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

If you need a heavy-duty tool for forestry applications, then read on for my comprehensive Stihl MS 500i Vs 661 chainsaw comparison. Both models are great options due to their powerful engines and lightweight design. Plus, both models come with features that improve fuel efficiency.

I’ve tested both rigorously and laid out the pros and cons of each so that choosing which one is best for you is easy.

Which Is Best Stihl MS 500i Vs 661 Chainsaw

If you need a performing chainsaw for commercial forestry or high-volume domestic usage, the MS 661 is your best bet. The MS 661 and MS500i both use a powerful gas-powered engine, but the MS 661 model has a better performance.

And while both chainsaws come with features designed to improve fuel economy, the 661 also uses technology that reduces emissions. However, the 500i is the best choice if you need to use as little fuel as possible, thanks to its digital fuel injection system.

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Husqvarna Vs Toro Zero Turn Model Comparison

When comparing the 500i and 661 models both from Stihl, it appears that the chainsaws share many of the same features. However, the 500i model is more compact and comes with more smart features. The 661 chainsaw is a little heavier, but it comes with a better-performing engine. Take a look at the key features.

The Stihl MS 500ihas an electronically controlled fuel injection system resulting in rapid acceleration and smoother operation, even for tough cuts.

There’s smart built-in diagnosis software to pinpoint the cause of technical issues.

The MS 500i uses a pull-start system, with a decompression valve that makes starting the chainsaw ultra-easy.

Stihl MS 661 comes with smart engine management features. Including sensors to measure factors like fuel quality, air filter status, carb tuning adjustments, or elevation then adjusting the performance of the engine accordingly.

Deco Valve technology provides an easy engine start every time.

Stihl MS 500i

  • 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

Sithl 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 engine of the MS 500i is ideal for professional uses with its 4.83cc of displacement and 6.7HP rating. It stands out thanks to the electronic feature that adjusts how much fuel the chainsaw uses. This feature translates into smooth operation and improves fuel efficiency.

Stihl MS 661 Engine

The MS 661 doesn’t have the same electronic fuel injection system. However, it’s more powerful in comparison. The displacement is higher at 5.56cc, and the power rating is also higher at 7.2HP. This more performing engine can come in handy for forestry applications.

Feature Comparison

These two chainsaws have some features in common, but the use of technology is one of the things that make one model better than the other.

The 500i is superior when it comes to using tech. There is a smart system that adjusts fuel injection as well as diagnosis software. It’s also the better choice if you need a lightweight and compact chainsaw.

The 661 model has a smart engine management feature. It can adjust how the engine runs based on different factors. Plus, the engine will reduce emissions and use less fuel compared to other Stihl chainsaws. However, you’ll get better fuel efficiency with the 500i.

Chassis Build Quality

The design of the two chainsaws is similar. Both have a quality chassis that protect internal components while keeping the operator safe.

Chainsaw Chain

Both models use the same chain type.

Stihl MS 500i Chain Type

The 500is uses the RS3 chain or Stihl Rapid Super 3 chain. This chain has a pitch of 3/8,” which is ideal for heavy-duty applications. The gauge is 050, and the chain has 72 drive links.

The design of the chain reduces kickback and delivers a clean cut.

Stihl MS 661 Chain Type

You’ll find the same chain on the MS 661 model. However, the oiler capacity is a little higher at 12.2oz instead of 11 oz.

Are Stihl Reliable Chainsaws?

Stihl is a well-known manufacturer of quality gas-powered tools. Both models are reliable chainsaws.

Chain Service Intervals

Regardless of which model you choose between Stihl MS 500i vs 661, you’ll have to perform routine maintenance to keep your new chainsaw in good condition.

You should clean the chain after each use and clean the outside of the carburetor as well as the air filter on a weekly basis. You should also empty and rinse the fuel and oil tanks every other week.


Stihl offers a one-year warranty for personal use. However, if you plan on using your new chainsaw professionally, the warranty will only last three months.

How Long Do Stihl Chainsaws Last

Stihl offers quality tools that last for years. You can expect to get at least 2,000 hours of use out of your new chainsaw.

Is Stihl Customer Support Good

Customers who contact Stihl customer support generally have a good experience. The Better Business Bureau found a pattern of complaints due to products in need of repairs, but an investigation revealed that Stihl was handling the issue well.

Verdict: MS 500i Vs Stihl MS 661 Chainsaw

After comparing the Stihl MS 500i vs 661, and using the 661 forin the fiel dextensively, I recommend the 661 as arguably the best chainsaw on th emarket. The 500i model has some nice technology and provides a lighter saw, but the 661 has never let me down.

In terms of value, the Stihl MS 661 is a better choice. It’s a little more affordable and comes with more proof of longevity in th efield. It lacks the advanced fuel efficiency feature of the 500i, but it comes with a smart management system and features that also helps reduce emissions.

Best Stihl Chainsaw

Stihl MS 500i Vs 661 Chainsaw

Sithl MS 661 R C-M

A suberbly built Stihl chainsaw, powered by a US-made 5.56cc engine putting out 7.2bhp.

This chainsaw is heavier than the 551i but you get more power and save $200.

In my experience, this is the best chainsaw on the market. It’s the Ferrari of chainsaws.