March 5

Stihl Chainsaw vs Husqvarna Chainsaw – The Differences

Stihl Chainsaw vs Husqvarna Chainsaw

When selecting a chainsaw for any project, it's critical to consider factors such as engine performance, design, cutting efficiency, and safety features. The debate between Stihl and Husqvarna chainsaws is a long-standing one, with both brands holding a strong reputation among professionals and enthusiasts alike. Each has its own advantages, and understanding these can help potential buyers make an informed decision.

Stihl and Husqvarna chainsaws have been competing for market dominance for years. Both brands offer a range of products aimed at different users, from casual gardeners to forestry professionals. They also vary in terms of engine power, ease of use, and overall value, which are crucial considerations depending on the intended use of the chainsaw.

Key Takeaways

  • Comparing Stihl and Husqvarna chainsaws involves evaluating their engine performance, design, and functionality.
  • Both brands offer unique safety features and a diverse product range to suit various user needs.
  • Warranty and support services of each brand impact the overall value and user experience.

Stihl Chainsaw Overview

Stihl chainsaws are a staple in the forestry and landscaping industries, known for their durability and performance. Founded in 1926 by Andreas Stihl, I recognize that the company has considerable experience in producing outdoor power equipment. They've established a reputation for engineering reliability and are frequently my top choice for demanding tasks.

When I look for a chainsaw, I consider power-to-weight ratio, and Stihl chainsaws excel in this area. Their innovative technology, such as the M-Tronic engine management system and ErgoStart for easy starting, impresses me with the synergy of power and user-friendliness.

I particularly appreciate the variety of models they offer, which range from lightweight chainsaws for home use to robust professional models. Some key features include:

  • Anti-vibration system: This makes prolonged use more comfortable for me.
  • Ematic chain lubrication system: It ensures better lubrication and reduces oil consumption by up to 50%.
  • Tool-free fuel and oil caps: It allows for easy and mess-free refueling and maintenance.

Here's a quick comparison of some common Stihl chainsaw models:

ModelPower OutputWeightBar Length
MS 17030.1 cc8.6 lb12"-16"
MS 25045.4 cc10.1 lb16"-18"
MS 26150.2 cc10.8 lb16"-20"

In terms of safety, I never overlook the importance of features like the chain brake, throttle lock, and master control lever, all designed to prevent accidents during operation.

The emphasis on environmental consciousness is not lost on me, as Stihl consistently works to improve fuel efficiency and reduce emissions. This commitment to eco-friendliness shows in innovations such as their Eco-Matic system.

Husqvarna Chainsaw Overview

Husqvarna is a brand synonymous with quality power tools, and their range of chainsaws is respected for reliability and performance. As an experienced operator, I appreciate Husqvarna's commitment to innovation and user-centric design. The chainsaws from this manufacturer typically feature:

  • X-Torq® Engines: These engines are designed to reduce harmful exhaust emissions by up to 75% and increase fuel efficiency by up to 20%.
  • LowVib® Technology: Vibrations are dampened to make usage more comfortable, especially during extended periods of work.
  • Air Injection: A centrifugal air cleaning system significantly reduces wear and allows for longer operating times between filter cleanings.

Husqvarna chainsaws cater to a wide audience, from homeowners needing light-duty saws for occasional use to professionals requiring heavy-duty models for daily forestry work. In my experience, the brand offers:

  • Homeowner Chainsaws: Lightweight and easy to use. Ideal for tasks like pruning and light cutting.
  • Professional Chainsaws: High performance and durability. Suitable for complex tasks like tree felling and limbing.

I've observed that Husqvarna chainsaws come with thoughtful ergonomic features, such as:

  • Adjustable oil pumps to control oil flow depending on the task and weather conditions.
  • Smart Start® technology that ensures the chainsaw starts quickly with minimum effort.

Maintenance is straightforward with features like tool-less chain tensioning and snap-lock cylinder covers for easy access. Across the range, safety is paramount, with inertia-activated chain brakes on most models providing an additional layer of protection.

Husqvarna 20 Inch 455 Rancher Gas Chainsaw
  • 455 Rancher chainsaw is an ideal saw for landowners or homeowners who require a high powered and heavy duty chainsaw
  • 55. 5cc 20 inch gas chainsaw with guide bar and chain
  • 2 cycle engine with Intertie activated chain brake for safety while operating
  • Comes with Husqvarna chainsaw Bar cover and 2. 6 ounce bottle of pre-mix fuel Included, Bar and chain oil must be purchased Separately
  • Automatic chain oiler delivers a steady supply of bar and chain oil for safe and effective use

Engine Performance Comparison

In examining the engine performance of Stihl and Husqvarna chainsaws, I focus my attention on two critical aspects: power output and engine durability. These factors are paramount when evaluating the efficiency and longevity of the chainsaws under rigorous conditions.

Power Output

Stihl chainsaws typically showcase engines with the advanced technology of Stratified Charge, which I find to be efficient in reducing fuel consumption while maintaining a formidable power-to-weight ratio.

  • MS 170: 30.1 cm³ displacement, 1.3 kW power output
  • MS 250: 45.4 cm³ displacement, 2.2 kW power output

On the other hand, Husqvarna chainsaws feature the X-Torq® engines that are designed to lower fuel consumption and reduce emission levels.

  • Husqvarna 435: 40.9 cm³ displacement, 1.6 kW power output
  • Husqvarna 460 Rancher: 60.3 cm³ displacement, 2.7 kW power output

Engine Durability

When addressing engine durability, I find that Stihl opts for high-quality components with an emphasis on anti-vibration systems which contribute to a longer engine life. Stihl's Ematic™ Chain Lubrication System is engineered to provide pinpoint lubrication to the saw chain links and guide bar rails.

Husqvarna chainsaws also have commendable durability, owing to their robust build and the Air Injection™ centrifugal air cleaning system. This technology minimizes wear and can extend the intervals between filter cleanings.

Both Stihl and Husqvarna continue to develop technologies to enhance the efficiency and durability of their chainsaw engines, making them leaders in the field.

Design and Ergonomics

In comparing Stihl and Husqvarna chainsaws, it is important to address their design and ergonomic features. These characteristics can significantly influence user experience and efficiency during operation.

Handle Comfort

Stihl: My analysis shows that Stihl chainsaws often have handles with rubberized grips which reduce vibration. This design can lead to reduced fatigue during extended use.

Husqvarna: I have found that Husqvarna also offers low vibration technology and designs their handles for comfort, but they tend to focus on a more contoured grip that conforms to the shape of the hand.

Both brands integrate anti-vibration systems, but the specific designs differ slightly to cater to personal preference.

Weight Balance

Stihl: I note that Stihl chainsaws are designed with a focus on the distribution of weight. They often position the engine and the handle in a way that optimizes the saw's center of gravity.

Husqvarna: In my experience, Husqvarna chainsaws exhibit a slightly different balance. They aim to create a symmetric balance which can help when changing cutting positions frequently.

To summarize, both brands carefully consider the balance of their chainsaws, but they take different approaches to achieve their design goals.


Stihl: Stihl chainsaws typically have a distinctive orange and white color scheme, with a strong, angular body design that emphasizes durability and power.

Husqvarna: I observe that Husqvarna uses a predominantly bright orange color for their chainsaws, opting for sleek and modern lines in their design.

While the aesthetics of a chainsaw might not affect performance, visibility and brand identity are often enhanced by these choices.

Cutting Efficiency

In assessing cutting efficiency, I consider chain speed and bar length choices essential factors, as they directly impact a chainsaw's performance in various cutting tasks.

Chain Speed

Stihl Chainsaws: Typically, Stihl's chain speed is designed to deliver quick cutting through a torque-focused approach. The speeds vary depending on the model, with professional-grade saws offering higher chain speeds. For instance, the Stihl MS 170 features a chain speed of approximately 18.6 m/s.

Husqvarna Chainsaws: On the other hand, Husqvarna models are known for their consistently high chain speeds. A popular model like the Husqvarna 435 can achieve chain speeds of up to 17.3 m/s. The high-speed operation facilitates cleaner, more efficient cuts specially during demanding tasks.

Bar Length Choices

Stihl Chainsaws:

  • Small Range: Home-use models, such as the MS 170, offer bar lengths from 12 to 16 inches.
  • Large Range: Their professional models, like the MS 661 C-M, provide options extending from 16 to 36 inches.

Husqvarna Chainsaws:

  • Small Range: Consumer saws, like the 120 Mark II, offer bars ranging from 14 to 18 inches.
  • Large Range: Professional saws, such as the 572 XP, can accommodate bar lengths from 16 to 28 inches.

Stihl and Husqvarna provide a variety of bar lengths to match different user needs and cutting conditions. Longer bars are better suited for felling large trees, while shorter bars offer more maneuverability for tasks like pruning or limbing.

Ease of Use

When comparing Stihl and Husqvarna chainsaws, their ease of use is a critical factor for users. Both brands focus on user-friendly features but differ in startup and maintenance processes.

Startup Procedure

Stihl Chainsaws:

  • Stihl's Easy2Start™ system minimizes the effort required to start the engine. A gentle pull on the cord starts the chainsaw.
  • Master Control Lever™ simplifies the operation, combining choke, startup, throttle, and stop functions.

Husqvarna Chainsaws:

  • Smart Start® technology reduces resistance in the starter cord by 40% for easier startups.
  • Air Purge removes air from the carburetor and fuel system for a straightforward start.

Maintenance Simplicity

Stihl Chainsaws:

  • Features Toolless fuel and oil caps that allow quick and easy refueling and oiling.
  • The Ematic™ Bar includes a sprocket that helps reduce chain oil consumption up to 50%.

Husqvarna Chainsaws:

  • Air Injection™ centrifugal air cleaning system minimizes filter cleaning, extending intervals between maintenance.
  • Quick-release top cover for fast access to filter and spark plug simplifies maintenance tasks.

Safety Features

In comparing Stihl and Husqvarna chainsaws, I am attentive to how each brand integrates safety features into their designs. Here, I focus on the chain brake system and anti-vibration technology, highlighting their unique contributions to user safety.

Chain Brake System

Stihl Chainsaws:

  • Feature the QuickStop chain brake which is activated by the user’s hand or by inertia in certain situations, instantly stopping the chain.
  • Offer a range of models with different chain brake features catering to various levels of user experience and safety needs.

Husqvarna Chainsaws:

  • Incorporate a highly responsive chain brake that activates through manual engagement or automatically by the inertia of a kickback scenario.
  • Prioritize user control and reduced risk of injury by implementing a chain brake that acts swiftly to halt the chain's movement.

Anti-Vibration Technology

  • Stihl Chainsaws:
    • Utilize the Stihl's Anti-Vibration System, which reduces the level of vibration reaching the operator, thereby decreasing fatigue and the risk of vibration-induced ailments.
  • Husqvarna Chainsaws:
    • Equip their tools with LowVib technology to minimize vibrations, comfort the user, and provide a safer, steadier operation experience.

Product Range

In comparing the product ranges of Stihl and Husqvarna chainsaws, I find both brands offer an extensive selection tailored to different users, from professionals to casual consumers.

Professional Models


  • MS 261: A powerful yet lightweight model designed for optimal maneuverability.
  • MS 500i: The first chainsaw with electronic fuel injection, known for its high power-to-weight ratio.


  • 572 XP®: Built for demanding work by tree care professionals.
  • 3120 XP®: One of the most powerful chainsaws in the world, suitable for extreme logging tasks.

Consumer Models


  • MS 170: An affordable entry-level chainsaw ideal for light-duty tasks.
  • MS 250: A step up for more extensive yard work, with a good balance between performance and ease of use.


  • 120 Mark II: Great for homeowners needing to do occasional trimming or light cutting.
  • 455 Rancher: Versatile and robust for those who require a heavier-duty homeowner saw.

Warranty and Support

I find that warranty terms and customer service experiences are often key differentiators when choosing between Stihl and Husqvarna chainsaws.

Warranty Terms

Stihl Chainsaws: Typically, I observe that Stihl offers a warranty for their chainsaws that covers defects in materials or workmanship. For the majority of their models, the warranty period is:

  • Consumer Use: 2 years
  • Professional Use: 1 year

It's essential to keep in mind that this warranty coverage is only valid for the original purchaser and is non-transferable.

Husqvarna Chainsaws: Husqvarna, on the other hand, extends a similar warranty for their saws, aiming to cover any manufacturing or material defects. Depending on the model and use, the warranty period usually is:

  • Consumer Use: 2 years (extendable up to 4 years with purchase of Husqvarna pre-mixed fuel)
  • Professional Use: 1 year

Customer Service Experience

Both Stihl and Husqvarna propose strong customer service support networks, but there are nuances worth noting.

For Stihl, service and support are highly localized. I must visit an authorized Stihl dealer, where the staff are often very knowledgeable and equipped to handle maintenance and repair services. Telephone and email support are available, but the emphasis is on dealer interaction for any warranty claims.

Husqvarna offers a mixture of dealer networks and corporate customer service options, including telephone and online support. I find their website provides informative troubleshooting guides and FAQs that might enable me to address certain issues independently before reaching out for direct assistance.

Price and Value

When comparing Stihl and Husqvarna chainsaws, it's important to consider both the initial cost and the long-term value they offer. My evaluation targets the specific price points and value propositions of each brand.

Initial Cost

Stihl chainsaws typically range from $180 to $1,400. Entry-level models, which are ideal for light yard tasks, are more affordable, while their professional-grade chainsaws command a higher price due to enhanced features and durability.

Husqvarna's chainsaw prices also vary widely, starting at roughly $200 and going up to $1,500. Like Stihl, Husqvarna offers a spectrum from homeowner to professional saws, with the higher-end models being more robust and packed with advanced technology.

Long-Term Value

In terms of long-term value, Stihl chainsaws are known for their reliability and longevity. Maintenance costs are generally lower due to the widespread availability of parts and service. The resale value remains high, ensuring that you get a significant portion of your initial investment back if you decide to sell.

Husqvarna chainsaws also offer a compelling value over time. They are praised for their ergonomics and fuel efficiency, which can lead to lower operating costs. Their build quality means they are a durable option, and they maintain a good resale value.

Frequently Asked Questions

I've gathered and addressed some of the most common queries regarding Stihl and Husqvarna chainsaws, focusing on their performance, prices, and user experiences, to help you make a more informed decision.

What are the main differences in performance between Stihl and Husqvarna chainsaws?

Stihl chainsaws are known for their rapid acceleration and are favored for tasks that require a quick start. Husqvarna chainsaws, however, often offer a higher power-to-weight ratio, making them suitable for continuous heavy-duty use.

How do the prices of Stihl chainsaws compare with those of Husqvarna models?

The prices of Stihl chainsaws tend to be slightly higher across similar models when compared to Husqvarna. Husqvarna offers competitive pricing, yet certain high-end models may approach Stihl's price range.

Which chainsaw brand is preferred by professional loggers for durability and reliability?

Professional loggers often prefer Stihl for its reputation in durability and reliability. However, some professionals choose Husqvarna for its performance in extreme conditions and ergonomic design.

What are the pros and cons of Stihl and Husqvarna's battery-powered chainsaw models?

Stihl's battery-powered chainsaws are praised for their efficient battery life and quiet operation. Husqvarna's models excel in ergonomics and often provide more power. On the downside, battery chainsaws from both brands have a limited run time compared to gas models.

How does user feedback from forums and Reddit compare for Stihvarna chainsaws?

On various forums and Reddit, Stihl chainsaws commonly receive praise for their dependability and ease of repair, while Husqvarna is celebrated for its customer service and the usability of its saws. Some users express brand loyalty based on their positive experiences with either brand.

What should I consider when choosing between Stihl's Pro chainsaw models and Husqvarna's XP series?

Consider the specific features such as power output, weight, and ergonomic design. Stihl's Pro models are known for their advanced anti-vibration systems and fuel efficiency. Husqvarna's XP series is recognized for innovative technology like AutoTune that automatically adjusts engine settings.

About Me.

Hi, Jeremy Here, 

I am the the guy behind Cut The Timber. On this site, I share everything that learned and continue to learn about wood. From grains, to projects, to saws, and everything in between. 

I grew up camping with my family and ended up becoming an Eagle Scout. Currently, my family and I live on a ranch outside of Montana with tons of trees and fire pit fun. 

If you have any questions, feel free to email me:

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