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Stihl MS 311 Farm Boss

Stihl MS 311 Farm Boss

3.0 from 28 reviews

See the Best Petrol Chainsaws in 2019 as rated by Australians on ProductReview.com.au.

MS 311 Farm Toss

Just like Colin's review, bought my MS 311 late October 2017. It only had light use and in December 2018 the exhaust just severed off. Took the saw back and explained to the Tech Dept that I believed the saw was overheating. They simply replaced the exhaust and did no further testing or even examined it. Early April 2019, I started having issues starting the saw and then it would cut out when iddling. Was told Piston Head and Cylinder were burnt out, down to a poor mix (crap). Paid for the repair, despite being under warranty and the saw overheated after the first time I used it for only 45 mins. After the saw was inspected again it was confirmed that the new Piston Head and Cylinder had burnt out. After a big battle, I finally got a refund on the saw. I have used chains for over 20 years and have to say I have never experienced anything like this, particularly with Stihl, which usually are so reliable. If I had seen this forum before I purchased, I never would have touched the 311.

Purchased in October 2017 for $900.00.

Build Quality
Value for Money
Ease of Use
Cleaning & Maintenance

Absolute crapp

I bought in early 2017 ran for 3_4 months with only light work started overheating took back to Mansfield sthil dealer not covered under warranty as suspected fuel mix [what crap] had saw cylinder and piston replaced at my cost $800 fix. Used for 2maybe 3 loads of wood then seized
Took back to dealer same thing suspected wrong fuel mix no warranty.. Never ever buy a sthil product again lost me...

Purchased in April 2017 for $1,800.00.

$1200 of rubbish

Very hard to start now won't start only used twice can't believe it payed $1200 for this crap will never recommend or buy stihl products again I've also got an old stihl 510 about 40 years old never had a problem prefer to use that stihl don't make them like they use to may as well get the Chinese to make them

Purchased in March 2018 for $1,200.00.

Build Quality
Value for Money
Ease of Use
Cleaning & Maintenance


Did the job for the first few hours then started overheating. took back to dealer and was told the recommended 25:1 was not good for this model had to run it as rich as possible. Fell apart seals disintegrated while cutting dust entered and then ceased after 30 hours, was a very expensive lesson in what not to buy.

Date PurchasedMar 2016

Overrated Saw

Great saw when going but doesn't go often enough. Dealer and spare parts support is absolutely disgraceful. Once they sell you the saw and you return with a problem they don't want to know you. Parts are never available, repair times cant be quoted, they don't know because they don't know if they can get parts or not. Will never buy another Stihl Chainsaw again and probably will never buy a Stihl product ever.

Date PurchasedJun 2016

certainly not a pro saw

spat the plug clean out of the head under full noise, not overly used, mainly for felling or sectioning larger rounds, sent back under warranty which was not honored

for a 14 month old machine that cost $2000 I would have expected it to last a hell of a lot longer

Date PurchasedApr 2017

Great all rounder

I run the ms311 as my main saw cutting Australian hardwood logs 15" no issue at all. Starts as directed by dealer choke4pull half choke 1pull first time every time and once warm 1 pull I've never ever had to pull twice once warm. Ive been through 1 spark plug in 6 mths to what i think is great considering i run it 3 full days of the week flat chat cutting logs and used to mill planks/fence posts. I was going to upgrade saws to do my milling and stuff but this is doing fine for me atm i can not fault. only fault isn't the product its the brand as the "stihl dealers" need to be able to do discounts or throw something in on sales this set price no leway is rough on regular customers as ive spent well over 4k at stihl changing all my equipment from honda/husky and get nothing so don't expect anything from them in that way on purchase.

Date PurchasedJan 2018

Amazing saw!

I have owned husy's,jonsonreds,and several other top dollar saws this saw is amazing my grandfather bought it from a friend and its quite old but i love it.i cut wood burls and they are really hard.This stihl runs through it. I use air compressor to blow it out after and its perfect.for these people that wrote bad reveiws buy a poulan and a box of kleenex. Cause you obviously do not know what your doing. If the saw dis run you would probably hurt yourselfs.lol amazing saw wouldnt trade it for anything else.

Date PurchasedAug 2000

Worst saw I ever used. Nothing but problems with no dealer backup. Quality just not there. They don’

I had an old stihl that was used by my grandfather for years supplying wood as his job, the thing looked like a relic that had fallen off a cliff but was a great saw that never let him or me down. My well meaning wife bought me a new ms311 for 40th birthday. Had nothing but problems with it, could never keep the chain tight. Stihl response was that I was using the wrong chains( that they supplied ) Cut a moderate amount of wood with it , but never went out without my old one that got used nearly every time. It has done 4 seasons and now the crankshaft bearing has collapsed. Stihl response is that it is out of warranty and it is on me. I would not advise anyone to buy a stihl chainsaw. They are not built like they used to be and it now seems that with the crazy repair price they are a throw away item definitely not made to last like the old ones. I would not recommend anyone buy a new stihl chainsaw as the quality is just not there like the old ones.

February 26th 2018 Update: No backup support, very aggressive when dealing with problems, saw is terrible quality with problem

Purchased a farm boss as an upgrade to my existing saws. From the first use something just did not feel right. The saw vibrated really badly. I contacted stihl and was told to replace the chain which I did. The saw still felt terrible to use. I had all sorts of problems trying to keep the chain on as it keep getting loose. I stayed in contact at all times with stihl and was reassured that they would look after me. After the muffler fell off after a little over 12 months I had enough and let stihl know that I was not happy and that I had hung in there enough, I was met with an aggressive customer support operator who said it was my fault and that that the saw was out of warranty. All correspondence with stihl was met with aggression and accusations of me mistreating my saw. I would not recommend any one buy a stihl saw these days. If you want a crappy Chinese saw just buy one off eBay. At least you won’t be paying a premium for a stihl sticker.

Date PurchasedFeb 2014

Fantasic saw

Recently upgraded from a ms170 (owned for 5 years without an issue) to a ms 311. So far a fantasic saw, had it out on a few occasions, it starts easy even without using the decomp button, reliable and has plenty of power. Would recommend as a good all rounder.

Date PurchasedAug 2017

This was far from the expectations that was offered.

After buying this chainsaw as my first saw, I thought that a good mid range saw that could handle a reasonable workload would be the way to go.
The saw ran amazing for a few months, then overheated and cooked the motor mid cut.
Stihl replaced the saw begrudgingly, as I bought the saw from Bunbury, it was openly suggested the fuel mix could have been wrong although an ex-stihl worker explained that the first thing done under warranty is check the fuel mix.
The second saw had 18-20 months of once again, brilliant running, cutting like a dream...
Mid-cut, nothing, dead in the water again. Still under warranty I headed back in to try and negotiate a replacement saw, with some reliability. Similar story, fuel mix was probably wrong, chain is slightly blunt with some burring on the bar.
The mechanical report indicated that the chain and bar were the root cause, therefore it was void of any warranty and would be $600-$700 if I would like it repaired. (Sorry I don’t have the quote on me).
I am dirty at the handling of it, but may choose another stihl, just a bigger one and I will avoid the Bunbury store.

Date PurchasedMay 2015

Worst saw ever

I have cut 5 to 10 cords of wood from standing timber to "in" the wood shed every year since 1975. I have owned 4 saws during that time. This is my first (and last) Stihl. I have cut less than 1 cord and it won't start, won't run at idle. I always use fresh gas at 50:1 mix. I am very picky about cleaning and maintaining my saws. I have a 15 year old "Husky" with a 20" bar that has more power than the Stihl 311 and it starts every time on second or third pull. I wanted a saw with a longer bar and a compression release start so decided to give this Stihl a try. BIG MISTAKE. Took the saw to my local Stihl Dealer and their reaction was " ya, these are hard starting saws". Save your money and buy a Huskavarna, Echo, Johnsered or anything but a Stihl 311

Date PurchasedJun 2016

Excellent chain saw!

It is very easy to start once you figure it out,pops off every time like clock work and once warm....one pull every time. It has very good power and I'm running a 20" bar. Love It! quite baffeled with some of the negative responses???? ripped into some old very hard red oak last year, outdid my buddies comparable Husky. Again couldn't be happier. I run none oxy 91 and Steels top of line oil, never even changed plug yet.

Date PurchasedJul 2011

Solid all round saw

Not a bad saw until you roll a 1000lb log over it. Sounds like all the start issues you guys complain about is failure of your local dealer jetting the carburetor for right altitude. I live at 9k feet saw runs great up to 11k so far. But have to say after I destroy saw has never ran the same and getting replacement parts takes ions for Stihl dealers. Has bean a year and still not right from my accident. Parts should not take 3 or more months to get to a authorized dealer

Date PurchasedJun 2015

stilh 311

i have a311 as well runs like a dream, would not be without it. works all day long. like l said , if you look after them ,they do the jod really well, for a average saw i reckon they are the best in they range bye a stilh any dayRon

Date PurchasedApr 2014

311 is perfect chainsaw for the average wood cutter

I have a 311 i give it a bitten when l go wood choppin. All day no stop you look after your saw and clean it regularly. It will last you for years to come, l chop about 4 trailer loads of wood a month, with my stihl 311 and still going strong. Like i said look after it, will last a long time.

January 8th 2017 Update: Chainsaw

When l go and get some wood it is always a large trailer load. I always take my stihl 311, it gets a bitten for a 2hours none stop, it is the only chainsaw i trust to do the jod. I used it for 2.5 years now and know trouble at all. When i finish use in it i stipit write down and give a sevice, look after it and will last a life time. Use stihl products. Like oil chains sprockets air filters and you not have any trouble with your stihl chainsaw. Thank you. Ron Brought it Geelong.

Date PurchasedAug 2014
1 comment
i just got back form ballarat,cutting another trailer load of wood with my stilh 311 it worked perfect all the time ,l gave my backup saw a run aswell,a80cc cheapone ,my stihl still ran rings around it .like ,isaid look after it ,and clean it after each use,you willnot have any problems with the sthl 311 thanks Ron.

Big problem

My problem with this and all the other Stihl saws, trimmers, and blowers I have is they won't give me a little bit of a break. Every other brand I've owned gave me a break every 30 minutes or so... Usually the break last an hour or more, but no such luck with these. Another problem I've had is replacing fuel caps because of the alcohol blended gases nowadays. I also have one that has been giving me problems and its only 15 years old, I had to spend all kinds of money to buy a plug, filter, and fuel lines.

Date PurchasedAug 2015

Absolutely fantastic chainsaw! Cannot fault it.

I am staggered at some of the negative comments here. I wonder how much is operator error?? The 311 is a fantastic mid-range chainsaw. If you learn to operate it properly, use a good quality 2-stroke oil, and do a little basic maintenance on it to keep it (and the air filter) clean, it will give you years of powerful trouble-free operation. I've had mine for over 5 years and have never had it back at a dealer. I have never had a problem starting it - just follow the same basic procedure every time. I have other Stihl products and I would rate them all as good.

Date PurchasedAug 2011

Great saw.

It's a good saw. It is much better than the other saw that I had before (and have written a bad review about - a competing brand). I agree though that sometimes it's hard to start because it floods easily.

Otherwise everything about it is awesome. All of the things you need to do (eg, fuel, oil, air) are very easily accessible. It's a bit confusing that it floods though and there is no explanation in the manual.

My local dealer is the best though and happy to help me out. I lost a bar nut and it cost $2 to replace! That alone tells me that Stihl have got their stuff together. You don't need to be paying half the price of a saw to replace a small part (which is what other brands do).

I like it. It cuts wood great. Have cut a 100ft gum and plenty of barrel sized willow trees without an issue.

Total design flaw piece of crap

I'm sure the Germans didn't design this engine and saw its total crap. We own 4 Mercedes have owned dozens of others and have faith in German engineering hence decided to buy the 311. Well right from the start beginning in the Bunbury Mowers shop where rude crap service was the welcome to my purchase became the standard. I should have headed the warning and walked away. We had starting problems from day one and having been raised on a farm in NZ I know how to operate a chainsaw was not good enough to the owners of the shop. Finally they tested it properly and agreed it had an ignition problem and fixed it begrugenly only for the problem to return. The bottom line is this saw can't cut can't perform can't get recognised as a dog design so don't buy it whatever you do.

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Questions & Answers

can you go from 20 inch to 24 inch bar?
No answers

I have a stihl 311 that I just got. After I run 1 tankful of gas through it, I then start to have a problem where it stalls out when idling, or even when I am cutting. Once I let it sit for a day- it runs fine. Does anybody know what the issue is and is there a good fix for it?
1 answer
Sounds flooded. I've had this same thing once. I took it back to the dealer and I think what they did, was with 2 people, one person held the throttle in and set it to start, while the other pulled the start cord maybe 10 times to clear it. Then it started. Haven't had it flood since. Might work for you. Actually someone else in this thread said: (tie throttle wide open, do not use any choke at all, just turn to "I" (on) and give it a few pulls) I found it interesting that the manual only suggested taking out the spark plugs and clearing the gap as a solution to a non-starting saw. I could not find a reference to starting a flooded carb. Lesson is : never use the choke or half-choke if the engine has been used in last 12 hours or so.

Is it more powerfull than the ms290? I can buy the ms311Y. What's the Yankees refer to?
1 answer
I have only owned one Stihl chainsaw, the MS311. So I can't answer your question


Stihl MS 311 Farm Boss
CategoryPetrol Chainsaws
Price (RRP) $1,199.00
Bar Length50 cm
Weight6.2 kg
Engine Displacement59 cc
Fuel Tank Capacity600 mL
Release dateMar 2010

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