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Nathan Ramirez
Nathan Ramirez

What Stihl Chainsaw Should I Buy

The market offers numerous chainsaw brand choices, but few can rival the performance and reliability of a Stihl chainsaw. The company is renowned for the durability and reliability of its chainsaws as well as the innovative technologies they put into the tools that make them easier to operate and maintain.

what stihl chainsaw should i buy

The bar length on a chainsaw determines the maximum diameter a chainsaw can cut. An 18-inch chainsaw, for example, can cut through an 18-inch-diameter tree trunk. Chainsaw bar lengths on Stihl chainsaw models range from 12 inches for small electric models all the way up to 29 inches for large gas-powered forestry chainsaws. Generally speaking, bar lengths of 12 to 14 inches are ideal for light-duty applications such as trimming and cutting up branches after a storm. General-purpose chainsaws for cutting small trees and firewood range from 16 to 20 inches, while pro models extend beyond 20 inches.

The products below represent some of the best Stihl chainsaws on the market. They consist of chainsaws of various sizes and types. The list includes chainsaws to meet the needs of DIYers who just need occasional use in their landscape, those who own large properties, and even some professionals.

Stihl is among the top names in chainsaws and for good reason. In addition to building reliable and durable products, the company has a reputation for innovations that make its chainsaws easier to use. Technologies such as Easy2Start lead to its gas chainsaws starting without the user having to make multiple pulls, and vibration-impeding technology allows the operator to run them with less fatigue, for example.

Stihl chainsaws are also easy to maintain, thanks to toolless chain tightening, auto chain lubrication systems, easy-to-access air filters, and even carburetors that self-adjust for optimal operation. Stihl chainsaws also offer a broad product line that ranges from 12-inch electric chainsaws all the way up to 40-inch monsters for professional foresters, making the company a true expert in the field.

The Stihl MS 500i chainsaw provides a ton of power for cutting trees. Its 79cc (4.83 cu. in.) engine includes the use of an electronic fuel injector. Stihl uses this same technology on their TS 500i 14-inch brushless cut-off saw.

Can you find a chainsaw with a larger bar and more power? Sure, but the Stihl MS 881 Magnum chainsaw is currently the largest Stihl offers. It directly replaces the well-regarded MS 880 and reduces emissions. This saw boasts a 121.6cc engine and support for a 41-inch bar. While the MS 880 supported a bar up to 59-inches in length, Stihl no longer seems to offer that as a stock or build-to-order option.

Stihl is the only chainsaw manufacturer that produces its own guide bars and saw chains. They have a guide bar facility in Waiblingen, Germany, and the 83-acre Virginia Beach campus in Virginia (where they make additional products as well). They also manufacture saw chains in Switzerland. Longer Stihl Rollomatic E Super Guide Bars feature an angled oil delivery hole that improves oil flow to the saw chain. All Stihl chains are pre-stretched before they leave the factory.

For pushing a saw through wood more efficiently, chainsaws come fitted with bucking spikes (a.k.a. bumper spikes, felling spikes, or dogs). These spikes sit against the body of the saw alongside the bar and anchor the saw in place while the bar pivots through the cut.

The best Stihl chainsaws feel balanced in your hands. They should cut straight without introducing a twisting motion and you should not feel like either the back hand or your front grip are overly stressed when making a cut. You want to be able to easily rock the saw forward and back on the bucking spikes when cutting through larger trunks.

Holding a saw with your left hand on the front handle in front of you should have the saw balancing fairly flat. Being a bit front-heavy is okay, but a rear-heavy saw lifts the cutting end of the saw up towards you and requires more effort and vigilance to use and carry safely.

Determining a good feel for felling cuts while holding the chainsaw sideways is more about the comfort of applying force to the front and rear handles as you grasp it from the side, and also the ease of operating the trigger while sideways. We try and test all directions when using both top-handle and rear-handle saws.

In general, chainsaws with thicker handles are more comfortable to grasp in use because their broader radiused edges serve to soften the contact with your hand. Of course, rubber handle surfaces help too, not only for padding but also for the increased grip they provide.

Most professional chainsaw triggers are large enough for two fingers to fit on them. Some have an extra-long trigger with more room to vary your grip stance for comfort. The best feeling triggers retract flush with the handle instead of leaving a raised bump your fingers have to push against.

If you know you need to get through larger branches, the best chainsaw for you may be one with a bit more power. But if the timber you are sawing is smaller, then one of our lighter weight or cordless models will be ideal. Although it may be tempting to think bigger is better, we would always suggest that you use the lightest saw for the job in hand. The bigger saws can be considerably heavier so we suggest leaving the very large saws to the professionals!

The final option in our chainsaw buying guide is our petrol models, starting with the MS 170, which is a great entry-level, small chainsaw for homeowners. Petrol saws are a great value option for those with larger gardens or smallholdings.

To operate your petrol chainsaw you need a mix of petrol and engine oil to power and lubricate the engine. The recommended mix is 1 part engine oil with 50 parts petrol. You can find a guide to mixing fuel on our website or why not download the STIHL App which has a simple fuel mix calculator (just search for STIHL in Google Play or the App Store)?

C = The letter C at the end of a model name (for example, in the MS 181 C-BE) denotes that the saw is a Comfort model. This means the chainsaw has additional features designed to make it more comfortable to use.

And once you have your saw, make sure you read this post from Chris Pratt, British STIHL TIMBERSPORTS athlete and professional arborist, who has given his tips for getting the most out of your new chainsaw.

STIHL is the world's top-selling chainsaw brand, and for good reason. With reliable performance, easy-starting technology, dependable design, and simple maintenance it's no wonder STIHL chainsaws are considered the best in the world.

Not only is STIHL the best-selling chainsaw brand, but they're also the largest and oldest chainsaw producer in the world. Andreas Stihl developed the first electric chainsaw in 1926 and his first gasoline-powered saw in 1929. STIHL has been making top-quality chainsaws ever since. In addition, STIHL is the only chainsaw manufacturer in the world to design and produce their own chains and guide bars for their gasoline-powered saws.

But even if you decide to get a STIHL chainsaw, you still need to choose which one. STIHL manufactures a variety of chainsaws. These include battery saws, homeowner saws, farm and ranch saws, professional STIHL saws, electric saws, in-tree saws, and rescue saws. So which of these types of saws is the right one for you? And how do you find out which model is the best fit for your needs?

There's an interactive product selector on STIHL's website that can help you find the perfect chainsaw to fit your needs. It asks four simple questions about your preferred power source, how often the saw will be used, the type of cutting tasks you'll do, and the largest size of wood you'll be cutting. This narrows down the selection to a few specific models, which you can then compare to get a better idea of what you're looking for.

As already mentioned, STIHL manufactures a variety of chainsaws. In today's article, we'll focus on five of these categories: homeowner saws, farm & ranch saws, STIHL professional saws, in-tree saws, and electric and battery-powered saws. To easily compare the different chainsaws, click here to view STIHL's comparison chart.

These saws are typically used for tree service and surgery, landscaping, and public maintenance projects. They're not recommended for homeowner use, so if you just want a chainsaw to use around the house for pruning and firewood cutting this isn't what you're looking for.

STIFH's battery-powered and electric chainsaws offer quieter operation and no engine emissions. They're not as powerful as the professional-grade gasoline-powered saws, but they can be a great choice for homeowners and for lighter cutting tasks (including professional in-tree work if you get the top-handle battery-powered saw).

Every chainsaw model name starts with the letters MS. These letters stand for Motorsäge which is German for "motor saw." STIHL's chainsaws are German-engineered and built in America, so it makes sense that the model names would reference the German word for chainsaw.

In addition to MS model chainsaws, you'll also see the letters MSA and MSE. MSA in the model number indicates that it is a battery chainsaw and MSE tells you that it is an electric model. Other letters in the model name help you quickly identify key features:

In addition to chainsaws (and other outdoor equipment), STIHL also sells parts and accessories, filing tools, forestry tools, and protective gear. Some of the most impressive of those parts and accessories are the chains and bars. As mentioned in the intro, STIHL is the only chainsaw manufacturer in the world that designs and produces their own chains and guide bars for their chainsaws.

When combined with STIHL's Ematic Bar Lubrication System, their Oilomatic chains reduce bar oil consumption by up to 50 percent while still providing lubrication precisely as needed to extend the life of the chainsaw. STIHL's guide bars are designed to match the unique properties of STIHL cutting chains and keep them running smoothly. 041b061a72


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