How to tell a knock-off STIHL chainsaw 180 from a real one

Complete STIHL chainsaw overview: features, model range, repairs, how to tell a fake and price range

30.11.2019 Renowned manufacturers have been building their image for years, improving products, and raising their ratings in a particular market segment. Germany’s STIHL is a world-renowned manufacturer of power tools. Chainsaws from this company are known for such technical features as:

  • high power, maneuverability and cutting ability;
  • special anti-vibration system. thanks to the precisely calculated buffer zone the effect of minimal vibration is achieved;
  • Special protection and safety system. based on an additional braking system, which ensures stopping the saw chain in a second;
  • comfortable adjustment. the unit has been designed down to the smallest detail to ensure comfortable work for the operator;
  • smooth running. an exceptional feature of the device;
  • high-quality components and assembly;
  • long service life.

it is no wonder that counterfeits have appeared on the world market of gasoline-powered tools. Counterfeit units often imitate the original STIHL models, but their performance, reliability, safety, capacity and other attributes are not identical to those of the original STIHL models.

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About the manufacturer

The head office is located in Germany. For a long time, the country of manufacture was the United States, but later it became impossible. The saws are currently manufactured at the STIHL plant in China. The quality of assembly has not worsened, which confirms the great popularity among not only amateurs, but also professionals. You can still sometimes find American-made tools.

STIHL chain saws from Germany and China

Consumers should know that STIHL has its own plant in China to begin with. The Qingdao plant has been manufacturing STIHL chainsaws since 2006. The quality of this product is at a high level, because German experts are strictly monitoring that their Chinese partners strictly follow the technology at all stages of production.

However, identical assembly is not a complete guarantee that the German and Chinese STIHL chain saws are of the same quality. The fact that Chinese manufacturers use lower quality assemblies (mainly plastic parts), which ultimately affects insignificantly, but affects the durability and scope of equipment assembled in China.

At least experts say that in the course of operation Chinese equipment may “please” its owner with problems in the form of

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  • frequent failures of the sawing headset;
  • regularly dropping power;
  • A rapid loss of spring retention in the starter;
  • The formation of scoring in the cylinder;
  • significant reduction in the service life of the tire and chain.

However, the buyer can easily identify the Chinese version by several “signs”:

  • The serial number on a tool assembled in China starts with the number 8;
  • The price of a chain saw from China in original STIHL chain saw stores is a little lower than the original model with the same warranty period;
  • Chinese manufacturers continue to produce models that have already been discontinued in Germany;
  • Some parts in Chinese machines are made of cheap plastic, which can easily deform.

Second place in the ranking. chainsaw brand CARVER PROMO PSG-45-15

In order to make the right choice, it is necessary to consider several models. When it comes to the popularity rating, the second place is occupied by the model from. This is also due to the affordable price, which is 3,800 The equipment is a tool that copes very well with sawing wood and limbing. The unit is designed to work on household and garden plots.

The Quick Start system provides easy starting of the motor. No additional tool is needed for the operator to access the air filter. The design has an anti-vibration system that makes the work comfortable. The chainsaw features a chain brake that ensures a high level of safety.

Unique developments in STIHL chain saws

STIHL AG produces a full range of petrol saws: from lightweight amateur models for occasional use in the backyard to semi-professional and professional units, capable of operating without interruption for engine cooling, while performing a huge amount of work. The entire STIHL chainsaw range is based on the company’s patented technology which has proven itself over many years of use:

  • The unique STIHL 2-MIX engine, which ensures complete combustion, minimal pollutants in the exhaust gases and high efficiency;
  • Muffler with catalytic afterburning of hydrocarbons as an option;
  • Air filter with pre-cleaned air pre-cleaner with cyclone;
  • Intelligent carburetor settings allowing you to automatically adjust the quality of the fuel/air mixture as the operating conditions and ambient conditions change;
  • decompression valve, which facilitates cold start of the engine;
  • carburetor and handle heating, to make it possible to use your STIHL chain saw in extreme cold.

Length of chain saw bar. Do you have to take into account?

Quality of a STIHL chain saw made in China: is it any different than a German-made saw?

When it comes to the reputation of a company whose products are used practically all over the world, it’s hard to believe that the company management would deliberately decide to lower quality. Even 7-10 years ago the inscription “Made in China” forced to put the saw back on the shelf. And it was a good decision, because the quality was out of the question.

STIHL saws in China are built in exactly the same way as German products. It is caused by strict observance of production technology and meticulous output control.

The compressor housing of a Chinese chain saw is stamped with a small “TR” or “QC” to indicate a completed factory test (Test Run) or quality control (Quality Control), the same as the German ones.

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One of the telltale signs that the STIHL MS 170/180 chain saw is a counterfeit today is the presence of a fuel measure container. Original chainsaws are very seldom equipped with such a device.

By the way, read this article too: How to tell the original Marathon 3 Champion

A fake STIHL chain saw comes with a similar capacity

In addition, the chainsaw boxes contain:

Tire case

The original has the original “STIHL” lettering on it;

Original (top) and fake tire bag

On the links of the original chain you can read the inscription “STIHL”, on the fake chain no words;

The boxes with the cutting chain look the same

Genuine STIHL chainsaws always carry the words “STIHL” on the chain links

Chainsaw tire

The genuine STIHL guide bar most often comes in a cardboard pouch. The fake one comes in a cellophane bag. They also differ slightly in color. The main difference between the bars is that the original bar does not have an additional oil window for the idler sprocket.

The original bar (on top) does not have an extra window

over, Chinese bars are often 40 to 45 cm long, while the original STIHL MS 170/180 chain saw is equipped with 30 to 35 cm long bars.


The instruction manual for the fake chainsaw is almost exactly the same as the original model. Except that the space for the company logo is blank.

The fake manual (right) does not have a “STIHL” inscription

Tool case

The original chainsaw is supplied with only two tools: a multi-purpose screwdriver and a wrench marked “STIHL” in the box. All.

The fakes chainsaw tool comes in a carrying case

The toolkit for the original chainsaw is much more modest

The knockoffs boast a greater variety:


The original saw is twisted with star screws. 90% of the forgeries have a screwdriver or Phillips head screwdriver.

The tank lid has the logo. No logo on counterfeit. Also consider the logo on the screws on the back of the tank.

On the muffler/tire side, the original must necessarily have an identification plate with the serial number, which must match the number on the box. The fake has either no plaque or it is of poor quality and you can see that over time the inscription will fade.

Product part number is engraved on the muffler housing on the original saw.

The differences in the filter elements. Remove the filter cover and compare with the photo:

Every piece of an original STIHL saw is marked with a part number and is perfect. Fakes show mold remnants, imperfections in plastic molding, missing part numbers.

In the following video, in addition to the differences of the original saw, the distinctive features of the chain and bar are shown:

STIL 180 chain saw: comparing an original with a fake


Externally, the fake is basically indistinguishable from the original. The fake chainsaw is usually made in the same color scheme. It is assembled with screws that have the same head as the STIHL model.

The first slight difference is on the fuel filler cap. STIHL” is usually not engraved on it. Unless, of course, you’re holding a copy in your hands and not the original.

This engraving is also missing from the bar nuts. Genuine nuts are usually marked with an “S”.

Original products always bear a sticker with a 9-digit serial number. It is necessary for a chainsaw to be accepted by an authorized service center for warranty repair. A counterfeit does not usually have such a sticker.

Original products always have “STIHL” engraved on the muffler and the part number. Counterfeiters don’t bother with this engraving.


Original saw is twisted with STIHL asterisk screws. 90% of imitations are either flat-blade or Phillips head screwdriver.

The fuel filler cap bears the logo. No logo on a counterfeit. Also consider the logo on the screws on the back of the tank.

On the muffler/tire side, the original must have an identification plate with the serial number, which must match the number on the box. The fakes either have no label or it is of poor quality and you can see that the inscription will fade over time.

The muffler housing on the original saw has the product part number engraved on it.

Differences in filter elements. Remove the cover covering the filter and compare with the photo:

Every original STIHL Ms saw is marked with a part number, every part is perfect. Fakes show mold remnants, flaws in plastic molding, missing part numbers on parts.

In the following video, in addition to the differences of the original saw, the distinctive features of the chain and bar are shown:


Original saw is twisted with asterisk screws. Fakes are 90% either flat or Phillips screwdriver.

There is a logo on the tank lid. No logo on the fake. Also consider the logo on the screws on the back of the tank.

On the muffler/tyre side, the original must have an identification plate with the serial number, which must match the number on the box. A counterfeit has no or poor quality data plate and shows signs that it will fade over time.

On the muffler housing on the original saw, the product part number is engraved.

Differences in filter elements. Remove the cover covering the filter and compare with the photo:

Every part of an original STIHL saw is marked with a part number, every part is perfect. Counterfeits show mold remnants, imperfections in plastic molding and missing part numbers.

In the following video, in addition to the differences of the original saw, shows the distinctive features of the chain and bar:

How to Tell a Fake STIHL Chainsaw

STIHL MS-660: How to spot a fake Saw

Russia and other CIS countries often receive petrol saws of unknown quality from China. Counterfeits disguised as well-known brands are also being used. Starting a STIHL chainsaw. How to start a STIHL chain saw, that first STIHL chain saw startup should. Consequently, and the price of cheap in fact the tool increases by a couple of times. How to distinguish a counterfeit STIHL chainsaw? Basic rules. On the Ukrainian market are often sold tools, imitated the popular brand STIHL, but in fact made by the same brand. How to find an unusual STIHL MS-660? How to spot a fake? Here we should focus on certain items, thanks to which is completely realistic to find a copy of this or really a German saw.


If you need a chain saw which is not often used and is not purchased on an industrial scale, a copied STIHL MS-660 chain saw is a good choice. Although inferior in quality to the original, the Chinese copy is perfectly capable of handling domestic wood.

The tool is not sorry to exploit the wear and tear, to saw problematic places and so on, you can use different types of gasoline as fuel, and after the breakdown of the unit, it can be thrown into the closet without pity and buy a similar cheap model.

Disappointing in this situation is the fact that fake “STIHL MS-660” is often passed off as the original at an inflated cost. The considered saw is very comfortable to copy, as it has a corresponding color scheme and authority among users.

The characteristics of the original modification

STIHL MS660 chainsaw: how to spot a fake? This is the question many consumers ask themselves. In fact, the tool in question is a powerful unit that is very resistant to significant loads.

The full program can be tested on the saw during logging operations with thick and hard wood. The machine is designed for professional use, even under extreme conditions. Good for working in heavily wooded areas for effective processing and harvesting thick and tough wood.

Technical features of the licensed chainsaw:

  • There is an anti-vibration unit.
  • Chain tension. side tension.
  • There is a compensator, reverse valve for decompression.
  • Controller. one-handed version.
  • There is a preliminary warming up of the carburetor.
  • Oil pump. adjustable type.
  • Ematic chain lubrication system, unique fuel filler cap.
  • Special rubberized ElastoStart handle.

Other Features

If you want to know how to distinguish a counterfeit STIHL chainsaw, you should familiarize yourself with the usual features of the MS-660. Listed below are the features of the tool made in Germany:

  • The grading group. a chainsaw of the highest power for professional work.
  • Power unit displacement (cu.m.). cm). 91.6.
  • Power output (kW) 5.2.
  • Engine power (l. с.). 7,1.
  • Weight (kg). 7.3.
  • Weight to power ratio (kg/kW) of the machine. 1.4.
  • Working chain type. Oilomatic Rapid Micro in 3/8 pitch.
  • Tire size (mm). 500.
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How to tell the difference between a STIHL copy of the 180 and an ORIGINAL

I made this video for people who are about to buy their first chainsaw

How to tell a fake STIHL from a real one! Let’s take the STIHL ms 180 chain saw as an example. How to distinguish STIHL chainsaws thanks to their high quality and reliability. Be warned, the model.

How to distinguish a genuine STIHL chainsaw from a fake. My experience.

and genuine STIHL chainsaws. How to tell a fake STIHL chainsaw from a real one. forum. How to recognize a counterfeit STIHL saw. YouTube. If this video was helpful to you, please click here.

READ Makita Dcs6400 Chainsaw Operation & Repair

If you have decided to buy a STIHL MS 660, how can you tell the difference between a knockoff, which sometimes costs comparable to the original?? First of all, it is a heavy tool in every sense, weighing more than 7 kilograms and with more than seven horsepower. The saw can be used in industrial workshops, if operated continuously for a long period.

The machine has a retail price of at least 45,000. A fake copy has similar dimensions and weight, but the power rating is half as much, and the continuous operation time is significantly lower, plus the lack of durability of the body and working parts.

STIHL MS-660: How to Tell the Fake from the Original?

Only authorized dealers have the right to sell STIHL products on the territory. This means that you cannot buy a genuine machine at farmers’ markets or from unscrupulous dealers. Authorized dealers have a certificate, tinted gray, which must be presented at the customer’s request.

The machine has a sticker with a serial number that is duplicated on the plastic housing under the muffler. In addition, this index is marked on the packing box. It is also very common to make a copy of the original STIHL ms 180 chainsaw cylinder. how to recognize a counterfeit? All three numbers must match.

The bar has a large through-hole. The forgeries often have an additional small socket that is supposed to be used for lubrication. However, this is a deception. the manufacturers of the original modification have provided a lubrication unit with a reserve of oil, which is quite enough for the entire period of use.

In addition, the standard chain has the letter S on each link, unlike fake copies. There is a minimum of sticker on the original model (there is one on the handle that explains the safety instructions). The basic STIHL logo cannot be affixed.

READ Partner chain saw won’t start Spark is on

Interesting facts

The above mentioned characteristics of a STIHL pruning saw are to choose the right tool without overpaying for a copy. However, there is another subjective aspect by which you can additionally be sure that you are buying a German original.

How to distinguish an original STIHL chainsaw from a counterfeit

Only original tools, manufactured in compliance with production quality and safety standards, are capable of:

  • perform their functions effectively;
  • Demonstrate the technical capabilities declared by the manufacturer;
  • provide safety during use;. assure the safety of the machine.

Often, non-original saws have poor performance, break down quickly, fail to perform their work tasks, and some counterfeit products are even dangerous to health and life.

Buying your equipment from a manufacturer’s representative is a guarantee of quality, safety and a price to match the quality. STIHL dealers have a special STIHL certificate and provide a warranty certificate with the product.

In addition to the certificate and warranty cards, there are several factors that will help distinguish the real equipment from a counterfeit product.


The company monitors its products, which are thoroughly tested.

The following external signs can indicate counterfeiting:

  • No stamped company logo or part number on the silencer.
  • No part numbers on parts.
  • Uneven, dull paintwork on the housing.
  • Unclear, fuzzy markings.
  • No logo on screws and fuel tank lid.
  • No company specific engraving on each cutting chain link.
  • Defects and surface irregularities on plastic parts.
  • Low-quality stickers that can be easily rubbed off or peeled off.
  • Lack of a sticker on the box with a serial number, bar code, country of manufacture.
  • Misspelled corporate name and STIHL name.


If in doubt as to the authenticity of the product after inspecting it, it is important to inspect the components. Often counterfeiters go to great lengths to get a fake as similar as possible, but overlook such features as:

  • Tire length. “left-hand” models usually have a longer tire than the original.
  • Instruction manual. if the manual is not in the box with a quality Russian translation, it is most likely not a real STIHL saw.
  • The presence of a sprocket grease hole on the tire also indicates an imitation of the original product.
  • Lack of company logo on protective covers and additional packs.
  • The plastic canisters and spanner set in the box also indicate a counterfeit, because the original STIHL saw is only packed with a screwdriver and combination wrench.

Identification number

each tool has its own serial number that contains information about the country of manufacture, batch/goods number and additional information. The first number denotes the manufacturer of the product. For example: 1. Germany, 2. USA, 3. Brazil, 8-9. China.

The identification number of the original product is duplicated in three places:

Genuine STIHL machines have a unique serial number. If the serial numbers on the box and housing do not match or are missing, it is a counterfeit!

How to tell a fake STIHL 180 from a genuine product

The MS-180 chainsaw today is a favorite model not only of consumers, but also of counterfeiters, who have learned to reproduce the external resemblance of the device. However, the technical capability and safety of counterfeit models of the saw 180 remains under great doubt.

What is the difference between a genuine STIHL and a counterfeit?

  • Length of original MS-180 guide bar. 30-35cm. Counterfeit bars are considerably longer (40-45cm) than the original products.
  • On the body of the counterfeit model may be noticeable minor defects in the form of rough edges, uneven seams.
  • The air filter must have a part number and a company logo.
  • On a counterfeit tire the marking is blurred, while the original has a clear laser marking.
  • Counterfeit studs are tinted to match the tire color.
  • Original MS-180 has no holes in the bar for sprocket lubrication.

STIHL MS-660: How to spot a fake!

STIHL MS-660. a machine designed for professional use. Rain and snow protection with a heated carburetor for winter conditions. Its price is more expensive, but the technical characteristics are significantly different from gasoline-powered tools for household purposes. This model is able to work in the most extreme conditions, to cope with the most difficult tasks.

How to spot a counterfeit STIHL 660 and how not to pay a high price for a product with questionable specs? The answer is to pay attention to the details:

  • The dimensions of the fake MS-660 unit are less than the dimensions of the product from the legal manufacturer.
  • A real tool always has a serial number, which should match the information on the warranty card.
  • The body color of the power tool is not the same as the original.
  • Counterfeit products have bulging and low-quality oil and fuel tank caps.
  • Genuine STIHL chain saws have the screw for the air filter cover on the back.
  • The real product comes with a combination screwdriver, fake versions have sets of keys and screwdrivers.
  • Branded product always has a detailed instruction manual.

STIHL 362 how to tell a counterfeit from a fake

MS-362 chain saw is an all-purpose machine that can be used for professional and domestic purposes. The unit is known for its economy, reliability, ergonomics.

How to tell a STIHL-362 chain saw from a fake:

  • Serial number. must be the same on the box, body, under the muffler.
  • Hole for drive sprocket on bar indicates counterfeit. genuine chainsaws do not have it.
  • A spark plug bearing the STIHL logo is also an indication of counterfeiting, since STIHL does not produce spark plugs.
  • Fake models often have air filters made of low-quality plastic.
  • Uneven parts, flawed edges and seams, poor assembly. these are all features that are unusual for products from a well-known manufacturer.

Scope of application

The STIHL MS 362 chain saw meets all requirements for medium-duty professional tools. Specially designed for various forestry work, it can felling, delimbing and lopping. In all applications where wood is cut, the STIHL 362 is a real success in the DIY industry.


Cutting firewood for the winter, to cut down obstructions or old trees in the garden or in the countryside, trimming limbs to form the crown of a tree. this saw can do it all. It can also be used in the construction industry. Trimming protruding wood is done in a jiffy. Although here we must make a reservation. it is not rational to use this saw in the construction industry for cutting small items. For this purpose the downgraded class gasoline-powered saws are available. But if you can’t buy a second saw especially for construction sites, the STIHL 362 is the right machine for the job.

Saw is very popular with municipal workers, especially in landscaping parks and gardens. It is also really worth using in other repair and restoration work.

The STIHL 362 chain saw is widely used in all walks of life and by all kinds of consumers. even in private households.

How to distinguish between a Chinese-made STIHL chain saw and a counterfeit

All of the above-mentioned differences are available exclusively from STIHL-branded dealers in Germany. In all other cases, particularly when shopping via the Internet, the customer is likely to encounter Chinese products, including obvious imitations which have nothing in common with the German company and in appearance practically the same as the original STIHL-branded saw.

The key word in the last sentence is “practically”. There are still differences between a genuine STIHL chainsaw and a counterfeit. Therefore, even a non-expert can identify fakes by packaging, appearance, accessories and price.

The packaging is

Today’s cutting-edge technology makes it possible for crooks to copy the original STIHL chainsaw case. However, the size of the original packaging is a couple of centimeters larger than that of the fake. In addition, the box of the original STIHL chainsaw necessarily bears a sticker with an indication:

Here you should pay particular attention to the nine-digit serial number that is assigned to each STIHL chainsaw and is necessary for servicing the machine in the STIHL service centers in Germany. The first digit of the serial number identifies the country of manufacture (1 for Germany, 2 for USA, 3 for Brazil, 4 for Austria, 5 for USA or UK, 8 or 9 for China).

The serial number stamped on the muffler and the sticker on the rear of the housing is a must on any genuine STIHL chainsaw. If these three numbers on the package and the case of the product differ in at least one way, it is not the original, but a fake. In addition, the “Made in China” inscription is unlikely to adorn the fake.


If the packaging is not suspicious, you should carefully examine the contents of the box. A genuine STIHL chainsaw always comes with a genuine STIHL saw:

  • Instruction manual, with the English version (without any grammatical errors);
  • The genuine STIHL tool kit, consisting of the multi-purpose screwdriver and spark plug wrench (each with a company logo engraved on it).

In addition, the original tire is packed in a cardboard cover, and the chain is placed in a separate package. The sheath and box must bear the STIHL logo.

The presence of a fuel can, screwdrivers and other parts, as well as the tire’s cellophane packaging, are telltale signs that it is a fake.


It is not difficult to distinguish a fake from the original by its appearance:

  • Pay attention to the quality of plastic parts, which should not have any defects in the form of burrs, bumps, scratches and obvious marks from the mold.
  • Check that there is a brand logo (engraving only) on the muffler, fuel cap and screws on the inside.
  • All screws on the product must have a proprietary screwdriver slot in the form of a “star”;
  • Product bar has only one hole. An additional lubrication window is a sure sign of a fake.
  • Each chain link and the two large nuts on the left side of the saw should have an “S”.
  • Product part number must be engraved on the air filter holder. The filter itself is made of a thick material with a white outer surface and a brown inner surface.
  • A brand-name product has a bright orange starter.
  • The brake is fastened on both sides.
  • A branded chainsaw is equipped with special covers with the company logo, having a patented design, on the fuel and oil tanks.
  • There should be a serial number stamped on the side of the product (near the muffler). A sticker with a similar number is placed under the muffler.
  • All STIHL chain saw models were updated in 2015. So now the original and the fake can be distinguished by the color, which is not as saturated in the fakes.

Any unusual handling is a sign of counterfeiting.

, And a brand-name model shouldn’t be priced lower than 10,000.

However, this indicator should not be a decisive one when choosing a chainsaw, as some “businessmen” deliberately inflate the of fake goods. That’s why when buying a machine from resellers other than STIHL authorized dealers, it might be worth bargaining.

If the seller shakes and lowers the price, he is clearly trying to sell a fake, as the branded products of this German company by definition can not be too cheap.

Is it worth it to buy a fake?

To buy a Chinese fake is possible only in those cases when the chainsaw is needed for several days or when a consumer is sure he will draw a “lucky ticket” and his purchase, assembled of unknown how and unknown what, will serve him reliably for many years. In all other cases, such a purchase will cause a constant headache due to constant adjustments, regular malfunctions, unexpected breakdowns and too short a service life.

A “STIHL” brand chain saw of Chinese construction will suit those consumers who purchase this tool for home use. Genuine German STIHL chainsaws are the choice of professionals in the forest and wood construction industries.