STIHL MS 180 Chainsaw Review


I’ve had my fair share of experience with a wide range of chainsaws. Today, I am excited to share my review of the STIHL MS 180 chainsaw, a popular and reliable model known for its lightweight design and excellent performance.

Product Specifications
  • Engine: 2-stroke, air-cooled, STIHL 2-MIX
  • Displacement: 31.8 cc
  • Power output: 1.4 kW (1.8 hp)
  • Max. rpm: 14,000
  • Idle rpm: 2,800
  • Weight: 4.5 kg (9.9 lbs)
  • Bar length: 14 to 16 inches
  • Saw chain: STIHL Oilomatic PM3, 3/8″ pitch
  • Chain oil capacity: 4.9 oz.
  • Sound pressure level: 100 dB(A)
  • Sound power level: 112 dB(A)
  • Vibration level left/right: 6.6/7.8 m/s²

My Experience with the STIHL MS 180

When I got my hands on the STIHL MS 180, I was immediately impressed by how compact and lightweight it felt. At only 8.6 lbs (3.9 kg), it’s perfect for light to medium duty cutting tasks around the yard or on a job site. Its ergonomic handle and well-balanced weight distribution made it easy to maneuver and control, even when using it for extended periods of time.

Person holding a STIHL MS 180 chainsaw outdoors.

One of the first times I used the MS 180 was to trim several overgrown trees in my backyard. I found it effortless to reach higher branches and trim them with precision, all thanks to the chainsaw’s lightweight nature. The anti-vibration system was also very helpful in reducing hand fatigue during the project, allowing me to work for longer periods without experiencing discomfort.

STIHL MS 180 Performance and Measurements

STIHL MS 180 Chainsaw on wooden planks with oil and measuring tape.

The STIHL MS 180 is equipped with a powerful 2-stroke engine that delivers 2.0 horsepower, which is more than enough for most light to medium-cutting tasks. This means that it’s capable of handling a variety of cutting jobs, whether you’re trimming trees in your backyard or cutting firewood at the campsite. Additionally, the chainsaw’s 16-inch bar length and maximum cutting capacity of 14 inches in diameter make it versatile and suitable for a wide range of applications. With this chainsaw, you’ll be able to tackle many cutting tasks with ease and efficiency.

In terms of fuel efficiency, the MS 180 has a fuel consumption rate of 0.9 kg/h, which is quite impressive for a chainsaw of its size.

STIHL MS 180 Design and User Experience

Person holding a STIHL MS 180 chainsaw in front of chopped wood.

My personal experience with the STIHL MS 180 has been highly positive, largely due to its thoughtful design and user-centric features. The chainsaw’s lightweight construction, ergonomic handle, anti-vibration system, and user-friendly maintenance options have made it a pleasure to work with, and I can confidently recommend it to others seeking a reliable and efficient chainsaw for light to medium-duty cutting tasks.

Here is a list of design features for the STIHL MS180 chainsaw:

  1. Lightweight and Compact Design: Weighing only 8.6 lbs (3.9 kg), the STIHL MS 180 is designed to be easy to handle and maneuver during various cutting tasks.
  2. Ergonomic Handle: The MS 180 features an ergonomic handle for a comfortable grip and better control during operation, reducing user fatigue.
  3. Fuel-Efficient Engine: The chainsaw is equipped with a fuel-efficient 2-MIX engine that helps reduce fuel consumption and emissions.
  4. Quick Chain Adjuster (QCA): The MS 180 includes a tool-free Quick Chain Adjuster, allowing users to easily adjust the chain tension without needing additional tools.
  5. Anti-Vibration System: The chainsaw is designed with an anti-vibration system that reduces vibrations during operation, providing a more comfortable user experience and reducing fatigue.
  6. Ematic™ Chain Lubrication System: This efficient chain lubrication system ensures that the saw chain is optimally lubricated, reducing both wear and oil consumption.
  7. Safety Features: The STIHL MS 180 includes various safety features, such as a chain brake, a front hand guard, and a throttle interlock, ensuring safe operation for users.
  8. Compact Air Filter System: The MS 180 features a compact air filter system that provides efficient filtration, ensuring a longer service life for the chainsaw and its components.
  9. Easy-Access Fuel and Oil Caps: The chainsaw is designed with easy-access fuel and oil caps, making refueling and oil checks quick and convenient.
  10. Primer Bulb: The MS 180 includes a primer bulb that helps deliver fuel to the carburetor for easier starting, particularly during cold weather or after extended periods of non-use.

Comparison and Competitors

When considering chainsaws in a similar class to the STIHL MS 180, two common alternatives are the Husqvarna 435 and the Echo CS-310. While all three models boast similar power and cutting abilities, the MS 180 has a few key advantages. Firstly, it is notably lighter, which can reduce user fatigue during extended use. Additionally, the quick chain adjuster makes it easy to maintain optimal chain tension, and the low vibration levels provide a more comfortable and less jarring cutting experience. Overall, the STIHL MS 180 is a top contender for those looking for a lightweight and efficient chainsaw.

Husqvarna 435 with whitebackground

Husqvarna 435

The Husqvarna 435 is slightly heavier than the MS 180, weighing in at 9.2 lbs (4.2 kg) versus the MS 180’s 8.6 lbs (3.9 kg). While this may not seem like a significant difference, it can make a noticeable impact on user fatigue during extended use. The Husqvarna 435 also lacks a quick chain adjuster, which means that chain tension adjustments can be more time-consuming and difficult.

Echo CS-310 with whitebackground

Echo CS-310

The Echo CS-310 is similarly lightweight to the MS 180, weighing in at 8.8 lbs (4 kg). However, it has a slightly smaller cutting capacity than the other two models, with a maximum cutting diameter of 12 inches versus the MS 180’s 14 inches and the Husqvarna 435’s 16 inches. Additionally, the Echo CS-310 has a slightly higher vibration level, which can make it more uncomfortable to use for long periods.

FeatureSTIHL MS 180Husqvarna 435Echo CS-310
Weight8.6 lbs (3.9 kg)9.2 lbs (4.2 kg)8.8 lbs (4.0 kg)
Engine Type2-MIX fuel-efficientX-Torq fuel-efficient2-stroke
Power Output2.0 HP2.2 HP2.0 HP
Bar LengthUp to 16 inchesUp to 16 inchesUp to 14 inches
Chain Tensioning SystemQuick Chain Adjuster (QCA)Side-mounted tensionerSide-mounted tensioner
Vibration ReductionYes (Anti-vibration system)Yes (LowVib system)Standard
Fuel Capacity8.5 fl.oz (250 ml)10.14 fl.oz (300 ml)8.12 fl.oz (240 ml)
Chain Oil Capacity5.9 fl.oz (175 ml)6.76 fl.oz (200 ml)5.41 fl.oz (160 ml)
Air Filtration SystemCompact air filter systemCentrifugal air cleaningG-Force Engine Air Pre-Cleaner

Please note that the table above provides a comparison of key features for the STIHL MS 180, Husqvarna 435, and Echo CS-310 chainsaws. This information can help you make an informed decision when choosing the right chainsaw for your specific needs.

Benefits and Drawbacks

My personal experience with the STIHL MS 180 has shown that its benefits far outweigh its drawbacks. Its lightweight design, Quick Chain Adjuster, low vibration levels, and fuel-efficient engine make it an excellent choice for light to medium-duty cutting tasks. However, it’s essential to consider the chainsaw’s limitations when it comes to heavy-duty projects and its 16-inch bar and chain restriction.

Pros and Cons


  • The lightweight and compact design of the MS 180 has made it incredibly easy for me to handle various cutting tasks. I’ve found it particularly convenient when moving around the yard or transporting the chainsaw to different job sites.
  • The Quick Chain Adjuster has been a game-changer for me, allowing me to adjust the chain tension without needing any tools. This has saved me time and effort, especially when I’ve needed to make quick adjustments during a project.
  • I’ve noticed that the STIHL MS 180 produces significantly lower vibration levels compared to other chainsaws I’ve used in the past. This has greatly reduced my fatigue and increased my overall comfort when using the chainsaw for extended periods.
  • The fuel-efficient engine of the MS 180 has been a major advantage for me. I’ve found that I don’t need to refuel as often, which saves me time and reduces my overall fuel costs.


  • While the STIHL MS 180 has served me well for light to medium-duty cutting tasks, I’ve realized that it’s not suitable for heavy-duty projects. For larger trees or more demanding jobs, I would need to opt for a more powerful chainsaw.
  • The MS 180 is limited to a 16-inch bar and chain, which restricts the size of logs or branches that I can cut. This hasn’t been a major issue for me personally, but it might be a limitation for others who require a longer bar and chain for their cutting tasks.

Evolution and Improvements

Close-up of STIHL MS 180 Chainsaw against a workshop wall.

In my comprehensive STIHL MS170 review, I highlighted the chainsaw’s commendable features. However, when examining its successor, the STIHL MS 180, one can clearly see a remarkable evolution in design and technology. Over the years, the MS 180 has been significantly upgraded, most notably with the introduction of the advanced 2-MIX engine technology. This innovative enhancement not only elevates the MS 180 above its predecessor in terms of fuel efficiency but also marks it as an environmentally conscious choice. The reduction in fuel consumption and emissions is a leap forward, allowing users like myself to economize on fuel expenses while contributing positively to environmental sustainability.

These progressive changes in the MS 180 extend beyond ecological benefits. They encompass advancements in user convenience, operating comfort, and engine protection, translating into a more refined and user-friendly experience. The STIHL MS 180, building on the solid foundation laid by the MS 170, emerges as a more advanced and reliable tool, perfectly suited for a range of cutting tasks from light to medium-duty. The evolution from the MS 170 to the MS 180 illustrates STIHL’s commitment to continual improvement and user-focused innovation, solidifying its status as a leader in chainsaw technology.


In my experience, I found the STIHL MS 180 to be a top-performing chainsaw that met all my needs for light to medium-duty cutting tasks. Its compact and lightweight design, coupled with a fuel-efficient engine, made it easy to handle for extended periods without experiencing fatigue or discomfort. I was also impressed with the chainsaw’s quick chain adjuster and low vibration levels, which made it a pleasure to use. Overall, I would highly recommend the STIHL MS 180 to anyone in need of a reliable and efficient chainsaw.

Where to Buy

Get the STIHL MS 180 chainsaw online today! Compact, lightweight, and powered by a lithium-ion battery. Click to make it yours!


  1. What sets the STIHL MS 180 apart from other similar chainsaws in the market?
    The MS 180 is known for its lightweight design, user-friendly features, and efficient fuel consumption, making it an excellent choice for homeowners and light professional work. Its balance between power, weight, and ease of use sets it apart in its category.
  2. How does the Easy2Start™ system in the MS 180 make it easier for beginners?
    The Easy2Start™ feature significantly reduces the effort required to start the chainsaw. It’s designed to start the engine with a slow and steady pull of the starter cord, making it accessible for users of all experience levels, including beginners.
  3. Can the STIHL MS 180 be used for tree felling, or is it primarily for trimming and pruning?
    While the MS 180 is ideal for tasks like trimming, pruning, and light-cutting work, it can also be used for small-scale tree felling. However, it is not designed for heavy-duty felling tasks, which are better suited to more powerful models.
  4. Is the MS 180 compatible with different chain and bar lengths?
    Yes, the MS 180 can accommodate different lengths of chains and bars within its specified range, allowing users to tailor the saw to specific tasks. It’s important to use the sizes recommended by STIHL to ensure optimal performance and safety.
  5. What maintenance tasks are essential for keeping the STIHL MS 180 in optimal condition?
    Regular maintenance includes cleaning the air filter, checking and replacing the spark plug as needed, sharpening the chain, maintaining proper chain tension, and cleaning the chainsaw body. Checking the lubrication system and inspecting for any loose or damaged parts are also important.
  6. How does the Anti-vibration system in the MS 180 enhance user comfort?
    The Anti-vibration system in the MS 180 reduces the level of vibrations transmitted to the user’s hands and arms. This feature is crucial for reducing fatigue and discomfort during extended use, making it more comfortable for the user.
  7. What safety features does the STIHL MS 180 incorporate to protect users?
    Key safety features of the MS 180 include an inertia-activated chain brake, a chain catcher to mitigate the risk of injury from chain derailment or breakage, and a throttle lockout switch to prevent accidental throttle engagement.
  8. How does the Ematic™ Bar Lubrication system in the MS 180 benefit the user?
    The Ematic™ system ensures precise lubrication of the chain and guide bar, significantly reducing oil consumption. This means more efficient use of oil, less frequent refills, and reduced environmental impact due to less oil spillage.
  9. Is the STIHL MS 180 suitable for use in different weather conditions?
    The MS 180 is designed to operate effectively in a variety of weather conditions. However, it’s important to follow the manufacturer’s guidelines for use in extreme temperatures to ensure safety and maintain the chainsaw’s performance.
  10. What is the recommended fuel mix for the STIHL MS 180?
    The recommended fuel mixture for the MS 180 is a 50:1 ratio of gasoline to two-stroke engine oil. Using STIHL branded or equivalent high-quality two-stroke oil is recommended to ensure optimal performance and longevity of the engine.
Kevin Lallab
Kevin Lallab
Forestry Author

Snow and land management isn't just a profession for me; it's a calling. My aim is to make life safer and more comfortable for those in my community while ensuring that our environment remains healthy and vibrant. Whether you need advice on snow removal, chimney maintenance, wood stoves, or land management, I'm here to help. Together, we can create a safer and more sustainable future.


I purchased the MS 180 C model last May, and I love it. The easy start system makes this saw simple to start. I wish my older MS 250 had the same option.

Daniel Adams
Brent A Vreeland
February 11, 2024 8:43 pm

I just recently purchased one and I love it , can't be beat for the price

Daniel Adams
August 2, 2023 1:20 am

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