Best Stihl Chainsaws In 2023 – Reviews and Top Picks

best stihl chainsaw reviews

Chainsaws are a necessary part of just about everyone’s life. If a big storm hits, or your trees grow too wildly, you’ll need one to take care of it. If you’re a professional, you already know how useful a chainsaw can be.

However, not all chainsaws are made the same way. Some brands put out sub-par products, and some stick out above the rest.

Stihl chainsaw is one of the top chainsaws for decades and there’s a good reason for that.

In this article, I’ve picked five of their products to help you find the best Stihl chainsaw without digging through their lengthy catalog.

Where Are Stihl Chainsaws Made?

Where-Are Stihl Chainsaws Made

If you’re looking for a high-quality tool, you’ll be happy to know that the vast majority of Stihl chainsaws are put together in Virginia Beach USA with mostly domestic parts.

Even the ones that are made in Germany’s best manufacturing plants. The most notable of the German-made chainsaws are the MS 201 and the MS 441.

You can expect the carburetors to come from Stihl’s Chinese manufacturing plants, but don’t worry about the quality. Stihl purchased those plants, and they hold the products coming from them to very high standards.

All of the chains Stihl uses are made in Switzerland by their top manufacturers.

5 Best Stihl Chainsaw Reviews 2022

1. Stihl MS 170

Stihl MS 170

The MS 170 is the saw I’d recommend for most entry-level users. This is best stihl chainsaw for homeowner in the list. It’s small, capable, and easy to use.

Let’s start with what this saw is capable of. It can cut trees that are between 12 and 16 inches in diameter depending on what guide bar and chain you use.

That’s not a lot of cutting length, but it’s more than enough to trim your trees or clear out storm debris. Surprisingly, it can also handle some bigger jobs once you get comfortable with it.

It’s also pretty light due to its small size. Its lightweight design makes it easier for average people to use it.

The MS 170 is known to start very quickly, too. With other saws, you might have to pull the ignition line nearly a dozen more times to get them to fire, but the MS 170 typically starts up within less than three pulls.

One complaint that I have is that it doesn’t hold a lot of gas. Its small size doesn’t really allow for a decent gas tank to be installed.

So, you’ll have to settle for refueling every time you burn through 8.5 ounces of gasoline. That’s not a big deal for small jobs, but it gets annoying during more prolonged use.

  • Just enough power for the average person
  • Compact for easy maneuvering
  • Lightweight
  • Handles bigger jobs than you’d expect
  • Starts up fast
  • The gas tank is tiny
  • Not enough cutting length for really big jobs

2. Stihl MS 362 C-M

Stihl MS 362 C-M

This general-purpose chainsaw is an upgraded version of Stihl’s basic MS 362. It’s probably the best stihl chainsaw for the money if you are interested in investing for your job. Its microprocessor-managed engine keeps it running at peak performance.

The cutting length on this saw is more than enough for most jobs. It can handle diameters of 25″ without any issues, and its motor can reach 4.69 BHP to make cutting through hardwood a breeze.

With 20.3 ounces of fuel capacity, you can expect it to last far longer than the MS 170 I reviewed earlier, and it shouldn’t have to be refueled during basic jobs.

However, the most impressive feature is its microprocessor. The processor is connected to the engine, and it makes adjustments as the engine runs to help it adapt to cutting conditions naturally.

That means that the MS 362 C-M will maintain its cutting power regardless of wood density, temperature, and other variables that can slow other saws down.

The only thing I can complain about is that it tends to slow down when it’s put through logs that are about 23 or 25 inches in diameter. Considering that’s near its limit, I won’t complain about that too much.

  • Great general-purpose saw
  • Microprocessor keeps it at peak performance
  • Lightweight for its size
  • Starts quickly
  • It gets bogged down by really big logs

3. Sithl MS 391

Sithl MS 391

The MS 391 is built like a tank, but it has the emissions rating and fuel efficiency of a Prius. This isn’t the saw that I recommend for trimming limbs. This is the one you take out into the woods to chop down oak trees.

It can handle diameters of more than 20″, and it’s 64cc engine makes it a great choice for felling trees.

It also has the same 20.3 ounces of fuel capacity that the 362 C-M has. So, you can stay on the job for quite a while before you have to refuel.

Its low-emissions engine makes it more environmentally friendly. This is one of the best Stihl chainsaw ever made when compared to other models, but the most impressive feature that affects your experience is its filtration system.

Unlike other saws, the MS 391 doesn’t just suck in air and filter it. It uses centrifugal force to sling large particles out of the air before filtering it.

That means that you’ll spend a lot less time replacing your air filters, and you’ll be able to saw through trees and logs without worrying about your filter getting clogged.

  • Environmentally friendly
  • Advanced filter system
  • Plenty of strength for big trees
  • Decent cutting length
  • Efficiently burns fuel
  • Some trouble starting when it’s hot

4. Stihl MSA 200 C-BQ

Stihl MSA 200 C-BQ

If you’re looking for a battery chainsaw, check out the MSA 200 C-BQ. It nearly matches the power of comparable gas saws, but it’s a lot quieter and doesn’t need gas.

Obviously, this isn’t the saw you want for big jobs. It only has a maximum cutting length of 14″. However, it’s lightweight, safe, and great for trimming or clearing out storm debris around your house.

The entire saw only weighs 11 pounds with a standard battery installed in it. Some minor weight fluctuations should be expected if you upgrade to a larger and longer-lasting battery.

Speaking of battery life, the standard battery lasts about 15 minutes on a full charge. If you need more time, you can buy upgraded batteries that last more than two and a half hours.

Since it runs off of a battery, you can also enjoy not having to breathe in toxic exhaust fumes like you would with a gas saw.

Other safety features include an automatic shutoff function that stops the saw when you take your hand off of it, and it doesn’t require you to pull a cord to start it.

As you may know, pulling a cord can be a bit dangerous when you’re turning on a high-powered cutting machine.

The only thing this saw lacks is the ability to handle larger jobs. Professionals and people who have to cut down whole trees will want to look elsewhere.

  • Great for light use
  • Several battery options
  • Safe for beginners
  • Doesn’t require fuel
  • The standard battery dies quickly
  • It can’t do much more than trim or clear debris

5. Stihl MSE 250 C-Q

Stihl MSE 250 C-Q

The MS 250 C-Q is the only electric chainsaw I’ll be reviewing. This particular saw is made for professional use in areas where exhaust fumes and tons of noise aren’t acceptable.

The 250 C-Q can handle diameters of 16 to 20 inches. That’s comparable to the other large saws I’ve reviewed, but it’s a bit limited due to its power source.

It is lightweight for its size, though. It doesn’t require nearly as many internal parts as a gas saw, and that makes it more comfortable to hold.

You can stop the chain immediately in a second with the proven STIHL Quickstop® chain brake system. This reduces the risk of injury in emergency or kickback situations.

One of the things I like most about this saw is its quiet nature. If you live in a small neighborhood or a city, making a lot of noise can be a problem. This thing runs almost silently, and it shouldn’t become a nuisance to your neighbors.

Overall, I recommend this chainsaw if you need something for cutting firewood or clean up after a storm. It won’t be of much use for jobs that require you to move away from electrical power sources.

  • Plenty of cutting length
  • Lightweight and comfortable
  • Nearly silent
  • Starts instantly
  • Its reliance on a power cord limits its potential
  • It’s not as powerful as comparable gas saws

Stihl Chainsaw Alternative

ImageNameTypePowerBar Length
Husqvarna 460 – 24″ RancherHusqvarna 460 – 24″ Rancher Chain SawGas-powered60cc24 inch
Echo CS-590 20″ Timber Wolf ChainsawEcho CS-590 20″ Timber Wolf ChainsawGas-powered59.8cc20 inch
Husqvarna 440E 16-InchHusqvarna 440E 16-Inch 40.9cc 2-Stroke X-TorqGas-powered40.9cc16 inch
Greenworks 16-Inch 40V Cordless ChainsawGreenworks 16-Inch 40V Cordless ChainsawBattery-powered40V16 inch
Makita UC4051A 16" Electric Chain SawCorded-electric15 Amp16 inch

Why Should You Choose A Stihl Chainsaw?

I’ve come across a lot of chainsaws in my time, and I have to give Stihl credit for providing high-quality products for just about any situation you might run into.

In fact, a lot of other people seem to agree with me. Stihl has built a reputation for providing some of the best profession-grade chainsaws on the market, but they also keep their products available to average people looking to simply maintain their property.

Stihl Chainsaw Cutting-Tree

Here are a few reasons Stihl stands out

  • A Variety Of Choices

Stihl doesn’t try to appeal to one specific type of customer. They make a lot of different chainsaws for different types of jobs.

They have monster-sized chainsaws that can cut through the thickest tree trunks all day long, and they have smaller options if you simply want to spend an hour trimming the trees around your house.

You can also find Stihl chainsaws that combine power with user-friendliness for a more general-purpose option.

  • Power Sources Vary

They don’t just use one type of power source for all of their chainsaws. Stihl has products that run on gas, batteries, and direct electrical currents.

So, if you want the convenience of a battery-powered saw, you can get one. If you want a high-powered gas saw, you can get that, too.

Obviously, different power sources provide different levels of performance, but Stihl does a great job of making all of their products perform well.

  • The Value Is Great

Stihl isn’t the cheapest company out there, but I feel that their products exceed all of my expectations regardless of what price range they’re in.

If you buy one of their $200 models, you can expect it to perform just as well as a $300 model from another company.

Don’t let those price examples scare you off, though. You can find several smaller Stihl chainsaw models for low price, and like their more expensive counterparts, they perform as if they cost twice as much.

  • Continue To Innovate

Companies as well-known as Stihl usually tend to stagnate. I’ve noticed that they typically find a formula that works, and they stick with it forever.

That can be great in some situations, but it usually leaves consumers like you and me with very little to look forward to.

Stihl has found themselves at the top of the chainsaw world, and they continue to make advancements in chainsaw technology.

A lot of those advancements tend to be aimed at making their products easier to use or more powerful, and some of them are there to increase the amount of value passed down to customers.

Regardless of what they choose to work on, we can all look forward to new and better products from Stihl.

See also: Stihl vs Husqvarna Chainsaw – Which One Is Better?


I believe the MS 362 C-M is the best option for most people. It’s powerful, reasonably sized, and efficient. However, The MS 170 is probably the best option for people who are just starting to use chainsaws. It’s just easier to handle.

The other chainsaws still have a place on this list, though. They’re more specialized saws that will appeal to you if you have very specific tasks to accomplish.

For instance, the MS 250 can be used as best stihl chainsaw for cutting firewood. It doesn’t need gas or a battery, and you can probably find an outlet near your wood pile.

The MS 391 can help you get through really tough jobs if you have more professional uses for it. Unless you have a specific purpose for your chainsaw, I recommend the MS 170 for beginners, and I recommend the 362 C-M for more advanced users.

Leave a Comment