Stihl MS180c Review: Specs, Features, Benefits, Price, And Alternatives

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Earlier in the year, I bought a used Stihl MS180c chainsaw off Marketplace to use for cutting up thin lengths of wood for the fire.

While I haven’t been totally happy with the purchase, that’s not Stihl’s fault – I just bought a dud!

To be honest, I much prefer my Husqvarna 450 Rancher, though the two chainsaws are not in the same class. The MS180c is a small chainsaw for lighter tasks, while the Husky 450 is a decent firewood processor.

Are you in the market for a new chainsaw as well?

I’ve spent time testing and researching this chainsaw so you don’t have to. Here are my thoughts on this small Stihl chainsaw.

The Stihl MS 180 Chainsaw

Stihl 018

  • Produced 1999 - 2002
  • 31.8cc, 1.9 hp, 12 - 16" bar
  • 8.6 lbs
View On EBAYView On HL Supply

Stihl MS180

  • Produced 2002 - current
  • 31.8cc, 2 hp, 12 - 16" bar
  • 8.6 lbs
View On Acme ToolsView On Northern Tool

Stihl MS181

  • Produced 2009 - current
  • 31.8cc, 1.7 hp, 12 - 16" bar
  • 9.5 lbs
View On Acme ToolsView On Ace Hardware

Husqvarna 435

  • Husqvarna alternative
  • 40.9cc, 2.2 hp, 12 - 16" bar
  • 11 lbs
View On AmazonView On Tractor Supply

DEWALT 20V MAX XR

  • Best-selling battery saw
  • 20v, 5 Ah bat, 12" bar
  • 8.8 lbs
View On AmazonView On Home Depot

Manufactured in the United States, the Stihl MS180c is a prosumer-grade chainsaw.

Stihl is obviously a powerhouse in the chainsaw industry and is known for delivering high-end and effective equipment.

The MS180c is designed for homeowners for light use. It can handle pruning, brush clearing, cutting firewood, and felling small trees.

I have a lot of trees on my property, and as I bring them down I try to use as much as possible for firewood for our wood-burning stove. I end up with branches that are 3 – 10 inches in diameter and I wanted a smaller saw for dealing with this wood.

A lot of this wood is gum, which is hardwood. I’ve found the MS180c doesn’t get through it that efficiently. It’s alright on the thinner stuff but struggles a bit on anything with a bit of girth. It’s better when cutting green wood, but not so good on wood that’s been down a while.

Is this chainsaw right for you?

I’ve outlined things you should consider before purchasing any chainsaw.

Things To Consider Before Buying

You should always research before purchasing any tools for your home.

Here are some key factors you should consider when preparing to buy a new chainsaw.

Purpose

The first thing you should consider is what you will be using the saw for.

If you are planning on clearing brush, you may be fine with a small, electric chainsaw. For cutting wood or felling small-medium-sized trees, you’ll need something more powerful.

Engine size

A larger engine will have more power. They will also weigh more and consume more fuel. While chainsaws can have engines up to 120cc, most homeowners will be fine with models ranging from 40cc (like the ECHO CS-400) to 60cc (like the Husky 460 chainsaw).

Guide bar size

Guide bars come in sizes from 6 inches (mini chainsaws) to 42 inches (and there are also very long bars). For general use, most chainsaw owners won’t need anything larger than 20 inches.

  • Small bar sizes of 6”-14” are for trimming and pruning
  • Chainsaws with 16”-20” bar size can handle medium size tree felling and firewood cutting
  • Professional chainsaws have a bar size between 22”-40” – these are heavy-duty and can cut large logs and trees

Safety features

Using a chainsaw can be dangerous, and accidents can happen. If you are new to operating a chainsaw, look for a chainsaw that has added safety features. Some common safety features include chain brakes, throttle lock, chain catchers, and handguards.

Comfort and ease of use

There is a wide range of factors that can make using your chainsaw easier and more comfortable. From anti-vibration technologies to quick start engines, there are plenty of ways to make working with your chainsaw easier.

Brand name

Stihl is one of the most respected chainsaw manufacturers in the world.

They offer a one-year warranty for any gasoline-powered chainsaw. Buying a Stihl chainsaw ensures you are buying a product that is designed to last.

Of course, choosing a chainsaw can come down to brand name for many people.

Just like cars, you have Stihl fans and Husqvarna fans that are dedicated to their brand. If you’re buying a chainsaw as a gift, be sure to find out what brand they prefer before buying a chainsaw.

Stihl MS180c Specs

stihl ms 180

The MS180c is a compact chainsaw.

It is ideal for occasional use, including cutting firewood, property maintenance, and carpentry.

Specs:

  • 31.8cc (1.9 cubics in) Displacement 2-Mix Engine
  • Engine power of 1.5kW (2.0 bhp)
  • Powerhead weight of 4.2kg (9.3lbs)
  • 250cc (8.5oz) fuel capacity
  • 145 cc (4.9 oz) chain oil capacity
  • ⅜” PMM3 Oilmatic Chain
  • 30 to 40 cm guide bar lengths
  • Gas-powered

The Stihl MS161T is a similarly powered battery chainsaw from Stihl – it’s also one of the best top handle chainsaws which can be better for some applications like climbing trees, etc.

MS180c Chainsaw Features And Benefits

Features can make or break a product.

Luckily, the MS180c is jam-packed with features that will make use easier and more comfortable.

Features:

  • Stihl 2-mix engine uses less fuel than standard 2 stroke engines
  • Save up to 20% on fuel costs and cut emissions by up to 70% during use
  • The side-mounted chain tensioner makes tensioning the chain safe and easy
  • Stihl anti-vibration allows smooth and comfortable use
  • Stihl Ematic system reduces chain lubricant usage up to 50%
  • All chainsaw functions are operated by a single lever

Stihl MS180c Review

stihl ms180c leaking oil

Is the MS180c a good buy?

I found this chainsaw to be a welcome addition to my chainsaw collection. Stihl is known to make high-quality products that are designed to last. The Stihl MS180c is no exception.

The main problem I’ve had with it is that it leaks a ton of chain and bar oil – I basically have to store it empty. More than that, I need to replace the oil pump!

MS180 c Pros:

  • The saw is comfortable and easy to use
  • The anti-vibration systems make prolonged use easier
  • This chainsaw is also highly efficient and will reduce your gas and chain lubricant usage

MS180 c Cons:

  • Wasn’t as gutsy as I was hoping
  • May be prone to leaking oil

I bought my MS 180 c second-hand, which is always a risk.

You never know the true condition of the saw and what it’s been through.

This one had been stored for some time apparently but didn’t have any problems prior to that. I think the seller conveniently forgot a few of the issues.

While you might have little issues with this chainsaw, you may have to upgrade to a more powerful chainsaw if you plan on felling large trees.

If you like Stihl, the MS251 is a slightly more powerful saw, and the MS261 is another very popular chainsaw.

The Stihl MS180c has a unique feature set that makes it a great deal for a consumer-grade, occasional use chainsaw. It can handle almost any daily chores, including tree pruning, felling small trees, carpentry, and brush clearing.

It’s cheap and you are getting a comfortable, reliable, and easy-to-use chainsaw.

Stihl MS180c Price

how much is the stihl ms 180 chainsaw

What is the Stihl MS180c worth?

This chainsaw is quite affordable. It is available from most retailers for $249.

Compare prices:

And if you want a replacement chain for the Stihl MS180 c, here it is on Amazon (for a 16-inch bar).

Stihl MS 180 Alternatives

echo cs-400

The Stihl MS180c isn’t the only chainsaw on the market.

Here are a few examples of chainsaws that can compete with the MS180c.

Echo CS-400 Chainsaw

The Echo CS-400 packs many features into its chassis.

I found this chainsaw was easy to maintain. You’ll have no problem handling a wide range of projects with the CS-400.

The i-30 starting system ensures a quick and easy start every time you use this chainsaw.

Husqvarna 120 II Gas Chainsaw

The Husqvarna 120 II is another great alternative to the MS180c.

It features an anti-vibration system, is lightweight, and has low kickback safety features.

This chainsaw is ideal for pruning, firewood cutting, and hobby work.

Husqvarna 120i Battery Chainsaw

If you’re looking for a battery-powered alternative, the Husqvarna 120i is a great bet.

It’s ideal for homeowners looking to prune branches and felling small trees.

The 120i has excellent battery life and is ideal for light-duty tasks.

More of the best electric chainsaws here.

Stihl MS180 FAQs

Here are some of the commonly asked questions about the MS180c chainsaw.

How many ccs is the Stihl MS180c?

The Stihl MS180c chainsaw features a displacement of 31.8ccs or 1.9 horsepower.

What is the difference between Stihl MS170 and MS180?

The major differences between the Stihl MS170 and MS180 are engine power and displacement.

The MS 180 features 1.5kW engine power and 31.8 cc displacement.

The MS 170 has slightly lower values at 1.3kw engine power and 30.1 cc displacement.

What size bar does a Stihl MS180 have?

The guide bar length of the Stihl MS180 has a recommended range of 30 to 40 cm (12” to 16”).

Is the Stihl MS180 2 stroke?

The Stihl MS180 features a 2-Mix engine. This is a 2 stroke engine that offers a 60-80% increase in fuel efficiency compared to traditional 2 stroke engines.

Where is the Stihl MS180 made?

The majority of Stihl chainsaws sold in the United States are manufactured in the United States using domestic and foreign parts.

What is the fuel ratio for the MS180c?

Stihl Chainsaws operate on a 50:1 mixture of gasoline and 2-cycle engine oil.

Should You Get The Stihl MS 180c?

Is the Stihl MS180c right for you?

The saw is a prosumer level product. Similar to the Stihl MS230, it is ideal for personal use and can help you maintain your property with ease.

After extensive testing, I found the MS180c to be a welcome addition to my garage.

It’s compact, comfortable, and easy to use.

Its engine is quiet and highly efficient compared to many other models in the same price range. Saving fuel while saving the environment is always a plus for any product.

I think the MS180c is a great buy – just be careful of dodgy second-hand models.

If you want to see the other end of the Stihl chainsaw spectrum, check out the new 500i chainsaw.

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5 thoughts on “Stihl MS180c Review: Specs, Features, Benefits, Price, And Alternatives”

  1. Perhaps the saw was well worn and over worked before you received it. Easy to burn up a saw with a dull chain which is what I suspect this is. I have had extremely good luck with mine and it definitely punches above it’s weight with a sharp chain. It is keyboard have a sharp chain and to keep it out of the dirt.

    Reply
  2. Bought a 180 in December and the only problem I’ve had is it throws the chain off the bar. Bought another chain with same problem. I ALWAYS keep the chain tight and sharp. Was told to keep the chain tight which I do and to treat it a baby. Been using chainsaws for over 40 years and have never had to pamper a saw and have NEVER thrown a chain before! I am very disgusted in this saw.

    Reply
    • chek the groove i th bar its probably spread open . put it in vice an close it a little on left side on bar where it just leaves sproket and enters bar.

      Reply
  3. I bought this chain saw and it runs for a while and then stalls and won’t start again. I have only run it for around 6 hours total. The pull rope broke after the same amount of time from trying to restart it so much. So much for an easy start chain saw. Very disappointed and wouldn’t buy again. I’ll probably fix the rope and sell it as soon as I can while it is running.

    Reply

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