Is the Stihl 028 chainsaw any good?
It’s an old Stihl series 1118 chainsaw that was produced with varying designations from 1979 – 1990. That’s one of the longest chainsaw runs out there. Therefore, there are always plenty of used models for sale.
Keep in mind that the different 028 chainsaws – from the base model Stihl 028 through to the Stihl 028 AV Super Wood Boss – all have slightly different specs and features.
Here’s what you need to know about it to determine whether or not the 028 is a good chainsaw for you.
Stihl 028 Chainsaw
Stihl 028 AV
|Parts On HL SupplyParts On Ebay|
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The 028 is a somewhat low-powered chainsaw at the higher end of their homeowner range.
The various different saws sit around the 50cc mark, making them good for felling small trees and bucking firewood.
However, if you’re wanting to process larger logs, you’ll want something a bit bigger like the 064 (another saw from the same era).
It’s a good chainsaw for homeowners and those wanting something for infrequent use.
Stihl 028 Specs
The 028 was manufactured for over two decades, so there is a lot of variance between a 1979 model and a 1990 model – as I’m sure you can imagine.
That makes listing exact specifications tricky because you really need to know the exact year and designations for your particular saw to find out precise specs.
There are 4 main different Stihl 028 Chainsaw models:
- 028 AV
- 028 Super
- 028 Wood Boss
- 028 Super Wood Boss
Most of the 028s also have the AV designation for the Anti Vibration system, and 95% of the machines around today have this. However, some of the earliest models did not have this AV system (see the featured image, for example).
Wood Boss chainsaws are still around today (as with Stihl Farm Boss) but they are applied to different models now.
Here are the specs for the 3 most common 028 saws – remembering they can vary depending on the production year.
|The Stihl 028||028 AV||028 Wood Boss||028 Super|
|CCs||47 ccs||47 ccs||51.5 ccs|
|Horsepower||3 hp||3 hp||3.2 hp|
|Displacement||2.87 cu in||2.87 cu in||3.14 cu in|
|Weight||12.6 lbs||11.5 lbs||12.6 lbs|
|Bar Length||13″ to 18″||13″ to 18″||13″ to 20″|
The 028 Series 1118 Stihl production years:
- 028 AV – 1979 – 1980
- 028 Wood Boss – 1979 – 1980
- 028 AV Electronic Quickstart – 1979 – 1983
- 028 AV Super – 1983 – 1990
In some respects, you can say the first edition 028 is a completely different saw from the final edition ‘Stihl 028 AV Super Wood Boss with Electronic Quickstart’ – and what a title!
Stihl Series 1118 Features
As with the specs, the features of the 028 vary a lot depending on the year made and particular designation.
For example, the anti-vibration technology changed a lot from 1979 to 1990, so those later models are going to have a higher level of comfort when in use.
Also, some of the earlier models had a front chain tensioning screw (the older style), while the newer saws have an easier side-tensioner.
You can expect the following types of features:
- Auto chain oiler
- Easy access air-filters for cleaning
- Chain brake (not on all – some only have handguard)
That last feature is also the designation ‘Electronic Quickstop’ that you see listed on many of the 028s – it’s what we now call a chain brake that stops the saw immediately when activated.
Stihl 028 Price And Parts
As with everything else to do with the 028, the price varies!
I’ve seen them listed, or heard of people finding them for literally $20. Then at the other extreme, you will find see them selling for between $300 all the way up to $400.
It’s going to come down to a few factors:
- Year it was made – its features and specs
- Condition – a barely used model can go high
- Modifications – if there are any and whether it was done with aftermarket or OEM parts
As far as where to find parts for the Stihl 028, there are a number of good spots, but OEM is expensive.
Compare parts prices:
- On eBay here – at the time of writing there’s one going for $50
- HL Supply – for OEM parts including carbs
- On Amazon here – a few aftermarket parts options
Ebay also usually has entire old chainsaws that can be bought cheaply for parts – sometimes these saws can even be repaired by the right person.
Stihl 028 Chainsaw Review
What do people say about the 082?
Some of the comments I’ve heard from friends or read online include things like, ‘it’s a top saw that is undervalued since the 026 came out,’ or, ‘one of their best saws – bought a used one in 1990 and it still goes great with no mods.’
One of my favorite 028 reviews says, ‘Not the biggest or most powerful but the best all-around saw ever made.’
Those who prefer the most powerful Stihl chainsaws aren’t going to think a whole lot of the 028, but those who are simply fans of all Stihl saws think it’s pretty great.
- Lots of original or OEM parts
- Hard-working saw that runs well (if maintained)
- Great for firewood or clearing small trees
- So many variations
- Parts can be very expensive
Stihl 028 FAQs
What year did Stihl make the 028?
The Stihl 028 years made were:
- 028 AV – 1979 – 1980
- 028 Wood Boss – 1979 – 1980
- 028 AV Electronic Quickstart – 1979 – 1983
- 028 AV Super – 1983 – 1990
How many CC does a Stihl 028 have?
The CCs of different models:
- 028 AV – 47 ccs
- 028 Wood Boss – 47 ccs
- 028 Super – 51.5 ccs
What chain does a Stihl 028 Super use?
You can use this semi-chisel chain from Walmart or if you prefer, this ripping chain from Amazon.
What is the best Stihl chainsaw of all time?
That is certainly up for debate and everybody will give you a different answer.
The Stihl 261 is a very good all-rounder, but other more powerful saws like the 880 or 881 have a lot of fans.
Is a Stihl 028 AV Super a pro saw?
The 028 Super is a mid-range saw from Stihl.
It’s not a professional logging or forestry saw like the 026, but it’s certainly more powerful than small homeowner saws like the Stihl 011 AV.
Though there are plenty of small, lower-powered saws that are still professional-grade. The Stihl MS200T, for example, is a 35cc pro arborist saw.
What does AV mean on Stihl chainsaws?
AV stands for Anti-Vibration.
It’s just one of the many chainsaw designations out there from the MS, MSA, and MSE on all modern saws, to features like Quick Chain Adjuster (C-B).
Should You Get An 028?
The 028 Chainsaw is a great old Stihl that’s worth picking up for the right price.
I’ve read about multiple people who inherit them from fathers or grandfathers, and who intend on keeping and using them forever.
They’re a really handy saw to have around – a bit heavier and a bit more sluggish than newer models like the MS230, but good nonetheless.
Let me know if you have any comments or questions down below. I’d love to hear your thoughts on and experiences with the 028 as well, alongside any more info on the Stihl 028 history.
23 thoughts on “Stihl 028 Chainsaw Review: Specs, Features, Price, Parts, And BEST Alternatives”
I have a 028 super I purchased used back in 2019 was not running for $75. I tore it down rebuilt it with SKS bearings all around, new piston rings, ported old cylinder, new crank, and exhaust mod. Final price complete about$ 300. I’ve been running it hard for the last 2 years and it has not failed me yet. I’m glad I picked this saw.
I’d love to get some more details from you on your rebuild! Parts etc. I inherited an 028 Stihl from a friend whose dad bought it new in 1988. I found the receipt in the shop. He’s long since past away. The old guy made it through D day on Normandy beach saw. I got to keep this thing running! It runs rough. Had to adjust the idle but the chain moves slightly as the idle is a little high. Would love to tear it down and rebuild it.
I have an original 028 AV Super that’s till has all stickers and was kept in Stihl hard case. I would take 500 usd for it. It is a German made saw and is absolutely in the best shape you’ll find. It may have 15-20 hours on a 40 year old saw.
Just got an 028 Wood Boss AV from a junk removal cleanout job a couple days ago. It fired right up and runs great! It’s a keeper. Probably needs a new chain and some cleaning up, but otherwise in very good used condition. Surprised how quickly it started and how well it idled and revved.
Was cruising around looking for parts for my 028 AV when I ran into this article. I have to replace the anti-vibration mounts. I bought this saw new around 1980 and this is the first maintenance I’ve ever done. It has cuts tons and tons of wood. I used to heat with a wood furnace. It’s one of the best pieces of equipment I’ve ever owned.
The original 028 was introduced in 1977 and it was a 43cc saw (42mm bore)
in 1979 the type 2 was introduced with a bigger 47cc engine (44mm bore)
and then in 1986ish the super was introduced with a 52cc engine (46mm bore)
with the exception of the super its kinda hard to tell which model you have without very close inspection as parts have most likely been swapped and replaced multiple times.
I was on my way to work this morning and saw a028 at the end of someone’s driveway so I picked it up. When I got to work got it to start on the 4th pull!!!! Runs great!! Great find
You sure it was unwanted?
I set my saw down for three minutes to go take a leak and it’s GONE!
It’s also for sale…I don’t need it lol.
Like everyone else said here, I too have had an 028AV for many years of infallible operation, and it gets hours and hours of bucking up firewood every year. The only thing I ever did to it was, (when I acquired it used) was change the clutch housing to the replaceable chain driver style, and added a chain brake assembly. My neighbor is blown away how it will start second pull, even if it’s sat unused for several months. Of all my saws, it’s the one that I am most likely to reach for first.
Matt D gives the most accurate information in this whole article. The 42mm early 028 does not have a chain brake, the starter cover, rear handle/tank and clutch cover all are metal and it has points ignition. The 44mm was the standard model with the 46mm super being the upgrade. Both had electronic ignition and more plastic parts. An 028 is a more powerful saw than an 026, the latter related to the 024. Any comparision between an 028 and 011 or 880, as mentioned, is ridiculous. The 011 is not a firewood saw and the 880 is a quite expensive pro grade logging saw. Owners of 028’s will mainly use for firewood, storm cleanup, basic land maintainence. It’s a good all around saw for farm or home use. And like the 024, 026, 034, 036, 038, 044, 046 and up, it has a magnesium crankcase with cylinder bolted to it as well as the bar. More solid than Stihl’s homeowner models or many saws sold today.
I have a Stihl 028 AV Wood Boss w/electronic quickstop. A older gentleman friend of mine literally gave it to me 15+ years ago and it still starts on the second pull (at most) to this day. It needs a little TLC, just a cleanup, which I am going to take it to a shop to have done. It is by far the best chainsaw that I have ever owned.
I’m pretty sure that the 028 Woodboss was built into the late 1980’s. I just got one given to me by a colleague who said he bought it new in town and he didn’t move here until 1987. To be clear it’s not an 028 Super Woodboss.
I have a 028. But the manual says it’s a 50 cc.
I have a pair of 028’s. Both run fabulously. One was my brother’s. My brother had a Stihl shop replace the clutch, then the crank broke. Turns out there was a batch of 028’s with a bad crank casting. The saw was ten years old, but Stihl stepped up and offered to pay for either the parts or labor. My 028 was twelve years old when I had the clutch replaced. I mentioned the crank issue, and the shop talked with the regional Stihl director. They offered me the same deal. Two weeks later the crank broke. Stihl stepped up and made it right. Name another chainsaw manufacturer who stands behind their products like that. Their old hat used to say, “It’s not a deal unless it a Stihl”.
Good reading. I’ve heated with wood as supplemental heat since I built my house in 1984. I bought an Echo 452 in 1982 and still use it. I also have a pair of 028 Super Wood Bosses and ironically just yesterday picked up an 028 Wood Boss that is in mint condition from a friend who’s brother purchased new and had put up in his shop. He passed two years ago so she gave it to me knowing I heat with wood. I literally poured the old gas out of it, put fresh gas in and in less than 10 pulls it fired up and ran like a sewing machine! I just shook my head in amazement. No doubt my grandchildren will probably be using these saws. Using them is like a drug to me and it never gets old. Take care.
Nice one! Thanks for sharing.
I purchased my first chain saw brand new in 1980 and it was an amazing 028wb . No chain break, no electronic ignition . I do not rember how much it was $180 or $280 rings a bell . This I remember well I used it hard for 10 years and had no repairs just chains sold it for $10 MORE THAN I PAID FOR NEW . Bought a 038 and regret it to this day……….
I will buy another one soon
My 028wb has been the best saw I’ve ever owned and now that it’s had a base gasket delete ported n polished muffler mod and tuned it’s not a wood boss now it’s a wood beast
Does anyone know what
My dad gave me his 028 av super that was sitting in his garage for years, and then in my garage for years. He passed away a couple years ago, it was his birthday on 2/1. So I decided to see if I could get it running. I added new fuel, cleaned air filter, 3 pulls and it started up and is running great. Very impressive
I inherited A well used and abused 028AV Super. Put some fresh gas and A little clean up. 6 pulls and it started right up. I put A 20″ bar and new chain on it 2 years ago. It’s one of the most reliable saws I’ve ever owned.