Stihl Ms180c Easy2start Miniboss Chain Saw

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Stihl MS 180C, My Experience

Nov 15, 2005
Review by  
Rated a Very Helpful Review

Pros:It's light weight and cuts good.

Cons:Needs high octane gas, cold blooded startup, cheap construction, poor quality control(faulty chain oiler)

The Bottom Line: If you buy the Stihl MS 180C thinking you are getting a higher quality chain saw, you may be disappointed as I was.


I purchased the MS 180C new from a local dealer. He gassed it and filled the oil tank and sent me on my way after explaining the basics. I've been using chain saws for forty years, but I listened politely. When I got home I started up the saw and immediately noticed that the chain didn't seem to be getting any oil. I took it right back to the dealer and he sort of disinterestedly told me "the oil will come into it", as if the lack of oil is normal for this saw. He told me to take it outside, remove the guide bar and rev it up while observing the oil hole. I thought this was something that he ought to do, but I went outside and fired up the saw. After revving it for several seconds the oil hole began to weep a little oil, so maybe it's alright. Back home in the woods a few days later I put the saw to work. It cut pretty good for a little machine, but after a while the bar heated and the chain seemed real dry. I took the saw back to the dealer and he checked it out and told me he'd have to put a new oil pump in it which would take several days to obtain and install. So here it is, right in the middle of firewood season, and he and the Stihl Corp. have my money and my saw. I did make a few observations for the short time that I used the saw. But first you should know that the Stihl Op. Man. says you should use 89 octane gas in it, so plan on one more gas can and one more trip to the gas station. When you first start the MS 180C (mine is not the Easy2Start version) you'll notice that this saw is a cold blooded little fellow, requiring some patient nursing of the throttle before you can start cutting. It's construction is cheaper than my old Stihl purchased years ago, with plastic replacing metal for many parts. The Quick chain adjustment mechanism, while convenient(no tools required) looks frail, but time will tell on that. By the way, if you think this saw doesn't have to be broken in, think again. Check out page 40, yes, page 40, of the manual. Here, at the near end of the manual, they tell you not to rev up the engine 'til you put a few tanks of gas through it. So if you are revving the engine of your new saw, like the dealer tells you to, to see if the chain oiler is faulty, you may be damaging your engine. Maybe it would have been a good idea for Stihl to put this info near the front of the manual. You will never get to page 40 if you read all the redundant safety info in the first 24 pages. That's right, 24 pages of safety material, the main purpose of which is to save Stihl's butt rather than yours. A couple pages of good, concise, safety information would be so much more effective.

The bottom line on the MS 180C, in my opinion, is that Stihl manufactures and markets it to compete with the cheap saws on the market, i. e. Poulan, Craftsman, McCullock, Homelite, etc. To that end they have succeeded, but if you want a cheap saw why not pay 50 or 60 bucks less for one of the latter?


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