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MSA 160 C-BQ

MSA 160 C-BQ
Innovative and surprisingly powerful STIHL Lithium-Ion battery-powered chainsaw. Batteries & chargers can be purchased separately or as a combined set with tool.

Product Description

"I am a STIHL dealer so I have tried and own many of their products. This is one of the best pieces of equipment I have ever used."
Gray, GA

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.) And that’s just for starters. The STIHL MSA 160 C-BQ is the first cordless chainsaw tough enough to carry the name STIHL. Powered by a STIHL 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. Each charge of the AP 300 Lithium-Ion battery gives you up to 50 minutes of cutting time for storm cleanup, carpentry tasks and firewood cutting.

Batteries & chargers can be purchased separately or as a combined set with tool. 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.

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 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!
  • 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.


w/o Battery 3.1 kg (6.8 lbs.)
w/ AP 100 3.5 kg. (7.7 lbs.)
w/ AP 300 4.9 kg (10.6 lbs.)
GUIDE BAR LENGTHS (Recommended ranges)
25 to 35cm (10" to 12")
210 cc (7.4 oz.)
RUN TIME (w/ AP 300)
Up to 50 Minutes
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. Chain saw weights include recommended bar and chain combination. Battery and charger sold separately.

Important Information

* 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 51.
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 5 out of 5 by from Easy to use, powerful, and is light and quiet. The MSA 160C-BQ really works well. The 300 amp battery charges quickly, and the saw is quite powerful. When used in the city, it's nice as it isn't as loud as my gas powered Stihl chainsaw (which is used for bigger projects). Being lighter weight is also a plus, especially when trimming smaller 4" diameter branches, etc.It's a great tool!
Date published: 2018-03-05
Rated 1 out of 5 by from Great Saw, terrible repair I agree with most other reviewers. This is a great saw, wonderful battery, quick recharge and all that. But if you have a problem with the saw, you may be out of luck. The dealers have a diagnostic tool, which will diagnose the more common problems. But not all. If the diagnostic software does not pin point the problem, then the dealer is reduced to switching out parts until he stumbles upon the faulty problem. But often the part the dealer needs to diagnose the problem is "On back order, no further information available" My saw has been on the dealers workbench for over three months now, with no end in sight. So, great saw, but don't buy one
Date published: 2017-12-29
Rated 4 out of 5 by from way too hard to start too hard to start when it is cold, ok when warmed up
Date published: 2017-12-22
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Does what I need for light duty work. I bought this to clean up brush and small trees at our lake house. It does everything that I wanted. I have several bigger gas powered saws for the big trees but that's not what I needed.I like the quiet operation.
Date published: 2017-11-22
Rated 5 out of 5 by from All the power I need to maintain fruit trees, on demand! This little saw was a surprising workhorse. Recently cut off a large leader from a fruit tree. Cut up largest ten pieces into firewood logs, and the limbs were recyclable in no time. Then needed it to get the kitchen sink cabinet out in our modular. No other saw could have reached into the gap so well.
Date published: 2017-10-23
Rated 5 out of 5 by from The best! I've had other brands and they left me wishing they were boat anchors! My Stihl 16" made my light clean-up after Tropical Irma a breeze. Started each every time with no effort. I'm glad I won't be buying another chainsaw (unless it's a bigger Stihl) in my lifetime. When I think of the money I've spent...
Date published: 2017-09-30
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Performs Much Better Than I Planned This little chain saw, although expensive when compared to gas powered, does a great job on small to medium sized trees. I have not tried it on a large tree yet, but it seems to have a lot of power. I spent the whole day cutting small trees and clearing brush and the battery went the whole day without a charge! Wow. All you need to do is make sure the chain oil level is kept up and you are good to go. I really like this saw. The dealer did not give me a manual with the saw, which was disappointing, but there is one on line. I recommend this saw (if you can afford it) - no fuel and oil to mix. The breaker bar can throw you off - I thought it was out of juice one time and it was just that the breaker bar was activated - hard to tell it was activated - maybe it should have a beeper or something to let you know. Not sure why it needs a breaker bar - it does not act like a gas powered saw in that it does not take a long time for the chain to come to rest.
Date published: 2017-07-18
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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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