Andreas Stihl AG & Company is a manufacturer of chain saws and other handheld power equipment including trimmers and blowers. Their Stihl (pronounced 'Steel') headquarters are in Waiblingen, Baden-Württemberg near Stuttgart. The company was founded in 1926 by Andreas Stihl, an important innovator in early chain saw production. The company is one of the world's largest sellers of chain saws and is the only chain saw manufacturer to make its own saw chains and guide bars.
Stihl Incorporated, the company's American manufacturing arm, employs nearly 8,000 people at its Virginia Beach complex. Manufacturing began at the Virginia Beach Facility in 1974 with the assembly of the 015 chain saws. Andreas Stihl AG is a privately held company owned by the descendants of Andreas Stihl.
Stihl Company History
Andreas Stihl designed and hand built the first chain saw back in 1926. The saw was electric powered, and weighed in at 140 pounds. Little did he know that from that one chain saw would grow a world leader in outdoor power equipment, worldwide. The Stihl name soon became popular, and also became synonymous with professional grade chain saws and would soon become the number one selling chain saw company in the entire world, a title that the company retains to this day. Stihl growth was slow initially, as the chainsaws hit the market about the same time as the Great Depression; with manpower cheap, and old crosscut saws
proven, there were no need for power saws. The early saws were very heavy, and often needed two men. Some outfits
had a wheeled generator which had a power cord to run to the electric saw. Stihl saws saw service with the Wehrmacht
particularily in Eastern Europe and Russia, where timber was cut for defensive positions.
After the war the availability of cheap, strong aluminum, better designs, and more powerful engines meant that the Stihl saw came into its own.
In the mid-1970's STIHL expanded the company by building manufacturing plants in Brazil and in the United States. Due to the new plants, a new product demand emerged, which STIHL was more than happy to meet. Much of the demand stemmed from the construction and landscaping markets; they needed products designed especially for these markets, that also had the quality of the STIHL name behind them. Along with the professional markets, STIHL designed a number of homeowner use equipment, like blowers, line trimmers, edgers, and chain saws.
Stihl, Incorporated, is the American branch of the Stihl family. The company bought land in Virginia Beach, VA, and began construction of the facilities in 1974. Along with the manufacturing side of the company, there are also warehouses and administration buildings in the complex. As of 2008, the complex stretches over , with over of manufacturing and warehouse space.
The STIHL Dealer Network
STIHL products are sold, and repaired through a network of almost 8,000 dealers in the United States alone. These dealers are trained by Stihl, Inc. extensively on the products and the features that they offer. Stihl, Inc also trains the dealers on how to properly test and repair the units. This extensive dealer network allows STIHL to sell products without being associated with the "Big Box" stores that don't offer the same personalized attention or repair and maintenance shops.