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Professional Saws

High-performance saws to help make your job easier

When it comes to logging, farming, land clearing, tree service and big firewood cutting jobs, professionals trust the unique features that make STIHL the #1 selling brand of gasoline-powered handheld outdoor power equipment in America*. And at STIHL, we have a particular fondness for our professional category chainsaws. It’s where we built our reputation in the first place. To help you identify model features, look for these corresponding symbols: C = Comfort feature, E = Easy2Start™, Q = an additional chain braking system, R = wrap handle, and M = STIHL M-Tronic™.

Andreas Stihl developed the first electric chainsaw in 1926 and our first gasoline-powered saw in 1929. And not unlike the early automobiles of the Roaring 20’s, our chainsaws’ essential components – engine, bar and chain – remain familiar, though very much advanced, elements of our original chainsaw. Today, STIHL continues to put a high value on engineering and performance. That is why we custom design and manufacture our own guide bars and saw chains for all our machines in-house. This ensures optimal chainsaw performance in the field.

For a side-by-side comparison of all STIHL chainsaws, download our Chainsaw Comparison Chart.

Chainsaw Frequently Asked Questions

"Number one selling brand" is based on syndicated Irwin Broh Research as well as independent consumer research of 2009-2019 U.S. sales and market share data for the gasoline-powered handheld outdoor power equipment category combined sales to consumers and commercial landscapers. 

The actual listed guide bar length can vary from the effective cutting length based on which power head it is installed on.


  1. 2 years ago
    Lightweight and runs all day long
    I purchased this saw To compliment my MS192TC . I work them together out in our sustainable pine forest. Windfall,dead fall, invasive control, thinning,slash cleanup you name it this saw is a rock star of chainsaws. Lightweight and easy start are great feature when you work the saw hours at a time. I hire loggers to harvest but with my Stihl tag team cutting trees is a breeze,oak included. I also have a MS250 for light duty but I tell ya that saw has gonads too. All in all my saws are incredible ... read more to work with over long periods, they wont quit. Fuel consumption amazes me too. For a 50cc the MS261 CM is a powerful ,economical and reliable. I am a stihl guy from way back in the 1970's. I never imagined Stihl would make the incredible chainsaws they are making today back then. Once a stihl was left in the dump truck with fill soils . The driver dumped his load and the saw was buried for over 6 months. We were dozing the fill and the chainsaw popped out of the dirt. After cleaning , ,oil,refueling,new bar and chain it started right up. Was back on the job next day. Stihl rocks!
  2. 2 years ago
    MS 261 C-M / THOR !!!
    I have had many saws over the years and my Stihl's are my go to saws. (3) 250,311,390 are my past saws. I have cut down to just two. My new 261c-m (THOR) & 461 (HULK) I name all my saws. Have leaf blower,weed eater,tiller all STIHL all good equipment !!!. After doing countless hours of research on which saw to buy, I choose the MS 261c-m, and am I ever happy I did. Amazing power for a 50cc saw. Just a well balanced and designed saw. I can see were this saw will be worth just as much as I ... read more paid for it in 15 years time. I have never had a prob. with any of them. If I did I would take it to my local Stihl dealer here in COLUMBUS NE. Reardon Lawn & Garden Equipment. They have great Service. Not that I NEED it because they converted all my power tools to STIHL !!!
  3. 3 years ago
    Best mid size saw in the market
    I was sceptical about this computer carb but I got used to it. Read the cold start manual before you start writing reviews guys. I'm an arborist difficult to impress me. I've had mine for over a year now. Over 389 take downs with it. Falling trees I am less fatigue and that gives me more productivity. Bucking on this saw is kind of tricky but the key is to not force the saw. The ergonomic on this saw is great. We'll balanced. Clutch cover is genius. Makes it lightning fast adjustments ... read more or replace the chain. Power is just out of this world. I have dropped oaks and buck them with this saw and never had oil problems nor over heating. Yes live oaks completely dismantled by this saw. Rigging with this saw is heavenly. I have never seen a saw take so much abuse and still starts all the time. My groundsman love it. Best and my only Mid size saws. I run my 261 cm 18" bar full chisel Run non ethanol and stihl mix grey bottles. Stihl bar oil. Great job guys.
  1. 7 years ago
    Happy Pappy with MS 261 20"
    Back in early spring I had lighting damage to several trees 30" big white Oak. I had MS250 Stilh chainsaw 18" which I have used for several years and is Still a great saw, but it was not big enough to do the job for these big trees. I went to my Homestead store in Cleveland Tennessee and checked out the New saws.and with the help from Mr Davis it did not take long to decide what saw I needed and the good people at Homestead did jut that. They showed me the MS 261 professional 11.6 lb 50.2 cc ... read more (3.06 cu. in.)... which they pointed out the weight difference in this saw compared to the bigger 13 lb saws and with the power of same as other pro saws this was the saw for me. This a great saw cuts through 30' oak with ease and handles great the less weight is just what Pappy needed one great "BAD BOY SAW" thanks again Homestead of Cleveland for helping me select the right saw. "Pappy " TOM
  2. 3 years ago
    Excellent power to weight ratio. I especially like the canister air filter. Out of all the Stihl saws I have owned and ran this is my favorite.
    This is my go-to saw for nearly everything. Great power to weight ratio and features like the canister air filter and decompression button make this a great saw that is easy to start and run. I put a 3/8" bar, chain and sprocket on my saw and it made a world of difference in performance. This is my favorite saw out of all the saws I have owned and ran. When you now how they are made you'll choose STIHL.
  3. 6 years ago
    more power then the ms260/great all around midsize saw
    more power then my ms260, has vibration mounts, stainless muffler, new bar nut design.. works best for me on red oak with 16inch bar, .325 full chisel chain. no bogging out while cutting red oak. tried 16inch bar with 3/8 full chisel chain, 60 drive links, saw would bog while cutting. recommend .325 chain for hardwood for this saw. and 3/8 chain for softwood. that's just me. I also have a ms361 for bigger wood.(awesome). I also have a new ms250. nice light saw. spend the extra money and get the ... read more ms260. I started out with a 028 super in 1986. still have it. runs like new. I use 92 octane gas with stihl full synthetic oil, 40/1 mix for extra lubrication. no problem fowling plugs. new gas every 30 days. take care of saw , will last a life time. b.t. from the backwoods of maine
  1. 2 years ago
    only good for one tank of gas every day
    The saw runs great for the first tank of gas, then it will not start for twenty or thirty minutes. I went online to read about this problem it seems to be happening to alot of the 661's I read I may be due to pressure build up in the tank, Also, once it pops on choke, do not choke it again to start, my ms 390 starts much more reliabliy. If 661 floods it does take overnight to start again. The reason I gave it a 5/5 is that Stihl has provided great service everytime I had an issue I am sure it ... read more will work out fine.
  2. 3 years ago
    Like a hot knife in butter.
    As a timber farmer here in the PNW, I have been running saws for almost 30 years, and this is the best Stihl that I have ever used. My old 066 used to vibrate so much that after 4 hours of use I could not feel my hands. No more. This saw has a very much improved isolation system and even more power. My dealer told me to be careful with its fuel, and I have not had it long enough to comment. But I bought the Stihl canned gas just in case I give the chainsaw work a break for a few months. Want the ... read more best? Spend the money and get this saw.
  3. 2 years ago
    Great saw
    Great saw. used now for a year with no problems starting. Only thing i don't like is its love of gas but after you see what you have cut in a short time i'm ok with it. I run a 28 and 36 inch bar with no problems. The air filter is much better then my old 044 when you pull the filter off the dust doesn't fall of into the carb like my 044 did.
  1. 10 months ago
    This saw is a beast. It will rip through red oak like it was pine. It has 20% of the Hp of my tractor. That's amazing. Already put allot of trees through this saw. Been bucking 42"-50" rounds lately. It never fails. Starts promptly. You might think it's heavy - but after the first 4-5 won't notice. Wear a face shield - otherwise those 1/2" chips and shavings will get caught in your teeth as you grin felling those 100 footers. This animal will make you feel 20 years younger. And 30 ... read more pounds lighter. Your wife will start calling you 'tiger'. And your kids will start respecting you again. Get the saw.
  2. 1 year ago
    Amazing Saw
    Stihl really set the bar high with the 462 CM. It has the power of 72cc in a package that weighs nearly the same as some 50cc saws. An easy starting, great handling saw that is so smooth and light any operator will be more productive without being exhausted at the end of a long day. I have never ran a saw that remotely compares to the 462CM. Great job Stihl. I own several Stihl products and have had excellent service from each one. Whenever I do need parts my dealer, Hagans Outdoor Equipment ... read more has whatever I need in stock at a reasonable price. Stihl products may not be the cheapest but I won't use junk equipment even if it is free.
  3. 1 year ago
    Powerful light chainsaw
    Going from a 40 year old 031 Stihl to this new MS 462 C-M was like night and day. Power was just incredible and truly put a smile on my face from the time I made my first cut to the time I shut it down. Very controllable saw with a 25" bar and 33RS chain. This saw is great and I'm very happy to have researched it and purchased it from Middlefield Lawn and Garden. They had my saw ready to go in a short notice and the people are outstanding to work with. I've went through 10 tanks of gas so ... read more far and this saw is just a beast.
  1. 6 years ago
    the only saw I need
    I have had my saw for two years now with no problems whatsoever. The saw has plenty of power to run a 20" bar comfortably, and 25" if you need it. This saw pulls the 25" bar and chain through large oak trees no problem. For someone who heats with firewood in my area, this saw is the perfect saw. I do not even own any smaller or larger saws, this saw is the saw that anyone should pick if they were only to have one, as I do. From small diameter trees and limbing, to felling and bucking 36" ... read more diameter trees, this saw gets it done.
  2. 6 years ago
    All good for the most part.
    For medium wood, this is a good saw. Especially if that wood happens to be clean and wet. It will slow down in hard, aged material and in my opinion ought not to be used in dirty cutting conditions. The air filter on this saw has more in common with what you see on a 290 or smaller saw than it does with those on 70cc+ saws. it tends to let some junk through cause its not a heavy duty filter-even though you KNOW this saw us definitely suckin a pretty good volume of air. Seems like a mismatch of ... read more parts to me, but I can't say I've had any problems with the saw in the 3 years I've had it. I just wonder about its longevity every time I peek behind the filter and see a thick film of wood fines all over the carburetor.
  3. 7 years ago
    This is a great saw!
    I was looking for a good all around use saw for lots of fire wood and trimming around the farm. The sales man at the stihl store highly recommended the MS362 cuz that is what he uses for fire wood. Now that i bought it and have been using it for a year I must say I absolutely love it! I've spent hundreds of hours cutting wood, and probaly burned over 30 gallons of fuel thru it and had no issues. The saw has lots of power and will cut thru anything with out bogging down with ease with a good ... read more sharp chain. It is nice and light compared to the next size up or lower. The 20" bar is perfect for all around cutting and trimming. I highly recommenend a professional use saw over any. Due the the comfort of less vibration. And it is a must to run the best gas you can if you want the best performance out of your saw. I run AV100LL Gas in my saw along with stihl's synthentic 2-cylce mix. And it runs and screams like no other saw i have ever used. Great saw! I would highly recommend it!
  1. 3 years ago
    Very powerful saw and glad I bought it
    I needed a 36" bar saw and found the 661 and one other brand's saw. I have a smaller stihl saw so I went with the 661 due to brand awareness. To be honest if it wasn't for this for this specific difficult cut I probably wouldn't have spent so much on a saw but I'm glad I did. The only issue I have had is trying to restart a hot saw but a cleaning of the plug seemed to do the trick. The saw has a huge amount of power and so far I am very happy with it.
  2. 2 weeks ago
    Unflinching machine
    After the 2018 Campfire in Paradise CA I had to replace my saws. I bought the 661 knowing there was a lot of work to do. This saw gets it on! The chain speed is scary fast, and it pulls the stock 36 and larger chains impressively. The electronic controls have been as good as can be. It takes two or three pulls in the morning, but starts with one pull the rest of the day. I have done a bit of milling with the saw and it piles up the biggest chips and strips I have ever seen in no time.. ... read more Looks like a big pot of spaghetti on the ground in seconds. Hundreds more to fall. Thrilling performance.
  3. 2 years ago
    Power to Weight Ratio & Cost
    I don't write reviews until I've worked a tool for a few months. I work a couple of hardwood tree farms and some smaller wood lots and have found the MS-661 C-M a very dependable and capable saw for moderate tree size. I carry a 36" bar and cut red and white oak along with sugar maple and ash mostly. The saw has very good power and good balance with very low vibration. It starts easily after refills and after it has be sitting for a couple of weeks, any longer I usually run it empty and then ... read more store it. This saw loves moderate size 3 to 4 ft. diameter hard wood just keep a sharp chain on it and let it do the work. I hope it lasts as long as my 044 has. For a saw of its size it really doesn't fatigue you to use it like some other saws of comparable size. Even the noise is much less than one would expect from a 5.5+ cu. in. saw.
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