MS 181 C-BE

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

Product Description

The MS 181 C-BE is our gift to anyone who gets that technology is here to serve us. (And not the other way around.) With the Easy2Start™ system on board, firing up this chainsaw couldn’t be simpler or faster. Just a light pull on the cord does it. And our Quick Chain Adjuster makes it possible to adjust the saw chain without tools. This model also has our pre-separation air filtration system – which can extend the life of your air filter up to five times over previous models.

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.


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 based on which powerhead it is installed on.

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 4.2 out of 5 by 106.
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Exactly what I was looking for I grew up using the MS170. Bought this saw as I was interested in the Easy2Start and the Quick Chain Adjuster features. Both of these features are great upgrades and worth the extra money. I love the Quick Chain Adjuster as it saves so much time on tightening the chain when it comes loose. Great saw. Have always loved Stihl Products. I also own a 25 year old Stihl Weed Whacker and am about to buy a back pack blower
Date published: 2019-09-16
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Simply dependable Easy start. Powerful. No tool chain adjustment. Cuts clean and easy. Basically, I love this chainsaw. My only disappointment was when I ran out of stuff to cut.
Date published: 2019-09-05
Rated 2 out of 5 by from Great saw when it starts I was very excited about my first chainsaw purchase. I own a Stihl weed eater, love it, and have never had an issue. Brought the saw home and had a little trouble starting it at first but once it did start it worked like a dream. After running out of the first tank of gas however, I could not get the saw to start for another three hours. After the wait period and attempting off and on to start it, it did finally start and again worked like a charm. Two weeks later I attempted to use it again and it wouldn’t start. I took it back to the dealer who advised they’d look at it and call me back. Next day they advised it was flooded and the problem was corrected. The following day I again attempted to use it and once again the saw wouldn’t start. Very aggravating to pay this much for a “quality” saw for it to not work. This has really put a bad taste in my mouth for the brand.
Date published: 2019-07-06
Rated 1 out of 5 by from Difficult to start and chain doesn’t always engage . Boutght this chainsaw 1week ago cut too small trees with it under 4inches in dia. And now the chain doesn’t engage, and it doesn’t rev up to its full capacity . Couple of our friends had recommend Stihl and decided to buy it but now totally regretting it. When we went to buy it we should of known when the dealer started it up and had issues with it IE clutch not engaging that this should of been a sign that this chain saw has problems. Dealer went ahead supposedly ordered a new one from their other shop and low and behold we have the same problem. And to top it off the dealer that sold it to us is closed on the weekends . Thanks Stihl NOT
Date published: 2019-05-04
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Overall great product Starts very easily and cuts great for it's size. I have cleared wind damaged trees up to 24 inches. Went thru them like butter
Date published: 2019-04-14
Rated 1 out of 5 by from This saw would not start after I brought it home. Took it back to ACE and they were not able to start it either. It’s is now in the shop for repairs. This saw would not start after I bought it at ACE. I took it back to ACE and they could not get it to run so it is now in the shop. I wasn’t able to even one time.
Date published: 2019-04-08
Rated 5 out of 5 by from A great home use saw I bought this to take down three dead locust trees behind my house. It did the job with power to spare. The trees were about 8 inches and this saw worked through them easily. I especially like the easy start feature. I know Stihl made this saw for homeowners and priced it that way but it still high quality. I would highly recommend this saw for anyone who has backyard cutting to do. Once the trees were down, it was quick work to chop them into carry pieces. Thanks!
Date published: 2019-04-05
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Easy to use homeowner chainsaw I've had the MS 181 C-BE chain saw for a couple of weeks. It's an easy start, light weight saw perfect for my needs. I bought it to trim low hanging tree branches, the annoying ones hitting me in the face when I mow the lawn. I also had a couple of standing dead trees (4-5 in dia.) that this saw easily handled.
Date published: 2019-04-02
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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.

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Product Safety Manual (PDF)
STIHL Limited Warranty
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