Donebrokeit Dork
5/19/17 10:02 p.m.

As a new home owner I have a few tree's that need work, ranging form a few small branches trimmed at ground level to a few larger branches that will require me to climb up and into the canopy. I have no plans of felling a tree so I don't want a large (or expensive)chainsaw, I would also use it for storm clean up and for cutting logs to size for a wood stove.

I have been looking at the Stihl MS180 with the 16 inch bar (this one) any reason not to buy it? I have a Stihl trimmer and it works great.

Thanks, Paul B

LopRacer Dork
5/19/17 10:38 p.m.

Hard to beat a small Stihl saw. We have had one for years and it never let me down.

The0retical SuperDork
5/19/17 10:40 p.m.

I bought a Stihl MS271 Farm Boss for pretty much the same purpose.

The biggest driving factor there was the power for larger logs and the fuel efficiency of that particular saw. The fuel capacity and power are is double that of the 180, which I also considered, but it's still lightweight. I got something like 3 hours of runtime out of it last time out.

I cut and split somewhere between 5 to 8 chord a year though. More when I help my parents. So it makes way more sense for me.

Easily the nicest saw I've ever used. Though it's nearly double the price however.

It's Stihl so it'll likely last for 30 years if you take care of it anyway. Make sure you buy their mix additive to get the extended warranty no matter what you decide on.

oldopelguy UltraDork
5/20/17 6:34 a.m.

I have the little homeowner 170 I use for trim work and it's a great saw. It was on sale for @$150 and you can't go wrong for that price. I've also got pro model 261 and 461 saws for bigger work, but I burn wood for heat and could justify the $ for the lighter chassis and piece of mind.

When I lived in town I was able to get everything I needed done with an electric pole saw and a bigger electric chainsaw. Less weight, quiet, no small engine maintenance, plus the lower purchase price and electric was the way to go.

Edit: If you want the extended warranty on the Stihl, you can buy the premixed fuel instead of just the oil. Sure it is more expensive, but already mixed, stabilized, and ready to go it's so much easier.

Toyman01 MegaDork
5/20/17 6:39 a.m.

Around the house, I mostly use electric. I have never had anything the electric saw couldn't handle.

For tree removal or cutting to feed the fire, Stihl.

spitfirebill UltimaDork
5/20/17 6:44 a.m.

I have been very happy with the smallest Stihl after a case of buyers remorse. I needed a light saw for some high tree work. If I still burned firewood, I would have bought a larger saw.

JtspellS SuperDork
5/20/17 7:06 a.m.

Will put one out there for husqvarna equipment, dad had 2 and whenever we had to get firewood ready for the winter they were no reliability issues and so long as you got your mix right would start second pull every time.

I see that they are sold at lowes now so idk if reliability has gone down with that unfortunately.

Donebrokeit Dork
5/20/17 7:23 a.m.

I did not know about the oil, good to know.

Thanks, Paul B

KyAllroad PowerDork
5/20/17 9:22 a.m.

I used a little 180 at work to prune trees a few years ago. It was a great saw, plenty of power for the shorter bar and very handy when up in a lift.

A dummy employee ran unmixed gas in it the next year and burned it up......

Indy-Guy Dork
5/20/17 9:47 a.m.

100% buy a Stihl. That's all I've got to add.

Also, I wouldn't hesitate to purchase a gently used one of Craigslist

RevRico SuperDork
5/20/17 10:24 a.m.

My stihl has been in the family since 1984. It's on its second bar, probably 6 chains, and one trip to the shop for a carb rebuild and new chunk of fuel line.

It's ALWAYS stored with fuel, for several years, close to 10, the bar oil cap couldn't even open. Maybe it's gotten one spark plug as well.

What I'm saying,I guess, is even if you're lax on maintenance, it will be a still great saw for your kids to use.

curtis73 GRM+ Memberand PowerDork
5/21/17 1:48 p.m.

Donebrokeit: I really think you nailed it with your initial choice. MS180 with a 16" bar is hard to beat.

SVreX MegaDork
5/21/17 4:08 p.m.

16" is plenty. Stihl can't be beat.

Apis Mellifera
Apis Mellifera HalfDork
5/21/17 7:08 p.m.

I have a 20 year old Stihl 039 with a 20" bar. I'll never buy another brand. Actually, I may never have to buy another saw.

dean1484 GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
5/21/17 7:25 p.m.

My Husqvarna with a 16 in bar was purchased in the mid 80's and is still going strong. Great saw!!

RX8driver Reader
5/22/17 8:25 a.m.

If it was just the pruning near the house, I'd want to try one of those electric saws that can also go on the end of a pole as a pole saw. Then for the higher stuff you can avoid having to climb or work above shoulder height for better safety. That's probably about all one would want to use them for.

Another vote for Stihl, but Husqvarna's good too. If you're going to use it more than just a little, then spend the little bit extra to have reliability and easy parts and service.

TJL Reader
6/6/19 5:37 a.m.

I’ll catch crap for it, Id say buy an older stihl. Otherwise, look elsewhere. Especially if this isnt going to get used a bunch. 

when ive been in my ace hardware/stihl outlet, which isnt that often really, ive seen way too much new stuff come in for repair or ridiculous quality control issues. They have also gotten quite plasticy.  

My coworker is a long time stihl fan. Had a new weedeater that was about impossible to start. If you didnt get it right the 1 time it hit, it flooded.  They swapped the carb for a exact replacement. Still a POS.  Turns out the carb model itself was the prob. Put 1000 of em on, still gonna suck.  Put a ebay special knockoff on it, ran like a champ. He ended up “upgrading” and gave me the old stihl. Guess what the new one does? Same thing. Can barely start it. 

Get one that is pre-plastic and made before california regulatons berked the carbs. 

Also as a DIY’er like most here, i dont do stihl due to them generally not wanting to sell parts. Im not taking a 200$ machine in to have someone service it for 200$ when i can easily do ir myself.  

Mndsm MegaDork
6/6/19 6:34 a.m.

I deal in stihl chainsaws and we do small engine repair as well. The only saws that come back from stihl are either worn the berkeley out from extreme use, or the owners are dolts and put ethanol in them and let them sit. 


That being said, the 170 is about the best little saw on the market. Ita back up to 179 or whatever the not sale price is, and it's worth every penny. We deal all the way up to the 311 in store, and we can get anything. I've had my hands on a 461 with a 24" bar- that thing was a monster. The biggest worry about saws for me is weight. Unless you're a professional,  and even if you are, the big saws get heavy, fast. 

frenchyd UberDork
6/6/19 6:45 a.m.

In reply to oldopelguy :

Yes to Stil, but buy the 20” bar and chain not just the 16. Sooner or later you will need it and when you do the value will prove itself 100 fold. 

It’s sort of like buying a set up sockets that goes up to 14 because you don’t use anything bigger than that.  

Tom_Spangler GRM+ Memberand PowerDork
6/6/19 8:04 a.m.

Stihl MS211C here, had it for probably 6-7 years at this point. It came with a 16" bar, but I upgraded it to an 18" last summer as I have some bigger stuff to deal with here at Casa de Spangler. Great saw, no complaints. I also have a Stihl gas trimmer that's equally good.

Fueled by Caffeine
Fueled by Caffeine MegaDork
6/6/19 8:15 a.m.

I have run Stihl and husky. Either works. I’ve had good experience with echo’s as well. All need to be puchashed from a dealer and not big box stores. The benefits of a good dealer outweigh any brand lunacy. So you have a dealer close for any professional saw company and go for it. 


Makita saws ised to be made by a German company called dolmar and have a good reputation. 

dclafleur Reader
6/6/19 8:48 a.m.

I've used an echo with a 16" bar on my property for the last ten years.  I can't remember the model number off the top of my head but when a storm moved through two weeks ago it fired up quickly and easily after having sat for two years.  I can't speak to someone using one day in and day out but for someone who lets it sit for a year, then fires it up and uses it for 10 hours and then lets it sit for another year it has been flawless.

CLH GRM+ Memberand Reader
6/12/22 11:18 a.m.

Your use case of cutting logs for the fire may rule it out, but a small battery chain saw sure comes in super-handy. I have the 18v Ryobi 10" brushless and the matching 8" pole saw, and they've been great. For the light stuff I use them for a gas unit would be crazy overkill.

Indy - Guy
Indy - Guy UltimaDork
6/12/22 2:09 p.m.

Zombie revival thread.  I miss Paul.

RIP Donebrokeit.

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