Adjustable chain output
Single-lever master control
Can break after a short amount of time
Worst chain saw ever
Brought one and paid $1100. Lasted just over 12 months. When we took it back to the dealer because it wasn't working they told us that the pistons where gone due to incorrect fuel. There is on way that could of happened. Have other tools that use the same fuel they are still going strong. Piece of junk no after sales help. The saw is just out of warranty. Hopeless tool hopeless after sales service don't do it
Purchased in November 2018 for $1,100.00.
Junk - just like Stihl service
Died after 5 months - piston scored. Stihl dealer insisted it was due to incorrect fuel mix- even though it had always been run on the same mix (using Stihl 2stroke oil) as my other Stihl gear. Stihl head office simply refused to reply to emails & calls.
Was great when it was running, but the premium paid for something which did not even last half a year was just wasted money - would have been better off just buying junk and throwing them away at the first sign of trouble: the Ozito bought as an emergency replacement has lasted 4 times as long & still going strong.
Purchased in February 2016 at Stihl Dealer.
After 10 years Can't fault the ms 180
As I say in the heading I've had this chainsaw for a very long time and it's served me well and worked hard, just this day at time of writing I cut up about a ton of heavy wood for the fire. Never had trouble starting it ever. So don't be put of indeed if it were stolen I'd go get another.
Purchased in September 2008 at Auto Masters WA Country for $200.00.
Saws dead after 3 months
Piece of junk. Barrel and piston are scored and apparently ruined after 3 months. STIHL says its had the wrong fuel mix even though all my other 6 saws that run on the exact same fuel start first pull.
Only STIHL saws worth potentially buying are the arborist saws and the 66 but be careful my mate bought a stihl saw and pulled it apart before he turned it on and the piston was rusty. If something goes wrong its never their fault.
Pretty good saw for it's size!
I've been helping a tree lopper as a groundie & I've been using a 381 as a ground saw, while the climber is in the tree; it's a very nice saw for it's weight. I'm used to using a Stihl 660, a Makita 7901, or a Husky 395 - the 381 is lighter than the 660 & the 395 without giving up too much productivity. It's not as gutsy as the 7901, but it's all you need it to be. For 24" or larger gum tree logs, the bigger saws are quicker, but the 381 will still cut them, no dramas. I like it!
After 10 to 12 hours use, 3 broken cylinder hold down screws and a scored bore, 038 on it. The carby is some Chinese brand never heard of. No gasket and diaphragm kit available. Thank god my 19 year old 365 husky is still going strong. Never another stihl in my life!
Stihl MS381 MAGNUM. The ultimate medium to large saw.
I've had 2 STIHL MS381 Magnums 1 after the other. My younger brother's got 1 as well. My dad's got an original 038 Magnum. We brought them to do commercial firewood & logging. They are a high torque saw. Very well suited for Australian Hardwood. I'm running 20" & 25" bars & chains. Have had a 36" skipper tooth ripping bar & chain on an Alaskan Mark 3 mill. Can't fault the saw. Thoroughly recommend them.
Only firewood saw you will ever need
A reliable grunt machine, 3.9kw and 20inch bar.This saw eats anything you throw at it. Very managable and responsive unit. Cuts 30inch logs no problem, pine, macro, NZ native etc. Uses 900mls of fuel per hour flat out. I buried the saw into 30inch log and didnt slow it down. 72.2cc and 6.6kgs in weight (its not a plastic saw). In a nut shell, Brilliant. Edit 6-8-18.......saw is still going strong with no faults, honestly bomb proof
Love the 381 and also the 038
Performance,reliable,strong,excellent saw love it gets the job done in no time.The saw has a very long life span.My granddad first saw was a stihl 038 he has bein doin loogin all his life and also my dad. For my dad he also love the stihl 038 and the ms 381.
Friend recommended the ms 381 to me. As he is a treelopper, or arborist to some, i took his advise. So glad i did as this is a beast. So much grunt to rip through the toughest mature hardwood gum. Older but bulletproof technology that is super reliable. Will flood if starting sequence isn't followed.
one tough saw....
I've had a ms381 for 6 years now and it has NEVER let me down. I fall trees and cut firewood for a living and would not hesitate to buy another when the time comes. A well balanced saw with a 20inch bar(standard) that can handle plunge cuts, ripping logs, felling trees and will cut all the firewood you could ever need! The internal clutch mechanism makes swapping bars and chains a breeze...and the side chain tensioner eliminates the burnt and scraped knuckles associated with other brand chainsaws. In the time i have owned this machine, i have o...nly ever replaced filters, chains and bars etc...the engine has NEVER been in for a service and still runs strong. The decompression valve and elasto-start handle make starting the saw a breeze despite its size. I have run a 24 inch bar and chain on this unit and it has plenty of power to burn. A brilliant all round saw for the professional user.
Working well, starts with about 10 pulls all up when cold, one when hot.
I sold my 15 year old Husky to buy the Stihl, main reason was that I couldnt buy another husky locally.
This 381 is a size bigger than my 365 Husqvarna.
So far quite happy with it, mostly been doing softwood and some hardwood. (redgum and other) its been ripping through the wood. Still using the straight edge chain.
Going to buy a bigger bar, 25 inch as I have some bigger stumps to cut through.
But so far really happy with the chainsaw, its a bit harder to pull start than the old saw, but that can be a good thing.
One of the best items I have purchased
I bought the 381 after some basic research 18 months ago. I had a small Poulan so this was a big step up from a 33cm to a 50 cm bar. Sourcing firewood for home is getting harder living in a capital city - Melbourne, as big timber is often all you can find. I have had no issues with the saw other then hanging onto it carefully when it gets going as it felt like a handful when I first got it. I also get it sharpened after every 4 tanks of fuel rather than do it myself as it is only $10 at the dealer and cleaning the filter and rotating the bar is...simple. Fuel and oil use are fine as i do not use more than 10 litres of fuel a year. This has been fine for me at the upper end of the home use scale. Anything bigger is getting up to $2k which is hard to justify for occasional use.
MS 381 Stihl what a great saw
Purchased this saw a couple of months ago for firewood cutting; home use. Had been through 3 cheap saws in 8 years and wanted one that would last. Liked the basic power of this saw. Have cut around 6 ton (green and dry/ dirty gum) so far, rebuilding my home stocks for next year. The saw starts and runs really reliably so far. Extremely happy with the ease of use (particularly toolless oil and fuel caps, and the side chain tensioner that work great). The stihl chains are top quality. After 8 years and some good advice with this saw, I can finall...y sharpen them properly. Would recommend the stihl shop in Enfield Adelaide and Leon's advice. Would recommend a stihl dealer even for the money- there seem to be a lot of counterfeits out there. I am using a 20" bar- power through dry or green gum is excellent with no bogging down. Very pleased with both stihl chain types I've used (skip full chisel for green wood, semi chisel full comp for more dirty dry wood), very low stretch chains and have yet to have one come off the bar. I'm not affiliated with stihl and pay for all my own gear. Reliable, powerful, ease of starting and use, serviceable. If you buy the wrong air filter it's impossible to start!
Great saw, long lasting design.
The MS381 Magnum saw is essentially an updated Stihl 038 Magnum. The 038 Magnum is well known as one of Stihl's best models, and the MS381 takes its best features and improves them. A decompression valve has been added for easier starting, and the air filter and carb system updated.
The MS381 is an older design that does not comply with recent Euro and US emissions standards like Stihl's new models do. It's a torquey 72cc engine which uses a lot of fuel and revs quite low relative to the newer models. It's a proven performer that will outlas...t any Bunnings bit of gear. I used a Stihl 038 prior to this which is 10 years old and still going strong. I use it for firewood on stringy bark and yellow box and it handles them like butter. Like most Stihl gear, it's expensive, but should be the last saw you need to buy. Like they say, quality is remembered long after price is forgotten. Don't forget your safety gear. UPDATE: I bought this saw in 2012, and 5 very tough seasons of collecting firewood later (now Feb 2017), it's still going strong. Have had the bar dressed a few times, and gone through plenty of chain, but the saw itself is excellent. I'd upgrade to six stars if it was possible. I give it a regular annual service/tune up at the local mower shop, and it's still a strong, reliable saw. Starts 2nd/3rd pull every time, just make sure you follow the start sequence! Reliability, great performance.
Questions & Answers
My ms 381 run about 10 minutes then dies
Start does not stay ...it start but it stop now n then...why?
Ms381 has a clogging sound when the chain is locked. And the machine idles extremely high . sometimes won't start if chain is locked. Overall locking the chain causes a chocking sound and eventually chainsaw cuts off. Any ideas on the cause?
Have you removed clutch drum(reverse thread) and cleaned inside with vario clean or kerosene? Also inspect, clean and grease clutch drum bearing. Also check spark arrestor mesh in exhaust out let. Good luck
Get an answer from our members
This chainsaw is suitable for heavy-duty use on a wide variety of commercial or farming jobs. It features a deco valve and an ElastoStart handle on the pull cord for easier starting.
- Anti-vibration system: Intense vibration at the handles of power tools can lead to longer-term effects on blood vessels in the hands and arms. STIHL have therefore developed an effective anti-vibration system whereby the oscillations from the machines engine are dampened which significantly reduces vibrations at the handles.
- STIHL ElastoStart: This feature reduces the shock caused by the compression of the engine during starting. The compression shock is taken away from the users joints and muscles through a spring or rubber element in the starter handle.
- Decompression Valve: The decompression valve is part of the easy start-system. The valve should be pressed before starting in order to reduce the compression pressure when starting, as well as the effort needed to pull the starter rope. The decompression valve is semi-automatic, meaning that it must be pressed manually before starting, but then closes automatically.
- Compensator: This controller in the carburetor prevents the fuel-air mixture getting richer as the air filter becomes clogged. The correct quantity of fuel is delivered to the carburetor depending on the quantity of air passing through the air filter. This keeps the fuel/air ratio in the combustion mixture constant and hence also the engine power. The filter doesn’t need to be cleaned until an appreciable drop in power occurs.
- STIHL Ematic-System: The Ematic chain lubrication system ensures pinpoint lubrication of the saw chain links and guide bar rails. When used with STIHL OILOMATIC saw chain, it will provide maximum lubrication, longer wear and less oil consumption than conventional methods of chain lubrication. The Ematic system can reduce bar oil consumption up to 50%.
|Bar Length||50 cm|
|Engine Displacement||72.2 cc|
|Fuel Tank Capacity||680 mL|
|Release date||Jan 2009|
Other Petrol Chainsaws
ProductReview.com.au has affiliate partnerships. These do not influence our content moderation policies in any way, though ProductReview.com.au may earn commissions for products/services purchased via affiliate links.