Top STIHL Chainsaws for Milling

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If you’re a professional or DIY enthusiast who is passionate about milling, having the right chainsaw can make all the difference. That’s why it’s crucial to invest in a high-quality chainsaw that can handle the demands of milling and deliver exceptional performance. Luckily, STIHL, a trusted name in chainsaws for over 90 years, has a range of powerful and reliable chainsaws that are perfect for milling. From the compact and lightweight MS 170 to the robust and heavy-duty MS 880, STIHL has a chainsaw to suit every milling need. In this article, we’ll take a closer look at the top STIHL chainsaws for milling, so you can make an informed decision and choose the right tool for the job. So, let’s get started and find the perfect STIHL chainsaw for your milling needs!

Top Chainsaw for Milling List:

  1. Stihl MS 661 C-M
  2. Stihl MS 462 C-M
  3. Stihl MS 391
  4. Stihl MS 362 C-M
  5. Stihl MS 261 C-M

Stihl MS 661 C-M

Product Specifications

  • Power Source: 2-stroke engine
  • Bar Length: 25 inches
  • Chain Speed: 0-19500 SPM
  • Chain Pitch: 3/8 inches
  • Chain Gauge: 0.050 inches
  • Weight: 16.3 pounds
  • Features: M-Tronic engine management system, ElastoStart vibration dampening system, QuickStop chain brake, and tool-free chain tensioning

This professional-grade chainsaw doesn’t hold back when it comes to power. Designed for heavy-duty milling tasks, it comes equipped with an advanced anti-vibration system and a potent engine. It doesn’t just make milling bearable; it transforms it into a harmonious ballet of power and precision.

Pros:

  • High power output: With a 91.1 cc engine and 7.2 horsepower, it offers the power needed for heavy-duty milling tasks.
  • Excellent torque: This chainsaw provides consistent torque, making it suitable for milling various wood types.
  • Reduced vibration: Its anti-vibration system reduces operator fatigue during long milling sessions.
  • Fuel-efficient: The M-Tronic engine management system ensures optimal fuel consumption and consistent performance.

Cons:

  • Expensive: The high-end performance comes with a higher price tag compared to other models.
  • Weight: At 16.3 lbs (without the bar and chain), it may be heavier than some other options, which can contribute to operator fatigue.
  • Availability: It may be more challenging to find replacement parts and accessories due to their professional-grade nature.

Stihl MS 462 C-M

Product Specifications

  • Power Source: 2-stroke engine
  • Bar Length: 20 inches
  • Chain Speed: 0-19000 SPM
  • Chain Pitch: 3/8 inches
  • Chain Gauge: 0.050 inches
  • Weight: 14.3 pounds
  • Features:┬áM-Tronic engine management system, ElastoStart vibration dampening system, QuickStop chain brake, and tool-free chain tensioning

Known for its impressive power-to-weight ratio, this versatile chainsaw is an all-rounder. It is lauded for its reduced-emission engine technology, making it a sustainable choice without sacrificing performance. Its advanced anti-vibration system ensures smooth and efficient operation, making it ideal for milling tasks.

Pros

  • Lightweight: Weighing 13.7 lbs (without the bar and chain), it offers a good power-to-weight ratio for milling tasks.
  • Efficient performance: The M-Tronic engine management system ensures optimal fuel consumption and consistent performance.
  • Low vibration: The anti-vibration system minimizes operator fatigue during extended use.
  • Versatility: Suitable for a variety of milling tasks due to its balance of power and maneuverability.

Cons

  • Lower power output: With a 72.2 cc engine and 6.0 horsepower, it has less power compared to the MS 661 C-M.
  • Price: Although less expensive than the MS 661 C-M, it is still a costly option for casual users.
  • Limited availability: Like the MS 661 C-M, replacement parts and accessories might be harder to find.

Stihl MS 391

Product Specifications

  • Power Source: 2-stroke engine
  • Bar Length: 16 inches
  • Chain Speed: 0-18000 SPM
  • Chain Pitch: 3/8 inches
  • Chain Gauge: 0.050 inches
  • Weight: 12.2 pounds
  • Features: ErgoStart easy starting system, QuickStop chain brake, and tool-free chain tensioning

A powerhouse in its own right, the MS 391 boasts a potent yet fuel-efficient engine, delivering an excellent balance between power and operational cost. Its ergonomic design, coupled with its environmentally friendly reduced emissions, offers a comfortable and eco-conscious milling experience.

Pros:

  • Good power output for a range of milling tasks
  • More affordable compared to the MS 661 C-M and MS 462 C-M
  • Easier to find replacement parts and accessories

Cons:

  • Less advanced engine management system
  • Heavier than some other options
  • Increased fuel consumption and emissions compared to M-Tronic models

Stihl MS 362 C-M

Product Specifications

  • Power Source: 2-stroke engine
  • Bar Length: 16 inches
  • Chain Speed: 0-17500 SPM
  • Chain Pitch: 3/8 inches
  • Chain Gauge: 0.050 inches
  • Weight: 11.7 pounds
  • Features: M-Tronic engine management system, ElastoStart vibration dampening system, QuickStop chain brake, and tool-free chain tensioning

A testament to power, precision, and efficiency, this chainsaw is a favorite among professionals. The MS 362 C-M is built to withstand intense milling tasks while ensuring optimum user comfort. Its emission-reducing engine technology makes it an eco-friendly choice for green-conscious users.

Pros:

  • Balanced performance for medium-duty milling tasks
  • Fuel-efficient M-Tronic engine management system
  • Reduced vibration for operator comfort

Cons:

  • Lower power output for heavy-duty tasks
  • Relatively heavy for its power output
  • Limited availability of replacement parts and accessories

Stihl MS 261 C-M

Product Specifications

  • Power Source: 2-stroke engine
  • Bar Length: 16 inches
  • Chain Speed: 0-16500 SPM
  • Chain Pitch: 3/8 inches
  • Chain Gauge: 0.043 inches
  • Weight: 9.9 pounds
  • Features: ErgoStart easy starting system, QuickStop chain brake, and tool-free chain tensioning

This compact, lightweight chainsaw packs a punch, making it ideal for residential and light professional use. Its power-to-weight ratio is impressive, and its reduced-emission engine reinforces Stihl’s commitment to environmentally-friendly solutions. It’s a perfect balance of convenience, power, and responsibility, making milling tasks more enjoyable and less arduous.

Pros:

  • Lightweight and compact design
  • Fuel-efficient M-Tronic engine management system
  • Good for light to medium-duty milling tasks

Cons:

  • Insufficient power for heavy-duty milling
  • Less torque compared to larger models
  • Limited availability of replacement parts and accessories

When choosing the Best Stihl chainsaw for your milling needs, it’s essential to consider factors such as the size and hardness of the wood you’ll be milling, your experience level, and your budget. Each of these Stihl chainsaws offers a unique combination of power, durability, and ease of use, making them excellent options for milling tasks.

ModelEngine Power (bhp)Weight (lbs, powerhead only)Bar Length (inches)Chain Oil Capacity (oz)Fuel Capacity (oz)
Stihl MS 261 C-M4.010.816-208.1216.9
Stihl MS 362 C-M4.6912.3516-2510.1424.6
Stihl MS 3914.413.6716-206.720.3
Stihl MS 462 C-M6.013.016-3211.224.3
Stihl MS 661 C-M7.216.3116-3611.828.5

Note: The specifications for each chainsaw model listed in the table are approximate and may vary slightly depending on the specific configuration of the chainsaw. For the most accurate information, please refer to the specific product manual or the manufacturer’s website.

Having delved into the finest STIHL chainsaws suitable for milling, it’s evident that these machines offer a variety of attributes that make them an excellent choice for both professional and home-based milling enthusiasts. Ranging from potent engines and robust build quality to user-friendly operation and precise cutting potential, each chainsaw is crafted to provide exceptional performance and simplify your milling tasks. Whether you’re in search of a portable, compact saw or a robust, high-capacity workhorse, STIHL has a chainsaw tailored to fit your requirements. With a STIHL chainsaw in your toolkit, you can confidently take on even the most challenging milling projects, secure in the knowledge that you have a dependable and formidable tool in your hands. So why wait? Head to your local STIHL dealer today and start milling like a pro with one of the top STIHL chainsaws for milling!

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. What is the best chainsaw for milling? The best chainsaw for milling depends on your specific needs and budget. However, models such as the Stihl MS 661 C-M, Stihl MS 462 C-M, and Stihl MS 391 are popular choices due to their powerful engines and user-friendly features.
  2. What features should I look for in a chainsaw for milling? Look for a chainsaw with a powerful engine, good power-to-weight ratio, anti-vibration system, ergonomic design, and fuel-efficient technology. Depending on your environmental preferences, a chainsaw with reduced emissions might also be a good choice.
  3. Is it safe to use a chainsaw for milling? Yes, it’s safe to use a chainsaw for milling, but it requires precautions. Always use protective gear such as gloves, safety glasses, and sturdy footwear. Make sure you know how to use the chainsaw properly, and always maintain a steady, balanced position when using it.
  4. How do I maintain my chainsaw for milling tasks? Regular maintenance includes checking and replacing the chain if necessary, cleaning the air filter, checking the bar for damage, and ensuring the anti-vibration system and safety features are working correctly. Always refer to your chainsaw’s manual for specific maintenance instructions.
  5. Can I use any chainsaw for milling? While it’s possible to use any chainsaw for milling, some are better suited for the task. Chainsaws designed for milling usually have more powerful engines and specific features like an advanced anti-vibration system for prolonged use.
  6. What is an anti-vibration system in a chainsaw? The anti-vibration system in a chainsaw helps reduce the amount of vibration transmitted from the engine and cutting chain to the handles. This reduces user fatigue and provides a more comfortable experience, especially during extended use.
  7. What does a reduced-emission engine do in a chainsaw? A reduced-emission engine in a chainsaw is designed to burn fuel more completely, which reduces the amount of fuel that exits the machine as exhaust, thus decreasing air pollution. This is especially beneficial for users looking for environmentally friendly options.
  8. How often should the chainsaw chain be replaced? The frequency of chain replacement depends on usage and maintenance. However, it’s recommended to replace the chain when it becomes dull and doesn’t cut efficiently, even after sharpening, or if there’s any visible damage.
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.

5 comments

I have been using stihl brand for my chainsaw for the last 12years .Excellent brand for outdoor work and sawing timber.

Daniel Adams
Kameli Tilalati
May 7, 2023 1:56 pm

I want lightweight and a long chain. This combo works best for my needs. Which model? .

Daniel Adams
K L Jones
May 7, 2023 1:45 am

Do you even know what milling is??? Milling with a chainsaw is using a saw to mill a log into lumber. This is normally done in conjunction with some form of an Alaskan mill. The process requires a saw with substantial horsepower. Still only currently makes 2 saws that are adequate for milling. The 462 would work if you're only milling one or two logs, and the logs are relatively small but it is too small to be considered for the main purpose of milling. The MS661 is a popular saw for milling. It's 91cc of displacement creats enough torque and power to pull 32" to 36" bars that are commonly used for milling. The MS881is the biggest saw currently in production. With over 120cc of displacement, is the go to saw if you going to run a bar longer than 36".

Daniel Adams
Chuck
May 6, 2023 1:53 pm

how about a skip tooth chain? would it expand your choice of saw , or more of a plaster for an under powered saw?

Kristin Watsons
b
September 15, 2023 10:05 pm

It is best chainsaw in the world looks beautiful but too expensive and not afford able for every one Even I con,t buy it I wish to buy one day I hop

Daniel Adams
Muhammad
May 5, 2023 6:30 pm

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