STIHL MS 181 Vs MS 211 C-BE: Which is better for you?

STIHL MS 181 Vs MS 211 C-BE: The STIHL MS 181 and the MS 211 C-BE are both lightweight, top-of-the-line chainsaws. Both are ideal for home users who need a powerful, but easy to handle saw for storm clean-up, cutting firewood, or general property management tasks. They both feature low emissions and excellent fuel efficiency.

Detail Comparison

Detail Comparison


The MS 181 is a high-performance woodcutter with a displacement of 30.1 cc and a power output of 1.5 bhp. It has a guide bar length of 16 inches, which makes it an ideal choice for felling small trees and cutting up firewood in the backyard.

STIHL MS 181 is a light, compact chainsaw that packs plenty of power. Its low-emission, the fuel-efficient engine delivers 30% longer run times compared to other models in its class. This user-friendly saw also has a pre-separation air filtration system—extending the cleaning life of the air filter so you have less maintenance. And with our Quick Chain Adjuster, you can adjust the chain tension quickly and easily.

Stihl MS181 is perfect for pruning, thinning and cutting small trees or firewood. The bar length available for this model is 14″ (35 cm). STIHL MS 211 C-BE With low vibrations, a high cutting speed and more power than the MS 151, this is an ideal chainsaw for landscapers, arborists, tree farmers and others who cut less regularly but still value professional features.


STIHL MS 181 Vs MS 211 C-BE

STIHL 211 C-BE has an anti-vibration system that reduces operator fatigue. The chain brake is designed to kick in if the blade hits something unexpected. The saw has a toolless fuel and oil caps for quick refills, and a side access chain tensioner to keep your chain tight. The MS 211 C-BE also comes equipped with Quick Chain Adjuster (B) technology, which allows you to make quick adjustments on the fly without having to use any tools at all.

STIHL MS 211 C-BE has a new engine with the Easy2Start system. This system allows the user to start the machine with a long easy pull of the starting rope rather than a hard fast yank. Not only does this reduce the force required to start the machine but it also reduces the wear and tear on your body.

MS 211 C-BE chainsaw’s 2-MIX engine technology reduces fuel consumption by up to 20% and emissions by up to 50%. The MS 211 C-BE features easy starting with the STIHL Easy2Start™ system, a high power-to-weight ratio and great fuel efficiency.

STIHL MS 181 vs MS 211 C-BE|Engine Displacement

The STIHL MS 181 is a lightweight chainsaw that has a 30.1 cc engine displacement, which is 2.6 cubic inches. Engine displacement means the total volume of air and fuel that goes through the engine’s cylinders in one cycle. It is calculated by multiplying the diameter of the cylinder bore by its stroke length.

The STIHL MS 211 C-BE, on the other hand, has a 35.2 cc engine, which is 2.15 cubic inches bigger than that of the MS 181. This higher displacement results in improved power output, with a maximum of 1.7 hp versus 1.5 hp for the MS 181—perfect for tackling bigger jobs around the property like felling trees or cutting firewood with ease!

STIHL MS 181 vs MS 211 C-BE|Power output

The first difference is the power output. The MS 181 C-BE has a 2.8 kW/3.80 bhp engine while the MS 211 C-BE has a 2.9 kW/3.90 bhp engine. That may seem insignificant, but in the world of chainsaws, every little bit counts when you’re making precise cuts or working with hardwood.

The slight increase in power allows you to complete the same task more efficiently when using the MS 211 C-BE compared to the MS 181 C-BE because it can cut through wood a little faster, meaning less time spent working and more time relaxing! The second difference is the weight.

The MS 181 C-BE weighs 4.4 lbs while the MS 211 C-BE weighs 5 lbs. If you are constantly moving from one location to another with your chainsaw then every extra ounce matters! The third difference is the price tag! The MS 181 C-BE has a retail price of $279 while the MS 211 C-BE has a retail price of $299|.

STIHL MS 181 vs MS 211 C-BE|Weight

When it comes to weight, the STIHL MS 181 and MS 211 C-BE chainsaws are pretty evenly matched. The MS 181 weighs in at just under 10 pounds, while the MS 211 C-BE tips the scales at a bit over 11 pounds. So, if you’re looking for a saw that’s going to be easy to carry around, either of these models should do the trick.

Of course, weight is just one factor to consider when choosing a chainsaw. But if you’re looking for a saw that’s going to be easy to handle, the MS 181 and MS 211 C-BE are both worth taking a look at.

STIHL MS 181 vs MS 211 C-BE|Power-to-weight ratio

The MS 181 has a slightly lower power-to-weight ratio (2.9) than the MS 211 (2.7), meaning it has less power for the same weight. The MS 181 has a 50 cc engine, while the MS 211 has a 55 cc engine. This means that it will take longer to chop up larger pieces of wood with the MS 181, whereas the MS 211 can cut through faster. 

STIHL MS 181 vs MS 211 C-BE|Sound pressure level

The MS 181 has a sound pressure level of 105 dB(A) while the MS 211 measures only 101 dB(A), so it’s actually quieter than its predecessor by 4 decibels. To get a better idea about these numbers, let’s compare them to other noises: A normal conversation measures around 60 dB(A).

If you’re using hearing protection, then it’s safe to use an either chainsaw. If not, then the difference between both models isn’t too significant unless you plan on using them in long sessions. It would be best to use hearing protection if you plan on using it.

STIHL MS 181 vs MS 211 C-BE|Sound power level

Both of these chainsaws have the same Sound Power Level at 99 dB(A). They both have the same length guide bar at 16″ as well. Both models feature the Easy2Start system with ErgoStart, which makes them easy to start, and each one features an anti-vibration handle. The MS 181 is equipped with an economical engine while the MS 211 has an additional fuel economy mode.

The sound power level is a measurement of how loud a chainsaw is during operation without taking into consideration any surrounding noise sources, such as wind or other equipment.

STIHL MS 181 vs MS 211 C-BE|Vibration level left/right

The MS 181 features a vibration reduction system that allows for less vibration than the MS 211 C-BE. However, both saws have excellent vibration control and are very comfortable to use. Powerhead Weight – The MS 181 has a lower powerhead weight, making it easier to handle over long periods of time.

The MS 181 has a measurement of 3.2 m/s² (millimeters per second squared), while the MS 211 C-BE has a measurement of 2.8 m/s². This makes it easier for users to feel less vibration when using either model, especially if they’re on their left side with the smaller number being more comfortable than the larger one.

STIHL MS 181 vs MS 211 C-BE|Saw chain pitch

When working with chainsaws, it is important to understand the difference between the two most common saw chain pitches: 3/8″ and .325″. The difference between these two pitches is the thickness of the drive link where it fits into the bar groove. The 3/8″ pitch has a thicker drive link that results in a more aggressive, faster-cutting chain. These chains are typically used for stump work, limbing and felling smaller trees.

While the .325″ pitch is thinner and geared for finer pruning and orchard applications. It is also ideal for use on small or mid-sized chain saws like those from STIHL’s Homeowner or Farm & Ranch lines. Both pitches offer low-vibration versions that help reduce fatigue during prolonged use.

STIHL MS 181 vs MS 211 C-BE|which is better?

Stihl MS 181 uses the STIHL Quickstop inertia chain brake feature, which stops the chain in fractions of a second if it kicks back toward the operator. It also has a manual fuel pump (Purger), which lets you prime the carburetor with fuel before starting—especially helpful if the saw has been stored away.

The MS 181 comes standard with a 16″ bar while the MS 211 C-BE comes standard with a slightly longer 18″ bar. The combination of this extra length, an updated engine and some other minor improvements give the MS 211 C-BE significantly more power than its predecessor.

Stihl MS181 is a lightweight chainsaw that is easy to maneuver. It is ideal for light-duty tasks such as pruning and trimming. The MS 211 C-BE, on the other hand, is a bit heavier and more powerful. It is better suited for medium-duty tasks such as cutting firewood.

Both saws are equipped with STIHL’s Quickstop chain brake system, which stops the chain in seconds if it comes into contact with your body.

So, which chainsaw is the better option? If you’re looking for a lightweight saw for light-duty tasks, the MS 181 is a great choice. If you need a bit more power for medium-duty tasks, the MS 211 C-BE is the better option.