Stihl 020T Chainsaw Review: How Does It Compare To The MS 200 T?

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The Stihl 020T is a discontinued saw that was in production from 1996 – 2002.

It’s a legendary top handle saw that’s described as “Bulletproof” and “Better than the 200T and 201T”

Specs-wise, it’s a 35.2 cc, 2.2 hp saw that weighs only 7.9 lbs and is best suited to a 14 or 16-inch bar. The 020T is great for climbing or bucket work. 

The Stihl 020 T can be found for sale on eBay. The newer 201 T is for sale on Ace Hardware.

Stihl 020 T Chainsaw

020T chainsaw reviews
Image: @customsaws

The Stihl 020T is considered an awesome saw in the chainsaw community.

It was designed by Stihl as a pro arborist saw and when it was released, they called it the ‘Ultimate Arborist Saw’:

The 020T is extremely well balanced with the same durability and a narrower profile than the legendary 020S and 24% lighter.

Other performance features include a side access chain tensioner, Master Control Lever, adjustable oiler, Stihl Quickstop chain brake and retractable carrying ring.

The 019T is another top-handle chainsaw that was for sale at the same time. This was also a 35.2 cc chainsaw, but it had a lower horsepower (1.7 hp) and an extra pound on the 020T.

There are earlier chainsaws labeled 020 that we’re NOT looking at in this article:

  • Stihl 020 | 1971 – 1979
  • Stihl 020AVP | 1972 – 1979
  • Stihl 020 Super | 1979 – 1994

These 020s from the 70s are completely different from the 020T, which was released in 1996, not long after the 020 Super ended production.

Stihl 020T Reviews

trialing the stihl 020
Image: @customsaws

020T reviews from users:

  • Peter said, “Best top handle ever made.”
  • Cris said, “Best saw ever, I run a 16-inch on mine.”
  • Ken said, “Great bucket saw! I ran it with either hand equally.”

What’s better, the 020T or 200T?

  • Jeffrey said, “The 200t has a little more behind it than the 020t.”
  • Ron said, “020 is my favorite but it makes no difference. Cut it with what you got or like.”
  • Justin said, “020! I use it more than my 200t.”
  • Sean said, “I’m going with 020T 😆 And it has the older tank cap, not the flippy cap.”
  • Robbie said, “The 020 is probably the best climbing saw I ever used.”
  • Mark said, “Honest I like all! 020t, 200t, and 2001t! All good saws!”

How does the 020T compare with the 200T?

I believe the 020T has a bit more grunt than the 200T, but only marginally.

However, I would say the 020T is the choice saw as it doesn’t have the flip caps that leak.

Ade said:

020Ts are good saws, there is not much difference from the 200T apart from the filler caps and transfer ports.

Later 200Ts had a different tank vent and there were several variations of carbs, all of which interchange with each other.

And Jimmy shared:

Nice thing about the 020 is the fuel caps don’t leak like the flip caps.

Plus because it don’t say 200t on it you can buy them cheaper even tho there the same damn thing!

The 020T is another one of those saws that seem to get universally good reviews. It’s almost impossible to find anything bad about them, other than the fact that some parts are getting hard to find.

The other problem is buying “frankensaws” – 020s that have a lot of aftermarket parts replacements. If buying a used saw, be sure to have a good look at it first.


  • Lightweight and maneuverable
  • Great power-to-weight ratio
  • Interchangeable parts with other models (like the 200T)
  • Great resale value
  • Good for climbing


  • Parts not interchangeable with the 201T
  • Some OEM parts are hard to find
  • Expensive to buy in good condition
  • Hard to find in good condition full stop

Price And Parts

020T chainsaw reviews
Image: @customsaws

What is a Stihl 020T Chainsaw worth?

A model that is in very good condition that is original or has been fixed up with OEM parts could fetch over US $500, and they typically sell for between $300 – $500.

If a saw was in excellent condition it could go for quite a bit higher than that, depending on location.

On eBay, 020s are selling anywhere from $200 to $600 right now. There’s a new OEM built 200T going for over $1500 as well!

A 020T sold for parts may only get around $100, and at that price, you’d be better off fixing it up yourself.

Specs And Features

stihl 020t chainsaw specifications

Specs can vary depending on when and where the saw was produced – many were manufactured in Germany, but Stihl has other facilities around the world.

Stihl 020T specs:

  • 35.2 cc (2.15 cu in)
  • 2.2 hp (1.65 kW)
  • 7.9 lbs (3.5 kg)
  • Bore 1.60 in (40 mm)
  • Stroke 1.10 in (28 mm)
  • 14,000 RPM max speed
  • 2,800 RPM idle
  • Spark plugs Bosch WSR 6/NGK BPMR 7 A
  • Poly fabric or wire mesh air filter

A 14-inch bar is recommended, though it will do alright with anything from 12 – 16-inches.

Features of the saw include a side-access chain tensioner, Master Control Lever, adjustable oiler, Stihl Quickstop chain brake, and retractable carrying ring.

If you have problems starting this saw the reason is usually the carb (besides other obvious reasons like bad fuel). Aftermarket carbs are reasonably cheap whereas something like a new OEM Zama will run you 4 or 5 times the price.

Download the Stihl 020T Chainsaw Manual here.

Stihl 020 T

020T prices
Image: @customsaws

The Stihl 020T Chainsaw is another great saw from Stihl that will stand the test of time and be popular as long as they are still running.

The new Stihl 201T doesn’t get quite the same amount of love as the older top-handle models, but it’s still good for those wanting a new chainsaw.

Another good alternative is the ECHO CS 2511T – both are lightweight climbing saws that perform very well.

Let us know if you have any questions or comments about the 020T below – we love to hear your experiences!


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3 thoughts on “Stihl 020T Chainsaw Review: How Does It Compare To The MS 200 T?”

  1. Being pedantic but the 020T came out in 1992-3 not ’96. It replaced the metal bodied 020. In my opinion it accelerated faster than its MS200T update as the carb/exhaust was different (for new emission targets). also it used less fuel. Overall a great saw. I should know I ran a pair of them full time in tree surgery from ’94-2009 when they were stolen!

  2. The 020t,when they first went to the change from the more metal bodied saw ,they use to have a plastic turn nut on top of air filter and it use to pop off in the tree. I’m long retired from tree work, but i still have my t that i bough in 99 and its a champ. The best climbing saw i ever used


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