Battery Chainsaw that's as strong as GAS: STIHL MSA300 vs MS271

STIHL's MSA 300 Battery Chainsaw vs. MS271 Gas Chainsaw: A Comprehensive Comparison

In the realm of chainsaw technology, traditional gas-powered chainsaws have dominated the market due to their power and efficiency. However, with advancements in battery technology, electric chainsaws are starting to catch up, promising comparable power without the fumes and noise. A prime example of this evolution is STIHL's MSA 300 battery chainsaw, which is said to rival the performance of the traditional MS271 gas chainsaw. To test this claim, a comparative evaluation was conducted focusing on power, handling, and efficiency.

Overview of the Chainsaws

The MSA 300 represents the pinnacle of battery-powered chainsaw technology. It boasts advanced features such as multiple power settings and a sophisticated master control lever, making it a cutting-edge tool for both professional and amateur use. The gas-powered MS271, on the other hand, is a tried-and-true model favored for its reliability and robustness over the years.

Both models were equipped with identical brand new 20-inch bars for a fair and direct comparison during our tests.

Initial Impressions

Handling and Ergonomics

Upon initial handling, the MSA 300 felt slightly heavier than the MS271, though it maintained a balanced feel, which is crucial for prolonged cutting tasks. Users noted that despite its slightly heavier weight, the balance and grip comfort of the MSA 300 did not hinder its maneuverability or cause fatigue during use.

Feature Set

The MSA 300 does away with the traditional choke and startup mechanisms found in gas chainsaws. Instead, it features a simple power button, a bar oil level indicator, and three selectable power settings that can be easily adjusted to match the task’s demands. Moreover, real-time feedback on the chain brake status and battery level adds a layer of convenience and safety.

Performance Evaluation

Cutting Speed and Power

The real test of comparison came in the form of performance. The chainsaws were put to work on a 20-inch log, and the results were timed and observed for efficiency and ease of cutting.

In the highest power setting, the MSA 300 not only matched but slightly outperformed the MS271 in speed, completing cuts quicker in several trials. However, it was noted that under high-demand situations, the MSA 300's battery consumption was considerable, which could be a limitation for extended use without access to additional batteries.

Eco Mode Testing

Further tests were conducted using the MSA 300’s Eco mode, designed to conserve battery life. While the cuts were successful and clean, they took noticeably longer to complete when compared to the higher settings. This mode would be suitable for less demanding tasks, providing a balance between performance and battery conservation.

Practical Insights and User Experience

Users appreciated the lower noise level of the MSA 300, which, unlike gas models, allowed for better communication and a less disruptive environment. This feature, along with the lack of emissions, makes it a strong candidate for indoor use or in noise-sensitive areas.

The instant power response of the electric motor in the MSA 300 was also highlighted as a positive aspect, allowing users to easily control the saw based on the resistance felt during cutting, potentially leading to smoother, more controlled cuts.


The STIHL MSA 300 battery chainsaw stands out as a formidable competitor to the traditional gas-powered MS271. It caters well to those seeking a quieter, environmentally friendly option without significantly compromising on power and efficiency. While battery life remains a consideration, the MSA 300’s performance in various settings demonstrates that battery chainsaws can indeed hold their own against their gas-powered counterparts.

For professionals and homeowners alike looking to reduce their carbon footprint and noise pollution without sacrificing the quality of their tools, the MSA 300 presents a compelling choice. As battery technology continues to advance, the gap in performance between battery and gas-powered chainsaws is set to narrow even further, heralding a new era of power tool efficiency and environmental consciousness.

STIHL claims that their new revolutionary battery chainsaw, MSA300, is as good as their long loved gas chainsaw, the MS271. So we had to put it to a test.
Tune in to see Chip & Stu take on a 20 inch log, in order to test the MSA 300 battery chainsaw against the powerful MS 271.

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