Differences and Similarities Between Stihl Msa 120 vs 140

Many people tend to confuse the Stihl MSA 120 and 140 since they have the same appearance, design, structure, and even color. The resemblance usually arises since they are from the same manufacturer. The two chainsaws have some differences that uniquely identify them, and it is essential to understand them to help you choose the best device that suits your taste.

Can one get the differences between the Stihl MSA 120 and 140? Of course, there are some differences in terms of feature advancement, among others. For example, the Stihl ms 120 comes with a braking system and can run a time of approximately thirty minutes which is a bit different from the other chainsaw. So, it is essential to know the differences existing between the two machines.

Fortunately, the article below summarizes the differences between the Stihl MSA 120 and 140 machines. It also states the commonalities existing between the two devices, their pros and cons. The best buying guide of the chain saws is also present, including some FAQs on which is the most recommended chainsaw between the two.

A quick comparison table between Stihl MSA 120 and 140

Comparison Stihl MSA 120 Stihl MSA 140
Runtime Approximately 40 minutes Approximately 45 minutes
Weight 2.5 kg 3.0kg
Bar length 31 cm 12 inches
Power source Battery Battery
Powerhead heaviness 5.5lbs 8.6lbs
Battery series AK series AK series
Performance Lower than 140 device 25% high

Differences between Stihl MSA 120 and 140stihl msa 120 vs 140

Since the two devices are from the same manufacturer, it may be challenging for the users to distinguish them. That’s why I researched and came up with this article that shows the differences between the two chain saws.

  • Runtime

Each chain saw operates at its different running times. For the Stihl MSA 140, its running time is approximately 45 minutes, while the MSA 120 is approximately 40 minutes. The running time depends on the type of the machine and where you are using it.  Therefore, if you want to use the machine for small tasks, consider the 140 one.

  • Weight

Usually, the weight of the chainsaw relies on the shape of the machine. For example, the MSA 140 is a bit larger than 120 and therefore weighs 3.0kgs which is higher than 120 that is 2.5 kg.

  • Bar length

Bar length is the critical difference between the two chain saws. Msa 120 has a bar length that is 31.0 cm, while the 140 device has a length that is 12 inches.

  • Powerhead weight

when it comes to powerhead weight, MSA 140 is heavier than MSA 120. Msa 140 weighs approximately 8.6 lbs. while MSA 120 weighs 5.5lbs

  • Performance

Usually, the performance depends on the advancement of the machine. An ms 140 device performs 25% higher than the MSA 120, making it more recommendable by many people.

Similarities between Stihl MSA 120 and 140Similarities between Stihl MSA 120 and 140

Even though the two chainsaws have some differences, some similarities exist between them. Some of the commonalities include the below;

  • Design and appearance

Since the two devices are from the same manufacturer, they have the same design and appearance. For example, both have a white and orange color making it difficult to differentiate.

Also, their shape is almost the same even though the 140 machine is a bit larger than the 120 chainsaw. Therefore, it is essential to look for other different elements rather than color.

  • Battery series

Both chainsaws use the same battery series. The most and only applicable battery series is the AK series. If you use other series, the machines will fail to turn on, and they may cause other damages.

  • Power source

The two chainsaws use the battery as a power supply source. It means that you need to charge the saws before using them, and they are effective in small work such as pruning. When charging them, it is essential to take some precautions such as; using the correct charger and avoiding using too much electricity other than the recommended as it may blow the whole machine.

Pros Cons of Stihl MSA 120

  • Run time of 30 minutes
  • Additional braking system
  • Easy to tension the chain
  • Cheapest
  • Light in weight hence portable

  • Only sufficient for small tasks such as pruning
  • Power source only battery

Pros Cons of MSA 140

  • High performance
  • Applicable in larger areas than the MSA 120 machine
  • More advanced features.
  • Portable.
  • More running time than MSA 120
  • Quite expensive than MSA 120.
  • Heavier than MSA 120.
  • Power source only battery

Factors to consider when buying the two devicesFactors to consider when buying the two devices

There are some factors to consider when buying any of the chain saws, and they include the following;

  • Durability and Integrity

Brands like Stihl 120 and 140 are just a few of the names that stand out regarding quality. But don’t be a slave to the brand. Select a device that is of excellent quality and will last a long time.

  • Pricing

You may spend hundreds of dollars on an all-in-one saw, but it isn’t very sensible if you’re not going to use it to its maximum potential. Some of the greatest chainsaws, particularly for part-time home users, cost less than $200.

  • Size

It would be best if you considered your age as well as your essential overall conditioning. You might be able to lift an 11-pound load with ease. Nevertheless, using an 11lb saw for a few moments is one issue; using it continuously for half an hour when weariness sets in is quite different. You enhance your chances of having an accident if you choose a saw that you can’t manage correctly.

You might be interested to read our another comprehensive article of:

Stihl 261 Vs 271- Which One Is Better?

Stihl 271 Vs 291?- Which one to choose?

Frequently asked questions:

  • Which is the most recommended between Stihl 120 and 140?

The most recommended is Stihl MSA 140 due to many benefits: high performance, being applicable in larger areas, more advanced features, being portable, and more running time.


Please read the text above thoroughly if you choose the most delicate chain saw between the Stihl MSA 120 and 140. Examine the similarities, differences, advantages, and disadvantages of each chainsaw. Then, based on your preferences, select the best chain saw. Before you acquire any of the devices, think about a few crucial considerations.

Furthermore, take particular care when using the chainsaw. Please follow the product’s recommendations on how to service it more frequently, for example. Also, get assistance if you are experiencing problems with your equipment before the entire chainsaw fails.

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