Stihl MS 500i Vs 661 Chainsaw | Which is Best?

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Jul 11, 2023

If you require a heavy-duty tool for forestry operations, keep reading for my detailed Stihl MS 500i Vs. 661 chainsaw comparison. Both models are excellent choices because of their solid engines and compact construction. Additionally, both models include components that enhance fuel economy.

To make it simple for you to decide which is best for you, I put each to thorough testing and outlined the benefits and drawbacks of each.

Which Stihl MS 500i or 661 Chainsaw Is Better?

The MS 661 is your best option if you require a high-performing chainsaw for industrial forestry or frequent residential use. The MS 661 and MS 500i have strong gas engines. However, the MS 661 variant performs better.

Both chainsaws include features meant to increase fuel efficiency, but the 661 also employs technology that lowers emissions. Due to its digital fuel injection technology, the 500i is the ideal option if you need to consume the least amount of petrol possible.

Comparison of the Husqvarna and Toro Zero-Turn Models

When compared, the Stihl 500i and 661 models have many of the same characteristics. The 500i model, on the other hand, is smaller and has more intelligent features. Although the 661 chainsaw is a touch heavier, its engine is more effective. Look at the salient characteristics.

Stihl MS 500i 20-Inch

An electronically regulated fuel injection system on the Stihl MS 500i allows quicker acceleration and smoother running, even during brutal cuts.

There is sophisticated internal diagnostic software to identify the root of technical problems.

With a decompression valve and a pull-start method, the MS 500i makes starting the chainsaw very simple.

Stihl MS 661 20-inch

The Stihl MS 661 has intelligent engine management capabilities. Add sensors to monitor things like the fuel’s quality, the air filter’s condition, carburetor adjustments, or elevation, and then modify the engine’s performance appropriately.

Every time, Deco Valve technology offers a simple engine start.

MS 500i Stihl

  • Power type: Gas, two strokes
  • Engine size: 4.83cc
  • Engine power: 6.7HP
  • Fuel capacity: 26.05 fl oz
  • Chain bar length: 20″
  • Chain type: 3/8″ RS3
  • Oiler type: Automatic
  • Chain tensioner: Manual
  • Uses: Forestry, tree removal
  • Anti-vibration: Yes
  • Weight: 13.9 lbs
  • Noise pressure: 106dB
  • Warranty: 1-Year
  • Approximate price: $1,400

Stihl MS 661

  • Power type: Gas, two strokes
  • Engine size: 5.56cc
  • Engine power: 7.2HP
  • Fuel capacity: 27.9 fl oz
  • Chain bar length: 20″
  • Chain type: 3/8″ RS3
  • Oiler type: Automatic
  • Chain tensioner: Manual
  • Uses: Forestry, tree removal
  • Anti-vibration: Yes
  • Weight: 16.3 lbs
  • Noise pressure: 105dB
  • Warranty: 1-Year
  • Approximate price: $1,200

Stihl MS 500i Engine

The MS 500i’s 4.83cc and 6.7HP engine makes it the perfect choice for business applications. The electrical function modifies how much gasoline the chainsaw consumes, making it unique. This characteristic makes the vehicle run more smoothly and increases fuel economy.

Stihl MS 661 Engine

The MS 661’s electronic fuel injection technology is different. It is more potent in contrast, however. 5.56cc is a more significant displacement, and 7.2HP is a larger power rating. Applications involving forestry may benefit from this more effective engine.

Feature Comparison

Although these two chainsaws share several characteristics, one aspect distinguishing one model from the other is technology usage.

When it comes to utilizing technology, the 500i is better. A sophisticated system with software for diagnostics and fuel injection adjustment is included. Additionally, this is the superior option if you want a portable and lightweight chainsaw.

An intelligent engine management option is available on the 661 models. Depending on various variables, it may change how the engine operates. Additionally, compared to previous Stihl chainsaws, the engine will consume less gasoline and emit fewer pollutants. The 500i, however, offers superior fuel economy.

Chassis Build Quality

The two chainsaws have a similar design. Both feature sturdy frames that safeguard internal parts while preserving operator safety.

The Chainsaw

The chain type is the same for both variants.

Type of Stihl MS 500i Chain

The chain used on the 500is is the Stihl Rapid Super 3 chain or RS3. The 3/8″ pitch of this chain makes it perfect for use in heavy-duty applications. The chain contains 72 driving links, and the gauge is 050.

The chain’s construction provides a smooth cut and minimizes backlash.

Type of Stihl MS 661 Chain

On the MS 661 model, the same chain is present. However, the oiler’s capacity is greater at 12.2 oz than at 11 oz.

Are Stihl Chainsaws Reliable?

A reputable producer of high-quality gas-powered equipment is Stihl. Both versions of chainsaws are dependable.

Service Intervals for Chains

No matter which models you pick, the Stihl MS 500i vs. 661, regular maintenance is required to maintain your new chainsaw in excellent working order.

After every usage, you should clean the chain, and once a week, you should clean the air filter and the exterior of the carburetor. Additionally, you should clean and empty the oil and gasoline tanks every other week.


Stihl provides a 12-month warranty for home usage. The guarantee will only cover your new chainsaw for three months if you intend to use it professionally.

The Lifespan of a Stihl Chainsaw

Stihl sells high-quality, durable tools. At least 2,000 hours of usage are what you can anticipate from your new chainsaw.

Is Stihl Customer Service Reliable?

Customers typically have a positive experience when they speak with Stihl customer service. The Better Business Bureau discovered a trend of complaints about items that required repairs, but an inquiry showed that Stihl was effectively managing the situation.


After comparing the Stihl MS 500i and 661 and extensively utilizing the 661 within the forest, I suggest the 661 as the finest chainsaw available. The 661 has always succeeded me, even though the 500i model has some good features and offers a lighter saw.

The Stihl MS 661 is a superior option in terms of value. It is a bit cheaper and has more excellent field longevity evidence. Although it lacks the 500i’s sophisticated fuel economy capabilities, it has intelligent management functions that also assist lower emissions.

Stihl MS 661 R C-M

A well-constructed Stihl chainsaw with a 5.56cc, 7.2bhp, US-made engine.

Despite being heavier than the 551i, this chainsaw has greater power and costs $200 less.

This is the top chainsaw on the market—the Ferrari of chainsaws.


Both the Stihl MS 500i and the 661 chainsaws demonstrate impressive features that can make woodwork a breeze. The chainsaw chain on both models cuts through both red oak and white oak with relative ease. However, the 500i shines with its chain combo, making it an absolute beast when it comes to maintaining a strong link with optimal performance, while the 661 demands greater attention to fuel quality to uphold its robust performance.

If you’re still wondering which to choose, think about what you prefer in a chainsaw. Consider the type of wood you will often cut, the bars’ weight and length, and the light yet significant difference in their fueling systems. If you often work with hardwoods like red or white oak, the 500i might be your best choice. This model comes with the advantage of offering an efficient chain combo that can handle the denser material better, providing an impressive balance of power and precision.

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