Look & Feel
In our Stihl electric chainsaw review, we aim to give you useful information regarding two excellent electric chainsaws: the Stihl MSE 210 and 170 C-BQ models. We will also compare them against similar models in the market to help you choose the electric chainsaw that will best suit your needs and budget.
This Stihl chainsaw may be electric, but it performs like it’s being run on gas. Weighing in at just 9.5 pounds, this monster slices straight through a variety of different woods, from branches, to stumps, to firewood, and more. Combining power, functionality, and safety, it is one of the premier electric chainsaws on the market today.
In terms of construction and design, the Stihl MSE 210 C-BQ is arguably the best electric chainsaw on the market today. Made out of plastic that is both aesthetically-pleasing and durable, it is built to hold up very well over time, withstanding any wear and tear that comes its way.
With a powerhead weighing in at just 9.5 pounds, it is ridiculously lightweight for a chainsaw with its power capabilities. This makes it great for users of all strengths and sizes. It’s equipped with two different handles; one towards the back of the powerhead, and one towards the left side. This makes it ideal for right-handers.
Its power trigger is strategically placed on the top of the back handle, allowing you to press it down easily with the fingers on your right hand. Available with a guide bar that is either 12, 14, or 16 inches long, there is a MSE 210 that will serve every wood-cutting purpose.
Now let’s talk about the MSE 210’s overall ease of use. It’s loaded with features that are designed to keep operation simple and intuitive. One of its nicest features is its Quick Change Adjuster. This feature allows you to adjust tension quickly and conveniently without the use of a tool. Simply turn the knob on the side of the saw’s powerhead to tighten the tension on the chain whenever needed.
It should also be noted that this chainsaw is self-lubricating, meaning that it doesn’t have to consistently be oiled. While you do have to fill it with oil every o
nce in awhile, when filled, it will maintain the lubrication of the chain by itself.
Next, let’s review the MSE 210’s power capabilities. This saw operates by plugging into an electrical outlet. While this does limit its freedom, it does make it as powerful as electrically possible. Battery-operated chainsaws just don’t possess quite as much oomph.
Its motor outputs 15.0 amps of energy; quite a bit when compared to other electric chainsaws. Possessing a voltage of 120, it’s right around other powerful, high-end electric chainsaws. To put it simply, you won’t have cutting through anything with this chainsaw. It slices directly through stumps, branches, and firewood with little to no hesitation. In honest terms, you’re not going to find an electric chainsaw which operates with more power.
As we noted when speaking of its power capabilities, the MSE 210 is more than capable of cutting through everything from branches, to stumps, to firewood, and more.
Whether the 210 you’re using is equipped with a 12, 14, or 16-inch guide bar, it will slice through wood like a knife through butter.
To keep you safe while cutting, it’s equipped with a debris guard. This will not only protect dangerous debris from flying back in your face, but will also keep your hands from accidentally protruding into the chain. In essence, if you’re looking to cut wood in as quick, convenient, and safe a manner as possible, this chainsaw is the one for you.
Chainsaws are loud. For the most part, there’s very little you can do about that. However, while the MSE 210 is loud, it’s not nearly as loud as a lot of other chainsaws on the market. Whether cutting through wood, or running stationary, it produces a sharp, but bearable noise. As far as chainsaws go, you’re not going to find much quieter.
Look & Feel
When it comes to power, gas-powered chainsaws will usually take the win over electric chainsaws. However, some electric chainsaws compare very well to their fuel-powered counterparts, without you having to worry about the excessive gas emissions and the loud operational noise featured by the former.
The Stihl MSE 170 C-BQ Electric Chainsaw combines power, durability, and maneuverability to be one of the premier electric chainsaws around. Weighing in at just 8.5 pounds, it can easily be handled by users of all strengths and sizes. Terrific for nuanced cutting purposes, its relatively small size enables it to work into angles that other chainsaws can not.
Let’s start the review of the Stihl MSE 170 C-BQ by talking about its construction and design quality. This chainsaw is designed to be small and compact, capable of being operated by users of all strengths and sizes. A fairly short-lengthed chainsaw, its powerhead weighs in at a miniscule 8.5 pounds.
It’s made out of a tough, durable, and aesthetically-pleasing plastic, and is designed to withstand a great deal of wear and tear. Equipped with two handles, it can be grasped from both the back and left sides. This makes it ideal for right-handed users. Sporting a safety guard between the guide bar and the powerhead, it prevents your hands from slipping into the chain, while preventing debris from blowing back onto your body.
For operation purposes, it possesses a trigger on the bottom part of the upper handle. By grasping this trigger with the fingers of your right hand, you easily start and stop the saw at your leisure. Available with guide bars at 12, 14, and 16 inches, it still offers terrific cutting diameter despite its compact size.
Next, let’s talk about the MSE 170’s general ease-of-use. Due to its compact construction and its strategically-placed starter trigger, it can be handled by users of all strengths and sizes. Its small stature enables it to work in tight angles and spaces that larger chainsaws can not.
It possesses a number of useful features. Perhaps the nicest feature of the MSE 170 is its Quickstop feature.
This feature allows you to stop the chain within a second of pulling your hand from the trigger.
By allowing you to stop the chain on a dime, it helps to prevent hazardous malfunctions and accidents.
A self-lubricating chainsaw, it will stay smooth and running as long as it’s been filled with oil. Possessing a 6.8 ounce oil tank, each filling of oil is guaranteed to last over hundreds and hundreds of cuts. Another very notable feature is its Quick Chain Adjuster feature. This feature allows you to adjust the tension of the chain without the use of any tools. In essence, when compared with other electric chainsaws of its ilk, the MSE 170 is as good as it gets.
A wired electric chainsaw, the MSE 170 must be attached to an outlet at all times. Unfortunately, this will sacrifice something in the way of freedom. If its ultimate freedom you want, you can certainly find a high-quality Stihl cordless electric chainsaw elsewhere. However, if freedom is not a huge factor for you, this chainsaw provides more than enough cutting power to make up for it.
Its motor outputs 13.1 amps of power while running it on 120 volts. So, while it’s not quite as powerful as some other electric chainsaws, it still packs plenty of power, especially for its size. To put it simply, with this chainsaw, you won’t have trouble slicing through any type of wood you come across. Below is an example of how it can be used for somewhat big projects:
As we stated while speaking of its power capabilities, the MSE can slice through any type of wood that’s thrown at it, from branches, to tree stumps, to firewood, and otherwise. Available with guide bars of 12, 14, and 16 inches, you can surely find one that suits your specific cutting purposes.
Of course, it doesn’t cut quite as well as chainsaws with bigger motors, but that doesn’t mean that it’s wimpy either. Overall, the MSE 170 is a solid, reliable chainsaw that will get the job done in any commercial or residential yard.
Regardless of what chainsaw you buy, it’s going to be fairly loud. That’s what chainsaws do; they make noise. However, when compared with other chainsaws, the MSE 170 makes relatively little noise.
In fact, you might even be able to speak with others while cutting with this chainsaw. It produces a grinding, but subdued sound that, though unpleasant, isn’t completely unbearable. As far as chainsaws go, you can find one that’s a lot louder than this.
This section will focus on three chainsaw models that compare to the Stihl MSE 210 and 170 C-BQ models. Some of the models discussed have similar features, and only minor differences can be noted between them.
Available for nearly the same price as the Stihl MSE 210 C-BQ, the Makita UC4051A Electric Chainsaw offers similar value, but falls just short.
A corded electric chainsaw, it offers around the same amount of power as the 210, but is not quite as functional.
For instance, the 210 is equipped with a trigger which allows its user to stop its chain as on a dime. The Makita UC4051A is not capable of this. However, like the 210, this Makita chainsaw does possess an auto-lubrication mechanism as well as a tool-less tension adjuster.
As far as construction quality and design go, it falls just below the 210. While the Makita possesses fantastic durability, it’s not quite as easy to handle. Weighing in at around 15 pounds, it’s a great deal heavier than the 9.5-pound Stihl 210. One of the nice features of the Makita, however, is its visible oil level. Contained within a see-through tank, you will know your chainsaw’s oil levels at all time.
When compared to our two Stihl electric chainsaws, the Worx WG303.1 Electric Chainsaw is most similar to the Stihl MSE 210 C-BQ. However, it differs from the 210 in a number of different ways.
While the Worx is much less expensive than the 210, it doesn’t offer quite the same amount of power. That’s not to say that it cuts terribly. It just doesn’t slice through quite as cleanly as does the 210. One of the nice features of this Worx saw is its auto-tension mechanism. With this mechanism, its chain will remain at the correct tension for hundreds of uses. When it does become too loose, it can be easily tightened with a tool-less tightener. In this respect, it outdoes the Stihl 210.
However, overall, the 210 is superior. While it’s less expensive, and while it possesses similar build quality, this Worx electric chainsaw is just not on the same level as the 210 when it comes to power and maneuverability.
Though we’ve written no Stihl battery chainsaw review, we can still compare our Stihl electric chainsaws against a battery chainsaw.
The Oregon Cordless 40V CS300-A6 Chainsaw runs on a 40V battery, and is capable of accommodating hundreds of cuts on a single charge.
Its ability to be taken anywhere outdoes the restrictive nature of the Stihl corded chainsaws. However, it’s overshadowed by the Stihls in a number of ways. A small chainsaw, it compares most to the Stihl MSE 170 C-BQ. However, it does weigh a little more than the 170. Both chainsaws are around the same price, available at over $300.00.
They’re both auto-lubricated and possess tool-less tension adjusting. Where the 170 really shines over the Oregon chainsaw is in its power. Power-wise, the two aren’t even close. So, really, it comes down to what you value more: Power or freedom. The 170 equals power. The Oregon CS300-A6 equals freedom.