Stihl MS180

XmasTreefarmer

Feeling the Heat
Nov 5, 2017
270
Wisconsin
Well here I go again. You might remember that I purchased a Husqvarna 435e II to use for stump cutting on the tree farm and for limbing/small stuff when cutting firewood, which I ended up returning. Well as @Sean McGillicuddy said at the end of the post on the 435, "I will be back" and I am. After a lot of searching I've settled on the MS180 for that work. I will pick it up in the next few days and then start to get a few hours on it and report back. Wish me luck - I'm sort of jumpy after my experience with the Husq 435. !!!
 
We'll be watching .... ;)
 

PaulOinMA

Minister of Fire
Oct 20, 2018
658
MA
The local Stihl dealer that deals primarily with landscaping professionals (https://www.richeyandclapper.com/ ) recommended the MS 180C Mini Boss to me when I was looking for an occasional-use homeowner chainsaw. They swapped out the 14" bar for a 16" when I bought it. Been a great little chainsaw. Perfect for what I need.
 

mrd1995

New Member
Feb 21, 2020
69
North East, Pa
Have you looked into Stihl's battery line up? I have heard they are a great alternative for light duty low use saws. I may look into getting one to keep in the truck in case of emergencies. I think it would be worth the little extra $$$.
 

XmasTreefarmer

Feeling the Heat
Nov 5, 2017
270
Wisconsin
The local Stihl dealer that deals primarily with landscaping professionals (https://www.richeyandclapper.com/ ) recommended the MS 180C Mini Boss to me when I was looking for an occasional-use homeowner chainsaw. They swapped out the 14" bar for a 16" when I bought it. Been a great little chainsaw. Perfect for what I need.
Well that is good news. The more I've looked around, the more high marks I am finding for the MS180 as long as it is used for the right job. A lot of landscapers rate it highly as a limbing saw and that's just what I want it for. They say basically that it starts easily and then just keeps on a running.

As I checked reviews, I found two basic categories of negative reviews: 1. People who do not know how to start an engine. If those folks would just read the manual and learn the correct starting procedure - they would be happy, because it would start! and 2. People who want to make a lot of firewood and are cutting 12" and up diameter trees. The saw is too small for that work if you want to make any headway!
 

XmasTreefarmer

Feeling the Heat
Nov 5, 2017
270
Wisconsin
Have you looked into Stihl's battery line up? I have heard they are a great alternative for light duty low use saws. I may look into getting one to keep in the truck in case of emergencies. I think it would be worth the little extra $$$.
That's a great suggestion - you will get a chuckle out of why I opted out of an electric. Well part of it was price. By the time you buy the saw, the battery (or batteries), and the charger, it's easy to get to $500. I did consider it trying to weigh the benefit of not needed to have gas, no starting issues - ever, etc. But I need gas anyway for the big saw and my gas saws have always started for me, so I couldn't see spending that much money.

The big reason I decided not to go electric is because it's different. :eek: I'm an old guy and I know how a gas chainsaw works and feels. I really don't need to learn new things anymore unless I have to ;lol or really want to. And since I'll use this saw for limbing and then switch to my bigger saw for the wood cutting, I wanted to keep the same "feel". I think it will be safer for me.

One last thing on electrics is that there are some safety issues with chaps not being effective in stopping an electric - corded or battery-powered. In the electric section of the Stihl catalog there is a note: "Warning for Corded-Electric and Battery Chain Saw Users - The fibers (in chaps) may not stop the sprocket on most corded-electric chain saws and some battery-powered chainsaws because of the constant high torque ...."
 

XmasTreefarmer

Feeling the Heat
Nov 5, 2017
270
Wisconsin
Well the new MS180 has tipped over three 10-12" diameter Aspen and made them into nice 22" lengths to feed the Oslo at some point in the future! :)

So far so good. I don't want to bash the Husqvarna 435 - I have a Husqvarna 350 and love it!!, but this little Stihl is a dream. I've run two tankfull's through it and from the very first start it started right up and rev'ed right up. If the 435 had done that, I'd still own it! And I need to give it some time, but there are no puddles of bar oil under the saw after it has sat - whew! I am totally happy with the saw and also so relieved.

I am glad that I didn't get the MS180 C-BE with the Easy Start and Tool-Less chain adjuster. Not saying that there is anything wrong with those features, but they do add a little weight and 1. it starts soooooo easy (it's a small engine) and 2. I did adjust the chain once so far and I loosened the nuts, tightened the bar, and tightened the nuts just like I have with every saw that I've had over the last 50 some years!

I had some aspen I had to thin, so I started out with those. During the break-in period, I thought I'd give it something a bit softer to chew on. With the narrow kerf bar and chain set up, it just goes right thru the branches and trunks with its 2.0HP. And the light weight - it's a dream to handle. I've got some Red Oak to work on and some Cherry. I'll start with the Cherry and then move on to the Oak. When I get to the Oak trunk which is about 16" in diameter - I will switch over to the 350 - that's what it's there for!
 

PaulOinMA

Minister of Fire
Oct 20, 2018
658
MA
Great! I really like the thumb-wheel adjusting.
 

walhondingnashua

Burning Hunk
Jul 23, 2016
248
ohio
I have had a ms170 12 years. If anything ever happened with it, I would go buy another that day. Owning a small, reliable saw has become a necessity for me. I have not run a 180, but I assume since it is only slightly heavier, it would be just as great as my little saw. I know several people that have gone out and bought one when it is on sail just because they have used my smaller saw, even if they already owned a bigger saw.
 
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XmasTreefarmer

Feeling the Heat
Nov 5, 2017
270
Wisconsin
I have had a ms170 12 years. If anything ever happened with it, I would go buy another that day. Owning a small, reliable saw has become a necessity for me. I have not run a 180, but I assume since it is only slightly heavier, it would be just as great as my little saw. I know several people that have gone out and bought one when it is on sail just because they have used my smaller saw, even if they already owned a bigger saw.
I love these testimonials on the 170 and 180! They both seem to be reliable, long runners and that's what I want in my equipment. :) Lightness was what I was going for with this new saw and the 180 is just 6.4 oz heavier than the 170 and feels good in my hands. I hope I get the use out of it that you have with your 170. If 12 years from now I'm still singing the praises of my 180, I'll be a happy camper. ==c

** Since I have you here - any issues or anything special you have done with the air filter? ** In looking at the build of the saw, my only negative is the air filter. I'd feel better if it had a plastic housing with filter material rather than just the flat piece of filter material that sits in the air box held in place by the cover. If you have been running yours for 12 years - it sure looks like it's not an issue.
 

walhondingnashua

Burning Hunk
Jul 23, 2016
248
ohio
I really haven't had any issues with the filter. I agree that the design seems it could be better. My husky 562xp has a plastic cartridge filter and I like the set up. I try to keep the ms170 filter clean, but I have pulled it off on more than one occasion and its completely covered. Under the filter it is spotless, so it seems to catch pretty much everything.

It's never had anything but the stihl HP or husky XP fuel mix in it. I'm a pretty big believer in the better mixes. Maybe this has something to do with the longevity of the machine? Just my opinion.
 

XmasTreefarmer

Feeling the Heat
Nov 5, 2017
270
Wisconsin
I really haven't had any issues with the filter. I agree that the design seems it could be better. My husky 562xp has a plastic cartridge filter and I like the set up. I try to keep the ms170 filter clean, but I have pulled it off on more than one occasion and its completely covered. Under the filter it is spotless, so it seems to catch pretty much everything.

It's never had anything but the stihl HP or husky XP fuel mix in it. I'm a pretty big believer in the better mixes. Maybe this has something to do with the longevity of the machine? Just my opinion.
Well that is good to know - thanks. The more you look on-line, the more confusing it sometimes gets. :confused: I've seen a few reports that fine stuff is getting through the filter. That said, do those guys clean it regularly, do they clean it correctly, are they using an OEM filter or aftermarket? All those different variables. I have seen some comparisons between the OEM and aftermarket filters and in those reviews the OEM was twice as thick and light did not go right through it. The aftermarket was indeed thin and you could see through it. I'll be sticking with OEM.

And we are of a like mind on not skimping on the oil. I have run only the top of the line Husky oil in the trusty 350 and the MS180 will get that or the Stihl HP. I did get a 6-pack of the Stihl oil to extend the warranty from 1 year to 2. I will use the oil for sure, so that was an easy decision.

And since we are on oil here - I'm also a careful mixer. I would say that my mix is always as close to 50:1 as I can get it. I usually work alone, but over the years I've been on work parties and cutting with neighbors and I've seen guys slosh in some gas from a 5 gallon container and then dump some oil in from a quart bottle and call it good. By my estimation their mix was some where between 30:1 and 70:1!! I'm just not willing to take that chance. When I'm helping a neighbor or on a work party, that mix is always offered to me, but I politely say that I brought my own. ==c
 

salecker

Minister of Fire
Aug 22, 2010
1,066
Northern Canada
32:1 is the mix i run in everything
 

Gearhead660

Feeling the Heat
Dec 20, 2018
318
WI
I just picked up a new MS170 a couple weeks ago. Perfect saw for limbing and bucking up smaller trees. Had the dealer swap the 16" bar for a 14". So far does just what I needed it to do. Sips the bar oil. I also run the HP Stihl oil. Get the little bottles that make 1 gallon. Mix only 1 gallon at a time. Premium no ethanol.
 

XmasTreefarmer

Feeling the Heat
Nov 5, 2017
270
Wisconsin
32:1 is the mix i run in everything
You have to go with what you are comfortable with and what works for you.

I remember back in the early 70's when I got my Homelite - the owners manual said 16:1 or 32:1. My dealer said that he recommended 16:1 because he thought the saws would burn up on 32:1. What was *probably* going on back then was that the oil quality was changing and with a modern 32:1 oil you would be fine. With an older type oil, 16:1 was the safer choice.

Recently I looked around at oil info and found that Amsoil has a 100:1 oil. Yikes! Now I bet it's just fine, but I'll be sticking to my 50:1 for a long time. I just would not be able to relax running 100:1.
 

XmasTreefarmer

Feeling the Heat
Nov 5, 2017
270
Wisconsin
I just picked up a new MS170 a couple weeks ago. Perfect saw for limbing and bucking up smaller trees. Had the dealer swap the 16" bar for a 14". So far does just what I needed it to do. Sips the bar oil. I also run the HP Stihl oil. Get the little bottles that make 1 gallon. Mix only 1 gallon at a time. Premium no ethanol.
Cool to hear that you are happy with the 170! I definitely feel that there is a place for the lighter and smaller saw in my wood making activities. It's easier on my body and really seems to go just as quickly (or more quickly when limbing and working with smaller stuff) as my Husq 350. And I kinda like spoiling myself with that "second saw" - with what I save on heating my home, that $200 for the MS180 paid for itself in just a week or two not burning propane for heat.

And amen to mixing only 1 gallon at a time and using only non-ethanol gas. I've been doing that for years and years now and knock on wood, have had little or no fuel system or fuel related issues. That little extra I pay at the pump comes back to me 50 times in that I don't have any problems! :)
 
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salecker

Minister of Fire
Aug 22, 2010
1,066
Northern Canada
You have to go with what you are comfortable with and what works for you.

I remember back in the early 70's when I got my Homelite - the owners manual said 16:1 or 32:1. My dealer said that he recommended 16:1 because he thought the saws would burn up on 32:1. What was *probably* going on back then was that the oil quality was changing and with a modern 32:1 oil you would be fine. With an older type oil, 16:1 was the safer choice.

Recently I looked around at oil info and found that Amsoil has a 100:1 oil. Yikes! Now I bet it's just fine, but I'll be sticking to my 50:1 for a long time. I just would not be able to relax running 100:1.
I have vintage saws and ported saws i use.
All saw builders recommend 32:1
EPA forced 50:1 on the 2 cycle market to meet their regs.
With new smokless oil it is cheap insurance for your saw on those hot days where you are trying to get a job finished and rushing."i will just do one more tank and not sharpen the chain because i am almost done"
 

thisoldgoat

Member
Dec 26, 2017
55
SE MN
You have to go with what you are comfortable with and what works for you.



Recently I looked around at oil info and found that Amsoil has a 100:1 oil. Yikes! Now I bet it's just fine, but I'll be sticking to my 50:1 for a long time. I just would not be able to relax running 100:1.
I've been running Amsoil 100:1 in an Olympic 251 since the early 1980s with no issues. That saw has seen much use/abuse during that time and still runs great with a compression test of around 200 psi.

I plan to run it in my Stihls when I use up my current supply of Stihl oil.
 

XmasTreefarmer

Feeling the Heat
Nov 5, 2017
270
Wisconsin
I've been running Amsoil 100:1 in an Olympic 251 since the early 1980s with no issues. That saw has seen much use/abuse during that time and still runs great with a compression test of around 200 psi.

I plan to run it in my Stihls when I use up my current supply of Stihl oil.
Nice to hear directly from a Hearth member that you've had such a great experience with 100:1. Over 30 years with it in the same saw is quite a testimonial!
 

walhondingnashua

Burning Hunk
Jul 23, 2016
248
ohio
I'm sure with the oil mixture, just like with many things, the better quality oil, the thinner the mixture. I'm sure the amsoil is synthetic as are the higher quality stihl and husky oils. I would feel more comfortable with a thinner mixture if I know the oil is good.
 

salecker

Minister of Fire
Aug 22, 2010
1,066
Northern Canada
I'm sure with the oil mixture, just like with many things, the better quality oil, the thinner the mixture. I'm sure the amsoil is synthetic as are the higher quality stihl and husky oils. I would feel more comfortable with a thinner mixture if I know the oil is good.
But why be "comfortable" when you can rest assured you have enough oil for any conditions by mixing say 32:1 or 40:1 .All it takes is for one small issue to take out your saw when you don't have enough oil in the mixture.It will be you paying to get the saw fixed,it will be you without a saw to use while it is being fixed.
Amsoil ,EPA,Stihl,Husky or anyone else is not going to fix it for you,or cover the costs.
Just saying...
Where i live it is 100 miles one way to go get any parts that i do not have in the yard.Now i don't live anypart of my life with the expectaion that i am "going to town "tomorrow.If i can i prefer to not "go to town" it is a waste of a day.So my "town trips" are sometimes months apart.Anything i can do to prolong the time between trips is how i look at things.So in my case the extra liter or two of 2 cycle oil a year dosn't cost much at all.Especially when you by oil ahead of time on sale.
 

Diabel

Minister of Fire
Jan 11, 2008
2,704
Ottawa, ON
Sad to say, but my 10yr old 170 started bogging down on full throttle last summer. Tried starting it the other day and she would not budge. Not looking forward to replacing fuel line. Not one of my favorite jobs.
 
Sad to say, but my 10yr old 170 started bogging down on full throttle last summer. Tried starting it the other day and she would not budge. Not looking forward to replacing fuel line. Not one of my favorite jobs.
Sea Foam it ... what do you have to loose ..
 
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Diabel

Minister of Fire
Jan 11, 2008
2,704
Ottawa, ON
Sea Foam it ... what do you have to loose ..
Might try that. It is likely too late as the saw does not start anymore. The fuel line is super soft and sticky, i am pretty sure it needs replacing.
 
I would change out them for sure along with the primer bulb..
When you try to start it I would still put some Sea Foam in the fuel...
I have been using the pre mixed fuel .
 
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