How is Stihl pronounced?
It’s a question as old as the hills – or at least as old as the first Stihl Chainsaw.
Is Stihl pronounced Still, Steel, or Schtil?
Here is the definitive answer!
How Do You Pronouce Stihl?
How do you pronounce the name Stihl?
This old Stihl Chainsaw billboard tells us straight away:
There’s also a nice little reference to the fact that Andreas Stihl invented the chainsaw – at least, the one for cutting trees and wood: “The World’s First And Finest Chainsaws!”
The Type A was the first gas-powered Stihl chainsaw. It came out a couple of years after Stihl’s first saw which was electric. The Model A was a two-man saw that had handles designed for motorcycles.
But back to the matter at hand…
It is also stated on the official Stihl USA website that Stihl is pronounced exactly like the metal “steel.”
This answer will be offensive to many, including me, who like to pronounce it ‘Still.’
In fact, as it turns out, entire nations are pronouncing it wrong. In New Zealand, for example, I have never heard anyone say ‘Steel’ or ‘Schtil’ – it’s ALWAYS ‘Still.’
But it is what it is, and perhaps the question should be ‘How do you pronounce Stihl in Australia?’, ‘How do you pronounce Stihl in Texas?’, or ‘How do you pronounce Stihl in Germany?’.
Stihl Pronunciation Poll
Yesterday, someone in the main Stihl Chainsaw Facebook group asked this question, which prompted me to write this post.
He asked this group of over 100,000 Stihl Chainsaw owners how they say the word Stihl, and as you’d expect, the answers were very varied.
I read all 160 comments, and here are the results:
- Still – 23 people
- Steel – 28 people
- Schtil – 4 people
All the other answers were either jokes, replies, memes, or comments that didn’t answer the question.
So out in the real world, it’s a pretty even split between people who say ‘Still’ and people who say ‘Steel,’ though ‘Steel’ obviously is the winner.
Other interesting comments from the thread:
- It’s German. The “h” behind the “i” turns the “i” into an “ee”.
- In their commercials, they pronounce it steel.
- When I toured the Australian factory they told me Andreas Stihl did not respond to people who used the Americanized version [Still]. Just ignored them.
There were also those who, because of their accent, couldn’t even hear a difference between the way they pronounce Still and Steel – seems to be those in the South of the US.
Stihl Name FAQs
What does Stihl mean in German?
These days, the word Stihl is solely a surname that is most commonly found in Europe.
What does the word Stihl mean?
There are a number of possible origins for the name.
Surname Database states, “The first possible origin is topographical or occupational for one who lived by or looked after a fish trap, probably on a river. This is a derivative of the German and Anglo-Saxon word stiell.”
But follow that link to find out other possible origins.
Where is the name Stihl from?
The Stihl Chainsaw company gets its name from the found Andreas Stihl.
Andreas Stihl’s descendants are still very involved in the company. See a picture of his son Hans Peter Stihl in our look at Matt Santjer’s Jet Saw. Hans is a former CEO of the company.
What nationality is the name STIHL?
The Stihl surname is most commonly found in Germany.
Is STIHL made in the USA?
Yes, many Stihl chainsaws are made in the USA, but the company has many factories around the world.
How To Say Stihl
So, to sum up, the correct pronunciation is ‘Steel’ but almost as many people say ‘Still.’
Personally, I’ll continue to use the latter, even if it’s not technically correct, because no one will know what I’m talking about otherwise. In my region, everyone says ‘Still.’
I think everyone should find out what pronunciation their local area uses, and go with that.
Let us know your thoughts in the comment section below, or find out the meaning of the C on Stihl Chainsaws next.