Where Are Stihl Chainsaws Made? Are Stihl Saws Made In The USA?

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Where are Stihl chainsaws made?

Stihl is a German company, founded by the mechanical engineer Andreas Stihl in the 1920s, and headquartered near Stuttgart in Germany. All of their early saws, including the first Stihl chainsaws, were manufactured there.

They now have manufacturing plants all over the world producing, assembling, and finishing their products. Some of the smallest, cheapest Stihl saws are made in China, while the bigger, better saws are made in Germany, the US, Austria, and Brazil.

Most of the gas-powered Stihl chainsaws, up to the MS 261, that are sold in the US have been made or finished at Virginia Beach in the US. But there’s more to the story than that – here’s what you need to know about Stihl chainsaw manufacturing.

Who Makes Stihl Chainsaws?

are stihl chainsaws made in the usa
For a time, Stihl saws were “made in West Germany”

While Stihl Chainsaws were solely made in Germany for many decades, today they are produced all around the world.

The most powerful Stihl Chainsaws – the pro-level saws like the 880, 881, 660, 661, and so on – are all still made in Germany. However, parts and materials are sourced from around the world.

Stihl Group Manufacturing has state-of-the-art assembly plants in:

  • Austria
  • Brazil
  • China
  • Germany
  • Switzerland
  • United States

China only makes the entry-level saws, usually where the sales point is in Asia.

Germany makes pro saws, Brazil is non-EU emissions saws, US is mid-level and some pro saws.

The majority of gas-powered Stihl products below the pro-level MS261 that are sold in the US are finished at Stihl’s Virginia Beach manufacturing plant. However, many of the parts and components come from abroad.

You can check the serial number of your saw to learn where it was made (if unsure):

  • If the first digit in the serial number is a 1 then it was manufactured in Germany
  • If it’s a 2 or a 5 it was manufactured in the United States
  • A 3 means it’s manufactured in Brazil
  • Serial starting with 8 is Chinese made
  • Starting with 4 means made in Austria

Check out the years made for all Stihl chainsaws here.

Where Are Stihl Battery Chainsaws Made?

stihl battery saw review
The MSA 140c

Almost all battery products are made in either Austria or the US.

There are a few other ideas about whether or not this is true, summed up in this comment:

Almost nothing Stihl is German anymore.

It’s been brand sold and the majority is made in China. It is then sourced and moved around to show 70% has been assembled or made in Virginia Beach or Germany, however almost everything is just branded. Ukraine-made wiring harnesses, Chinese, Taiwan, and Brazil-made lithium batteries China.

Stihl joined with Viking and many other partners now that it has become Corperation Inc. Parts are sourced from America and other countries… point of delivery is public record. You would be very surprised to follow the delivery slips as to who makes what for Stihl.

It is no longer the Stihl that made the name, unfortunately. Majority are Chinese with Japan, Ukraine, Brazil, Russia, and parts sourced from many other countries.

Which is most likely true. 

Stihl saws are assembled or finished in a certain place, letting it be labeled as “Made in Germany/USA/Austria,” but they really are internationally made saws, like most other products.

While most people prefer saws made in the US or Germany, Stihl quality is reliable and standard no matter where it was made.

Stihl Made In The USA

The Virginia Beach plant is set on a large 150-acre campus and continues to grow and expand.

It’s not just a finishing plant either, they do manufacture a lot of individual components and parts.

The Stihl Virginia Beach plant:

  • started in 1974
  • has over 2 million square feet of buildings
  • now has over 2300 employees
  • is an active hirer of former military members
  • sells to over 9000 dealers across the USA
  • exports to over 90 companies across the world
  • has produced well over 50 million units over the past four decades
  • has a highly automated manufacturing process featuring many robots

The US plant is the recipient of many awards and continues to run at the highest levels of quality and innovation.

Stihl Factory

Factories are always an interesting place to take a look at, and none more so than a chainsaw factory.

Who makes Stihl Chainsaws?

In the Stihl factory video tour of the Virginia Beach complex above, you will see the men and women of Virginia constructing chainsaws. There is a complex and highly sophisticated assembly line involved in the production of Stihl chainsaws.

The steel guide bars are made at the US plant, engines are assembled, casings are formed, and chain breaks are installed. While some of the parts, components, and materials come from overseas, these truly are American-made chainsaws.

Each model is often available in a base model with upgraded versions having higher specs or improved features. Find out more about the meaning of Stihl model designations here.

Where Are Stihl Chainsaws Made?

are stihl chainsaws made in the usa
The Stihl 070

Tree fellers and hobby farmers alike trust made in the USA Stihl chainsaws.

It’s essential to know that when you buy a high-end product like a Stihl chainsaw that it can be relied upon. Even their electric chainsaws, such as the battery-powered MSA161, are extremely good and useful for both home or commercial use.

It’s even better to support the local US economy through the purchase of products made in the country. Let’s hope the Virginia Beach complex continues to grow and produce more products from that facility.

While Stihl didn’t invent the chainsaw, they’ve certainly made a massive contribution to its development and improvement, both in safety and performance. And, of course, they continue to innovate with the likes of the Black Stihl Carbon Chainsaw.

Let us know if you have any comments or questions in the comments down below!


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17 thoughts on “Where Are Stihl Chainsaws Made? Are Stihl Saws Made In The USA?”

  1. Hey!
    Great site you made here. I found you via your interview on NP.

    Something interesting about Stihl, which is important: a lot of fake chainsaws are made with their logo. Especially when you buy it from marketplaces like eBay. You have to care.
    I saw it a few months ago in a documentary on German TV.

    Whish you the best and a lot of success with your site!
    Best greets from Germany!

    • It can depend on the exact model, so it’s best to head in-store and ask your dealer. Each chainsaw has the place of manufacturer on it, or at least the box/paper work does. It’s unlikely that Stihl chainsaws sold in Australia (and New Zealand) are made in the US as the US market picks up those, but more likely from Europe and/or China.

  2. I searched for a GTA 26 (mini lithium chainsaw) for almost a year. I finally found one at an authorized Stihl dealership.

    It was worth the search. I am an older woman, generally terrified of chain saws but with a lot of branches and small trees to clear. This is perfect for me.

    I was iucky to get mine and I love it! The GTA 26 is apparently on backorder almost everywhere. Too bad. I plan to get a Stihl weed whacker next. Just wish it came in a different color…I don’t like orange LOL.

      • Also have to endorse the GTA26. Have now purchased 3:). First one for myself. Hubby “commandered” it. Purchased 2nd unit and father in law borrowed it and loves it so purchased him his own for father’s Day. Multiple uses.

  3. Are you are aware of some of the companies names that make parts for Stihl chainsaws? Or where I could further my research on this question. Thank you!

  4. I’ve been a Stihl fan for many years, with Gasoline saws. Excellent performance and life of use.
    I live in California and we are about to go All Electric soon. I am interested in how someone (Stihl), might consider a Back Pack Battery with cord that would plug into each different Garden Tool for landscapers.
    Some type of small portable Solar charger in my truck to charge my Pack while parked or driving. Might also include a 12 volt (14 actual volt?) charger that could plug into a vehicle’s accessory socket with a limiter while driving. I work with the State and others in planning ahead for such Air Quality attainment and am hearing very little from manufacturers like you. I have DeWalt power tools but they are currently switching around trying different voltage and Ah batteries and motors. We should be more stable by now with Lithium Ion, in my opinion. Thanks for anticipated comments. PEChurch

    • There is the back pack battery system you can use with the KMA135 that is compatible with all kombi attachments. The back pack battery gives ya 6-8 hours power before needing to recharge. Also available, charger adapters for charging in vehicle. No more filters, gas , oil mix, etc forever! Also lighter weight btw.

  5. I’m a chainsaw man. I love my stihl chainsaws. I have the ms 880 ms 660 ms 460 and i have the 500 and the 311. I would like to comment on theses state going what they call green. I’m not going to say what my job is but my company has studied for years how electric plugs or batteries. I want people to think when u plug in or slap a battery on. It may not be gas or oil but energy has to come from somewhere think how much Coal is being burn and the diesel fuel to transport it. Big boats and trains haul this so start thinking for your self and you will see. Most people just do what there told and they don’t research were this stuff is made and processed. I wish I could say what mu company does and I but I don’t want to get all the garbage from the green people who do more damage to the earth but you just can’t talk to them without getting bad language and how there going to ruin your life and the company u work for. I love my stihl saws. Thank you.

  6. My Ms180c has been an amazing little saw. But I wish I had never purchased the 311. Lots of negative reviews about the saw flooding even when following proper starting procedures. I have had same problem. Even when it starts, it takes work. Major project to check spark resistor and filter. Totally bad design. At $100 an hour labor, no one wants to pay service tech just to check a filter. Needless to say, that model is definitely a lemon.

  7. I would rather find an older unit that still has OEM parts available.

    Equipment like this is always better and last longer than new thinner plastic with cheaply made components.

  8. Like my saws, wb028 & ms251 Woodhouse. My OLD wb028 is a workhorse, starts well after sitting. The ms251 was great initially but I can’t seem to get a GOOD ignition coil ( on number 3) . Quality seems to be a problem. Frustrating as hell when you NEED it.

  9. I purchased several Stihl products in 1987 & 1988. I gave those to my son and purchased a saw and trimmer in 2018. I should have kept the old ones. Very disaappointing


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