12" Stihl reviews.

enduring

Member
Feb 29, 2020
104
Central Iowa
We have been thinking of getting a 12" Stile saw because the 18" old 250 stile is getting too heavy for long periods of use for my husband. I would like to use a saw sometimes too, to take out larger limbs on things like lilacs. Because Iowa and other states just had a huge demand for chain saws, it might be a while before a saw is available. I checked with the local dealer and our regional distributor is in Wisconsin, and services Iowa, Nebraska as well. Areas impacted by the recent Derecho on 8-10-20. So I have a 12" Stile on order but not paid for. It might be several weeks before it is available. So I put the order in and thought I'd ask on the forum, the opinions of this saw. It is the MS 194 T, with 12" blade. It is a little heavier than the other 12" that was available. The reason I went with the MS 194 was because it did not have easy start and it was cheaper. The sales person said that if you pull too hard on the easy start system it can break. I didn't think husband could be trusted not to pull hard like with any other saw he has ever had. I am hoping it won't be too hard for me to start though.

Thoughts on this saw would be welcomed.
 

mrd1995

Member
Feb 21, 2020
115
North East, Pa
I have not personally ran one but for the occasional use and lack dealing with carb. issues you may want to look into the battery options. I have heard good things about them.
 

salecker

Minister of Fire
Aug 22, 2010
1,119
Northern Canada
Spoil yourself and get a Stihl cordless electric saw.
By the sounds of your use of a saw, a gas one is a waste of money.
If physical issues are beginning to dictate your chainsaw use then chances are it is going to sit around a lot.With the crappy gas available in the States eventually you are going to have issues with the gas saw.
 

Jags

Moderate Moderator
Staff member
Aug 2, 2006
18,146
Northern IL
I'm not sure I would recommend a top handle saw if physical capabilities are being questioned.
 

SpaceBus

Minister of Fire
Nov 18, 2018
4,446
Downeast Maine
If you want a gas saw look at the Stihl MS-151, it is the lightest gas powered saw available. I have the slightly older MS-150 with a top handle, and I love it. However, I agree with Jags and a top handle saw is not for everyone.
 

duramaxman05

Feeling the Heat
Aug 17, 2014
438
Perryville, Mo
If you are interested in a cordless saw, check out dewalt and milwaukee. They both have nice ones and the batteries are probably easier to come by also being you can get them on the internet. I'm not knocking stihl cordless but you would probably have to go to a stihl dealer for batteries and parts.
 
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mrd1995

Member
Feb 21, 2020
115
North East, Pa
If you are interested in a cordless saw, check out dewalt and milwaukee. They both have nice ones and the batteries are probably easier to come by also being you can get them on the internet. I'm not knocking stihl cordless but you would probably have to go to a stihl dealer for batteries and parts.
Ace Hardware carries them in our area, but not sure what options are out West.
 

enduring

Member
Feb 29, 2020
104
Central Iowa
You all are terrific in your responses! Husband uses one a lot multiple times a year clearing pasture or fallen limbs on the farm. He is still very strong but has shoulder issues. I think with your comments , when the saw comes in, he should give it a good try before I buy it (with his account, lol) from the dealer. For me, I like the idea of a battery operated saw as you guys have mentioned cause my work would be lighter and mostly shrubs, with the occasional limbs. Though many of our trees that I would want to trim are now down! With the recent weather event that went through Iowa and states East!

For me I will look at the dewalt options. I think that is a very Option. our local farm dealer did have a cordless and they are a very big company regionally for John Deere. I didn’t get a price.
 
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duramaxman05

Feeling the Heat
Aug 17, 2014
438
Perryville, Mo
You all are terrific in your responses! Husband uses one a lot multiple times a year clearing pasture or fallen limbs on the farm. He is still very strong but has shoulder issues. I think with your comments , when the saw comes in, he should give it a good try before I buy it (with his account, lol) from the dealer. For me, I like the idea of a battery operated saw as you guys have mentioned cause my work would be lighter and mostly shrubs, with the occasional limbs. Though many of our trees that I would want to trim are now down! With the recent weather event that went through Iowa and states East!

For me I will look at the dewalt options. I think that is a very Option. our local farm dealer did have a cordless and they are a very big company regionally for John Deere. I didn’t get a price.
The good thing about cordless also is once you buy a kit including tool, battery and charger, you can always add tool down the road. That's what I did anyways.
 
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salecker

Minister of Fire
Aug 22, 2010
1,119
Northern Canada
The good thing about cordless also is once you buy a kit including tool, battery and charger, you can always add tool down the road. That's what I did anyways.
But...
Next year they will be better and you will have to buy addapters to use the better batteries once you can't get the battery for your tools.Which they will quite making.
I started with some Dewalt 18V now i have 20V with adapters.Next will be more voltage then the new batterys wouldn fit my 18 V stuff and you start over.
 

duramaxman05

Feeling the Heat
Aug 17, 2014
438
Perryville, Mo
But...
Next year they will be better and you will have to buy addapters to use the better batteries once you can't get the battery for your tools.Which they will quite making.
I started with some Dewalt 18V now i have 20V with adapters.Next will be more voltage then the new batterys wouldn fit my 18 V stuff and you start over.
I have all dewalt at home and I started with the 18v and now I have a few tools that are 20v. It is aggravating that you have to have adapters. Bit I dont see them changing the slide style batteries. You never know though.
 

SpaceBus

Minister of Fire
Nov 18, 2018
4,446
Downeast Maine
I too have a lot of Dewalt stuff, but I did not start with 18v tools. Sometimes I think about getting the chainsaw, I just don't need it.
 
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begreen

Mooderator
Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
83,566
South Puget Sound, WA
Locally we have a tool library. They only have electric equipment, no gas-powered stuff. Over the years the inventory continues to grow and improve. They have a mix of Makita, Ryobi and DeWalt electric saws. The DeWalts are 60v. I'm excited to see that they added a couple of ECO lawnmowers. I've been wanting to try one of these out.

For the local homeowner, a properly managed Tool Library is a blessing, especially for tools one uses just once or twice a year. It's expensive and wasteful for every household to keep the same inventory of these basic tools. I have started donating tools I rarely use to our Tool Library. I still keep a basic inventory, but when these days I am using my router less than once a year, it doesn't make sense to hang on to it.

Here's our library's 60v DeWalt. I just checked and they have over 300 yard and garden items available.
VT1186-448E1616-F7AC-6820-72A2-D360F4A13476-1024x768.jpg
 
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Bad LP

Minister of Fire
Nov 28, 2014
1,209
Northern Maine
I just bought a MS194 and had them put the smaller 12" bar on. Great little saw for it's intended usage that is pruning. For what I'm doing with it I thought of a cordless model but this fit the bill perfectly and it does not have computerized stuff on it like the top handle Husky does. That was a total turn off.
 
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ABMax24

Feeling the Heat
I'd also recommend the dewalt saws, I have the 12" 20 volt saw that works well, works well for cutting limbs and even full logs. If you think you'd use it lots though the 60 volt version has more cutting power.
 

enduring

Member
Feb 29, 2020
104
Central Iowa
Well thanks for all the responses. I thought this saw was going to be in the store in about 3 weeks. DH just came back in after a trip to the store for combine equipment to try and harvest downed corn. He walked in with the 12" saw. I guess I thought I'd be the one to go look at it. I did not get a chance to look into battery saws, oh well. Here is the Stihl MS 194T. DH thinks it will do him fine. I might still look into the small battery operated ones next year for me. We'll see.

Cute little thing!

537FE20B-056F-4424-ABD6-79B1106E2476.jpeg
 

Bad LP

Minister of Fire
Nov 28, 2014
1,209
Northern Maine
Well thanks for all the responses. I thought this saw was going to be in the store in about 3 weeks. DH just came back in after a trip to the store for combine equipment to try and harvest downed corn. He walked in with the 12" saw. I guess I thought I'd be the one to go look at it. I did not get a chance to look into battery saws, oh well. Here is the Stihl MS 194T. DH thinks it will do him fine. I might still look into the small battery operated ones next year for me. We'll see.

Cute little thing!

View attachment 262289
I received an order from MSC Supply yesterday and they had advertised a DeWalt saw normally priced at 844 down to 469. That's nearly 100 more than the 194 cost and I don't have to worry about DeWalt batteries.
 

duramaxman05

Feeling the Heat
Aug 17, 2014
438
Perryville, Mo
I received an order from MSC Supply yesterday and they had advertised a DeWalt saw normally priced at 844 down to 469. That's nearly 100 more than the 194 cost and I don't have to worry about DeWalt batteries.
Wow, that's crazy expensive. For $800, you can buy one heck of a nice pro saw.
 
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enduring

Member
Feb 29, 2020
104
Central Iowa
Son has been using this saw all day yesterday. He loves it. He is using it again today, to get our fallen trees cleaned up after the derecho that came across the midwest Monday before last.
 

ben94122

Burning Hunk
Sep 4, 2017
115
California
I paid $226 for a 20V Dewalt chainsaw including battery, charger, 12" bar, chain, and delivery. Love it, particularly when I'm up in a tree--it starts every time, and I don't even need two hands free to get it running. I also use it for limbing downed trees, and it holds a charge long enough to limb multiple trees. My only gripe is no feed dogs, but I think that's true with many small saws.
 

SpaceBus

Minister of Fire
Nov 18, 2018
4,446
Downeast Maine
I paid $226 for a 20V Dewalt chainsaw including battery, charger, 12" bar, chain, and delivery. Love it, particularly when I'm up in a tree--it starts every time, and I don't even need two hands free to get it running. I also use it for limbing downed trees, and it holds a charge long enough to limb multiple trees. My only gripe is no feed dogs, but I think that's true with many small saws.
My tiny Stihl MS 150 T C-E has spikes/dogs, not sure about other small saws.
 
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SpaceBus

Minister of Fire
Nov 18, 2018
4,446
Downeast Maine
1598098881612.png


Obviously not a MS194, but your saw does not have the spikes/dogs. In this image they are called "bumper spikes", but I've also seen them called bucking spikes, felling dogs, and several other things.
 
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