Stihl MS 201 TC-M Review 2024


Hello everyone, it’s David Murray here again, and today I’m going to take you through an in-depth review of the Stihl MS 201 TC-M, a tool that has made a remarkable impact on my work as a professional arborist. This isn’t just another chainsaw review; it’s a close look at a game-changer in tree care.

Stihl MS 201 TC-M

Stihl MS 201 TC-M Specifications

  • Engine Displacement: 35.2 cc
  • Power Output: Approximately 1.8 kW (2.4 hp)
  • Guide Bar Length: 12 inches (30 cm)
  • Chain Type: 3/8-inch (0.375″) PM3 saw chain
  • Top-Handle Design: Yes
  • Anti-Vibration System: Yes
  • QuickStop Chain Brake: Yes
  • Easy2Start System: Yes
  • Fuel Capacity: Approximately 0.28 liters (280 ml)
  • Weight: Approximately 3.7 kg (8.2 lbs)

Personal Experience

Today, I’d like to share my personal experience with the Stihl MS 201 TC-M, a chainsaw that’s quite literally changed my game as an arborist.

Disassembled Stihl MS 201 TC-M chainsaw with parts on a wooden surface outdoors

I still remember unboxing the MS 201 TC-M. From the outset, the chainsaw’s build and design spoke volumes about Stihl’s attention to detail. It felt robust, and yet it was lighter than I had expected.

Climbing and maneuvering in trees is a part of my daily routine. This demands a tool that’s not just powerful, but also easy to handle. The MS 201 TC-M nailed it in this department. It’s top-handle design and light weight made it a dream to operate up in the branches. I felt a clear difference in terms of control and balance compared to other chainsaws I’ve used in the past.

Then there’s the power and cutting speed. Folks, I must say, the MS 201 TC-M packs a serious punch. Whether I was pruning branches or cutting down medium-sized trees, it managed everything with an impressive, almost effortless ease. The M-Tronic engine management system is something I genuinely appreciated. It’s like having a smart assistant who tunes your chainsaw for the best performance, regardless of external conditions.

Stihl MS 201 TC-M chainsaw on a tree stump

That being said, it wasn’t all smooth sailing. The first time I used the MS 201 TC-M, I found the engine a bit noisy and the emissions noticeable. It was a stark contrast from the battery-powered chainsaws I was used to. However, I had to remind myself that this is a gasoline-powered tool after all, and with the raw power it offers, these are factors I was willing to tolerate.

Stihl MS 201 TC-M Performance

In terms of power, the MS 201 TC-M is a top performer. Its 2.4 kW output pairs with a fast-cutting speed, making it perfect for felling, pruning, and cutting medium-sized trees. With my years of arborist experience, I can attest that the power-to-weight ratio on this model is an absolute game-changer, making it a delight to use even in challenging situations.

Stihl MS 201 TC-M Ease of Use

The top handle design of the MS 201 TC-M makes it ideal for in-tree work, ensuring balance and ease of maneuverability. It also has an ergonomic design, with an anti-vibration system that reduces operator fatigue. For someone like me who spends hours up in the trees, this ergonomic focus is a godsend, reducing strain and enabling longer work hours.

The Competition

The Stihl MS 201 TC-M, with a power output of 2.4kW, surpasses the less powerful MS 194 T which boasts 1.4kW, making the former more suited to heavy-duty tasks. While the MS 194 T is lighter at 3.3 kg compared to 3.7 kg of MS 201 TC-M, potentially offering more maneuverability, the superior weight balance and top-handle design of the latter ensures excellent handling. Both models incorporate Stihl’s key features like Ematic chain lubrication and ElastoStart shock absorber, but the MS 201 TC-M further impresses with the M-Tronic engine management system for optimal performance. Although the MS 201 TC-M comes at a higher price point, it’s justified by its advanced features and enhanced power. So, for professional arborists seeking a powerful tool for intense tasks, the MS 201 TC-M is the preferred choice. Conversely, if you need a lighter, more affordable tool for less demanding tasks, the MS 194 T will serve you well. As always, choose the right tool that matches your specific needs and budget.

Check out the video to get a closer look at “Main Street Mower”

Stihl MS 201 TC-M Drawbacks and Considerations

However, no tool is perfect, and the MS 201 TC-M is no exception. It’s worth noting that this is a professional-grade chainsaw designed for heavy-duty tasks. As such, it’s priced at a premium, which might not suit hobbyists or those who only occasionally need a chainsaw. Moreover, the two-stroke engine, while powerful, does produce emissions and noise, which could be a factor in certain environments.

Person using a Stihl MS 201 TC-M chainsaw to cut a tree

The Evolution

Stihl has always been known for pushing boundaries, and the MS 201 TC-M is no exception. It builds upon the success of the MS 201 T, with upgrades in power and cutting speed while retaining the lightweight and user-friendly design that users appreciate. This kind of evolution is heartening to see, and it makes me eager to see what Stihl will do next.

The Decision

So, should you invest in a Stihl MS 201 TC-M? If you’re a professional arborist or tree care worker who handles rigorous, high-demand tasks, my answer is a resounding yes. The power, speed, and ergonomic design make this chainsaw a worthy investment. For lighter work or for those in emission-sensitive areas, you might want to consider battery-operated models.

Person measuring the RPM of a Stihl MS 201 TC-M chainsaw with a digital tachometer


As we come to the end of this review, it’s time for the grand takeaway. The Stihl MS 201 TC-M isn’t just another addition to the crowded market of arborist chainsaws. Instead, it’s a shining example of a tool that’s been crafted with both power and user experience at its core. This isn’t just a chainsaw; it’s a trusty companion that’s ready to take on the rigors of tree care with you.

In my personal journey as an arborist, I’ve learned that every tool tells a story. The story of the Stihl MS 201 TC-M is about empowering you, the arborist, to handle your tasks with unprecedented ease and confidence. It’s about acknowledging that every cut, every prune, and every tree you care for is different and requires a tool capable of adapting to these needs.

Stihl MS 201 TC-M chainsaw on wood chips next to a log

But our exploration doesn’t stop here. In our ongoing quest to discover the best arborist tools, there’s a lot more ground to cover. As I continue my work, testing and reviewing a host of other chainsaws, remember to stay tuned for more insights. I’ll be delving deeper into the world of tree care tools, unearthing those gems that help us work not just harder, but smarter, safer, and more efficiently.

Until our paths cross again in the next review, always remember this – in the dense forest of professional tree care, the right tool can illuminate your path like a lighthouse beacon. In the realm of arborist chainsaws, the Stihl MS 201 TC-M, with its unparalleled blend of power and user-friendly features, is certainly a luminary worth your consideration.

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. What’s the power output of the Stihl MS 201 TC-M chainsaw?
    The Stihl MS 201 TC-M chainsaw has a power output of 2.4 kW, making it highly efficient for a variety of arborist tasks.
  2. How much does the Stihl MS 201 TC-M weigh?
    The Stihl MS 201 TC-M weighs 3.7 kg (without fuel), which contributes to its overall balance and maneuverability.
  3. Does the Stihl MS 201 TC-M chainsaw come with any unique features?
    Yes, the Stihl MS 201 TC-M chainsaw is equipped with the M-Tronic engine management system, ensuring optimal engine performance, consistent maximum speed, and excellent acceleration.
  4. Is the Stihl MS 201 TC-M chainsaw expensive?
    The Stihl MS 201 TC-M is positioned at a higher price point compared to some other chainsaws, including the Stihl MS 194 T. However, the enhanced power, performance, and intelligent features justify the cost.
  5. How does the Stihl MS 201 TC-M compare to the Stihl MS 194 T?
    While both chainsaws have their advantages, the MS 201 TC-M has a higher power output, making it more suitable for intensive tasks. It also features the M-Tronic engine management system. However, the MS 194 T is slightly lighter and comes at a lower price point, making it a good choice for less demanding tasks and budget-conscious buyers.
  6. Is the Stihl MS 201 TC-M suitable for professional arborists?
    Absolutely. The MS 201 TC-M’s high power output, intelligent features, and ergonomic design make it a strong contender for any professional arborist’s toolkit.
  7. 7. Can the Stihl MS 201 TC-M handle heavy-duty tasks?
    Yes, the high power output and advanced features of the Stihl MS 201 TC-M make it capable of handling heavy-duty tasks effectively.

We’re eagerly anticipating your insights! Kindly take a moment to share your personal experiences and thoughts about the Stihl MS 201 TC-M in the comment section below. Your unique perspective could serve as a valuable guide for fellow users who are navigating the realm of chainsaws in 2024. Your review might just be the helping hand they need to make informed decisions.

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.


I don't like way this saws made now

Daniel Adams
James Pitman
October 12, 2023 1:58 am

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