Tool Review: Stihl MSA300 Cordless Chainsaw

Can you believe the Stihl MSA 300 is two years old?! I first got to use it at Hillhead show in 2022 where I carved the Abe, the Case Construction mascot. I recorded some of the thoughts I had at the time in a video that you can watch HERE.
In July 2023 I was finally able to get my hands on my own MSA 300 – an exciting day. Again, the unboxing is on my YouTube channel, so you can hear some of my thoughts there.
Fast forward to April 2024, and I’ve used it for a lot of different commissions. I’m often asked about the tools I use, so I think it’s time I shared my thoughts on the Stihl MSA300 cordless chainsaw.

photo of chainsaw carver simon o'rourke kneeling at the base of a 6' eagle sculpture at Hillhead Show 2022. he is using the stihl msa300 cordless chainsaw for the first time.
Using the Stihl MSA 300 cordless chainsaw for the first time at Hillhead Show 2022

HOW DOES THE MSA 300 HANDLE?

There’s a lot I could say about the spec, but in all honesty, you’re better checking out the Stihl MSA300 page for the numbers.
You’ll notice that at 5.4kg, the weight is similar to more powerful saws. This is due to the larger AP 500s battery capacity and admittedly, it does make it a hefty machine to handle. However, the lack of vibration and smoothness of the cut outweighs that, in my opinion.

screenshot from stihl website detailing some of the features of the msa 300 cordless chainsaw
Image from Stihl website

BATTERY LIFE

People ask about battery life whenever I post about the MSA 300 on my social media channels. And understandably so. The fact is though, that it really depends on useage. That means that realistically, there’s no way for me to share an exact number of battery hours that is guaranteed for another user. I will say this though…

The saw has three power settings, and I’ve found I can keep it on the eco mode and the performance is absolutely fine. This means the battery lasts longer and is less prone to overheating. As with all battery saws, charging in cold weather can be a challenge. This is because the batteries need warming before they will charge at the normal rate. This is easily overcome though by keeping batteries in a warm area – if you have that option. I always have petrol saws to hand when I can’t charge batteries as a backup, but I do love that the battery saws are so much quieter!

stihl msa 300 cordless chainsaw against a white background
Image from Stihl website

WHAT ABOUT NOISE?

The MSA 300 cordless chainsaw has enabled me to do much more carving at a lower volume which is great for commissions in an urban environment. With the extra ‘beef’ (compared wth other battery saws) it’s not only great for detail, but it’s been a really good option for blocking out medium sized carvings. With this addition to my kit, I’ve had a few commissions where I’ve been able to do a couple of hours with petrol saws and the rest of the day with cordless chainsaws. SO much more pleasant to be around for everyone!

CHainsaw carver simon o'rourke with a stihl msa 300 cordless chainsaw  and all the attchaments and accessories spread out in front of him on a stripped tree trunk
Unboxing my own MSA 300

CHOOSING THE RIGHT BAR

I’ve talked before about how important it is to choose the right bar with the saw. Not only is this important for meeting practical and creative needs, but the right bar makes a massive difference to the longevity and effectiveness of a saw.

I’ve tried it the MSA 300 with two different bars. The first is a standard bar with a sprocket nose, the second a 16” toonie tip running .325 pitch 050 gauge chain.

The Light 04 bar that comes as standard with the saw is a great option. It gives the saw the right balance and feels really good to use.
I’ve been using the toonie tip more recently though just to have that little bit more control over the handling on the tip. There’s also a bit less kickback.

This is where I find the only downside to the MSA 300. The .325 pitch is sadly the only sprocket option at present. I hope they will bring out some other options as a 1/4 pitch carving bar would be incredible on it! Stihl, are you reading this???!!!!

Simon O'rourke carving a sculpture with an msa 300 cordless chainsaw

OVERALL THOUGHTS ON THE MSA 300 CORDLESS CHAINSAW

So, overall, what do I think of the MSA 300 cordless chainsaw?

I wouldn’t be without this essential bit of kit. I know it’s a pricier option than some of the other battery saws. The consistency is good though, and the batteries last really well with multiple charges. It’s well worth the extra financial investment and I recommend getting your hands on one.


If you’ve found this helpful, I do have some other tool blogs linked below ⬇
For commission enquiries please fill out the form at www.treecarving.co.uk/contact

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