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Stihl MS 181

Stihl MS 181

3.5 from 6 reviews

Ms-181 stihl

Ms-181. Mini boss

This model in my opinion is not much of a step up from the ms-180 which is 150 $ cheaper.
They say the ms-181 has better air filtration, less vibration and possibly better fuel economy. But in reality these improvements are hardly noticeable. I have owned both models and would recommend the ms-180 for the price. I can only really see a slight difference in performance. Not really worth the extra 150$ I feel. If you look at the technical specifications on the Stihl website they are almost identical. The results when you wood are almost the same. I would suggest to buy the Ms-180, and save. Perhaps use the savings to purchase an extra chain, or bar oil. You could also buy the extended warranty in case something goes wrong. Hopefully this helps

Date PurchasedFeb 2013

Good saw

I bought the MS181 for cutting firewood and for bigger pruning tasks. It's light and easy to handle and It suites my requirements perfectly. It doesn't get year round use, but come winter, it's used probably every other weekend chopping fallen branches. The only issue I've had was a leaking chain oil pipe, which was fixed promptly under warranty at my local Stihl shop, and the spark arrester got clogged up after 2 years use (my 2 stroke mix may be a little oil rich). I'm very happy with it and will definitely go Stihl again if I ever need a bigger saw.

Date PurchasedSep 2014

chain problem

Have operated chain saws for many years,Bought new MS181 new have used three tanks of fuel on not to heavy work and am disappointed that a lot of the teeth on the chain have broken off never had this happen on any other saw.I have also used new MS171 as well as MS181 and on both when I slackened lock nut to adjust chain tension the threaded stud undid from the body of saw not allowing it to become slack .Surprised at these defects on anew saw

Date PurchasedJun 2017

Best saw I have owned!

Admittedly I have only owned 2 other chainsaws.

This is easy to maintain, easy to clean and it is a well put together unit! Cuts everything i have tried with ease. Even successfully plunge cut to chop up a 1.2m dia gum stump i had left over.

The bar oiler is exceptional.. it does seem to use more bar oil than my other saws, but that isnt really a negative..

Definitely needs the rpm up to cut, so sometimes its worth holding back a few seconds before chopping into the wood.

Date PurchasedFeb 2017

Great chainsaw for pruning and firewood

I've owned the MS181 for a little over 2 years, and it has worked flawlessly. The saw gets used very regularly, and for extended periods, throughout the autumn and winter seasons for cutting firewood, its never missed a beat.
It's lightweight with minimal vibration, and has enough power to handle most jobs. It can struggle a bit when cutting larger diameter hardwood, but this is rarely an issue.
As long as you perform the regular maintenance that chainsaws require, the MS181 won't disappoint, great value for money.


Had the misfortune to spend nearly $500 on a Stihl chainsaw. Found it to be a very poor quality product backed up by even poorer quality service

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MS 181
Price (RRP) $449.00
Bar Length40 cm
Weight4.3 kg
Engine Displacement31.8 cc
Fuel Tank Capacity270 mL

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