How to Choose the Right STIHL Chainsaw

Whether you are looking to do tree maintenance, cut up firewood to heat your home or clean up after a storm has passed, we have a chainsaw that will help you get the job done! But there are so many different models available and many of them are designed for different applications. We won’t let that overwhelm you though. There are a few questions to ask when you are in the market for a chainsaw. How do you choose the right saw for your needs from the wide variety available? Is it always better to have more power? What features are right for you? We’ve created this resource to help answer some of those questions. Our friendly sales team will be glad to assist you in finding the right saw for your needs. We even have some fantastic specials running right now and have many models in stock so you can see the different features available to you.



A chainsaw has three basic components: A powerhead (engine), guide bar & saw chain. It is important to match these three elements to the type of job you are doing to get optimal performance. Our sales team is your best resource in determining the combination that will best suit you, but here are some tips to get started.




The first thing to consider when you purchase a chainsaw is to determine what application you will be using it for. Size of job isn’t the only factor to consider when narrowing down your search of powerheads. For example, you could be doing some light garden work with your saw and could consider STIHL’s Lithium Ion Chainsaw. This cordless electric saw may be ideal for you with zero emissions, low noise & lower vibration. You might be working right near your home and have access to an electrical socket. If this is true, a STIHL electric ‘corded’ saw might be on your radar. But of course, there are plenty of tasks that are larger and would require the advantages of a gasoline model. STIHL has a wide range of gasoline powerheads in three categories. Homeowner, Farm/Ranch & Professional. Each category has different combinations of power & features, such as the STIHL Easy2Start. Here you will find our chainsaw comparison guide.



“Box Stores” will usually recommend a particular length of guide bar as if it determines the power of the chainsaw. This is common “advice”, but this is not true. The length of the guide bar does not indicate the power of the saw, and while a long guide bar might look impressive & look like it can handle more work, it can lead to a negative impact on the saws performance. The longer the bar the more power is required to keep the saw chain moving. This requires you combining the longer bar with a powerhead that has enough power to be able to keep the chain moving at optimal speed. Most homeowner applications can be done with a guide bar from 12” to 16”. STIHL guide bars are designed and manufactured specifically for STIHL chain saws and all come standard with STIHL’s Ematic™ Bar Lubrication System. To be sure you have the right sized guide bar for your unit you can refer to the individual chain saw model page on our website.

Saw Chain

The right saw chain can make all the difference. STIHL produces all of it’s saw chain at it’s own facility in Switzerland. All STIHL OILOMATIC® saw chain is pre-stretched before leaving the factory. This helps eliminate excessive chain stretching during break-in period, and reduces maintenance time and component wear. Homeowner and Farm and Ranch models are designed to work with reduced vibration and low kickback chain. That makes the saw more comfortable to use and improves safety. If you are working in very dirty conditions then you may want to consider carbide-tipped chains. They stay sharp up to four times longer than standard chains.


Safe Operating & Protective Equipment:

Whether you’re cutting at home or on the job, stay sharp and suit up with STIHL chain saw protective apparel. Our chain saw protective apparel is made with multiple layers of Engtex®, a cut-retardant material designed to clog up the sprocket to stop the chain on a gasoline-powered chain saw. STIHL also has protective forestry boots, gloves that provide good grip and great comfort while working, head and face protection, hearing protection and eye protection, all in a variety of styles to match your personal needs. We carry the full line of this safety apparel and can help you find the specific pieces you need to stay safe while using your outdoor power equipment.

As always, we recommend you consult the owners manual for safe operating guidelines & recommended usage. This manual is given to you when you purchase the saw & are available to you from us should you need extra copies.


Since you bought a STIHL, you care about quality & demand the best performance available. We recommend only using STIHL’s 2 cycle mix oil along with above 89 Octane fuel when mixing. Another option is to purchase STIHL’s Moto-Mix premixed fuel which has a shelf life of up to 2 years in your machine. Keep visiting our blog to see more recommendations on using and maintaining your STIHL tools & other outdoor power equipment.