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Stihl Chainsaw MS271 Farm Boss Review

Ken Hayes
Ken Hayes

I purchased a brand new Stihl Chainsaw “Farm Boss” last week and finally got a chance to put it to the test this weekend in the woods.  The farm boss has changed in recent years.  It used to be the MS290 model, but Stihl now sells the farm boss as a redesigned 271 model.  

I was worried a bit first that with it being a slightly smaller engine than the 290 that it wouldn’t be beefy enough for the job.  I’m not a pro chainsaw, but I do cut several cords of wood each year.  I definitely wanted something from their Farm/Ranch line.  The new Stihl MS271 cost me 389.99 plus tax.

I did read the owners manual before I got started and learned a couple of really cool things about the saw.   It of course has the mechanical brake for safety that you can stop the chain from spinning.  It also has an automatic inertia break that is supposed to stop the chain if the saw kicks back.  I was skeptical, but there was a point when I was sawing through some hardwood that the saw kicked up a bit.  I was able to control it and it never got close to being a dangerous kick back, but it did actually stop the chain.  I was surprised and it’s a great safety feature.

It also has a carburetor adjustment if you remove the shroud where you can change it from summer to winter setting.  That’s a great feature as we know how difficult it can be to start a chainsaw in very cold weather.

As for starting it, it fired up like a champ.  That’s if you follow the directions.   Put it on full choke and pull it until it coughs, then reduce the choke and it fires right up.

It cut great, I started off small with just some smaller downed trees and bucked those up no problem.  Then I went to the biggest test of the day.  There was a huge maple tree that had fallen nearby.  It was still pretty green wood, and in some places the trunk was over 18″ wide, which was more than the length of my 18″ bar.  I ran the saw through it and it had enough power to get the job done.  I worked through the tree in no time and I was very happy with the saw.

Another nice feature is the anti-vibration technology.  The mounts on the handle absorb some of the vibrations of the chainsaw.  After a day of cutting, it was noticeable how much less fatigue I had than using an older chainsaw in previous years.

So to wrap it up, I’d have to say that this new Farm Boss is just what I needed, and I’m really happy with my purchase.

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