STIHL MS 500i Chainsaw Review


Hey everyone! Today, I’m thrilled to share my experience with the Stihl MS 500i chainsaw, a tool that’s truly a game changer in the world of professional forestry and tree services.

Product Specifications

Engine Power6.7 bhp
Fuel Capacity26.5 oz.
Displacement79.2 cc
Chain Oil Capacity11 oz.
Guide Bar Length25 inches (recommended)
Chain Type3/8″ RS3 OILOMATIC

First Impressions of the Stihl MS 500i

holding a Stihl MS 500i Chainsaw

My initial encounter with the Stihl MS 500i, which carries a price tag of $1,689.99, left a strong impression. As soon as I laid my hands on it, the chainsaw’s robust and sturdy design was immediately apparent. It’s clear from the outset that Stihl has targeted this model towards professionals. What stood out to me was its weight – at 13.9 lbs, it strikes a perfect balance between heft and manageability. This aspect alone gave me a hint of its impressive power-to-weight ratio, a critical factor for any tool intended for extensive and demanding use.

Performance Insights of the Stihl MS 500i

As I explored the capabilities of the Stihl MS 500i, its electronically controlled fuel injection system immediately stood out as a revolutionary feature. Initially, I was skeptical about how much of a difference this technology would make, given my experience with traditional chainsaws. However, my skepticism was quickly replaced by admiration once I began using the saw in various tasks.

a person, wearing safety gear, using a Stihl MS 500i chainsaw to cut through a large log

The MS 500i’s engine power of 6.7 bhp is nothing short of impressive. This high level of power, combined with the precision control offered by the fuel injection system, ensures that the chainsaw performs consistently under different conditions. The power isn’t just in the numbers; it’s tangible and impactful in every cut.

In a specific instance, while cutting through substantial tree trunks, the MS 500i’s performance was extraordinary. The recommended 25-inch guide bar length was more than adequate for the task, facilitating smooth and deep cuts. The OILOMATIC chain with a 3/8″ RS3 pitch further enhanced the cutting efficiency, making the task less laborious and more precise.

a person, visible by their hand wearing a yellow glove, operating a Stihl MS 500i chainsaw

The chainsaw’s chain oil capacity of 11 oz. was sufficient for prolonged use without frequent refills, which is a significant advantage during extensive cutting sessions. Being gas-powered, the MS 500i is ready for all-day, heavy-duty use, a critical requirement for professional forestry work.

Another notable specification is the engine’s displacement of 79.2 cc. This figure indicates the engine’s size and, by extension, its ability to generate power. The larger displacement is a key factor in the MS 500i’s robust performance, contributing to its ability to handle demanding tasks with ease.

Handling and Features of the Stihl MS 500i

The handling of the Stihl MS 500i truly sets it apart in the realm of professional chainsaws. A standout feature is its quick acceleration, which I found to be a major time-saver, especially when tackling large-scale projects. This rapid response time is not just about speed; it translates into improved efficiency and productivity, allowing me to move from one cut to the next seamlessly.

a person, visible from the elbow down, using a Stihl MS 500i Chainsaw to cut through a large piece of wood

Stihl has incorporated several advanced features that enhance the MS 500i’s usability and maintenance. The High Output Adjustable Oiler is a particular highlight, enabling me to customize the oil output depending on the cutting conditions and the task at hand. This flexibility ensures optimal lubrication and reduces wear on the chain and bar. Additionally, the HD2 Air Filter has proven to be a boon for maintenance. Its fine filtration and easy-to-clean design mean that the saw runs cleaner for longer, reducing the frequency and complexity of cleaning tasks.

From a user experience perspective, Stihl has indeed excelled with the MS 500i. The Anti-Vibration System is remarkably effective. It significantly dampens the vibrations transmitted to my arms and hands, which is a major factor in reducing fatigue during prolonged use. Another user-friendly feature is the ElastoStart system, which has simplified the starting process dramatically. The reduced effort needed to start the saw is a relief, especially during long workdays where every bit of saved energy counts.

Durability and Safety

In terms of durability and safety, the MS 500i demonstrates Stihl’s commitment to producing a well-rounded and reliable tool. The unique bumper spike design enhances control during cutting, allowing for more precise and safe operation. This feature is particularly useful when making cuts in tough conditions or in awkward positions.

Stihl MS 500i chainsaw with an orange and white body, placed on top of a pile of freshly cut brown logs

The Side-Access Chain Tensioner is another thoughtful addition. It not only simplifies the process of adjusting the chain tension but also enhances safety by making it easier to ensure the chain is always at the correct tension for cutting.

Furthermore, the inclusion of fuel and oil caps with retainers is a small yet significant detail. These retainers prevent the caps from getting lost and ensure that they are securely fastened, reducing the risk of spillage and contamination. It’s these little details that underscore Stihl’s attention to practicality and safety in their design philosophy.

Pros and Cons of MS500i

I’ve been using this saw for a while now, and I’ve got to say, it’s incredible. The power and throttle response are immediate – there’s no lag like you’d get with carbureted models. It’s like the power is right there at your fingertips the moment you need it.

  • The electronically controlled fuel injection really shines here, providing power exactly when you need it.
  • This saw brings chainsaw servicing into the modern age. The diagnostics are plug and play, making maintenance easier than ever.
  • Every professional I’ve spoken to who’s used the MS 500i has fallen in love with it. It’s robust, efficient, and a real workhorse.
  • Here’s where things get a bit tricky. This saw is extremely hard to get. I ordered my months in advance. The demand has led to some dealers and private sellers marking up the price ridiculously – we’re talking about $2,200 in some cases.
  • Unfortunately, Stihl doesn’t have a mechanism to control this kind of price gouging. It’s frustrating, especially for dealers trying to sell at a reasonable price.
  • If you’re balking at the high prices, consider alternatives like the Stihl 462 or 661. They’re carbureted but offer similar power and are more reasonably priced.

Comparative Analysis: Stihl MS 500i vs. Husqvarna 572 XP

When comparing the Stihl MS 500i and the Husqvarna 572 XP®, several key differences and similarities emerge. The MS 500i, priced at $1,689.99, is more expensive than the Husqvarna 572 XP®, which costs $1,169.99. The MS 500i boasts a more powerful engine at 6.7 bhp compared to the 5.8 bhp of the 572 XP®. In terms of displacement, the MS 500i has a slightly larger engine at 79.2 cc, against the 70.6 cc of the Husqvarna.

Feature/AspectStihl MS 500iHusqvarna 572 XP
Engine Power6.7 bhp5.8 bhp
Displacement79.2 cc70.6 cc
Innovative TechnologyElectronically controlled fuel injectionAutoTune™, X-Torq®, Air Injection™
User ExperienceElastoStart™, Anti-Vibration SystemLowVib®, ergonomic design
Safety FeaturesBumper spikes, Side-Access Chain Tensioner, fuel/oil caps with retainersChain brake, robust design
AvailabilityLimited, with potential price inflationGenerally more widely available

Innovative technology is a standout feature of both models. The MS 500i is equipped with electronically controlled fuel injection, providing consistent power and efficiency. The Husqvarna 572 XP®, on the other hand, features AutoTune™ for automatic engine setting adjustments, X-Torq® for improved fuel efficiency, and Air Injection™ to keep the engine clean.

User experience is paramount for both chainsaws. The Stihl MS 500i offers the ElastoStart™ system and an Anti-Vibration System, ensuring comfort and ease of use during extended periods. The Husqvarna 572 XP® counters with its LowVib® anti-vibration technology and an ergonomic design for comfortable handling.

Safety is also a key concern. The MS 500i includes features like bumper spikes, a Side-Access Chain Tensioner, and fuel and oil caps with retainers for enhanced safety and control. The Husqvarna 572 XP® boasts a reliable chain brake and a robust design for safe operation.

In terms of availability, the Stihl MS 500i has been more limited, occasionally leading to inflated prices. The Husqvarna 572 XP®, in contrast, tends to be more readily available.

In summary, both the Stihl MS 500i and Husqvarna 572 XP® are high-performance, professional-grade chainsaws. The choice between them will depend on specific needs such as budget, preferred technology, and individual requirements for power and user experience.


After extensive use and consideration, I’ve arrived at a firm conclusion regarding the Stihl MS 500i chainsaw. This tool is, without a doubt, an outstanding piece of equipment. Its performance is second to none, offering power and efficiency in a package brimming with features that enhance its usability. From its electronically controlled fuel injection to its rapid acceleration and ergonomic design, the MS 500i has lived up to, and in many ways surpassed its considerable hype. It’s a joy to use, and for professionals in forestry or tree services, I would go as far as to say it’s a game-changer.

outdoor scene where a person, wearing safety gear, is cutting through a large log with a Stihl MS 500i chainsaw

However, it’s crucial to address the elephant in the room: the current market situation. The MS 500i is not only in high demand but also faces issues with availability, leading to inflated prices in many markets. This price surge is a significant barrier, making the saw less accessible to a broader audience. Therefore, my advice is to approach this purchase with pragmatism. If you can procure the MS 500i at a reasonable price, I wholeheartedly recommend it. Its advanced features and performance justify the investment for professional use.

a Stihl MS 500i Chainsaw lying on the ground

But for those unable to find it at a fair price, or for casual users who might not require such a high-performance tool, there are other viable options. Chainsaws like the Stihl 462 or 661, while not as technologically advanced as the MS 500i, still offer excellent performance and may be more attainable and budget-friendly.

In conclusion, the Stihl MS 500i is a fantastic chainsaw, ideal for professional applications. Its blend of power, efficiency, and innovative features set it apart. However, given the current market conditions, it’s important to weigh your options. If the MS 500i is within reach at a fair price, it’s a superb choice. But if not, consider other models that can still meet your professional needs without stretching your budget. Remember, the MS 500i is an exceptional saw, but it’s not the only one out there. Make a decision that aligns with both your professional requirements and your financial constraints.

Stihl 500i for Sale Near Me Click Here

Related Articles:


  1. What makes the Stihl MS 500i unique compared to other chainsaws?
    The MS 500i stands out as the first chainsaw with electronically controlled fuel injection, leading to quick acceleration and consistent power delivery. Its advanced features, such as the High Output Adjustable Oiler, HD2 Air Filter, and ElastoStart system, also set it apart in terms of performance and user experience.
  2. Is the Stihl MS 500i suitable for casual or home use?
    While the MS 500i is a high-performance tool designed for professionals, it can be used by experienced home users. However, its advanced features and price point may be more than what a casual user needs.
  3. How does the electronically controlled fuel injection benefit the user?
    This technology ensures immediate throttle response and consistent power delivery, enhancing efficiency and making the chainsaw easier to handle, especially in demanding situations.
  4. What are the safety features of the MS 500i?
    The MS 500i includes a unique bumper spike design for better control, a Side-Access Chain Tensioner for easy and safe tension adjustments, fuel and oil caps with retainers to prevent spillage, and an effective Anti-Vibration System to reduce user fatigue.
  5. How does the MS 500i’s power-to-weight ratio impact its performance?
    With an engine power of 6.7 bhp and weighing only 13.9 lbs, the MS 500i offers an impressive power-to-weight ratio. This means it provides high power output while being relatively lightweight, enhancing maneuverability and reducing user fatigue.
  6. Are there any challenges with the availability and pricing of the MS 500i?
    Yes, the MS 500i has faced availability issues, leading to inflated prices in some markets. Potential buyers are advised to seek the chainsaw at reasonable prices and avoid overpaying due to market inflation.
  7. Can the guide bar length of the MS 500i be adjusted or changed?
    The recommended guide bar length for the MS 500i is 25 inches, but Stihl offers a range of bar lengths that can be fitted to suit different tasks. It’s important to use the recommended sizes for optimal performance and safety.
  8. How user-friendly is the MS 500i for someone new to this model?
    The MS 500i is designed with several user-friendly features like the ElastoStart system and simplified starting procedure. However, due to its advanced features and power, it’s recommended that new users familiarize themselves thoroughly with the manual and possibly seek professional guidance before use.
  9. What maintenance does the MS 500i require?
    Regular maintenance includes cleaning the HD2 Air Filter, adjusting the High Output Adjustable Oiler as needed, checking and adjusting the chain tension, and general cleaning to remove debris and sawdust. Regular checks of the fuel injection system are also recommended.
  10. Can the MS 500i be used in wet or damp conditions?
    While the MS 500i is robust, using any chainsaw in wet or damp conditions requires extra caution due to safety risks. It’s essential to follow safety guidelines and ensure that the chainsaw and its electrical components are not exposed to excessive moisture.

We invite you to join our community by sharing your experiences with the Stihl MS 500i Chainsaw. Your insights are invaluable in helping others make informed decisions about their chainsaw needs. Comment below with your thoughts, tips, or reviews, and contribute to a helpful resource for those on their wood-cutting journey. Your input is essential in guiding others to choose confidently!

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.


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