Best STIHL Chainsaws for the Money: 2024’s Top Picks for Power & Precision


When searching for the best value STIHL chainsaw in 2024, it’s clear why Stihl remains a top choice, praised for its quality, durability, and performance. Deciding on the perfect model means considering factors like power, ease of use, and the specific demands of tasks ranging from home maintenance to professional logging. Stihl’s lineup caters to all needs, featuring lightweight, battery-powered chainsaws ideal for simple trimming, alongside robust gasoline-powered models for more rigorous work.

Each STIHL chainsaw is engineered with advanced technology and features aimed at enhancing safety, comfort, and efficiency. This ensures every purchase exceeds performance expectations, making the investment worthwhile. Choosing the “Best STIHL Chainsaw for the Money” involves matching these high standards with your specific requirements, ensuring you get the most functionality, power, and value for your needs.

Table Summary of the Best Chainsaws for the Money

ModelPricePower SourceEngine Power (bhp) / EquivalentWeight (lbs.)Guide Bar Length (in.)
STIHL MS 170$199.99Gas1.78.616
STIHL MS 180 C-BE$279.99Gas2.09.316
STIHL MS 250$399.99Gas3.010.118
STIHL MSA 220 C-B$409.99BatteryEquivalent to 2.8 bhp10.116-18
STIHL MS 261 C-M$679.99Gas4.010.816-18
STIHL MS 391$679.99Gas4.413.6720
STIHL MSA 200 C-B$769.99BatteryEquivalent to 2.8 bhp8.214
STIHL MS 362 C-M$879.99Gas4.6912.3520

1. STIHL MS 170

Technical Specifications

  • Engine Power: 1.7 bhp
  • Displacement: 30.1 cc
  • Power Source: Gas
  • Powerhead Weight: 8.6 lbs.
  • Guide Bar Length (Recommended): 16 in.
  • Oilomatic® Chain: 3/8″ PMM3
  • Chain Oil Capacity: 4.9 oz.
  • Fuel Capacity: 8.5 oz.

The STIHL MS 170 is a compact, entry-level chainsaw that has been meticulously designed for homeowners and casual users seeking a reliable, easy-to-use tool for light cutting tasks. With an engine power of 1.7 bhp and a displacement of 30.1 cc, the MS 170 offers a commendable balance between performance and maneuverability.

A person using a Stihl chainsaw to cut a log, showcasing the saw's power and effectiveness in a farm setting

Weighing in at just 8.6 lbs., it’s notably lightweight, making it particularly suitable for tasks such as trimming small branches, cutting firewood, and general yard maintenance. The recommended 16-inch guide bar length coupled with the 3/8″ PMM3 Oilomatic® chain ensures precise and efficient cutting with minimal effort.

Despite its modest size, the MS 170 doesn’t compromise on Stihl’s renowned durability and performance standards, making it an ideal choice for users who need a straightforward, effective chainsaw for occasional use.

Things I Liked About This Product

  • Its 8.6 lbs. weight makes it easy to handle and maneuver for various tasks.
  • The combination of a 1.7 bhp engine and a 16-inch guide bar delivers precise and effective cutting performance.
  • Designed for simplicity and ease of use, making it ideal for homeowners and casual users.

2. STIHL MS 180 C-BE

Technical Specifications

  • Engine Power: 2.0 bhp
  • Displacement: 31.8 cc
  • Power Source: Gas
  • Powerhead Weight: 9.3 lbs.
  • Guide Bar Length (Recommended): 16 in.
  • Oilomatic® Chain: 3/8″ PMM3
  • Chain Oil Capacity: 4.9 oz.
  • Fuel Capacity: 8.5 oz.

The STIHL MS 180 C-BE is a compact, gas-powered chainsaw that’s engineered for user convenience and efficiency, making it an ideal tool for homeowners looking to tackle tasks like cutting firewood, trimming trees, and general yard maintenance.

A Stihl chainsaw in action, cutting through a thick log on a grassy background, emphasizing its cutting efficiency

With an engine power of 2.0 bhp and a displacement of 31.8 cc, this chainsaw offers a good balance of performance and ease of use. It’s designed to be lightweight at just 9.3 lbs., which, combined with its 16-inch recommended guide bar length and the 3/8″ PMM3 Oilomatic® chain, ensures precise cutting with less fatigue.

Unique features such as the Easy2Start™ system and tool-less Quick Chain Adjuster enhance its appeal by simplifying the starting process and allowing for fast and easy chain adjustments without additional tools. The MS 180 C-BE represents Stihl’s commitment to providing reliable, user-friendly tools that don’t compromise on quality or performance, making it a favored choice for residential and light-duty professional work.

Things I Liked About This Product

  • Features Stihl’s Easy2Start™ system, significantly simplifying the startup process.
  • The tool-less Quick Chain Adjuster allows for fast and easy chain adjustments without needing extra tools.
  • At only 9.3 lbs., it provides a comfortable, fatigue-reducing experience during extended use.

3. STIHL MS 250

Technical Specifications

  • Engine Power: 3.0 bhp
  • Displacement: 45.4 cc
  • Power Source: Gas
  • Powerhead Weight: 10.1 lbs.
  • Guide Bar Length (Recommended): 18 in.
  • Oilomatic® Chain: .325″ RM3
  • Chain Oil Capacity: 6.8 oz.
  • Fuel Capacity: 15.9 oz.

The STIHL MS 250 is a high-performing, mid-range chainsaw designed for homeowners who need a bit more power for tasks such as cutting firewood, felling small trees, and general property maintenance. Powered by a 3.0 bhp engine with a displacement of 45.4 cc, the MS 250 combines efficiency with ease of use.

Close-up of a Stihl chainsaw cutting through a log, showcasing its effectiveness and sturdy design

Its power-to-weight ratio is optimized to deliver robust performance without overwhelming the operator, making it an excellent choice for those who require a reliable and capable chainsaw for frequent use.

Additionally, the recommended 18-inch guide bar length enhances its versatility, allowing for efficient cutting of medium-sized wood. The MS 250’s blend of performance, comfort, and operational efficiency makes it a favored tool among its class for users looking to balance power with usability.

Things I Liked About This Product

  • Offers significant cutting power in a manageable and user-friendly package.
  • The 18-inch guide bar length is ideal for a variety of tasks, from firewood cutting to tree felling.
  • Known for its durable build and consistent performance, making it a dependable choice for regular use.

4. STIHL MSA 220 C-B

Technical Specifications

  • Battery System: AP System
  • Power Source: Battery
  • Powerhead Weight: 6.8 lbs.
  • Weight (with AP 300 S): 12.2 lbs.
  • Guide Bar Length (Recommended): 16 in.
  • Oilomatic® Chain: 3/8″ STIHL PICCO™ Super
  • Run Time (with AP 300 S): Up to 40 min.

The STIHL MSA 220 C-B sets the benchmark for battery-powered chainsaw performance, establishing itself as the most powerful model in Stihl’s battery lineup. Equipped with a 16-inch guide bar and the 3/8″ STIHL PICCO™ Super chain, it’s designed for fast, clean cuts with minimal effort, making it ideal for a wide range of tasks, from property maintenance to cutting firewood.

Close-up of a Stihl MSA 220 C chainsaw in use, with focus on its ergonomic handle and branding

Powered by the high-capacity AP System, specifically when paired with the AP 300 S battery, it offers up to 40 minutes of run time, ensuring that users can complete most tasks on a single charge. Weighing in at 6.8 lbs. (powerhead only) and 12.2 lbs. with the battery, the MSA 220 C-B balances power and ergonomic design, providing a comfortable, fatigue-free cutting experience.

This chainsaw is a testament to Stihl’s commitment to innovation, delivering cordless convenience without compromising on the power and durability that professionals and homeowners have come to expect from the brand.

Things I Liked About This Product

  • Delivers unmatched cutting efficiency in the battery-powered category.
  • Offers up to 40 minutes of run time with the AP 300 S, making it highly efficient for extended use.
  • Its lightweight design and balance ensure ease of use and reduce operator fatigue during long tasks.

5. STIHL MS 261 C-M

Technical Specifications

  • Engine Power: 4.0 bhp
  • Displacement: 50.2 cc
  • Power Source: Gas
  • Powerhead Weight: 10.8 lbs.
  • Guide Bar Length (Recommended): 16 in.
  • Oilomatic® Chain: .325″ RM3
  • Chain Oil Capacity: 9.13 oz.
  • Fuel Capacity: 16.9 oz.

The STIHL MS 261 C-M stands out as a highly versatile and powerful chainsaw, tailored for professionals who demand efficiency, reliability, and performance in their work. At the heart of this machine is an advanced 2.8 kW engine that delivers a perfect blend of power and efficiency, thanks to its innovative M-Tronic technology.

A person cutting through a large log with a Stihl chainsaw, demonstrating its power and efficiency

This system intelligently adjusts the fuel mix to optimize operating conditions, ensuring peak performance across a wide range of tasks, from felling trees to cutting firewood. With a displacement of 50.2 cc, it strikes an excellent balance between weight and power, making it comfortable for extended use while maintaining formidable cutting capability.

The MS 261 C-M is designed for those who require a durable, high-performance tool that can handle demanding environments with ease, making it a top choice for forestry professionals and landowners alike.

Things I Liked About This Product

  • Enhances performance by auto-adjusting the fuel supply, ensuring peak efficiency and ease of use.
  • Provides ample cutting power while remaining lightweight, reducing user fatigue during extended use.
  • Built to withstand heavy use with minimal maintenance, making it a reliable tool for any cutting task.

6. STIHL MS 391

Technical Specifications

  • Engine Power: 4.4 bhp
  • Displacement: 64.1 cc
  • Power Source: Gas
  • Powerhead Weight: 13.67 lbs.
  • Guide Bar Length (Recommended): 20 in.
  • Oilomatic® Chain: 3/8″ RS3
  • Chain Oil Capacity: 11.8 oz.
  • Fuel Capacity: 20.3 oz.

The STIHL MS 391 is a robust and powerful gas-powered chainsaw designed to deliver exceptional performance and durability for users who require a higher level of efficiency in their cutting tasks. With an engine power of 4.4 bhp and a displacement of 64.1 cc, this chainsaw stands out for its ability to handle demanding workloads, such as cutting large trees and managing extensive firewood tasks.

A person carrying a Stihl chainsaw with a protective gear, showcasing the tool's readiness for outdoor work

Its recommended 20-inch guide bar length, coupled with the 3/8″ RS3 Oilomatic® chain, ensures deep, clean cuts with each pass, making it highly effective and reducing work time. Weighing at 13.67 lbs., the MS 391 balances its substantial power with a design focused on user comfort and reduced vibration, making it suitable for prolonged use without excessive fatigue.

This model embodies Stihl’s commitment to providing high-quality, reliable tools that cater to both professional and heavy-duty personal use, offering a blend of performance, efficiency, and convenience that is hard to match.

Things I Liked About This Product

  • With an engine power of 4.4 bhp and a displacement of 64.1 cc, it’s capable of handling demanding cutting tasks effortlessly.
  • Despite its power, it’s designed for improved fuel efficiency, offering more cuts per tank.
  • The MS 391 is designed with user comfort in mind, featuring effective anti-vibration systems and ergonomic handling for prolonged use without fatigue.

7. STIHL MSA 200 C-B

Technical Specifications

  • Battery System: AP Series
  • Voltage: 36 volt
  • Power Source: Battery
  • Powerhead Weight: 6.4 lbs.
  • Weight (with AP 300): 12.2 lbs.
  • Guide Bar Length (Recommended): 14 in.
  • Oilomatic® Chain: 3/8″ STIHL PICCO™
  • Chain Oil Capacity: 7.1 oz.
  • Run Time (with AP 300): Up to 50 min.

The STIHL MSA 200 C-B is a top-tier battery-powered chainsaw that delivers exceptional cutting performance for a range of tasks, from garden maintenance to more demanding wood cutting. It is powered by Stihl’s AP Series batteries, operating on a 36-volt system, which allows for a potent combination of efficiency and power, akin to its gas-powered counterparts.

A modern Stihl chainsaw with a white and orange design, highlighting its sleek build and sharp cutting chain

With a lightweight design of 6.4 lbs. (powerhead only) and a recommended 14-inch guide bar, the MSA 200 C-B offers excellent maneuverability without sacrificing the strength needed to tackle various cutting jobs. Its Oilomatic® chain ensures precise and clean cuts, enhancing the overall user experience.

Additionally, the MSA 200 C-B’s run time of up to 50 minutes with an AP 300 battery makes it an ideal tool for extended use in environments where noise and emissions are a concern, showcasing Stihl’s commitment to innovative, eco-friendly solutions without compromising on performance.

Things I Liked About This Product

  • Offers strong, consistent cutting power with the convenience of battery operation.
  • Easy to handle and maneuver, enhancing user comfort and control.
  • Operates quietly with zero emissions, making it ideal for sensitive environments.

8. STIHL MS 362 C-M

Technical Specifications

  • Engine Power: 4.69 bhp
  • Displacement: 59.0 cc
  • Power Source: Gas
  • Powerhead Weight: 12.35 lbs.
  • Guide Bar Length (Recommended): 20 in.
  • Oilomatic® Chain: 3/8″ RS3
  • Chain Oil Capacity: 11 oz.
  • Fuel Capacity: 20.3 oz.

The STIHL MS 362 C-M is a powerhouse chainsaw engineered for professional use, offering an excellent blend of efficiency, power, and environmental consciousness. It boasts a robust 4.69 bhp engine with a displacement of 59.0 cc, making it capable of handling demanding cutting tasks with ease. This chainsaw is equipped with Stihl’s M-Tronic technology, a cutting-edge system that automatically adjusts the engine settings in real-time, ensuring optimal performance under various conditions.

An individual using a Stihl chainsaw to cut through a large, fallen tree trunk, highlighting the saw's robust power

The MS 362 C-M is designed for durability, featuring a recommended 20-inch guide bar that makes it suitable for felling large trees, cutting firewood, and managing forestry tasks. Its powerhead weight of 12.35 lbs. balances power and maneuverability, allowing for prolonged use without excessive fatigue.

With a focus on efficiency, it also includes features such as reduced-emission engine technology and advanced air filtration systems, enhancing its performance while minimizing its environmental impact. The Stihl MS 362 C-M stands out for its reliability, power, and innovative features, making it a preferred choice for professionals seeking a high-performing, versatile chainsaw.

Things I Liked About This Product

  • The MS 362 C-M features Stihl’s M-Tronic engine technology, ensuring optimal engine performance and efficiency in various conditions.
  • It offers a robust 4.69 bhp engine with a 59.0 cc displacement, providing significant power for demanding tasks without compromising on fuel efficiency.
  • Designed with user comfort in mind, its advanced anti-vibration system and ergonomic design make prolonged use less fatiguing.

Additional Tips For User’s Perspectives Of Making Decision

Here are four additional tips from a user’s perspective to help guide your decision-making process when selecting a Stihl chainsaw:

  1. Consider Your Needs: Match the chainsaw to the tasks at hand, whether it’s light yard maintenance or heavy-duty cutting. Bigger isn’t always better for casual use.
  2. Ergonomics Matter: Choose a model that feels comfortable in your hands, with a weight you can manage for extended periods to avoid fatigue.
  3. Maintenance and Upkeep: Familiarize yourself with the maintenance requirements. Some models may be easier to care for and require less frequent servicing.
  4. Invest in Safety: Ensure you’re equipped with the necessary safety gear and knowledge on safe operation. A chainsaw’s performance is best measured by how safely and efficiently you can use it.

Final Conclusion

Choosing the best Stihl chainsaw for your money hinges on understanding your specific needs and how each model’s features align with those requirements. Whether you’re trimming branches in your backyard, felling trees professionally, or anything in between, Stihl has a chainsaw that fits the bill.

Through this guide, I’ve shared insights from my personal experience with these machines, focusing on what matters most: performance, reliability, and value. Remember, the best chainsaw is one that not only tackles your current tasks but also grows with your needs. Invest wisely, and your Stihl chainsaw will be a dependable partner for years to come.


  1. What makes Stihl chainsaws worth the investment?
    Stihl chainsaws are known for their durability, reliability, and cutting-edge technology, making them a worthwhile investment for both professional and casual users.
  2. How do I choose the right Stihl chainsaw for my needs?
    Consider the type of work you’ll be doing (e.g., light yard work, cutting firewood, professional forestry work), the chainsaw’s power, guide bar length, and any specific features that might be beneficial for your tasks.
  3. Are battery-powered Stihl chainsaws as effective as gas-powered ones?
    Battery-powered Stihl chainsaws offer significant power and convenience, especially for light to medium tasks, with the added benefits of lower noise levels and zero emissions.
  4. What safety gear should I use with a Stihl chainsaw?
    Always wear protective gear, including a helmet with face shield, hearing protection, gloves, chaps, and sturdy boots, regardless of the chainsaw model.
  5. Can I use any brand of chain oil with my Stihl chainsaw?
    While you can use generic bar and chain oils, Stihl recommends their own oils for optimal performance and longevity of your chainsaw.
  6. How often should I maintain my Stihl chainsaw?
    Regular maintenance, including cleaning, chain sharpening, and checking the tension, should be done after every use, with more thorough inspections and maintenance performed annually.
  7. What’s the difference between the Stihl MS 170 and the MS 250?
    The MS 170 is designed for light-duty tasks and is more suited for casual or homeowner use, while the MS 250 offers more power and versatility for heavier yard work and cutting firewood.
  8. How do I know when to replace the chain on my Stihl chainsaw?
    If the chain is dull even after sharpening, has damaged links, or the saw is not cutting efficiently, it may be time for a replacement.
  9. What is the warranty on Stihl chainsaws?
    Stihl typically offers a limited warranty that covers manufacturing defects, but the duration and specifics can vary by model and usage type (professional vs. personal).
  10. Where can I buy a Stihl chainsaw?
    Stihl chainsaws are sold through authorized Stihl dealers to ensure customers receive proper guidance and service. Use the Stihl dealer locator on their website to find a store near you.

We’re eager to hear from you! Do you have a favorite Stihl chainsaw that’s given you great value for your money? Share your personal experiences and opinions in the comments section below. Your firsthand insights can guide others in our community to make well-informed choices when selecting their next Stihl chainsaw. Whether it’s about performance, durability, or the best model for specific tasks, your contribution is invaluable!

Edward Smith
Edward Smith
Forestry Author

Woodworking is about more than crafting; it's a harmonious connection with nature, mastering tools, and preserving our environment. I'm here to share my knowledge and experiences with you, forging a future where we can embrace wood's beauty and utility while safeguarding our forests' health and diversity.


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