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GermanyWaiblingen

Progress

It all started with the chainsaw. To this day, it is the product for which the STIHL brand is best known worldwide – and it is a product that has evolved continuously since the 1920s. A look back shows that innovation and the will to revolutionize existing technologies and products is part of the STIHL DNA.

1929: The saw heard round the world

Type A tree-felling machine

In 1929, Andreas Stihl unveils his first saw with a gasoline-powered engine – a two-man saw with 6 horsepower that weighs in at 46 kilograms. The saw is a true “portable tree-felling machine” and becomes STIHL’s first export hit, selling well in Russia, Canada and the U.S. Business booms. The engineering workshop evolves into Maschinenfabrik Andreas Stihl, with a growing workforce and the first company logo: a tree stump with the name “Stihl” on it.

Spurred on by their success, Andreas Stihl and his employees continue to develop the gasoline saw. By 1931, they have increased its output to 8 horsepower.

1959: The dawn of a new era

STIHL Contra

The launch of the Contra gasoline-powered chainsaw marks the start of a new era for STIHL. The 6-horsepower, 12-kilogram product is the first gearless STIHL chainsaw. Equipped with numerous innovations such as direct drive, a new diaphragm carburetor, improved chain lubrication, a reinforced guide bar and state-of-the-art muffler, the Contra ushers in a new era in forestry work. In North America the saw is called the STIHL Lightning.

­Andreas Stihl with the legendary Contra.

1964: Power comes in quiet packages

Antivibration system

STIHL is the first manufacturer in the world to equip its chainsaws with an ­antivibration system that helps absorb the ­vibrations from the engine and ­moving chain before they can be felt by the operator. Thanks to the STIHL ­antivibration system, operators have a more com­fortable working experience and suffer less ­fatigue.

The main feature of this system is a shockabsorbing element to separate the handles from the engine, reducing the amount of vibration in the handles by more than half. Mass production of STIHL Contras with the new antivibration system starts in 1965.

1972: Activation in the blink of an eye

QuickStop® chain brake

To further reduce the risk of injury from chainsaw operation, STIHL launches another innovation in the early 1970s: the first QuickStop® chain brake – the only product of its kind at the time. Actively pressing the front hand guard manually triggers the brake and brings the saw chain to a complete stop within fractions of a second.

1988: LOWER emissions AND maintenance-free

Catalytic converter for two-stroke ­engines

In 1988, STIHL becomes the first company to develop a catalytic converter for chainsaws. It reduces emissions through “postcombustion,” which is supported by a special coating containing certain precious metals. Adding cold air to the mix helps cool down the exhaust before it leaves the muffler.

Although post-combustion of exhaust gases generates temperatures of up to 1,000 degrees Celsius, the engine’s performance and heat regulation remain virtually unaffected thanks to a special ­double-walled muffler housing. The catalytic converter requires no maintenance and has no effect on the performance of the ­machine.

2009: A powerful system

Battery technology

The introduction of battery technology marks the start of a new era. The STIHL HSA 65 and HSA 85, the first two STIHL hedge trimmers with lithium-ion technology, hit the market in 2009. A wide range of additional products for all ­customer segments follows. The first STIHL battery-powered chainsaw, the MSA 160 C, is launched in 2010.

In the years that follow, the range of battery-powered products grows steadily, meeting the requirements of professionals and demanding DIY users alike. In 2018, STIHL takes the next major step by establishing its own battery pack production plant in Waiblingen. The highly automated and high-tech manufacturing ­facility produces backpack batteries for professional applications. The first batteries to roll off the production line are slated for launch in 2019 and will be delivered primarily to European dealers.

2018: Electronic heart

STIHL injection

Hans Peter Stihl outlined the first chainsaw with electronic fuel injection in his university thesis. ­Today, this idea’s time has finally come. With the MS 500i, STIHL unveils the world’s first chainsaw with electronic fuel injection and ushers in yet another new era in chainsaw technology.

The revolutionary STIHL injection system makes starting easier than ever in all operating conditions. It also provides extremely high performance, reduced weight and rapid acceleration, taking the chain from 0 to 100 kilometers per hour in 0.25 seconds.