Chainsaw File Sizes Chart. STIHL chainsaw chart

Chainsaw File Sizes Chart

A well-maintained chainsaw allows you to operate for extended periods, effectively eliminating any unnecessary strain on yourself and your chainsaw. The saw will efficiently cut through the wood because it is has a well-maintained chain.

However, no matter if you are a professional woodworker or cutting wood for your home fire, the chain will become dull and blunt after a time. A dull chain leads to more effort and more time for the cutting teeth to do their job.

Picking the right chainsaw file size can be challenging as there are many different sized chainsaw blade teeth and angles (pitch). In our guide, you can learn more about using a quick Oregon chainsaw file size chart to determine the file size you need. With this, you can also find a chainsaw depth gauge chart to help should you not know the chain size.

By the end, you’ll know how to use the file size chart to get the right file, and at no extra cost, you have the steps for chain sharpening. (Read Where Are Husqvarna Made)

What Size Chainsaw File Do I Need?

Before checking for the chainsaw files size, it is best to understand a little more about the chainsaw chains. With this, you will know how to get the best sharpness and the right chainsaw file.

What is Chainsaw File Determinant?

A single file can sharpen a particular chain. You can find the directions for choosing the proper file and gauge in the manual that came with your chainsaw. If you don’t have your manual, you need our chainsaw file size chart. To better grasp why each chainsaw has a unique file, you must first comprehend the chainsaw’s cutting component.

The cutter is the part of the chain that does the cutting. You must replace the cutter once it has been worn down to a specified depth, and until you reach the marks, you can sharpen your chains. Chipper, chisel, and semi-chisel are the three primary types of cutter teeth, and in addition, you can find right-hand and left-hand cutters on a chain. These work together, so your saw cuts through wood evenly.

Chainsaw Tooth Types

Round Tooth or Chipper Tooth

This chipper cutter is the simplest file of the three and is also the most adaptable. It is more resistant to dust and filth than the chisel cutter. You can use a file and guide to file it. The chipper cutter has a curved end view is a good option if you require a chin that cuts smoothly.

chainsaw, file, sizes, chart, stihl

Semi-Chisel (Square Tooth, Round Grind)

The semi-chisel is a less aggressive version of the chisel. To file it, you’ll need a round file with a guide. It keeps sharper for longer and is more resistant to dirt and dust than the other two cutters. (Find the Best Chainsaw Brands)

Chisel (Square Tooth, Square Grind)

The chisel cutter is an aggressive cutter that expert woodworkers should only use. Commercial timber harvesting is possible with the chisel cutter. It features a squared-off end. The file you need has to fit the cutting edge’s square shape to file it. Therefore, the file cannot be used as a guide for sharpening the chisel cutter. If the chisel is round-ground, you can use a round file to file it. However, the chisel cutter tool dulls quicker when used in a dusty or unclean environment.

Types of Chainsaw Files

Chainsaw files come in various shapes, each serving a distinct purpose. The task at hand will determine the chainsaw file you select.

Chainsaw files come in a variety of types.

Brass Files:

These robust, flexible saws are great for finishing, sharpening, and shaping. Use these to de-rust broader things like chainsaw handles. This is because brass saws are robust and flexible enough to reach into the narrow areas on your chainsaw’s teeth without wearing down as quickly as carbon steel saws.

The only disadvantage of a brass saw is that it will scratch your chain more than a metal file. To avoid this, use a leather or cloth strip to wipe the chainsaw file and another cloth to cover the chain. This stops particles from scratching the metal.

Steel Files:

These heavy steel files are oil-coated to prevent rust. They work great for smoothing out chainsaw teeth and reshaping them. Steel files can also be used to maintain the quality of your tools by removing burrs and chips. They keep tools sharp and ready to use. Steel files can also be used to clean rust or oil from other surfaces in your garage, such as your chainsaw’s engine or any spanners you use on it. (Find the Best Chainsaw Chain Sharpener)

Diamond Files:

These fine coated files are great for metal polishing. In addition, these files remove material quickly, allowing you to work through your chainsaw’s teeth faster than a regular file. Diamond files may help remove rust off chains, but be careful not to harm the metal because diamonds are ten times harder than steel.

Carbide Files:

These are the ideal files for shaping chainsaw teeth because they remove material quickly and produce a flawless finish. Carbide files also require little pressure to use, making them ideal for working on your chainsaw’s teeth. Carbide files are as hard as diamond files but are much tougher and last longer. Carbide files are pretty pricey compared to other chainsaw files and should only shape chainsaw teeth, not to clear rust or oil from the saw.

What Size File Does A 3/8 Chainsaw Chain Take?

Here’s how to determine the file size for a chainsaw chain. To find the right file size for your chainsaw, look at the number stamped on the side of the chain’s cutter. After that, you compare that figure to the file size indicated on the STIHL chainsaw file size chart.

Alternatively, you can determine the chain’s pitch. Again, inches are used to measure the pitch. To begin, measure the distance in millimeters between three rivets. Divide the distance between the center of the first rivet and the center of the third rivet by two. To convert to inches, multiply the result by 0.039. The chart can then be used to find the correct file.

How to sharpen your chainsaw using STIHL 2-in-1 guide system

Measuring Pitch

This is the length between tooth rivets divided by 2.

Chainsaw Chain Pitch

Once you’ve determined the cutter’s pitch, utilize the file chart to find the appropriate file. It’s vital to remember that even if two chain cutters have the same pitch, they may require different files if they’re not of the same type. For example, the square cutting edge of a chisel cutter necessitates using a flat-file depending on the cutting edge.

A round file is required if the cutter is a chipper. Only use round files to sharpen the top-plate and side-plate of the cutter while filing it. To keep the depth gauge’s shape, only a flat file should be used while filing it.

Different Chainsaw Files and Gauges

There aren’t too many options when looking for what file size I need for my chainsaw, yet they make a difference.

Chainsaw File Size

The three most common file types are 4mm, 4.8mm, and 5.5mm. Depending on the cutter you’re sharpening; these can be flat files or round. You’ll use a circular file if you have a chain with a chipper cutter. You’ll obtain a 5.5 mm round file if the cutter’s pitch is 5.5mm. You’ll need a flat-file if the chain has a chisel cutter. For example, you’ll use a 5.5 mm flat file if the chisel cutter’s pitch is 5.5mm, and so on.

chainsaw, file, sizes, chart, stihl

Flat File and Gauge

Before filing, you use the gauges to check the cutter length top plate angle and set the correct depth gauge. They come in four different sizes. 0.43 inches, 0.050 inches, 0.058 inches, and 0.063 inches. You are not advised to file the depth gauges to a depth lower than 0.025 inches. This is because the depth gauge on the cutter determines the chain’s depth of cut.

The most common gauge is 0.050 inches. Filing them lower than that will reduce the chain’s service life. However, you should equally file the depth gauges throughout the gauge. The chain will vibrate and cut harshly or crookedly if you don’t do so.

Gauge Measurement

The chainsaw’s guide bar usually displays the gauge measurement. It is recommended to use the displayed number rather than manually measuring the gauge size. If you can’t find the marking, use calipers to measure the gauge.

What Size Is A 4.5 mm Chainsaw File?

Get the right round file for the chain you’re honing. But how do you know? You’ll need the ID number or the pitch of the chain being sharpened. The file chart below can help you determine file size. (Learn How To Cut Down A Tree With A Chainsaw Near A House)

So, for the chain with ID 72, a 7/32” round file would be required.

Chain TypeFile SizeFile Size

As you can see, the file chart shows the various chain types and sizes. The file size must match the depth gauge code number or the chain pitch, which is thought to be between three rivets, for accurate results and maximum sharpness.

Chain PitchFile SizeFile Size

Always check the manufacturer’s recommendations for a chain, as they may call for a different tool size than those listed above.

What Kind Of File Do You Use To Sharpen A Chainsaw?

Here you can see what you need and how to sharpen your chainsaw chain cutting teeth.

Chainsaw File Kit

You’ll need to get a chainsaw file kit if you don’t already have the right gear. Some of the necessary tools have already been mentioned, and these include:

When sharpening the cutting edges of the cutters with a round file. The diameter of the cutter must match this, and the most common diameters for home saws are 5/32″, 3/16″, and 7/32″.

A file guide ensures consistency when filing each cutter by keeping the round file at the same depth. A flat file and gauge are required to reset the length of the depth gauges. You may not need a chainsaw filing vise if you have a workbench and vise, although they are handy when sharpening in the field. (Read Metric SAE Chart)

Simply pound it into a log, and you’ve got a ready-made vise to hold your guide bar.

How to Sharpen Chainsaw

Here are some pointers on how to sharpen your chain effectively.

  • When performing this task, always use gloves.
  • To stop the chain from moving, make sure the brake is engaged.
  • In a vise, gently clamp the guide bar.
  • Place the file guide between the chain’s rivets, ensuring that the arrows on the guide point towards the chain’s front.
  • To file the cutter, use steady, even strokes.
  • Release the brake and pull the chain along after sharpening a couple of cutters. Then, after resetting the brake, sharpen some more cutters.
  • Turn the saw around once all the cutters have been sharpened on one side of the chain. You can then sharpen each individual cutter on the opposite side cutters on the chain.
  • After you’ve sharpened the cutters, you may go on to the depth gauges. These are the metal parts in the shape of shark fins. Adjust the gauge height on the chain with the depth gauge tool and file.

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STIHL Chainsaw Spark Plug Gap With Chart (A Complete Guide)

The key component to smoothly starting your STIHL chainsaw is the spark plug. Unfortunately, this device is also to blame if your saw doesn’t start. Sounds odd, doesn’t it?

You see, the plug has a center electrode and a ground electrode. If the distance between them is not accurate, the spark plug will not start the chainsaw; rather it will cause misfires. Hence, it is vital to ensure a precise spark plug gap.

When it comes to chainsaws made by STIHL, the optimal spark plug gap is 0.020. In terms of the remaining chainsaws, the gap ranges between 0.020 to 0.030.

I will begin the article by explaining why spark plug gaps matter. I will also explain how to measure your STIHL chainsaw gap and set it correctly.

Chainsaw Spark Plug Gap: What Is It?

Before I discuss the gap, let me explain the spark plug. It is a device located inside an internal combustion engine’s cylinder head. The item is designed to ignite the mixture of air and fuel. But how?

The spark plug does so by creating an electrical spark in the combustion chamber, which ignites the fuel. It then lowers the pistons and eventually starts the engine.

As for the spark plug gap, it defines how far apart the center electrode and ground electrode are on the spark plug. This gap is directly correlated with the efficiency of spark ignition.

In other words, if the gap is too broad or too narrow, the engine can’t run well or even won’t start. An incorrect spark plug gap can also pose a fire hazard.

When Should Spark Plug Gaps Be Checked?

As long as your STIHL chainsaw runs smoothly, the gap is set just right. However, there are some issues you will constantly encounter when the gap is incorrect. Let’s take a look at those.

Whenever someone asks me why their saw won’t start, I suggest checking the spark plug before anything else.

It is sometimes necessary to replace the spark plug altogether. However, it may not always be the case. There are instances when the spark plug is fully functional, but the gap is causing the machine not to start.

If the spark plug gap is off, it may lead to a rough engine running or misfiring. This is because the spark is not strong enough to ignite the mixture of air and fuel properly.

The wrong spark plug gap can also prevent your chainsaw from reaching its maximum power output. This can lead to slower cutting and reduced efficiency.

If your STIHL chainsaw experiences a continuous loss of power, it is a good idea to check the spark plug gap. A properly adjusted gap can prevent this issue from occurring and ensure maximum runtime.

In addition to causing power loss, incorrect spark plug gaps can lead to decreased fuel efficiency. This means more frequent refueling and increased operating costs.

It is crucial to understand that the combustion is never complete if the plug gap is improper. This may lead to overheating and even pre-ignition or detonation.

If you want to avoid irreversible engine damage, ensure the overheating is under control as fast as possible.

Incorrect spark plug gaps can also cause excessive wear on the spark plug and other engine components, leading to the need for more frequent maintenance and potentially costly repairs.

Leaving the spark plug gap faulty for a long period of time can cause damage to the engine and potentially lead to failure. Thus, it is crucial that the gap is regularly checked and adjusted as necessary.

chainsaw, file, sizes, chart, stihl

How to Measure the Spark Plug Gap on STIHL Chainsaws?

If you have experienced any of the above problems, your chainsaw’s spark plug gap is likely faulty. However, to fix the gap, you must figure out what the gap measures. Here’s how to go about it:

STEP – 1: Insert the Wire Looms

Place the wire looms in the spark plug gap.

STEP – 2: Checking the Gap

When the looms are inserted, observe carefully whether the gap is adjusted to the looms by 0.020 measurements.

STEP – 3: Identifying the Gap Accuracy

If the gap and the looms match perfectly, your spark plug gap is accurate.

Nevertheless, sometimes the looms will not fit into the gap due to a tight fit. The looms may also be slack and slip through the gaps. Both of these scenarios have to do with incorrect gap settings.

How to Adjust the Spark Plug Gap on STIHL Chainsaws?

In case you discover that the gap is wrong, you must adjust it accordingly. It is fairly easy to adjust the spark plug gap on STIHL chainsaws.

You will need a feeler gauge, which is available at most hardware and auto parts stores. Once you have it, proceed as follows:

STEP – 1: Cleaning the Plug

Remove the spark plug from the engine and clean it thoroughly with a wire brush to remove any debris or buildup.

STEP – 2: Verifying the Plug’s Functionality

Ensure that the spark plug is working. An easy way to do so is to use a spark plug tester. It gives you a quick overview of the device’s condition.

STEP – 3: Adjust the Plug

Place the spark plug between the V-shaped edges of the feeler gauge and adjust it until you feel resistance. This resistance should indicate that the gap is set correctly.

STEP – 4: Bending the Electrode

If necessary, use pliers to gently bend either the center electrode or ground electrode to adjust the gap as needed until proper resistance is achieved. Be careful not to bend too much, as spark plugs can become damaged in this way.

STEP – 5: Reconnect the Spark Plug

Reinstall the spark plug and test the saw to ensure it is running smoothly.

Depending on the STIHL saw model, the method of checking and adjusting the gap may differ. Therefore, make sure you read the owner’s manual carefully.

In case you aren’t sure what the right gaps for STIHL chainsaws are, move on to the next section.

STIHL Chainsaw Spark Plug Chart

Wouldn’t it be great if you could find the correct gap from one STIHL spark plug gap chart?

This is precisely why I compiled a chart below showing the proper gap for every STIHL chainsaw. The table not only informs you of the gap but also what spark plugs STIHL saws use.

Additional Guide to STIHL Spark Plug Gaps

Please refer to the following guide if you did not find the right gap for your STIHL chainsaw on the previous chart. I have included some of the most popular STIHL saws with their correct spark plug gaps below.

Tips on Setting the Spark Plug Gap

The tips provided below will help beginners and experts set the spark plug gap on STIHL chainsaws effectively.

#Tips 01

The market is full of tools for setting spark plug gaps. Choose whichever is cheap and convenient for you.

However, if you are new to these tools, you should use either wire looms or feeler gauges.

#Tips 02

As a beginner, you should pay special attention to the spark plug adjustment. Remember that even the smallest gaps can significantly impact inexpensive saws.

#Tips 03

While adjusting the gap, make sure the spark plug is not loose. It should always be held by strong support.

#Tips 04

In the event that the gap is too small, you can simply adjust it with a hammer.

This method is only applicable to those who are not beginners. First-timers may damage the electrodes if they use the hammer improperly.

How to sharpen a chainsaw chain

#Tips 05

To enhance the gap, I always recommend the use of wire looms or similar wire-style tools. The process is more complicated with coin-style tools, and the results are only somewhat reliable.

over, a coin-style tool sometimes breaks the spark plug tips. You can no longer use the product with a broken tip.

The Dangers of Excessively Gapped Spark Plugs

Your chainsaw could suffer from a number of major problems if the spark plug gap is too large. Let’s see some of them below.

The spark plug may not fire properly, preventing the engine from starting. Even when you somehow manage to start it, the saw may not operate smoothly.

Excessive gaps can also cause misfires and potential damage to the ignition system. It can amplify vibrations when you use the power tool.

An overly wide gap damages the spark plug due to too much voltage being applied. over, the gap may also cause the spark to jump from the electrode to the side of the spark plug, causing damage or erosion.

Both of these will result in the plug wearing out much faster than it should.

The engine can also consume more fuel and emit more emissions when the gaps are too wide. Having to deal with these issues can be costly and damaging to the environment.

If the spark plug gap is too great, the spark weakens or misfires. This can lead to engine performance issues, such as reduced power output.

What Happens If a Spark Plug Gap Is Too Small?

I have already stated that a chainsaw should not have a wide spark plug gap. Conversely, the gap should not be too narrow either. Here’s why:

The short gap will cause the cylinder to misfire frequently. As a result, you will constantly hear popping and knocking sounds.

A narrow spark plug gap is likely to produce a weak spark. Thus, the spark will not be strong enough to ignite your chainsaw.

Sometimes a chainsaw won’t stop spinning or creeping forward. The saw may behave like this even when it is not in use, which is quite surprising.

The primary culprit for this rough idle is a small plug gap.

Which Spark Plugs Work Best With STIHL Chainsaws?

When your STIHL saw fails to operate despite adjusting the gap, it is probably time to replace the spark plug.

You should never install a random spark plug since STIHL chainsaws perform best with Bosch and NGK spark plugs. Here are two of the finest spark plugs with their features from these reputable brands:

Bosch 7547 (WSR6F) Spark Plug

  • Double platinum surfaces for extended life
  • Yttrium-enhanced ground electrodes for increased durability and performance
  • Nickel alloy center electrode for improved corrosion resistance and spark energy

NGK (6703) BPMR7A Spark Plug

  • Nickel center electrode for improved corrosion resistance and spark energy
  • Solid copper core for better heat transfer and spark energy
  • Trivalent metal plating for improved anti-seizing and corrosion resistance

VIDEO| Maximize Performance Fuel Efficiency: Understanding Spark Plug Gaps for STIHL Chainsaws

Frequently Asked Questions

What Should the Spark Plug Gap Be on a STIHL Chainsaw?

The spark plug gap for most STIHL chainsaw units should be 0.020 inches. However, be sure to check your instruction manual before altering anything.

What Is the Spark Plug Gap on a STIHL Ms 271 Chainsaw?

The spark plug gap of the STIHL 271 chainsaw is 0.020 inches (0.5 mm).

What Size Spark Plug Does a STIHL MS 250 Take?

The STIHL MS 250 uses the NGK BPMR7A plug. This corresponds to a 14 mm thread diameter and a 9.5 mm reach. Its spanner size is 19 mm.

What Spark Plug Does a STIHL Ms310 Take?

The STIHL MS310 fits an NGK BPMR7A plug which measures 14 mm in thread diameter, 9.5 mm in reach, and 7 degrees in heat range. Alternatively, the Bosch WSR6F can also be used for this model.

What Is an Acceptable Gap for a Spark Plug?

If your engine is between 28-32 cc, set the gap to 0.020 inches. On the other side, 0.025 inches would be a good gap for engines with a displacement of 38-55 cc.

How Often Should STIHL Chainsaw Spark Plugs Be Replaced?

It is advisable to replace your STIHL chainsaw’s spark plug every season or after approximately 100 hours of use. Nonetheless, always follow the instructions in your owner’s manual. Also, inspect and clean spark plugs periodically to prolong their life.

Do Spark Plug Gaps Extend with Time?

No, spark plug gaps usually do not extend with time. Having said that, it may decrease over time due to electrode wear or carbon buildup. This is why inspecting and adjusting the spark plug gap regularly is essential.

Do Spark Plug Gaps Have to Be Exact?

Spark plug gaps should be set accurately, but it does not have to be exact. As long as it falls within the recommended range for your specific engine and spark plug, you should be fine.

What Happens If You Put the Wrong Gap Spark Plugs?

A spark plug with the wrong gap will contribute to poor engine performance, inefficient fuel use, and possible engine damage.

To Sum Up

Setting the correct spark plug gap on your STIHL chainsaw ensures proper engine performance and prevents misfires.

When in doubt, consult your user’s manual to determine the specific gap width and make use of the appropriate tools, such as wire looms or feeler gauges.

Also, don’t forget to change your spark plug every season or every hundred hours of operation, and never use your favorite STIHL saw with improperly gapped spark plugs.

Following these guidelines will keep your chainsaw running like a charm. Happy sawing!

Planning to cut firewood but struggling to find the right chainsaw? Here’s a list of what I consider to be the best firewood saws on the market.

Hi, I am Jose Wilson. I am an avid DIY woodworker. I love to try out new woodworking tools. In over 25 years I have tried several Woodworking tools including Chainsaws, Circular saws, Table saws, and Jigsaws among the rest. I also learned that many people didn’t quite understand how to use these tools. I want to help peoples to learn the use, benefits, and how these woodworking tools operate. I have created a number of work-tools s, built websites, and developed social media pages. Follow me on my social media.

STIHL vs. Husqvarna Chainsaws: A Comparison

Learn the differences between these top chainsaw brands.

Timothy Dale is a home repair expert and writer with over a decade of hands-on construction and home improvement experience. He is skilled in residential, commercial, industrial and institutional plumbing, electrical, carpentry, installation, renovations, and project management.

Deane Biermeier is an expert contractor with nearly 30 years of experience in all types of home repair, maintenance, and remodeling. He is a certified lead carpenter and also holds a certification from the EPA. Deane is a member of The Spruce’s Home Improvement Review Board.

Jillian is a freelance journalist with 10 years of editorial experience in the lifestyle genre. She is a writer and fact checker for TripSavvy, as well as a fact-checker for The Spruce.

Two of the most popular chainsaw brands are STIHL and Husqvarna, so if you are looking for a new chainsaw to buy to help manage the yard or cut down trees, then it’s likely that you will settle on one of these two brands. However, deciding between a STIHL vs. Husqvarna chainsaw isn’t easy because both brands have pros and cons when compared to their competitors. Even professionals take the time to inspect and research the various product specs instead of defaulting to STIHL or Husqvarna, which should indicate the close comparison between these two companies. Take a look at this comprehensive piece comparing STIHL vs. Husqvarna chainsaws so that you have all the information you need to make a decision for yourself.


Approximately 36,000 chainsaw-related injuries requiring emergency care occur annually, according to the CDC. Use extreme caution and follow all safety procedures when operating a chainsaw. Learn how to use the chainsaw properly before getting started.


Both STIHL and Husqvarna are very popular chainsaw brands that have been manufacturing chainsaws for well over 50 years. STIHL was founded in 1926 just outside Stuttgart, Germany, in the town of Waiblingen, where the company headquarters still remain. The founder of STIHL, Andreas STIHL, also invented the single-person powered chainsaw which came to replace the two-man saw that had been previously used by professionals.

While STIHL has an amazing reputation, especially when it comes to chainsaws, Husqvarna isn’t a standard company, either. In fact, Husqvarna is known as the world’s largest and oldest manufacturer of power tools, having been in business since 1689. The company was established in Sweden as a musket manufacturer and they began manufacturing chainsaws in 1959, quickly becoming one of the more popular chainsaw manufacturers worldwide, alongside STIHL.

STIHL vs. Husqvarna


The torque of a chainsaw is crucial for understanding the type of wood, trees, and brush the saw is useful for cutting. STIHL chainsaws tend to have a powerful low-end torque that allows them to cut through tough wood and knots without getting stuck or stalling. Husqvarna chainsaws don’t have the same low-end torque, but they do have a more powerful high-end torque that helps improve cutting speed and efficiency when you are making clean cuts.

Generally, STIHL chainsaws are great for tough, dense wood and brush, though they may not be as quick as Husqvarna chainsaws. However, Husqvarna saws are not as effective at cutting through knots and tree joints, despite a higher cutting speed. Just keep in mind that these are broad brand comparisons and individual products can differ, so always take the time to research the specific tool before deciding on the right saw.


The weight of the chainsaws is relatively even when they are initially compared, but Husqvarna saws are known for having larger fuel tanks. Due to this difference, when a Husqvarna chainsaw is fully fueled and ready for use, it weighs more than a STIHL chainsaw, resulting in increased user fatigue. With this in mind, STIHL chainsaws are a better option for smaller users or users that have reduced strength or mobility.

Fuel Capacity

It seems obvious to choose a tool with a higher fuel capacity, but there are drawbacks to larger fuel tanks, like the increased weight on the user. Additionally, if you don’t have a lot of trees to maintain, then a larger fuel capacity doesn’t come with any benefits because you would finish the work without needing to refuel regardless of the size of the tank.

A small fuel capacity isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but it does mean that you will need to refill the fuel tank more often, increasing the amount of time it takes to complete the job. While a larger tank causes fatigue by increasing the weight, a small tank can also cause fatigue by extending the time it takes to complete the work. As mentioned previously, Husqvarna chainsaws typically have larger fuel tanks than STIHL chainsaws, so a Husqvarna saw is the right choice if you want to get through the job quickly without worrying about refueling, but a STIHL saw is better for smaller properties and users who don’t mind stopping to refill the tank.

Fuel Efficiency and Emissions

A benefit that Husqvarna chainsaws have over most STIHL chainsaws is that they tend to have better fuel efficiency and reduced emissions, making Husqvarna saws a better choice for environmentally conscious users. The increased fuel efficiency also reduces the time spent refilling the gas tank and lowers the overall cost of fuel.


Due to the potential danger of using a chainsaw, maintaining the chainsaw by making repairs, sharpening the chain, cleaning the fuel tank, or oiling the chain is important and necessary for ensuring that the tool continues to work properly, reducing the risk of part failure during use. In general, Husqvarna chainsaws tend to require more frequent maintenance than STIHL chainsaws, widely attributed to superior STIHL engineering.

For DIYers and professionals who usually complete brief tool checks before and after use with more substantial maintenance at scheduled intervals, STIHL chainsaws are the best choice because the time between maintenance intervals is longer. However, this consideration doesn’t apply to users who routinely check and perform maintenance on their chainsaws every time they use the tool. Also, certain tools can reduce maintenance time, like electric chainsaw sharpeners.

Price and Availability

One of the more interesting aspects of STIHL as a company is that it is privately owned instead of being publically traded, like many large companies. This allows STIHL to control its products, price, and availability with limited outside influence. STIHL has used this control to only partner with recognized dealers and keep lower than that of Husqvarna chainsaws. However, by only selling their products through specific retailers, the availability of STIHL chainsaws is significantly reduced, especially when it comes to online purchases.

If you don’t like going to smaller retailers or brick-and-mortar stores, then STIHL may not be the best option. Husqvarna products are widely available from online retailers and even several big-box stores, though they come at a higher price.

Which Should You Buy?

Individual preferences range widely when it comes to choosing tools. Despite the increased price, weight, and maintenance requirements, some people prefer Husqvarna because they want powerful, heavy tools that have no trouble cutting through wood. In contrast, others like to use STIHL products because they are looking for a relatively lightweight chainsaw that is easy to maintain and effective at managing the trees on their property.

There are clear differences between these top brands that have been summarized above to help make it easier to choose. Everyone’s experience is different depending on their specific needs and demands, so only you can decide between STIHL and Husqvarna for your chainsaw needs.

The Spruce uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.

What Do STIHL Chainsaw Model Numbers Mean?

Here at Coastline Mowers we love our STIHL products, and are proud to offer a range of STIHL chainsaws and related products to our customer base here in Western Australia. Working with a range of buyers, from home gardeners to professional contractors, we aim to deliver the perfect fit of chainsaw for any need, and STIHL is very often the design that fits the bill. One question we get asked a lot, however, is what do the model numbers on each STIHL chainsaw mean? Read on for an explanation on how this number system works and check out our extensive product range next time you call by our fully stocked Rockingham showroom.

The STIHL chainsaw scale

As a brand, STIHL have kept relatively quiet on their numbering system, but did release this scale that acts a chart for ranking model numbers as suitable for occasional use to extensive use. While this acts as a guide for deciphering which style might work best for your specific needs, the numbers are not in fact ranked in order of lowest = less power, highest = most power. Which is where things get confusing! Each model number contains three sections: MS, MSA, or MSE numbers letters. Let’s start with MS, a straightforward one to explain. MS stands for Motorsäge (chainsaw in German), and MSA means it is a battery chainsaw, while MSE indicates it is an electric chainsaw.

Number breakdown

Here is where it gets complicated! While many theories abound, it seems safe to say that the first, second, and third numbers have different indications that combine to create a unique product number. The first number relates to engine power and fuel capacity (where applicable), essentially standing for how powerful it is. The second number is combined with the first number to create a full model number each different design, and likely stand for specific features making them an addition for STIHL chainsaws on both ends of the scale. The third number is then a version number for each model type, differentiating between multiple versions of the same chainsaw type.

What do the letters stand for?

Each STIHL chainsaw model number ends in a combination of letters, each of which stands for a specific feature for performance:

B: Quick chain adjuster, a tool-less chain adjustment.

C: Comfort, for ergonomic and lightweight designs.

E: Easy2Start, making this STIHL Chainsaw easy to start up.

M: M-Tronic, engine management system that adjusts to varying conditions such as temperature.

R: Wrap handle, multiple position handle for different uses.

How Coastline Mowers can help

The experienced team here at Coastline Mowers are on hand to talk you through our wide range of STIHL Chainsaws and related products and provide expert advice on which style and model would be best suited to your specific requirements. We’re proud to be leading providers of top-quality garden machinery and equipment to Perth, and our 35 years of experience enables us to offer servicing for each product we sell. Call into our Rockingham showroom today to see our wide range of garden equipment from top brands such as STIHL, or get in touch with us here with any questions you have about sales, servicing, or repairs.

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