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3 Best Stihl Chainsaw For Milling Ranked in 2024

Looking for the best Stihl chainsaw for milling? Look no further. Milling with a chainsaw is becoming increasingly popular among DIYers and professionals alike, and choosing the right equipment is crucial for achieving a successful outcome. In this article, we’ll take a look at some of the top Stihl chainsaws for milling, along with the features and benefits that make them stand out from the competition. So whether you’re a seasoned miller or just starting out, read on to discover the best Stihl chainsaws for your milling needs.
Milling lumber is a laborious task that requires a powerful and reliable chainsaw. However, not all chainsaws are designed for milling, and choosing the wrong one can result in frustrating and time-consuming experience.

A poorly designed chainsaw can easily get bogged down when cutting hardwoods, causing the chain to bind or even snap. This can lead to dangerous situations and costly repairs. Additionally, a chainsaw that lacks proper vibration reduction can cause operator fatigue and increase the risk of injury.

To tackle the challenges of milling lumber, it’s essential to choose the right chainsaw. Look for models with powerful engines, long bars, and high-quality chains. Vibration reduction features are also crucial for comfortable use and increased safety. By choosing the right chainsaw, you’ll make milling lumber a breeze and achieve professional-grade results.

The Best Stihl Chainsaw For Milling on the Market Right Now

Looking for the best Stihl chainsaw for milling? Check out our comprehensive guide to find the perfect tool for the job.

1. Stihl Ms 661 C-M

Stihl MS 661 C-M

The Stihl MS 661 C-M is a powerful chainsaw designed for professional use in milling large logs. It provides unparalleled performance and is equipped with unique features that make it the best Stihl chainsaw for milling.

The Stihl MS 661 C-M is a petrol-powered chainsaw with a 91.6cc engine that provides 7.2 hp of power. Its anti-vibration system and excellent air filtration system make it comfortable and easy to use for extended periods. It is equipped with a wrap handle, allowing better control over the chainsaw.

The chainsaw’s 36-inch bar and chain make it the perfect tool for milling large trees. It also has an easy-to-use chain tensioning system, making it easier to adjust for varying logs.

Unique Features

  • Decompression Valve – This feature reduces the starting effort required to start the chainsaw, making it easier to use for longer periods
  • IntelliCarb™ – The chainsaw’s carburetor ensures optimal engine performance while controlling fuel flow, resulting in better fuel efficiency and fewer emissions
  • QuickStop Chain Brake System – This feature halts saw chain movement immediately after releasing the throttle, making it safer to use
  • Easy2Start™ – This feature provides an effortless start-up experience, reducing the risk of overexertion or injury


  • Powerful engine with excellent air filtration system
  • Anti-vibration system for reducing fatigue during prolonged use
  • Easy-to-use chain tensioning system and quick stop chain brake system for increased safety and convenience
  • Easy2Start™ feature ensuring effortless startup experience
  • IntelliCarb™ technology for optimal engine performance


  • The Stihl MS 661 C-M is a heavy and large chainsaw, making it difficult to maneuver in narrow spaces or with smaller logs
  • The chainsaw is relatively expensive and may not be accessible for casual users or small businesses

In summary, the Stihl MS 661 C-M is the best chainsaw for milling trees due to its exceptional performance and unique features such as the easy-to-use chain tensioning system, quick stop chain brake system, and Easy2Start™ feature. However, it is heavy and large, making it difficult to use in narrow spaces or with smaller logs, and it is also relatively expensive. Nonetheless, it remains the top choice for professional loggers and milling experts.

2. Stihl Ms 880 Magnum

Stihl MS 880 Magnum

The Stihl MS 880 Magnum is an industrial-grade chainsaw designed for heavy-duty tasks. Its powerful engine, high chain speed, and ergonomic features make it a popular choice for professional loggers, arborists, and landscapers. Let’s take a closer look at some of its key features:

Unique Features

  • 121.6 cc engine: The MS 880 Magnum comes with a 121.6 cc 2-stroke engine that delivers up to 8.4 kW of power. This allows it to handle large trees and logs with ease.
  • Decompression valve: The decompression valve makes it easier to start the chainsaw by reducing the compression in the cylinder during the starting process.
  • Pre-separation air filtration system: The pre-separation air filtration system helps to remove larger debris and dust particles before they reach the air filter. This extends the life of the filter and reduces maintenance time.
  • SmartCarb™ system: The SmartCarb™ system maintains optimal engine performance by regulating fuel flow to the carburetor in response to changes in air pressure and temperature.
  • ElastoStart™ handle: The ElastoStart™ handle reduces the impact of starting the chainsaw on the user’s arms and wrists, making it more comfortable to use.


  • Powerful engine: The MS 880 Magnum’s 121.6 cc engine provides enough power to tackle large logs and trees.
  • High chain speed: The chainsaw delivers a chain speed of up to 58 meters per second, making it one of the fastest chainsaws in its class.
  • Ergonomic design: The ElastoStart™ handle, anti-vibration system, and lightweight construction make it easier to use and reduce fatigue.
  • Durable and reliable: Stihl is known for making high-quality products that last, and the MS 880 Magnum is no exception.


  • Expensive: The MS 880 Magnum is one of the most expensive chainsaws on the market, with a price tag of over $2,000.
  • Heavy: The chainsaw’s weight of over 30 pounds can make it difficult to maneuver for extended periods of time.
  • Loud: Like most chainsaws, the MS 880 Magnum is quite loud and may require ear protection.

In summary, the Stihl MS 880 Magnum is a powerful and reliable chainsaw that’s designed for heavy-duty tasks. While it has some drawbacks, such as its high price and weight, its unique features and pros make it a popular choice for professionals who need a saw that can handle the toughest jobs.

3. Stihl Ms 461

Stihl MS 461

The Stihl MS 461 is a powerful and reliable chainsaw designed for professional use. It boasts a high-performance engine and advanced features that make it suitable for cutting through tough wood and timber. With its lightweight and compact design, the MS 461 is easy to handle and maneuver, making it an ideal choice for arborists, landscapers, and other professionals in the forestry and lumber industries.

Unique Features

– STIHL M-Tronic™ engine management technology for optimal engine performance and efficiency
– Decompression valve for easy starting and reduced starter cord resistance
– Advanced air filtration system that ensures clean air intake and consistent engine performance
– Lightweight and ergonomic design for improved handling and reduced operator fatigue
– Dual-Lever System for improved control and precision during cutting


– Powerful engine that delivers exceptional cutting performance
– Lightweight and easy to handle, increasing overall work efficiency
– Advanced features, including M-Tronic technology and a decompression valve, make for easy starting and consistent engine performance
– Durable and reliable construction that can withstand heavy use and tough conditions


– Higher price point compared to some other chainsaws on the market
– May be too powerful for occasional or non-professional use
– Some users have reported difficulties with the chain tensioning system

Buying Guide for Best Stihl Chainsaw For Milling

Looking to buy a Stihl chainsaw for milling? Our comprehensive buying guide has everything you need to know to choose the right model for your needs. From motor power and bar length to safety features and price points, we’ve got you covered. Find your perfect chainsaw and get started on your milling project today!

Engine Power

The engine power of a Stihl chainsaw is an important factor to consider when purchasing a chainsaw for milling. This is because milling requires a lot of power to cut through thick logs smoothly and with ease. A powerful engine provides the necessary torque and speed required to make accurate cuts while preventing the chainsaw from getting stuck or bogging down during use. For this reason, it is recommended to look for a Stihl chainsaw with a high horsepower rating for milling use.

Additionally, the engine power of a Stihl chainsaw also affects its overall durability and longevity. Chainsaw engines that are more powerful tend to be built with high-quality materials, making them more durable and long-lasting. This is especially important when using the chainsaw for milling, as the increased stress placed on the chainsaw can wear out inferior parts more quickly. Choosing a chainsaw with a powerful engine will not only make it more efficient for milling but also ensure that it lasts longer and requires less maintenance over time.

Bar Length

When purchasing a Stihl chainsaw for milling, one of the essential factors to consider is the bar length. The bar length determines the maximum width of the cut that the chainsaw can handle. A longer bar length can accommodate larger logs and cuts, while a shorter bar length is typically more maneuverable and easier to handle. Therefore, it is important to choose the appropriate bar length depending on the size and type of milling projects you intend to undertake. A longer bar means you can handle larger logs without having to stop and start frequently or use an additional chainsaw.

Another reason to consider the bar length when purchasing a Stihl chainsaw for milling is the power required to operate it. A longer bar length necessitates more power from the chainsaw motor to achieve a smooth and efficient cut. A chainsaw with a shorter bar may not generate enough power to cut through larger logs or produce the desired precision. However, a chainsaw with a longer bar can provide the necessary power to perform complex milling tasks successfully. Therefore, when purchasing a Stihl chainsaw for milling, look for the appropriate bar length that can handle the projects you have in mind while providing sufficient power for an optimal outcome.


The weight of a Stihl chainsaw is an integral factor when purchasing a saw for milling. This is because a chainsaw with a heavy weight can put a strain on your arms, shoulders, and back. When using a chainsaw for milling, you will be cutting logs for extended periods, which will require you to hold the saw firmly in both hands. Therefore, a lighter chainsaw will alleviate fatigue and allow you to work for longer periods without straining your body.

In addition, a lighter chainsaw will provide more precision and control when milling. The reduced weight of the saw will give you more stability and better control when cutting the logs. Controlling the chainsaw’s movement is essential when making precise cuts for your milling project. A lighter chainsaw will give you the freedom to maneuver the saw and maintain accurate cuts. Overall, a lighter Stihl chainsaw is an excellent investment for both comfort and precision when milling.

Ease Of Use

When purchasing a Stihl chainsaw for milling, it is important to look for ease of use. This is because milling can be a strenuous task that requires a lot of effort and energy. A chain saw that is easy to handle can help reduce the amount of strain experienced by the user, allowing for longer and more efficient milling without getting fatigued.

Another reason to look for ease of use in a Stihl chainsaw for milling is that it helps to improve safety. A chainsaw that is easy to operate reduces the chances of accidents and injuries, which can be quite dangerous given the nature of the task you are doing. An easy-to-use chainsaw also helps to minimize operator mistakes that can lead to damage to the chainsaw or decreased cutting performance. Therefore, when purchasing a Stihl chainsaw for milling, ensure that it is designed with user experience in mind to increase safety and productivity.

Chain Lubrication

Proper chain lubrication is essential for maintaining the longevity and performance of a Stihl chainsaw, especially during milling. Without proper lubrication, the friction between the chain and the bar could cause damage to the chainsaw, resulting in costly repairs. Additionally, a well-lubricated chain can increase cutting efficiency and reduce the risk of kickback, ensuring safer and more effective milling.

When purchasing a Stihl chainsaw for milling, it’s crucial to look for one that comes with an effective chain lubrication system. The lubrication system should be designed to provide a consistent flow of oil to the chain during use, ensuring maximum performance and durability. A reliable chain lubrication system will also help to minimize downtime during prolonged use and prevent costly maintenance expenses. Overall, chain lubrication is an essential consideration for any chainsaw purchase, and it’s especially important for those using a Stihl chainsaw for milling.

Vibration Control

When looking to purchase a Stihl chainsaw for milling, it’s crucial to consider vibration control. This is because excessive vibration can make the job more challenging and uncomfortable, which can lead to hand fatigue and reduce productivity. By choosing a chainsaw with excellent vibration control, you can ensure a smoother operation, reducing stress on your hands and improving your overall milling experience.

Investing in a Stihl chainsaw with vibration control also promotes safety in the workplace. As you work with the saw, it emits significant amounts of vibration, which can cause the saw to slip, leading to injuries. A chainsaw with good vibration reduction technology will give you better control over the saw, reducing your risk of accidents and making your work environment safer.

Dust Control

Dust control is an essential component when purchasing a Stihl chainsaw for milling. It helps in controlling the amount of dust created during the milling process. Dust can be hazardous to both the operator’s health and the chainsaw’s productivity. Without dust control, the build-up of dust can cause the chainsaw’s engine to overheat, leading to the machine shutting down. In addition, it can result in the premature expiry of the saw’s filters and filters within the location of operation. Dust control ensures that the operator of the chainsaw maintains a clean and clear working environment while at the same time keeping the machine protected and functional.

The second reason why dust control is necessary when purchasing a Stihl chainsaw for milling is that it provides a safer operating environment. The operator of the chainsaw can work with confidence, knowing that dust control prevents the risk of inhaling airborne fragments. The inhalation of sawdust presents significant health risks for the lungs and causes respiratory problems. Effective dust control ensures that these hazards are kept at bay by establishing high air quality standards. With the Stihl chainsaw equipped with a dust control feature, the operator can work efficiently without worrying about these risks.


Durability is a crucial factor to consider when purchasing a Stihl chainsaw for milling as it ensures the tool can withstand the heavy workload and harsh milling conditions. Milling requires extended periods of operation and places a significant amount of stress on the chainsaw components, including the bar, chain, and engine. A durable Stihl chainsaw with high-quality materials and excellent craftsmanship will last longer and deliver optimal performance even in demanding environments. Therefore, looking for durability when purchasing a Stihl chainsaw for milling is essential to guarantee the longevity and reliability of the tool.

Another reason to prioritize durability when buying a Stihl chainsaw for milling is the cost-effectiveness and minimal downtime associated with it. A durable chainsaw requires less frequent repair and maintenance, reducing costs and downtime, and maximizing productivity. Durable Stihl chainsaws also tend to have extended warranty periods, giving you peace of mind and protecting your investment. Moreover, a durable chainsaw ensures the operator’s safety, preventing unforeseen accidents that could result from tool failure. Overall, prioritizing durability when purchasing a Stihl chainsaw for milling guarantees efficient operation, reduces costs, and ensures the operator’s safety.


What is the best STIHL chainsaw for milling?

The STIHL MS 661 C-M is considered the best STIHL chainsaw for milling due to its high power output and longer bar lengths that allow for larger cuts.

What chainsaw bar is best for milling?

A longer chainsaw bar, typically 24-36 inches, with a solid nose and a higher number of drive links, is best for milling. It is important to select a bar that is compatible with your chainsaw and a saw chain designed for milling.

What size chainsaw do you need for milling?

You will need at least a 70cc chainsaw with a 24-inch bar or larger to effectively mill lumber. However, a larger chainsaw, such as an 80cc or 90cc saw, is generally recommended for larger milling projects.

What is the best STIHL chainsaw for logging?

The STIHL MS 661 C-M is considered the best chainsaw for logging due to its powerful engine, long bar options, and advanced features such as a decompression valve and adjustable oiler.


In conclusion, the best Stihl chainsaw to consider for milling is the Stihl MS 661 C-M. With its powerful engine, advanced technology, and user-friendly features, it is the top-performing product in its category. However, if you need a higher level of power and have more experience in milling, the Stihl MS 880 Magnum is the second-best alternative to consider. Regardless of which one you choose, remember that safety should always come first when working with chainsaws. Check the buying guide to determine the features that matter most to you and make the most informed purchasing decision to get the best Stihl chainsaw for milling that meets your unique needs.
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