Stihl Ms 391 Problems: Common Issues and Solutions



Stihl Ms 391 Problems and Solutions

Common Stihl MS 391 problems include starting difficulties and chain oiler malfunctions. Users also report issues with the saw’s power and idling stability.

The Stihl MS 391 chainsaw, while a robust and efficient tool for heavy-duty cutting tasks, occasionally suffers from problems that can hinder its performance. Users and professionals alike have noted a few recurring issues with this model, such as complications with getting the engine to start or an unpredictable idle that complicates handling.

Additionally, the chainsaw’s oiling system, vital for chain lubrication, has at times been a point of concern, either dispensing too much oil or not enough, leading to premature wear of the chain. These challenges, despite being manageable, require prompt attention to ensure the longevity and reliable function of the chainsaw in a variety of working conditions.

About Stihl Ms 391 Chainsaw

The Stihl MS 391 is a reliable and efficient chainsaw designed for rugged use. It shines in both home and professional settings, making it a preferred choice for many. With its power and durability, tackling big cutting jobs becomes a manageable task. Let’s explore what makes this model stand out.

Overview of Stihl Ms 391 Features

The MS 391 comes brimming with features that enhance performance and user experience:

  • Engine Power: High output with fuel efficiency.
  • Pre-Separation Air Filtration: Extends filter life.
  • Anti-Vibration System: Reduces user fatigue.
  • Tool-Free Fuel and Oil Caps: For easy refills.
  • Side-Access Chain Tensioner: Simplifies adjustments.

Popularity and Typical Usage Scenarios

The MS 391 chainsaw is highly regarded among forestry professionals and homeowners alike. Its versatility allows it to perform superbly across various scenarios:

Usage ScenarioPopularity
Firewood CuttingHigh
Property MaintenanceHigh
Tree FellingModerate
Storm Clean UpModerate

Common Challenges Encountered With Stihl Ms 391

Stihl MS 391 chainsaws are powerful tools for any lumbering activity. They boast efficiency and ease of use. Yet, users might face challenges that can impact their cutting tasks. This section dives into common issues many encounter with their Stihl MS 391.

Starting Issues and Troubleshooting

Trouble with starting the MS 391 causes frustration. Simple checks often resolve most issues.

  • Fuel check: Ensure the tank is full with fresh fuel.
  • Spark plug: A dirty or worn-out spark plug may need replacement.
  • Air filter: A clogged filter restricts air, so clean or replace it.
  • Carburetor: Adjustments might be necessary if the engine doesn’t start smoothly.

Follow these steps for a check. If the saw still won’t start, seek a professional’s help.

Performance Inconsistencies During Operation

Inconsistent performance during use is another common challenge.

  1. Inspect the chain tension. It should be neither too tight nor too loose.
  2. Check for bar damage. A bent or worn bar affects the cut.
  3. Ensure the lubrication system works.

By addressing these points, smooth operation can be ensured.

Maintain the saw regularly to avoid these problems. Proper care extends your chainsaw’s life.

Mechanical and Maintenance Issues

For many, the Stihl MS 391 chainsaw stands as a reliable tool for heavy-duty work. Yet, mechanical and maintenance challenges can sometimes lessen its effectiveness. Understanding common issues can help users to keep their tool in top condition, ensuring optimal performance during every use.

Wear and Tear of Chain and Guide Bar

A well-functioning chain and guide bar are crucial for the smooth operation of your Stihl MS 391. Wear and tear in these parts can cause various problems:

  • Decreased cutting efficiency from dull or damaged chains.
  • Excessive vibrations from an unbalanced chain.
  • Increased risk of kickback due to improper tension.

Regular inspections and timely replacements ensure your chainsaw remains safe and effective.

Engine Maintenance and Carburetor Problems

The engine is the heart of the Stihl MS 391. Neglecting its care leads to performance troubles. Pay special attention to these:

Engine IssueCauseSolution
Hard startingFuel mix or carburetor imbalanceClean carburetor, adjust mixture
Irregular idlingDirty air filter or clogged fuel lineReplace air filter, clean fuel line
Loss of powerSpark plug or exhaust port issuesCheck and replace spark plug, clean exhaust

Proactively addressing engine maintenance prevents downtime and preserves the chainsaw’s lifespan. A well-maintained carburetor, free from dirt and debris, ensures your Stihl MS 391 operates at its best.

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Operational Difficulties Specific to the Stihl Ms 391

The Stihl MS 391 is a powerful chainsaw renowned for its efficiency and durability. Nonetheless, like any machine, it encounters specific operational issues. Users report challenges that can hinder the performance and longevity of their equipment. It is critical to understand these difficulties to maintain the saw’s condition and ensure safe operation.

Vibration and Handling Discomfort

Prolonged use of chainsaws can lead to vibration-related discomfort. The Stihl MS 391 is no exception. Users often experience vibration discomfort, impacting handling and control. The saw contains anti-vibration systems designed to minimize this issue. Users should consistently check these systems to maintain optimal comfort levels. When ignored, excessive vibration can lead to fatigue and long-term hand-arm vibration syndrome (HAVS).

  • Regular maintenance of the anti-vibration system
  • Secure grasping of the handles
  • Utilization of gloves designed to dampen vibration

Overheating and the Risk of Potential Damage

The Stihl MS 391 may overheat due to various factors, including extended useinsufficient lubrication, or debris buildup. Overheating is a critical concern as it can cause engine damage and decrease the chainsaw’s lifespan. To prevent overheating, users must ensure adequate chain oil levels and clean air filters.

Preventive MeasureBrief Description
Proper LubricationEnsure chain oil reservoir is filled
Clean Air FiltersRemove and clean air filters regularly
Avoid Continuous High-Speed OperationLimit high-speed cuts to prevent overheating

Remember, proper maintenance is key to solving operational difficulties. It ensures the Stihl MS 391 remains a reliable tool for all cutting needs.

Troubleshooting and Repair Tips

Owning a Stihl MS 391 chainsaw comes with the responsibility of maintenance and repairs. Even the sturdiest tools encounter problems, but don’t worry. This segment offers troubleshooting and repair tips to keep your chainsaw running smoothly. From maintaining your saw at home to seeking professional assistance, you’ll find ways to tackle common issues.

DIY Maintenance Best Practices

  • Regularly clean the air filter to prevent clogging and overheating.
  • Inspect the spark plug for wear and replace it as needed.
  • Ensure the fuel mix is correct to avoid engine problems.
  • Check the chain tension before each use for optimal cutting.
  • Use a sharpening kit to maintain a sharp chain.

Seeking Professional Repair Services

For complex issues, rely on certified professionals. The Stihl MS 391 may experience problems beyond DIY fixes. Chain tension failures, engine troubles, or hard starts might require an expert’s eye. Authorized service centers provide specialized skills and guarantees that DIY cannot.

ProblemDIYProfessional Help
Dirty air filterClean or replaceRarely needed
Worn spark plugReplace spark plugIf issue persists
Incorrect fuel mixAdjust fuel ratioConsult if smoking
Loose chainAdjust tensionSeek help if chronic
Dull chainSharpen the chainGet professional sharpening

Preventive Measures and Best Practices

Keeping your Stihl MS 391 chainsaw at peak performance involves some simple yet essential steps. By adopting routine maintenance and proper storage, you can prevent common issues and extend your saw’s lifespan.

Routine Maintenance Schedule

Maintaining your chainsaw is key to its longevity.

  • Check the chain tension before each use.
  • Clean the air filter regularly to prevent blockages.
  • Replace the spark plug annually for consistent performance.
  • Inspect the fuel filter and replace if needed.
  • Keep the chainsaw blade sharp to ensure clean cuts.
Maintenance TaskFrequency
Chain SharpeningAfter 10 hours of use
Oil System CheckMonthly
Air Filter CleanEvery 5 hours of use

Proper Storage and Handling to Prolong Lifespan

Storage and handling are just as important as maintenance.

  1. Store in a clean, dry place, away from moisture.
  2. Empty the fuel tank for long-term storage.
  3. Engage the chain brake when not in use.
  4. Use a protective cover to shield the chain.

Remember: A well-maintained chainsaw is a durable chainsaw. Follow these steps to ensure your Stihl MS 391 runs smoothly for years to come.

FAQs of Stihl Ms 391 Problems

What Is the Problem With the Stihl Ms 391 Chainsaw?

The Stihl MS 391 chainsaw can face issues such as difficulty starting, inconsistent idling, and power loss. Regular maintenance and proper fuel mix can mitigate these problems.

Is the Ms 391 a Good Saw?

The MS 391 is a robust and efficient chainsaw, highly regarded for its power-to-weight ratio, making it ideal for demanding cutting tasks. Its reliability and performance receive positive reviews from professionals and homeowners alike.

How Big of a Bar Can You Put on a Stihl Ms 391?

The Stihl MS 391 chainsaw can accommodate a guide bar ranging from 16 inches to 25 inches in size.

What Does Ms Stand For on a Stihl?

“MS” on a STIHL product stands for “MotorSäge,” which translates to “chainsaw” in German, denoting their range of chainsaws.


Understanding the common issues with the Stihl MS 391 chainsaw helps owners maintain their tools effectively. From addressing ignition troubles to fuel system maintenance, a proactive approach can prevent downtime. Keep your MS 391 running smoothly with regular care and swift problem-solving.

Remember, well-maintained equipment is key for optimal performance. Got a minute? Spend it wisely at Chainsaw Hive’s Knowledge section, where chainsaw wisdom never ends.

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