Depending on what you need a chainsaw for such as woodworking, cutting firewood, clearing the yard after a windy day or storm, or felling a small tree, having a lightweight and portable chainsaw can make all the difference when it comes to providing you with that power assist. There are multiple brands and models available to homeowners. Running on fuel and oil, or operated electrically or by battery, portable chainsaws are the right tools to accomplish light yard work.
Stihl is a USA manufacturer known for its chainsaws. When it comes to both safety and effectiveness, consumers opt to own the Stihl brand for product reliability, technical innovations, and range of usage. Today you will read about two Stihl models best suited for homeowners. This article will discuss the 170 and 180 portable chainsaws, and their differences and similarities.
While the Stihl 170 and 180 models are very similar, some unique differences are worth noting. The 180 has an advantage of a bigger engine, which offers more power than the 170. But both models are ideal for pruning, cutting wood, and felling trees, the 170 and 180 take the grunt out of yard work. All in all, both are excellent pieces of equipment with a slight difference in cost. The 180 has a slightly bigger engine, thus making it more expensive.
Comparison Table Breakdown
|Stihl 170||Stihl 180|
|Engine Power||1.3 kW power (30cc)||1.5 kW of power (31cc)|
|Weight||8.6 pounds||8.6 pounds|
|Fuel Capacity||8.5 ounces||8.5 ounces|
|Chain Oil Capacity||4.9 ounces||5.1 ounces|
|Guide Bar Measurement||16 inches||16 inches|
|Anti-Vibration||System to minimize handheld vibration levels||System minimizes handheld vibration levels|
|IntelliCar Compensating Carburetor||When the air filter becomes dirty and less air is available for the carburetor, the system maintains a cleaner air/fuel ratio. The build-in air filter can be adjusted to remove dust and debris.||When the air filter becomes dirty and less air is available for the carburetor, this system maintains a cleaner air/fuel ratio. The build-in air filter can be adjusted to remove dust and debris.|
|Ematic Lubrication System Add-On||When utilized with a Stihl Oilmatic saw chain, this system automatically helps orchestrate the flow of oil to lubricate the bar and chain links, rivets, and driver holes. Aides in reducing bar oil consumption by 50%.||When utilized with a Stihl Oilmatic saw chain, this system automatically helps orchestrate the flow of oil to lubricate the bar and chain links, rivets, and driver holes. Aides in reducing bar oil consumption by 50%.|
|Prices||Estimated USD $189||Estimated USD $219|
Stihl MS 170 vs MS 180 Differences
As you can see in the table above, the Stihl models have very similar features. However, this section will note the significant differences between the two.
Power and Usage
The 170 features a slightly smaller-powered engine (1.3 kW powers (30cc)) than the 180 (1.5 kW of power (31cc)). Although a tad smaller, the 170 chainsaw is a better fit for homeowners who seek to cut smaller trees, clear branches, heavy pruning, cutting firewood, and the like. This 170 model can cut 6 x 6 inches lumber under 1-second. It’s handy when removing heavier tree branches and shrubbery that a lopper can’t handle. Although less powerful than the 180 saw, it isn’t a reason one is better than the other.
180 chainsaws are ideal for felling trees up to 12 inches in diameter. It can handle a little bit more grit than your 170.
Chain Oil Capacity
The difference between owning a chainsaw with a bigger chain oil capacity than not is in the chainsaw usage. A bigger capacity like in the 180 is slightly better when the chainsaw is being used to cut sappy wood. The chain oil helps to keep the chain lubricated, and from getting gummy. This is a result when sawing sappy wood. And for users who desire less dust, more chain oil helps eliminate the dust.
A Stihl 170 measures 12 x 16 inches. It’s compact with a punch of power. If you haven’t picked up a chainsaw before, this model might be the right size for you. You can easily get a handle on this machine to cut your firewood and clear out some branches.
The 180 model is a little more compact. It has an improved newer design that makes it ideal for the self-titled woodworker who may have more demanding chores.
Both are lightweight, weighing around 8.6 pounds. Both are easy to carry throughout the yard or workspace.
Similarities of Stihl MS 170 and MS 180
One of the biggest complaints over the years is how much a chainsaw vibrates. This makes it almost unbearable for the user. There have been many studies showing the long-term negative effects of this type of vibration on the body and its blood vessels. Stihl created a unique technology, STIHL anti-vibration system, which buffers the heavy vibration of the machine. Employing steel springs, rubber, and hard foam, the system absorbs the shock to the user’s body. Both the 170 and 180 are equipped with this system.
Both chainsaw models can be operated by accessing the master control lever, which houses the start, throttle, and stop controls.
The two models of chainsaws have very similar Operator Manuals. Stihl implores its users (first-timers and experienced ones) to thoroughly read the manual. It is recommended to read through the manual before using your chainsaw. Before deciding which chainsaw model best suits your needs, it is recommended that you determine what and how you want to use the 170 or 180. After comparing each chainsaw model, the two are quite similar. However, the 180 has a bigger capacity to handle bigger and perhaps more complex projects.