Stihl MS170 Vs MS171 | The Best Comparison Ever

Stihl is a brand that consistently stands out regarding reliable and powerful chainsaws. The Stihl MS170 and MS171 are two popular models that cater to both homeowners and professionals alike. They are efficient and durable models that are well-known in the market for their excellent performance. While they may appear to be similar at first glance there are distinct differences that can influence your choice. 

In this comprehensive comparison, we’ll delve into the specifications, features, and performance of the Stihl MS170 and MS171, helping you make an informed decision based on your needs.

Stihl MS170 Vs MS171 – Specification

Feature Stihl MS170 Stihl MS171
Engine Displacement (cc) 30.1 31.8
Power Light to Moderate Moderate to Heavy
Bar Length Compatibility Up to 14 inches Up to 16 inches
Cutting Capacity Light Cutting Tasks Versatile Cutting Tasks
Easy2Start System No Yes
User-Friendly Yes Yes
Build Quality Reliable Enhanced Durability
Ideal Use Occasional Use Regular to Frequent Use
Price Affordable Slightly Higher

Stihl MS170 Vs MS171 – Overview

The Stihl MS170 and Stihl MS171 chainsaws offer distinct features to cater to various cutting needs. The MS170, equipped with a 30.1cc engine, is designed for lighter cutting tasks and can accommodate bar lengths of up to 14 inches. 

Its user-friendly design, affordability, and efficient fuel consumption, with an approximate 8.5 oz (250 ml) fuel capacity, make it an excellent choice for occasional use. However, the MS171, boasting a slightly more robust 31.8cc engine, supports bar lengths of up to 16 inches, catering to more versatile cutting tasks. 

The incorporation of Stihl’s Easy2Start system ensures effortless starting, reducing vibration levels during operation. The MS171 also excels in build quality, with enhanced materials contributing to its durability, and its moderate vibration level aids in operator comfort. 

Stihl MS170 VS MS171 - Overview

Though both models have a similar weight, with the MS170 weighing around 8.6 lbs (3.9 kg) and the MS171 around 8.8 lbs (4 kg), the latter’s increased power often translates to a higher cutting speed, enabling efficient task completion. 

Both models also emphasize safety, featuring an anti-kickback bar to mitigate the risk of dangerous kickback incidents. Furthermore, Stihl’s advanced air filter technology enhances engine longevity by reducing maintenance intervals. In summary, while the MS170 suits lighter tasks and budget-conscious users, the MS170 shines with its power, user-friendly features, enhanced durability, and versatility for various cutting demands.

Stihl MS170 Vs MS171 – Features

Here are some of the distinct features of both chainsaws that make them extraordinary: 

Engine and Power

The heart of any chainsaw is its engine, and both the Stihl MS170 and MS171 boast robust powerplants. The MS170 features a 30.1cc engine that delivers reliable power for light to moderate cutting tasks. On the other hand, the MS171 comes with a slightly more powerful 31.8cc engine, providing a bit more muscle for tackling larger and tougher jobs. If you’re primarily handling light trimming and pruning, the MS170 might be sufficient. However, for more demanding tasks like felling small trees or cutting firewood, the extra power of the MS171 can be advantageous.


The Stihl MS171 wins in this category due to its slightly higher engine displacement (31.8cc) compared to the MS170 (30.1cc). The extra power of the MS171 makes it better suited for heavier cutting tasks.

Performance and Cutting Capacity

When it comes to actual cutting performance, the difference in engine displacement translates into varying cutting capacities. The Stihl MS170 is designed for occasional use, offering a maximum bar length of around 14 inches. This makes it ideal for smaller tasks around the yard. On the other hand, the MS171 is equipped to handle more considerable bar lengths, typically up to 16 inches, making it better suited for heavier tasks and more frequent use. 

Performance and Cutting Capacity

To know more about the parts of a chainsaw, give this post a read. 


The Stihl MS171 is superior in this category as well. With its capability to accommodate larger bar lengths (typically up to 16 inches), it’s better equipped for a wider range of cutting tasks compared to the MS170’s maximum of around 14 inches.

Ease of Use and Ergonomics

Both the MS170 and MS171 are designed with user comfort in mind. They feature ergonomic handles, anti-vibration systems, and simple controls, making them relatively easy to handle. However, the MS171 includes additional features like the Stihl Easy2Start system, which reduces the effort required to start the chainsaw, making it a more user-friendly option, especially for those who may not have extensive experience with chainsaws.


The Stihl MS171 takes the lead here due to its inclusion of the Stihl Easy2Start system. This feature reduces the effort required to start the chainsaw, making it more user-friendly, especially for those who may not have extensive experience with chainsaws.

Build Quality and Durability

Stihl is known for its high-quality craftsmanship, and both models adhere to this reputation. However, the MS171 incorporates some improvements in terms of build quality. It often includes enhanced materials and engineering, resulting in a more robust and durable chainsaw overall. If you foresee heavy or frequent use of your chainsaw, the MS171’s improved durability might be a deciding factor.

Build Quality and Durability


The Stihl MS171 wins again in terms of build quality and durability. While both models are well-crafted, the MS171 often incorporates enhanced materials and engineering, providing a more robust and durable chainsaw overall.

Price Point and Value

With the enhanced features and capabilities of the MS171, it’s important to note that it often comes at a slightly higher price point than the MS170. When considering your budget, factor in the additional power, features, and potential longevity that the MS171 offers. If you’re looking for a chainsaw for occasional use and cost-effectiveness is a priority, the MS170 might suit you better.


The Stihl MS170 comes out ahead in this category. With its lower price point compared to the MS171, the MS170 offers good value for homeowners or occasional users who are looking for a cost-effective solution.

Stihl ms170 vs ms171 vs ms180

As we have said above, Stihl is the master of the chainsaw-making industry. Not only these 2 chainsaws but the MS 180 is also similar to the other two chainsaws. I will give you the overview of all three and now it’s up to you to choose according to your needs. 

The Stihl MS180 stands out as a versatile chainsaw that bridges the gap between the MS170 and MS171. With a 31.8cc engine, similar to the MS171, the MS180 offers a balance of power and cutting capabilities, accommodating bar lengths of up to 16 inches for a range of tasks. Just like the MS171, the MS180 features the user-friendly Easy2Start system, ensuring effortless starting. 

While sharing comparable cutting power with the MS171, the MS180 may include additional enhancements such as improved air filtration systems, contributing to its engine longevity. This makes the Stihl MS180 an attractive option for those seeking enhanced features and more power than the MS170, while not necessarily requiring the full range of capabilities offered by the MS171.

Stihl MS170 Vs MS171 – FAQs

How much does a stihl ms170 chainsaw cost?
The cost of a Stihl MS170 chainsaw typically ranges from $180 to $220, depending on factors such as location and any ongoing promotions.
What is the MS171 used for?
The Stihl MS171 is used for a variety of cutting tasks, including light to moderate jobs like pruning, trimming, and cutting small trees. Its enhanced power compared to the MS170 makes it suitable for more frequent and versatile use around the yard.
How much horsepower does a STIHL 170 have?
The Stihl MS170 has a horsepower output of approximately 1.7 HP (horsepower), providing adequate power for its intended light to moderate cutting tasks.
How many cc is a 171 STIHL?
The Stihl MS171 boasts an engine displacement of around 31.8cc, which contributes to its increased power and ability to handle a broader range of cutting applications.
Which Stihl chainsaw has the best power-to-weight ratio?
The Stihl MS250 is often considered to have one of the best power-to-weight ratios among Stihl chainsaws. Its combination of power and relatively lightweight design makes it a favorite among homeowners and professionals seeking a balanced and efficient cutting tool.



In conclusion, the Stihl MS170, MS171, and MS180 chainsaws each offer a unique set of features to cater to a range of cutting needs. The MS170 is a beginner-level option that excels in light-cutting tasks, making it ideal for homeowners seeking an affordable and user-friendly tool. 

The MS171 builds upon the MS170’s foundation, providing increased power, the Easy2Start system, and enhanced durability, making it suitable for more frequent and versatile use. The MS180 stands as a versatile choice that strikes a balance between the two, offering comparable power to the MS171 while potentially incorporating additional features like improved air filtration. 

The decision between these models should be based on the complexity of cutting tasks, desired features, and budget, ensuring that users can find the perfect Stihl chainsaw to match their specific needs. But if you are still confused about making a decision, we have a solution for you. Check out our post on the best Stihl Chainsaw and best Chainsaw brands, and make a wise decision.

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