STIHL MSA 220 TC-O Review


The MSA 220 TC-O is the latest addition to STIHL’s battery-powered chainsaw lineup, designed for professional arborists and demanding homeowners alike. As an experienced arborist, I’ve had the opportunity to put this chainsaw through its paces in various conditions, and I’m excited to share my insights on its performance, features, and how it compares to its competitors. In this review, I’ll be focusing on key decision-making factors, such as power, battery life, ergonomics, and safety, to help you make an informed purchase decision.

MSA 220 TC-O Review: A User's Perspective on this Cool Battery Chainsaw

Performance and Power

The MSA 220 TC-O is powered by a 36V STIHL AP battery, which delivers an impressive amount of power for a battery chainsaw. I’ve been able to cut through hardwoods like oak and maple with ease, and the chainsaw’s performance remains consistent throughout its battery life. The brushless EC motor ensures high torque and efficiency, which sets it apart from its competitors in the market. You can watch this video [link to a video demonstrating the chainsaw’s performance] of me cutting through a 12-inch diameter log in under 20 seconds.

Battery Life and Charging

MSA 220 TC-O Review: A User's Perspective on this Cool Battery Chainsaw

With a fully charged AP 300 battery, I’ve been able to achieve up to 45 minutes of continuous runtime, which is more than enough for most jobs. The AL 500 charger fully charges the battery in just 60 minutes, minimizing downtime. For extended work, I recommend having a spare battery on hand. Compared to the MSA 200 C-B, the MSA 220 TC-O has a longer battery life, making it a better choice for professional use.

Ergonomics and Design

MSA 220 TC-O Review: A User's Perspective on this Cool Battery Chainsaw

The MSA 220 TC-O has a comfortable, well-balanced design that reduces user fatigue during extended use. The rubberized grip and rear handle offer excellent control, and the quick chain tensioning system allows for tool-free adjustments. The chainsaw also features a side-access chain tensioner, making it easy to adjust the chain while wearing gloves. The toolless oil cap and translucent oil tank ensure hassle-free maintenance. These design choices reflect STIHL’s commitment to user convenience and comfort.

Safety Features

MSA 220 TC-O Review: A User's Perspective on this Cool Battery Chainsaw

Safety is a top priority when using a chainsaw, and the MSA 220 TC-O doesn’t disappoint. It features a chain brake and a two-hand safety switch to prevent accidental activation. The front handguard is designed to activate the chain brake if the chainsaw kicks back, adding an extra layer of protection.

Pros and Cons

1. Powerful performance for a battery chainsaw1. Higher price point compared to some competitors
2. Long battery life with quick charging2. Battery and charger sold separately
3. Ergonomic and well-balanced design
4. Tool-free chain tensioning system
5. Side-access chain tensioner
6. Comprehensive safety features
7. Low maintenance and easy-to-use oil system

Competition and Alternatives

The MSA 220 TC-O’s main competitors include the Husqvarna 535i XP and the EGO Power+ CS1800. While all three offer comparable performance, the MSA 220 TC-O excels in battery life and ergonomics. If you’re looking for a more budget-friendly option, the EGO Power+ CS1800 is a solid choice, but you may sacrifice some power and battery life.


Overall, the MSA 220 TC-O is an outstanding battery chainsaw, offering professional-grade performance, excellent battery life, and user-friendly design features. It’s a significant improvement over previous models, making it an ideal choice for both professionals and homeowners. I highly recommend this chainsaw as the best overall in the battery-powered category, based on my hands-on experience and testing.

With the MSA 220 TC-O’s exceptional performance and user-friendly features, you’ll be well-equipped to tackle any cutting job with confidence and ease.

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. What is the STIHL MSA 220 TC-O chainsaw?
    The STIHL MSA 220 TC-O is a professional-grade top-handle chainsaw designed for arborists and tree care professionals. Its compact and lightweight design, along with the top-handle configuration, makes it well-suited for tree pruning and other tasks performed while working at height.
  2. What is the power source of the MSA 220 TC-O?
    The MSA 220 TC-O is part of STIHL’s battery-powered chainsaw lineup, and it operates on a rechargeable lithium-ion battery. This cordless design provides the user with greater mobility and eliminates the need for fuel mixing.
  3. What is the battery runtime and charging time?
    The battery runtime and charging time of the MSA 220 TC-O will depend on various factors, such as the battery capacity, the type of work being performed, and the condition of the battery. STIHL typically provides this information in their product specifications or user manuals.
  4. Is the MSA 220 TC-O suitable for professional use?
    Yes, the MSA 220 TC-O is a professional-grade chainsaw designed for use by trained arborists and tree care specialists. Its top-handle design makes it easy to use in tree crowns or confined spaces.
  5. What safety features does the MSA 220 TC-O have?
    STIHL chainsaws, including the MSA 220 TC-O, are equipped with various safety features, such as chain brake systems, low-kickback chains, and a chain catcher, to enhance user safety during operation.
  6. What type of bar and chain does the MSA 220 TC-O use?
    The MSA 220 TC-O typically uses a specialized guide bar and chain designed for professional pruning and cutting applications. STIHL provides compatible accessories that suit the specific needs of arborists.
John Carlos
John Carlos
Forestry Author

The beauty of logging isn't just about felling trees. It's about understanding nature, mastering the art of chainsaws, and respecting the environment. I believe in sharing my experiences and knowledge, ensuring that we move towards a sustainable future together.


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