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Stihl MS 180
2.9 from 46 reviews

Perfect for the little jobs and great for camping

I’ve had this saw for 16 years and it has cut more timber than I can remember. A great little saw. It has only just started give some problems when running hot e.g stalls and won’t run full throttle. But after 16yrs it has certainly earned it keep. It has been used to cut small to midsize trees. The 16inch bar has been replaced once and about 6 chains have been used in this period. I would recommend this little saw, I have updated to a MS 211 and I hope it performs to the same standards.

Purchased in March 2003 for $300.00.

Build Quality
Value for Money
Ease of Use
Cleaning & Maintenance

Great little chainsaw

This is my first Stihl chainsaw and I’m not disappointed. I’ve dabbled in cheap and nasty saws from China but I thought I’d buy one from an industry leading company. It is light, starts well for a 2 stroke and sounds awesome. I use it for small to medium sized trees and branches round the yard. Keep the chain sharp and it won’t bog down in power. Great for chopping up firewood camping...

Purchased in June 2017 for $299.00.

Build Quality
Value for Money
Ease of Use
Cleaning & Maintenance

Very disappointing

Very difficult to start. In 2 years it has been back to the workshop 4 times. Underpowered and chokes on anything thicker than a few centimetres. Very unreliable. I have had other Stihl products which have been fine, and the underperformance/unreliability of this disappointing machine is surprising.

Purchased in April 2017.

Build Quality
Value for Money
Ease of Use
Cleaning & Maintenance

Easy to use.

After buying a couple of Chinese models and working hard to keep them running and their pieces together I almost gave up. I am too busy to repair and read chainsaw manuals. But with my stihl MS180 I have had no issues after two years use. I have cut large logs and all sorts of things. Easy to maintain and starts every time. It will be one little machine that will pay for itself.

Purchased in January 2017.


I bought this because I had a good run out of my 009 for 20 or so years and I wish now that I just had it repaired. Even after 20 years my old one out performed the new MS180. This new saw is hard to start and when it does it is gutless. It bogs down into even the smallest logs. Did I mention it was gutless? Even when I bought this piece of junk the Stihl shop told me that I would only get a 5 year warranty if I bought the Stihl 2 stroke oil and chain oil to go with it. What a rort. Being told this should have put me off. I will NEVER buy another Stihl product ever again. Will go with a real saw like a Shindiawa or Echo next time.

Date PurchasedApr 2016

Leaks oil till empty

Kept taking it back because of chain lubricate completely self draining out. Then ran out of warranty and needed new oil pump, thought the problem would be now resolved. No_ still leaking oil, don't touch this model or brand. Maybe just find a good dealer!!!kept being told it was normal!

Date PurchasedSep 2014

Blew up after minimal use

used sparingly over an 18 month period, then stopped working, the Stihl agent blamed the fuel and would not honour the warranty although other machines working fine on same fuel, have since heard the "bad fuel" excuse is a popular one with Stihl. Will try Husqvarna next time, hopefully with better results

Date PurchasedMay 2017

Seriously hard to start

Tried to use it 3 times. Found it was easier to cut trees down with a machete than trying to start chainsaw. When finally started after letting sit for periods of 30 minutes because it seems to flood on the first start attempt, it also overheats very quickly. Never again Stihl.

Date PurchasedSep 2018

Poor replacemennt for a 009

I bought this to replace my 25 year old 009 rater than repair the old one. How I wish I did not choose to do that. Unlike the old legend thiis piece of SH is hard to start. It is GUTLESS. I used to saw through 12 inch logs with my 009 with relative ease. This pile of crap is lucky to go through 8 inch branches without stalling. I got this machine for just under 400 dollars and at the same time I bought a chinese ebay saw which runs rings around this thing and I only paid 100 dollars for that. Will never buy Stihl again. What used to be a good thing has now turned to SHt

Date PurchasedMar 2016


I bought this chainsaw because my old 009 model worked so well for 20 years.
The problem with this saw is its poor starting, the book info is NOT CORRECT, it will flood and then you have to take out the plug to clear the excess fuel.
My Son rang Stihl in the U.S. to try and help me out, When he told them the model they said "Ah the temperamental one".
That's it in a nutshell.
To be fair, when the saw is running it works really well, I can't fault it in that respect.
My 20 year old 009 starts easier than my new MS 180....

Date PurchasedFeb 2018

Better than u might think

I’ve owned a few stihl saws now. The 009, the ms-181, now this one , the ms-180. Both previous saws have been pretty reliable for the price. This model has the 16 inch bar, and cuts firewood and some larger obstacles fairly well. I only use it for small to medium tasks.
Usually I get 4-5 years out of these cheaper models before they pack it in. I don’t think the unprofessional range saws like these are made like the use to be, but they are easier to clean. They retail for around 299$. Hopefully it will continue to perform as it should without the starting issues other reviewers have mentioned.

Date PurchasedMar 2018

Great little workhorse for it size.

I've had absolutely no issues with this chain saw whatsoever . It starts well each and every time, so I don't know why people have difficulty starting theirs. I keep mine serviced, mix the fuel precisely. Too rich and it won't start. I keep the chain sharp, most important.
I got this smaller chain saw as my other chain saw , a Stihl Farm Boss 20" ( which is so reliable ) , is heavier and is sometimes hard on my back, depending on the job . The lighter MS 180 at just a bit over 4kg , is ideal for smaller jobs and is easier on my back when I use it at a safe working height, even after cutting a lot of wood. I have on occasion done some jobs that the ' Farm Boss' should be doing.
As always , the chain is easy to adjust . It was on special at the time so I got it at a good price, it came with tools, a manual & warranty , and a bonus carry case that was thrown in by the Stihl dealer, at no cost.
With the exception of the carry case and being heavier, the Sthil Farm Boss is just as reliable .

Date PurchasedMay 2016

I thought I had purchased a dud BUT it’s an awesome saw when you know how.

Ok, first up I bought this saw off Gumtree for $140 in July 2018 because it seemed like a bargain and I was going to flip it.
It looked hardly used and seemed like a great deal until I went to start it. I couldn’t start it where I bought it from as no fuel. Hmmm that’s a bit sus. I couldn’t understand the seller very well and he kept trying to explain how to start it. I didn’t really pay attention “cause I know boats”.
Of course when I got it home it wouldn’t start so I sprayed a little then a lot of ether into it and still (get it stihl) no start. Now I’m wondering if I bought a dud. Hmmmmmm. Ok, time to contact google and I’m glad I did as I found out this little saw is really easy to flood and once flooded it will NOT start until excess fuel is removed. Even ether will flood it. That’s a first for me. So I followed the google instructions and removed the plug and dried out the cylinder. Plug back, in and tried it, and it coughed so gave it half choke and away she went!!!! Now I know how to start it, same as stated in previous reviews, it goes every time. It’s a great little saw and it screams along. Cuts through anything. It reminds me of a little Terrier that will take on anything no matter how big it is. I sold an older, moody, McCulloch chainsaw and purchased an electric one which I have been more than happy with FOR WHAT I NEED but I am thinking of keeping the Stihl because it’s just so awesome. The things I like: Its fairly light. Goes like a cut snake. Stihl quality. Easy to service in the field eg, no tools required to tension the chain, a half turn of a plastic retainer and the whole top cover comes off to access the carby, air filter, spark plug. With the McCulloch and a lot of cheap chainsaws you need a screwdriver to access anything.
My recommendation? Buy one but be aware they can be finicky to start but once you learn how it’s easy and it’s an awesome saw. I really want to keep it so maybe we could use it when we go camping. Sounds like a good excuse to me.

Date PurchasedJul 2018

Excellent saw can not fault it

As stated 4 pulls (splutter), half choke 1 pull and fires straight up when cold and once warm 1 pull only ever. Option for another chain on purchase as will come in handy or it does for me as i cut Aus hardwood around 10" and 12" logs and get around 3-4 tanks before sawdust gets a little fine and o need to change chains. I take my chains to my stihl dealer to sharpen and he always says id get a little more out of the chain sharpness but i feel its saving the little saw as its doing a beast of a job with a little 16" bar as a backup to my Ms311. Watch the bar oil reservoir though they do run out quick on them around two bar oil fill's to one tank fuel.......

Date PurchasedJan 2018

Best little saw

Great little saw, easiest to start in the world. Stihl make the best chainsaws in the world, German quality. Most of these bad reviews are obviously from beginners. Full choke, 4 pulls until it splutters, then half choke till she starts. Even if it doesn't splutter on full choke, go to half choke. Great little chainsaw.

Date PurchasedMay 2018

piece of garbage

Hardly use it because it won't start .I live 250 klm from a dealer so can't take it back when it doesn't start.I've rang the dealer and as usual he tells me I've flooded it.So Mr Stihl tell me how to start the piece of trash without flooding it Will never buy another stihl product again.PS I've also got a Stihl FS55 whipper snipper which I purchased at the same time that also dose not want to start.

Date PurchasedSep 2017

Best Saw Ever

I bought this saw and it works like a FarmBoss!!! It cuts like a two edged sword and rips through the larger logs and hasn't let me down. I can guarantee you that you wont waste you cash by buying this saw!!! As it comes with a 16" bar, it is more than capable of cutting up your firewood for the winter. Starts every first pull every time regardless of it being hot or cold. Epic bang for your buck and cuts up anything around the home, forest or trees in your next door neighbours yard!!!

Date PurchasedApr 2018

Difficult to start from cold

Purchase a new MS 180 from a stihl dealer. Got the machine home and it would not start. I followed the correct starting procedure. I took the machine back to the dealer and they told me it was floated. They blew the fuel out with an air compress and it started in the shop. I got the machine home and attempted to start it and it flooded again. Same problem. The chain saw has never cut a branch and sits on the shelf in the shed. I wasted my money,
I cannot be bothered to take it back to the dealer. This machine has a flooding problem. Stay well clear of it.
Buy a different brand. I do not recommend this machine. Absolute rubbish.

Date PurchasedApr 2018

Won't start

2 tanks of gas and now it is dead. Stihl is no help getting it running. Buy something else! Anything would be better than this piece of junk. Do yourself a favor and look elsewhere foe a saw.

Date PurchasedOct 2017

STIHL MS180 Chainsaw with 16" chain

Hi there, I did a lot of looking around and decided to purchase one of these from our local STIHL shop on the review recommendations out there, hmmm not so good
the first problem was, it was a pain to start so took it back to the shop
got it back and it started fine only to die when it got hot, back to the shop
they then told me to start it with no choke or half throttle, should start in 3 to 6 pulls, really its advertised as an easy start
my 30year old Poulan starts in two, but it rattles like crazy and has seen better days
back to the shop, they did its four-hour service
I spoke to there Auckland head office, got the runaround
the end result, still not easy to start, expect 3 to 6 pulls, if it is hot just leave it, I run it for one tank of gas and then retire it for the day, otherwise, it will not start and you will feel like throwing it into the shredder or better still using the log splitter on it, now there's an idea :-)

Date PurchasedJan 2018

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Questions & Answers

How to adjust mixture?
No answers

Hi the chain on my stihl minni boss won't cut Just starts smoking and burning the wood when I start to cut chain is sharp can you tell me why is this happening?
1 answer
Chain may be too tight on the bar, this will cause it to heat up and smoke. Or The teeth on the chain may not be sharp enough to cut the wood. Or the depth gauge on the tooth has not been reset after sharpening, this will cause it to smoke. Other wise try another chain. Hope this helps.


MS 180 MiniBossMS 180 Easy2Start MiniBoss
Weight4.1 kg
Engine Displacement31.8 cc
Fuel Tank Capacity250 mL
Release dateMar 2008

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