What are Stihl AV chainsaws?
The answer is really simple!
AV = Anti Vibration.
You will only find this designation on old Stihl chainsaws like the 010 AV (1978 – 1985) or the 011 AV (1980 – 1996). These saws were being produced when AV was first introduced and the feature was not always included as standard.
Stihl has used an AV system on all of their new saws for the last couple of decades. It’s no longer an optional feature, but a standard feature.
Stihl Anti Vibration
What does the anti-vibration feature do?
It really goes without saying, but it reduces the amount of vibration that a chainsaw user experiences. This reduces user fatigue and is better on the body.
A good anti-vibration system is a must-have, 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. The 075 AV (1974 – 1980) for example, was known as a saw that would almost vibrate you to death!
The more power a saw has, the more vibrations it’s going to put out. So saws like the 49cc 031 AV (1971 – 1982) would be easier to use than the aforementioned 111cc 075 AV.
Stihl AV History
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 – 1975 all versions) 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
They are a great many Stihl saws with the AV designation, many of which I’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 all the different versions of each model is to check out the Stihl manuals. These usually have all the specs for each saw, AV and non-AV.