Stihl 028 Chainsaw Review (AV Super) — Size, Price, and Other Specs

If you buy something through our posts, we may get a small commission. Read more here.

The Stihl 028 is one of the oldest chainsaws to have ever existed in the market. Although its base model was released in the year 1979, the production of the machine itself lasted for over a decade. Its production spanned from 1979 to 1990.

I’ve seen quite a few versions over the years, like the 028 AV Super, which Stihl introduced in 1983. Depending on the version, you’d find differences in power, weight, efficiency, and the ideal tasks they’re suited for.

From my experience as a woodworking pro, I’m going to share what it’s really like to use the 028, its potential applications, and its key specifications.

Stihl 028: An Overview

These old series are made with the homeowner’s needs at heart, although they are at the higher end of the price range. This series of chainsaws sits at around the 50cc benchmark in terms of engine power. 

Stihl 028

They are perfect for homeowners interested in felling small trees and firewoods. It is suitable for those who use chainsaws occasionally.

The Various Models of Stihl 028

There are four models of Stihl 028 that have slightly different specifications. For instance, the 028 Wood Boss weighs 11.5 pounds, while the 028 Super Wood Boss weighs 12.6 pounds. 

To elaborate, here are the different models of the Stihl 028 chainsaws, the year in which they were produced, and notable specs:

Stihl 028 AV Super EQ

Various STIHL Models

CCsHorsepowerDisplacementWeightBar LengthProduction Years
028 AV47 ccs3 hp 2.87 cu in12.6 lbs13″ to 18″1979 – 1980
028 Wood Boss47 ccs3 hp2.87 cu in11.5 lbs13″ to 18″1979 – 1980
028 AV Electronic Quickstart47 ccs3 hp2.87 cu in11.5 lbs13″ to 18″1979 – 1983
028 AV Super51.5 ccs3.2 hp3.14 cu in12.6 lbs13″ to 20″1983 – 1990

Features of the STIHL 028 Series

Having worked with the STIHL 028 across its various iterations, I can confirm there are subtle differences among the four models released over time. Naturally, you’d think the newer models would be more refined or “smarter”, and in my experience, that’s been true.

For example, anti-vibration technology evolved significantly between 1979 and 1990. Therefore, the later versions including the Stihl MS 200 T arborist saw provided a better comfort than the earlier ones.

person operating Stihl 028

A more difficult side-tensioner may be found on contemporary saws, while the previous ones featured a front chain tensioning screw. As a result of its immense popularity, Stihl went through many revisions to perfect the model. 

The mechanical points ignition was replaced, and anti-vibration mounts were added.

The 028’s powerhead is mainly made of metal alloy, making it a little heavier than a contemporary saw. It’s a tad heavy for contemporary tastes, but the 028 weighs just 12.6 pounds, making it manageable for just about everyone.

The following are the standout features of the STIHL 028:

Stihl 028 motor

From my hands-on experience with the 028s, there’s one feature I’d definitely highlight: the ‘Electronic Quickstop.’ It’s essentially the chain brake, and trust me, it’s a game-changer. When engaged, it stops the saw in an instant.

How Much Can the Stihl 028 be Purchased?

Unlike the features and specifications of the STIHL 028, the Stihl chainsaw price is not fixed. There are cases in which some got their chainsaws lesser in price at $50, while some got theirs for over $290. 

It also depends on the chainsaw’s model, condition, and modification. For example, if a Stihl AV 028 costs $150, you can be sure that you will get a 028 AV super for much more than the AV 028, provided that the condition and modification are fair for both. 

If you choose to get yours online, you will have different prices. This same is also true with regard to the different chainsaw parts you might want to purchase for maintenance. 

Having extras will come in handy when some parts are broken or defective, or worse, when you have problems starting your Stihl chainsaw. 

Parts of the Stihl 028 That You Could Examine for Maintenance

When you encounter issues with your chainsaw chain, bar, and sprocket or they became worn out, they need to be changed. Stihl suggests replacing the bar with a green-labeled, reduced-kickback, 16 to 20-inch bar. 

Green-label low-kickback Topic-Micro 1 (26TM 1) or Rapid-Micro 2 (3/8TM 2) chains are suggested as a suitable replacement for your worn-out drive train chain (33 RM 2 or 36 RM 2). 

Stihl 028 chainsaw bar

It is recommended to use an eight- and a seven-toothed chain sprocket for changing the chain’s tooth count when using a chain that is 3/8-inch in pitch, respectively. 

Be sure to refer to the table for the sizes of the Stihl Chainsaw Chain and Bar before replacing your worn-out components because not every part in the store will work with your chainsaw.

The Benefits and the Detriments of Using a Stihl 028

Having worked extensively with the STIHL 028, it’s evident that it doesn’t quite match up with the latest chainsaws in terms of technology. But honestly, that’s about the only real downside I’ve noticed. 

The 028 series is reliable, straightforward, and impressively balanced when considering its power-to-weight ratio. 

The advantages and the disadvantages of the 028 series are iterated below.



Overview of the Stihl 028

If you’re looking for an affordable Stihl power tool, the Stihl 028 is an excellent choice. There’s no way it won’t become better with the 028 AV super in tow.

Stihl 028 on a log

If you’re a lover of good Stihl chainsaws, the 028 is a terrific option. But if you like the most modern models, you might be less than impressed. You should buy one if you can get a good deal on an antique Stihl chainsaw like the 028.

Among my woodworker colleagues and arborists, I’ve come across many folks who have inherited them from their dads or grandfathers and plan to use them for the rest of their lives.

Just like the 026 model of Stihl, they’re a great saw to have around but a little heavier and slower than modern versions like the MS230.

robert headshot

Robert Johnson is a passionate furniture maker & carpenter, sought after for his knowledge on the craft.
You’ve probably seen his down-to-earth wisdom in USA Today, Bobvila, Family Handyman, and The Spruce, where he has shared commentary and guidance on various woodworking topics.

Robert is the brain behind Sawinery, where he aims to share tips, tricks, and a passion for all things carpentry.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Related Articles
Join our community on facebook and get 3 woodworking plans for free!