A large and powerful gas powered chainsaw is a requirement for many home owners and professional arborists.
As you might know, Husqvarna is not only one of the most popular brands on the market, but also one of the most trusted. The company offers a number of models to suit multiple points of the market, and the Husqvarna 455 Rancher is one that slots nicely into the range, with its 20 inch guide bar and 55.5cc motor.
Let’s jump right in this Husqvarna 455 review and take a look and find out who this saw has been designed for, and whether it is a contender for your next purchase.
What Is This Chainsaw Good For?
Marketed as a landowner saw, this is what should be considered on the higher end of the ‘homeowner’ scale.
It can be used for domestic clearing, wood cutting, and tree pruning or removal, and it could also be used on larger agricultural properties for similar purposes.
There’s nothing about the saw that suggests it could not be used in a professional capacity, aside from the fact that it might be too small for some commercial grade arborist or sawyer work.
How Frequently Can It Be Used?
A saw of this quality and in this price range should be expected to run any time that it needs to, and that is true for the Husqvarna 455 Rancher.
It could go all day, providing there is fuel mix and lubricant available. 6 – 8 operating hours is a good point of reference, and would be far in excess of what most landowners would require.
The quality of maintenance performed on the saw, as well as the skill of the operator, will both impact the frequency of use, especially considering that poorly maintained parts or cutting technique could hinder workflow.
On the whole, if you decide to purchase this saw, expect it to run when you need it to, provided you follow all manufacturer guidelines.
Is It Easy To Carry Around?
A larger guide bar can reduce portability, as can the overall weight of this product.
Without the bar and chain blade, this saw weighs in at 12.8 lb. When fully assembled and fueled, it can exceed 20 lb.
This could make it less portable for some operators, and in your own circumstances it will depend on the weight that you’re comfortable with. If you’re using this around the home, then the weight isn’t going to be a major problem, but if you are navigating large patches of land by foot, then the weight would likely become noticeable.
One of the reasons that this saw weighs more is because of its size, and because it has been designed for extreme durability, which means that many users will be able to forgive the extra weight.
Does It Need Any External Power Source?
The saw requires no external power source, thanks to the gas powered design.
Gas power is more desirable for mid and heavy duty outside work, and this particular saw can offer up plenty of performance, thanks to a 55.5cc motor that can produce up to 3.5 horsepower.
How Well Can It Perform And What Is Its Cutting Speed?
Cutting speed is not going to be an issue with this saw, providing that the material is matched to the 20 inch bar guide size.
The Husqvarna 455 Rancher will be able to make light work of hard wood, smaller trees, tree limbs, multiple cords of firewood, ‘green’ wood, and even large trees that have been downed by storms.
Maximum speed is 9000 RPM, and there is 3.2 Nm of torque available to get through the hardest timber. For every conceivable chainsaw job on a large or rural property, this saw will offer performance that exceeds expectations.
Here’s a video where you can enjoy this powerful tool in action!
Is It Easy To Handle?
Handling is helped by the ergonomic handles that provide confidence while operating the saw.
Vibrations are muted thanks to the handle design, which makes this an overall comfortable saw to operate, even if some of the feedback is reduced.
One problem that new owners might have, is the weight of the saw.
If you haven’t used a large gas powered saw before, then this could provide a challenge at first, and you would be advised to seek advice from a professional or have an experienced friend supervise and assist while you are becoming comfortable with the size and weight.
Husqvarna 455 Rancher Guide Bar Length
The guide bar length is 20 inches, which means you will be able to easily cut through logs that are up to twice this length in diameter.
For most uses you won’t have trouble with the length, but it is important to note that it is not possible to use a longer guide bar on this model.
Husqvarna only certifies this up to 20 inches, and it can also facilitate shorter blades for a minimum of 13 inches.
How Safe Is It To Use?
Safety features on modern chain saws are mostly consistent across different models and brands, and the Husqvarna 455 Rancher includes all of the standards that you would expect.
In addition to the operating handle and shielded hand guard, there’s also an inertia brake that will stop the chain when violent kickback is detected.
It is important to follow all operational guidelines included in the user manual, and you will also need to use appropriate footwear and clothing, safety classes or a full visor, as well as hearing protection; considering that this produces up to 104 dB at the operator’s ear.
Any gas powered chain saw requires more maintenance than cordless electric saws, so this is something that you will need to take into consideration when purchasing this model.
You will need to use a blended fuel mix that includes oil, and you will also need to ensure that blade oil is topped up (in operation, the bar is self-lubricated).
The spark plug will require replacing when worn out, as will your chains after extended use.
Due to this being gas powered, air filter replacements will be necessary, however, replacements should be less frequent when compared to comparable saws, thanks to a centrifugal cooling design that helps to expel most of the dust and debris from the saw.
How Easy Is the Husqvarna 455 To Use?
With the right maintenance, a high quality fuel, and experience, the saw will often start on the first pull, and will continue running through cutting and idling on long jobs.
The balance of the saw is good, even with the long 20 inch bar, and the controls are all easily accessible.
The vibration damping system also increases ease of use, as does the engine design, which reduces the chance of flooding and stalling.
While there would be a learning curve for new owners, a complete review of the instruction manual will mean that this chain saw is no harder to use than any other top tier homeowner chain saw.
General Construction Quality
The general assembly and fitting of the saw is of a high standard, and you’re not likely to be disappointed when handling this saw for the first time.
Unlike some saws that use a mixture of components from third parties, Husqvarna designs their saws in-house, which means that they have complete oversight of the components that are used, as well as the manufacture and assembly of those components.
Everything from the starter pull, to the balancing and weight, will remind you that you are dealing with a quality tool. Construction quality has also been mentioned positively in the majority of user reviews.
What Accessories Is It Shipped With?
This saw doesn’t come with accessories, which may be disappointing for some, considering the price of the saw.
Even some more affordable saws will come with carrying cases and bags, so it is unfortunate to see that Husqvarna doesn’t do the same for the 455 Rancher, considering its high price range.
We’ve recommended some top accessories in a following section, which will help you to get the most out of this saw.
How Good Is The Documentation?
Documentation is detailed and covers everything that you would need to know about setting up, operating, and maintaining this chain saw.
The user documentation is exceptionally good with Husqvarna products, as has been noted in our previous Husqvarna 440 Review.
Useful Tips To Note
It is essential to consult the documentation before using this or any other chain saw. Many of the problems that new users experience, are due to not adhering to operating procedures, or failing to maintain a chain saw to manufacturer recommendations.
If this will be your first gas powered chain saw, it is important to respect the size, weight, and power of the Husqvarna 455 Rancher. It is advisable to seek advice or training from an experienced professional before using this around your home or property.
If you feel that the 455 is beyond your needs and possibly outside of your price range, then you can look at some of the smaller and more affordable cordless electric saws. Although they are not as capable when it comes to cutting power or speed, they are suitable for lightweight wood cutting and home clearing or tree pruning tasks. The GreenWorks 20312 Chainsaw is one potential option that features a 16 inch bar.
Consumer Ratings & Reviews
This model currently has an overwhelmingly positive rating on the largest consumer review / ecommerce website.
Reviewers have been quick to point out that the construction quality is of a high standard, and that this saw is an excellent performer for emergency pruning, tree felling, or clearing.
Some of the standout features for reviews include the easy starts, even when cold starting, a sensitive chain brake (improves safety), and the excellent available power. Negative points from consumer reviews include the relatively loud operating noise, and the weight of the saw when fully fueled.
How Much Does It Cost?
The Price of the Husqvarna 455 Rancher is in the $400 – $500 price range, with fluctuations possible during sales or other promotions.
Recommended Extra Husqvarna 455 Rancher Parts
Stocking up on an extra chain is not a bad idea, particularly if you’re going to be using this chainsaw for extensive clearing or firewood cutting throughout any given year.
This is a great option.
When you do need Husqvarna 455 Rancher parts or accessories, it is usually best to go for items made by the manufacturer.
This ensures quality as well as compatibility. If you need a box for storage at home or on your truck, then the is highly recommended.
Shipping & Packing
Husqvarna products come in high quality cardboard and foam packaging.
It is extremely rare to come across cases where brand new units are damaged upon opening, and this is even taking into account the feedback that comes from international purchases.
You should have no issues when purchasing online, making this the most convenient way to get your hands on one of these chain saws.
Manufacturer Support & Warranty
As one of the largest international power tool manufacturers, you will be able to find service centers throughout the United States and around the world. There’s a standard two year warranty included on the saw, but this can be extended with some retailers, with the option becoming available at checkout when purchasing online.
Official manufacturer specifications:
Cylinder displacement 55.5 cm³
Power output 3.49 hp
Maximum power speed 9000 rpm
Fuel tank volume 0.93 US pint
Idling speed 2700 rpm
Spark plug Champion RCJ7Y, NGK BPMR7A
Electrode gap 0.02 in
Torque, max. 3.2 Nm
Fuel consumption 470 g/kWh
Recommended bar length, max 20 in
Recommended bar length, min 13 in
Chain pitch 3/8″
Chain gauge 0.058 in
Chain speed at max power 65.6 fts
Weight (excl. cutting equipment) 12.8 lbs
Oil tank volume 0.68 US pint
Oil pump type Automatic
Sound power level, measured 112 dB(A)
The Husqvarna 455 Rancher is designed and manufactured in Sweden, but may include some internationally sourced components.
Shipping dimensions are 41 x 9.5 x 20 inches.
Our Husqvarna 455 Rancher Chain Saw Review Final Thoughts
This is a saw that has been designed for highly demanding users who have mid to heavy duty workloads, and who need a reliable saw with excellent construction and performance.
While it’s not the quietest saw, the most affordable, or even the lightest, these points don’t detract from performance or quality. If you’re comfortable with the weight, maintenance, and skill required to operate a chainsaw of this size, then you can have confidence knowing that this is one of the best options at this performance/price point.
Husqvarna 455 Rancher Chainsaw Summary Review
|PROS & CONS
|-Gas Powered Saw with 55.5cc Motor
-Centrifugal cleaning system which reduces dust buildup and decreases frequency of filter swaps
-Easy to access chain tensioner is on the side of the unit
-Low vibration handle design
-Reduced fuel consumption and lowered emissions to meet environmental regulations, including California specific CARB requirements
-Excellent power delivery and high RPM from the 55.5cc motor
-Great construction quality
-Easy to access controls and reduced maintenance requirements (compared to some competing gas powered saws)
-Large blade size can help with larger jobs
-Will continue to work hard in almost any usage scenario
-Good performance comes with a hefty weight and large guide bar that could be unwieldy for some operators
-Relatively loud, with 104 dB rating at the operator’s ear
-No included accessories, despite a high price point