MS 181 C-BE - $279.99 DSRP


Distributor Suggested Retail Price
16 in. Bar

DSRP: $279.99

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A chainsaw with reduced-emission engine technology, STIHL Easy2Start™ and Quick Chain Adjuster.

The MS 181 C-BE Chainsaw features Easy2Start™ and allows an easier start that requires less pulling force. The Quick Chain Adjuster makes adjusting and removing saw chains simple – no tools are needed. Reduced vibrations lessen user fatigue making this tool ideal for landscaping jobs around the home. Because of its reduced-emission engine technology, the MS 181 C-BE lowers fuel consumption and req...Read More
Print Spec Sheets
MS 181 C-BE Specifications
DISPLACEMENT 31.8 cc (1.9 cu. in.)
ENGINE POWER 1.5 kW (2.0 bhp)
POWERHEAD WEIGHT 4.6 kg (10.1 lbs.)
FUEL CAPACITY 280 cc (9.5 oz.)
CHAIN OIL CAPACITY 180 cc (6.1 oz.)
OILOMATIC® CHAIN 3/8" PMM3
GUIDE BAR LENGTHS (Recommended ranges) 30 to 40 cm (12" to 16")
STIHL ROLLOMATIC® E
POWER SOURCE Gas
STIHL recommends #3610 (61 PMM3 55) OILOMATIC® saw chain and 16" 3005 008 3919 STIHL ROLLOMATIC® Ematic™ guide bar combination. The actual listed guide bar length can vary from the effective cutting length based on which powerhead it is installed on.
Model Features
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    Built in the USA
    Indicates products that are built in the United States from domestic and foreign parts and components.

    More Information

  • Zoom
    STIHL Easy2Start™ (E)
    The STIHL Easy2Start™ system makes starting STIHL outdoor power tools almost effortless, eliminating the need for a strong pull of the starting cord. This advanced starting system is designed to make starting STIHL products easier. The specific system may vary by model, but in each case, a quick pull overcomes the engine’s compression to minimize the strength and effort required to start. Available on selected products.
  • Zoom
    Quick Chain Adjuster (QCA) (B)
    The Quick Chain Adjuster (QCA) (B) allows the user to adjust the tension of the chain without the use of tools. This allows for easy chain adjustment.

    See it in action!
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    Toolless fuel and oil caps with retainers
    Simply lift the lever and twist the caps to remove or tighten. There‘s no need to use a tool to tighten or loosen.
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    IntelliCarb™ Compensating Carburetor
    The IntelliCarb™ Compensating Carburetor is designed to automatically adjust the air/fuel ratio when the air filter becomes restricted or partially clogged and maintains the engine’s correct RPM. IntelliCarb™ uses air from the clean side of the air filter to control the diaphragm and flow of fuel. As the air filter becomes dirty and less air is available for the carburetor, the IntelliCarb™ system adjusts the fuel flow to compensate for the decrease in air flow. This is in contrast to typical carburetors that utilize this air from the “dirty” side of the air box.
Standard Features
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    Common Features for Chainsaws
    View the features common to many STIHL chainsaws.

Important Information
* The actual listed guide bar length can vary from the effective cutting length based on which powerhead it is installed on.
Note: STIHL recommends use of fuel with no more than 10% Ethanol content. Using fuel with greater than 10% Ethanol content may cause damage to your equipment and may void your STIHL warranty. Learn More…
WARNING: Cancer and Reproductive Harm - www.p65warnings.ca.gov
ADVERTENCIA: Cáncer y Daño Reproductivo - www.p65warnings.ca.gov
WARNING! Improper use of any power tool may cause serious or fatal injury. Read, understand and follow carefully the operating and safety instructions in your instruction manual before using such products.

STIHL products sold through U.S. STIHL Dealers are for distribution in the United States only.
Click to view the STIHL Limited Warranty Time Periods
Optional Accessories
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    Bumper Spikes
    Help prevent pull-in and provide better control, making cutting easier.
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    •2.6 oz. bottle makes 1 gallon mix

    •5.2 oz. bottle makes 2 gallon mix

    •6.4 oz. bottle makes 2 1/2 gallon mix

    •12.8 oz. bottle makes 5 gallon mix

    STIHL recommends a mix of 50:1 high-quality 89 octane or higher unleaded gasoline to STIHL engine oil. This same mix ratio should be used during break-in.

  • Bar and Chain Oil Zoom
    Bar and Chain Oil
    STIHL Bar and Chain oil is formulated to adhere to the bar and chain, and to reduce wear. Special agents in the oil formulation help keep sap and pitch from clinging to the bar and chain.

    Available in quart and gallon bottles, 5 gallon pails and 55 gallon drums, in both summer and winter weights.

  • Complete Filing Kits Zoom
    Complete Filing Kits
    Kits available for the following chain types: STIHL PICCO Mini; 1/4" pitch chain; .325" pitch chain; 3/8" pitch chain; .404" pitch chain.
    Includes file guide, depth gauge, round file, flat file and two file handles in tool pouch.
    Chain Pitch File Diameter File Guide
    Part Number
    Sharpening Kit
    Part Number
    in. mm in. mm Part Number
    3/8 PMN 9.32 5/32 4.0 0811 411 8073

    5605 750 4327

    5605 007 1026

    1/4
    3/8 PM
    6.35
    9.32
    5/32 4.0 0811 411 8091

    5605 750 4327

    5605 007 1027

    0.325 8.25 3/16 4.8 0811 412 8088

    5605 750 4328

    5605 007 1028

    3/8 9.32 13/64 5.2 0814 243 3384 5605 750 4329

    5605 007 1029

    0.404 10.26 7/32 5.5 0811 412 8108 5605 750 4330

    5605 007 1030

For Your Safety
  • Woodcutter Helmet System Zoom
    Woodcutter Helmet System
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    Hellfire Glasses
    STIHL Hellfire protective glasses – our original design with a twist. Introducing a new multi-colored frame that adds style to everyday protection. An integrated rubber nosepiece and reduced-slippage temples are molded into the frame for maximum comfort.

Are You Ready for a STIHL?

MS 181 C-BE is rated 4.2 out of 5 by 87.
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Incredibly easy to use I have owned many chainsaws in the past. Many used and new saws. The last saw I purchased before my first Stihl saw I had only used 3 times and started having issues with it. When I took it to a local saw shop they informed me that the saws were now being produced overseas and it would cost more to fix it than to replace it. Imagine my frustration. I finally broke down and spent a little extra and bought my first Stihl and I must say, this is an actual case of "you get what you pay for." From the first pull of the easy start feature to the very first cut into a tree, I knew I had made the right decision.This little saw cuts like a dream. I went through 3 trees on my property in a very short amount of time. With my past few saws that would have taken twice the time or longer. I am now a Stihl fan, and will not purchase another brand saw ever again. Thank you for producing such a great product.
Date published: 2018-02-28
Rated 5 out of 5 by from This product has great features This saw is a great value at a great price. It is light weight, starts extremely easy and has enough power to do the job. I have had other brands at a cost similar to the MS 181 C-BE but was not of the same quality. The Eazy2start feature of this model is great for an older person, it start extremely easy, usually first pull and effortless.
Date published: 2018-02-27
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Easy to start and cuts well Great saw for older homeowner using it around the home and to cut firewood. Love the easy start feature.
Date published: 2018-02-05
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Light and powerful This is a great saw! It is light and easy to use. It is easy to start! So much better than my old saw! Light enough for a woman and powerful enough for a woman!Get one!
Date published: 2018-02-05
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Love it Had it for a year now and have used quite a bit on all different size logs and branches. It's been very dependable. I did have one problem with it starting and took it in to the dealer. They had it a couple of days, fixed it no charge and it works like new again. It was probably something in my gas can caused the problem. It's light weight and I really like the anti vibration handle.
Date published: 2018-02-03
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Everything I needed I just bought MS 181 Easy Start saw on Dec 23rd. At my age, 71, I was not able to start my other saw that I'd had for over two years so I gave it to my grandson. Everything I had read about the Easy Start Stihl saw said it was the one for me. I used it for several hours the first day without a problem starting it, even after shutting it off when I needed to. The next day I cut down a tree and cleaned it all up without leaving anything lay on the ground. That's a first. The saw is light enough that I didn't have to stop using it after 15 or 20 minutes. It's the best buy I've made in years.
Date published: 2017-12-27
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Great light use saw. This is a perfect saw for small jobs around the home/farm. Enough power to cut through a lot of the fallen and dying small (~4") to medium (~10") trees on the property I manage without bogging down. Obviously this is not a saw for older trees, but I have used it in a pinch and it's held up fine. The only issues I have seen with these saws is the small plastic flag that locks the choke open can sometimes break if you put a lot of force on the choke lever and the chain dulls fairly quickly (I don't have the time to sharpen my chain after each use, although it's a practice I should make a habit.). I only found one other thing I dislike which is the 16" bar. For what I and most others use this saw for I think a 14" bar would be better. It's really not a big deal, but I will be purchasing a smaller bar and chain.Overall I have found this saw to be super helpful. It's priced right, doesn't weigh much, starts easily, cuts well, and lasts a long time unless it's abused.
Date published: 2017-12-11
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Lightweight and easy to use Using this saw to cut 12 inch diameter, approximate 40 feet tall trees. Cuts with ease. Use to cut trees in my younger years. This is my first STIHL and appreciate the easy start and the safety additions. Not as strong as I use to be so this small stihl is very right for me. Being a female, do not have the upper body strength so appreciate my new purchase. Also chain was easy to change.
Date published: 2017-11-13
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Great For Home Owner Use I have had this 181C for a couple of years now and used it several times! Keep in mind this is intended for home owner use and not anything more! It is easy to start and cuts as it is intended!I have not had any issues and has been dependable!The weight is just right, not too heavy! Easy to maneuver when up in a tree! The price is just right also!
Date published: 2017-10-30
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Best thing since sliced bread! This is the best chain saw I have ever owned. Had another brand that I could never get started. This Easy-Start is SO fantastic! Just the right size for me. Light weight and so easy to start.
Date published: 2017-10-21
Rated 5 out of 5 by from power and dependability I used my saw to top a tree in my back yard and several times I had to shut the saw off to change positions, and with the easy start I had no trouble restarting my saw.
Date published: 2017-09-22
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Practically made for me I simply cannot find fault with this tool. It was made for softies like me. What I like best is the starter; that made worth a price premium. With a choke that holds the trigger down (so I don't have to), it's made for starting the way I've always had to: With the saw *pressed to the ground* and my good hand on the pull cord. (This is hard to do while also holding down the trigger.) The saw does the work; pulling the cord doesn't.I need a chainsaw between once and three times a year, but this year I have *tons* of firewood to harvest, so my MS 181 C's gotta get me through it.
Date published: 2017-09-03
Rated 5 out of 5 by from All around awesome saw. Picked up my saw at J&R Sales E.Dubuque, It's a great saw that has power and starts easy every time.Ytime.You can carry this saw long lengths of time and weight is such it won't wear you down.Does the work of bigger saws without hesitation.
Date published: 2017-08-30
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Great chainsaw for homeowners I've not had the chainsaw very long but have felled, limbed, and bucked about 20 trees with it. Much lighter than my old Poulan.Stihl is a better brand and that comes with a higher price. Well worth it.The easy start function on this saw is fantastic. After spending 2hrs of cutting and manually hauling lumber in the summer, you can get tired quickly. Yours arms can be very tired and the easy start function doesn't require even half of the strength or speed needed to pull start a cold engine. Once she's warmed up, the easy start works like a breeze.
Date published: 2017-08-29
Rated 3 out of 5 by from I It's easy to start this chainsaw but once it's hot and you turn it off you have to wait 30-45 before it will start again. Very frustrating. I have to make sure to continually fill it with gas and chain oil while it's running so that it doesn't turn off.
Date published: 2017-07-26
Rated 1 out of 5 by from Saw won't start Saw is a few years old - won't start. Always hard to start in spring. Now won;t start at all. Has spark but no fuel. Shop says carb needs replaced. Literally used a few times a year for last three years - and carb needs replaced???!!!Very disappointed. My bigger sthil works fine for 15 years. Will not buy a small saw like this again from stihl.
Date published: 2017-05-21
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Starts easy, plenty of power I really like the easy start and the tool less chain tensioner. Very easy to use and plenty of power for a home owner
Date published: 2017-05-02
Rated 1 out of 5 by from This product is not worth buying Can not keep a chain sharp on this saw. I have bought four new chains, had the chains sharpened professionally and taken to the shop three times. The saw starts without a problem but is no good due to chain issue. I have had the oiler checked and even set up a test cut log, made four cuts with a new chain before the saw started throwing saw dust. My guess is the problem is due to the metal thickness on the chain, wanted to change the bar so that I could put on a better chain but just so happens you can not change the bar on this saw. My opinion is that this is the poorest designed saw Stihl has every built and not worth buying.
Date published: 2017-04-04
Rated 1 out of 5 by from Absolute rubbish! This is my second one. The first one was faulty. This one is also faulty despite good care. Temporary cheaper chainsaw I bought to hide me over is still going strong for less than half the price.
Date published: 2017-03-26
Rated 5 out of 5 by from A great home saw I love my MS 181 C-BE. It is easy to start, which is important as I am a 64 year old woman. I bought this saw to clear sprouts and dead fall around my rural property. I have never had a gas powered chainsaw, just a small electric, and this saw is very easy to use and powerful enough to do the job.
Date published: 2017-03-24
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Works Great! Great little saw; light weight, easy start and easy to handle. Only wish it came with a hard case, had to purchase seperatly.
Date published: 2017-03-10
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Typical Stihl quality, power only issue This is a great saw at a fair price. The unit is easy to service, easy to fill, and easy to start. My only complaint would be that mine came with a 16" bar, and in hard wood, there is a bit of a power deficit. I'm sure it would work great with a 14" bar, and then it would be second to none.
Date published: 2017-01-25
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Great all around saw for occassinal home use Very easy to break in and put to use clearing tree limbs and removing dead.
Date published: 2017-01-24
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Just like all of the other Stihl power tools I own, PERFECT! I own a Stihl backpack blower and trimmer with a harness. I have on them for about 12 years and have been completely satisfied with every aspect of the machine. When I needed to replace my small chainsaw, I didn't think of buying any other type than the Stihl. I could not be any more pleased with my purchase. I recommend your products every time I have the opportunity.
Date published: 2017-01-24
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Easy start and a dream to use. I have owned Stihl chain saws for over 20 year and have a problem with my upper back and could not pull start my older chain saws both Stihl and others. After searching online I came across the MS 180 C-BE 16. So I went to Robinson Hardware in Guilderland NY. The sales person was great and we went over the easy start saws that were available and I dry started this saw. It was an answer to my dream of having a chain saw I could start with out hurting my back. After purchase we went out and started my new saw. If you can pick up a cold drink 3 times it starts. The next day I headed into the woods and ran the saw for about 4 hours and it ran very well and after it warmed up it was a 1 pull wonder.
Date published: 2016-11-08
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Perfect for heavy home use I've run a few of the bigger Stihl saws out on my friend's farm, but they are overkill for what I was needing at my home. The 181 is the perfect size for cutting up medium soft woods (>8") and smaller hardwoods (>5") around my home, and my parents home. Maintenance is a breeze with the tool-less design and the quick start works like a dream. Running this all day is no problem for me with the light weight and the shocks built in to the body.I'll most likely get a 14" bar if I ever need to cut anything bigger, but the 16" that is included is more than adequate for my current needs.
Date published: 2016-10-31
Rated 5 out of 5 by from My main operational saw I keep two saws in the house, fully loaded with gas and ready to go in case I need one or both in an emergency. In the past, I have been forced to cut my way out of the house due to trees and limbs ending up on the house after a winter or spring storms. The main requirement is they must be easily cranked and run each and every time I attempt to crank them on the front porch or back deck. The reason I have two saws is because you always need a backup saw and they both sit on shop towels right inside the back door. Right now, I have my 181 CCBE and MS 250 as my operational saws. Both will handle just about anything that falls oh or around the house. My 181 CBE is a dream saw because of its ease of starting but my MS 250 will handle larger wood more easily. I have bigger saws but I try to balance size with need I cut down two trees with my 181 and 250 this week. I cut one 6 inch oak down with the 181 and limbed it and bucked it with the 181 - all on a half a tank of gas. The other oak was about 12 inches in diameter, so I cut it and bucked it with the 250 but limbed it with the 181 because it got hung up in another tree and the 181 is lighter than the 250 for overhead work. I was really surprised by the fact that both saws used only a half of a tank of gas, each. I have never had a lick of problems with either saw and I have about 10 tanks of gas on each saw. However, I broke both saws in correctly - extra oil in the first two tanks of gas ( one capful of Ultra in the tank) and neither of the saws cut anything until after they had , at least, two tanks of gas on them. The first two tanks of gas were mostly at idle with an occasional run-up to clear off the spark plug. It takes about an hour and an half to go through a tank of gas on either saw. I may give a saw a little light work when it is on its 2nd tank but it is limited to very light work on small wood, 2 inches or less. On the 3rd tank I see what the saw is made of and switch it to my standard 50:1 mix of premium non-ethanol,Stihl Ultra oil mix ,My Ms 181 CBE is not completely broke in, yet, but my Ms 250 is, even though both saws have almost identical number of tanks of gas on them, I listen for the piston to "round out" as a good indicator. When they round out the idle will RPM will rise several hundred RPM;s, but will drop after several minutes of idling. My 181 CBE is almost there but not quite. It should be there after a few more tanks of gas. I have read all of the horror stories on the Stihl website about folks that have had problems with their Stihl chainsaws. My bet is most of these problems are due to improper use or maintenance. I clean my saws, religiously after each use; feed them good gas, properly mixed with good two cycle oil and use good bar oil in them. I also sharpen their chains after every 4 tanks of gas.
Date published: 2016-10-31
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Great product Chainsaw does what is asked of it. Light weight, starts quickly and runs smoothly.
Date published: 2016-09-26
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Light and Dependably Awesome This saw will not wear you out moving it about a work site. It has more power than you think. No vibration while cutting.
Date published: 2016-09-15
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Open Heart Surgery After my open heart surgery I found it very difficult to start my old chain saws. So off to the Stihl dealer, I came home with this saw and could not be happier, I have used it for over two years for cutting trees to keep my property neat. If you require a saw with easy start capability, then this is a very dependable saw to use.
Date published: 2016-08-26
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