This is STIHL's most advanced compact professional chainsaw and it is rather clever. A fully electronic engine management system means the engine is effectively self-tuning. Every three seconds, the system remaps the engine.
It automatically adjusts ignition timing and fuel supply to take account of temperature and altitude and compensates for ethanol admixtures of up to 25 per cent. Manual carburettor adjustments become a thing of the past and the engine is characterised by optimal performance at all times.
The STIHL 2-MIX engine is clean, efficient and delivers excellent drive power, responsive pick-up and plenty of torque. It is also easy to start, even after prolonged beaks in use. A decompression value, in conjunction with the ElastoStart starter grip, reduces the effort needed to pull the starter rope. With electronic cold/warm start recognition, there is only one start position on the control, eliminating choke misjudgements.
Several features are shared with other STIHL saws, such as the tool-less tank openings, translucent fuel tank, captive-nut sprocket-cover access and long-life air filter.
Simpson cuts into some wood and the chips fly. "It's really positive and quite aggressive, yet has surprising low vibrations," he says. "It's also quick. Once you get the bar to the wood it is away and just keeps going." He sums up: "This feels like a professional saw should. It's quality in your hand. I'll take it home."
Engine: STIHL 2-MIX M-Tronic
Power output: 2.2kW (3hp)
Power-to-weight ratio: 2.1kg/kW
Standard chain: 0.325in Rapid Super
Guide bar: 35cm, 40cm or 45cm
Price: £530 + VAT (40cm guide bar)
Tel: STIHL - 01276 20202
Tested This Issue
- Husqvarna 550 XP/560 XP
STIHL MS150 C-E/231 C-BE/MS241 C-M
TestLeader - Paul Simpson, National Trust gardener, Calke Abbey, Derbyshire
Innovation in chainsaw technology has resulted in some spectacular developments. With automatic priming, oiling and tuning now featuring, we tested the latest models from Husqvarna, Makita and STIHL. The latest Echo chainsaw was returned to distributor Countax because of a tuning problem. We hope to test it another day.
The test venue was Calke Abbey in Derbyshire. Surrounding the house and walled garden are 243ha of park and woodland. Ancient and in places quite fragile, the habitats are a national nature reserve and looked after by the National Trust.
Leading our test, National Trust gardener Paul Simpson prepared a large pile of timber. We had hoped to be joined by park rangers for the test, but an unexpected incident kept them busy elsewhere. Conditions were dry.