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Stihl MS 381

Stihl MS 381

4.1 from 18 reviews · View Statistics
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Pros

  • Anti-vibration system

  • Adjustable chain output

  • Single-lever master control

Cons

  • Can break after a short amount of time

Reviews

4.1
18 reviews
  • Build Quality
    2.0 (3)
  • Value for Money
    2.3 (3)
  • Ease of Use
    3.7 (3)
  • Cleaning & Maintenance
    3.3 (3)
  • Safety
    3.0 (3)
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Paro
ParoSouth-Eastern Region, NSW
  • 4 reviews
  • 2 likes

Worst chain saw ever

published

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.

Build Quality
Value for Money
David Bradley
David BradleySydney, NSW
  • 3 reviews
  • 5 likes

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

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
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Tys
TysMetropolitan Adelaide, SA
  • 2 reviews
  • 4 likes

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 PurchasedJuly 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

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 PurchasedJune 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.

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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.

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
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
  • 41 likes

Great saw, long lasting design.

published
Date PurchasedMay 2012
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Questions & Answers

Wali J.
Wali J.asked

My ms 381 run about 10 minutes then dies

No answers
Jum S.
Jum S.asked

Start does not stay ...it start but it stop now n then...why?

No answers
DFour T.
DFour T.asked

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?

1 answer
Kasdon H.
Kasdon H.

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

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Details

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.

Features:

  • 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%.
CategoryPetrol Chainsaws
Price (RRP) $1,529.00
Bar Length50 cm
Weight6.6 kg
Engine Displacement72.2 cc
Fuel Tank Capacity680 mL
Release dateJan 2009
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