7 Common Stihl MS 271 Problems

7 Common Stihl MS 271 Problems & Troubleshooting Tips

Latest posts by Emmanuel Joseph (see all)

The Stihl MS 271 chainsaw is perfect for any woodworking or forestry job, big or small. 

The brand has a long history dating back to its early days in the sawmill industry, where it quickly became the go-to tool for professionals. Today, the Stihl’s MS 271 is still one of the most popular chainsaws on the market and is trusted by professionals and homeowners alike.

However, as a mechanical engineer, I know there are still times when a problem can arise, even with a reliable tool. So you should know that you’re not alone if you’ve been having trouble with your Stihl MS 271 chainsaw. 

There are several common problems that users have been encountering. This article looks at the seven most 7 Common Stihl MS 271 Problems and offers troubleshooting tips.

Bottom Line Up Front

If your Stihl MS 271 is having trouble starting, there are a few things you can do to troubleshoot the issue:

  1. Check the spark plug to ensure it is clean and in good condition. If the spark plug looks dirty or damaged, replace it.
  2. Check the air filter to see if it is clean. If the air filter is dirty, replace it.
  3. Check the fuel mix to ensure it is the correct ratio of gas and oil. If the fuel mix is incorrect, empty the tank and mix the fuel correctly.

If that doesn’t work, this article will look deeper into seven common problems that might come up when using the Stihl MS 271 and offer troubleshooting solutions. 

What is Stihl MS 271, and How Does it Work?

Stihl MS 271

The Stihl MS 271 is a brand of chainsaw. It is a powerful and efficient saw that is perfect for various applications. It features a low-emission engine that delivers plenty of power, making it ideal for felling trees or cutting firewood. The saw also has an anti-vibration system that reduces operator fatigue. Like all chainsaws, it uses motor-driven teeth and a chain to cut wood. Problems arise when one or several of these parts malfunction. 

7 Common Problems for the Stihl MS 271

Here are the seven most comes problems you are likely to encounter with the Stihl MS 271 and how to fix them.

Stihl MS 271 Problem 1 – Chain Brake Not Working Properly

If your Stihl MS 271’s chain brake stops working, there could be several possible reasons. But the most likely cause is that the chain pad doesn’t make proper contact with the chain. Here are some possible reasons for this: 

  • Misaligned chain
  • Damaged chain brake pad
  • Damaged chain

How to Fix:

  • Remove the air filter and clean it.
  • Remove the spark plug and clean it.
  • Remove the bar and chain and clean the sprocket
  • Clean the inside of the chainsaw with a rag
  • Put everything back together and test the chain brake.

Stihl MS 271 Problem 2 – Kickback

Stihl MS 271

Kickback is when the chainsaw suddenly jumps back towards the operator. It is caused by the chain becoming jammed or pinched. This event can be very dangerous, sometimes resulting in serious injury.

If you are experiencing these issues or suspect they might happen, you need to troubleshoot them immediately or contact a trained professional for assistance. 

How to Avoid:

Here are a few things you can do to prevent kickbacks from happening. 

  • Make sure the chain is not damaged or worn. 
  • Keep the chain properly tensioned. 
  • Avoid using the chainsaw in a way that could cause the chain to become jammed or pinched—for example, cutting very hard or dense materials without taking a break.

If kickback does occur, it is important to react quickly and safely. 

  • Turn off the chainsaw. 
  • Release the trigger.
  • Let go of the saw with both hands. 
  • Place the saw on the ground. 
  • Wait for the chain to stop moving before trying to remove the jam.

How to Fix:

  • Check the chain for proper tension. The chain should have some slack but should not be too loose.
  • If the chain is too tight, loosen it until there is appropriate slack.
  • Check the guide bar for any damage or wear. If the guide bar is damaged, it will need to be replaced. 
  • Inspect the saw chain for any damage or wear. If the chain is damaged, it will need to be replaced.
  • Ensure that the sprocket on the guide bar is not damaged or worn. If the sprocket is damaged, it needs to be replaced.
  • Check the bolts that secure the guide bar to the saw. Make sure they are tight.
  • Inspect the muffler and spark arrestor screen for any debris or blockages. If either of these is blocked, you need to clean it.
  • Check the air filter for any blockages or damage. If the air filter is damaged, it will need to be replaced.
  • Ensure the fuel tank is full, and the fuel line is not kinked or blocked.
  • If the problem persists, take the saw to a qualified service technician for further diagnosis and repair.

Read Also: How to Find the Best Stihl Chainsaw Bars.

Stihl MS 271 Problem 3 – Oil Leaks

Stihl Chainsaw

Another common problem you are likely to encounter with Stihl MS 271 is oil leaks. Oil leaks happen when the saw is in storage for long periods of time or if it is used frequently without being properly cleaned.  

Oil leaks can cause the chainsaw to perform poorly. When oil gets on the chain, it is easy to slip off, or it can get on the bar causing the saw to vibrate. Oil leaks can also make the saw challenging to start.

How to Fix

  • Check the oil level in the chainsaw. If it is low, add more oil.
  • If the oil leak is coming from the oil tank, replace the oil tank gasket.
  • If the oil leak is coming from the oil pump, replace the oil pump.
  • If oil leaks come from the oil seals, replace the oil seals.

Stihl MS 271 Problem 4 – Bar Nose Wearing Out

Stihl MS 271

Another problem is the ‘bar nose’ (the part of the saw that the chain runs around) wearing out too quickly. It is caused by a combination of these factors: 

  • The design of the bar nose.
  • The type of metal used in the bar nose.
  • The way that the chain is tensioned.

This problem means that the saw has to be taken apart or replaced. This is a hassle and expensive, especially if you have to do it multiple times.

How to Fix:

  • Use a chainsaw to file down the bar nose.
  • Sharpen the chain using a chainsaw sharpener.
  • Replace the chain if it is too worn down.

Stihl MS 271 Problem 5 – Saw Chain Coming Off

Stihl Chainsaw

The saw’s chain coming off is a common problem with the Stihl MS 271. The problem is caused by the sprocket nose not being correctly aligned with the bar. 

How to Fix

If the saw chain is coming off, the first thing to check is that the bar and chain are correctly installed.

  • Check to see if the bar clamp bolts are tight and if the bar is properly seated in the saw.
  • If the problem persists, check the sprocket for wear or damage.
  • If the sprocket is damaged, it will need to be replaced.
  • Finally, check the chain tension and adjust as needed.

Stihl MS 271 Problem 6 – Vibration

Stihl MS 271

The saw vibrating excessively can make it challenging to use and cause discomfort for the user.

The cause of the problem is not always clear. But it seems in most cases that it is related to the design of the saw. Some users have suggested that the problem is caused by the location of the engine, which is located at the back of the saw. This means that the engine’s weight is not evenly distributed, which can cause the saw to vibrate more.

The Stihl MS 271 is a relatively light saw, which means it is more likely to be affected by vibrations. This can cause several problems, making it difficult to use the saw, causing discomfort, and potentially damaging it.

How to Fix

If your Stihl MS 271 chainsaw is vibrating excessively, follow these steps to fix the problem:

  • Check the saw’s body for any cracks or damage. If the body is damaged, replace it with a new one.
  • Check the engine mounts and make sure they’re tight. If the engine mounts are loose, tighten them.
  • Check the bar and chain for any damage. If the bar and chain are damaged, replace them.
  • Make sure the cutting attachment is properly secured. If the cutting attachment is loose, tighten it.
  • Make sure the saw is balanced correctly. If the saw is unbalanced, adjust it according to the manufacturer’s instructions.

Stihl MS 271 Problem 7 – Engine Stalling

Stihl Chainsaw

Another common problem is engine stalling. This can be frustrating because it can cause the chain saw to stop working in the middle of a cut, which can be very dangerous.

There are several possible causes of this problem. One possibility is that the fuel mixture is too lean. This means that the mixture has insufficient fuel, and the engine is not getting enough power. Another possibility is that the air filter is dirty, which can cause the engine to stall.

How to Fix

  • Check the air filter to see if it is clean. If it is not, clean it or replace it.
  • Check the spark plug to see if it is clean. If it is not, clean it or replace it.
  • Check the fuel mixture to see if it is the correct ratio of fuel and oil. If it is not, mix it correctly and fill the tank.
  • Check for any blockages in the fuel line. If there are any, clear them.
  • Check for any blockages in the exhaust system. If there are any, clear them.
  • If the problem persists, take the saw to a qualified technician.

Frequently Asked Questions

Question: What would cause a Stihl chainsaw not to start?

Answer: If your Stihl chainsaw is not starting, It’s possible that the carburetor is clogged. Most times, If you leave fuel in the chainsaw for an extended period of time, the carburetor can get clogged. Some of the substances in the fuel will evaporate with time, leaving a denser, sticky residue. This gets the carburetor clogged, preventing the engine from starting. To fix this problem, you will need to clean the carburetor. Use the carburetor cleaner for this process. But, If cleaning the carburetor is not enough, you will have to replace it.

Question: Why does my Stihl chainsaw bog down when I give it gas?

Answer: You’re likely using the saw at altitude, or the carburetor adjustment has slipped. The saw will not perform well at high speeds if the air filter, spark arrestor, or carburetor are dirty.

Question: Can you clean a Stihl fuel filter?

Answer: It’s easy! To begin, remove the air filter with your fingers. I do not recommend using any tools to pry it open to avoid damage. Clean the air filter with compressed air or warm soapy water. After washing it with soapy water, rinse it with clean water and let it dry completely before reinstalling it.

Question: What do H and L mean on the Stihl chainsaw?

Answer: Turning the L screw clockwise while the saw is running can cause the chain to engage. If the operating capacity of your saw is exceeded, turning the H screw clockwise increases the engine’s maximum speed and can cause engine damage.

Question: Can you run a chainsaw without a fuel filter?

Answer: Although this is possible, I would not recommend it. When a fuel filter becomes clogged, it can cause significant engine damage that you do not want.

Common Stihl MS 271 Problems: Final Thoughts

The Stihl MS271 is a wonderful lightweight chainsaw with superior built quality and is a reputable brand. But, like any machinery, it comes with some problems. 

The most common problem that many users identify is the chain brake malfunctioning. Several solutions to this problem include removing and cleaning the air filter and spark plug. But these are just a few of the solutions. You can take a look above to help you through other possible solutions. 

Another common problem is oil leaks. These are especially common for users who don’t use their chainsaws often. It also happens if you don’t clean the chainsaw well. To solve this problem, you should check the source of the oil leaks to see if it is from the seals, pump, or tank. You will need to replace the item if it is from any of these. 

To get your work done safely and efficiently, your Stihl MS271 chainsaw has to be in excellent shape. The worst part is that this useful equipment can cause grave injury to the user. For this reason, proper maintenance and careful troubleshooting are important.

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