Stihl MS500i: Injecting performance

With its fuel-injected 79.2cc engine developing a meaty 5.0kW/6.8hp, the MS500i is hardly likely to be the first choice as a general-purpose farm saw. So why did we spend several months putting it though a range of tasks, both on farm and out in the woods? Partly blame the similarly sized Stihl MS426 (profi 09/18), a saw that proved a real eye opener in the versatility stakes. As it is of a similar weight and size, does this mean an MS500i could also make an equally compelling case for itself?

by James de Havilland

31 Aug 2020

A bit of a spoiler right from the start. If you are after a general-purpose farm saw with a bit of extra power for some heavy work, a model such as the 64.1cc Stihl MS391 is a good ‘top end’ choice. Now take a look at the 79.2cc MS500i. Like the 391, the 500i weighs the same 6.2kg without fuel, oil, bar and chain. The former, however, develops 3.3kw/4.5hp, the 500i rating at a far brawnier 5.0kW/6.8hp. It is clear which one has the better power to weight ratio.