If you are in the market for a quality homeowner chainsaw, but have a little more to spend than what the cordless electric saws are being offered at, then you might be interested in a gas powered saw.
Despite needing some extra maintenance and regular refueling, a gas powered saw will provide more cutting power and longer continuous use times when compared to an electric saw.
This Husqvarna 440E 16 inch chainsaw review will introduce you to the top of the range in the Husqvarna ‘homeowner’ series, although you will find that the performance is closer to a professional saw than what most would expect.
Designed for domestic use, this chainsaw is for cutting small to mid-sized trees, clearing underbrush, cutting logs, and preparing firewood.
If you have basic domestic or rural tasks that are light or medium duty, then this chainsaw is aimed directly at you.
It would also be an ideal small saw for arborists, and being gas powered it can be easily maintained and spare parts are readily available.
Frequency of Use
A gas powered chain saw will be able to run near continuously, provided that you have enough fuel and the bar is lubricated.
Most operators won’t be running continuously, but will have bursts of activity with breaks in between, and you will find the frequency of use to be more than acceptable.
A full tank of fuel will provide up to two hours of medium duty (non-continuous) work, which is much more than the closest portable electric (battery powered) equivalent.
Gas powered saws are inherently portable, but it is the weight that will determine just how easily portable they are.
In the case of the Husqvarna 440E, weight is just 9.74 lb. without a bar and chain, and will be around 13.2 lb. when fully assembled.
This is an easily manageable weight, and the smaller 16” blade makes it easy to transport in heavily forested locations or areas that are covered with brush.
This saw compares well to other smaller chainsaws, both gas powered and battery powered, and will be no problem around a home exterior or larger rural property.
The gas powered motor is two stroke and runs on a fuel/lubricant mix.
The crankshaft is forged which means it has been designed for long lifetime while providing plenty of power. Total power output is 2.4 HP, achieved from a 40.9cc engine.
Performance & Cutting Speed
You know what this tool has to offer in terms of portability and power, so the next important factor will be the performance and cutting speed.
Being gas powered, this chainsaw will make light work of both soft and hard woods, and can even be used to cut trees with a high moisture content.
The blade size is not limiting if you have prior experience, and some users have reported having no trouble cutting trees of up to 23 inches in diameter when carefully cutting from both sides.
Cutting speed will vary depending on the type of wood that is being cut, but you can take confidence knowing that this can cut at speeds of up to 9000 RPM, and there’s 2.16NM of torque available.
As you can see at this stage, although this is marketed as a homeowner device, it can easily fit right into the prosumer or semi-professional category.
Note that the blade will bog down if you try to go all-in on a large log (up to 14”). Slow and steady is the method for larger logs, and anything that bogs should be approached with two cuts, rather than one.
Watch the Husqvarna 440E in action below!
The bar on this tool is smaller than the maximum recommended size of 18 inches, which means that it’s easy to maneuver and transport.
Even with a smaller blade, the saw won’t feel unbalanced, and experienced operators will have no trouble performing routine cutting tasks.
Although it lacks the vibration dampening system that is featured on some more expensive Husqvarna models, there’s still an element of vibration reduction in the handle design.
If you’re a seasoned operator that is used to feeling the full tactile feedback of a chainsaw, then the lack of a full vibration damping system on this model may be preferable.
Guide Bar Length
The guide bar included is 16 inches, which is two inches shorter than the maximum recommended bar for the 440E series.
The bar length will be sufficient for mid-sized trees, breaking up fallen trees, and cutting cords of firewood. Even with the limited blade size, felling of larger trees is still possible for skilled operators.
Besides the blade safety handle and hand protector, this chainsaw also incorporates the Husqvarna chain break that is inertia activated.
This can greatly reduce the risk of injury when kickback occurs.
If you’re looking for a maintenance free tool, then you will be more interested in a battery powered electric chainsaw.
However, if you want the extra power and durability that a gas powered saw can provide, then you’ll need to be able to perform a few simple maintenance tasks.
Besides chain tensioning, you will need to ensure that air and fuel filters are kept clean and replace them when necessary, and you may also need to replace the spark plug when the unit becomes harder to start. All maintenance instructions are clearly outlined in the provided user manual.
Ease of use
Ease of use depends a lot on how experienced you are with a chainsaw. Considering that the handling of this saw is well balanced, the ease of use can also be considered as high. You do need to be aware that this tool has a pull start motor, which will require some strength to activate.
The maintenance requirements can also factor into ease of use, as this is not simply a ‘pick up and go’ type of power tool. If you’re ready for maintenance and a little bit of extra work to get started, then none of this will be a problem.
If you’re upgrading from a mains powered or battery powered electric chainsaw, then the Husqvarna 440E will initially come with a slight learning curve.
You’ll need to adjust to the different weight balancing of having an internal combustion engine, and you’ll also need to adjust to the extra power that a gas powered chainsaw provides.
General Construction Quality
General construction quality is high, as you might expect from a Husqvarna tool.
Quality of construction is felt in many areas, such as the handle, and even in how the tension feels solid when using the starter pull chord.
Although not every unit is impacted, some owners have had problems with the tool feeling underpowered, being difficult to start, or simply not starting at all.
Keep in mind that this feedback is the minority and was not evident on the review unit. However, this could represent a lack of quality checking before the tool leaves the factory, or may simply be user error on account of not consulting the manual and following all operating instructions.
For difficult starts, we’ve included some handy tips further into the review.
There are no accessories included with the saw, aside from the unit, core accessories (filters, spark plug, etc.), and the bar and blade with plastic cover.
You will need to purchase fuel and a good lubricant in addition to this device, and recommendations will be provided towards the end of this review.
A comprehensive user manual provides all essential safety information, operating information, and maintenance information. Regardless of whether you are an experienced operator or not, it is essential that you read all of the information in the manual, before using the saw.
Every chainsaw is unique in some areas, and consulting the manual first could help you to avoid disappointment from poor performance due to not operating the tool correctly.
The user manual provides plenty of illustrations to indicate usage scenarios, and there is also a full parts breakdown.
As mentioned, always consult the user manual before operating this saw. It is also stressed that you should always keep a new saw well maintained, and check all filters, fuel, and the spark plug if performance has degraded.
For first time users, the most helpful tip will be around starting the saw. The process is as follows,
- Set the choke lever to the on position.
- Press the priming pump 6 – 8 times to accumulate enough fuel.
- Pull the chord lightly until you feel the bite of resistance before giving it a full yank. You may need to repeat this quickly until the engine coughs.
- You can now change the choke to the running position and yank the pull chord again, and the saw should start within three attempts.
This process can take some getting used to, but once you have the hang of it you will be able to start your Husqvarna chainsaw reliably and with ease. Starts in colder climates may require more pulls.
Consumer Ratings & Reviews
This saw enjoys mostly positive reviews on large big box distributor websites, as well as on the largest ecommerce website.
Most negative reviews relate to starting problems, which again, may be down to operator error.
The overwhelming majority of positive reviews have some good things to say about this saw, with one customer being particularly positive at how well the saw had performed after using it to replace an older Sears Craftsman unit.
Just as some customers have had difficulty starting the saw, there are others that have reviewed the saw as being easy to start and smooth running.
One particular review had praise for the saw performing well in 110 degree Texas heat, while clearing the fence lines on a 13-acre property, and cutting through everything from limbs, brush, and grown mesquite trees.
User reviews have also been positive regarding fuel efficiency, which will please anyone who intends to use this saw for long jobs.
Recommended extra accessories (from Amazon reviewers)
Some good accessories will be required to get the best from this saw, and to be able to use it safely.
A Hard Hat Forestry Safety Helmet & Ear Muffs is good if you’re going to be cutting standing trees or large logs.
You will also need some Oregon Chainsaw Gloves.
If a full helmet is excessive for your needs, ensure that you use goggles and adequate air muffs or discrete ear plugs.
When it comes to fuel, it’s important that you use a mixed product, such as this Husqvarna Pre-Mixed Fuel and Engine Oil Quart , and you’ll also need quality bar oil to keep things lubricated.
Shipping & Packing
Shipping from online retailers is safe, and you will receive your unit packaged securely.
Owners as far away as Australia have ordered these from North American distributors, and have had no trouble with the integrity of the product upon receipt.
Manufacturer Support & Warranty
Husqvarna has an authorized service network throughout North America (and most of the world), and includes a two-year warranty on this product. They are a well-known brand that can be trusted to honor their warranty obligations.
Extended protection is available from select retailers, and can be added at checkout if you purchase this unit online.
Supplied by Husqvarna.
Cylinder displacement 40.9 cm³
Cylinder displacement 2.5 cu.inch
Power output 2.4 hp
Maximum power speed 9000 rpm
Fuel tank volume 0.78 US pint
Idling speed 2900 rpm
Spark plug NGK BPMR7A, Champion RCJ7Y
Electrode gap 0.02 in
Torque, max. 2.16 Nm
Fuel consumption 513 g/kWh
Recommended bar length, max 18 in
Recommended bar length, min 13 in
Chain pitch .325″
Chain gauge 0.05 in
Chain speed at max power 56.76 fts
Sound power level, measured 112 dB(A)
Units originate from Sweden.
Shipping dimensions total 37.5 x 11.5 x 10 inches
Our Husqvarna 440E Chainsaw Review: Final Thoughts
This Husqvarna 440E saw is capable, powerful, and features a shorter blade that can be more suitable for homeowners.
If you’re not interested in a battery powered saw and you want an affordable gas saw, then you will definitely be impressed by the capabilities of this model.
If you need the absolute lowest price for a saw around the $300 mark, then this is one of the better options, and will provide long lifetime with careful use and maintenance.
This tool is easy to recommend on its own, but it’s also worth considering that a Husqvarna 450 model is just a slight jump up in price.
Husqvarna 440E Chainsaw Summary Review
|IMPORTANT FEATURES||PROS & CONS
|-9 CC gas powered engine|
-4 HP with 2.16Nm of torque
-High speed operation, up to 9000 RPM
-Inertia activated chain brake
-Continuous bar lubrication system
-Supports an upgraded bar of 18 inches
-Comprehensive user manual provides plenty of information for both seasoned operators and first time gas chainsaw users
-Overall good construction quality
-Great performance while still remaining within a household friendly price point
-Maintenance is minimal with easily accessible and replaceable parts
-The smaller blade size will be appreciated by owners who haven’t handled a larger saw
-Good cutting power, torque, and blade speed
-Saw should have included a carry bag, considering it is aimed at homeowners who may be first time users
-Unit can leak bar oil when stored, so needs to be placed on an absorbent surface/rag/towel etc
-Higher learning curve when compared to a battery powered model
-Starting can be difficult before the unit is broken in
-Vibrations are minimized, but not as much as some more expensive Husqvarna saws