The 61cc Stihl 041 Chainsaw was produced between 1967 and 1986 and made in West Germany.
It’s a pro-level saw available in many versions, from the base 041 and 041 AV to the 041 Super or 041 G (only one of 4 Stihl saws with the G designation). It was the first Stihl saw to offer an AV version and the first with an electronic ignition version.
As you’d expect, being an old Stihl saw it’s lacking a lot of the comfort features of a modern saw. One description I read about it said “it’s like a brick with a chainsaw bar on it.”
It’s loud, it smells, and the vibrations will give your arms a good workout, but that’s the fun of vintage saws. It’s grunty, has a lot of torque, and makes for a good firewood saw.
The two saws pictured in this article belong to Edward Knapp, whose saws we’ve featured a number of times.
Stihl 041 Versions
First of all, let’s look at the different versions because there are a lot:
- Stihl 041 – base model
- Stihl 041 AV – with anti vibration system
- Stihl 041 AVE – anti vibe, electronic ignition
- Stihl 041 AVEQ – anti vibe, electronic ignition, Stihl Quickstop (chain brake)
- Stihl 041 AVE Super – anti vibe, electronic ignition, larger bore (making it 71 ccs)
- Stihl 041 AVQ Farm Boss – anti vibe, chain brake
- Stihl 041 G – gear drive rather than direct drive
That’s almost as many versions as the Stihl 015, which has 8, but I might have missed one or two. Find the exact production years of each version in our Stihl years made article.
Some of these versions are very common, like the 041 Farm Boss, while others, like the 041 G, are considered unicorns.
We have full breakdowns of all of these different Stihl designations and what they mean.
Here’s where to find all the info:
- Stihl AV meaning
- Stihl Electronic and Quickstop features
- What Super means on Stihl saws
- Meaning of G on Stihl chainsaws
- Stihl Farm Boss (FB)
And because the Super meaning is more unique to each saw, we’ll take a deeper look at what it means for the 041 next.
The Stihl 041 Super
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The Super designation usually means the saw has a larger bore or longer stroke, and in the case of the 041 it’s a bigger bore.
This makes the 041 Super 72cc compared to the 61cc of the other versions. The Super has a 48mm bore while the other versions have a 44mm bore.
Here’s a comparison of the specs.
|Stihl 041||Stihl 041 Super|
|CCs||61 cc||72 cc|
|Horsepower||3.7 hp||4.4 hp|
|Weight||17.4 lb/7.9 kg||17.9 lb/8.1 kg|
|Bore||1.73″/44 mm||1.89″/48 mm|
|Stroke||1.57″/40 mm||1.57″/40 mm|
I have seen some people state that it has both a larger bore and a longer stroke, but I don’t think this is the case.
Besides the resulting performance enhancements as a result of a larger bore, there are other differences between the Super and other versions of the saw.
And of course, there are some big differences between a version with electronic ignition vs points and condenser. You can check out our Stihl 031 AV review to learn more about that.
Stihl 041 Specs
I’ve already shared many of the specs, but here they are again to be sure!
041/041 AV Specs:
- 61 cc (3.72 cu in)
- 44 mm bore (1.73″)
- 40 mm stroke (1.57″)
- Magneto ignition with breaker point (unless electronic)
- Timing 2.4 – 2.6 mm (0.09 – 0.1″)
- Point gap 0.3 – 0.4 mm (0.012 – 0.016″)
- Flocked wire mesh flat air filter
- 0.62 L fuel capacity (1.31 pint)
- Manual states to use with 14 – 20″ bars
You can run anything from a 14 to a 25-inch bar, but a 20-inch seems to be the sweet spot. I have seen some 041s with a 28″ on them, but it’s not the best idea.
Weight for most models is 17.4 lbs, though versions with Quickstop are 18.1 lbs. The Super is 17.9 lbs.
All saws have automatic oilers that are fully adjustable. And being old pro saws, they are all built with magnesium casing. However, even non-pro saws back in this era had magnesium casing, like the Stilh 011 for example.
The Stihl 041 is designed to operate at low RPMs between 7000 to 7500, rather than the higher RPMs of many other chainsaws.
While it may not be the quickest cutting saw, it compensates with its strong low-end torque and is capable of cutting through the hardest logs.
Max RPMs are 11,000 when not under load. For comparison, the 064 has a max of 13,000 RPMs.
Download the Stihl 041 manual here or the 041 AV Super manual here (instant downloads).
Stihl 041 Review
041 chainsaws are popular vintage muscle saws, especially among collectors.
As I already stated, they’re not the most gentle chainsaws to use. The old-style anti-vibration system can leave you shaking for days.
Here are some good comments I found about this:
- 041 are good saws but without AV you’ll feel it for quite some time after running one.
- Get one if you like vibration. It will cut… but you’ll feel it by the end of the day.
- Basic 041 has no anti-vibe. It’ll numb your hands soon enough. 041 AV has anti-vibe and is much nicer to use as a result.
- It’s a torque monster but it’ll rattle out your fillings. Some parts are getting harder to find but it’s an OG Ripper for sure
- It’s outdated and a man cave item. I have two, rebuilt one. Never use them cause they are pigs. Strong saws but heavy and vibrates a lot. An old 044 would be better.
And my favorite comment about the vibrations:
Your hands, wrists, arms, and back will appreciate if you don’t buy it
And when someone asked how to minimize the vibrations:
I’m not sure of any way to minimize vibration, but maybe wear heavy gloves and only use them occasionally?
I still use one of mine, but only for certain jobs.
So that’s one of the things they’re well known for, but you’ve got to expect it with a saw designed in the 60s!
Other than that, they are much-loved saws.
Here are some more revealing comments from the Stihl Chainsaw Fans FB group:
041s were the first saw I ever bought after using one at an old friend’s place. I now have 4 of them and wouldn’t trade them or sell.
They are each older then me and heavy as hell, but I can drop it or bump it and it keeps going.
Is it me or do the new ones break just looking at them the wrong way?
Plastic everything. Sure they are lighter but when you are in the bush and far from parts it’s good to have an old reliable saw if you ask me.
They are great old saws, I have 2 of them.
They do vibrate a bit as the others have said, but they are great for cutting big wood like bull pine and old oak. Not fast but lots of torque.
One of mine is so worn out it vibrates itself apart when running. The other one is still good so far, but I will never get rid of either one, but just put them on my shelf.
And some shorter 041 reviews:
- They are heavy but have massive amounts of torque. I’ve got a 25″ bar on mine. There’s no replacement for displacement.
- Best Stihl O series chainsaw ever made in my opinion.
- I have used them since 1980. Very dependable. They have a sound all of there own.
- They are one of the best saws Stihl ever made, but, that being said, compared to what’s made today they’re heavy and slow. However, they make up for that in quality.
- When you lay it into big wood you don’t have to push. It’s different than the smaller saws.
- Excellent saw if it’s been looked after and runs well. I’ve repaired quite a few of them. Good saw.
- I love my 041 Farm Boss – definitely heavier and built like a tank. Running a 25″ bar on mine, definitely doesn’t have the same RPMs as a new saw but does have some decent low-end grunt
- I have 2. Love them. Great firewood saw. Not the fastest saw but is torquey and heavy. It’ll run forever if you mix the gas right and take care of it.
- The Stihl 041 is one of the best saws they made, cut a lot of hardwood with them.
- Little heavy and slower than today’s models but tough as they come, almost impossible to hurt. Just retighten all screws every now and then as they are prone to work loose.
- I prefer the oldies: lower RPMs but has plenty more torque. Mine are very dependable and do a great job. And parts are still around for them.
My father has been running an 041 since before I was born and I’m 45.
We retired the old girl this year out of respect and for posterity. She will be enshrined in a place of honor.
And they are popular for milling:
- I run an OG 041 from 67 which was my grandpa’s climber back in the day and run a 041 Av on my mill. My go to saw for cutting, bucking, felling, or anything. I’m a huge 041 fan. I’ve seen them go for 150-300.
- Yes, they make good milling saws with lots of power and cut faster than people claim.
- Have been using an 041 AVE on my Alaskan Mill for years without a problem.
It’s hard to find negative comments or cons (besides the obvious) of this saw.
The obvious things are what we’ve mentioned – it vibrates and it’s loud. It’s not as comfortable to use compared with the similarly powered Stihl MS500i. And parts are a lot more difficult to find.
Here are a few cons or downsides:
- They are known for air leaks due to the intake setup with several gaskets and a block that warps. Also can leak through the oiler. Muffler bolts tend to rattle loose and can ruin the bolt holes in the cylinder.
- I’d go with a newer saw, much more advanced in the AV system and a bit easier for parts. If your only cutting a few times a year it would be fine.
- Not much sought-after. No collectors market, except for 041G (gear reduction model)
- Parts availability is becoming an issue. Ignitions can be troublesome.
While someone said there isn’t much of a collectors market for them, I’d beg to differ. They seem to sell quickly and fetch a good price online at least.
Stihl 041 Price
While an 041 G in mint condition might fetch $800+, an 041 Farm Boss isn’t quite on that level.
One helpful comment suggested, “Don’t pay over $150 for a minty one that runs. Don’t pay over $60 for one that doesn’t.”
However, that estimate has probably risen with inflation to a point where they’re worth almost double that. I would say don’t pay over $100 for a non-working 041, and don’t pay over $250 for one in good condition.
It really all depends on the condition, location, and time of the year.
You’ll get a lot more for these saws in countries like Australia or New Zealand compared to the US and Canada. And as more and more 041s are retired, we can expect the price you can buy or sell them for to go up as well.
Check out the most current prices on eBay here.
Stihl 041 Chainsaw
The 041 is another great chainsaw that plays an important part in Stihl chainsaw history.
It’s well worth buying for the right price, and holding onto if you have one!
The overwhelming majority of comments about the 041 are that it’s a very good chainsaw if you don’t mind the old saw features. It’s definitely not known as one of the worst Stihl chainsaws.
Let us know your thoughts about and experiences with the Stihl 041 in the comments below!
1 thought on “Stihl 041 Chainsaw Review: Versions, Specs, Features, Price”
We had 8 of them we ran for years falling and chasing on the landing. 28″ bars. Got them in 1973 after we couldnt keep the 8 to 10 year old O71 McCullachs running. Good solid saws that were very dependable the first 3 years. Then the cases and screw holes were getting wore enough that mufflers, starter assemblies case bolts were constantly working loose. But then they were being run about 6 hours a day. (8 hrs shift minus fueling and misc down time) mostly Doug Fir with misc Hardwoods added in. Mostly less than 32″ diameter but occasionally trees up to 50″ to fall.