How the STIHL MS 162 Chainsaw compares to the MS 170

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The STIHL MS 162 is one of Stihl’s newest models.

Like the MS 170, the 162 is a 30.1 cc gas chainsaw. It’s described as a “reliable entry-level machine for property maintenance, gardening, and landscaping.”

But why did they make it when they have the 170? And is it any good?

The STIHL MS 162 is currently selling for $199.99 at Ace Hardware.

Stihl MS 162 Chainsaw

using the ms162 chainsaw
Image: @wood__boss

To get right to the point, the MS 170 is being discontinued and will be replaced by the 162. 

The word is that they’ve already stopped making the 170, and it’s only a matter of time before stocks are gone.

Right now, there are two different 162 models:

  • MS 162
  • MS 162 C-BE

The difference between the two is that the C-BE version has the comfort features B and E.

The additional features are:

  • B – Quick Chain Adjustment (for adjusting the chain without tools)
  • E – Easy2Start/ ErgoStart (easier to start the chainsaw)

Some people like these comfort features, while others prefer their saws without them.

These saws are easy enough to start with the Easy Start feature, and tightening the chain with tools is no hassle. We’ve also heard reports of faulty or troublesome Quick Chain Adjusters.

STIHL MS 162 Reviews

using stihl 162 reviews
Image: @wood__boss

Before the 162 was released, these were some of the comments it was getting:

  • “Looks like a good saw to start kids on.”
  • “Just when you thought the 170 couldn’t get any worse!”
  • “The only drawback I found is that it is heavier than the ms180. This 162 weighs 9.9 lbs. I was thinking it would be lighter.”
  • “At least it’s got the old gas caps.”
  • “I don’t see any advantage over the 170.”
  • “30 cc light-use saw for occasional use. It might be a good pruning saw, but I don’t see the point. The 170 is just fine in that sector of the market.”
  • “Price, fuel caps, single bar stud, power to weight ratio, and options scream new budget saw.”

Check out the following video from Oliver Digeronimo. He shows the new features and the saw in action well.

Oliver, the video presenter, said, “The MS 162 is so misunderstood. I love this thing. It is such an improvement over the MS 170.”

And in the comments, @mabalicksbyyuo-sr7xk said:

Just bought one from Ace Hardware.

For a saw that cost 179.99 you CANNOT beat it… Cut two massive oak trees apart like butter great video. This saw kicks oak ass…

@MyGFIsMaria said:

It looks ok for the price. It’s not a professional saw and should not be compared to one. For a novice homeowner it probably feels mighty.

I don’t think it will last long bucking firewood but cutting down a couple of trees each year probably works fine.

@whatnot987 said:

The 162 is much slower than the 170 and nearly weighs two pounds more. In fact the 162 is only a half pound lighter then a 50cc MS 261 professional saw.

Stihl has gone backwards with these new entry level saws imo. In fact when my 180 quits running I think I’m going to get a Holzfforma MS 180 clone as opposed to buying the new 162, 172 or 182.

Alden asked, “My question is will it take a 25” bar? I mean, it comes with a wrap handle, too, right?”

Compared to the MS 170


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A post shared by HOLZmachen Magazin (@holzmachen_magazin)

Because it’s so similar to the 170, people often ask which is better, or which they should get.

Here are responses to that very question.

Jeff said:

I like my 170. Going to add the MS 182 ASAP. My dealer has a 162 and 212 now. I decided on a 182 when it ships in.

Matthew said:

Depends on the use! Little work or bigger work?

Ive had a MS 251 for 10 years and its been a great saw and works great for limbing and smaller trees like up to 12-14 inches.

Just bought a MS261c and that thing is bad ass! Blew through a large American Elm today in half the time the 251c would of done!

Walter said:

Reasonable care, good oil and a sharp chain, and my 170 has been a good little saw for 9 years.

It rides on a sxs and backhoe managing trails and limb cleanup. For the money its the best saw stihl makes.

We heat 100% with a wood burner. It does its part very well… just saying.

And while not many people seem to have experience with the two, most were suggesting other models:

  • Blake said, “MS 241 if you can find one.”
  • Eric said, “Go with the 400. You will not regret it.”
  • Nathaniel said, “The MS 250 is a great saw.”
  • Jimmy said, “My MS 180 has been going for 14 years now. I use it for limbing small trees around my house.”
  • And Cory said, “MS 271 is the smallest saw still worth a damn.”

Specs and Features

The Stihl MS 162 is very similar in specs to the MS 170, MS 171, MS 180, and MS 181.

They are all cheap, lightweight homeowner pruning saws with 12 – 16″ bars.

STIHLMS 162MS 170MS 171
Displacement30.1 cc / 1.83 cu in30.1 cc / 1.83 cu in31.8 cc / 1.94 cu in
Power1.2 hp / 0.9 kW 1.7 hp / 1.3 kW1.7 hp / 1.3 kW
Weight9.9 lbs / 4.5 kgs8.6 lbs / 3.9 kgs9.5 lbs / 4.3 kgs 
Bar Length12 – 14″12- 16″12 – 16″ 

The 162 is a very different design compared to previous saws. There have been changes.

For example, it has a new fuel and oil tank design, air filter design, and control lever. Some of these seem to be improvements, but others may not be.

The 162 also has a single bar nut, an unpopular feature common to some of the worst Stihl chainsaws. You’ll need a scrench to access the tanks.

Other features include:

  • Hardened Stihl guide bar with narrow saw chain
  • Single easy-to-use lever for choke, run, and stop
  • Well-balanced for easy handling
  • Quick chain adjuster
  • Transparent tanks for checking fuel and oil levels
  • Stihl anti-vibration system with “reduced oscillations at the grip points”

It’s also said to have a powerful, energy-efficient engine—but I guess the powerful part depends on what you’re comparing it to.

If it’s compared to the Stihl GTA 26 mini saw, then yes, but if it’s to Stihl’s biggest chainsaws, then no!

If you’ve used the MS 162, let us know your thoughts in the comment section below.


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2 thoughts on “How the STIHL MS 162 Chainsaw compares to the MS 170”

  1. Very interesting comments, just to explain I am an older person looking for an inexpensive saw for firewood log cutting, and just the occasional tree branch tidying up I have owned saws in the past which I simply could not start and have spent a lot of time pulling my guts out which I can no longer do.
    I thought that this new Sthil 162 model might be ideal, but I have noticed the Husqvarna equivalent might be as good if not slightly better.
    So that leaves me not really knowing which is best.

  2. The specs tell you everything. The power is down, the weight is up while the price is the same as the 170. There is no upgrade in reliability so in comparison to the 170 you are getting less product for the same money. And for all of us old fellows looking for a light saw with decent power this is not the model.


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