Husqvarna 455 Rancher Chainsaw Review: Smooth, Powerful and Well Made

Husqvarna-Rancher-455
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Review At A Glance

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Want something that is a step above your average homeowner chainsaw? The Husqvarna 455 Rancher is perfect for regular medium to heavy duty usage.

MY RATING: 94%

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Specifications


  • Power Type – Gas
  • Model – 455 Rancher
  • Power Output – 3.49 hp
  • Cylinder Displacement – 55.5 cm³
  • Maximum Power Speed – 9000 rpm
  • Weight (excl. cutting equipment) – 13.2 lbs
  • Recommended Bar Length – Max 20 in
  • Recommended Bar Length – Min 13 in
  • Chain Pitch – 3/8″
  • Chain Gauge – 0.058 in
  • Fuel Tank Volume – 14.9 fl. oz
  • Two Year Warranty

PRICE: $$$


About The Husqvarna 455 Rancher Chainsaw


Husqvarna have a long established reputation as one of the most trusted manufacturers of power tools.

The company dates way back to 1689 when a rifle factory was established in Husqvarna – a small city in southern Sweden. Over the proceeding 330 years the company has grown and grown and produced their first chainsaw in 1959.

So let’s get down to business…

The Husqvarna 455 is one of the most popular gas chainsaws on the market. It comes with a bar, chain, 2.6 oz bottle of oil and a plastic slide on bar cover. It is capable of running a 0.50” and a .058 chain – although you will need to make sure the bar compensates for it.

Husqvarna 455 Rancher chain tensioner
Husqvarna 455 Rancher oil pump

Above: The Husqvarna 455 Rancher has a side mounted chain tensioner (above left) and an adjustable oil pump (above right).

It has a side mounted chain tensioner and a side load gas reservoir and bar and chain reservoir.

It utilises Husqvarna’s LowVib system, which is designed to reduce the levels of vibration with anti-vibration dampeners and it has the X-Torq engine technology which aims to increase torque over a wider rpm range.

Plus…

Other features include an adjustable oil pump, a combined choke and stop control, a snap on/off air filter and a purge primer.

All you will need to do is put fuel and bar oil in it and you are good to go. Remember to avoid fuel containing ethanol – use premium fuel as it helps the carburettor stay clean.


The Good


Man alive this is one powerful chainsaw! 30 to 50 inch oaks? Done. 40 inch cedars? No problem. Thick, heavy dead wood? The 455 Rancher does it and then comes back for more.

It goes and goes and goes, no spitting or wavering – this can deal with anything a homeowner will throw at it.

You want to know the secret?

Husqvarna’s patented X-Torq system can take a lot of the credit. This is their latest technology for two-stroke engines. As mentioned above it increase torque over a wider rpm range. What that basically means for you as a user is you get an insane amount of cutting power!

Not only that it reduces fuel consumption and emissions significantly too.

But I know what you are thinking.

If this is so powerful you are bound to get jolts and shudders and vibration whilst you are using it right?

Wrong!

This utilises another Husky system – LowVib. Vibration dampening runs all the way through this chainsaw – with oscillating springs at multiple points. These springs help absorb vibration meaning you don’t feel it in your arms and hands.

They work!

Husqvarna 455 Rancher X-Torq
Husqvarna 455 Rancher felling marks

Above: The X-Torq Engine (above left) and air cleaning system (above right) contribute to the power of this Husky.

You can do some serious work with this over a prolonged period of time and not come away feeling like your hands are going to drop off. It is very impressive.

The test of a good chainsaw is how easily it starts and this definitely passes that test with flying colors. It is one of the easiest starting two-stroke engines you will find.

Why is this?

It has a purge primer to push air bubbles out of the fuel hose – simply pump it until you can see gas in it.

There is a decompression release button on the side. This makes it much easier to pull the rope and start it hot or cold.

All in all this is a really well made chainsaw – pretty much quality from head to toe. With lots of nice features and attention to detail.

Like what I hear you ask?

It has combined choke and stop control. So if you have the stop switch in kill position when you pull the choke out it automatically kicks the saw back up to the run.

To kill it simply press and hold the switch and it will shut if off for you. Then return the switch to the run position so when you start it you are ready to go.

All in all it makes it easier to start and less likely you will flood the engine

This is a godsend.

The fuel cap and oil caps are tethered on, so when you unscrew them they are still held to the chainsaw. You can’t accidentally drop them on the floor and have them roll off somewhere. If you do need to take them out completely to drain the tank etc, this can be easily done too.

It is a simple touch but one I wish more manufacturers would use.

Husqvarna 455 Rancher air purge
Husqvarna 455 Rancher front handle

Above: The Rancher 455 has an air purge button (above left) and a comfortable front handle (above right).

Check this out.

It has a side mounted chain tensioner, which is really nice and means you aren’t trying to play around with the chain out at the front of the saw.

The air filters have a quick snap release fitting so they easily come off. They are two piece filters that are easy to open and clean as well.

It has a nice hand protector, which also works as a footpad if you want to put it on the floor to start it – you can put your foot on it and grip the handle bar making it much easier to start.

And guess what?

This has some very nice, and large, double falling spikes, that help keep the saw in place when you are bucking or falling.

These alone would probably cost you $50!

Still not convinced?

The chain brake works exquisitely, it can either lock via the handle or via inertia, but even the most imperceptible of kicks can lock the chain – when working with power full chainsaws, it is always better to err on the side of caution.

And Husqvarna are a great brand to buy. My friend who works in the industry says he rarely has Husqvarna saws come in that need repairing and that Husqvarna are very good at honoring warranties.

Not only that it is very easy to get parts for Husqvarna products – more so than any other brand.

Take A Closer Look button

The Not So Good


Of course no chainsaw is perfect and this Husky does have its fault.

At around 17 lbs ready to go it is fairly heavy. And whilst the anti-vibration system reduces fatigue in your hands and arms, you might feel your shoulders aching after using this for a while.

One thing surprised me:

For a chainsaw so well designed I can’t work out why the bottom of the saw is slightly rounded. It makes the saw unsteady if you are working on or servicing the chain as it rocks from side to side. I can see that becoming very annoying!

And another thing…

The brake system works, but it is incredibly finickity and complicated if you ever have to take it apart for any reason and then put it back together.

The fact the instructions that come with this are so poor doesn’t help much either. Fortunately you shouldn’t need to refer to them on many occasions but Husqvarna definitely need to make them clearer, easier to read and more comprehensive – there is no real troubleshooting section which is another annoyance.

Husqvarna 455 Rancher inertia brake
Husqvarna 455 Rancher crankshaft

Above: The brake system works, but is a pain if you ever need to take it apart.


At A Glance


✔ Pros

  • Lots of power
  • Minimal vibration so less user fatigue
  • Starts very easily
  • Very well made
  • Nice choke and stop control
  • Tethered oil and fuel caps
  • Nice side mounted chain tensioner
  • Quick release air filter
  • Hand protector/footpad
  • Large double falling spikes
  • Chain brake works
  • Easy to get spare parts
  • Quiet

✘ Cons

  • Quite heavy
  • Curved base is annoying
  • Brake system finickity if you need to take it apart
  • Poor instructions

Conclusion


My Verdict

Design - 96%
Performance - 96%
Price - 90%

94%

Great for big trees!

This is not a professional style chainsaw, but not your average homeowner style chainsaw - it falls somewhere between the two - more of an advanced chainsaw.

It is more than sufficient for cutting big trees and well worth the money for anyone who wants to have a good saw available to them at any time.

It would be perfect someone who will use it a couple of times a week on the farm or the ranch or for chopping of firewood.

It starts with minimal effort, runs smoothly, cuts through wood like a hot knife going through butter and has an abundance of power.

Want it for storm work? It’ll do a good job. Yard cleanup? Yes sit. Felling? No problem at all.

At around half the price of some comparable Stihl chainsaws there really is no reason not to get this if you are looking for a heavy duty, top line gas chainsaw.

I love the Husqvarna Rancher 455!

User Rating: 4.6 ( 1 votes)

FAQs


What does this come with?
It comes with the chainsaw (obviously!), bar, chain, manual, a 2.6oz bottle of oil and all the relevant warranty forms to complete.

What is the large size bar I could use on this?
It is best with a 20 inch bar and probably the maximum you can get away with would be 24 inch, but I wouldn’t recommend it.

How much oil do I need to use?
This uses a 50:1 ratio. You should use 2 and a half ounces of oil per gallon of gas.

Can I manually adjust the carb?
Yes – but you really need to know what you are doing. I would recommend you get an authorized dealer to make any adjustments.

Does this come assembled?
Yes it does.

What is the difference between this and the Rancher 460?Not too much – the 460 has a bit more power at 60cc compared to 55cc for this model.

Does this come with a case?
No it just comes with a plastic slide-on bar cover.

What is proper replacement chain for this?
Your best bet is to get the Husqvarna 531300441 20 inch, H80-72, 3/8 in by .050


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There are a whole host of top notch gas chainsaws on the market and this really is one of the very best. If you decide you want to explore battery or electric options there are also some fantastic options. For lighter duty jobs, if you want to stick with a gas chainsaw you might want to have a read of my roundup of the best 40 CC chainsaws around.

Of course it is important before you even think about buying a chainsaw that you know how to use these powerful tools and how to keep the blades sharp. 

If you want to see a summary of what is on my site all on one page just jump over to my Site Index

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