Andreas Stihl AG & Co.
Company typePrivate Corporation
IndustryForestry equipment, Landscape maintenance
FounderAndreas Stihl
HeadquartersWaiblingen, Germany
Key people
Nikolas Stihl (chairman of Stihl Holding AG & Co. KG
Eva Stihl (vice chairperson)
ProductsIndustrial chainsaws, string trimmers, cultivators, cut-off saws, leaf blowers, construction tools, edgers, pole pruners, augers/drills & protective apparel
Revenue5.058 billion (2021)[1]
Number of employees
20,094 (2021)[1]

Stihl (/stl/ ,[2] German: [ʃtiːl]) is a German manufacturer of chainsaws and other handheld power equipment including trimmers and blowers. Their headquarters are in Waiblingen, Baden-Württemberg, near Stuttgart, Germany. Stihl was founded in 1926 by Andreas Stihl, an innovator in early chain saw production. Stihl says it is the world's best-selling brand of chain saws and the only chain saw manufacturer to make its own saw chains and guide bars.[3] Andreas Stihl AG is a privately held company owned by the descendants of Andreas Stihl. Stihl operates the Stihl Timbersports Series.

Company history

Andreas Stihl designed and hand built his first chainsaw in 1926.[4] The saw was electrically powered, and weighed about 48 kg (106 lb).[5] Stihl grew slowly initially, as the chainsaws came to the market about the same time as the Great Depression; with manpower cheap, and old two-man saws proven, there was no need for power saws. In 1930, Stihl created the first ever chainsaw that could be operated by only one person.[6] The company continued to grow and in 1931 it became the first European company to export chainsaws to the United States and the Soviet Union.[7]

During the Second World War, the company operated in Bad Cannstatt as "A. Stihl Maschinenfabrik". After the factory was badly damaged in bombings in 1943–1944, it was moved to Neustadt (now Waiblingen). The company employed about 250 people in 1939, and during the war, it also employed a number of slave labourers.[citation needed] In 1945, Stihl, a Nazi Party and Allgemeine SS member, was arrested by Allied troops and his company was seized. After three years' detention, he was classified as a Mitläufer and released, and his company was returned.[8]

Stihl has been the biggest chainsaw manufacturing company in the world since 1971.[8] In the mid-1970s, Stihl expanded the company by building manufacturing plants in Brazil and in the United States. Much of the increased demand came from the construction and landscaping markets, although in Brazil it was mainly forest clearance. Along with the professional markets, Stihl designed a number of home-use equipment, like blowers, line trimmers, edgers, and chainsaws.

During the 1970s while building chainsaws, Stihl entered the weed-trimmer/brush-cutter market contracting a Japanese company as their supplier for several years until Stihl had their own model to build themselves.

In 1992, Stihl acquired Viking, an Austrian company.

In 2008, the newest Stihl production facility opened in Qingdao, China.[9] In December 2008, Stihl acquired the carburetor producer Zama to safeguard the supply and to enter a new business segment with growth potential.[10]


Incorporated in Delaware, Stihl Inc. is the US subsidiary of Stihl International GmbH and is based in Virginia Beach, Virginia. Construction of the facilities there began in 1974. Along with the manufacturing facilities, there are also warehouses and administration buildings at the 150-acre complex. Stihl Inc. employs almost 2,000 employees on 2 million square feet of buildings.

Andreas Stihl Ltd was founded in 1978 in the United Kingdom.

Product gallery


Air Racing



  1. ^ a b "KEY FIGURES 2021". 2020. Retrieved 2021-12-29.
  2. ^ "Stihl USA FAQ". Retrieved 2018-03-12.
  3. ^ "STIHL Corporate Culture" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2015-09-24. Retrieved 2015-05-06.
  4. ^ New Zealand Forest Industries. Profile Pub. Limited. 1995.
  5. ^ Forest Industries Review. Modern Productions. 1976.
  6. ^ "1930 - 1939". STIHL. Retrieved 4 April 2020.
  7. ^ Evans, Ferguson (2008). The Rise of the Japanese Specialist Manufacturer: Leading Medium-Sized Enterprises. Springer. p. 40. ISBN 9780230594951.
  8. ^ a b Edlinger, Katharina. "Stihl, Andreas". Deutsche Biographie (in German). Retrieved 4 April 2020.
  9. ^ "Shandong Provincial Government Delegation visited STIHL Qingdao". Archived from the original on 2012-04-26. Retrieved 2013-11-01.
  10. ^ STIHL AG & Co. KG. "Stihl press release" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 18 April 2016. Retrieved 24 October 2016.
  11. ^ "STIHL Signs on as Presenting Sponsor of the National Championship Air Races". 7 September 2016.