The debate between Husqvarna and Stihl--which is best?--has raged since these two companies first began producing power tools. These two brands are among the most widely used chainsaws for homeowners and professionals. They are also widely considered the best. Both companies manufacture top-of-the-line, reliable saws that can withstand years of heavy use. When making the final decision between these two brands, it really comes down to personal preference.
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With headquarters in Germany and with plants and branches worldwide, Stihl has been at the forefront of small-engine machinery and power tools for almost 70 years. Stihl has pioneered many technological breakthroughs. Based out of Sweden, Husqvarna also has a long history of developing chainsaw technology. Many of the firm's chainsaw features are unique to Husqvarna saws.
Stihl manufactures a wide range of different engine and bar sizes. It offers many compact chainsaws for the homeowner, as well as professional-grade logging chainsaws that homeowners can purchase. Husqvarna typically makes chainsaws with farmers and landowners in mind, though it does produce saws for professional use as well. Stihl saws, with their larger sizes, are usually a bit heavier than Husqvarna saws. This makes Husqvarna's power-to-weight ratio greater than Stihls, which many homeowners find ideal.
Prices for both brands are on the top end of price ranges for chainsaws. Husqvarna saws, especially used ones, can usually be found for $50 to $100 dollars less than Stihl saws. With both brands you are paying partly for the long-standing name and reputation of these manufacturers. Homeowners that use chainsaws infrequently will enjoy the lower price of a Husqvarna saw.
Overall, cutting quality of Stihl and Husqvarna chainsaws are essentially equal. Both chainsaws have powerheads designed to maximise cutting efficiency. Stihl saws are regarded for their ability to run for long hours during professional use. Husqvarna's lighter weight and power ratio make long hours easier on a sawyer. Stihl, however, has made great strides in anti-vibration technology, which can take some burden off of the sawyer. Both saws are relatively easy to maintain, repair and keep running in top condition.
The most important factor to think about is the general use you'll have for the saw. For homeowners seeking a reliable, affordable saw for seasonal use, Husqvarna might prove to be the best option. On the other hand, if you're seeking professional quality for long-term use, Stihl may be the most attractive option. Both saws will perform quite similarly under similar situations, so it breaks down to a personal feel that will determine what saw is best for you. If treated right, both of these saws will last for many years, so investing in the one that suits you will pay off in the long run.
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