What Does AV Mean On STIHL Chainsaws? Stihl AV History

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What is AV on STIHL chainsaws?

That’s easy… AV = Anti Vibration.

This designation is found on old Stihl chainsaws. It was not available on the base model chainsaws when it was introduced, so it was designated on the tags. Also, some models did not have a NON-AV version, but for a time, they still had the label.

For decades, Stihl has included AV as a standard feature on all saws. That’s why newer saws like the MS440 (2001) or the MS391 (2009) do not have AV in the model name despite having AV systems.

Here’s more about what it does, how it helps, and the history of STIHL’s AV system.

Stihl AntiVibration

stihl antivibration
The STIHL 056 AVE (1980 – 1985)

What does the anti-vibration feature do?

It goes without saying, but it reduces the vibration that a chainsaw user experiences.

This reduces user fatigue and is easier on the body, especially if you are working with a saw for extended periods of time.

The AV systems on the older saws are nowhere near as good as the new systems. For example, the 075 AV (1974) was known as a saw that would almost vibrate you to death!

The more power a saw has, the more it will vibrate. For that reason, saws like the 49cc 031 AV (1971) would naturally vibrate less and be easier to use than the 111cc 075 AV.

Stihl AV History

stihl 041 technical specs
The STIHL 041 was the first Stihl with AV

Stihl has an entire post on the history of their AV system.

In it, they share:

In 1964, STIHL filed a patent for an anti-vibration system for chainsaws. The patent included the use of rubber elements to separate the handle from the engine, cutting the vibration level in half.

In 1965, production started on a STIHL Contra equipped with the new feature – now known as the anti-vibration (AV) system. The new feature was a great success and by 1967, the AV feature was also standard on the 041 chainsaw.

The Stihl 041 (1967) was the first saw with AV.

They go on to state:

In the early 1970s, STIHL continued to stay ahead of the industry with a completely redesigned approach to anti-vibration technology. A more robust method was developed, further reducing handle vibrations.

The new system was first introduced in the 042 chainsaw, which featured a stable handle housing with built-in fuel tank. This design is still used today.

The 042 was made from 1976 – 1980.

And lastly, they say:

Although the design has remained mostly the same, STIHL has continued to improve and evolve the technology to further reduce vibration. Magnesium was replaced by polymer on the 024 chainsaw in 1982.

In the late 1990s, steel springs were added to assist the rubber buffers in shock absorption. Today, STIHL chainsaws feature a complex shock absorption system, consisting of steel-spring elements, rubber and hard-foam buffers.

The company has been a leader in innovation since the very first Stihl chainsaw.

Stihl AV Chainsaws

what does av mean on stihl chainsaws
The STIHL 011 AV

There are many Stihl saws with the AV designation, many of which we’ve already mentioned in the article.

Often there was a standard base model that did not have AV and another version with it, but sometimes, as with the 031 AV, all versions had AV.

The best way to see each model’s different versions is to check out the Stihl manuals. These usually have all the specs for each saw, AV and non-AV.

You can also find the specs for most Stihl saws through the links here.


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