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Stihl MS 500i Coming Soon to Canada

January 28, 2020

Stihl MS 500i

In 2019, Stihl introduced yet another first in chainsaw technology—the first chainsaw to have an electronically controlled fuel injection system.  Designated the Stihl MS 500i, it will soon be available in Canada through dealers like Timberland Supply.

Here’s a sneak preview of what is so special about this saw.

Features of the Stihl MS 500i

Industry experts can’t seem to get enough of this powerful chainsaw that is sure to revolutionize the industry. The Stihl 500i boasts the best power-to-weight ratio compared to any other chainsaw.  It weighs just 13.7 pounds but has more than 6.8 horsepower, meaning you get about 1 horsepower for every 2 pounds!

Stihl achieved this excellent power-to-weight ratio by choosing a lightweight sprocket cover, a more compact engine unit, a lighter crankshaft, and a low-profile flywheel. Overall, Stihl designed this chainsaw for heavy timber felling, cutting, and pruning.

The two-stroke engine equipped with Stihl-2-MIX technology will help you save up to 20% of fuel and reduce emissions by up to 70% compared to similar engines without the 2-MIX technology.

The MS 500i can adjust the fuel/air curve depending on the temperature and environment. Internal and external sensors continuously send data to the control unit. Hence, you get the ideal fuel quantity and electronic timing.

Stihl’s fuel injection technology also gives the MS 500i a rapid acceleration from 1 to 100km/hr. in just 0.25 seconds!

Elasto Start

STIHL’s “ElastoStart” technology makes for a smooth start every time.

Stihl also added a semi-automatic decompression valve to its “easy start” system. Press the valve before starting the engine, and it automatically closes once the chainsaw starts. STIHL’s “ElastoStart” technology absorbs and releases force depending on your compression pattern, so you get a smooth, even starting experience every time.

Stihl paid attention to small details and features that make this chainsaw fun and easy to use. The side-mounted chain tensioning makes it easy and safer to tension the chain. When it’s time to change the cutting attachment, Stihl added “captive nuts,” so you don’t have to worry about losing the nuts on the sprocket.

Users love the flatter, narrower sprocket cover that includes integrated slide rails because they reduce the required effort when pruning and offers superior chip removal. They also added fuel caps that don’t require tools to open!

Stihl adjusted the tooth length of the bumper spikes to fit the radial contours of trees better. This makes the saw “bite” the wood more efficiently when felling and cutting.

Bumper Spikes

Optimized bumper spikes make the saw bite into the wood better.

Stihl also paid attention to user comfort by reducing vibrations. They precisely calculated the buffer zones to minimize the transfer of the engine and chain vibrations to the front and rear handles. Less vibration means less fatigue and a more comfortable user experience.

MS 5ooiW Features

In addition to all of the features mentioned above, a version of the 500i (designated the “500iW) is also available with heating strips on the rear and front handles–something users in Canada will surely appreciate during the long winters!

500iW Heated Handles

The MS 500iW features heated handles.

Benefits of the Stihl MS 500i

Have you ever seen a 2-stroke engine with no choke? Stihl’s fuel injection system means there is no need for a choke for starting this chainsaw. All you need to do is prime the bulb a few times and pull the rope.

This engine starts quickly, even when it’s cold, making it ideal for frigid Canadian climates. Testers raved about how this chainsaw starts easily with just a few primer pumps!

Stihl ensured that this saw performs just as well as (if not better than) every other chainsaw with a standard carburetor. Testers put this saw through the paces, doing everything from light final felling to logging overgrown trees. Overall, they were impressed by how quickly they were able to work through a variety of scenarios.

All the features and small details that Stihl added make this chainsaw incredibly easy to use and maintain. Everything from the “captive nuts” on the cutting attachment to the “no tools required” fuel cap is designed with the user in mind.

Because the MS 500i’s availability is still minimal, there is little information about fuel efficiency. Independent testers seem hesitant to comment on just how efficient this chainsaw is because of a variety of factors.

Still, they report that it is at least comparable to similar chainsaws, and possibly slightly more fuel-efficient. At the very least, the MS 500i produces fewer harmful emissions, which is always beneficial.

Technical Specifications of the MS 500i

  • Displacement: 79.2 cm3
  • Power Output: 5/6.8 kW / bhp
  • Weight: 6.2 kg (without fuel, bar, and chain)
  • Power-to-weight ratio: 1.2kg/kW
  • Sound pressure level: 106 dB(A)
  • Sound power level: 119 dB(A)
  • Vibration level left / right: 4.2 / 2 m/s
  • Saw chain pitch: 3/8”

MS 500iW: All of the specifications above plus heated handles.

Initial User Feedback about the MS 500i

Initial feedback about Stihl’s MS 500i are all rave reviews! Testers love everything about this powerful piece of equipment. Stihl set out to build a chainsaw with fuel injection instead of a carburetor to improve the startup, and they didn’t stop there.

Under a variety of conditions, testers agree that the MS 500i does indeed start incredibly quickly, as promised, regardless of a cold engine. Testers also loved the semi-automatic decompression valve.

Reviewers say this chainsaw has “somewhat unstoppably fast acceleration.” They also loved that STIHL managed to build a lighter chainsaw without sacrificing any power, making this chainsaw effective and easy to use.

Most testing took place in cold, European climates. Overall, the Stihl MS 500i performed spectacularly. Therefore, we are confident this saw will quickly move to the top of the list when it becomes available in Canada.

Testers gave two thumbs up, confirming the claim that this chainsaw offers about 13% greater power than previous Stihl generations, and they spoke highly of the MS 500i acceleration. Users report that it handles well when used for pruning. They also say it’s tough to get this chainsaw to choke while in use, thanks to the primary power and superior acceleration.

Overall, we can’t wait for the Stihl MS 500i to become available! As always, Timberland Supply will be sure to offer it to our customers as soon as possible.