It’s every user’s worst nightmare to end up with a product that doesn’t get the job done. You might find yourself returning the product or settling to mediocre performance, especially with hardly available products like Stihl chainsaws. Therefore, our experts have put together the best models in this Stihl chainsaw review to save you from all these troubles.
Best Overall
STIHL MS 250 18 in. 45.4 cc Gas Chainsaw
Editor’s Choice
STIHL MS 271 20 in. 50.2 cc Gas Chainsaw
Best Budget
STIHL MS 180 16 in. 31.9 cc Gas Chainsaw
STIHL MS 250 No Background
STIHL MS 271 No Background
STIHL MS 180 No Background
Our team’s top pick is the Stihl MS250, a powerful chainsaw that provides a balance between size and efficiency. The 2-cycle engine can get you from unboxing to cutting in just a few minutes. The saw is also incredibly lightweight for better usability.
The MS271 is our editor’s choice for larger and heavier-duty jobs. For that reason, it’s also one of the more expensive models from the brand. Nevertheless, the presence of a pre-separation air filter will make the product worth spending on.
The budget option is also one that is more compact. The MS180 is a 16-inch gas chainsaw that features a quick-adjust tension system to make fast changes on the job. The improved engine airflow will heighten the efficiency when using the product.
Best Overall
STIHL MS 250 18 in. 45.4 cc Gas Chainsaw
STIHL MS 250 No Background
Our team’s top pick is the Stihl MS250, a powerful chainsaw that provides a balance between size and efficiency. The 2-cycle engine can get you from unboxing to cutting in just a few minutes. The saw is also incredibly lightweight for better usability.
Editor’s Choice
STIHL MS 271 20 in. 50.2 cc Gas Chainsaw
STIHL MS 271 No Background
The MS271 is our editor’s choice for larger and heavier-duty jobs. For that reason, it’s also one of the more expensive models from the brand. Nevertheless, the presence of a pre-separation air filter will make the product worth spending on.
Best Budget
STIHL MS 180 16 in. 31.9 cc Gas Chainsaw
STIHL MS 180 No Background
The budget option is also one that is more compact. The MS180 is a 16-inch gas chainsaw that features a quick-adjust tension system to make fast changes on the job. The improved engine airflow will heighten the efficiency when using the product.

Reviews of the Best Stihl Chainsaws

1. STIHL MS250 18 in. 45.4 cc Gas Chainsaw

STIHL MS250 18 in. 45.4 cc Gas Chainsaw

The MS250 is the best choice for workers looking for a good balance. The 45.4cc motor delivers excellent power and weight ratio coupled with the 11-pound body. There is an easy-to-access air filter making maintenance a breeze and prolong the lifespan of your saw.

The master control lever controls the choke, the power switch, and the throttle lock, giving you consolidated mastery of the unit. Then, there is the chain-tensioner located on the side that is easy to reach with a bar wrench.

There is a front handle and a rear handguard for maneuverability and safety, too.

Pros

Cons

2. STIHL MS271 20 in. 50.2 cc Gas Chainsaw

STIHL MS271 20 in. 50.2 cc Gas Chainsaw

For larger jobs, look no further than the Stihl MS271. The 20-inch 50.2 cc gas chainsaw may be pricier, but it offers a lot in terms of features. For example, the pre-separation air filtration system makes maintenance easy and lasts longer.

The advanced filtration system also equals less upkeep between uses. Stihl uses proprietary technology seen in the MS271 to reduce vibrations and give you more control over the product.

There are also lower exhaust emissions from this gas chainsaw with levels within the EPA and CARB emission standards.

Pros

Cons

3. STIHL MS180 16 in. 31.9 cc Gas Chainsaw

STIHL MS180 16 in. 31.9 cc Gas Chainsaw

Does a budget option guarantee the same performance? The MS180 16-inch gas chainsaw features improved engine airflow compared to other models. It is a bit smaller than the previous two, which means it’s lighter in weight.

The gas chainsaw features s 2-cycle engine and has an Intellicarb compensating carburetor that can adjust the air and fuel ratio to accommodate the RPM.

The anti-vibration handle and quick-adjust chain tensioning system will give you better hold over the power tool during operation. Everything is easily accessed at your fingertips, and the handle will provide you with a comfortable grip.

Pros

Cons

4. STIHL MSA 140 C-BQ 12 in. Battery Chainsaw Kit (Battery & Charger)

STIHL MSA 140 C-BQ 12 in. Battery Chainsaw Kit

If you don’t want a gas-powered model, our team included the MSA140 battery-powered chainsaw. This chainsaw is by far the smallest on our list at only 12-inches in bar length. The small and compact profile also gives it a very lightweight of 5.7 pounds.

If you don’t often tackle large projects and want to reduce fatigue, then the MSA140 is for you. The saw is ideal for yard work and has a quiet operation. As for safety, the MSA140 has an inertia-activated chain brake and only engages once you have released the rear handle.

(For other great brands, you can also check our review of Tanaka TCS51EAP here)

Pros

Cons

Stihl Chainsaw Buyer’s Guide

Engine Power

The engine power matters when it comes to the material. Gas chainsaws are more powerful than battery-operated ones but produce emissions and are generally noisier. Search for a saw depending on what type of work you do, the higher the number for engine power, the stronger the saw will be.

Bar and Chain

Then comes the bar and chain length in our Stihl chainsaw review. The measurement listed in all chainsaw product descriptions for size refers to the bar length. Larger bars can rip through larger material. Again, our experts ask you to assess the type of project you work on. For example, a 12-inch bar may be good for yard work, but you would need a 20-inch option for large branches.
STIHL MS180 16 in. 31.9 cc Gas Chainsaw used on wood

Type of Chainsaw

As briefly mentioned, there are two main types of chainsaws – gas-powered and electric. Gas-powered options are more powerful, but they are louder and more high maintenance. Our team suggests battery-powered options for quiet neighborhoods but not for large-scale work.

Safety Features

The safety features in a chainsaw will reduce the risk of injury. Our team suggests looking for enclosed blades to keep your fingers safe and a sensitive chain brake with an easily accessible lever for emergencies. 

(For more ways to keep you safe while working, here are the best woodworking safety tips you should practice)

Stihl Chainsaw Advantages

What do Stihl chainsaws hold over other reliable power tool brands? For starters, their products have very low vibration with special technology integrated into each model. Then there is the low maintenance for their power tools due to additional features such as air filters and carburetors [1]

STIHL MS271 20 in. 50.2 cc Gas Chainsaw tried on wood

FAQ

What is the best all around Stihl chainsaw?

The best all-around Stihl chainsaw is the MS250. This particular model offers the best weight to power ratio for fast cutting and has an easy-access air filter with a low maintenance cleaning. The chainsaw also has a side-access chain tensioner for easy command of the chain.

Do Stihl chainsaws ever go on sale?

No, Stihl chainsaws do not go on sale. They usually lower the price with certain promotions, like on special holidays but do not make big blowout sales or give out discounts for their products.

Our Top Pick For a Stihl Chainsaw: Stihl MS250

STIHL MS250 18 in. 45.4 cc Gas Chainsaw
After individual Stihl chainsaw reviews, our team has landed on the Stihl MS250 model as the best one. The weight to power ratio is unmatched in the MS250, and special features such as the easy-access pre-separation air filter, Master Control Lever, and the side chain tensioner instantly elevate the maneuverability and versatility of this power tool.

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Robert