Stihl MS 180 C-BE Review
Pros: Solid saw performance, easy to start, great tensioning system, light for this type of saw
Cons: Noisy, short bar for this type of saw
Compare to Similar Products
Stihl MS 180 C-BE
|Price||$260 List||$239 List|
Check Price at Amazon
$229.99 at Amazon
$99.99 at Amazon
$129.99 at Amazon
|Pros||Solid saw performance, easy to start, great tensioning system, light for this type of saw||Great cutting performance, cord stopper, intuitive tensioning system, oil flow is adjustable||Spectacular battery life, two chain speed settings, barely consumes bar and chain oil||Decent saw performance, light for this type, good oil tank cap location, extremely affordable||Compact, light, quiet, affordable|
|Cons||Noisy, short bar for this type of saw||Oil tank location is not ideal, cord placement could be better, limitations of corded tools||Not the strongest cutting power, plastic chain tensioning system, electronic controls slow down sawing||Mediocre chain tensioning system, slow wind-up time||Mediocre battery life, slow at making cuts|
|Bottom Line||A smaller high-performance 2-cycle model that requires minimal knowledge of gas-powered machines||A corded model that quickly slices through wood and has an easy-to-use tensioning system||A good degree of performance and an exceptional battery life at a reasonable price||If budget is your overall purchasing decision-making factor, this average saw will get the job done for cheap||This cordless electric chainsaw is our favorite 20V model for small, quick projects around the yard|
|Rating Categories||Stihl MS 180 C-BE||Makita UC4051A||Husqvarna 120i||Worx WG303.1||Worx WG322|
|Saw Performance (35%)|
|Ease of Use (30%)|
|Power Performance (25%)|
|Specs||Stihl MS 180 C-BE||Makita UC4051A||Husqvarna 120i||Worx WG303.1||Worx WG322|
|Model Number||180 C-BE||UC4051A||120i||WG303.1||WG322|
|Bar Length||16 inches||16 inches||14 inches||16 inches||10 inches|
|Power Source||Gasoline||Corded Electric||Battery||Corded Electric||Battery|
|Measured Weight||11 lbs, 10 oz||12 lbs, 6 oz||10 lbs, 11 oz||10 lbs 13 oz||6 lbs, 10 oz|
|Measured Battery Weight||n/a||n/a||2 lbs, 12 oz||n/a||1 lbs, 10 oz|
|Amps||n/a||15 A||4.2 A||15 A||2 A|
|Motor Size||32cc 2-Cycle||15 Amp||36V||15 Amp||20V|
|Measured Runtime||36 minutes||n/a||40 minutes||n/a||22 minutes|
|Measured Run Time Eco Mode||n/a||n/a||54 mins||n/a||n/a|
|Recharge/Refuel Time||1 min||n/a||120 min||n/a||180 min|
|Measured Average Cutting Time||7.7 seconds||5.7 seconds||13.5 seconds||7.4 seconds||38.4 seconds|
|Measured Wind Up Time||0.5 seconds||0.5 seconds||0.5 seconds||1 second||2 seconds|
|Measured Decibel Reading at 48in||103.4 dBa||94.1 dBa||85.9 dBa||99.1 dBa||80.0 dBa|
|Control Type||Thumb safety w/ chain brake||Side safety w/ chain brake||Electronic button, side safety and brake||Side safety w/ chain brake||Thumb safety|
|Chain Replacement and Tensioning Type||Tool free||Tool free||Tool free||Tool free||Tool free|
|Metal Bucking Spikes||Yes||Yes||No||Yes||No|
|Bar & Chain Tank Location and Type||Side||Top||Side, flip-up||Top||Top|
|Measured Body Dimesions||14 x 8 x 7.5 inches||19 x 6 x 6 inches||19 x 7 x 7 inches||17 x 12 x 6.5 inches||13 x 8 x 7.5 inches|
Our Analysis and Test Results
In the world of chainsaws, Stihl is a world-renowned brand. Used by both professionals and consumers alike, they truly do make a chainsaw for just about everyone. With their compact gas-powered model, the MS 180 C-BE, they take their technology and knowledge acquired from decades of experience and package it up into a light and compact 2-cycle model that is a great choice for many people.
When it comes to cutting performance, the Stihl MS 180 C-BE showed some surprisingly strong results considering its engine size and bar length. With an average cut time of 7.7 seconds, this model beat out most of the field during our head-to-head lumber slicing competition.
After running our time-trial cutting test, we walked around our test site to see how the MS 180 C-BE handled in the field. We found this 16-inch model to be the perfect tool for many cuts, especially branches that required lifting the saw above the waist.
The Stihl MS 180 C-BE has several elements that add to the overall user-friendliness of the machine. This model uses Stihl's trademark Easy2Start system that, according to the manufacturer, allows you to pull the start cord two-thirds slower than other models to fire up the engine.
We love the tool-free chain tensioning system integrated into the MS 180 C-BE. All you have to do to loosen or tighten the chain is fold out the lever and twist the large wheel to loosen the bar clamp, then use the wheel to tighten or loosen the chain, and then tighten the bar back down.
This model also has an easily accessible air filter and metal bucking spikes — both must-haves to be considered a high-performance chainsaw.
During our power performance assessment, we found that the Stihl MS 180 C-BE doesn't have the longest runtime, although we must mention that it did run longer than any other 2-cycle model in our review. One of the main advantages that gas-powered models have over battery-powered models is how quickly they can be refueled. Mixing a gallon of 2-cycle gasoline takes mere seconds, and refueling the saw does not take much longer. While people with cordless electric models are waiting for their batteries to charge, with a gas-powered model, you'll already be back to cutting — and in locations that corded electric models simply cannot go.
The primary limiting element of the Stihl MS 180 C-BE is its bar length. If you're looking to buck logs all day or fell larger trees, you're going to need to go with a bigger model.
Our only other complaint about the MS 180 C-BE is the amount of noise it emits. All chainsaws are loud, but 2-cycle gas-powered models are really loud. Also, unlike electric chainsaws, gas-powered models need to idle between cuts, so your ears only get a break when you completely shut the engine off.
Considering that some lower-scoring chainsaws cost more than the Stihl MS 180 C-BE, we think that this model is a solid investment for those in the market for a compact gas-powered chainsaw.
The Stihl MS 180 C-BE did not earn the highest overall score in our review, but we compared it side-by-side with models that have longer bars and larger engines. Considering its size and weight, this machine does a terrific job of cutting. It's astoundingly easy to start, and there are no tools or knowledge required for tensioning the chain. If you want a 2-cycle chainsaw that won't break your back or break the bank, this version is a great choice.
— Ross Patton
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