Product Reviews

Stihl 039 Review and Spec | Is it a Good Chainsaw?

The Stihl 039 is a classic chainsaw that stands out as a prove of Stihl’s commitment to producing robust and reliable tools. This chainsaw was first manufactured in the late 1980s and despite its age, this venerable machine continues to be loved by forestry professionals, homeowners, and DIY enthusiasts alike. 

This amazing chainsaw features a bar size ranging from 16 to 20 inches, versatile enough to handle various cutting tasks i.e. from limbing to felling giant trees. It weighs approximately 13 pounds (5.9 kg), striking a balance between power and maneuverability. 

In this review, we delve into the complexities of the Stihl 039 and will explore its specifications, features, chainsaw user reviews, and overall performance.

Stihl 039 – Specifications

Specification Details
Bar Size 16 to 20 inches
Weight Approximately 13 pounds (5.9 kg)
Engine Size 3.4 cubic inch (55.5cc)
Engine Type 2-stroke
Power Output Powerful and robust
Anti-Vibration System Advanced system for reduced operator fatigue
Chain Brake Integrated safety feature
Fuel System Carbureted
Automatic Oiler Ensures consistent lubrication for chain and bar

Stihl 039 – Features

The Stihl 039 chainsaw, manufactured in the late 1980s, is a remarkable piece of machinery that has stood the test of time. Its popularity is because of its amazingly designed features that make it a reliable and versatile tool for both professionals and homeowners with a desire for DIY projects. Let’s delve into the Stihl 039’s features:

Powerful Engine Performance

The heart of the Stihl 039 lies in its robust 3.4 cubic inches (55.5cc) two-stroke engine. This powerhouse generates ample torque and horsepower, enabling the chainsaw to tackle a wide range of cutting tasks with ease. The engine’s design incorporates efficient fuel combustion, ensuring a balance between power output and fuel economy.

Powerful Engine Performance

Anti-Vibration System

One of the standout features of the Stihl 039 is its advanced anti-vibration system. Vibration levels generated by the engine and cutting process are dampened before reaching the operator’s hands, arms, and body. This system significantly reduces operator fatigue during prolonged use, making it an ideal tool for extended cutting sessions.

Chain Brake

Safety is paramount in the Stihl 039. The integrated chain brake is a crucial safety feature that responds to sudden movements or kickbacks by stopping the chain’s rotation almost instantly. This feature prevents accidents and provides operators with a sense of security when working with the chainsaw. You can also buy some safety gadgets for increased safety. We have a list of the best Chainsaw chaps, must have a look at it. 

Tool-less Fuel and Oil Caps

Stihl engineers prioritized user convenience by equipping the 039 with tool-less fuel and oil caps. Refueling and maintaining oil levels are hassle-free tasks, allowing operators to focus on their work without the need for additional tools or wrenches.

Automatic Oiler

The automatic oiler system in the Stihl 039 ensures consistent lubrication of the chain and bar. This feature not only enhances cutting efficiency but also prolongs the life of these components by reducing friction and wear. The oiler’s output is adjustable, giving operators control over the amount of lubrication applied.

Easy Start System

Starting the Stihl 039 is a breeze, thanks to its innovative easy start system. The system reduces the resistance in the pull-start mechanism, making it easier to initiate the engine’s operation. This feature is particularly valuable in cold weather or when starting the chainsaw after a period of inactivity.

Easy Start System

Air Filtration System

The chainsaw’s air filtration system plays a pivotal role in maintaining the engine’s performance and longevity. The Stihl 039 features an efficient air filter that captures dust, debris, and other contaminants before they reach the engine. This ensures clean air intake, which is essential for optimal combustion and reduced engine wear.

Quality Construction

Crafted with high-quality materials, the Stihl 039 is built to withstand rigorous use. The chassis is engineered to endure the vibrations and stresses associated with cutting through various types of wood. This durability contributes to the chainsaw’s longevity and reliability, characteristics that have solidified its place in the market.

User-Friendly Controls

The layout of the controls on the Stihl 039 is designed with user comfort in mind. The placement of the choke, throttle trigger, and stop switch is intuitive and ergonomic, allowing operators to maintain precise control over the chainsaw’s operation.

Exhaust Management

The chainsaw’s exhaust system is designed to redirect emissions away from the operator, reducing their exposure to harmful fumes. This thoughtful feature enhances user comfort and ensures compliance with emissions regulations.

  • Built to last with high-quality materials.
  • 55.5cc engine offers robust cutting power.
  • Reduces operator fatigue and discomfort.
  • Integrated safety feature for quick chain stopping.
  • Convenient maintenance without extra tools.
  • Ensures consistent lubrication for chain and bar.
  • Minimizes resistance for effortless engine start.
  • Efficiently filters air to maintain engine performance.
  • Built to withstand demanding tasks.
  • Intuitive layout for easy operation.
  • Redirects emissions away from the operator.
  • Heavier at around 13 pounds, potentially causing fatigue during extended use.
  • Like many gas-powered chainsaws, it produces significant noise during operation.
  • Lacks some of the advanced features found in newer models.
  • May not meet modern emissions standards.
  • Due to its vintage status, finding replacement parts might be challenging.
  • Older designs might require more frequent maintenance and adjustments.
  • Despite the anti-vibration system, some users might still experience some vibration.



Stihl 039 – Users Experience

Users of the Stihl 039 often speak of its nostalgic charm, evoking memories of a simpler time when tools were built to last. Many appreciate the saw’s reliability, with numerous reports of it starting on the first or second pull even after years of use. 

The powerful engine impresses users by tackling challenging cuts effortlessly, while the anti-vibration system minimizes the impact on their bodies. However, the weight can be a point of contention, particularly for those accustomed to lighter modern alternatives. To be honest, I have found this chainsaw to be effortless and easy to start. 

Stihl 039 – Cutting Efficiency and Fuel Economy

The Stihl 039’s cutting efficiency is unquestionable, thanks to its potent engine and well-designed chain and bar. It excels in both precision cuts and rougher tasks, making it a versatile tool for various applications, from pruning to felling. 

In terms of fuel efficiency, the chainsaw strikes a commendable balance between power and consumption, with its two-stroke engine designed to deliver the necessary power while minimizing fuel usage.

Its vintage charm, coupled with excellent engine performance and thoughtful design, makes it a favorite among professionals and DIY enthusiasts who value both nostalgia and practicality. While it may have its quirks, the Stihl 039’s merits far outweigh its shortcomings, and it continues to hold its ground as a workhorse in the world of chainsaws.

Stihl 039 – Manual

Using a chainsaw can be hazardous if proper safety measures are not followed. Here are some potential dangers that highlight the importance of consulting the manual before using a chainsaw:

  • Kickback 
  • Poor chainsaw operation 
  • Poor maintenance
  • Safety hazards 

Here is a Manual for you to consult before using a chainsaw.

Stihl 039 – Availability

The Stihl 039 chainsaw is a discontinued model that was manufactured in the late 1980s. This means that it might not be readily available from official Stihl dealerships or retail outlets. Availability of the Stihl 039 would likely be limited to the used or vintage tool market, which can vary depending on location, condition, and collector interest. If you’re specifically looking for a Stihl 039 chainsaw. 

Stihl 039 Review – FAQs

How old is a STIHL 039 chainsaw?
The STIHL 039 chainsaw was manufactured in the late 1980s. It would be around 35-40 years old.
How much horsepower does an STIHL 039 chainsaw have?
The STIHL 039 chainsaw is equipped with a 3.4 cubic inch (55.5cc) two-stroke engine. While the chainsaw’s horsepower may vary depending on factors like engine design and other specifications, it generally delivers significant cutting power suitable for various tasks.
What size chain for STIHL 039?
The chain size for the STIHL 039 chainsaw is typically determined by the bar length. The most common bar sizes for the STIHL 039 are 16 to 20 inches. The chain pitch and gauge will correspond to the specific bar size. For example, a 16-inch bar might use a 3/8″ chain with a .050″ gauge.
How can you tell a fake STIHL chainsaw?
To determine if an STIHL chainsaw is genuine and not a fake, consider the following: Purchase from authorized dealerships or reputable sources. Check for the presence of the official STIHL logo and branding on the chainsaw body. Examine the quality, including the materials used and the overall construction. Verify the model number and specifications against official STIHL documentation.
How do I choose a Stihl chainsaw chain?
When choosing a replacement chain for your Stihl chainsaw, consider the following factors: Bar Length: Match the chain length to your chainsaw’s bar length (e.g., a 16-inch bar requires a 16-inch chain). Chain Pitch: This is the spacing between chain links. It needs to match the sprocket and bar nose on your chainsaw. Chain Gauge: This refers to the thickness of the drive links and should match your chainsaw’s specifications. Chain Type: There are various chain types available, such as full chisel, semi-chisel, and low-profile chains. Choose one that suits your cutting needs (e.g., precision or speed). Intended Use: Consider whether you’ll be cutting hardwood, softwood, or other materials. Different chain designs are optimized for different cutting conditions.



In conclusion, the STIHL 039 chainsaw is a  testament to the engineering excellence of its era. It stands as a piece of nostalgia and practicality. Boasting a powerful 55.5cc engine, user-friendly features like the anti-vibration system and automatic oiler, and a commitment to safety with the integrated chain brake, the STIHL 039 remains a dependable workhorse for cutting tasks.

Despite its age, the 039’s durability and robust performance shine through, enabling users to tackle a range of cutting challenges. However, its weight may pose a challenge for extended use, and its noise level is a reminder of its vintage status. 

As a vintage model, finding the STIHL 039 in today’s market may prove to be a hunt, potentially involving used tool dealers and enthusiasts. While it lacks some modern features, it remains a timeless piece that encapsulates an era of quality craftsmanship. 

However, there are other alternatives to the chainsaw that are available in the market. You can search them by their chainsaw model number. And if you want to look for some other chainsaws, we have a list of the best chainsaw brands

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