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Stihl MS170 chain saw
#1
-I think I mentioned in another thread that I've been cutting trees at my hunting property and bought another chain saw.  My 25+ year old Stihl 029 Farm Boss is still running strong but It gets heavier every year. It's one thing to cut a tree down in a few minutes. I needed something to trim/prune branches once the tree is on the ground. That usually takes a lot more time.

I did a lot of research into small lightweight saws by Stihl. Echo and Husqvarna. Though I intended to buy a high end one I wimped out at the last minute when I went to the local dealer and they had Stihl Dealer Days going on. Surprisingly the sales guy talked me into the cheap MS170 for $160. I had them swap the 16" blade for a 12" one. This is a 30 cc saw with a weight of 8.6 lbs. My other saw is almost 6 lbs heavier.

So I walked out with it and took it north to trim trees.  I got the first two of four trimmed before it started to bog down. I ended up finishing with my big saw. I was a little disappointed even when it wasn't bogging down as it didn't seem to have much power. Fair disclosure, some of the branches on these trees were 8-10" thick. This saw is really made for 6" stuff and smaller.

Good...
-inexpensive (but you get what you pay for)
-Fairly light weight. Significantly easier to use than my big saw.
-Makes a good back up saw. Can be used when you pinch your other one in a tree.
-It is small and easier to haul around. I keep my big saw at my cabin. This one now rides in my truck

Bad...
-under powered for what I am using it for (however, even the high end light weight pro models were only 30ccs and rated at the same HP)
-You have to use 89 octane gas for them to work right
-This is a consumer quality back yard, low end saw (again, you get what you pay for)
-It has a teenie-tiny gas tank. Maybe 10 minute run time

Bottom Line...

If you need an inexpensive light duty saw perhaps for trimming trees or cutting firewood, I think this one will work fine. If you need something to cut a lot of big trees get something better suited for the task i.e, a more powerful, larger and higher quality saw.
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#2
Update,

I had the MS170 up at my property trimming pruning trees again and it did okay. Cut down a huge maple tree and used it to prune branches. I worked for 4 hours on that tree alone. I will say that my big saw goes through trees like a hot knife through butter. This small one not so much, but it is a lot lighter.

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#3
Good info. I did a lot of research on saw before I bought the Stihl 291. Its gone through many tons worth of locust and hedge trees and still runs like a champ. Never looked at their MS line...don't think I'll give it a close look after what you mentioned. Probably just a good limbing saw.
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