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If you’re looking for a quality pro-like chainsaw from a manufacturer you can trust, Husqvarna is a natural choice. They’ve been in the business for a long time. They have origins from the industrial revolution in Sweden. They’re headquartered in Stockholm, and have factories all over the globe. They manage their North American market from their Charlotte, North Carolina office.
Husqvarna is a reputable brand in the chainsaw market, and have many repeat customers. They got into the chainsaw business in 1959, using their experience with small engine manufacturing. They’ve been building innovative and reliable chainsaws since, and their popularity and success shows it.
Husqvarna markets the 455 Rancher and 460 as all-round middle of the road farm ready saws. They’re not small or large, commercial grade chainsaws. They’re marketed somewhere in the middle as a medium-heavy duty work chainsaw. The Rancher lineup is intended for land owners, farm owners, ranchers, land clearers etc. The 455 Rancher says ‘farm tough’ on the guide bar, and the chainsaws are intended for rugged use. Here, we’ll talk about the features and specifications of each chainsaw, as well as what’s similar and what’s different. By the end, you should be able to make a confident purchasing decision.
Both the Husqvarna 455 Rancher and 460 use the same proprietary engine technology called ‘X-Torq’. These powerheads in the chainsaw have low emissions, low noise, and low vibrations, while still offering strong torque over a wide rpm range. The X-Torq engine core is a three-piece crankshaft. The strong and lightweight design spins easily. This works well with the Smart Start starter and pull cord. Husqvarna have reduced resistance effort by up to 40%. The risk of engine flooding is reduced with the fuel pump and combined start/stop control make both these chainsaws easy to start. Husqvarna has air injection technology that uses the centrifugal force of the engine to separate large particles from the air intake charge. This prolongs engine life by reducing engine wear, while extending air filter life and time between cleanings. It also gives the operator more power over longer work sessions by keep the charge clean. When it comes time to change the air filter, it’s very easy. The quick-release design is simple and fast. You can easily clean the filter and continue working.
Operator fatigue is reduced with LowVib, Husqvarna’s anti-vibration technology. Dampers separate the engine from the chassis. This minimize fatigue and stress on the arms of the user. This is an important and safety-minded feature. It’s worth mentioning that both these chainsaws are fairly light for their size. Even with fuel and oil, these chainsaws are maneuverable and designed for long work sessions. Both the Husqvarna 455 Rancher and 460 have an ergonomic rear handle that allows for sturdy and precise control. The time spent on research and ergonomic design really shows. These Husqvarna Rancher chainsaws are able to be moved and angled easily. They feel like a natural extension of yourself.
On the front of the chainsaw is a broad and effective inertia chain-brake. Chainsaws are one of the most dangerous tools you can own, and kickback injures people every year. We like this safety feature and know it’s design will protect the operator. It’s worth mentioning that Husqvarna also sells protective chaps, gloves, and face gear. Accidents can happen and we recommend considering purchasing safety gear if you are a first time chainsaw buyer, or even if you are experienced.
Chain oil management is done by the adjustable oil pump. It’s a simple and straight forward design that allows the user to adjust chain guide bar lubrication to their needs. Chain guide bar tension can be adjusted by the side-mounted chains tensioner. It’s a simple and accessible design. Chain tension can be adjusted with tools while working. Also near the front of the chainsaw are felling marks. Felling marks, when used correctly, aid in the precision of felling trees. Near the base of the chain guide bar are bucking teeth. As mentioned, these chainsaws are intended for land owners, farmers etc. The bucking teeth allow for a secure cut when processing wood into lumber.
Both the Husqvarna 455 Rancher and 460 share many similar features, where they differ is in powerhead output and maximum guide bar length. Husqvarna uses a naming convention in their model numbers. The 455 Rancher is a 55.5cc (3.4 cu.inch) engine. The 460 is naturally of course a 60.3cc (3.68 cu.inch) engine. Both engines rev to a maximum rpm of 9000 and idle when not in use at 2700 rpm. The larger 460 uses more fuel of course, and produces a peak of 3.62 horsepower, to the 455 Rancher’s 3.5 horsepower. The 460 also has more torque, 2.5 ft lbs (3.4 Nm) in comparison to the 455 ranchers 2.36 ft lbs. Both these chainsaws have strong usable torque over a wide rpm range, and the same maximum chain speed of 65.62 feet per second.
The extra power of the 460 Rancher is the main factor to consider when comparing to the 455. Both chainsaws are powerful and farm-ready. However the large 60cc engine allows the 460 Rancher to power a maximum chain guide bar length of 24 inches. While the maximum size of the 455 is 20-inch. If you are unsure on your needs, get a tape measure and head outside. It’s easy and fast to do. The general rule of thumb is that you need a guide bar length that is 2-inches longer than the diameter you are cutting. Longer chain guide bars have an increased risk of hitting the ground, but generally can do more work. Choose a length suitable for your needs, and not just the longest guide bar.
In the end that’s what largely separates these two chainsaws apart. They share the same core technologies and features. One is just the larger variant. The 460 is more expensive and is close to the capabilities of the 455 Rancher. Both saws are very popular and hot-selling. Operators and owners are satisfied with the purchase years down the road. Husqvarna has dealerships across North America, so parts and customer service are available. Check where the closest is to you. It’s a consideration to make, and a factor when considering long term costs.
Our pick of these two superb chainsaws is the 455 Rancher. Its power, lower price, and 20-inch guide bar is suitable for the majority of work.