Stihl chainsaws are some of the finest one’s ever to hit the market. And with almost a hundred years of experience in the industry, the brand is still going strong. Even to this day, Stihl chainsaws are considered a staple in any logger’s arsenal as it gives you a perfect blend of performance and price.
Now, needless to say, the brand wouldn’t be adored this much if it were a one-hit wonder. They have a comprehensive catalog of chainsaws from different generations, and while many are discontinued, there are many amazing models that you can pick up today.
But if you are relatively new to the scene and don’t know much about chainsaws – I’m sure you’re wondering what all the hype is about. And a quick look around the internet might confuse you even more when you see that Stihl chainsaws are made in different countries. What gives?
Well, these are the questions that I will try to answer today. In this article, I will give you an in-depth look into the brand and help you understand where Stihl chainsaws are made. So, let’s hop in.
A Brief Overview of Stihl Inc.
Stihl Inc. has a very humble beginning. And if I were to give you a complete rundown of their history, we’ll be here all day. So, I’ll save that for another article. Don’t worry – I’ll still talk a bit about the brand’s founding, but I’ll keep it short and sweet.
Established in 1926, Stihl Inc. is a top-tier chainsaw brand that also manufactures other outdoor power equipment such as trimmers, blowers, hedge trimmers, etc. It was founded by Andreas Stihl, and though it manufactures all sorts of tools, it started out with chainsaws only.
After World War II, Stihl started to globalize. Before then, most of their operations were carried out in Germany. But after the Second World War, they established subsidiaries in other parts of the world. In the 70s, the company came up with the first one man operated chainsaw that, needless to say, completely revolutionized the industry.
The brand never really saw a decline in its popularity and continued on its path to fame by providing innovative products one after the other. Another notable breakthrough of the brand is the first fuel-injected chainsaw promising to improve fuel efficiency and reduce fume emissions drastically.
So what started as a small venture in one European country turned global over time. They wanted to create eco-friendly chainsaws, and it’s safe to say that they achieved their goal, or at least – they are on the right track.
Most of the Stihl chainsaws available nowadays are extremely fuel efficient and offer reduced emissions that have a less harmful impact on the environment
Where is Stihl Chainsaw Made?
Today, Stihl has multiple manufacturing facilities worldwide, and they produce a plethora of outdoor power tools. The brand has state-of-the-art assembly and manufacturing plants in the following countries–
- United States
You can easily check where your Stihl chainsaw is made by looking at its serial number. Stihl chainsaws that are manufactured in Germany have a serial number starting with the digit 1. If the starting digit is either a 2 or a 5, then it’s made in the United States.
Brazilian-made Stihl chainsaws typically start with the digit 3. Similarly, the serial number in a Chinese Stihl chainsaw starts with the digit 8. Finally, Stihl chainsaws made in Austria have the digit 4 as their starting number.
Which Stihl Chainsaws are Made in Germany
Stihl, at least at the time of its conception, is a German brand. It was founded by Andreas Stihl, a renowned mechanical engineer, in the 1920s, and the headquarter was located near Stuttgart in a place called Waiblingen, Baden-Württemberg.
Although the brand has multiple factories all over the world these days, the main headquarter is still in Germany. However, most of the production is carried out in other countries, most notably, USA and China.
But a few select product lines, such as the Stihl MS500i, is still produced in Germany. You can tell whether your Stihl Chainsaw is made in Germany by looking at the serial number. The first digit in a German-made Stihl Chainsaw is always 1.
Typically, the Stihl chainsaws that are distributed in Europe are made in Germany. But you can also find many USA-made Stihl chainsaws in Europe too. So, it’s difficult to give you an exact answer to this question.
Is Stihl made in China?
The Stihl China manufacturing plant is responsible for most of the entry-level chainsaws that the brand produces. It is located in Qingdao and was founded in 2005. Compared to the USA plant, it’s pretty new. Along with chainsaws, the China factory also manufactures trimmers, clearing saws, and hedge trimmers.
Of course, the manufacturing plant also produces parts and components for chainsaws that they supply all over the globe. And it also supplies chainsaws to Asian countries nearby.
While they only produce entry-level chainsaws, the quality is on par with the ones made in other parts of the world. Quality control is always the first priority in Stihl, and you will find nothing worth complaining about, even when you have a Chinese Stihl chainsaw.
Is Stihl made in USA?
Yes, Stihl chainsaws with serial numbers starting with 2 or 5 are assembled in the USA and shipped worldwide from the country. Calling the Virginal Beach Plant of Stihl Inc. located in the USA massive would, in fact, be an understatement. It’s set on a 150-acre property, and it continues to grow and expand even to this day.
And it’s not just a factory that’s solely responsible for assembly. The Stihl USA plant is also involved in manufacturing a lot of the parts and components for chainsaws. The factory was founded in 1974, and the buildings make up over 2 million square feet.
As of 2023, the USA factory has over 2300 employees, along with a lot of assembling robots to automate the manufacturing process. The Virginia Beach Plant is responsible for selling to over 9000 dealers in the USA and also exports parts and components to 90 companies worldwide.
The Stihl USA Plant received many awards for its level of quality control and innovation over the years. Most of the gas and battery-powered Stihl chainsaws are made in the USA plant nowadays.
Where are Stihl Battery Chainsaws Made
If you own a battery-powered Stihl chainsaw, it’s most likely made in either the United States or Austria. The manufacturing factories located in these two countries are considered the leaders in terms of innovation and technology.
You see, battery-powered chainsaws require a lot of attention during manufacturing. In my experience, Stihl always ensures the highest quality when it comes to building quality and performance. And since battery chainsaws need to have a decent uptime for a good experience, it makes sense that they chose to produce them in these two countries.
So, all the Stihl battery chainsaws that you see around the world are either shipped from the USA or Austria.
Where is Australian Stihl Chainsaws Made?
Stihl is an extremely popular chainsaw brand in the Australian market. But as weird as it may sound, Stihl doesn’t have any manufacturing plant there. Though there are around 600 dealers all around the continent, the brand did not set up a factory in Australia.
Typically, the Stihl chainsaws that are available in Australia are shipped from either their European plants or from the Virginia Beach plant.
Where are the Parts for Stihl Chainsaws Made?
I know it can be a bit of a letdown if you see that the Stihl chainsaw you ordered online is made in China instead of Germany, but look at it this way – Stihl is no longer strictly a German brand. It’s a global corporation that has assembly plants all over the globe to streamline its logistics.
You see, most of the parts that are used in Stihl chainsaws are sourced from other countries, including China. The parts are then shipped to their factories worldwide, where they are assembled. So, when you are looking at the country of origin for your chainsaw, you are mostly looking at where it’s assembled rather than where the parts came from.
So even when your chainsaw comes with the tag “Made in USA,” – the parts were probably picked up from China. Now I don’t mean that in a bad way at all. Stihl chainsaws are reliable and offer amazing performance – regardless of their country of origin.
And I would be the last person to judge a chainsaw, depending on where it’s made. On the contrary, if you are happy with the performance of your chainsaw, you shouldn’t bother too much about the country that it comes from.
Frequently Asked Questions
I have often seen people overthinking the country of origin when they are buying a new Stihl chainsaw. But for me, it really doesn’t matter where the chainsaw is made as long as it gives me a good experience. However, I also understand why it can be important to some people.
So let me address some of the common questions that I get asked by my friends and peers about where certain Stihl chainsaws are made. And if you want to know more about Stihl chainsaws in general, my blog can be a good place to start.
Where are Stihl 261 chainsaws made?
The Stihl MS 261 is a mid-range chainsaw that’s often compared with the Stihl 260. It’s a gas-driven chainsaw capable of producing up to 2.6 KW power thanks to its 50.2 CC engine. And like most other gas-driven chainsaws, it’s produced in the United States.
Where are Stihl MS170 chainsaws made?
The Stihl MS170 is an extremely popular option among homeowners. It retails for around 200 bucks and has plenty of power in the tank to provide an excellent experience for light to moderate workloads. So, if you are looking for firewood, this is a great choice. This chainsaw is manufactured in America and has excellent fuel efficiency giving you plenty of uptime on a full tank of gas.
Where are Stihl MS180 chainsaws made?
The Stihl MS 180, compared to the 170, has a slightly more powerful engine and offers some minor quality-of-life improvements in its design. So, if you think the MS 170 does not have enough power, the MS 180 might be a good fit. Similar to the MS 170, the Stihl MS 180 is made in the USA.
The Bottom Line
While I wouldn’t go as far as to say that Stihl created the first chainsaw – it’s definitely the brand that contributed most to its advancement. From focusing on fuel efficiency to reducing the risk of kickback, Stihl has proven time and time again how much they care about the performance of their chainsaws.
Now, I am not saying that the country of origin doesn’t matter, but frankly, it’s not the end of the world either. As long as you are buying an authentic Stihl chainsaw, you are promised reliability and quality. Chinese chainsaws often get a bad rep in the industry, but Stihl chainsaws made in China don’t exactly fall in that category.
But yes, if I had the option, I would much rather prefer a USA or German-made Stihl chainsaw in my arsenal. Then again, it depends on the type of chainsaw I am getting. For example, if you are going for a high-quality chainsaw under 300 dollars, there’s a big chance that you will end up with a Chinese Stihl chainsaw.
I hope my in-depth look at where Stihl chainsaws are made could help you understand more about the brand. Good luck!