So good I got a second one
I bought this saw for my wife as my larger saw is to heavy/big for her. I ended up using this saw almost all the time with my big saw left on the shelf unless I am cutting large trunks. It is light and easy to use with far more cutting power than I expected. Have had the saw for about 4 years and cut many tons of firewood. I loaned it to a cousin who dropped it and damaged it so I bought a second one while the original was in for repairs (I didn't think it could be fixed, but the Stihl dealer was able to get the parts and the saw is running great).
WOW, surprised by what it has done!
Had mine since 2013. Its a spare second saw to bigger one. This little thing has got me out of trouble, cutting logs 20" diameter where the bigger one (McCulloch cs420t) has given up the ghost. This little babies motor has got guts for its size and its a surprising little package.
Like one of the other reviewers, the chain itself is disappointing. They can only be resharpened a few times before they are no good and are quite expensive. Purchased spare chains from eBay for a third of the price and has more bite and cuts out bigger grooves so bar doesn't stick into log after a few inches.
I worry a bit with fuel mixture 50:1, thinking not enough lubrication, so if I HAD to use another brand of 2 stroke oil, mix it richer (eg 30:1).
I've only cleaned it regularly after each use, removed sprocket / clutch cover to blow out the build up of sawdust and oil residue with compressed air and cleaned the air filter. It's always been easy start, usually no more than 5 pulls of the cord, after few months of storage. After refuel, 1 or 2 pulls of the cord.
Overall it's been a very good purchase, not disappointed at all, other than chain. It has paid for itself with the work it has done. Would have given it 5 stars if it had a better chain.
PS: If you're fresh in using chainsaws, I would recommend this and purchase an bench electric chainsaw sharpener as well, don't waste your time with files, unless you have plenty of time on your hands. It takes great skills to sharpen each tooth exactly the same by hand.
Paid $299 - Saw, Plastic Carry Case + Blade sheath, spare blade sheath, spare chain and a Stihl cap (joy) + fueled and oiled.
Absolute ripper of a saw. Perfect for smaller jobs around the home and probably medium jobs out and about if you were so inclined. Starts first time everytime.
I reckon you can get the saw for $279 on its own at the moment but the plastic carry case will set you back $80 by itself. Wait for a sale/special event if you can.
Absolutely no complaints from me.
Got MORE than I paid for
I wanted a small, budget chainsaw. Something I could easily work with around the yard, and something I could throw in the caravan for camping and wood collecting/bonfires etc. I knew what I was spending, and having had success with all Stihl products I had purchased up till now, I went with this one. From memory I think it was around $200. This thing is great value for money. I often worry about not spending much on things I expect to last, but that is not as issue with this chainsaw. Enough power for me and does exactly what i need it to do, and then some. I purchased from Stihl Shop Prospect in Adelaide and you cant beat the service there either! Knowledgeable staff. A couple of people have complained about the chain but I would hazard a guess and suggest they don't mind coming in contact with dirt and ground. You can spend thousands on a chain saw, ground and dirt will kill any of them. I've had a couple of hours use with chain still like new.
Pros and cons
When I bought my MS170 from Mitre 10 it had a very light weight chain on it. The chain lasted me about a week then bought a new (same) chain which lasted about 2 days and could not be sharpened. I just ordered 3 new chains from Ebay and they are much heavier duty and bigger teeth on them. Just tested it on a log and its like a new chainsaw. The original chain on it from new was pathetic and the teeth were tiny. Much more satisfied now. Was going to sell the saw but happy with it now. Testing it out tomorrow on a full day of cutting down medium size trees so will see how it goes. It starts ok after a bit of choke but revs out pretty high which can take you a bit unaware if your not ready for it!
Does what it says on the packet and does it well.
Over all this is a pretty good saw.
I flooded it first time but once I got the hang of the start up procedure there's been no problems since. Its done the job of cutting branches and small trees without too much difficulty. It sometimes struggles to tackle really hard wood but I'm going to replace the chain and have a feeling that will do the trick. I bought this saw one year ago and am still using the original chain.
Cons: Lots of plastic and feels a little cheap in the hands. Leaks bar oil when stored but not enough for it to be an issue.
No regrets about buying this saw and would recommend it to others.
Excellent little chainsaw
I needed a smaller chainsaw as my MS380 was justt too heavy for the smaller stuff.
The little 170 was on special at the local Stihl dealer so I bought one. Started immediately when I fuelled and oiled it. Is light and easy to handle, perfect for cutting up smaller trees and limbs. Thoroughly recommend this model.
Very hard to start. Instructions incomplete.
Reading all the other reviews it seems that frequent users think it is great. Others, like me, have great difficulty getting it to start. I follow the instructions as best I can. Also there is a lever beside the word STOP just above the four position master control lever and two images of a padlock; one open, one closed. There is no mention of this lever in the manual. Do I move the lever towards the open padlock symbol to unlock it, or do I move the lever to reveal the open padlock symbol?
My previous chainsaw was electric. I forget the brand but it worked really well for many years. I got talked out of getting another electric one. Bad decision.
As good as it can get
I have been using chainsaws for over forty years and have used and owned the biggest and the smallest Stihl chainsaws. I have a Ms 170 and what a magic little saw. I have been through ten chains now and it never fails to start. I cut mainly hardwood and it has to cut as big a log as possible. Anyone who has a bad run with one of these is either dead unlicky or don't know what they are doing. I also have a MS251 for bigger logs but the 170 is just a great little saw . Maybe the people who can't start a Stihl should do a course and learn the right way.
A decent saw for a decent price,
Pros: This is a great home owner's saw. I used it myself to cut down a 24" diameter tree with relative ease, it only bogged down when it was using the entire 16" arm which was fine since it just meant I cut slightly slower. I used the bore cut method and didn't have any problems sinking it in.
Cons: The only problem I have with it (why I'm deducting a star) is because I had trouble starting it. You have to understand how the choke setting exactly work because they operate a little differently than other two stroke engines you may own. Now, once you figure it out it's completely fine which is why I don't consider this a deal breaker. It also has a lot of plastic on it, but it's also inexpensive (I got mine new at a ranch store for only $160) so it really is unfair to complain about that. Also it's not like the plastic has broken or cracked either so it does work.
Bottom Line: It's a great saw and I would definitely recommend it, you just have to learn a little bit how to start it. If you are good with engines you shouldn't have any trouble at all.
Great little saw
I have 2 - one is an easy start that i bought and used for 5 hrs before it went completely under in the floods of 2011. Forgot about it for 3 months and put it in for a service. Was told it would be best to write it off as the main bearing could not be guaranteed. Stihl dealer at Esk got it going again. I wrote it off an bought another one. The first one is still going strong. Bit rattly but hey- I would be too! Both great little saws.
bought mine over 12 months ago, starts well, nothing has failed except quite a few chains, as I work it quite hard on the weekends, does everything I ask of it, even when its a big ask, it always comes through. had some trees pulled down and have been cutting them up over the past several months(lot of trees), many were hardwoods, no problem at all, keep the blade sharp and tensioned, clean the air filter, and it will just keep going and going, love it buy one!!!!
Waste of Money
This is the most unreliable chainsaw I have ever known. The only good thing I can say is that it starts easily. I have owned it for only 2 years and it has been back to the dealers for repairs 3 time now, and the repair total costs are now just over 50% of the purchase price. My previous chainsaw was a husqvarna of similar size but not only was it cheaper to buy but in 10 years it never required any more than routine services. Regret now I was talked into "trading up"
Does what it should
My first chainsaw, and used it a few times and it runs just fine. Starts easily hot or cold, just love it.
Bought for four wheel driving trips and camping, only $300 including a case.
Originally bought an Aldi special for $200 but didn't like the look of the quality so bit the bullet and went the Stihl.
My Best Chainsaw
I have several chainsaws, including a Husky 455 and a Makita electric (reviewed elsewhere). I bought the Stihl because the weight of the Husky was hurting my back (even though I am a strong guy, 180cm tall and 100kg). I've had this little Stihl saw for over a year now, and used about 50 tankfuls of gas through it. I mostly cut down weed trees on my acreage block, and once they are down, I "buck" them into small pieces to use as mulch in the forested sections of my land. I've been through one or two new chains as well. It just keeps on going; it's my most reliable chainsaw. Starts every time on the second pull. I've used it to drop large trees with a diameter twice the length of the chain bar (don't try this it home, it needs a special technique and can be dangerous), just because I did not feel like getting my Husky out of storage.
Tips: use canola oil to lubricate bar (but if you won't be using the machine for more than a few weeks, put motor oil SAE30 on it, because canola or vegetable oil will dry on the chain and freeze it solid). Use STA-BIL Fuel Stabilizer to keep the fuel fresh.
I buy aftermarket (cheap) air filters on eBay. Chain replacements are Oregon 90PX chain (can also use Stihl Picco Micro Mini 3 (61 PMM3), Type 3610 w/ a 4.0mm file). Spark plug replacements NGK BPMR7A, Bosch WSR 6 F, Champion RJC6Y GAP=0.50mm/0.020".
I paid $299 on a special deal that included an esky (which has been very useful too!)
Overall, a great product.
Perfectly good for trees it was designed for.
I've been using this machine for about a month now and can say I'm happy with it's performance. If you read the manual carefully and not jump steps in the operating procedure it will work for you. Starts every time for me when warm or cold. The biggest piece of wood I've cut would be around 25cm in diameter which it went thru no worries. It's not a hard core chainsaw but it perfect enough for the home owner for trimming limbs or cutting firewood. I'm happy with it and would give it an 8 out of 10.
Have had this rubbish Stihl chainsaw for four years and it has always been difficult to start. It has been "serviced" by the dealer twice, and is no easier to start. My previous chainsaw - a Husqvarna - was great and was always very easy to start. I will be tossing this Stihl chainsaw in the garbage.
worst chain saw ive ever owned
one of the most pethatic and useless saws ive ever owned bought it 12 months ago and ive been back to the dealer 7 times due to faults on the machine, this saw is just terrible, ive previously owned husqvarna saws and they have worked wonderful for me not a problem, i only bought a stihl on the advise of a mate saying they were alot better, its heavier, its louder, it struggles even on small logs with a sharp chain, this machine is everything that is wrong in the world!
this saw needs to go back to the drawing board cause ive had that many problems with it its not funny,
i would never buy one of this saws again!
A disgrace to Stihl
I see that some folks are very happy with their ms170's. This was not the case for me. Dealer did a demo start but I got it home and could not start it. I reviewed the instructions, gave it time assuming I had flooded it, and tried again. NOTHING! It had the correct fuel mixture put in by the dealer. I am not new to starting and operating 2 stroke engines, and all my other machines start no problem . Returned it to the dealer who was sure he could get me to where I could start it, told me I probably didn't hear the "pop" in choke and then flooded it, which I am sure is correct, but I insisted on my money back. I tried several times, it never audibly popped. Tried starting it after a couple of pulls on choke and moving it to start position, nothing. If I have to click my heels and rub my head to start it, I don't want it, would rather pay more and get something I know will always start using the normal 2 stroke motor starting sequence that has always worked for every other 2 stroke I've worked. Stihl will lose customers selling this kind of junk, I'm no longer a loyal Stihl customer.
A great machine - does exactly what a home handyman needs without costing too much. As long as the chain is sharp and the chain rakers are filed appropriately, its hard to imagine you would need anything more. It has cut a 35cm thick gum tree that fell down - no problems at all (noting I sharpened the chain/filed rakers to get a good bite). Drain fuel after use - fill up when you want to use with fresh mix and it starts second pull everytime (first pull fires with choke, then take choke off and second pull starts the motor - normal for a Stihl (and most chainsaws)). I have cut more than 40 trees now over autumn last year and this week and its still going great.