Echo CS-310 Vs Stihl MS 170 Chainsaw – What’s the Better Option?

Echo CS-310 Vs Stihl MS 170 Chainsaw

“The Echo CS-310 and the Stihl MS 170 are evenly matched in most respects.”

So it can be very hard deciding which is actually the better chainsaw overall. But to help you make the right choice for your cutting needs, we delved deep into both of these saws and compared them side-by-side.

In the following comparison review, you will learn about the technical specs, what type of work each chainsaw is best-suited for, how they differ and the strengths and weaknesses of both machines.

Overview of the Stihl MS 170 Vs the Echo CS-310

“The Stihl MS 170 and the Echo CS-310 have some very similar features and their specs are almost exactly evenly matched.”

For example, the Stihl MS 170 has a 30.1cc engine and the Echo CS-310 has a 30.5cc engine. So when you’re running them, you can’t feel a difference in cutting power.

However, we must say that we liked the oiler of the Stihl MS 170 more than the CS-310.

It gave us less issues and seemed to respond better to the actual cutting conditions. With the CS-310, we had to stop a couple of times to make sure that the chain was getting enough oil.

Echo CS-310 Key Features

Echo CS-310

  • Side-Access Chain Tensioner – You can easily adjust the chain via the side-access tensioner.
  • I-30 Starting System – Overall, the Echo CS-310 was very easy to start. We can attribute that to the advanced starting system that reduces the amount of cranks needed.
  • Clutch-Driver Oiler – A common feature on many smaller Echo chainsaws, the clutch-driven oiler will only distribute oil when the chain is actually in motion.

Echo CS-310 Common Issues

There are a few different problems that customers seem to be having. For one, the CS-310 bogs down when operating at full throttle.

There have also been reports that the CS-310 misfires and dies when refilling the fuel tank.

Echo CS-310 Pros & Cons


  • You can fit it with a 16” bar
  • Works well for firewood cutting
  • Easy to start
  • Easy to change the air filter


  • Poor oiler design
  • More expensive than the Stihl MS 170

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Stihl MS 170 Key Features

Stihl MS 170

  • Ematic Lubrication System – Two ramps inside the guide rail help to efficiently distribute oil to the chain automatically and as needed.
  • Compensating Carburetor – The carburetor will pull air from the clean side of the filter and optimize the flow of fuel as the filter gets dirty.
  • Anti- Vibration System – The anti-vibration system helps keep chainsaw vibration to a minimum.

Stihl MS 170 Common Issues

Most of the issues that people have been experiencing with the Stihl MS 170 have to do with hard starting which may be resolved by adjusting the carburetor.

Stihl MS 170 Pros & Cons


  • More affordable than the CS-310
  • Better oil delivery system
  • Comes with a lightweight chain
  • Great for residential use


  • Harder to start
  • Sensitive throttle

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Who Should Buy Each?

If you are new to chainsaws, we would suggest the Stihl MS 170. It is a bit more user-friendly and will likely require less maintenance.

The Echo CS-310 would be the better option if you really need a chainsaw that is easy to start up.

Price Comparison

The Stihl MS 170 is the cheaper saw by a thin margin. It costs about $200 while the Echo CS-310 costs about $220.

Weight & Handling Comparison

The Echo CS-310 is the heavier chainsaw by a razor thin margin. It weighs 8.8 pounds while the Stihl MS 170 weighs 8.6 pounds.

The difference in weight can’t really be felt when you’re operating these saws so it’s a wash in the weight and handling department.

However, we must mention that even as the Stihl MS 170 has the more comfortable front handle, the throttle is more sensitive than that of the Echo CS-310.

Chain & Blade Comparison

It is recommended that you fit a 16” bar on the Stihl MS 170. The same is true of the Echo CS-310. The Stihl MS 170 comes with a ⅜” PMM3 chain.

Power Comparison

Again, there is not much of a difference in power between these two saws. Both of them performed cross-cuts of softwood logs very well and without incident.

However, both bogged down when cross-cutting 10” diameter logs of oak.

Efficiency Comparison

Both the Stihl MS 170 and the Echo CS-310 come with an 8.5 ounce fuel tank.

However, the runtime with the Stihl MS 170 was a bit better than the CS-310. We had to refuel the CS-310 about 5 minutes sooner than the Stihl MS 170.

Durability Comparison

The Stihl MS 170 seems to be built more ruggedly than the Echo CS-310. The chassis of the Stihl MS 170 is impact-resistant and it seems like it will stand frequent use better than the Echo CS-310.

Other String Trimmers to Consider

Echo CS-352

Echo CS-352

The Echo CS-352 sports a 34cc engine which makes it ideal for cutting firewood or for some light storm cleanup. It has the same clutch-driven oiler that the CS-310 has.

Overall Score: 95/100

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Echo CS-400

Echo CS-400

The Echo CS-400 can take an 18 bar easily. It struggles a bit with anything over 32” though. Still it is a great saw for light commercial work.

Overall Score: 96/100

Check Out More Reviews Here:


Husqvarna 460 Rancher

Husqvarna 460 Rancher

The Husqvarna 460 rancher has a 60.3cc engine displacement. It pumps out 3.7 horsepower so it is plenty powerful enough for residential and light commercial work.

Overall Score: 96/100

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Final Assessment

Stihl MS 170 -1

The main drawback of the Stihl MS 170 when compared to the Echo CS-310 is that it will be harder for most people to start.

But if you can get the carburetor tuned just right, that probably won’t be a deal-breaking issue. At least, it wasn’t for us.

The Stihl MS 170 was the more durable chainsaw, will require less overall maintenance and it’s got a pretty ergonomic front handle to boot.

The CS-310 is a formidable contender, but our choice for better overall option is the Stihl MS 170.