Stihl MT2 and Timber Tuff Universal Chainsaw Tool
Ah Christmas, sweet Christmas. Santa came and dropped a small piece of Stihl branded Chrome-Vanadium steel and plastic goodness in the form of a Stihl MT2 into my humble stocking this year. I don’t know about you, dear readers, but anytime I am gifted with some chainsaw tool related piece of awesome, my heart flutters the dance of joy. Unfortunately, the joy would come with the asterisk of disappointment.
First off, the Stihl MT2 comes equipped with a 19 mm (3/4″) and a 16 mm socket. The MT2 also has a T27 driver, a 7 mm slotted screw driver, in addition to a 3.5 mm slotted driver for carb adjustment. Let us accentuate the positives: Like most Stihl branded tools, the MT2 is made of high quality materials, as well as a high degree of finish to the parts. This little tool should withstand years of use. For a pocket tool, the MT2 is pretty huge: measuring 5 3/4″ x 1 3/8″. Bigger is better, but maybe not in a pocket tool. Although quite large, the Stihl MT2 is relatively light- weighing in at a lean and mean 228 grams (8 oz).
Now for the aforementioned asterisk of disappointment: the MT2’s limited tool arsenal will only work with one of my three saws. That is a lot of pocket real estate for a tool that will only adjust one saw. I would have to carry both the MT1 and the MT2 to adjust any combination of my saws. Since I recently started dabbling in milling and carving, I will usually use more than one saw in any one session of cutting. As it is, the MT2 works quite well for my MS 271, but it is pretty useless for use on the Stihl MS 193 or the Echo CS 590.
The lack of universality of the MT2 is a damning problem, but the real killer for me is the lack of a bar rail cleaning hook. Seriously, it would have cost next to nothing to include a cleaning hook and would not have added anything to the bulk of this tool to include such a useful (dare I say: essential) tool. Sadly, it is back to the store for this thoughtful gift from ol’ Saint Nic. If all you are running is one saw like the MS 271, 291, or 260 (and probably many others). This could be the tool for you. For me, running multiple saws of different sizes/ manufacturers, this tool just doesn’t justify the bulge in my pants.
A tool that does earn the bulge in my CSA approved safety pants is the Timber Tuff Universal Chainsaw Tool. Measuring a respectable 5 1/16″ x 1 1/8″ and weighing in at a hefty 368 grams (12.9 oz). The Timber Tuff packs a lot of steel. Although the Timber Tuff Universal Chainsaw Tool is not made of chrome vanadium steel, it is made of chromed steel and feels quite sturdy and substantial. It even comes with a canvas pouch with a belt loop (it is a tight fit , and I don’t know if I would trust the pouch to not lose the tool in the brush).
The Timber Tuff is less polished and refined than the Stihl MT2, but the one thing it brings to the table trumps the MT2 in a big way: universality. This tool comes equipped with both a 19 mm/ 16mm and a 17mm/13mm socket, 4mm allen key, a small and large slotted screwdriver, a 5 mm star/torx bit, a wheel and stone gauge, three hexangular wrenches (17,13, and 10mm), and a bar cleaning tool. This tool comes with everything to work on any of my chainsaws in the field. One tool for three saws beats one tool for one saw.
The Timber Tuff isn’t perfect. I did modify it slightly from its stock condition. I reversed the position of the 19/16 mm socket to make the 19mm socket more accessible as it fits the nuts and spark plug on the Stihl MS 271 (something that would be easy to do in the field as the tool is held by a bolt and wing nut). After reversing the socket, I also added a locking washer as well as a regular washer to take up the slack due to the smaller socket. The wing nut makes the tool easy to reverse the sockets in the field, but it also adds a lot to the width of the tool (and provides an extra “jabby” bit if carried in the pocket).
The Timber Tuff Universal Chainsaw Tool isn’t perfect, but it will do the job and lives up to its name: it will work with almost any chainsaw! For me, the addition of a simple bar rail cleaning hook, and the ability to work with all of my saws, makes this tool a keeper. As an added bonus, the Timber Tuff costs half as much as the Stihl, although the Stihl does have superior steel parts, but they are encased in plastic, where as the Timber Tuff’s all steel construction should last. Time will tell.