MSA 160 C-BQ

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Innovative and surprisingly powerful STIHL Lithium-Ion battery-powered chainsaw. 

Product Description

Now here’s a game changer in chainsaws. Lightweight. Powerful. Easy to start. Quiet. With no mixing. No cords. And almost no sound. (Your neighbors will love this saw as much as you do.) The MSA 160 C-BQ is powered by a Lithium-Ion battery. This little workhorse starts instantly, delivering 36 volts of power from its commercial-grade, high-torque brushless motor. Enough power to take on just about any cutting job in your yard. And the Quick Chain Adjuster allows you to adjust the chain tension without tools for added convenience. 

The actual listed guide bar length can vary from the effective cutting length based on which powerhead it is installed on. Run time may vary based on battery type, charge level and capacity, model, operating style and conditions. Batteries and chargers can be purchased separately or as a combined set with tool.

View Our Usage Chart

Model Features

  • Reduced-Emission Engine Technology - Caring for Nature
    The STIHL Inc. “Caring for Nature” seal identifies its powered products that are more environmentally conscious, producing zero or low exhaust emissions. STIHL Inc. defines “low exhaust emissions” as being cleaner than EPA and/or CARB exhaust emission standards.

    More information

  • STIHL Quickstop® Plus (Q) - an additional chain braking feature
    STIHL offers an additional, manually-activated chain brake on some models. This system is designed to engage when the operator’s right hand completely releases the rear handle, stopping the chain within one second. Available on some models.

    See it in action!
  • STIHL Electric Brushless Motor
    Lightweight and compact, STIHL electric motors require minimal maintenance and feature low noise levels and reduced vibration.
  • Coast-down Brake
    A controlled braking device (Q) to stop the rotating chain when the trigger is released.
  • STIHL Quickstop®
    STIHL chainsaws are equipped with a chain stopping system designed to reduce the risk of injury in certain kickback situations. It is called a STIHL Quickstop® chain brake. The STIHL Quickstop® chain brake is designed to stop the rotation of the chain if activated by the operator’s hand or by inertia if the saw kicks back with sufficient force. In some working positions, the STIHL Quickstop® chain brake can be activated by inertia, stopping the chain within fractions of a second.

    See it in action!
  • Rubberized Soft Touch Handle 
    Soft rubber texture is both easy to grip and makes the product comfortable to hold for extended periods.  
  • Ematic™ Lubrication System
    The Ematic™ guide bar, when used with STIHL OILOMATIC® saw chain, will provide proper lubrication and less oil consumption than conventional methods. The system works because two ramps, strategically placed in the guide bar rail, help contain the flow of oil and direct all lubrication to the sliding faces of the bar and chain links as well as the rivets and driver holes, which in turn can reduce bar oil consumption up to 50%.
  • 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.


GUIDE BAR LENGTHS (Recommended ranges)
25 to 35cm (10" to 12")
210 cc (7.4 oz.)
RUN TIME (w/ AP 100)
Up to 17 minutes
RUN TIME (w/ AP 300)
Up to 50 minutes (Recommended combination)
RUN TIME (w/ AR 1000)
Up to 125 minutes
RUN TIME (w/ AR 2000)
Up to 180 minutes
RUN TIME (w/ AR 3000)
Up to 230 minutes
POWERHEAD WEIGHT (w/ Recommended Battery)
w/ AP 300 4.8 kg (10.6 lbs.)
AP Series
STIHL recommends #3670 (71 PM3 64) OILOMATIC® saw chain and 12" 3005 008 3405 STIHL ROLLOMATIC® E guide bar combination. The actual listed guide bar length can vary from the effective cutting length based on which powerhead it is installed on. Chainsaw weights include recommended bar and chain combination. Batteries and chargers can be purchased separately or as a combined set with tool.

Important Information

WARNING FOR CORDED ELECTRIC AND BATTERY CHAINSAW USERS! The fibers may not stop the sprocket on most corded electric chainsaws and some battery-powered chainsaws because of the constant high torque. However, to reduce the severity of injury from accidental contact with the chain, STIHL recommends that leg protection be worn when operating these types of chainsaws.

* The actual listed guide bar length can vary from the effective cutting length based on which powerhead it is installed on.

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.


MSA 160 C-BQ is rated 4.8 out of 5 by 59.
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Very well thought out and designed, the saw-battery-charger-and chain, excellant. A pleasure to work with, no ethanol problems, the saw is quiet, very well made almost no vibrations, and combined with the new 1/4" 43 gauge chain the saw cuts and bores very well, with most applications the battery lasts longer than a tank of gas. I also have the option of working indoors, and in a suburban setting the neighbors love the saw too. I also like the fact that the saw is much easier to maintain, no air or gas filters,no mixing oil and gas, no spark plug or smoke during idling, no carb adjustments, and no oily mess on the muffler and saw, all I need to do when im done is blow off the chips with my compressor, wipe off the sprocket area as usual and mount a new chain. I have two MSA 160 saws, I also use standard 1/4" RMS chain. For precision pruning, firewood, storm clean-up or Carving, it's outstanding, I love my saw!
Date published: 2012-10-23
Rated 1 out of 5 by from Overall worthless Starting is troublesome "cold natured", The chain wore dull after using the saw one time, when sharpening the chain, I noticed several teeth broke. The narrow bar and chain ruin the saw making it a total waste of money.
Date published: 2019-10-28
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Excellent saw that is easy to handle I am proud of my chainsaw purchase. I am migrating from gas powered to battery operated as my machines wear out. I was concerned that the battery chainsaw would be much weaker than my gas saw. I was wrong. I am not a lumberjack or work for a tree company. I just do work on trees around the house. This saw is MORE than adequate for my needs. I even went and bought the pole saw trimmer. I can do what would normally be a two hour job in fifteen minutes with it. My Stihl equipment is great and I would not buy another brand
Date published: 2019-09-03
Rated 5 out of 5 by from My goto saw now I've owned a Stihl farm boss for many years and have always loved that saw. However, I wanted a light weight saw for trimming trees and other small projects around my property. I was planning on getting one of the lightweight gas saws when I saw this. It was more than I wanted to spend by the time you add in the battery and charger cost, but I couldn't be happier. I almost never fire up the boss anymore. I cut down and cut up multiple 8-10" diameter hardwood trees on a single charge. Not only is it quiet enough that you can use it in the wee hours without bugging the neighbors, but it's way more powerful than I expected. Also, the battery lasts longer than I do. Very happy with this product.
Date published: 2019-04-30
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Most useful chainsaw I own I have several,chainsaws including a Stihl gas powered and Husquavarna gas powered saw. The gas powered saws are for consistent tree cutting and can’t be beat for clearing downed trees. However, for day to day use, the 160 saw is the one I reach for. So easy to use. It is also the first saw my wife has ever used despite numerous attempts to get her to use the other saws. I can toss it in the back of the truck or the tractor and don’t have to worry about a can of gas spilling over.
Date published: 2019-04-20
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Lots of power and light weight We have several of the AP battery products and decided to add the MSA 160 C-BQ to the lineup. Even though I have gas powered saws I wanted one that I could use for small jobs in our house yard. With that being said - I have found that this saw is very powerful and lightweight and have been using it for a lot more jobs than I expected to. Love the saw and my wife even uses it (she can get it started).
Date published: 2019-01-03
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Great power, instant on and off trigger control Light and quick to use,especially with the battery belt. The battery charger is very fast, but I would recommend having a second battery to prevent down time.
Date published: 2018-10-18
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Great saw I am a 60 year old female with arthritis and little hand/arm strength. My husband bought one of these saws about two years ago, and I love it. I can handle it with no trouble. A little pricey to get started ( he bought two batteries so we'd always have a backup) but well worth the cost in the long run.
Date published: 2018-08-27
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Standard Features

  • Common Features for Chainsaws
    View the features common to many STIHL chainsaws.

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For Your Safety


MSA 160 C-BQ Chainsaw - Video
Chainsaw Safety and Maintenance - Video
Product Instruction Manual (PDF)
Product Safety Manual (PDF)
STIHL Limited Warranty
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