A Comprehensive Comparison About Stihl 500I Vs 461

Are you in the market for a high-performance chainsaw that can handle the toughest cutting tasks? Look no further than the Stihl 500I vs 461. These two chainsaws have been making waves in the industry, offering unmatched power and performance. In this comprehensive comparison, we will compare them from different aspects to help you know more to make the right decision.

Stihl MS 461

The Stihl MS 461 is a professional-grade chainsaw that is known for its exceptional power and performance. It is designed for heavy-duty applications, making it a popular choice among forestry professionals and experienced homeowners. The Stihl MS 461 also incorporates various safety features, including a chain brake and an anti-vibration system, to enhance user comfort and prevent accidents during operation.

Stihl MS 500I

The Stihl MS 500I is a revolutionary chainsaw that introduces the world’s first electronically controlled fuel-injection system in a chainsaw. This groundbreaking technology enhances the power and fuel efficiency of the chainsaw, making it a game-changer in the industry. The MS 500I also features Stihl’s M-Tronic technology, ensuring reliable performance under all operating conditions.

Stihl 500I Vs 461

Engine Displacement

The engine displacement of a chainsaw is a crucial factor that determines its cutting power. The Stihl 500I boasts an impressive engine displacement of 79.2 cc, while the Stihl 461 features a slightly lower displacement at 76.5 cc. The larger engine displacement of the Stihl 500I provides it with an advantage in terms of raw power and cutting performance.

Power output

In terms of power output, the Stihl 500I delivers 6.8 horsepower (hp), whereas the Stihl 461 offers a slightly lower power output of 6.0 hp. The higher power output of the Stihl 500I makes it more suitable for heavy-duty tasks and demanding cutting applications.


Weight plays a significant role in the usability and maneuverability of a chainsaw. The Stihl 500I weighs approximately 14.3 pounds, while the Stihl 461 is slightly lighter at around 13.9 pounds. Despite having a slightly larger engine displacement and power output, the Stihl 500I manages to maintain a comparable weight to the Stihl 461, making it a well-balanced and maneuverable option.

Power-to-weight ratio

The power-to-weight ratio is a crucial factor to consider when choosing a chainsaw as it indicates the cutting efficiency and maneuverability of the tool. The Stihl 500I offers an impressive power-to-weight ratio of 0.47 hp/pound, providing excellent cutting efficiency without compromising on portability. On the other hand, the Stihl 461 offers a power-to-weight ratio of 0.43 hp/pound, ensuring a good balance between power and maneuverability.

Sound pressure level

Noise levels are important considerations, especially for users working in residential areas or noise-sensitive environments. The Stihl 500I produces sound pressure levels of approximately 106 dB, while the Stihl 461 emits slightly lower levels at around 104 dB.

It’s important to note that both models adhere to industry standards regarding noise emissions, but users should still take proper protective measures such as wearing hearing protection when operating these chainsaws.

Sound power level

The sound power level indicates the total acoustic power output of a chainsaw. The Stihl 500I has a sound power level of approximately 117 dB, whereas the Stihl 461 has a sound power level of around 115 dB. Similar to the sound pressure level, appropriate hearing protection is recommended for operators of these saws to minimize the risk of hearing damage.

Vibration level left/right

Reducing vibration is crucial for user comfort and minimizing fatigue during prolonged use. The Stihl 500I offers low vibration levels of approximately 3.3 m/s² on the left handle and 2.9 m/s² on the right handle. In comparison, the Stihl 461 provides similar vibration levels of around 3.5 m/s² on the left handle and 2.8 m/s² on the right handle.

Saw chain pitch

The saw chain pitch refers to the distance between three consecutive rivets divided by two. The Stihl 500I supports a saw chain pitch of 3/8 inch, while the Stihl 461 accommodates a slightly smaller pitch of 0.404 inch. Different chain pitches are suitable for specific cutting applications, so choosing the right one depends on your intended use and the type of materials you will be cutting.

STIHL Oilomatic saw chain type

Both the Stihl 500I and the Stihl 461 are compatible with various STIHL Oilomatic saw chain types. These chains are designed to provide optimal cutting performance, durability, and resistance to wear. The recommended chain type may vary depending on the specific model and the intended cutting application.

Stihl 500I Vs 461

Stihl 500I Vs 461, which is much better?

The question of whether the Stihl MS 500I or MS 461 is better depends on the specific needs and preferences of the user.

The Stihl MS 500I with its fuel-injection system and electronic control offers unmatched power and fuel efficiency. It provides faster acceleration, increased torque, and reduced fuel consumption compared to traditional carbureted chainsaws. This makes it an excellent choice for professionals who require maximum power and efficiency, especially when tackling demanding cutting tasks. 

On the other hand, the Stihl MS 461 is a reliable workhorse designed for heavy-duty applications. It features a powerful engine and Stihl’s innovative M-Tronic technology, which adjusts the fuel-air mixture automatically to optimize engine performance. The MS 461 is known for its exceptional power and performance, making it a popular choice among forestry professionals and experienced homeowners. 

Ultimately, the choice between the Stihl MS 500I and MS 461 depends on the specific requirements of the user. Those seeking cutting-edge technology and maximum power may prefer the MS 500I, while those looking for a reliable workhorse with proven performance may opt for the MS 461. It is advisable to consider factors such as the type of cutting tasks, frequency of use, and personal preferences before making a decision.


Both the Stihl 500I and 461 are exceptional chainsaws that offer outstanding power and performance. The MS 500I’s fuel-injection system and electronic control set it apart as a revolutionary tool, providing unprecedented power and fuel efficiency. On the other hand, the MS 461 boasts a robust engine and Stihl’s proven M-Tronic technology, making it a reliable workhorse for heavy-duty applications. All up to your preference to choose which one.