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In this Husqvarna 450 series review, we will compare the Husqvarna 450, 450e and 450 rancher. We’ll also talk about the hot-selling 455 Rancher. And in case you need something with more power, we will look at the Husqvarna 460 and 465 Rancher.
If you are considering a chainsaw from the Husqvarna 450 series, you have probably found a lot of perplexing information. This popular lineup of chainsaws all have similar features, but there are some key differences. We’ll talk about what makes each chainsaw unique, and even get the skinny from Husqvarna themselves.
What’s Great About The Husqvarna 450 Chain Saws
The 450 series are great middle-of-the-road chainsaws. They are suited for a wide scope of cutting work. They are all suitable for landscapers, homeowners and ranchers (hence the model name ‘Rancher’). Each of these saws are powerful and sturdy enough for the land owner who needs to get some medium duty cutting done. As well-rounded saws, they have enough output power for clearing the ranch, felling trees in the woods, bucking trees, and just about anything else.
Not only can the Husqvarna 450 series get the job done, they are also ergonomic, maneuverable and lightweight. This is important to consider when comparing chainsaws, as a heavy saw can be dangerous as your muscles fatigue. Even though the displacement or engine size varies, they all use Husqvarna X-TORQ engine technology. X-TORQ engines have lower fuel-consumption and are less polluting, while still having strong torque across a wide range of RPM’s.
When looking at the Husqvarna 450 series, you’ll see that they have comparable engine size and power. Largely speaking, they have the same features and share similar characteristics. The Husqvarna 450, 450e and 450 Rancher all have the same chassis, oiling system and engine. Sizing up to the 460 and 465 rancher, you’ll find that they have bigger engines, which means more power output. Since they are a larger saw, they have a longer guide bars, and an improved lubrication and oiling system over the 450 series.
Here is what Husqvarna said about the difference between the 450 and the 450 Rancher:
“The 450 Rancher has an improved ergonomic handle, which allows for cutting more than one tree at a time. It also includes a stop/start switch which automatically returns to the start position when the saw is off, allowing for an easier starting.
The Husqvarna 450 has a handle designed for the home user with not as much cutting at one time. In addition, it has a joint choke and stop switch. This will help a beginner user not flood the engine with fuel.”
When looking at Husqvarna model numbers, you’ll find that they correspond with the engine displacement or engine size. The 450 series all have a 50cc engine. The 455 has a 55cc engine and the 460 has a 60cc engine. The 465 series somewhat breaks the continuity and has 64.1 cc engine.
On the topic of engines; the Husqvarna 450 series, including the 450e and 450 Rancher, all have the same engine and fixed volume guide bar lubrication. They also share the same spur sprocket, with 7 teeth, which means they all have the same maximum chain speed (75.8 ft/sec) The engines all rev to a maximum of 9000 RPM and provide 1.9 ft/lbs of torque (2.6 Nm). The X-TORQ engines from Husqvarna have a strong three-piece crankshaft, with roller bearings that reduce engine wear and friction. This is the primary reason why the X-TORQ engines have such good fuel consumption, reliability and engine life.
The Husqvarna 450, 450e and 450 Rancher all have the same Smart Start feature. This aids in starting the engine, thus minimizing the difficulty by up to 40%.
The starting process is:
- Prime the air purge bulb (fuel pump) until fuel appears in it.
- Engage the choke and push the chain brake handle forward.
- Press the decompression valve.
- Pull the starter cord.
- Release choke and press the decompression valve.
- Pull the starter cord.
- The engine will start in one or two pulls.
Features of the 450, 450e and 450 Rancher
Fuel Pump and Air Purge Bulb
The air purge bulb, (or fuel pump/primer) is a common feature that removes air from the fuel system and carburetor. This makes starting the chainsaw easier. Before you cold start the engine, press the air purge bulb up to six times. You will see fuel inside the bulb. This readies the carburetor for starting.
Stop and Choke Control
The Husqvarna 450 and 450e both have the stop switch and choke control in a joint handle. When engaging the choke control, the stop switch automatically moves to the starting position. To turn off the powerhead, the user depresses the stop switch. This is different from the 450 Rancher, which has an individual stop switch and choke control.
Automatic Stop Switch
Once the engine is stopped with the stop switch, it changes back to the ‘ON’ setting. This makes restarting the chainsaw simpler, as you won’t need to remember to re-position the saw into ‘run’ mode.
Anti-Vibration Engine Suspension
Husqvarna chainsaws are all manufactured with engine suspension springs. These help reduce vibrations. This is important to consider when purchasing. Using a chainsaw for extended periods can be quite fatiguing, even if you are a fit person. Dampening these engine vibrations makes the saw easier to control, and safer. Although we are talking about Husqvarna chainsaws, it’s worth mentioning that all manufacturers use some form of dampening or anti-vibration. In addition, the Husqvarna 450 series has a 7-degree offset on the front guard and handle, which gives the user a better grip that allows for more control, easier maneuverability and improved safety.
When comparing the 450, 450e and 450 Rancher. One of the differences between them is the rear handle. The 450 Rancher has a superior ergonomic handle that minimizes fatigue when cutting many trees at once. The grip is designed for safer control when making larger cuts. In short, it’s meant for heavier duty work. The Husqvarna 450 and 450e have a handle that is intended for homeowner use and is suitable for cutting one tree at a time.
Improved Fuel Tank Cap
A handy feature on the Husqvarna 450e and 450 Rancher is the fuel cap. The clever designers at Husqvarna made it so when the fuel cap is turned one quarter turn, it lets air in. This is designed to counteract the suction force of the air vacuum in the fuel tank. It’s designed in such a way to give the user superior grip. You shouldn’t need to remove your gloves to open the cap. This is something we recommend for safety, and if you plan on using the chainsaw in a cold environment.
Easy To See Fuel Level
The Husqvarna 450 series all have a visible fuel level, This allows you to easily see the amount in the tank without removing the cap. Husqvarna also made it so the oiling system and fuel system will deplete at the same time. This is a convenience feature that makes it easier when performing a refuel.
Air Injection Features
The Husqvarna 450, 450e, and 450 Rancher all have Husqvarna’s Air injection system. This feature helps keep operating temperatures lower, and keeps the engine cleaner. It works by a centrifugal pre-filter that is attached to the flywheel. The fast rotations suck clean air into the machine and forces larger debris particulate to the outside circumference of the flywheel.
That being said the speeds are not so great that the smaller or finer particulate is removed. Thus, Husqvarna still relies on a traditional air filter to keep the smaller bits out of the air intake. The short and sweet of this system is that you will have longer air filter life, meaning lower maintenance costs, reduction in fuel consumption and improved power output.
Husqvarna manufactures all their chainsaws with felling marks. These are lines on the outside body of the chainsaw, and are used for lining up the guide bar with the cut. The user lines up the felling marks with the mark of where they want the tree to fall, doing the upper or top cut first. If you use the felling marks accurately, it should work in good order.
Tool-Free Chain Tension Adjusting
When comparing the Husqvarna 450 vs the 450e (and 450 Rancher), there is one chief difference; the 450e has a tool-free chain tensioner. This makes adjusting chain tension simpler and more convenient. You can do it straightaway without needing tools. This is a useful feature, as you will most likely adjust and re-tension the chain more often. This will ensure a longer operation life for the guide bar and chain.
Anti-kickback Inertia Brake
Kickback occurs when the chain becomes pinched by the wood, or the tip of the chainsaw strikes an object. It’s the most common cause of chainsaw injury. In addition to the forward or top mounted chain brake handle, the inertia brake acts as another fail-safe to prevent injury. When a kickback occurs, the chainsaw automatically brakes the chain in mere milliseconds. A very nifty feature, even if you are an experienced chainsaw user.
Husqvarna 455 Rancher
Although the 450 series chainsaws are fantastic middle of the road saws, it’s worth mentioning the Husqvarna 455 Rancher. It has all of the same features of the 450 Rancher, but as the model number implies, its engine is 55cc (instead of 50cc). The engine revs the same to 9000 rpm, and feature the same 7-toothed spur sprockets. However, it delivers 3.49 horsepower and 3.4 NM of torque, in contrast to the 3.2 horsepower and 2.6 NM of torque that 450 Rancher has. That extra power allows the 455 Rancher to cut through an 18 inch log in under a minute. Not a bad feat.
The larger engine allows the 455 Rancher to power a longer guide bar and chain. It typically sells with an 18-inch guide bar. That being said, Husqvarna says that the saw can handle guide bars from 13 to 20 inches. The Rancher designation means it’s ready for the landowner, rancher or farmer. If you’re looking for a capable saw that’s more powerful than the 450 series, but not as big as the 460, this could be a solid purchase.
Husqvarna 460 Rancher
We thought we would include this Rancher model in this review. It’s still considered middle of the road in the Husqvarna lineup. The 460 Rancher has the same features of the smaller 450 Rancher. The rear handle is ergonomic and suitable for cutting more than one tree.
As the Husqvarna model names go, the engine is 60cc. The larger engine allows the 460 to drive longer guide bars and chains. It comes standard with a 24-inch guide bar. If you need the extra length for bucking, or heavier duty usage, the 460 Rancher could be what you need vs the 450 Rancher.
The main feature of the 460 Rancher is the variable oil pump. Not only does the system reduce oil consumption at low rpm and idle, it also has three settings that correspond with different oil levels. Typically, the longer the chain the more oil it requires. Husqvarna themselves recommend setting 1 for 15 inch bars, setting 2 for 16 to 18 inch bars and setting 3 for 20-24 inch guide bars. This is a handy feature if you are concerned about maintenance costs.
Guide Bar Sizes
The smallest bar you can use on the 460 Rancher is 15 inches. The biggest guide bar it can handle is the 24 inches. In contrast to the 450 Rancher which has a maximum guide bar length of 20 inches.
Side-Mounted Chain Tensioner
When comparing the 450 Rancher’s and 460 Rancher’s chain tensioner, the 450 Rancher has the tensioner screw next to the guide bar. The 460 Rancher has a side mounted chain tensioner. We feel the 460 Rancher’s tensioner is the safer and superior design.
The Husqvarna 460 Rancher uses the same X-TORQ engine technology. It’s 60.3cc and revs to 9000 rpm, delivering 3.62 horsepower, and 3.4 NM of torque. For comparison’s sake, the 450 Rancher output is 3.2 horsepower and 2.6 NM of torque. Both the 450 Rancher and the 460 Rancher use the same 7 toothed spur sprocket design.
Choke And Stop Control
Unlike the simpler automatic return stop switch of the 450 Rancher, the 460 Rancher uses the integrated choke/stop lever. This is similar to the 450 and 450e.
Interestingly enough, the 460 Rancher does not have the flip up fuel tank cap that the smaller 450 Rancher has. For whatever the reason, Husqvarna decided that the standard cap would do. It works and seals well, but we would have preferred the flip-up version.
In addition, the fuel level is not visible from the outside like the smaller 450 Rancher.
It was also interesting that the 460 Rancher cylinder cover was not snap lock. It has a more traditional screwed cylinder cover. We would have preferred a tool-less option instead.
Which Chainsaw Should You Choose?
All of Husqvarna’s chainsaws are a solid choice. They are great, all-around saws that are feature-rich and well-made. They’re all sold with appropriate sized bar lengths, and in the end, you will have a quality tool that will last.
If you can snag any of the 450 series at a good price, we recommend that you do. The 450’s offer good output power, and don’t go down the rabbit hole that bigger is better. They’re similar in what they can do.
Consider the Husqvarna 450e; the tool-free tensioning saves time and is easy to make use of on the go. It has the same attributes as the 450 Rancher, just without the ergonomic handle. If you are considering a 450 series chainsaw but are unsure which, the easy chain tensioner is a good reason to look at the 450e.
We recommend that you really size up what type of work you want to do with the chainsaw. If you have a large piece of land you need to clear or have the need to for bucking firewood, then we recommend the larger 460 Rancher.