Watch out for fakes!

Successful products are often copied illegally. As a result, product and brand piracy are an issue for STIHL, too. Consumers often end up paying a high price for what they think is a great deal. That’s because the low price for counterfeit saws also means poor durability, poor performance and, most of all, poor safety. However, not all fakes are cheap to buy. In many cases, they are only slightly less expensive than the originals in order to make people believe they are buying real STIHL products.

Counterfeit tools are a major source of danger

STIHL products comply with strict quality and safety standards. But this is not the case with imitations. These tools often stop working properly after just a short time and can no longer be repaired due to a lack of replacement parts. In addition, safety features may be defective or missing entirely. For example, the hand guard for the automatic chain brake, the most important safety feature on a chain saw, was already missing from a counterfeit chain saw when it arrived.

What is STIHL doing?

Counterfeiters have set their sights on STIHL chain saws in particular. Most of the fakes come from China. Due to their orange and light grey colours, they bear a striking resemblance to original STIHL products. In addition, forged stickers with the STIHL brand on them – and sometimes even well-known model names, such as MS 440 – are placed on the products to fool buyers. Except for their colours and model names, these tools have nothing in common with original STIHL chain saws. These imitations usually feature very poor technology. They do not meet the target markets’ legal standards and guidelines and may not be sold there for that reason alone.

Product piracy: original STIHL and imitaton

Product piracy: original STIHL and imitation

With the help of intelligent intellectual property rights management, which includes patents and brands, we are taking steps to combat product and brand piracy in various countries. The STIHL brand name is protected in more than 160 countries. Wherever legally possible, such as in the EU and the USA, the typical colour combination of orange and light grey has also been registered as a colour mark. We have officially requested that customs officials confiscate fakes wherever counterfeit products could cross a border, including in Europe and in China. In the past few years, STIHL has had tens of thousands of counterfeit chain saws confiscated and destroyed, removing fakes worth several million euros from the market.

How can you protect yourself?

In particular, street markets, flea markets and itinerant merchants are always a sure sign of counterfeit, inferior and high-risk products. The same goes for offers of new products online. STIHL sells its tools exclusively through authorised specialist dealers who guarantee original quality, service and expert advice. When you visit your STIHL dealer, you can be sure that you are getting 100-percent STIHL quality, and not just a cheap imitation.
Remember: when in doubt, go to your specialist dealer. We are happy to answer your questions. Write to

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6 thoughts on “Watch out for fakes!

  1. You need to look at your NZ operation. The service is shite. I have a crack in the plastic casing on a 3 week old blower. Was told by the store it was a casting fault. A manufacturing problem. They won’t fix it it. The main office will not return emails nor respond to their messenger app. If you look on Google reviews it’s not great. 3.4 rating for Stihl NZ. I have lots of Stihl gear. I think it’s great but the service here is shoddy and amateurish.

    1. Hello Grant,
      Thank you for your comment and sorry for your inconvenience.
      We would like to forward your complaint to our colleagues of the customer service in your country to examine further steps and find a satisfying solution.
      Best regards,
      your STIHL team

      1. Thanks for your reply. Eventually after much stalling and not replying they have come to the party and are providing a replacement for me. This should have been an easy fix. But no. My reason for contacting you was to get it out of the NZ operation as they are largely the problem. 8 days to reply to an email? Shop supposed to call me but doesn’t? Its poor really. As I said I really like the Stihl gear. However read some of the other comments on Google reviews for Stihl NZ and some of the NZ shops. Once again thanks for the reply. Your service is way better than theirs 😊

  2. Hi , I will take up your to forward this to them. I have given up on a resolution to this. Their stratagy is to basically drag it out until I go away. It’s a small problem really but I’m not sure why they think i should just put up with this and their poor service. Thanks Grant.

  3. Hi , I will take up your offer to forward this to them. I have given up on a resolution to this. Their stratagy is to basically drag it out until I go away. It’s a small problem really but I’m not sure why they think i should just put up with this and their poor service. They told me the shop would ring me to sort this. After some days no call. I contact Stihl NZ only to be told I had to ring the shop. Essentially just a run around now. My point being we had already been back to the shop for nothing once. We were sold a machine with a casting case issue. Really if they had any idea of how to provide good service they would follow it up, not having a customer chasing them around. A reminder to do what is right is needed. And it is best coming from somewhere they cannot ignore. Hopefully that’s you. Thanks Grant.

    1. Hello Grant,
      Thank you for your comment.
      We have had consultation with our colleagues in New Zeeland. Since they have already offered you multiple solutions, we hope for your understanding that we can’t help you any further at this point.
      Best regards,
      your STIHL team

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