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Stihl MS 381

Stihl MS 381

4.2 from 17 reviews

See the Best Petrol Chainsaws in 2019 as rated by Australians on ProductReview.com.au.

Reviews

Review distribution

5 star
12
4 star
2
3 star
0
2 star
1
1 star
2

David Bradley

David BradleySydney, NSW

Junk - just like Stihl service

published

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.

Build Quality
Value for Money
Ease of Use
Cleaning & Maintenance
Safety
See all answers

After 10 years Can't fault the ms 180

published

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.

Build Quality
Value for Money
Ease of Use
Cleaning & Maintenance
Safety
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Tys

Tysadelaide

Saws dead after 3 months

published

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.

Date PurchasedJul 2018
Kevin.E

Kevin.EMetropolitan Adelaide, SA

  • 3 reviews
  • 2 likes

Pretty good saw for it's size!

published

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!

Date PurchasedJan 2018

Bruce P

Bruce PBrisbane

Chinese garbage

published

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!

Date PurchasedMar 2015

  • Verified purchase

Stihl MS381 MAGNUM. The ultimate medium to large saw.

published

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.

Date PurchasedDec 2012

Bill

BillNew Zealand

Only firewood saw you will ever need

published

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

Date PurchasedJun 2016

Love the 381 and also the 038

published

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.

Muz

MuzForster, NSW

Awesome chainsaw.

published

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....

published

Peter Tate..

Peter Tate..

  • 6 reviews
  • 8 likes

Working well, starts with about 10 pulls all up when cold, one when hot.

published

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.

1 comment
Peter Tate..
Peter Tate..

Still going well.


One of the best items I have purchased

published

Happy5

Happy5AU

  • 2 reviews
  • 3 likes

MS 381 Stihl what a great saw

published
4 comments
Riccey
Riccey

I'm thinking of a new chainsaw either the MS381 or the MS391.I know the 391 is "newer" but was told the 381 is the better buy?

Happy5
Happy5
Happy5
Happy5

A06

A06Armidale

  • 24 reviews

Great saw, long lasting design.

published
Date PurchasedMay 2012

Great saw

published

Great saw. Bought this after having a stihl 023 for cutting the odd bit of firewood. I then got the 318 after purchasing wood fire place and needed more power in a saw. It was like of getting out of a lancer into a Ferrari. Great power and can use this saw all day it's not really that heavy. Makes job whole lot easier buying a decent saw. A week before I bought the 318 tried my luck with a buamer ag 72 cc Chinese $200 piece of [censored word removed]. Honestly does no where near compare in power and quality , even though being the same cc's. save the dramas just buy a stihl

I liked the idea of the 023 stihl with quick chain tensioner, where as this you have to loosen two bar nuts off. Very minor con though

Karlsun

KarlsunAUCKLAND

Well balanced all rounder

published

After much consideration I purchased a 381 and I am delighted. perfect for most applications.Sure not as much Grunt as a 660,but unless you are full time forestry worker the 381 is perfect.The standard 20" bar is well balanced and easy on the arms.I do also run a 30" for the big stuff,although does make it nose heavy and would not use everyday,but good to know she can handle it.Very reliable ,has never missed a beat.
Reliable,comfortable,versatile
Does suck a bit of petrol,


Woodcutter24

Woodcutter24BLAKEHURST

Perfect firewood saw

published

Questions & Answers

ben

benasked

How much the MS-381 cost?
How can I get a chain(blade) for this saw? Pliz help me

2 answers
Bill
Bill

Around $1895 nz dollars will get you a new one however you can pick up 381 second hand for $1200 and under. They come with chain and bar generally unless you only buy the powerhead. Chains can be picked up from your stihl dealer $64 nz dollars to fit a 20inch bar. Oregon make a good cheaper option in bars and chains and are just as good, hope this helps ☺

Sean K
Sean K

You can pick one up in mint condition for $500-$650,probably with a case etc.
Its a bit on the hefty side but is an excellent bucking / firewood saw with massive torque.
Any Stihl dealer can sell you a bar & chain.
Recommend .063 3/8th, semi or full chisel will depend on what your using it for. Semi will need sharpening less often and is more tolerant of dirty bark etc.
20 inch is a good all rounder, 25 for larger cuts.


Izzy

Izzyasked

What size file would I use to sharpen the chain of a stihl 381?

1 answer
Bill
Bill

Mine has a 063 gauge 3/8 pitch chain so takes a 5.5 mm file


Nihar1304

Nihar1304asked

Is this run in petrol?

3 answers
Callum P
Callum P

i dont know. i run mine on used chip oil

SkiTragic
SkiTragic

Warning to others who trust productreview.com.au - disregard this comment from Callum P. Use only what's recommended by the manufacturer in your Stihl chain saw.

Sean K
Sean K

ROGLMAO !!


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