Chainsaws can make your life easier, whether you are doing light-duty and cleanup tasks or heavy-duty tasks such as pruning, tree limbing, firewood production and bucking.
Considering that there are a thousand different models of chainsaws out there, shopping for a chainsaw can be quite tricky. Any chainsaw won’t work for everyone. They all have different capabilities and features, and are also designed for specific types of jobs, like general maintenance and commercial tasks.
Besides that, they come in different price ranges; the ones with high price tags are not necessarily better than less costly ones.
To save you a lot of time and stress, I have researched quite a few chainsaws and compiled a list of some of the best 20-inch chainsaws on the market in addition to a helpful buying guide and FAQ section.
- Best 20-Inch Chainsaw - Comparisons
- 6 Best 20-Inch Chainsaw - Reviews
- What To Look For When Buying a 20-inch Chainsaw
- Best Chainsaw Brands
- Final Verdict
Best 20-Inch Chainsaw - Comparisons
6 Best 20-Inch Chainsaw - Reviews
1. Husqvarna 460 Rancher, 20-in Gas Chainsaw
There are lots of chainsaw brands to choose from, but there are very few with the solid reputation and history of quality of Husqvarna.
They have constantly been improving on the quality of its tools, which is why they are still relevant in the power tools industry.
The Husqvarna 460 Rancher is no exception. It is a powerful all-round chainsaw capable of being used for home tasks and professional tasks ranging from woodlot management to massive brush clearing. It can take a cutting bar ranging from 13 inches 24 inches.
The Husqvarna 460 Rancher is relatively lighter than most chainsaws in the same category, making it easier to maneuver and carry between sites. Its Low Vib technology further eases the stress on the operator's forearms by reducing the vibration produced by the tool.
Powering the 460 is a three-piece crankshaft engine with increased durability. Starting and stopping the engine is made easier by a combined start/stop switch and Husqvarna's Smart Start technology.
It features X-Torq technology, which improves fuel economy, allows for better power output and lowers emissions by separating clean air from the air and fuel mixture.
It also features a centrifugal air cleaning system that helps to eliminate dust and particles before they reach the air filter. This increases the engine's lifespan and reduces air filter cleanings.
The Husqvarna 460 Rancher is equipped with standard safety features such as a combined chain brake and front hand guard. This greatly reduces the risk of serious injury in the event of a kickback. The chain brake can be activated manually by moving the front hand guard forward.
If you need a chainsaw with a lot of power, that’s very versatile and has quality parts, the Husqvarna 460 is one you can depend on for years.
What we liked
What we didn’t like
2.Blue Max 8901-20-Inch Combination Chainsaw
The NATI Blue Max is not one of the most popular chainsaw brands. However, they have over 50 years of experience making power tools, which means they are not a brand to be pushed aside when considering the best chainsaws.
In addition, the Blue Max 8901 is a powerful chainsaw with enough power to meet your cutting needs.
It can safely cut through branches of up to 18 inches. Although it's designed for homeowners, it comes with some other professional-grade features such as auto chain oiler, an anti-vibration handle and a low-range kickback brake.
It fits into the best value category because all of these features are included at a price point that's significantly lower than most chainsaws with the same features.
Inside the Blue Max 8901 is a powerful 45cc high-performance engine with a high maximum cutting speed. It is also a 2-stroke air-cooled engine, which means it does not have a separate tank for oil and petrol; it uses a petrol/oil mix.
It comes with both a 14-inch and 20-inch bar and chain, which can be used interchangeably. A good feature that comes with the 8901 is the auto chain oiler that constantly lubricates the chains for faster cutting and an increased lifespan for the chainsaw.
Another prominent feature is its anti-vibration handle, a feature fast becoming a mainstay in modern chainsaws. It helps the operator to control the chainsaw well and reduces fatigue caused by carrying the chainsaw for a long time.
The Blue Max 8901 is also equipped with an easy-access chain pro tensioner to help you make quick adjustments to the tension without having to dismantle the chainsaw.
In general, the Blue Max 8901 is a decent saw that’s perfect for occasional use. If you are on a tight budget and are also trying to get the best value and a number of useful features from your chainsaw, the Blue Max 8901 is for you.
What we liked
What we didn’t like
3.Remington RM4620-20-inch Gas Chainsaw
The Remington RM4620 was designed to handle tough and challenging woodcutting tasks. It is powered by a 46cc 2-cycle high-output engine and has QuickStart technology, which allows you to start the engine in few seconds without much hassle.
It's reliable and can serve as a workhorse for homeowners and weekend lumberjacks.
The Remington RM4620 is ergonomically designed to allow for easy maneuvering.
It also has an isolated handle and cushion grip, which reduces the vibration experienced by the operator to prevent the operator from getting tired easily and to make it easier to control the tool.
The RM4620 uses a professional-grade die-cast chassis, which improves the durability of the chainsaw and can stand the test of time. I'll say it's a good investment that can last for years considering the price at which it comes.
Remington RM4620 Chainsaw Video Credit:Pete B.
Remington made sure the chainsaw is comfortable for the user with its 5-point anti-vibration mechanism, which allows operators to have steadier hands without feeling dizzy when working for longer hours. It comes with a heavy-duty carrying storage case, and an extra bar and chain.
Features such as a low-kickback chain and chain guard ensure safety during cutting sessions. The RM4620 has an automatic oiler that ensures the chainsaw is in proper working condition.
Although this chainsaw is not a professional-grade, it's still surprising to know that all these features are included at an incredibly low price. The RM4620 is suitable for light to medium cutting and will serve you for a couple of years.
What we liked
What we didn’t like
4.Poulan Pro-20 inch 50cc 2-Cycle Gas Chainsaw
When I hear the name Poulan Pro, what comes to mind is innovation and quality. For over 100 years, the company has been producing quality and affordable power tools. There are few models that can compete with its production quality.
The Poulan Pro PR5020 is a versatile chainsaw that can be used for light- and heavy-duty jobs by both homeowners and commercial business owners. With its size, it is capable of handling heavy timber work, property cleanup jobs and firewood cutting.
It is powered by a 50cc 2-cycle engine, which requires a gas/oil mixture to function. The 50cc displacement is powerful, and is popularly regarded as the starting point for a professional-grade experience.
It's quite heavy, so it's not recommended for extensive limbing, but it can be used extensively for cutting trees or firewood, and for other cutting tasks around the yard.
The chainsaw features Poulan Pro's own OxyPower Engine design, which allows for reduced fuel consumption and reduction in emissions. Poulan Pro claims that the chainsaw uses 20% less fuel for the same runtime and produces 70% fewer emissions than most gas saws.
The Poulan Pro PR5020 also features an effortless pull starting system. This new system reduces the pull force by 30% compared to earlier models.
Basic chainsaw maintenance such as air filter cleaning and spark plug access can be done easily without the use of special tools. Also, the chain tensioner is located in a place where you can easily make adjustments to your chainsaw and continue your work.
The Poulan Pro PR5020 is equipped with a clean air filter system to prevent debris and dirt from getting into the engine, while allowing clean air to get to the engine for improved performance.
Another feature of this the PR5020 is the reduced vibration handle for reduced stress when operating the saw. It also allows you to make straighter cuts and control the tool properly.
The Poulan Pro PR5020 is a medium-duty saw that is suitable for everyday use. It is perfect for tasks such as cutting wood, clearing logs and lopping limbs. It can give you many years of quality service if it is properly maintained.
What we liked
What we didn’t like
5.Echo CS-590-20 inch Timber Wolf Chainsaw
Echo USA is a good chainsaw brand with quality products. Timber Wolf is a professional-grade model that is different from other models in the Echo range. It features a heavy-duty, two-piece mesh air filter, a decompression valve and a see-through tank.
The Echo CS-590 Timber Wolf is one of the best chainsaws for landowners because it is suitable for frequent and extensive use. It comes with an array of professional-grade features, which distinguishes it from other chainsaws in the same category.
The CS-590 comes with a big and powerful 59.8cc engine powerful enough to drive a bar and chain up to 27 inches. Its weight is suitable for cutting for a long period of time without getting too tired. However, it is not suitable for limbing.
It has a see-through fuel tank, which will allow you to know when you need to top up. With its digital ignition and decompression device, it takes just about two or three pulls to start the engine. A throttle idle latch/choke is also integrated into the chainsaw to make it easier to start the engine.
The Echo CS-590 comes with a lot of standard in-built safety features such as the dual-post chain brake, which prevents the chain from operating in the event of a kickback, a chain catcher to protect the operator from injury from a broken chain and a removable safety tip for the bar, which protects the area that is most likely to cause a kickback.
The engine receives a clean supply of air thanks to Echo's G-force air pre-cleaning system. The CS-590 also comes with a spark arrestor muffler that prevents injury from hot sparks from the muffler.
The tool is easy and quick to maintain because it features easy tool-less access to the air filter and a two-piece heavy-duty mesh filter that is easy to clean.
There’s no doubt that the Echo CS-590 is a workhorse for commercial users, but it is also suitable for homeowners with a large piece of land, such as ranchers or farmers.
What we liked
What we didn’t like
6.Hitachi CS51EAP-20-Inch Rear Handle Chain Saw
The Hitachi CS51EAP is a professional-grade saw capable of handling heavy-duty jobs. It consumes less fuel than most chainsaws of a similar size. It's also very easy to use. Beginners will need little or no help operating this chainsaw.
It is powered by a 50.1cc PureFire engine, which makes the chainsaw very powerful considering the power source. Features such as bumper chain brakes and a sprocket nose bar allow for easier and straighter cuts.
A notable feature found on the CS51EAP is the decompression valve. Although it's a common feature in high-end saws, it's not commonly seen on chainsaws at this price point. It helps when restarting the chainsaw.
The CS51EAP also comes with a primer bulb and auto return choke. These features also help when restarting the chainsaw and with flooding issues. The automatic chain oiler is adjustable to keep the chain and bar in good working condition.
It uses a steel spring type anti-vibration system, which absorbs most of the vibration during use to reduce the stress on the operator's arms. However, there have been complaints about problems with the anti-vibration system.
In general, the Hitachi CS51EAP is a good saw for light-duty and slightly heavy-duty tasks. It's not the best chainsaw out there, but it is powerful enough to handle simple tasks.
What we liked
What we didn’t like
What To Look For When Buying a 20-inch Chainsaw
Cordless, Corded, or Gas-Powered Chainsaw?
Cordless Electric Chainsaws
Cordless electric saws are usually the lightest of the three types; you also don't have to deal with gas.
They operate on rechargeable batteries, which means they can't be used for overly extensive cutting sessions without recharging the battery. When selecting a cordless electric chainsaw, you should opt for one with enough power to take care of your cutting needs.
These models are usually not as powerful as gas-powered chainsaws. They are also more expensive. However, they are usually quieter, give off fewer emissions and are easier to control.
Corded Electric Chainsaw
If you're looking for a chainsaw with endless run time, a corded electric chainsaw is likely the best option.
However, control and maneuverability are compromised due to the cord length. This can be salvaged by getting an extension cord to increase the chainsaw's range of operation.
Another downside to this type of chainsaws is that they can only be used where an electrical outlet is available. Corded models are usually the cheapest of the three models because they don't need fuel or rechargeable batteries.
Gas-powered chainsaws use gasoline to power their motor, as the name suggests. They are the most powerful chainsaws available on the market, having the power to perform heavy-duty tasks and accommodate a longer bar length.
Of course, there are cons; they are louder, heavier and can be very expensive to maintain. They require constant refills in order to function seamlessly.
Care and Maintenance
A chainsaw has a lot of moving parts that can wear out easily due to friction; it's essential that you take proper care of your tool to extend its lifespan. Below are some tips to help keep your chainsaw in good shape.
Sharpen the chain from time to time. Sharp teeth make it easier to cut through wood and reduce the chances of slips and kickbacks.
Best Chainsaw Brands
There are many chainsaw brands producing their own tools, but there are a few that produce top-quality chainsaws. One of these top-quality brands is Husqvarna, founded in 1689 in Sweden, which started making chainsaws in 1959.
Another is the Blue Max brand, which is owned by North American Tool Industries (NATI); they also own other brands such as Professional Woodworker and Yard Dog.
Remington Power is also no novice when it comes to the production of power tools; it’s been manufacturing chainsaws since the 1990s.
Poulan Pro, now owned by Husqvarna, was founded by Claude Poulan in 1912 and was one of the top manufacturers of chainsaws for many years.
Echo USA has consistently produced a decent range of power tools for over 40 years now, including chainsaws, hedge trimmers, brushcutters, backpack and hand-held blowers, and straight-shaft grass trimmers.
Hitachi Power Tools, renamed Metabo HPT, is also known to produce quality and well-manufactured electric power tools.
Can I use my chainsaw in the rain?
Using your chainsaw in the rain increases the risk of getting an electric shock, especially when you're using a corded one. Even if you're using a cordless chainsaw, cutting in the rain exposes your blades to the risk of getting rusted.
How do you lubricate your chainsaw?
Most chainsaws have an automatic oiler that regularly oils the bar and chain to keep them in good condition. You need to constantly refill the oil reservoir (preferably every time you refill the tank) with a bar and chain oil and not the regular motor oil.
Remember to screw the cap back on and wipe any excess oil after refilling.
How do you tension a chainsaw correctly?
Make sure the chainsaw is switched off and the brake is engaged before you start. Place the chainsaw on a flat surface and make sure there is a little gap between the chain and bar. If the chain moves around the bar smoothly when the chain brake is disengaged, then the chain tension is fine.
Why is my chainsaw not cutting straight?
If a chainsaw doesn’t cut straight, the first component to look at it is the bar. A bent bar will cause a chainsaw to cut in the direction of the bend because the bar is what guides the chain.
You can either straighten the bar or replace it, but if the problem persists, then it's probably the chain. Check the cutter teeth. If they are worn out, they can become unequal in size, and they tend to lean toward the side.
This can be solved by sharpening the cutter teeth and filing them at the right angles or buying an entirely new chain.
Our pick for the best 20-inch chainsaw is the Husqvarna 460 Rancher because it is powerful and can easily carry out any cutting task you use it to perform. Its lightweight and compact design make the chainsaw easy to control without causing much fatigue to the operator's arms.
However, if you want a less expensive chainsaw, you can opt for the Blue Max 8901, it also has a lot of excellent features that are found in high-end chainsaws.
The Remington RM4620 Outlaw is for people who are on a tight budget and wish to get maximum value from their chainsaws.
You should make your pick based on the price, the value you're getting from it and other features.
You should also consider the type of jobs you intend to use it for, and it should be a chainsaw that fits your budget. A high price doesn't necessarily mean you'll get maximum value from it; you can get a couple of good ones at low prices too.