Stihl MS 291 Review (2023) — Specs, Performance, and More

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Most chainsaws today are equipped with technologies to make your yard work easier, but there are plenty of cheap options out there that are underpowered and fail after a few cutting projects. 

If you only want the best, I tried out the Stihl MS 291, a best-selling saw today. I’ll provide a comprehensive overview of its features, performance, and value in this Stihl MS 291 review.  

Stihl MS 291

What We Like

What We Don't Like

Design and Build

The Stihl MS 291 boasts a rugged and durable design that can withstand heavy use in the most demanding environments. 

Stihl MS 291

It has a compact and ergonomic design making it easy to handle, even for extended periods. The chainsaw’s weight is evenly distributed, providing a comfortable grip and reducing operator fatigue.

Stihl MS 291 Features

Overview of Specs

Bar Length

The Stihl MS 291 has a 20-inch bar length, making it suitable for various cutting tasks, including felling small to medium-sized trees, bucking logs, and limbing.

Stihl MS 291 handle bar

Weight and Balance

The chainsaw’s weight of 12.3 pounds was evenly distributed, ensuring excellent balance and control during operation. This made it easy to handle and maneuver for extended periods, reducing operator fatigue.


The MS 291 packs a powerful punch. Its 55.5 cc engine generated 3.76 horsepower, making operating even the most demanding cutting tasks easy. The engine’s high torque output also ensured a smooth and efficient cutting experience.

Fuel Capacity and Storage

The Stihl MS 291 had ample fuel capacity, allowing you to operate the chainsaw for extended periods without refueling. The chainsaw’s fuel tank held up to 16.9 fluid ounces, while its translucent fuel tank made monitoring the fuel level during operation easy. 

Additionally, the chainsaw had a convenient onboard storage compartment for extra chains and tools, allowing you to keep everything you needed close at hand.

Air Filtration

One of the standout features of the Stihl MS 291 was its advanced air filtration system. Equipped with a pre-separation air filtration system, the chainsaw’s air filter captured large debris before reaching the filter, extending the filter’s lifespan and reducing maintenance needs.

Stihl MS 291 setup

Additionally, the air filter was easily accessible and could be quickly removed for cleaning and maintenance, ensuring the chainsaw was always running at peak performance.

Chain Tensioner

The Stihl MS 291 has a chain tensioner that is incredibly easy to use. The chainsaw’s side-access chain tensioner made adjusting the tension simple without removing the sprocket cover. 

This will save you time and make keeping the chain tensioned adequately throughout the chainsaw’s use more straightforward.

Cutting Performance

With its 20-inch bar length and powerful 55.5 cc engine, this chainsaw can handle various cutting tasks, from limbing and bucking to felling medium-sized trees.

The chainsaw’s ability to easily tackle even the most challenging materials is an excellent feature. Its high torque output provided ample power to drive the chain through hardwoods, such as oak and maple, which can be challenging to cut. 

cutting log with Stihl MS 291

This power, combined with the chainsaw’s automatic oiling system that kept the chain lubricated, resulted in a smooth and efficient cutting experience. We consider it a perfect logging chainsaw


The chainsaw features various vibration-dampening features, including rubber mounts between the engine and the handle and specially designed grips that help reduce the amount of vibration transmitted to the operator’s hands [1].

As a result, using the chainsaw for extended periods is relatively comfortable and will not result in excessive hand or arm fatigue.


The Stihl MS 291 chainsaw is designed to be environmentally friendly while still delivering powerful performance. It features a low-emission engine compliant with all current EPA emissions regulations. 

Stihl MS 291 engine

It produces minimal exhaust emissions, which is good for the environment and the operator’s health. Additionally, the chainsaw’s efficient fuel consumption meant it could run on a single fuel tank for extended periods, reducing its overall environmental impact.


What does MS mean on Stihl chainsaws?

MS stands for “magnum saw” in the Stihl chainsaw lineup. It is a designation given to their more powerful saws, typically used for professional forestry and logging applications.

Review Conclusion: Stihl MS 291

After conducting Stihl MS 291 reviews and tests, I can confidently say that this chainsaw is a powerful and reliable tool well-suited for professional and personal use. 

With its impressive cutting performance and low-emission engine, the Stihl MS 291 offers a comfortable and efficient cutting experience. It might take some time for you to get used to its weight and balance but it’s still an excellent choice for those looking for a powerful and dependable chainsaw.

Stihl MS 291
Robert Johnson is a woodworker who takes joy in sharing his passion for creating to the rest of the world. His brainchild, Sawinery, allowed him to do so as well as connect with other craftsmen. He has since built an enviable workshop for himself and an equally impressive online accomplishment: an extensive resource site serving old timers and novices alike.
Robert Johnson
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