STIHL 009 Chainsaw Review


Having recently acquired a STIHL 009 chainsaw, I feel compelled to share my experiences and insights into this classic rare piece of equipment. The STIHL 009, with its roots in the 80s and 90s, embodies the essence of compact, lightweight saws designed for professional tree maintenance. Here’s a deep dive into what makes the STIHL 009 a notable choice for those in need of a reliable trimming and light cutting tool.

STIHL 009 sitting on the log

Versions and Specs Overview

The 009 comes in two main variants: the standard 009 and the more powerful 009L. My model, the 009, is equipped with a 36.6 cc engine delivering 1.69 HP, making it an ideal tool for light pruning tasks. The 009L, on the other hand, boasts a 40.8 cc, 2 HP engine.

STIHL 009 with sawdust and sitting on woodstove

Both versions share the same weight of 9 LBs (4.1 kg), balancing power with maneuverability for tree maintenance tasks. They are compatible with 12 – 16″ bars, providing flexibility for various cutting jobs.

Design and Usability

Person holding STIHL 009 with Logs in the background

Upon handling the STIHL 009, its compact and lightweight design immediately stands out. This makes it an excellent saw for climbing and working in trees, where maneuverability and ease of handling are paramount. The ergonomic design minimizes fatigue, allowing for prolonged use without discomfort.


Person cutting logs using STIHL 009

In terms of performance, the STIHL 009 meets and exceeds expectations for light to moderate tasks. Whether it’s trimming branches or cutting small trees, the saw operates smoothly, with sufficient power for its size. The traditional points and condenser ignition system in my model, while considered less reliable than modern electronic systems, has so far provided consistent starts with regular maintenance.

Reliability and Maintenance

Person inspecting the oil tank of STIHL 009

One aspect that potential owners should be aware of is the availability of parts. Certain components, such as the oiler, can be challenging to find, posing a potential issue for maintenance or repair. However, my experience has been positive, with regular care and attention keeping the saw in good working order.

Pros and Cons of STIHL 009


  • The compactness and light weight of the STIHL 009 is a significant advantage for me. It makes maneuvering through dense foliage and executing precision cuts while up in a tree remarkably easier. This feature reduces fatigue, allowing me to work for extended periods without the usual strain associated with heavier models.
  • Despite its smaller size, the power output of the 009 is perfectly suited for the light pruning and trimming tasks I typically undertake. It’s reassuring to know that when I need to maintain trees, clear brush, or manage small limbs, the 009 has the requisite power to handle these jobs efficiently.
  • I appreciate the straightforwardness of the 009’s design. Its operation is intuitive, which is great for both seasoned chainsaw users and those less familiar with chainsaw mechanics. Starting it up and getting to work is generally a hassle-free process, which I value for my busy workdays.
  • My 009 has proven to be quite durable. Even though it’s a model from the 80s and 90s, with proper maintenance and care, it’s still going strong. This longevity speaks volumes about the build quality and reliability of STIHL products.


  • One of the more challenging aspects of owning an older model like the 009 is sourcing parts for repairs or maintenance. Certain parts, especially the oiler, can be hard to come by. This scarcity sometimes means I have to spend extra time searching online or reaching out to specialty suppliers, which can be a bit of a headache.
  • Given its age and the mechanical nature of the points and condenser ignition system (on early models), the 009 demands more meticulous maintenance compared to newer chainsaws with electronic ignitions. Keeping it in top condition requires a proactive approach to maintenance, which may not suit everyone’s preferences or skill levels.
  • While the 009 is excellent for light pruning and trimming, its limitations become apparent with more demanding tasks. If I encounter larger trees or tougher cutting jobs, I find myself needing to switch to a more powerful chainsaw. This isn’t a deal-breaker but something to keep in mind based on your cutting needs.

How to Fix STIHL 009 Hard to Start

Maintenance Tips and Tricks for the STIHL 009 Chainsaw

  1. Cleaning the Air Filter: Start with removing the air filter cover, which usually means loosening a screw or releasing a latch. Carefully take out the air filter to avoid any damage. If you find the filter covered in dirt, a gentle tap should remove the loose debris. For a thorough clean, especially when it’s very dirty, washing it in soapy water, rinsing it well, and letting it dry completely before reinstalling can make a big difference in performance.
  2. Sharpening the Chain: First, make sure your chainsaw is securely placed and the chain is properly tensioned. The sharpening process begins with identifying the shortest cutter, which will serve as your starting point for sharpening. Employ a round file and guide that matches your chain’s pitch, filing each cutter with smooth, consistent strokes while maintaining the angle recommended in the chainsaw’s manual. It’s also important to check the depth gauges, adjusting their height with a flat file and depth gauge tool as specified for optimal cutting efficiency.
  3. Checking the Spark Plug: The spark plug is crucial for reliable starting and optimal engine performance. Begin by using a spark plug wrench to carefully remove the plug. Inspect it for any signs of wear, deposits, or damage. A wire brush can be used to clean off deposits, but if the plug is worn or damaged, replacement is the best option. When reinstalling, start by hand to avoid cross-threading and then tighten with the wrench to secure it properly.
  4. General Maintenance Tips: Beyond these specific tasks, several general maintenance habits can help keep your chainsaw in top condition. Regularly checking and adjusting the chain tension is vital to prevent it from being too loose or too tight. Before each use, lubricating the chain can reduce wear on both the chain and the bar, extending their life. Storing your chainsaw in a clean, dry place helps prevent rust and corrosion. Also, make it a habit to inspect the chainsaw regularly for any loose bolts or parts, tightening them as necessary to ensure the chainsaw operates safely and effectively.

User Feedback

Feedback from other users reveals a mixed bag of experiences. Many praise the saw’s durability and effectiveness for small jobs, highlighting its “hard to stop” nature with a sharp chain. However, criticisms mainly focus on the difficulty of finding replacement parts and the challenges associated with repairs. Despite these concerns, the consensus acknowledges the 009’s reliability and performance for its intended light pruning tasks.

Value and Market Availability

The STIHL 009’s market value ranges between $50 and $100, depending on condition. While not the most sought-after model due to its niche application and power range, it represents a good investment for those specifically looking for a lightweight, dependable saw. Parts, though scarce, can be sourced through various online platforms and communities, providing sufficient support for the dedicated owner.

Final Thoughts

Owning a STIHL 009 has been an enriching experience. It stands as a testament to STIHL’s legacy of producing durable, efficient chainsaws tailored to specific needs. Its compact size, combined with adequate power for light tasks, makes it a valuable tool for tree maintenance professionals and enthusiasts alike. While the challenge of sourcing parts is a valid concern, the 009’s performance and reliability offer compelling reasons to consider it for specialized applications. As I continue to use and maintain this chainsaw, it reinforces the notion that good things indeed come in small packages—a perfect blend of vintage charm and practical utility.


  1. What types of cutting tasks is the STIHL 009 most suitable for?
    The STIHL 009 is designed for light cutting tasks such as pruning, trimming small branches, and other light-duty yard work. It’s ideal for homeowners and professionals who need a compact, lightweight chainsaw for occasional use.
  2. Can I use a longer bar and chain on my STIHL 009 chainsaw?
    The STIHL 009 is optimized for bar lengths between 12 to 16 inches. Using a longer bar and chain can affect the chainsaw’s balance, performance, and safety. It’s recommended to stick to the manufacturer’s specifications for the best results and safety.
  3. How do I start a STIHL 009 chainsaw?
    Starting a STIHL 009 typically involves checking the fuel and oil levels, ensuring the chain brake is engaged, pressing the decompression valve (if equipped), placing the chainsaw on the ground, holding it securely, pulling the choke, and then pulling the starter rope until the engine attempts to start. After it attempts to start, push the choke in and pull the starter rope again until the engine runs.
  4. What are the common reasons for a STIHL 009 chainsaw not starting?
    Common reasons might include old or improperly mixed fuel, a dirty air filter, a flooded engine, spark plug issues, or carburetor problems. Routine maintenance and troubleshooting are recommended to address these issues.
  5. How often should I perform maintenance on my STIHL 009 chainsaw?
    Regular maintenance, including checking the chain tension, sharpening the chain, cleaning the air filter, and inspecting the spark plug, should be performed before each use. More thorough maintenance, such as a deep clean of the carburetor and fuel system, should be done annually or as needed based on usage.
  6. Where can I find replacement parts for my STIHL 009 chainsaw?
    Replacement parts can often be found through authorized STIHL dealers, online retailers, and sometimes through online auction sites or local repair shops that specialize in older chainsaw models.
  7. How do I adjust the carburetor on my STIHL 009?
    Adjusting the carburetor involves turning the idle speed screw and the high- and low-speed mixture screws. It’s a delicate process that should be done according to the manufacturer’s instructions or by a professional to avoid engine damage.
  8. Why does my STIHL 009 chainsaw keep stalling?
    Stalling can be caused by a variety of issues, including a dirty air filter, incorrect carburetor adjustments, issues with the fuel line or filter, or a faulty ignition system. Identifying the exact cause requires systematic troubleshooting.

We hope you found this exploration of the STIHL 009 chainsaw insightful and helpful. Whether you’re a seasoned professional or just dipping your toes into the world of chainsaws, your experiences and opinions are invaluable to us and our community of readers. Did you find a particular tip useful, or do you have your own stories or advice to share about the STIHL 009? Maybe you have questions we didn’t cover. Either way, we’d love to hear from you in the comments below. Your feedback not only enriches the discussion but also helps fellow enthusiasts make informed decisions. So, don’t hesitate to share your thoughts and join the conversation. Happy cutting!

David Murray
David Murray
Forestry Author

I'm David Murry, a forestry equipment specialist with a focus on chainsaw operation. With over 13 years of experience, I've honed my skills in operating and maintaining a wide range of machinery, from chainsaws to log splitters. My passion for the outdoors and commitment to sustainable forestry drive my work, which emphasizes safety, efficiency, and staying updated with industry advancements. Additionally, I'm dedicated to sharing my expertise and promoting environmental awareness within the forestry community.


The best quality pat's And very good working

Daniel Adams
Muhammad Sajjad
February 14, 2024 1:03 am

Loved my 009. It's been idle for a while due to health issues. No one willing to tune it up because of age. Any suggestions on cleaning carburetor without taking apart

Daniel Adams
Charles J Sumprer
February 11, 2024 8:08 pm

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