Stihl and Husqvarna have been big names in the chainsaw industry since both companies rose to corporate heights on the strengths of strong equipment and savvy market knowledge. Which company offers the best product is a matter hotly debated among commercial contractors and independent arborists. The smart consumer may see benefits in both companies and select products on a situational basis. There are those who swear by one brand or the other for all the tough jobs.
Historical Stihl Strengths
Stihl's strength has always been with its chainsaw line. Dubbed the worldwide leader in sales of chainsaw and cutoff machines, Stihl has risen to quick prominence since first forming in 1974. The company manufactures gasoline powered chainsaws for a variety of markets including the professional, commercial, farm, and consumer sectors. Stihl is the only chainsaw manufacturer in the world that also creates their own saw chains and guide bars. Proprietary inventions for the company include automatic chain oiling, a centrifugal clutch, a chain braking system and an electronic ignition system, among many others.
Historical Husqvarna Strengths
A global leader in the areas of outdoor products for forestry, park maintenance and law care, Husqvarna has a more rounded approach to its product line. The corporate branding includes a number of other of other manufacturers that may have their name on the label (Jonsered, Gardena, Flymo, McCulloch, Partner, Poulan, Poulan Pro and WeedEater) but are Husqvarna products. In addition to the company's line of chainsaws, Husqvarna also manufactures lawn mowers, tractors, construction equipment and diamond tools for cutting concrete.
Comparing the latest products for both companies, as of early 2010, the Stihl MS 230 C-BE Duro is the first Stihl chain saw to feature the Stihl "Picco Duro" three-saw chain. With carbide tipped cutters, the chain requires less sharpening and extends the edge life of the cutter up to four times, reducing chain maintenance .
A toolless "Quick Chain Adjuster" is standard on this model for fast, easy chain adjustment and removal. A carburetor preheat shutter option allows for seasonal flexibility, and a purge pump primer aids starting in cold weather months.The MS 230 C-BE also features Stihl Easy2Start technology, to eliminate the need for a straining pull of the starting cord.
Husqvarna's latest offering in the field of chainsaws is the T435. Designed for the commercial arborist or lawn care provider, the T435 is lightweight and efficiently fitted with a high-powered "X-Torq" engine to improve fuel economy with 20 percent less fuel consumption and 60 percent less emissions. The T435 has its center of mass close to the handle, which makes it easier to control. It is also equipped with LowVib, Husvarna's steel spring construction that reduces the handle vibration caused from motor operation. The instrument pushes a maximum rpm of 10,000 and weighs less than 8 lbs.
Stihl's latest product comes in with slightly more horsepower (2.5) than the Husqvarna which rates a flat 2.0. The Stihl also the heavier of the two weighing nearly 11 lbs. whereas the Husqvarna weighs less than 8 lbs. From a power standpoint the Stihl is superior, as is the company's two-year limited warranty on all of its products. For versatility, and since its replacement parts are not proprietary, Husqvarana is the proper selection.