’s rear controls and safety features.

Anti-Vibration System

A significant upgrade in this model is the enhanced anti-vibration system. It reduces the physical strain on users, making it comfortable for extended use, especially when tackling larger projects around the yard.

Side view of a STIHL MS 162 chainsaw showing the clean design of the white chassis and the branding, with focus on the tension adjustment area.

Side Access Chain Tensioner

Replacing the traditional front access tensioner, the new side access chain tensioner allows for easier and safer chain adjustments, a thoughtful design change from Stihl aimed at enhancing user convenience.

Close-up view of a STIHL MS 162 chainsaw's side profile showing the detailed design of the engine cover and chain tensioner.


Action shot of a STIHL MS 162 chainsaw cutting through a thick log, emphasizing the chainsaw's effectiveness and the dynamic motion of wood chi

Powering the MS 162 reveals its capability to handle yard maintenance efficiently. The chainsaw operates with a 30.1 cc engine, slightly less powerful at 1.6 BHP compared to its predecessor’s 1.7 BHP. However, this slight reduction in power is compensated by its improved fuel efficiency and reduced emissions, marking it as a more environmentally friendly option.

Comparative Analysis and Usability

During practical tests, comparing the MS 162 with the older MS 170 highlights its advancements. Although it is about a pound heavier than the MS 170, the MS 162’s design improvements like the better anti-vibration system and the side access chain tensioner make it more appealing, especially for new users or those looking for convenient features.

Engine Power1.6 bhp1.7 bhp
Powerhead Weight9.9 lbs8.6 lbs
Guide Bar Length16 inches16 inches
Chain Type3/8″ PMM3 OILOMATIC ChainStandard STIHL Chain
Chain Oil Capacity9.5 oz.Similar capacity
Fuel Capacity13.5 oz.Similar capacity
Displacement30.1 cc30.1 cc

The Stihl MS 162 represents a step up in both technology and user-centric design. It builds on the solid foundation of the MS 170 but introduces enhancements that cater to modern needs, such as reduced emissions, enhanced user comfort, and easier maintenance. The introduction of features like the side-access chain tensioner and the advanced anti-vibration system makes the MS 162 more appealing, particularly for users who might engage in more prolonged or frequent use.

In contrast, the Stihl MS 170 remains a reliable option for those who prefer a lighter saw and primarily engage in less demanding tasks. It offers the proven performance and reliability expected of Stihl products but lacks the ergonomic enhancements and environmental considerations of the newer MS 162.

This comparative analysis highlights that while the MS 170 may appeal to traditionalists or those with minimal needs, the MS 162 is geared towards a more environmentally conscious and ergonomically aware user, making it a better fit for those looking for a modern, easy-to-use chainsaw.

Routine Maintenance and Care Tips for the Stihl MS 162 Chainsaw

  1. Cleaning After Use: After each use, it’s crucial to clean the air filter and the bar and chain of your Stihl MS 162. For the air filter, remove it and tap it gently to dislodge any dust, or use a soft brush for a light clean. If it’s particularly dirty, wash it with soapy water, rinse thoroughly, and allow it to air dry completely before reinstallation. The guide bar groove and oil holes should also be cleaned to ensure smooth movement of the chain and effective lubrication. Use a small brush or cloth to remove any accumulated sawdust, dirt, or debris.
  2. Chain Maintenance: Maintaining the sharpness of the chain is vital for efficient cutting and to reduce the strain on the engine. Regularly sharpen the chain using a Stihl filing kit, following the manufacturer’s guidelines to maintain the correct angle and depth. Additionally, check the chain’s tension before each use and adjust as needed, especially since new chains tend to stretch. A properly tensioned chain should be snug against the bar but still able to rotate freely.
  3. Lubrication: Ensure that the chain oil levels are regularly checked and replenished to keep the chain well-lubricated. This reduces the friction and wear between the chain and the bar, which is critical for the longevity and efficiency of your chainsaw. Always use Stihl branded chain oil or another high-quality chain oil for the best protection and performance.
  4. Storing the Chainsaw: For long-term storage, empty the fuel tank in a well-ventilated area and run the engine until it stops to prevent issues from old fuel residues. Thoroughly clean the chainsaw and apply a light coat of oil to the chain and guide bar to prevent rust. Store your chainsaw in a dry, secure place out of the reach of children.
  5. Regular Servicing: Regular professional servicing is recommended, especially if the chainsaw is used frequently. A professional can thoroughly check the engine’s condition, replace worn parts, and make necessary adjustments to ensure that your chainsaw is always in top working condition.
  6. Check for Wear and Tear: Regular inspections of the chainsaw for any signs of wear or damage are important. Pay special attention to the chain, bar, sprocket, and safety features. Replace any parts that are worn out or damaged to maintain both the safety and efficiency of your chainsaw.
  7. Safety Gear Maintenance: Maintain your safety gear in good condition as well. Before each use, inspect your gloves, goggles, and hearing protection for any damage and replace them if necessary to ensure your safety while operating the chainsaw.

Final Thoughts

The Stihl MS 162 stands out for its blend of performance, enhanced safety features, and user-centric design. It is an excellent choice for homeowners who need a reliable tool for occasional cutting tasks. Its modern features are thoughtfully integrated to make yard work less of a chore and more of a pleasure. If you’re in the market for a chainsaw that balances power, safety, and ease of use, the Stihl MS 162 is a worthy contender to consider.


  1. What is the engine power of the Stihl MS 162?
    The Stihl MS 162 has an engine power of 1.6 bhp.
  2. Does the Stihl MS 162 have a chain brake?
    Yes, the Stihl MS 162 is equipped with the STIHL Quickstop chain brake for enhanced safety.
  3. Can I adjust the chain tension without tools on the MS 162?
    Yes, the MS 162 features a side-access chain tensioner for tool-free adjustments.
  4. What is the weight of the Stihl MS 162?
    The Stihl MS 162 weighs 9.9 lbs.
  5. Is the Stihl MS 162 suitable for professional use?
    The MS 162 is designed primarily for homeowners and occasional use, not for heavy professional use.
  6. What type of fuel should be used with the MS 162?
    Use unleaded gasoline with a minimum octane rating of 89 and a high-quality two-stroke engine oil at a 50:1 mix ratio.
  7. How often should the air filter be cleaned in the MS 162?
    Clean the air filter regularly, depending on usage frequency—more often if used in dusty conditions.
  8. Where is the Stihl MS 162 manufactured?
    The majority of STIHL products sold in America, including the MS 162, are made in America of U.S. and global materials.

Do you have questions or want to share your experience with the Stihl MS 162? We’d love to hear from you in the comments below! Whether you’re a seasoned user or considering your first chainsaw purchase, your insights are invaluable. And if you found this review helpful, feel free to share it with friends and fellow enthusiasts. Let’s keep the dialogue going and help each other make informed choices!

David Murray
David Murray
Forestry Author

I'm David Murry, a forestry equipment specialist with a focus on chainsaw operation. With over 13 years of experience, I've honed my skills in operating and maintaining a wide range of machinery, from chainsaws to log splitters. My passion for the outdoors and commitment to sustainable forestry drive my work, which emphasizes safety, efficiency, and staying updated with industry advancements. Additionally, I'm dedicated to sharing my expertise and promoting environmental awareness within the forestry community.


Leave your comment

Please enter your name.
Please provide a valid email address.
Please type your comment.