MS 311

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Advanced engine technology improves fuel economy by up to 20% over previous model chainsaws for longer run times.

Product Description

The MS 311 is a high-tech workhorse with a step up in horsepower and features over the MS 291. With our improved engine technology, you get higher fuel economy for longer run times. The MS 311 also has larger fuel and oil tanks for even longer extended use. You’ll stay productive – while you’re saving money on fuel. With the MS 311’s fuel-efficient, high-powered engine, you’ll reduce your down time on the job – so you can enjoy your own down time when the job is done.

Model Features

  • Reduced-Emission Engine Technology - Caring for Nature
    The STIHL Inc. “Caring for Nature” seal identifies its powered products that are more environmentally conscious, producing zero or low exhaust emissions. STIHL Inc. defines “low exhaust emissions” as being cleaner than EPA and/or CARB exhaust emission standards.

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  • Pre-Separation Air Filtration System
    This time-saving technology boosts the efficiency of the engine’s filter system, doubling the time between air filter cleanings. Air drawn into the engine is first separated via centrifugal force, ejecting the heavier dirt particles before being routed to the air filter. This pre-separation means less dirt to be captured by the air filter, resulting in less frequent cleaning and maintenance.

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  • Anti-Vibration System
    STIHL has developed a system for minimizing the vibration levels of handheld outdoor power equipment. The STIHL anti-vibration system helps reduce operator fatigue and provides a more comfortable working experience.
  • Decompression Valve
    The decompression valve, also referred to as 'deco' or 'deco valve', vents compression in the cylinder for easier starting. The decompression valve temporarily reduces the compression in the combustion chamber during cranking and helps reduce the effort needed to pull the starter rope. It is opened manually and closes automatically as soon as the engine fires.
  • Side-Access Chain Tensioner
    The side-access chain tensioner makes it much more convenient for the user to adjust the saw chain with a bar wrench as opposed to the typical location of the guide bar adjustment screw.


59.0 cc (3.6 cu. in.)
3.1 kW (4.2 bhp)
6.2 kg (13.67 Ibs.)
600 cc (20.3 oz.)
350 cc (11.8 oz.)
3/8" RS3
GUIDE BAR LENGTHS (Recommended ranges)
40 to 50 cm (16" to 20")
STIHL recommends #3624 (33 RS3 60) OILOMATIC® saw chain and 16" 3003 008 8913 Ematic™ guide bar combination. The actual listed guide bar length can vary from the effective cutting length based on which powerhead it is installed on.

Important Information

WARNING! The occurrence called “kickback” can cause serious or fatal injury. Always read the instruction manual carefully before using your saw. STIHL uses a green and yellow color-coding system to help you select a powerhead, bar and chain combination that complies with the kickback requirements of ANSI Standard B175.1 (gasoline-powered saws) and §30 of UL 1662/ ANSI Standard B175.1 (electric chainsaws). Ask your STIHL dealer about safe operating procedures and the advantages of the STIHL Quickstop® chain brake, STIHL Quickstop® Plus (Q) additional chain braking feature, STIHL reduced kickback bars and STIHL low-kickback saw chains.

STIHL recommends the use of green reduced kickback bars and green low kickback chains on all STIHL chainsaws.

* The actual listed guide bar length can vary from the effective cutting length based on which powerhead it is installed on.

Note: STIHL recommends use of fuel with no more than 10% Ethanol content. Using fuel with greater than 10% Ethanol content may cause damage to your equipment and may void your STIHL warranty. Learn More…

WARNING! Improper use of any power tool may cause serious or fatal injury. Read, understand and follow carefully the operating and safety instructions in your instruction manual before using such products.

STIHL products sold through U.S. STIHL Dealers are for distribution in the United States only.


MS 311 is rated 4.6 out of 5 by 279.
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Excellent Saw I bought this saw after reading many reviews on the internet and talking to alot of different people. It has very good power and cuts better than any saw I have ever owned or used. The large chain makes quick work of larger trees and will even rip cut when necessary to split extremely large pieces in halves or quarters. I highly recommend this saw to anyone who cuts alot of wood.
Date published: 2012-10-23
Rated 5 out of 5 by from This saw is an incredible wood eater I bought a MS-311 saw at our local supply store to clear large snag pines from our property. I changed the bar and chain to a 25" with a high profile chisel bit chain, it is very aggressive but what a great tool!
Date published: 2019-11-06
Rated 1 out of 5 by from Extremely poor starting I have had and still have several other stihl products all of which have been reliable. This 311 saw, however, is not up to the standards I expect from stihl. I have been able to start it only once in the past year forcing me to use other equipment not fully suited for the task. I am very disappointed with this saw and with stihl.
Date published: 2019-10-27
Rated 5 out of 5 by from A great saw making easy work of cutting down trees! I was totally amazed at the power and how easy this saw cuts down trees. It's too big to used for trimming but that's just me. I would recommend and will but another 311 if that time should ever come up.
Date published: 2019-10-19
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Power All I can say is power, power, and more power. I have owned pull-ins for 25+ years. Just couldn't bring myself to part with the money, but now I only pull once or twice. No more poulin for me.
Date published: 2019-10-16
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Great 24 inch saw Cut 13 cords this summer using a 009, 024, and MS311 for larger trees. The saw has worked great with the 24 inch bar. I would not go any larger the 24 inch, but the saw has enough power to handle this size bar. Have cut maple rounds as large as 38 inch without any problems. This has been a great all around saw. The 009 and 024 were purchased in the early 1980's and still work great. For limbing the 009 is the best.
Date published: 2019-10-06
Rated 1 out of 5 by from Unreliable from the start I have several Stihl products and have been very satisfied. This is my second stihl chainsaw. The first one lasted ten years and was great. It only died after I loaned to a friend. I bought the 311 just over two years ago. It has been very unreliable. It was in the shop earlier this year for carburetor problems, it frequently floods and can be hard to start. Last week after twenty minutes it lost power and started to smoke. The dealer told me today that the piston is charred and the machine is shot. I only used the recommended Stihl oil and it was at the correct blend. It appears that several people are having the same issue with this machine. I need a new chainsaw and will explore other brands.
Date published: 2019-09-24
Rated 5 out of 5 by from One Heck of a Little Saw Perfect for Heavy Farm Use I was a FIRM believer in buying more than I needed to at the time, and ended up with the 311. All the people that complain about starting issues simply don't know how to start it. It is very easy, and even with nearly 500 hours on the saw now, zero issues. I required that the dealer install a 20" bar at purchase. Last winter I started clear cutting at the farm and quickly got into old growth hardwood (36" +). It had no problem doing the bigger trees whatsoever, but I still opted to get an MS661 for the big stuff. At that point the 311 was used for falling smaller trees (up to 20") and limbing of the larger trees. I quickly ended up in full production mode logging before I knew it. About 75% of my logging was done with the 311 with the other 25% being with the big girl, the 661.What I will say; its a Stihl, you can abuse it, and it will last provided to take good care of it. That said, it is not a professional saw. You cannot easily disassemble the top end nor muffler. Once it is worn out, it is a replacement sort of deal, not a rebuild like a professional saw. As I move into this season, its job will be taken over by an MS461 because of this reason and the 311 will further be retired to the much smaller stuff. I have run this little farm and ranch saw hard, and I do mean HARD in every form of weather condition; sun, rain, snow, cold, hot, arctic (-30 F). Not once has this little saw ever given me a single issue or problem.Every day I remove the top cover and clean the filter and everything internally. For those purchasing this, immediately replace the air filter with an HD2 filter if not yet installed. Huge difference on fines getting around the filter. Also, run your mix a bit heavier. The standard called for is 50:1. Big bore saws (661) work best with a richer mix, and all my fuel is mixed at 40:1 on the premium oil. My 311 has seen this mix for the last 400 hours and I firmly believe it has helped. Lastly, do whatever it takes and drive whatever distance you must in order to source ethanol free high octane fuel. I run 93 EF with my 40:1 mix. If you do not run ethanol free fuel, you will slowly kill your saw, and this is not a theory or a conspiracy, it WILL happen. No 2-stroke or small displacement engine should ever see ethanol blended fuel. Take care of your equipment and it will last.To this saw, it is perfect for any farmer/rancher/homeowner that does occasional to somewhat heavy cutting work and who heats with wood. Its a heck of a woodpile saw. It will hold up to the abuse of production logging as well which is a testimate to its build, but I suggest going with a professional saw in that case. For anyone that complains about its weight, come wield my 661 or 461 for a day. It makes the 311 light as air and perfect for limbing and small bucking. If weight is still an issue, get an ES light bar and stop complaining. For 98% of people, this saw will be an absolute beast and it thrives with a 20" bar. The power out of this relatively small and lightweight saw is great, and I rarely bog even in the hard woods.You will not be disappointed.
Date published: 2019-09-19
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Standard Features

  • Common Features for Chainsaws
    View the features common to many STIHL chainsaws.

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