When company founder Andreas Stihl realized in the 1920’s that people were working in the woods and forests mainly using axes and muscle power, he became preoccupied with one thought: “There must be a way to make working in the forest easier.” The thought grew into an idea, and that idea spawned an invention.
In 1926, Stihl designed and built the first two-person electric chain saw. Its portability revolutionized the forestry industry. Since that first chain saw launched more than 90 years ago, the STIHL name has stood for outstanding innovations, high-quality products and comprehensive service. Today, STIHL is represented in more than 160 countries, and STIHL products make work easier all over the world in professional forestry and agriculture, in landscape maintenance, on construction sites and for the discerning homeowner.
Recognizing that the U.S. was one of the largest markets in the world, in the 1970’s the Stihl family decided to open a manufacturing facility in Virginia Beach, Va. The location’s close proximity to one of the country’s largest deep-water ports and its ready-to-work labor force made Virginia Beach the ideal location. In 1974, in a rented 20,000-square-foot facility, STIHL Inc. (then STIHL American) opened its doors with 50 employees assembling one model of chainsaw. Today, 2,100 employees, working in over one-million-square-feet of operating space, manufacture millions of powerheads a year on the sprawling 150-acre STIHL Inc. campus.
In our state-of-the-art manufacturing facility, skilled employees with the assistance of highly automated technology, work together to produce more than 80 models of STIHL equipment through vertically integrated processes and extensive quality assurance checks. These products are then distributed throughout the country through our 11 regional branches and distributors, sold through a network of more than 10,000 authorized local STIHL Dealers and exported to more than 80 countries around the world.
STIHL believes in the power of supporting its authorized local STIHL Dealers, who not only support their communities but also provide customers with unparalleled purchasing experiences. That’s why STIHL products are only sold through authorized local STIHL Dealers, not big box stores. And with an ever-growing product lineup, STIHL continues to offer one of the broadest ranges of handheld gasoline, corded-electric and battery products in the industry. Our philosophy has always been to build a quality product, sold by quality people. That's why you won’t find STIHL in a big box store — you'll find it on the trailers of professional landscapers, the back of fire and rescue trucks, in the hands of loggers and in millions of consumers' garages and sheds across the country.
This commitment to quality products, produced by quality people, sold by quality Dealers explains why since 2009, STIHL ranks as the number one selling brand of gasoline-powered handheld outdoor power equipment in America among consumers and professional landscapers.*
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