Stihl 023 Chainsaw Review: Specs, Features, Price, Parts, And Alternatives

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The Stihl 023 is a 40cc light use homeowner chainsaw from the Stihl 1123 Series.

It was manufactured between 1990 – 2002, making it one of the last ‘0’ chainsaws to be produced before the MS range took over.

The 066 was in production until 2003, and the 09 Mini-Boss until 2006, as examples of 0 series saws that went longer, but you can see all the Stihl chainsaw production years here.

I checked out a friend’s Stihl 023 chainsaw – whose 12-year-old son regularly uses it – which you can see pictured throughout this post.

Stihl 023 Chainsaw

is the stihl 023 good

The 023 was described as ‘compact’ and ‘for demanding occasional users’ in the marketing material.

It was in the same class as the 025 (45cc), 021 (35cC), 018 (32cc), and 017 (30cc).

The 023, at 40cc, is near the top of the class, but not quite!

My friend, who inherited it from his aunty’s cousin’s husband’s father’s mom on his wife’s side (or something like that), said it’s alright but doesn’t have a lot of guts.

It’s good for his son to start learning how to use a chainsaw.

stihl 023 chainsaw specifications

The Stihl 023 is recommended for use with a 12 – 16 inch bar (30 – 40 cm), so it’s just a small saw.

However, personally, I probably wouldn’t go larger than a 14″ bar, just so you’re still getting enough power.

It’s best for:

  • Pruning
  • Cutting branches
  • Clearing brush
  • Limbing
  • Cutting small logs for firewood

It’s a decent little saw if you use it for what it was designed.

Stihl 023 Specs And Features

stihl 023 chainsaw specifications
Click to expand and zoom

You can see a lot of the Stihl 023 C specifications in this screenshot from Stihl’s old website (differences between the base model and C model below).

As already stated, it’s a 40.2 cc chainsaw, and it has a 2.6 hp engine.

Other specs include:

  • 2.4 cu in displacement
  • Weighs 10.3 lbs
  • Best with  12 – 16″ bar

See how the 023 compares with other Stihl saws in its class.

stihl 023 specs and features
Click to expand and zoom

You can see some of the features that come standard or can be retrofitted.

A lot of people also ask what the C means on Stihl chainsaws, and this table helps to answer that as well.

The base model 023 has:

  • Electronic ignition
  • Quickstop chain brake
  • Auto lubrication

The 023 C has all that, plus:

  • High-speed chain tensioner – easier to tighten the chain
  • Elasto-start – easier to start chainsaw

The C stands for ‘Comfort’.

Those 2 additional features that come standard on the 023 C are the comfort features on that saw (which change from model to model).

In the case of the Stihl 023 C it does add a little bit of weight to the saw, but only a few ounces.

stihl 023 C vs 023 L

There is also a Stihl 023 L chainsaw.

The L stands for Low Noise.

At the time when this saw was being sold, it was the world’s quietest gas-powered chain saw (only 92 dB(A) at 50 feet).

However, you can see that the L saw has a lot less power – only 1.5 hp compared to the 023 Cs 2.6.

Stihl 023 Price And Parts

best stihl 023

There’s a lot of price variation on old Stihl saws, and that’s no different with the 023.

You can pick them up for next to nothing from people just wanting to clear out space in their garage, or you can spend a whole lot on a well-maintained barely used model on eBay.

It’s going to come down to a few factors:

  • Year it was made – whether it was made in 1990 or 2002
  • Designations – is it a base model or a 023 C or 023 L
  • Condition – a model that no longer goes will go cheap for parts or repair
  • Modifications – whether or not OEM parts were used

As far as where to find parts for the Stihl 028, there are a number of good spots, but OEM is expensive.

Compare parts prices:

  • On eBay here – at the time of writing there’s one going for $70
  • HL Supply – for OEM and aftermarket parts including carbs, fuel lines, casings
  • On Amazon here – a few aftermarket parts options

Ebay often has entire old chainsaws that can be picked up cheap for parts – many of these saws can even be repaired by the right person.

Stihl 023 Chainsaw Review

In this video of the Stihl 023 running, you can see that it’s a bit sluggish while cutting through some birch.

However, this saw is good for this type of thing – just slowly and patiently cutting up thinner width logs. It doesn’t chew through them like a pro chainsaw, obviously, but it gets the job done.

Here are a few more pics of the 023.

Stihl 023 chainsaw review

This model was made in the US, as many Stihl saws are (especially those which are sold in the US).

It’s got easy access to the fuel and oil tanks.

review of the stihl 023

Overall, the Stihl 023 is a good little chainsaw for around the home, for limbing and pruning, and all of those lighter tasks you need done.

Or, as my friend uses it for, as a chainsaw for older children (with the proper training and supervision).

If you find an 023 for sale at the right price, it’s worth picking up – if only for adding to the collection!


  • Decent saw for light work
  • Durable and reliable
  • Goes easy on the fuel


  • Not a lot of power
  • Sluggish on the hardwoods

Stihl 023

stihl 023 chain saw

That’s the Stihl 023 chainsaw.

Let us know if you have anything to add in the comments below, or if you have any questions we’ll try to answer them for you.

At the right price, it’s a good chainsaw to have on hand and is worth picking up.

The Stihl 028 is another chainsaw from the same era that has a bit more guts if that’s what you’re looking for.

It all comes down to what you want to do with it and how much you want to spend!


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3 thoughts on “Stihl 023 Chainsaw Review: Specs, Features, Price, Parts, And Alternatives”

  1. Hi i brought my stihl 023 in 1991 and here it’s 2022 and still going it’s done a lot of work it has had a few parts replaced over the years nothing major just the usual parts. sprocket, chain and bar, air filter,
    oil line and filter, and fuel filter. All ways looked after great chain saw.

    • If someone finds that saw sluggish..something is wrong….take off the muffler likely plugged….I have used my 2002 saw for days of felling and jumping….lots of power.

  2. Your site has been so informative when it comes to picking up saws for me.
    Would there be a way to list homeowner, land owner and pro models as a quick reference thing?
    I can’t find any proper resource for this.


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