Stihl vs Husqvarna Chainsaws - Which is Better?

Which Chainsaw is Right For You?

Stihl vs Husqvarna is to loggers what Ford vs Chevy is to racers. If you talk to 10 random loggers, you'll find about a 50/50 split between those who prefer Stihl chainsaws and those who prefer Husqvarna chainsaws. Everyone has their own rationale for why they use the chainsaw they use. At the end of the day, both brands have high quality professional grade models that perform well in the woods, so the choice is up to you.

Personal Preference Based on Research

Stihl MS 170
skudex/Flickr/CC BY-ND 2.0

In the end, choosing a chainsaw boils down to your cutting style and preferences. Loggers who like a Husky say it speeds through a cut faster so they can make the final cut on a tree as it falls quicker, which gives them more time to get out of the way. Stihl enthusiasts say they like their preferred chainsaw because it has the low end torque needed to power through the toughest pieces of wood with ease.

The fact is, both companies make great saws. Before selecting a brand, try models of comparable size and power from both companies to gauge which you prefer. There is an easy and inexpensive way to do this. A lot of equipment rental companies rent Stihl and Husqvarna chainsaws by the hour or day. While you may not find the exact model you're looking for you can get a feel for the brand by testing a saw of the same brand that comes closest to what you want. Be sure to ask how many hours each saw has clocked and how old each is. If you compare one chainsaw that is significantly older than another, you will get skewed results. It's also a good idea to run each saw for a full day to get a good sense of its features and benefits.

After using each chainsaw, write a list of the things you liked and disliked about each. When you take the saw back to the rental store don't be shy about asking the mechanic if the saw needed more than the average amount of maintenance, if they had to service the saw frequently and which brand they prefer. It's also a good idea to ask other loggers or arborists what brand of chainsaw they prefer and why. After you compare all of your notes you're ready to purchase the brand that suits you best.

Important Afterthoughts

Man using chainsaw
Christopher Kimmel/Moment/Getty Images

Everyone's experience is different depending on their specific needs and demands. Some simply prefer the torque and low maintenance of a Stihl, while others prefer the hardiness of a Husqvarna. The most important factor is that the chainsaw does its job properly and safely. 

A good chainsaw will help increase your production and output. It will also minimize how many times you need to tighten or change chains. If you keep up with the recommended maintenance and necessary repairs, either brand will last you years.