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

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Not every chainsaw user is a big fan of how heavy gas-powered models are, so it’s no surprise some have doubts about Stihl MS311. While its power range makes cutting operations more efficient, its weight as a gas unit can be inconvenient and burdensome.

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 We Like

What We Don't Like

Design and Weight

Like any other gas chainsaw, the Stihl MS 311 has a heavier powerhead weight of 13.67 pounds. The main reason for its substantial mass is its engine and high-capacity fuel tank, which electric alternatives lack. 

Stihl MS 311 on wooden floor

When you decide to use this unit, expect additional load as you attach its 16-inch guide bar. Although it adds to the unit’s weight, this design enhances its power-to-weight ratio. As a result, the chainsaw will remain steady when cutting thicker and more massive 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 would recommend chainsaw bar attachments of at least 16 inches for MS 311, but the unit is compatible with lengths up to 20 inches. Remember that longer guide bars are more adept for professional cutting requirements, especially when handling larger 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

Although the unit carries a powerful engine, you’ll be delighted to know it produces minimal vibrations during usage. Its anti-vibration feature prevents user fatigue, resulting in more comfortable handheld operations and accurate cutting outputs. 

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

True to its name, a decompression valve momentarily minimizes the compression within the unit’s combustion chamber as the engine starts up. Thanks to this feature, you don’t need to pull the rope harder to get the chainsaw running. 

Eco-Friendliness and Emissions

Unfortunately, a gas model like Stihl MS 311 will always have exhaust emissions. However, compared to other chainsaws, this unit is cleaner than EPA with less harmful production.  

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

Like other Stihl MS 311 reviews, I’m not surprised by its excellent performance, proving that it came from such a reputable brand. 

But considering it can deliver adequate power and longer running time, you must ensure its weight won’t hinder your performance in handling cutting tasks, be it in residential or professional settings. 

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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