Stihl MS 151 TC E Chainsaw Review: A Game-Changer for Professional Arborists


I recently had the opportunity to test out the MS 151 T C chainsaw from STIHL, priced at $619.99. This chainsaw is not just a regular tool; it’s specifically designed for in-tree work, which requires precision, efficiency, and reliability. Here’s my in-depth review of this professional-grade chainsaw.

Power SourceGas
Powerhead Weight5.7 lbs
Guide Bar Length (Recommended)12 inches
Chain TypeOILOMATIC® 1/4″ PM3 chain
Engine Power (BHP)1.3 bhp
Fuel Capacity6.76 ounces
Chain Oil Capacity5.07 ounces
Displacement23.6 cc

First Impressions and Build Quality

Hands holding a Stihl MS 151 TC E Chainsaw with accessories nearby

As soon as I lifted the MS 151 T C-E out of its packaging, its weight—or lack thereof—immediately caught my attention. Weighing merely 5.7 lbs, it holds the title of being the lightest saw in STIHL’s impressive arsenal. For someone like me, who spends countless hours maneuvering through branches and leaves, this weight factor is a game-changer. Not only does it reduce the physical strain, but it also allows for a more agile and responsive handling experience. The saw’s construction felt solid and durable in my hands, exuding a sense of reliability and longevity. It’s evident that STIHL didn’t compromise on build quality to achieve this lightness, striking an ideal balance between durability and ease of handling.

Performance and Efficiency

Person holding a Stihl MS 151 TC E Chainsaw over a tree stump

When I first revved up the MS 151 T C-E, its performance immediately stood out. Powered by gas, it packs a respectable 1.3 bhp engine with a 23.6 cc displacement. Yet, what truly impressed me was the way it harmonized this power with remarkable fuel efficiency. This balance is not just a nod to operational excellence but also speaks volumes about its environmental consciousness. In comparison to its predecessors, it clearly surpasses them with enhanced power output while simultaneously cutting down on emissions. In a world where eco-friendliness is increasingly paramount, this chainsaw represents a thoughtful blend of performance and responsibility. As I sliced through branches, the saw felt robust yet surprisingly gentle on fuel consumption, making it an ideal companion for extensive tree work.

Handling and Maneuverability

Stihl MS 151 TC E Chainsaw resting on a freshly cut log

From my experience, the MS 151 T C-E truly excels in its handling and maneuverability. The 12-inch guide bar and 1/4″ PM3 OILOMATIC chain are perfectly sized for precision work, making it ideal for intricate cuts and tight spaces often encountered in tree work. The saw’s lightweight design is a real boon; it drastically reduces the fatigue I usually face with heavier models. This allowed me to work longer hours, tackling more tasks without the usual weariness. Furthermore, the top handle design is a stroke of genius, offering superior control and maneuverability. It makes navigating through dense foliage and awkward angles much less intimidating and more efficient.

Features That Stand Out

Several features of the MS 151 T C-E particularly impressed me:

  • Purge Pump Primer and STIHL Easy2Start™: These features revolutionized the starting process for me. The ease of starting the saw, especially when perched in a tree, is incredibly convenient and time-saving.
  • STIHL Quickstop® and Master Control Lever™: Safety can never be overstated with chainsaws. These features gave me a sense of security, knowing the saw is designed with my safety in mind. The Quickstop® is particularly reassuring, providing an immediate chain stop in case of kickback.
  • Adjustable Automatic Oiler and Side-Access Chain Tensioner: Maintenance is often a cumbersome task, but these features simplify it. The automatic oiler maintains optimal chain lubrication, and the side-access tensioner allows for easy adjustments, prolonging the chain’s lifespan.
  • IntelliCarb™ Compensating Carburetor: This feature is a subtle yet critical aspect of the saw’s consistent performance. It automatically adjusts to changing air and fuel conditions, ensuring the engine runs optimally under various conditions.
  • Built-in retractable carry ring: As a climbing arborist, this feature is a small but significant addition that enhances portability and accessibility when moving through trees.

Ease of Use

Person in teal shirt holding a Stihl MS 151 TC E Chainsaw, preparing to cut a tree stump

For someone accustomed to using chainsaws, the MS 151 T C-E feels like a natural extension of my capabilities. It strikes a perfect balance between familiar functionality and enhanced ergonomics. The Master Control Lever™ particularly simplifies operations, making it easy to switch between tasks seamlessly. This saw not only meets the expectations of professional users but exceeds them, offering a combination of power, precision, and comfort that is rare in chainsaws designed for in-tree work.

Fuel and Oil Efficiency

Stihl MS 151 TC E Chainsaw placed on a freshly cut log in a wooded area

In my hands-on experience with the MS 151 T C-E, its fuel and oil efficiency really stood out. The chainsaw has a modest fuel capacity of 6.76 oz. and a chain oil capacity of 5.07 oz., yet it manages to perform exceptionally without frequent refills. This efficiency is a significant advantage, especially during extended periods of use. I noticed a marked reduction in the number of times I needed to stop for refueling, which not only saved time but also allowed me to maintain a rhythm in my work. This aspect of the chainsaw’s design speaks to STIHL’s commitment to creating tools that are not just powerful, but also mindful of resource use and operational efficiency.

Pros and Cons

Pros of the MS 151 T C-E Chainsaw
  • At just 5.7 lbs, it’s the lightest in STIHL’s range, reducing user fatigue and enhancing maneuverability, especially important for work at heights.
  • With a 1.3 bhp engine and 23.6 cc displacement, it offers a robust performance suitable for professional arboriculture tasks.
  • Despite its power, it’s designed to be fuel-efficient, reducing the need for frequent refueling and being more environmentally friendly with lower emissions.
  • Features like the STIHL Easy2Start™ and the Master Control Lever™ simplify operation, making it user-friendly even for less experienced users.
  • The STIHL Quickstop® and other safety features provide added security and peace of mind during operation.
  • The Adjustable Automatic Oiler and Side-Access Chain Tensioner make maintenance easier, prolonging the chainsaw’s lifespan.
  • The IntelliCarb™ Compensating Carburetor automatically adjusts to changing conditions, ensuring optimal performance.
  • A built-in retractable carry ring enhances portability, a useful feature for climbing arborists.
Cons of the MS 151 T C-E Chainsaw
  • Priced at $619.99, it might be considered expensive for non-professional users or those on a tight budget.
  • Primarily designed for professional in-tree work, it might not be the most suitable choice for ground-based or general-purpose cutting tasks.
  • With a recommended guide bar length of 12 inches, it might not be ideal for cutting larger diameter logs or for tasks requiring a longer bar.
  • Depending on the region, spare parts and specialized chains might not be readily available, potentially causing delays in maintenance or repair.
  • As a gas-powered chainsaw, it produces more noise compared to electric models, which might be a consideration in noise-sensitive areas.
  • Though it has lower emissions compared to previous models, as a gas-powered tool, it still has a higher environmental impact than electric or battery-powered alternatives.

Comparative Analysis: STIHL MS 151 T C-E vs Husqvarna T435

Power SourceGasGas
Powerhead Weight5.7 lbs7.5 lbs
Engine Power1.3 bhp2.01 bhp
Displacement23.6 cc35.2 cc
Guide Bar Length12 inches (recommended)12-16 inches
Fuel Capacity6.76 oz12.51 oz
Chain Oil Capacity5.07 oz8.79 oz
Safety FeaturesSTIHL Quickstop®, Master Control Lever™Inertia activated chain brake, LowVib®
Unique FeaturesLightweight design, IntelliCarb™ Compensating Carburetor, STIHL Easy2Start™X-Torq® engine, Adjustable oil pump, Air Injection™
Price RangeApproximately $619.99Approximately $319.99

The STIHL MS 151 T C-E and Husqvarna T435 cater to similar professional markets but have distinct differences:

  • Weight and Handling: The MS 151 T C-E is lighter (5.7 lbs), making it more suitable for extended use in tree work with less fatigue. The T435 is heavier (7.5 lbs), which might impact maneuverability and ease of use during prolonged periods.
  • Power and Performance: The Husqvarna T435 has a more powerful engine (2.01 bhp) and greater displacement, which might be more suitable for tougher cutting tasks. However, the STIHL MS 151 T C-E focuses on a balance of power and fuel efficiency, making it an environmentally friendlier option.
  • Fuel Efficiency: The STIHL model has a smaller fuel capacity, emphasizing its design for efficiency and lighter tasks. In contrast, the Husqvarna T435 has a larger fuel tank, potentially offering longer run times between refuels.
  • Price: The Husqvarna T435 is more affordable, which could be a deciding factor for budget-conscious buyers.

Ultimately, the choice between the STIHL MS 151 T C-E and the Husqvarna T435 will depend on the specific needs and preferences of the user, such as the importance of weight versus power, budget constraints, and specific features like easy starting or advanced carburetion systems. Both models are excellent choices but cater to slightly different user requirements.

Who Should Buy It?

Stihl MS 151 TC E Chainsaw resting on a log in a blurred natural background

The MS 151 T C-E is an ideal tool for professional arborists and landscapers, as well as anyone deeply involved in regular tree care and maintenance. Its lightweight design and efficient performance make it a standout choice for those who frequently work at heights and require a chainsaw that’s both manageable and dependable. It’s particularly suited for professionals who value precision and efficiency in their tools, ensuring that demanding jobs are completed with ease and comfort.


To sum up, the STIHL MS 151 T C-E chainsaw is a remarkable tool that strikes an excellent balance between lightweight design, power, and efficiency. In my experience, it significantly improved the quality and ease of my arboricultural work. The chainsaw’s ergonomic design, combined with its range of user-friendly features, positions it as a leading choice in its field. For those in the market for a reliable, efficient, and comfortable chainsaw capable of tackling challenging tasks, the MS 151 T C-E is a solid investment. Its performance not only meets the rigorous demands of professional tree care but also enhances the overall work experience.

Related Articles:


  1. Can the MS 151 T C-E be used by beginners or is it strictly for professionals?
    While the MS 151 T C-E is designed with professionals in mind, its user-friendly features like the STIHL Easy2Start™ and Master Control Lever™ make it accessible for beginners who are serious about learning proper chainsaw handling. However, due to its specialized nature, beginners should receive proper training before use.
  2. How does the light weight of the MS 151 T C-E impact long-term use?
    The lightweight design (5.7 lbs) significantly reduces fatigue, allowing for longer work periods without the strain typically associated with heavier chainsaws. This is especially beneficial for tasks that require agility and extended use, such as in-tree work.
  3. Is the MS 151 T C-E suitable for cutting large trees?
    With a 12-inch guide bar, the MS 151 T C-E is optimized for precision in trimming and managing smaller to medium-sized branches. For larger trees, a chainsaw with a longer bar might be more appropriate.
  4. How does the IntelliCarb™ Compensating Carburetor benefit the user?
    The IntelliCarb™ Compensating Carburetor automatically adjusts the air-to-fuel ratio in response to air filter blockage or changes in the environment. This ensures optimal performance and maintains engine efficiency, reducing the need for manual adjustments.
  5. Can the MS 151 T C-E operate in wet conditions?
    While it’s built to be robust, operating any chainsaw, including the MS 151 T C-E, in wet conditions is not recommended. Wet conditions can pose safety risks and may affect the chainsaw’s performance and longevity.
  6. Is the MS 151 T C-E environmentally friendly?
    The MS 151 T C-E is designed to be more fuel-efficient and has lower emissions compared to its predecessors, making it a more environmentally conscious choice among gas-powered chainsaws.

Join our community by sharing your experiences with the MS 151 T C-E Chainsaw! Whether it’s about its performance, handling, or maintenance, your insights are invaluable. Comment below with your thoughts and tips to help others make an informed decision. Your input makes a big difference in guiding fellow enthusiasts and professionals in their chainsaw choices. Share your story and be part of a resourceful and supportive community!

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.


My dad has been working with Stihl saws all of my life and now that he is gone I will keep on using Stihl is the best!

Daniel Adams
Timmie Whaley
January 3, 2024 8:23 am

I'm a fan of Stihl over Husqvarna.

Daniel Adams
January 3, 2024 4:56 am

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