MS 181 C-BE

MS 181 C-BE
A chainsaw with reduced-emission engine technology, STIHL Easy2Start™ and Quick Chain Adjuster.

Model Features

  • Built in the USA
    Indicates products that are built in the United States from domestic and foreign parts and components.

    More information

  • 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.
  • 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!
  • 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.
  • 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.


31.8 cc (1.9 cu. in.)
1.5 kW (2.0 bhp)
4.6 kg (10.1 lbs.)
280 cc (9.5 oz.)
180 cc (6.1 oz.)
3/8" PMM3
GUIDE BAR LENGTHS* (Recommended ranges)
30 to 40 cm (12" to 16")
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 depending upon which powerhead it is installed.

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! 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.


MS 181 C-BE is rated 4.1 out of 5 by 59.
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
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Optional Accessories

  • Bumper Spikes
    Help prevent pull-in and provide better control, making cutting easier.

Standard Features

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

You Will Also Need

For Your Safety


Chainsaw Safety and Maintenance - Video
Product Instruction Manual (PDF)
Product Safety Manual (PDF)
STIHL Limited Warranty
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