STIHL MS 362 Chainsaw Review


The STIHL MS 362 chainsaw is a robust, professional-grade tool designed for serious woodcutting tasks such as tree felling, bucking, de-limbing, and firewood cutting. With its advanced engineering, the MS 362 combines optimal power, efficiency, and ergonomic design, making it an ideal choice for forestry professionals and experienced users.

Person using STIHL MS 362 Chainsaw cutting big log

Here’s a detailed review based on extensive personal use and a comprehensive understanding of its features and performance.

Specifications of STIHL MS 362 Chainsaw

GUIDE BAR LENGTH (Recommended)20 in.

Key Features

  • Reduced-Emission Engine Technology: The MS 362 features a low-emission engine technology that meets stringent EPA and CARB emission standards, reducing its environmental impact while maintaining strong performance.
  • Pre-Separation Air Filtration System: This system extends the service life of the air filter and reduces maintenance by using centrifugal force to remove large dirt particles before they reach the filter.
  • Side-Access Chain Tensioner: Allows for quick and convenient chain adjustments without the need for tools, enhancing the user’s ease during operations.
  • Decompression Valve: Simplifies the starting process by reducing pressure within the cylinder, providing an easier start with less effort.
  • Anti-Vibration System: STIHL’s anti-vibration system significantly reduces vibrations from the engine and cutting equipment to minimize fatigue during long working periods.

Personal Experience and Performance

Power and Cutting Efficiency

Person cutting big log using STIHL MS 362 Chainsaw

The MS 362 is exceptionally powerful, characterized by its ability to handle large and tough cutting jobs with ease. Its 59 cc engine and 4.6 bhp deliver the torque needed to cut through large trunks swiftly, making it a reliable tool for heavy-duty tasks.

Handling and Ergonomics

Person using STIHL MS 362 Chainsaw cutting big log

Despite its robust capabilities, the MS 362 maintains manageable ergonomics. The anti-vibration system is effective, significantly reducing the fatigue associated with long periods of use. However, its 12.3-pound powerhead weight, while indicative of its solid build, can be cumbersome over extended use periods, particularly for less experienced users.

Durability and Maintenance

STIHL MS 362 Chainsaw laying on the grass

In terms of durability, the MS 362 is built to last. The chainsaw has sustained falls and continuous use without significant damage, highlighting its ruggedness. The maintenance is quite straightforward, thanks to the efficient air filtration system and accessible chain tensioner. However, the caps for fuel and chain oil can become finicky over time, potentially requiring replacement to ensure proper sealing.

Pricing and Value

Person using cutting big log in the forest using STIHL MS 362 Chainsaw

Priced around $800, the MS 362 is at the higher end of the market, reflecting its professional-grade specifications. It represents a significant investment but offers value proportional to its price, especially for users who require a high-performance chainsaw for frequent, intensive cutting tasks. For casual users, the investment might be harder to justify compared to more affordable or even battery-powered alternatives, which offer sufficient power for light to medium tasks without the maintenance of a gas engine.

Things I Like with STIHL MS 362 Chainsaw

  • The MS 362 starts up without a hitch almost every time, which is a significant advantage over many other chainsaws I’ve used. You simply set the choke, and pull the cord, and it usually fires up by the second or third pull.
  • This chainsaw cuts through large trees effortlessly due to its robust power output. Whether it’s softwood or hardwood, the MS 362 handles it with ease, especially with a 20-inch bar.
  • Over the years, this chainsaw has endured a lot—from being dropped to getting caught under falling trees—and it has survived without major damage. Its build quality reassures that it can withstand rough handling in demanding environments.

Things I Don’t Like with STIHL MS 362 Chainsaw

  • While the weight attests to its solid construction, it becomes a liability during prolonged use. After a few hours of cutting, especially limbing and bucking, the heaviness of the chainsaw can be taxing, causing significant fatigue.
  • The MS 362 is a professional-grade chainsaw, which comes at a higher price point, around $800. This cost can be a barrier for casual users or homeowners who might not need such a powerful tool for light yard work.
  • Over time, the caps for fuel and oil tend to become finicky and can be challenging to secure properly. This might seem minor but can become irritating, especially when you need to refill in the middle of a job.

STIHL MS 362c vs. the MS 400c Chainsaw

Maintenance of STIHL MS 362

To maintain the STIHL MS 362 Chainsaw effectively and ensure it operates at peak performance, follow these key maintenance steps:

  1. Regular Cleaning: After each use, clean the saw to remove debris and sawdust. Pay special attention to the air filter, as a clean air filter will improve the efficiency and longevity of the engine.
  2. Air Filter Maintenance: Check the pre-separation air filtration system regularly. This system extends the cleaning interval of the air filter, but it’s still important to check and clean the filter itself to ensure optimal performance.
  3. Check the Spark Plug: Inspect the spark plug periodically and replace it if it’s worn out or fouled. A properly functioning spark plug is essential for efficient starting and engine performance.
  4. Sharpen the Chain: Keep the chainsaw chain sharp. A sharp chain reduces the effort needed to cut and improves the quality of the cut. Use the STIHL 2 in 1 Chainsaw Sharpener for best results, ensuring the chain cuts efficiently and safely.
  5. Chain Tension: Adjust the chain tension regularly. A properly tensioned chain ensures better cutting performance and reduces wear on the bar and chain.
  6. Lubrication: Ensure the chain oil reservoir is filled with the appropriate STIHL oil to keep the chain lubricated during operation. This reduces friction and wear on the chain.
  7. Inspect the Decompression Valve: Regularly check the decompression valve for proper function. This valve is crucial for easier starting by reducing the compression in the combustion chamber.
  8. Regular Service Checks: Periodically, have your chainsaw serviced by a professional. They can handle complex checks and maintenance tasks like carburetor adjustment and internal engine inspections.
  9. Storage: When not in use, store the chainsaw in a dry, safe place. Empty the fuel tank for long-term storage to prevent fuel degradation and carburetor damage.


The STIHL MS 362 is a top-tier chainsaw that excels in power, efficiency, and durability. It’s designed for users who need a reliable tool capable of handling demanding cutting tasks. While it may be more chainsaw than necessary for casual users, professionals or those with significant cutting needs, it is a worthwhile investment that promises performance and longevity.


  1. What is the fuel tank capacity of the STIHL MS 362 Chainsaw?
    The STIHL MS 362 features a large fuel tank with a capacity of 20.3 ounces, allowing for longer use between refuelings.
  2. How does the anti-vibration system benefit the user of the STIHL MS 362?
    The anti-vibration system minimizes the vibrations from the engine to the handle, reducing operator fatigue and providing a more comfortable experience.
  3. What advantages does the M-Tronic technology offer in the STIHL MS 362 Chainsaw?
    The M-Tronic technology in the STIHL MS 362 optimizes the saw’s performance by automatically adjusting the ignition timing and fuel supply, ensuring consistent performance and easier starts.
  4. What is the purpose of the decompression valve on the STIHL MS 362?
    The decompression valve reduces the compression in the combustion chamber during starting, making it easier to pull the starter rope and start the chainsaw.
  5. How does the Pre-Separation Air Filtration System extend maintenance intervals?
    This system increases the efficiency of the engine’s filter by using centrifugal force to eject larger dirt particles before they reach the air filter, doubling the time between necessary air filter cleanings.
  6. What challenges might users face with the fuel and chain oil caps on the STIHL MS 362?
    Users might find the caps for the fuel and chain oil tanks a bit finicky, especially after extended use, as they may not seat properly without adjustment.

We hope you found our review helpful! If you’ve had experiences with the STIHL MS 362 Chainsaw or have any tips and tricks to share, don’t hesitate to leave a comment below. Your insights could greatly benefit fellow readers and chainsaw enthusiasts. Let’s keep the conversation going—share your thoughts and stories!

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 have 261c-m and 462c-m great saws love them. Strange thing is in review there is no mention about fuel cap starts leaking if not perfectly cleaned at home especialy if you refill few tanks in the woods small debris always gets there and small leak over night is guaranteed. another thing i notice for stihl Mtronic saw is when you let go throttle how they go to idle first rpm go down then small rpm lift before going to idle kinda strange but probably nothing to wory about. third thing i noticed if you squeeze the handle where throttle is with one hand and turn left and right the handle wobbles and feels cheap you get the feeling it will not last. but great saw overall.

Daniel Adams
May 2, 2024 9:21 am

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