The 5 Best 20-Inch Chainsaws of 2024

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By Jake Hill

Chainsaws

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With summer fast approaching, you may feel the urge to dive deep into those DIY home projects. Whether it’s something as small as trimming trees or a complete renovation—20-inch chainsaws are essential tools for these projects and more.

If you’re looking for the best saw in 2023 that balances performance, durability, and cutting power—look no further! Whether you need something lightweight but powerful like the STIHL MS 261 C-M or something more suitable for heavy-duty jobs like Craftsman S205 Chainsaw, there will surely be a tool perfect for your needs!

In this blog post, we will discuss the top five 20-inch chainsaw models on the market today and what features make them stand out from other available saws. Read on to learn which of these 20 inches is sure to meet your needs!

ImageProductOur RatingPrice
Best Overall
Stihl MS 462 20 inch

Stihl MS 462 20 inch

  • Lightweight
  • Powerful enough for professional jobs
  • Good safety features
10
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Editor's Choice
Stihl MS 261 20 inch

Stihl MS 261 20 inch

  • Easy to start
  • Lightweight chainsaw
  • Pre-separation air filtration
9.5
Check Current Price
Best Value For Money
Stihl MS 291 20 inch

Stihl MS 291 20 inch

  • High-powered
  • High-tech
  • Low-maintenance chainsaw
9
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Best Seller
STIHL Farm Boss MS 271 20 inch

STIHL Farm Boss MS 271 20 inch

  • Zero to low exhaust emissions
  • Pre-separation air filtration system
  • Anti-vibration system
9
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Budget Option
Craftsman S205 20 inch

Craftsman S205 20 inch

  • Easy maintenance
  • Affordable reasonable price
  • Easy Pull Start technology
9
Check Current Price

The 5 Best 20-Inch Chainsaws of 2023

With so many different options available on the market, it can be hard to know which chainsaw is right for you. To help make your decision easier, we’ve compiled a list of reviews of five of the best 20-inch chainsaws of 2023.

We’ll give an overview and description of each saw’s features and benefits. Let’s dive in!

Stihl MS 462 20 inch

Best Overall
Stihl MS 462 20 inch
10/10Our Score
  • Lightweight
  • Powerful enough for professional jobs
  • Good safety features
  • Not for beginners

The Stihl MS 462 C-M is one of the most powerful and efficient chainsaws on the market today. It has a large displacement engine with plenty of power for even the most challenging jobs.

Introducing the STIHL MS 462 C-M, the lightest chainsaw in its fuelpowered class with a weight of just 13 pounds. This extraordinary chainsaw proves top of its class with an unprecedented power-to-weight ratio, ensuring enhanced maneuverability and optimum operation.

Validated by professionals in the industry, this model sets unparalleled standards of excellence and innovation through achieving unsurpassed performance in its category.

The 72.2 cc gas-powered chainsaw is a tough and durable choice for complex cutting tasks. It has a 20-inch bar length that makes it easy to maneuver in tight spaces and provides plenty of power for even the most challenging jobs.

STIHL’s innovative M-Tronic engine management system continues to evolve. It offers an advanced interface for controlling ignition timing and reliably manages fuel metering.

Whether working in various weather conditions or even with variable-quality fuel, this system ensures convenience and optimal performance due to its provision for dynamic environmental changes. And with easy electronic adjustment via the auto feature, the new STIHL M-Tronic engine is designed to provide hassle-free operation.

It has a low vibration system that makes operation smoother and less fatiguing for the user. Additionally, this model comes with an adjustable oil pump that allows you to control how much lubrication your chain receives while in use, ensuring optimal performance and longevity.

This chainsaw features an adjustable automatic chain oiler that lets users tailor it to meet their exact needs according to cutting conditions and bar lengths.

Additionally, the STIHL Quickstop chain brake is designed to safeguard against potential accidents by stopping the chain’s rotation: It activates with just a touch of a finger and in cases when the saw kicks back with sufficient force. The peace of mind this equipment offers is simply invaluable.

Stihl MS 261 20 inch

Editor's Choice
Stihl MS 261 20 inch
9.5/10Our Score
  • Easy to start
  • Lightweight chainsaw
  • Pre-separation air filtration
  • Expensive

This model is an excellent choice for those looking for a lightweight design yet a powerful saw option. Perfect for both professional and recreational users, the STIHL MS 261 C-M will have you easily cut through jobs in no time.

Also, this impressive power-to-weight ratio delivers superb maneuverability and comfortable use in any occupational environment. It provides reliable operation throughout your working day, delivered with unrivaled cutting performance.

The STIHL MS 261 C-M 20 in. 50.2 cc Gas-powered engine is a robust 50.2 cc gas-powered tool that offers excellent cutting capacity for regularly sized logs and branches.

At 20 inches long, its bar length lends itself well to tackling larger tasks than most consumer chainsaws on the market today. In addition, this model also features a quick tension adjustment system for easy adjustments and maintenance through its side access chain tensioner.

Additionally, it has an easy start system that requires only one pull to get it going and runs smoother than other models, thanks to its anti-vibration technology.

Furthermore, the STIHL MS 261 C-M 20-inch chainsaw is equipped with the advanced STIHL M-tronic™ engine management system. Utilizing industry-leading technology, STIHL M-tronic can digitally monitor and adjust for varying injector spark plug and fuel settings based on changing work conditions.

This microprocessor has the unique capability to recognize alterations due to environmental variations like temperature fluctuations, air filters, and elevation. Additionally, it will automatically compensate for different fuels of varied octanes, providing seamless performance you can count on.

The MS 261 C-M is engineered to meet the demand for superior cutting performance. With an ergonomic slimmer housing and optimized cylinder design, users can achieve maximum power without having to make manual adjustments across any cutting conditions.

When you’re looking for a powerful chainsaw, the unique Pre-separation air filtration system on this one is sure to get the job done. This time-saving tech increases the efficiency of the engine filter system, allowing you to spend less time on air filter cleanings and more time actually working.

With this added layer of protection for your engine, you can purchase an impressive doubling of time between air filter cleanings. Get more out of your equipment investment with a reliable Pre-separation air filtration system!

Stihl MS 291 20 inch

Best Value For Money
Stihl MS 291 20 inch
9/10Our Score
  • High-powered
  • High-tech
  • Low-maintenance chainsaw
  • Slightly heavier than other models

Introducing the new and improved MS 291 chainsaw from STIHL – it’s all about maximum power and minimal maintenance. Powered by a fuel-efficient robust engine size that provides more prolonged periods of performance time, this professional chainsaw is high-tech, high power, and surprisingly low maintenance.

Together, these features create a tool that always outworks conventional models in user convenience and reliability. This highly-rated chainsaw provides 55.5 CC of power, providing sufficient power to handle demanding jobs, while the 20-inch bar length offers plenty of maneuverability for quick work.

It also contains a user-friendly design that makes it easy to operate and comes equipped with a chain brake for safety, allowing users to feel secure when using this machine.

This model comes with all the features you could want from a chainsaw—including an anti-vibration handle to reduce fatigue during long periods of use and quick-stop technology to shut off immediately when necessary.

It also has an auto return stop switch that resets itself after each use, allowing for effortless starting every time. Additionally, this model comes with an automatic decompression valve that reduces compression during start-up for effortless starting each time.

The side access chain tensioner allows for more convenience for the user when adjusting the saw chain utilizing a bar wrench. Contrary to popular belief, it removes the guide bar adjustment screw from its typical location.

This update in technology aids in simplified tuning and prevents novice mistakes that can cost mass amounts of time.

Consequently, anyone using this feature will be able to settle into their routine quickly and without the fear of incorrectly realigning their saw’s fundamental components. Over time, you will even find yourself pleasantly surprised with how quickly and accurately maintenance times are reduced.

This gas-powered device pairs Time-saving technology with its generous filter system. This innovative feature maximizes engine efficiency and doubles the time between air filter cleanings, allowing for greater ease of use and less time spent on grueling chores.

STIHL Farm Boss MS 271 20 inch

Best Seller
STIHL Farm Boss MS 271 20 inch
9/10Our Score
  • Zero to low exhaust emissions
  • Pre-separation air filtration system
  • Anti-vibration system
  • Not lightweight

The STIHL Farm Boss MS 271 20-inch Chainsaw is perfect for tackling tough outdoor jobs. For those looking for power without sacrificing ease of use, this model provides it all—including an ergonomic design that makes handling comfortable even over extended periods.

This powerful saw is equipped with a 50.2 cc two-stroke engine that provides plenty of power to cut through logs and limbs quickly and easily, making it the perfect accessory for anyone from professional landscapers to hobbyists.

An impressive 20-inch Bar Length ensures no job is too big for the Farm Boss MS 271. Additionally, its 2-cycle engine increases torque significantly, allowing for faster cutting speeds and reducing fatigue from long projects.

With its combination of power and convenience, the Farm Boss MS 271 continues to be an excellent choice for those in need of quality timberwork and property maintenance.

It also has advanced air filtration technology that helps protect internal components from debris and dust particles while cutting through wood quickly and efficiently every time.

The chain brake system provides additional safety measures by activating when necessary to prevent accidental kickback or contact with dangerous objects like nails or rocks embedded in wood being cut.

This chainsaw is conveniently equipped with a side-access chain tensioner which simplifies the task of adjusting the saw chain. Whereas guide bar adjustment screws are traditionally located in harder-to-access areas, this chainsaw allows users to adjust their chains using only a bar wrench.

Perfect for those who appreciate convenient solutions, this quality add-on feature of the chainsaw can help make home improvement projects much easier.

Boasting an Anti-vibration system, this chainsaw will reduce the strain on your arms and hands to help increase efficiency during lengthy jobs. Its impressive zero-to-low exhaust emissions feature also ensures you won’t have to worry about creating air pollution as you work.

The STIHL Farm Boss MS 271 20-inch chainsaw really does check all the boxes for any tough job you could imagine.

Craftsman S205 20 inch

Budget Option
Craftsman S205 20 inch
9/10Our Score
  • Easy maintenance
  • Affordable reasonable price
  • Easy Pull Start technology
  • Bulky

The Craftsman S205 20 in. 46 cc Gas Chainsaw is an indispensable tool for any farm or handy homeowner. With its powerful 46 cc engine, this 20-inch chainsaw offers plenty of power for all sorts of home projects.

It is designed to take care of outdoor tasks quickly and easily. With a 46cc full-crank high output 2-cycle gasoline engine, you can be sure you’re getting maximum power out of this machine.

It comes ready to tackle the tough jobs with a 20-inch low kickback bar and chain that ensures it goes through wood effortlessly. This powerful tool makes cutting yard work more manageable and easier than ever before.

Furthermore, it has a gauge of 0.05, so you don’t need to worry about using the wrong type of bar or chain on your saw.

The Easy Pull Start technology ensures simpler and faster pull starts so you can power through projects easily. The cushioned full aluminum wrap-handle design and five-point anti-vibration system also make it well-balanced!

Crafted to ensure user comfort, your hands will stay ergonomic for longer to let you do more cutting with less fatigue. And its maneuverability is just one of the additional benefits this chain saw comes with.

The adjustable automatic oiler keeps the consistence quality of the bar and chain high— maintaining an optimal rate of guard against wear and tear. The combination of smooth performance and efficiency vastly simplifies these everyday cutting jobs for all your work needs.

This chainsaw has been designed to ensure effortless maintenance. Not only does it feature a convenient tool-free process for accessing the filter and spark plug, but it also boasts a robust pro-grade chassis that withstands taxing projects.

Through durable craftsmanship and rigorous tests, this model will last beyond your most challenging cutting tasks. Constant accessibility to routine servicing means ongoing performance with fewer interruptions.

This chainsaw has been built to minimize fatigue when tackling arduous tasks and to reduce the time between keeping it up and running like new. With first-rate engineering, you can trust that each component works towards an efficient experience every time you use it.

Make your gardening and landscaping work simple, so you have time to enjoy your yards with Craftsman’s strongest and most reliable chainsaw.

With so many different options out there on the market today, choosing the right chainsaw can seem daunting at first—but our list should make your decision easier by providing detailed descriptions of five excellent choices available today!

How to Choose the Best 20-Inch Chainsaw

Whether you are a professional logger or an occasional homeowner, the right chainsaw is essential to getting the job done safely and efficiently.

Choosing the right chainsaw can be tricky, especially if you are new to chainsaws and all their features. Here are five key aspects to consider when selecting the best 20-inch chainsaw of 2023.

1. Bar Length and Weight

The bar length and weight of your chainsaw should be a major consideration when shopping around.

Generally speaking, the longer the bar length, the heavier it will be. This will make it more difficult to control and maneuver for extended periods.

If you plan on using your chainsaw for extensive jobs, look for one with shorter bars at lighter weights (around 10 pounds).

2. Power Source

Chainsaws come in two primary power sources—gasoline and electricity. Gasoline-powered saws offer more power but require more regular maintenance, from refueling to oiling components, which are significantly louder than electric models.

Electric chainsaws are usually lighter and quieter but have less cutting power than gasoline saws. Choose your power source based on how often you plan to use your chainsaw and what tasks you will need it for.

3. Chain Brake System

Most modern chainsaws have some form of chain brake system in place that stops the chain automatically if kickback occurs.

Kickback is caused by contact between the tip of the guide bar with an object while cutting, which can cause serious injury or even death if not handled properly.

Ensure that your saw has a reliable chain brake system that works in case of an emergency situation so that you can stay safe while operating your saw.

4. Safety Features

Advanced Safety design features, ergonomic handles, ergonomic grips, anti-vibration technology, and built-in safety guards are also important factors when selecting a chainsaw since these features will help reduce fatigue during long periods of use as well as protect against accidental contact with moving parts, such as blades or kickbacks from sudden movements during operation.

Make sure to check out these features before making any purchase decision so that you can ensure optimal safety while operating your saw!

5. Price

Price is often an important consideration when selecting 20-inch chainsaws, as some models can be quite pricey. Fortunately, there are several 20-inch chainsaws available for all budgets, so you can find the best saw that fits your needs and price range.

Make sure to research the various 20-inch chainsaws on the market to compare features and prices to get the best deal!

20-inch chainsaws come in all shapes and sizes with various cutting power levels and chainsaw safety features, so it’s essential to research before purchasing one!

Consider factors such as bar length/weight, power source, chain brake system, safety features, price range, warranty coverage/length, fuel tank size/capacity, and noise rating/level when shopping around for a 20-inch chainsaw this year so that you can find one that is perfect for all your needs!

With these five essential elements taken into account, you’ll be able to find the best 20-inch chainsaw of 2023 quickly and easily!

5/5 - (6 votes)
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