Stihl MS 170 Chainsaw Review: A Must-Have for Woodworkers

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Today, I’m thrilled to delve into an in-depth Stihl MS 170 review, sharing my personal experience with this remarkable chainsaw. The Stihl MS 170 stands out as an exceptional choice, catering to the needs of both seasoned professionals and beginners embarking on their chainsaw journey. As we explore the various facets of this powerful yet user-friendly tool, it becomes clear why the MS 170 is highly regarded in the world of chainsaw enthusiasts and casual users alike. So, let’s dive into the details and uncover the unique features and capabilities that make the Stihl MS170 a top contender in its class.

 Stihl MS 170

Handling and Comfort

 Stihl MS 170

I was genuinely impressed by the lightweight design and compact size of the Stihl MS 170. Weighing in at just 8.6 lbs, it was a breeze to handle, even during extended cutting sessions. The ergonomics of this chainsaw made it comfortable to use, which is a significant factor when tackling those more substantial woodworking projects.

Performance and Power

 Stihl MS 170

During my time using the Stihl MS 170 chainsaw, I found the performance and power quite impressive for its size and class. The 30.1cc 2-stroke engine delivered more than enough power for light to medium-duty cutting tasks, making it perfect for various residential and small-scale woodworking projects like trimming branches, cutting firewood, and handling small trees.

I was delighted with how easily the chainsaw started, and the smooth operation it provided, thanks to the anti-vibration system. This feature significantly reduced the vibrations I felt during use, making the cutting experience more comfortable and enjoyable. The 16-inch bar offered a good cutting capacity, allowing me to tackle various tasks with ease.

 Stihl MS 170

It’s worth noting that the Stihl MS 170 isn’t designed for heavy-duty tasks or cutting large logs. For those types of jobs, a more powerful chainsaw with a larger engine and longer bar would be necessary. However, for its intended purpose, the MS 170 certainly lived up to my expectations, providing reliable performance and sufficient power for my light to medium-duty woodworking needs.

What Sets it Apart

What sets the Stihl MS 170 apart from its competitors is its perfect balance of power, weight, and ease of use. This combination makes it an excellent choice for woodworkers of all skill levels, whether you’re just starting or have years of experience under your belt.

Comparisons and Alternatives

During my experience with the Stihl MS 170, I also had the opportunity to try some alternative chainsaws to compare their performance and features. Here are two notable alternatives that I considered:

Husqvarna 135 Mark II

The Husqvarna 135 Mark II is another lightweight chainsaw that is suitable for light to medium-duty cutting tasks. With a 38.2 cc engine and a 16-inch bar, it offers slightly more power than the Stihl MS 170. The chainsaw starts easily, thanks to its combined choke/stop control feature. However, I found that the overall ergonomics and handling of the Stihl MS 170 were more comfortable during extended use.

Husqvarna 135 Mark II

Echo CS-310

The Echo CS-310 is another alternative in the same class as the Stihl MS 170. It comes with a 30.5 cc engine and a 14-inch bar, making it suitable for similar tasks. The Echo CS-310 features a tool-free air filter cover, making maintenance a bit easier. However, in my experience, the Stihl MS 170 still edged out the Echo CS-310 in terms of overall handling and user comfort.

Echo CS-310

While all three chainsaws performed well for light to medium-duty tasks, I found the Stihl MS 170 to be the best choice for me due to its excellent balance of power, weight, and ease of use. The superior ergonomics and overall handling of the MS 170 made it stand out among the alternatives. However, depending on your specific needs and preferences, the Husqvarna 135 Mark II or Echo CS-310 may also be suitable options to consider.

Comparison Table

FeatureStihl MS170Husqvarna 135 Mark IIEcho CS-310
Engine displacement30.1 cc38.2 cc30.5 cc
Bar length16-inch16-inch14-inch
Weight8.6 lbs10.36 lbs8.8 lbs
Anti-vibration systemYesYesYes
Easy-start systemYesYes (choke/stop combo)Yes
Tool-free maintenanceNoNoYes (air filter cover)
Ergonomics and handlingExcellentGoodGood
Price$$$$$$$
Table of the Stihl MS 170, Husqvarna 135 Mark II, and Echo CS-310 chainsaws:

Pros and Cons

Pros

  • At just 8.6 lbs, the Stihl MS 170 is easy to handle, reducing fatigue during extended use.
  • The compact size and comfortable grip make it suitable for users of various skill levels, ensuring precise control during cutting tasks.
  • The 30.1 cc 2-stroke engine offers adequate power for light to medium-duty cutting tasks, making it versatile for various woodworking projects.
  • The MS 170 features a straightforward starting process, reducing the time and effort needed to get the chainsaw up and running.
  • This feature ensures smoother operation, further enhancing user comfort and reducing fatigue during extended cutting sessions.
  • The Stihl MS 170 is competitively priced, making it an excellent value option for woodworkers on a budget or those looking for a reliable chainsaw without breaking the bank.

Cons

  • While the MS 170 is perfect for light to medium-duty cutting tasks, it may not be the best option for heavy-duty applications or handling large logs.
  • The MS 170 comes with a 16-inch bar, which may not be suitable for users looking for a chainsaw with a longer bar or more power.
  • Some chainsaws in this category feature tool-free chain tensioning systems, making it easier to adjust the chain tension without additional tools. The MS 170 does not have this feature, which may be a minor inconvenience for some users.
  • The MS 170 uses a two-stroke engine, which requires a mixture of gasoline and oil. This can be less environmentally friendly and require more frequent maintenance compared to four-stroke engines.
 Stihl MS 170
 Stihl MS 170
 Stihl MS 170

Verdict

In my opinion, the Stihl MS 170 chainsaw is a must-have for any woodworker looking for a reliable, easy-to-handle tool for light to medium-duty cutting tasks. Its excellent balance of power, weight, and usability makes it a top choice in its class.

For those interested in purchasing the CS-590 Timber Wolf, I’ve provided a link to the seller below:
Ace Hardware: STIHL MS 170 16 in. 30.1 cc Gas Chainsaw
Acme Tools: Stihl MS 170 Lightweight Gas Powered Chainsaw – 16 In

John Carlos
John Carlos
Forestry Author

The beauty of logging isn't just about felling trees. It's about understanding nature, mastering the art of chainsaws, and respecting the environment. I believe in sharing my experiences and knowledge, ensuring that we move towards a sustainable future together.

4 comments

The ms 170 is an awesome little saw. I have a much bigger husky for logs and big trees, but thus 170 is what I use on my property 95% of the time. Mine is older but the only thing I've had to do was change out the jets right after I bought it. The factory jets are junk. I highly recommend this saw.

Daniel Adams
Randy
May 7, 2023 9:39 pm

I bought one to handle clean up after a nor'easter took down a bunch of trees and limbs. I'm an older gal with some arthritis in my hands. This chainsaw is a comfortable weight for me and easy to pull start. Perfect for what I need to get done!

Daniel Adams
Karen
May 5, 2023 7:41 pm

I want one !

Daniel Adams
Marcel
May 4, 2023 10:39 pm

I sell and service stihl equipment and the MS 170 is a very popular chainsaw. Other than a service kit I very seldom see one in my shop. Very good review! Thank you

Daniel Adams
Allen
May 4, 2023 1:28 am

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