Stihl MS 311 vs Husqvarna 460 Rancher Comparison


Today, we’re going to be comparing two great chainsaws, the Stihl MS 311 vs Husqvarna 460 Rancher.

Stihl MS 311 vs Husqvarna 460

The Stihl MS 311 and the Husqvarna 460 Rancher are both really good farm and ranch firewood type saws.

Related: Stihl MS 261 vs MS 291 Comparison Review – Which One is Really For You?

Quick Specs

A quick introduction, the Stihl MS 311 is a 59cc saw and it has just over 4 horsepower according to Stihl’s computation while the Husqvarna 460 is a 60cc saw and has just a little bit less in the horsepower category.

The Husqvarna 460 revs to approximately 9000 rpm while the Stihl runs well over 10,000 rpm.

Related: Husqvarna 550xp Mark 2 vs Stihl MS 261 Side-by-Side Comparison

Primer Bulb

The Stihl MS 311 does not have a primer bulb whereas the Husqvarna has a primer bulb and you’ll press that a few times just like any other farmer bulb.

How to Start

Instead of that, with the Stihl MS 311, you have to start it by putting the master control lever all the way down and pulling it a couple of times until you hear a burble. Don’t do it any more than that because if you pull it again, you’ll end up flooding it.

Then, you go up one and that’s your high idle. Once it’s at high idle, you’ll pull it, it’ll crank and make your chain brake set. After that, you go up to the regular idle and operate it.

For the Husqvarna 460, you’ll prime it, pull the choke out, and you’ll start it until you hear the burble. Put the choke in, start it, and it’ll be running properly.

Sometimes, Husqvarna chainsaws will start a little bit quicker in the cold because they have the primer bulb than the Stihl.

The downside of that is you have a primer bulb that can end up cracking when you least need it to crack. So, it’s a good idea to keep a couple of extra primer bulbs in your kit.

Related: Chainsaw PPE Safety Features – Personal Protective Equipment Explained

Inboard vs Outboard Clutch 

The two major differences that you’ll notice on Stihl MS 311 and the Husqvarna 460 is how the clutch is set up on both of them.

Stihl has an inboard clutch and the Husqvarna has an outboard clutch.

Inboard Clutch

With an outboard clutch, when your engine is spinning, the interior drum with the springs in it spins.

As it spins faster, the springs expand because of the forces and press on the inside of the steel cylinder. That’s what drives your chain.

One of the differences with an inboard versus an outboard clutch is the inboard clutch is a little bit easier to put the chain and bar on. You simply run the chain over the bar, run it over your sprocket, and it is ready to go.

Then, obviously, when you’re tightening up the chain, put your rear nut on first, grab your little scrunchie, you’ll lift up on the bar, and snug up that rear.

Make sure you don’t have too much tension on your chain, tighten up that front stud, and you will be ready to go.

Related: How to Choose Your Next Chainsaw

Outboard Clutch

On an outboard clutch, you can’t run the chain over the top of the clutch and so you have to take the chain off the front of the bar.

So, instead of placing the chain on the bar and running over the back, you will put your bar on first, run your chain over your clutch, set it up on the bar, and then run it around the tip.

Inboard vs Outboard Clutch (Disadvantages)

So, you may ask are there any disadvantages to an outboard versus an inboard clutch. There are a couple of times when an inboard clutch might come in a little bit more handy than the outboard one.

If you’re cutting firewood, fallen trees, and you end up getting your bar pinched, it’s very important to always carry a second bar and a second chain into the woods with you at the very least.

If you get your bar pinched and your saw has an inboard clutch, it’s really easy just to take the saw off the bar.

Sometimes, if the outboard clutch is pinched in the wrong spot up tight to the saw body itself, it’s really difficult to get that bar off without cutting the chain.

Air Filter

Both the Stihl MS 311 and the Husqvarna 460 have the air filter under a cap that has 3 little screws. Just use your scrunchies that are provided when you get your saw.

Compression Release

Both the Stihl and the Husqvarna have a compression release on the top to help ease of starting.

Oil & Gas Caps

The only other real difference is the Stihl has this quick release cap for the oil and the gas and the Husqvarna has a regular screw type. I do like the quick release a little bit easier, but neither one of them are a bad design.

So, the Stihl MS 311 and the Husqvarna 460 Rancher are both really good. I would consider them backup saws farm and ranch if you don’t have to do a lot.

The Husqvarna might be a little bit more torquey. So, if you’re wanting to run that longer bar on it, it might do better. It probably will do just a little bit better if you’re using that 25-inch bar.

If you’re running a 20-inch bar, I don’t think either one of them will show you much difference.

General Maintenance

As far as general maintenance goes, every time that you sharpen your chain, which should be at least daily if not more frequently, flip your bar over so your bar will wear evenly.

Related: How to Use an Oregon Chain Sharpener (Step by Step Guide with Pictures)

Also, make sure you run your fuel out of it, put good fuel in it, and then if it’s going to sit up for a long time, run it out where you don’t have fuel getting stagnant and clogging up your carburetor.

That’s it for this post. This was the Stihl MS 311 vs Husqvarna 460. I hope I was able to answer some of your questions about these two great chainsaws.

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