Fuel Injected Chainsaw Stihl MS 500i Preview
The new Stihl MS 500i is the first fuel injected chainsaw, and it’s set to hit the US market in mid-2019. With all the chatter online about this new fuel injected chainsaw, we wouldn’t be surprised to see this date slide back a bit. This due to the excitement in other parts of the world that may eat up all the early production. Germany and Europe tend to get a leg up on the US since Stihl is a German company. We can thank California and the EPA for hindering new Stihl chainsaws entering the USA as well.
One thing we do have going for us is that Stihl’s largest market, by far, is the U.S. market. We covered this in an earlier article on Stihl Dealers and Market Share. For this reason alone, Stihl should be enthused about getting it to us soon. Read further for much more information on the fuel injected MS 500i.
Stihl MS 500i Fuel Injected Chainsaw Features
Which feature should we start with on a fuel injected chainsaw? That doesn’t take a rocket surgeon to figure it out. Fuel injection on a chainsaw even sounds fun…with proper PPE, of course. Now indicated in the model number, the “i” in the Stihl MS 500i tells us it’s powered by a fuel injected engine. Also new is the Stihl TS 500i Cut Off Saw which incorporates the same powerplant.
Stihl is claiming that the MS 500i fuel injected chainsaw has the best power-to-weight ratio of any manufactured chainsaw. The fuel injected 80 cc (79.2) powerplant creates more than 6.8 horsepower. At only 13.7 lbs total weight, this saw is building 0.5 hp/lb. Flip that equation and you get 1 horsepower for every 2 pounds, hence think of a 150 hp go-kart with you in it.
Using the Stihl injection, the MS 500i is able to make changes to the fuel/air curve, based on the current environment. Air pressure, internal temp, and external temp sensors pass information to the control unit, providing maximized fuel quantity and electronic timing. Stihl’s fuel injected chainsaw revs from 0 to 100 km/h (62 mph) in less than 1 second (0.25 sec).
It’s not all about producing more power either, an optimized design is dropping weight on the 500i as well. Colin Chapman, Engineer and Lotus (car company) founder, had the philosophy to “Simplify, then add lightness.” I’m not so sure that fuel injection is simplifying, but low-weight flywheel, reduced-weight crankshaft, and lightweight sprocket-cover has sure added lightness.
Look Ma, No Choke
What?! A 2-stroke engine with no choke to deal with? Did me and Stihl just become best friends? That’s right, with fuel injection, there’s no longer a need for a choke to add a rich mixture of fuel for startup. Just prime the bulb a few times, then pull the rope. Easy starting, regardless of a cold engine, or not. Furthermore, a decompression valve aids in starting-ease as well. Press the valve manually before starting, then the valve automatically closes.
Our Final Thoughts
Why is it that when you have a high-revving chainsaw in your hand, you feel like you can take on the world? Ok, maybe that’s just me. Innovation and growth in technology will always get our attention. Fuel injection has taken over the vehicle world, so you can’t find a carburetor on any car or truck rolling off the assembly lines. Why shouldn’t we expect to see this work for the tools in our hands as well?
The raw output of this small powerplant and saw, combined with the lightness, puts the Stihl MS 500i in a class of its own. Early users, mostly (if not all) in Europe, have great things to say about the first fuel injected chainsaw. We can’t wait to use one for ourselves. Stihl is projecting a mid-2019 release here in the U.S., and we have no word on price just yet. If you want more information on this Stihl fuel injected MS 500i chainsaw, click here.
Stihl MS 500i Chainsaw Specs
Displacement: 79.2 cm³
Sound pressure level 1): 106 dB(A)
Power output: 6.8 bhp (6 KW)
Vibration level left/right 2): 4.2/4 m/s²
Sound power level: 119 dB(A)
Weight: 13.7 lbs. (6.2 kg)
Power-to-weight ratio: 0.5 hp/lbs. (1.2 kg/kW)
Saw chain pitch: 3/8″