The STIHL E30 Chainsaw Is A Three Phase Electric Powerhouse

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This is the STIHL E30, a Series 1202 electric chainsaw produced from 1967 – 1985.

The saw is reasonably rare, especially in the US where only one version was ever sold. It’s also an interesting model because it is a three-phase electric chainsaw.

Three-phase connections are usually reserved for industrial commercial equipment but increase power and efficiency. Another implication is a much heavier product as it requires a larger and heavier motor, cooling system, and so on.

Images taken by chainsaw collector Steve Rigby and used with permission.

stihl e-30 chainsaw

It’s hard to appreciate the size of the E30 in these photos, but it weighs a whopping 15 – 20 kgs or 33 – 44 pounds.

The actual weight depends on the bar and chain, and whether or not you factor in any power supply and cabling weight.

A three-phase power supply involves heavier, more complex cabling and a more substantial connector system to handle the higher current and voltages safely.

stihl e30 weight

On a restoration video, user @jamesw9930 shared that the E30 was “Popular at small hardwood sawmills. They would keep one handy to trim limbs and knots on saw logs before they threw them on the rails.”

Another user, @demonxanthwataru, said:

It would make a lot of sense in a lumber mill where three phase power is readily available, and you need a saw to cut the occasional branch, or section of log where someone attached a barbed wire fence to the tree.

It can reside on a rack, be picked up and used for ten seconds, and returned without having to worry about fuel level, warming it up, or being unduely hot. And being indoors the exhaust fumes become a null factor.

On production lines time is an important factor and this goes from zero to party time and back with a pull of the trigger.

And regarding the three-phase power, @jonathancook4022 shared, “In Germany, Austria, and the Swiss Alps, most large houses in villages and out in the country have 3 phase sockets for wood splitters, saws, and other wood-cutting machinery. It’s very useful.”

rare stihl chainsaws e30

How much are these rare, unusual, and interesting chainsaws worth?

Unfortunately for those who have one, not all that much. They generally sell for between £150 – 300 (€175 – 350 / US$250 – 400) depending on the condition and location.

But if you happen to list one for sale at the same time that a collector is looking for one, you could get a bit more. At the time of writing, there are none listed for sale on eBay, though there are a few parts available.

three phase electric chainsaw

Details of the E30:

  • Production years: 1967 – 1985
  • Bar length: 17 – 35 inches/ 43 – 90 cm
  • Weight: 15 – 20 kgs / 33 – 44 lbs
  • Power: Three phase 2.2kW, 2.7kW or 4kW
  • Construction: magnesium
  • Oil pump: automatic

Acres Internet shares the following comments:

Type 4000 motor was 220/380 Volt, 2.2kW, 50 Hertz, 10.4/7 Amps. Weight 14 Kg (30.9 Lbs.

Type 4010 motor was 220/380 Volt, 2.7 kW, 50 Hertz,
12/7 Amps. Weight 15.9 Kg (35 Lbs.

Type 4020 motor was 250/440 Volt, 2.7 kW, 50 Hertz,
10.4 Amps.

Type 4030 motor was 220/440 Volt, 2.7 kW, 60 Hertz,
12/7 Amps.

Type 4040 motor was 265 Volts, 4 kW, 200 Hertz,
16 Amps.

There were several versions available. Type 4000, 4010, 4020, 4030, and 4040.

stihl e30 specifications
Image: Screenshot from YouTube video

This screenshot comes from an excellent YouTube video of an E30 restoration… this saw has the 4030 motor; 220/440 Volt, 2.7 kW, 60 Hertz, 12/7 Amps.

And this is the fully restored STIHL E30…

stihl e30 fully restored
Image: Screenshot from YouTube video

This was a painstaking restoration by Hand Tool Rescue and is well worth watching.

He shares in the description:

The most powerful electric chainsaw Stihl ever made is finally in my hands. This 1960s 3-phase Stihl E-30 chainsaw is something I have been trying to find for a long time. Stihl made 4 different versions of this saw, but only one was made for the North American market.

I have an affinity for electric chainsaws as I absolutely love the torque they can provide when cutting wood, so I had to find this saw. I ended up finding one in Germany and shipping it over to Canada.

The saw was not in horrendously bad condition, as most issues were entirely cosmetic, but I needed to bring this saw back to its original glory. Everything was stripped down and repainted with the original RAL 7035 white and RAL 3000 red colours and finished with a 2K clear coat for durability. I also had to completely remake the decals for this saw as they are unique.

I tested the electric components off-camera to ensure that they are functional, but you never really know until you plug it in. I do not have 3-phase power in my workshop, so testing it before restoration was not an option, unfortunately. I ended up going to the workshop where we make the wrenches and screwdrivers for some 3-phase power, but I had to RENT an extension cord because apparently those are almost $1000 at the length that I needed for a saw with this much power.

In the end, it worked very well and is very quiet without the chain and bar on it. I was worried the oil pump would not function properly, but once up to speed it worked well. This thing EATS wood for dinner and it’s so much fun to use.

So good!

While Stihl still makes electric chainsaws, they don’t make them like this anymore.

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