The STIHL BLITZ Chainsaw… Have You Heard Of It?

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For a short time, the 98 cc STIHL BLK was marketed as the STIHL BLITZ in the US.

As far as anyone knows, only this one advert referred to it as the BLTIZ. It was published in 1958 in the Chain Saw Age magazine.

the stihl blitz chainsaw

The image shows the STIHL “BLITZ,” listed as the gear-driven model.

The “BLITZ” model was available when the ad was published, with the Lightening direct-drive model to be available soon.

The Blitz has the following specs:

  • 6 cu in (98 cc) displacement
  • Top speed 4000 RPM
  • 1200 ft per minute chain speed
  • Bosch Magento
  • Oregon chain
  • Tillotson carburetor

And it’s listed as “Light, rugged, powerful!”

As we already said, this chainsaw is more commonly known as the BLK, produced 1954 – 1973.

stihl blk chainsaw
Image: @tollermania_ STIHL BLK

So why was it called the BLITZ in this Tull Williams Co., INC ad?

User stihl #1 in the Chainsaw Collectors forum shared:

Tull Williams was the first factory authorized distributor for STIHL in the USA and they started about 1958. So this is probably the first ad ever run in the USA by them in the 1958 Chain Saw Age magazine, mainly meant for dealers.

Interesting that they call the BLK the “Blitz” when you think about how that the term “Blitzkreig” probably still had some bad memories for some veterans.

Notice nowhere is the word Germany used in the ad, just that it is made by the “Oldest Manufacturer of Chain Saws” which of course is still up for debate.

(The debate is whether Dolmar made the first chainsaw, or if STIHL was first… but anyway.)

Another reason they might have called it the BLITZ instead of the BLK is because BLK stood for something that may not have resonated with Americans.

B – Benzin, which translates ‘petrol’

L – Leicht, which translates ‘lightweight’

K – Klein, which translates ‘small’

The BLK didn’t mean anything in English, so maybe they wanted to give it an English name?

However, this didn’t stop them from using the MS, MSA, and MSE model names.

But let us know what you think.

rare stihl magazine advert
Image: @paulbieber_official

In another related thread, user stihl #1 said:

STIHL came back to [the USA] after the war in 1958 with the BLK, Lightning and a big corded 110v saw, the ESL.

The BLK was never marketed here that I have ever seen evidence of. Wayne Sutton has one that was gifted to him by Hans Peter Stihl. Some 2 man STIHL saws were sold in US before WWII but there was never a real dealer distributor marketing program. Tull Williams was set up as the USA distributor in 1958. 

This is the only ad I have ever seen calling the BLK a Blitz.

The BLITZ name seems to simply result from this single interesting magazine advert.

Please share any other info in the comments below!


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