Best 20-Inch Chainsaws 2023 – Reviews & Top Picks
If you plan to use a chainsaw regularly for large, heavy-duty jobs, you’ll need to upgrade from the cutting power of a 14- or 16-inch chainsaw to the big league. Since it’s perfect for cutting through large-diameter logs and branches, a 20-inch chainsaw can be incredibly useful for anyone living on a ranch or in a rural area.
Of course, more power in your chainsaw can also make it harder to handle if you don’t know how to choose the right saw for your needs. That’s why we’ve put together this guide to the best 20-inch chainsaws around. You can read through our in-depth reviews to get our take on which saws are the best for every project.
A Comparison of our Favorite Models for 2023:
|Best Overall||Husqvarna 460 Rancher 20″ Chainsaw||
|Poulan Pro PR5020 20″ Chainsaw||
|Best Value||COOCHEER Ladyiok Chainsaw 62CC 20″ Gas Chainsaw||
|Husqvarna 20″ 450 Rancher II||
|SALEM MASTER 5820F 20″ Gas Powered Chainsaw||
The 5 Best 20-Inch Chainsaws:
1. Husqvarna 460 Rancher 20″ Chainsaw – Best Overall
Unsurprisingly, the inventor of today’s mass-market chainsaw design, Husqvarna, continues to produce remarkably innovative and reliable tools. With their 460 Rancher 20-inch chainsaw, they’ve upped the ante on many previous models with improvements to the machine’s overall torque, safety features, and air filtering system.
A robust 60.3 cc engine powers the 460 Rancher’s massive 9,000 RPM blade speed, and with 3.4 Nm of torque behind its 20-inch bar, this chainsaw has enough power to handle any job you might throw at it. An automatic chain oiler also helps deliver a steady supply of lubricant to the bar and chain for uninterrupted cutting.
Rounding out the 460 Rancher’s big list of features is an inertia-activated chain brake, a quick-access side-mounted chain tensioning system, a quick-release air filter for easy cleaning, and a proprietary LowVib vibration-reducing system. In short, there’s no other 20-inch chainsaw we’d rather have when facing our toughest jobs, and the Husqvarna 460 is our pick for the best overall.
2. Poulan Pro PR5020 20″ Chainsaw
As a well-respected sub-brand of the Husqvarna company, Poulan Pro offers hardworking tools at a fraction of the cost of their orange parent. With the PR5020, their 20-inch chainsaw model, Poulan has put together a surprisingly lightweight alternative to other large chainsaws that still packs a hefty punch.
The PR5020’s 50cc engine puts it on the lower end of the power scale for 20-inch chainsaws. But thanks to a proprietary OxyPower engine technology that draws more power from less fuel, it can easily compete with larger engine chainsaws.
Compared to other 20-inch chainsaws, the Poulan Pro’s pull-start system feels smooth and easy to use. Claiming to reduce pull force by 30%, it has the added benefit of increasing the longevity of the starter mechanism.
The only real downside? The PR5020 is one heavy saw. Weighing in at a whopping 17 pounds, it can easily lead to fatigue in the hands and shoulders of even the strongest worker. We’re glad its vibration-dampening system works well, or the added weight could have been a dealbreaker.
3. COOCHEER Ladyiok Chainsaw 62CC 20″ Gas Chainsaw – Best Value
Far from being a recognized name in the power tool industry, we’ll admit to being skeptical of the COOCHEER Ladyiok Chainsaw. It makes large claims on being a powerful and easy-to-use 20-inch chainsaw, and we’re glad to say that, for the most part, it backs them up well.
An oversized and extra-powerful 62cc engine provides the base for this rugged chainsaw, producing blade speeds up to a respectable 8500 RPM. Getting it started is easy thanks to the large rope wheel, which also reduces strain on the starting mechanism.
Just like the Husqvarna, which earned our top spot, the COOCHEER Ladyiok also features an easily replaceable air filter system and automatic chain oiler. Unfortunately, this saw is just as heavy as our number two pick, possibly even a little bit more. It’s guaranteed to lead to quick fatigue, and its anti-vibration system lacks efficacy.
In short, the COOCHEER Ladyiok Chainsaw is the best 20-inch chainsaw for the money. It’s a great alternative to our top two choices when your budget is extra tight.
4. Husqvarna 20″ 450 Rancher II
Since it’s smaller and lighter than the 460 Rancher, which took our top spot, Husqvarna’s 450 Rancher II 20-inch chainsaw is an excellent alternative for anyone looking for a lighter-weight chainsaw with plenty of power.
The genius of the 450 Rancher II lies in its X-Torq engine; advanced technologies allow it to reduce fuel consumption and emissions while increasing overall torque thanks to powerful air injection. Add this to the Smart Start system for foolproof and nearly effortless startups, and you can see why this Husqvarna chainsaw deserves your consideration.
Even though its 50.2cc engine is a full 10 ccs smaller than the 460 Rancher, the 450 Rancher II can still produce the same 9,000 RPM blade speed that sets Husqvarna saws apart from the competition.
Other features that build on this solid foundation include an automatic chain oiler, an inertia-activated chain brake, and significant vibration dampening. Overall, it’s an excellent choice for anyone who needs 20-inch chainsaw utility without the usual heavy and sluggish handling you’ll find in other saws.
5. SALEM MASTER 5820F 20″ Gas Powered Chainsaw
Last but not least on our list, the SALEM MASTER 5820F 20-Inch Gas Powered Chainsaw was one of our most difficult to review. At first glance, it seems to offer all the power and functionality of saws three times its price. While our testing didn’t reveal any problems with it, there are a worrying number of reports of defective machines and non-existent customer service.
A 58cc engine provides the SALEM MASTER with an excellent 8,500 RPM blade speed, and the automatic oiler and comfortable design make it a great option for long workdays. Once we put it together, which was quite a challenge, thanks to the poorly written directions, we were happy with the overall experience and chain brake safety feature.
In conclusion, while we would love to be able to recommend this low-cost chainsaw for everyone to try on their own, there are simply too many questions surrounding the quality of this machine. Perhaps in a few years, once the manufacturer has worked out any defects, we’ll be able to recommend it.
Buyer’s Guide – Choosing the Best 20-Inch Chainsaw
You may have an idea of which 20-inch chainsaw you prefer, but you can check out our buyer’s guide for tips on which factors are most vital when shopping for chainsaws.
How to Choose the Right Chainsaw Size
Before you buy a 20-inch chainsaw, it’s important to ensure that you really need that much sawing power. Why? Because while a larger chainsaw can handle bigger, tougher jobs, it also produces a higher risk of losing control, and the kickback on a larger saw can be extremely dangerous.
- Light use, such as occasionally pruning trees and shrubs, can easily be accomplished with a 10- to 14-inch chainsaw. In fact, their lightweight designs and slim profiles can make it easier to maneuver for precise cutting.
- Moderate use chainsaws are geared towards consistent home maintenance use and occasionally cutting through thick branches or logs. If your projects don’t get any larger than cutting firewood, choose a 16- to 18-inch chainsaw.
- Heavy duty projects, such as professional trimming, cutting large amounts of firewood, or clearing acres of brush, require the largest and most powerful chainsaws. If you plan to tackle projects that might otherwise be left to a professional landscaper, a 20-inch chainsaw is the only way to go.
What to Look for In a 20-inch Chainsaw
When evaluating a chainsaw of any size, we look closely at the following features critical to purchasing any chainsaw:
- Engine Size and Power: Larger bar lengths require a corresponding increase in engine power to prevent stalling while cutting. The best 20-inch chainsaws will have engine sizes between 50 and 60cc and produce chain speeds up to 9,000 RPMs.
- Ergonomics and Weight (Vibration, too): You might be surprised by how much the handle design and weight of a 20-inch chainsaw can affect your ability to cut safely. We’ve ensured that each pick in these reviews is well-balanced and prioritized chainsaws that feature vibration-reducing technologies.
- Safety Features: Higher-end chainsaw models feature an inertia-activated chain brake, which reduces the risk of injury during a kickback.
- Durable Construction: Because a 20-inch chainsaw will be more expensive than most outdoor tools, you’ll want to know that you’re making a safe investment. Most chainsaws offer a 1-year warranty to back up their solid construction.
Chainsaw Safety Tips
As a tried and true name in the chainsaw business, Husqvarna has easily secured our top pick in these reviews with their 460 Rancher 20-inch Chainsaw. While it’s certainly on the expensive side of chainsaws, the 460’s machine’s power, durability, and performance cannot be beaten. We’ve been using Husqvarna chainsaws for years because they’re the most hardworking saws.
For big chainsaw power on a smaller budget, consider the COOCHEER Ladyiok Chainsaw 62CC 20″ Gas Chainsaw as an excellent alternative to the Husqvarna. It’s surprisingly reliable, given its low cost, and it’s comfortably designed with a slip-free ergonomic handle. We can highly recommend it to anyone who can’t quite afford the Husqvarna.
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