Stihl MS 311 Review (2023) — Specs, Bar Size, and More

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Many chainsaw users are hesitant about the weight that often comes with gas-powered models, and this is a notable consideration with the Stihl MS311. 

While its power capability undoubtedly enhances the efficiency of cutting tasks, the added weight typical of gas units could potentially be cumbersome and inconvenient for the user.

In this Stihl MS 311 review, I’ll explore the chainsaw’s features to determine if it’s a valuable cutting tool to buy. 

What I Like

What I Don't Like

Design and Weight

Similar to other gas-powered chainsaws, the Stihl MS 311 carries a significant powerhead weight of 13.67 pounds. The primary contributors to its heftiness are its robust engine and large fuel tank—features not present in electric counterparts.

Stihl MS 311 on wooden floor

Choosing to operate this device entails accommodating extra weight once you affix the 16-inch guide bar. 

Despite increasing the overall mass, this configuration improves the power-to-weight balance of the chainsaw, ensuring stability and control when tackling thicker and larger pieces of wood.

Stihl MS 311 Features

Overview of Specs

Engine Power

Stihl MS 311 engine

Like it or not, chainsaws with higher engine power have more capability to handle thicker tree logs and extensive operations like firewood [1] cutting. And because the Stihl MS 311 runs with a 4.2 bhp motor, it won’t disappoint you in this category. 

The powerhead’s 59.0 cc engine displacement allows this chainsaw to perform better than corded and battery-operated alternatives. 

Fuel Capacity and Storage

Because of constant refueling downtime, some chainsaw users may think corded models are superior to gas options. However, Stihl MS 311 eliminates this dilemma with a 20.3 oz fuel capacity and a chain oil tank capable of carrying 11.8 oz of chain oil. 

And since it requires combustible fuel options, you must practice caution when storing and transporting the unit. 

Bar Length

I suggest using chainsaw bar attachments of a minimum of 16 inches for the MS 311, although it can accommodate bars up to 20 inches in length. Keep in mind that longer guide bars are better suited for professional cutting tasks, particularly when dealing with bigger logs.

bar length of Stihl MS 311

Air Filtration

Another efficient feature of this unit is its air-filtration system. Thanks to this function, the centrifugal airflow immediately eliminates heavier dust and dirt particles before they can even reach the filters.  

The filters catch fewer particles, leading to minimal cleaning and maintenance requirements in the long run. 

Anti-Vibration System

Even though the MS 311 is equipped with a robust engine, it produces surprisingly low levels of vibration during operation. 

This is attributable to its advanced anti-vibration system, which significantly lessens user fatigue, enhances handheld comfort, and guarantees accurate and smooth cuts.

Chain Tensioner

Unlike typical chainsaws, MS 311 has chain tensioning adjustments on the side. This convenient design offers more convenience to users because it’s more accessible and easier to configure. 

Cutting Performance

Despite the added weight, the model’s higher fuel capacity gives it an edge for longer operating times. On top of that, the massive horsepower it can deliver allows the chainsaw to deliver faster results, even when handling thicker logs. 

operating Stihl MS 311

With less downtime, Stihl MS 311 not only saves you time but also saves you from spending more money on fuel. 

Decompression Valve

Living up to its purpose, the decompression valve temporarily reduces the compression in the combustion chamber of the engine during startup. This convenient feature ensures that you won’t have to exert extra effort in pulling the start rope to get the chainsaw up and running.

Eco-Friendliness and Emissions

Regrettably, as a gas-powered model, the Stihl MS 311 does produce exhaust emissions. 

Nevertheless, it is worth noting that this particular chainsaw model boasts cleaner performance compared to others, producing fewer harmful emissions and surpassing EPA standards.

Price and Warranty

If you’re buying a brand-new model, Stihl MS 311 belongs to the middle price range. Its cost isn’t too expensive, even if you consider the attachments (chain and bar) you need to buy with it. 

You can consider buying pre-loved chainsaws on eBay, but it can be risky to purchase substandard units. 

Stihl MS 311 on wooden floor

As for the warranty, it comes with a limited policy of three months if for rented models. And as long as MS 311 is available on the market, it covers repairing and replacing some chainsaw parts. 

Reliable Stores That Sell Stihl MS 311

Many authorized sellers like Ace Hardware carry this brand’s make and model. However, if you must buy online, search for official websites to maximize warranty perks and prevent falling into scams. 

More Stihl chainsaw reviews to check out:

Review Conclusion: Stihl MS 311

Based on my Stihl MS 311 reviews, the exceptional performance of this chainsaw is a testament to the esteemed reputation of its brand.

With its capability to provide substantial power and an extended operational duration, it is crucial, however, to be mindful of the unit’s weight. 

This consideration is vital to ensure that it does not impede your efficiency, regardless of whether you are undertaking cutting tasks at home or in a professional context.

Robert Johnson is a passionate furniture maker & carpenter, sought after for his knowledge on the craft.
You've probably seen his down-to-earth wisdom in USA Today, Bobvila, Family Handyman, and The Spruce, where he has shared commentary and guidance on various woodworking topics.

Robert is the brain behind Sawinery, where he aims to share tips, tricks, and a passion for all things carpentry.
Robert Johnson

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