Living out in the country with acres and acres of trees all around, having a good chainsaw is not a luxury, it’s a necessity.
I already own an older Stihl model with a 20” bar, so I was really needing a chainsaw that wasn’t as big and heavy to use on smaller trees and limbs.
During a visit to Rural King in our area, I spotted the Stihl MS 171 chainsaw sitting on the rack.
It appeared to be exactly the size I was looking for, so I checked it out.
Was I ever happy that I did! In less than 20 minutes I was sold on it and was heading out the door to take it home and put it her to work.
Now I don’t know if a lot of people actually look forward to working with a chainsaw, but I couldn’t wait to put it to good use.
I won’t go into all the specs of the MS 171 because you can find them on any website that sells it, but I do want to touch on the features that seem to be the most important to anyone reading this.
Key Features Of The MS171
The first thing you notice when picking up this chainsaw is how lightweight it is.
Unlike my heavier and much larger Stihl model chainsaw, the MS 171 is extremely light in weight and very easy to maneuver.
Why is this so important?
The older you get the harder it is to use a heavier piece of equipment for hours on end.
I think that goes without saying, but I’ll admit I’m starting to notice this myself as the years begin adding up.
This feature alone, aside from it being a Stihl model, is one of the reasons I purchased.
I have not found another quality chainsaw that is this easy to hold and use for hours at a time than this MS 171.
One of things that wears you out with the bigger chainsaws is the constant vibration.
Oftentimes, my hands won’t even feel like they’re connected to my body after an hour or so.
Fortunately, this model does an excellent job of eliminating most of the vibration.
I’ve put over 100+ hours on this saw and it continues to surprise me with how comfortable it is to use.
Stihl has put some effort into this area and it shows.
Chain Tensioning Design
The chain tensioning design on the MS 171 makes it quick and simple to tighten the chain in most cases.
I say most because there are times when the chain gets too loose and I have to loosen the nut and pull the bar to get it tightened.
The tension tightening screw on the side is easy to get to and give her a few twists when needed.
Easy Access Fuel & Bar Oil Caps
The fact that Stihl has made it simple to open and close the caps on the oil and gas is much appreciated.
Lift the lever and give the cap a quick twist is all there is to it.
No more having to use the flat edge of the wrench and trying to loosen the cap without stripping it out over time.
Not to mention the inconvenience. With all the hours I’ve put on this chainsaw I’ve never had a single issue with either cap.
See-Thru Fuel Tank
This may not seem like much of an issue for some, but being able to see how much fuel is in the tank with just a quick glance is a nice feature indeed.
Now you’ll know exactly how much gas you have left at any time.
Made In The U.S.A.
While this technically is not a feature, I like the fact that this chainsaw is made right here in the USA.
With all the junk that is made in China and other third world countries, it’s nice to see a good quality chainsaw built in America.
- Quality built and made in America
- Starts right up time after time regardless of temperature
- Easy to add gas and bar oil – no need for a tool to loosen caps
- Lightweight and very easy to use
- Chain tends to get loose during use quicker than expected
- Wish that Stihl would include a carrying case
I can honestly say that after cutting limbs, logs, small trees and numerous Russian Olives that I actually find myself looking forward to using this Stihl MS 171.
The fact that it is so lightweight and easy to maneuver helps prevent you from getting tired like it can with a much larger chainsaw.
Adding bar oil or gas is simple and doesn’t require having to use the tool, and it starts up without a struggle every time.
A carrying case would have been nice if they included one, but you can’t have everything I guess.
This is a well-built chainsaw in my opinion and one that I recommend to any homeowner who is looking for a chainsaw that makes quick work of smaller trees and limbs.