Blog about Logging Equipment and Forestry Canada

The result after an extended period of testing on the Stihl MS 500i

The new Stihl 80 cc chainsaw with fuel injection system has created a real sensation in the chainsaw industry. That’s a buzz for sure! It’s been a long time since the chainsaw industry has seen a big technological leap, and when new products come out, it will be of interest to all concerned.

For those of you who missed our first Stihl MS 500i test, you can read it in our article on the initial MS 500i test .

To be honest, it wasn’t easy to summarise the first test in the link above. The MS 500i was a chainsaw that had no reference. It has almost as much power as a 90cc engine and weighs (something like) a 60cc saw. This, combined with the brutal acceleration, means that the saw finds itself in an entirely separate class that hasn’t existed until now.

In addition to always being independent, we try to be critical when testing new products. We try to find those things that are useful to know, whether they are positive or negative. For the MS 500i it came down to the fact that there was little sawdust inside the air filter, this after Lars-Erik had been running the saw for three months and had used up about 100 litres (25 gallons) of petrol in it. And he skipped maintenance! It seems a bit silly, because the chainsaw didn’t seem to care about it, but that’s the only downside we find.

But that’s how we humans are, and perhaps one of the reasons we are where we are today. This has also been seen in the MS 500i comments. Here are examples of the opinions we have heard so far:

The 500i will never be the last one. You can’t mass-produce a saw like this, which will then last over time.

Someone said they (probably) want a drink.

It’s so expensive that no one will buy it.

Will the Stihl MS 500i last over time?

That was the question we asked ourselves after hearing the above statement that it wouldn’t. We decided to try and get a longer test than the week on which the first test was based. Stihl Norden provided us with the saw again, and it has now run over 100 tanks (about 100 litres of petrol) in 3 months from March to May 2019.

And here we are, folks, getting back into the game. Orders from us to Lars-Erik, who was running the saw, was to stagger against it. Run it as hard as the other saws in the arsenal, no preventive maintenance (just fill up and drive as long as it drives).

That’s what he did. And the MS 500i seemed to like it!
The case just went on, with no problems whatsoever. The air filter is almost completely clogged. It doesn’t seem to get to that point. It starts on the first or second pull (sometimes the third) and seems to run better than ever.

But wait, must be thirsty?

According to Lars-Erik, who has now used up 100 litres of fuel on the saw, he’s not thirsty. So it’s from the point of view of a professional chain saw logger, where he also estimates performance. Then he is no more thirsty than anyone else.

OK, but no one will buy one saw for more than $1,700?

Well, if you look at what has been discussed in the thread on Skogsforum , there is certainly a dizzying target group there. For manual loggers, the purchase price of the Stihl MS 500i is not a deterrent. Compared to the monthly price of a car, it quickly pays for itself. But perhaps most importantly, productivity is increasing and we hope that the saw will pay for itself within a reasonable period of time. There will probably be a market for conscientious forest owners as well, probably a few who “only have to have one”.

While it wasn’t the Stihl MS 500i that was the first chainsaw with fuel injection (now we have that human thing again, it was the Jonsered XD released in 1957), the Stihl MS 500i will probably be the saw that will push the chainsaw industry into a new era with injection. An era where we’ll be spoilt for less weight and higher effects. That’s fine!