STIHL MS660 Chainsaw Review


The STIHL MS660 chainsaw is not just any chainsaw; it’s a legend in the world of heavy-duty, professional woodcutting. Designed for extreme conditions and formidable tasks, this chainsaw has carved its niche among the best. Let’s delve into what makes the MS660 a standout choice and dissect its features, performance, and my personal take on this powerhouse.

Specifications of STIHL MS660

  • Engine Displacement: 91.6 cm³
  • Power Output: 5.2/7.1 kW/PS
  • Weight: 7.4 kg
  • Power-to-Weight Ratio: 1.4 kg/kW
  • Sound Pressure Level: 101 dB(A)
  • Sound Power Level: 114 dB(A)
  • Vibration Levels (Left/Right): 7/7 m/s²
  • Saw Chain Pitch: 3/8″
  • STIHL Oilomatic Saw Chain Type: Rapid Super (RS)

STIHL MS660 Built for the Extreme

Person holding a STIHL MS660 Chainsaw

The MS660 is engineered for those who confront the most challenging woodcutting scenarios. Its high engine power, coupled with a relatively low weight, makes it a perfect partner for dense stands and cutting through the hardest of woods. Available in guide bar lengths ranging from 20″/50cm to 36″/90cm, it’s a versatile tool that has proven its mettle in the legendary STIHL TIMBERSPORTS® Series.

User-Centric Features

STIHL doesn’t just build chainsaws; it engineers experiences. The MS660 comes packed with features aimed at enhancing user comfort and efficiency:

  • STIHL ElastoStart: This ensures a smooth start-up, a blessing for any professional who knows the rigors of starting a high-compression tool.
  • Carburettor Pre-Heating: A feature that makes the MS660 a reliable companion even in the coldest of winters.
  • Controlled-Delivery Oil Pump: This innovative feature reduces oil consumption significantly, a thoughtful design catering to long, intense cutting sessions.
  • Side-Mounted Chain Tensioning: Quick, protected, and secure – exactly what you need when you’re in the middle of a demanding job.
  • Compensator and Manual Decompression: These features ensure the chainsaw maintains its performance with minimal maintenance and an easier start-up.
  • STIHL Anti-Vibration System and Ematic System: They make the work less tiring and more efficient, proving that STIHL thinks about the user’s comfort and the chainsaw’s performance.

STIHL MS660 Power Beneath the Hood

With a displacement of 91.6 cm³ and a power output of 5.2/7.1 kW/PS, the MS660 is nothing short of a beast. However, owning one has given me a nuanced perspective. In its stock form, the chainsaw can feel underwhelming due to a restrictive factory muffler.

Person using a STIHL MS660 Chainsaw to cut a log

But once it’s opened up, the MS660 roars to life, showcasing its true potential. It’s crucial to understand that while it’s a powerhouse, its advantages over other models like the 440/460/372/7900 become apparent only when dealing with significantly large wood. For smaller tasks, its prowess may not be as noticeable, but when you hit the 30″ mark, the MS660’s capabilities are undeniable.

STIHL MS660 Pros and cons


  • The MS660’s high engine power (5.2/7.1 kW/PS) is ideal for cutting through dense and hard wood, proving invaluable in professional and heavy-duty settings.
  • With options ranging from 20″/50cm to 36″/90cm, the chainsaw offers versatility to handle a variety of cutting tasks, making it suitable for different wood sizes and types.
  • Features like STIHL ElastoStart and manual decompression provide a smoother and easier start, reducing the physical strain on the user.
  • The side-mounted chain tensioning allows for quick and easy adjustments, enhancing the overall user experience.
  • The Controlled-Delivery Oil Pump and STIHL Ematic System ensure efficient use of oil, prolonging the lifespan of the chainsaw’s components.
  • The compensator helps maintain consistent engine performance and reduces the frequency of maintenance.
  • The anti-vibration system significantly reduces the vibrations transmitted to the user, minimizing fatigue and allowing for longer periods of use.


  • In its stock configuration, the chainsaw might underperform due to the restrictive factory muffler. Modifications might be necessary to unleash its full potential, which could be a drawback for non-technical users.
  • Weighing 7.4 kg, the MS660 can be considered heavy, especially when used for extended periods, potentially leading to user fatigue.
  • Described by some as a “fuel hog,” the MS660’s powerful performance comes at the cost of high fuel consumption, which might not be economical for casual or infrequent users.
  • With the discontinuation of the MS660 model, finding new units might be challenging, and the availability of parts and service could potentially become an issue in the future.

Reasons Behind the Discontinuation of the STIHL MS660

STIHL’s decision to stop production of the MS660 in 2013 was influenced by several factors:

  1. The MS660 was designed with the professional in mind, offering power that far exceeded the needs of average users. Its robust performance, while admirable, often led to it being over-purchased by those who didn’t require such intense capabilities, raising concerns about misuse and safety.
  2. The MS660’s high-quality components and design made it an expensive chainsaw to produce. This factor, combined with the emergence of more cost-effective models, likely influenced STIHL’s decision from a business standpoint.
  3. The advent of newer, lighter, and more efficient chainsaw models made the MS660 less appealing to a market increasingly inclined towards more user-friendly and economical options. STIHL’s focus shifted to developing chainsaws that better aligned with these evolving preferences.

A Niche Fit

Person using a STIHL MS660 Chainsaw to cut logs

The MS660 is a fantastic saw, extremely well-built, and designed for the professional logger. It’s not a universal tool but a specialized one. For the average user, it might be overkill. The chainsaw is sold often not just based on need but on the want for having the biggest and baddest. While it’s a badge of honor in the professional circle, for many, it might be a purchase driven by aspiration rather than necessity.

Looking for STIHL 660 Manual?

Here’s a user manual that can assist you in using the Stihl 660 chainsaw properly and effectively. Click Here!

STIHL 660 Manual

In Conclusion

The STIHL MS660 is more than a chainsaw; it’s a commitment to power, endurance, and professional-grade performance. While it may not be the first choice for casual woodcutting, for those who need what it offers, the MS660 is an unrivaled champion. As you consider making it part of your arsenal, weigh its capabilities against your needs, and remember, in the realm of large, tough wood, the MS660 is king.


  1. How does the STIHL MS660 compare to newer models in terms of power and efficiency?
    The MS660 is renowned for its robust power, designed for heavy-duty tasks. Newer models tend to balance power with efficiency, often featuring advanced technologies for fuel efficiency and reduced emissions. While the MS660 excels in power, newer models may offer improved efficiency and user-friendly features.
  2. Can the MS660’s stock muffler be modified for better performance, and how does this affect the warranty?
    Modifying the stock muffler can enhance performance by improving airflow. However, any modification can void the warranty. It’s recommended to consult with a professional or refer to the warranty terms before making modifications.
  3. What specific safety measures should be taken when operating the MS660 due to its high power output?
    Due to its power, it’s crucial to wear appropriate safety gear, including a helmet, goggles, gloves, ear protection, and chainsaw chaps. Ensure you’re trained in handling high-power chainsaws, work in a stable stance, and never cut alone.
  4. How does the weight of the MS660 affect its maneuverability and user fatigue during extended use?
    The MS660’s weight, while indicative of its solid construction and power, can lead to user fatigue and reduced maneuverability over long periods. Proper handling techniques and regular breaks can help mitigate fatigue.
  5. What are some common troubleshooting tips for the most frequent issues encountered with the MS660?
    Common issues include difficulty starting, chain tension problems, and clogging. Regular maintenance, ensuring fresh fuel, proper chain tensioning, and keeping the saw clean can prevent many problems. Consult the user manual for specific troubleshooting guidance.
  6. Are there any professional training or certification programs recommended for users of the MS660 given its professional-grade power?
    Yes, professional training programs are highly recommended for users of high-power chainsaws like the MS660. These programs cover safety, maintenance, and efficient operation techniques. Check with local forestry associations or STIHL authorized dealers for available training.

Join our conversation below and become an integral part of our wood-cutting community. Whether you’ve mastered the art of the perfect cut or you’re just beginning your chainsaw journey, your insights and experiences are invaluable. Share your tips, tricks, and personal reviews to help others navigate the world of chainsaws with greater ease and confidence. Every contribution enriches our collective knowledge, fostering a supportive network for enthusiasts and professionals alike. Let’s grow together, shaping a well-informed and resourceful community for all chainsaw users!

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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