Stihl 462 vs Stihl 500i: Which one is the best in 2024?

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By Jake Hill


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Are you looking for a new and improved chainsaw? Then browsing Stihl products is what you should do. It is a leading manufacturer of outdoor power equipment, not only in the U.S. but worldwide. Among the wide collection, you will find versatile models such as the Stihl 500i and 462.

If you’re having difficulty deciding between them, you’ve come to the right place. This blog post will discuss the differences between these two reliable chainsaws. This thorough Stihl 462 vs. 500i comparison will help you decide which is better. So, read on!

Stihl 462 vs. 500i: A Quick Overview

Choosing between a Stihl 462 and 500i will be easy, as these are different. They have various bars, weights, and features. The Stihl 462 is lightweight and is considered relatively modern. This model has only been around since 2018. Still, it has been purchased and tested by numerous users worldwide.

You can also call the Stihl 500i a lightweight saw. When you see this saw for the first time, you might think it’s heavy. This saw appears to be big. However, when you get a hold of it, you will find it lighter than you think.

Despite their surprisingly light weights, 500i chainsaws are not meant for small logging tasks. When combined with a 20-inch bar, this saw can easily cut hardwood.

Stihl MS 500i is also relatively new to the market. This product appeared on the chainsaw industry scene in early 2019. The secret behind this chainsaw’s outstanding performance lies in its powerful engine. The Stihl 500i is a 79-cc chainsaw.

Now it is time to dive deeper into the features of both reliable chainsaw machines.

Stihl 462 Overview 

Stihl MS 462 is considered one of the lightest chainsaws coming from this manufacturer. It weighs 13.2 lbs (nearly 6 kilograms). This weight is the rule in gas-powered chainsaws, but it is common in electric chainsaws.

The machine’s weight is one of the reasons why chainsaw operators love it. It gives them extra maneuverability if they are handling larger spaces.

Moreover, this machine is equipped with an advanced version of M-tronic technologyStihl 462 has a 2.0 version of this technology. This feature prevents the chainsaw from overheating. Typically, the machine electronically adjusts the temperature and ignition timing.

 Also, this machine produces minimal vibrations due to the anti-vibration technology.

Stihl oilomatic is another feature that makes users admire this machine. This option lets you easily adjust the bar and chain oil levels until you reach proper lubrication. This advanced machine also has a pre-separation air filtration option. 

This option increases the cleanliness of the air filter and spares you the effort of frequent cleaning. You must still clean a dirty air filter. However, this system will make the time between cleanings longer.

Stihl 500i overview

Stihl 500i is one of these modern chainsaws with much to offer. Its lightweight is one of the most lucrative features of this machine, which makes chainsaw owners enjoy it. It weighs around 13.9 pounds (6.3 kilograms). But this is not all of it.

This machine comes with a decompression valve. Such a feature facilitates the starting procedure. By decreasing the compression levels inside the carburetor, the engine responds faster to rope-pulling attempts.

Like the MS 462, the Stihl 500i has an anti-vibration feature. So you will have better control and reduced fatigue from disturbing vibrations. Another highly preferred feature in this model is Ematic lubrication, which significantly decreases bar oil consumption. You can notice a decrease in oil consumption, reaching 50%.

As for adjusting the chain tension, this machine offers a side-access chain tensioner. This way, you will easily adjust the chain tightness. It is also worth mentioning that this machine is equipped with an oil cap retainer. There is also a retainer for the fuel cap.

These retainers will hold the caps while you are refilling the fluids. This way, you won’t lose them. Losing any of these caps will cause severe problems with your chainsaw.

This chainsaw’s great features make it ideal for tree service professionals and domestic users who want one of the top-notch chainsaws. However, such greatness comes at a high cost. It costs over $1,600.

Stihl 500i vs. 462: The Comparison

The Stihl MS 500 is often compared with the Stihl 462 as they have a few similarities. However, they are not of the same performance, engine power, or even price category. Here is what you need to know about their most significant differences.

1. Weight 

One thing both machines have in common is their lightness. Still, they are not of the same weight. Stihl 462 is lighter than 500i. The former weighs almost 5.89 kilograms (13 Ibs), which makes it one of the most lightweight gas-powered saws in the world.

Moreover, it is the lightest member of the whole Stihl chainsaw collection. The Stihl MS 500i is not very heavy, though. It weighs 6.30 kilograms (13.9 lbs). So at this point, the Stihl 462 offers better maneuverability.

2. Chain Oil Capacity 

Increased chain oil storage spares you the concern of refilling with each use. Without proper lubrication, the chainsaw would overheat and malfunctionStihl 462 has a higher oil capacity.

Its oil storage can take up to 11.5 ounces (0.43 liters) of the recommended fluid. The Stihl 500i is filled with only 11 ounces (0.32 liters).

3. Fuel Tank Capacity 

There is a big difference in fuel capacity between these two machines. With a Stihl MS 500i, you will enjoy a large fuel tank. This means you will have some peace of mind regarding refilling the tank more frequently. The fuel tank capacity of the Stihl 500i reaches 26.5 oz (0.78 liters).

Meanwhile, a Stihl 462 has a smaller tank but is still considered a decent container. It can store up to 24 ounces (liters) of recommended gasoline.

4. Engine Capacity 

When you shop for a new chainsaw, engine power is one of the top specs to consider. If you are cutting thick trees, you will need a powerful machine. But softwood trees will be cut just fine with a less powerful one.

These two Stihl chainsaws offer different power models. The Stihl MS 462 is less powerful than the Stihl MS 500i. The former’s engine provides nearly 6.0 horsepower, whereas the latter generates 6.7 horsepower.

5. Displacement 

This is another point where both chainsaws go their separate ways. The engine displacement of the Stihl 500i is typically higher. It offers a displacement of 79.2 cc, whereas the Stihl 462 has 72 cc.

6. Compatible Guide Bars

From a distance, these two chainsaws would appear very similar. However, a closer look at their bars will reveal a notable difference. Stihl MS 462 offers limited choices when it comes to bar lengths. However, the Stihl MS 500i provides more flexibility in this matter.

The former is only compatible with a 25-inch bar, whereas the latter is compatible with various bars. For instance, you can install any bar between 16 and 36 inches.

Such wide compatibility makes this saw fulfill the needs of professional users and beginners. But if you want the manufacturer’s recommendation, you should get a 25-inch bar.

7. Electronic Fuel Injection System

This is an advanced feature that is only found in some chainsaws. This feature allows for better optimization of fuel consumption. Moreover, it reduces the levels of pollutants in fuel exhaust. This way, the machine’s exhaust won’t be highly polluted. You should not look for this feature in Stihl 462.

Meanwhile, the Stihl 500i is a pioneer in this field. It is the first chainsaw to have this technology. Other chainsaws equipped with these features are imitating the innovative Stihl 500i. However, Stihl 462 does not offer this feature, as it is older than the Stihl 500i.

8. Master Control Lever 

This is another unique and innovative feature presented by Stihl in some of its machines. This lever with four positions allows you to control the choke. Stihl MS 462 has this lever. This way, you can quickly start your machine during cold weather.

Despite its excellent features, the Stihl MS 500i lacks this crucial feature.

9. Powerhead Weight 

As you might know, Stihl MS 500i is heavier than Stihl 462. But does the same thing apply to their powerhead weight? This applies to powerhead weight as well. Powerhead weight means the machine’s weight when it is dry. So, the weight of fluids, including fuel and oil, is excluded. So, the powerhead weight of the Stihl 462 is light too.

10. Diagnostic software

Another remarkable feature that makes the Stihl 500i stand out is its MDG 1 software. This embedded software helps you detect small issues early. This way, you can quickly find a fix before they become real difficulties and failures. There is no need to mention that the Stihl 462 does not have this feature.

Stihl 462 vs. 500i: Which one is the best?

Either the Stihl 462 or 500i is a great chainsaw. But if you have to choose, you will love what the Stihl 500i offers. This saw is advanced and offers top-notch features that are difficult to find in its peers.

Remember that the price gap between these two is small. There is a nearly $200 difference. So, it is worth going for the Stihl 500i to experience a real upgrade.

In a few fields, you will find that the Stihl 462 is a crowned king. This includes weight, choke placement, and price. So, if these factors make a difference, consider this machine. Determining your needs and expectations for the chainsaw you plan to purchase is essential.

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