Husqvarna 455 Rancher Review: Heavy-Duty Professional-Grade Chainsaw
What We Like
What We Don’t Like
Powered by an efficient 55.5cc low-vibration engine, the Husqvarna 455 Rancher is the ultimate landowner woodcutting tool for all-round cutting.
Hailed as the gold standard in heavy-duty, high-performance chainsaws, the Husqvarna 455 lives up to its reputation, and is a favorite for established landowners who demand work tools capable of thriving in all working conditions.
From its 55.5cc engine to its heavy-duty 20-inch bar and low-vibration operations, the 455 Rancher covers all bases when it comes to offering a landowner’s the ultimate chainsaw performance.
Husqvarna 455 Rancher Review
Performance & Handling: Powerful and Versatile Low-Consumption Engine
Your 455 Rancher is powered by a high-performance 55.5cc gas engine, which produces 3.5 horsepower and 3.2 Nm of torque. In terms of engine power, the capacity of this one is certainly professional-grade, and while there are several models out there that are true professional chainsaws with power, very few home consumer chainsaws rival the 455 rancher’s performance.
This engine is built on Husqvarna’s X-Torq® system, which is designed to enhance efficiency while lowering fuel consumption. Also, the system is mindful of environmental regulations and seeks to minimize carbon emissions by reducing exhaust gases produced by the chainsaw.
Not only will this tool adhere to state emissions regulations, but it also makes a decent attempt at reducing the carbon footprint. The combined choke/stop control is not only efficient but great for beginners because they won’t have to figure out what many controls do.
If you’re concerned about all the challenges often associated with pull-start mechanism especially on a gas-powered tool, the 455 Rancher has not only simplified this process but also mitigated these issues with its Smart Start® feature and auto-return stopping to make tool starting a lot easier. The stop switch returns to its default start position when you turn the saw off.
A disappointment that is shared across the 455 Rancher community of users is the chainsaw’s low-capacity fuel tank, which has a volume of only 0.11 gallons (0.43 liters). A full tank may last you just about 30 minutes of sustained cutting before needing a refill, based on real-world performance.
If you want to embark on an entire day of outdoor extensive cutting, you may need to carry some gasoline in a separate can to refill your chainsaw as much as is necessary. Although to be fair to Husqvarna, a larger-capacity gas tank may have added to the tool’s weight especially when full.
Design & Construction: Rugged Build with an Ergonomic Touch
Glancing at the 455 Rancher and then proceeding to hold it in the hand confirms the tool’s rugged and solid build, and rightfully so because it is specifically designed to execute diverse cutting applications and in varying operating conditions, even harsh outdoor ones.
The tool weighs 13.2 pounds, and this weight is actually decent considering the presence of an engine encased in a rugged housing. It’s worth noting, however, that this weight excludes the saw’s cutting equipment, which makes it heavier when included. That said, you’re unlikely to use this saw for extended periods at a time because natural breaks are expected especially when cutting logs. So, when the bulk kicks in, you can always take a break and rest.
On the tool’s exterior, the handle designs seek to enhance ergonomics, which complement the power and size of the chainsaw. The front handle is especially user-friendly with its full-wrap design and soft rubber grip, which covers a decent section. Its design also ensures it experiences the least vibration of the chainsaw’s 2 handles.
Switching to the internals, the engine’s crankshaft adopts a 3-piece design, which incorporates roller bearing to enhance engine reliability while reducing internal wear. The overall benefit of this design choice is extended engine life and reduced fuel consumption.
A neat design enhancement you’ll appreciate is the chainsaw’s felling cut, which all Husqvarna models have, but has proven very handy in helping you align the bar to the cut. This seemingly trivial system can enhance accuracy when used properly, and you should have no challenge using it.
Cutting Equipment: Heavy-Duty Bar with Adjustable Oiling
In the cutting department, the 455 Rancher’s equipment is nothing short of heavy-duty. The cutting component that stands out prominently is the 20-inch bar.
The bar has “Farm Tough” printed on it, and as the name suggests, this component and its matching chain are cutting workhorses. They will grind through and 18-inch log comfortably, in under one minute, without slowing down the tool or overwhelming it.
Even better is the fact that the chainsaw has been designed to accept bars that are shorter or longer than the standard 20-inch ones. For instance, the maximum recommended bar length is 24 inches if you want to upgrade your chainsaw to cut superior-diameter logs. You can also use a smaller bar of up to 13 inches for tasks that require smaller cutting equipment, such as limbing.
For your cutting equipment to perform optimally, its tensioning system needs to rise to the occasion. And the 455 Rancher’s one does not disappoint. The chainsaw has been fitted with a side-mounted chain tensioner that is easily accessible so that you don’t have to waste any time or effort tensioning the chain.
Sadly, despite the reliable tension system, which is appreciated for its ease of access, it is not tool-less as is the case in most electric chainsaws. You will need a tool to adjust the chain’s tension in this one, but it’s nothing to break a sweat over.
Noise Level: Not Unusually Loud for a Gas-Powered Chainsaw
For the 455 Rancher, noise levels are within the acceptable range. The manufacturer guarantees sound power levels of up to 114 dB (A). Obviously, this is loud, almost twice as loud as a backup generator, but considering how fast this chainsaw cuts, you won’t be exposed to this loudness for long durations at any given time.
Gas-powered chainsaws can get notoriously loud and if you’re working with one outdoor, you’ll be advertising the task widely, even to a distant audience. And the 455 Rancher is not immune to this operational caveat. However, you can expect that for such a premium tool, the manufacturer has made significant efforts to minimize noise levels.
If the noise exceeds your comfort levels, it’s always wise to wear some noise suppressants such as earmuffs, which will reduce the loudness significantly.
Safety Features: Robust Safety Enhancements
Operator safety is an aspect of the 455 Rancher that has been well thought of and implemented. The magnitude of power produced by this chainsaw demands reliable safety features that can counter any tool mishaps that can be hazardous to the operator.
A safety feature that really stands out and delivers on its purpose is the chain brake system. But this is not just any brake; it is an advanced inertia-activated chain brake, which is triggered any time the saw senses and action that creates a significant opposing force, such as contact with metals, rocks, or the bar ground. This brake is efficient because it relies on the tool’s reaction more than it does on yours, which can be delayed or inadequate.
As far as technologies go, the chainsaw implements Husqvarna’s LowVib® system, which is designed to reduce the tool’s vibration during operation. Low vibration means enhanced handling, which reduces the chances of you losing control of the tool, especially from a gradually weakened grip.
Maintenance: Engineered for Low-Maintenance Operation
Gas-powered engines do require regular and often detailed maintenance, and the one on your 455 Rancher is no exception to this need. However, it’s important to recognize all the design features and technologies applied to the engine to make the tool a low-maintenance one.
The 455 Rancher has an elaborate bar and chain oiling system, which performs better than standard automatic ones, in ensuring these components are constantly lubricated for reduced wear caused by friction between these constantly moving parts.
This system is manually-controlled, which means that you can adjust the intensity of oil being fed to the bar and chain, depending on the nature of the cutting task and the prevailing operating conditions. By having a great deal of control over the oiling process, you ensure optimal oil utilization because, which means no wastage, and fewer oil refills as is the case with automatics systems.
Further, ease of maintenance is achieved through Husqvarna’s Air Injection® system. Even though it is designed as a performance enhancement, the centrifugal air cleaning system effectively removes larger dust particles and debris before they can reach the air filter. The outcome of this action is reduced demand for air filter cleaning, which is also a significant contributor to improved engine life.
Also, Husqvarna’s adoption of a quick-release air filter design makes enables you to make fast filter changes and wrap up the maintenance process in the least time possible.
Price: Great Value for a Professional-Grade Chainsaw
While the Husqvarna 455 Rancher is regarded as a professional-grade tool, it can be best described as residing in the premium end of consumer chainsaw, for home and landowners.
Therefore, the price you’ll be paying for this tool is unbeatable in its category. And for slightly more than $500, you are getting a cutting workhorse with a powerful and efficient engine, a long heavy-duty bar, and reduced maintenance demands. Also, the handling on this chainsaw is commendable especially given its weight management and ergonomics.
An excellent chainsaw that offers professional-grade performance to landowners for heavy-duty cutting across a wide array of applications and operating conditions.
If you’re a landowner who regularly embarks on extensive wood and large-diameter log cutting, the Husqvarna 455 Rancher offers you all the power, reliability, ease of use, and safety you need from a professional-grade chainsaw.
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- Product Name: Husqvarna 455 Rancher
- Product Brand: Husqvarna
- Product Dimensions: 16.7 x 8.8 x 11.8 Inches
- Cylinder Displacement: 55.5 cm3
- Power Output: 3.5 HP
- Power Source: Gasoline
- Bar Length: 20 inches
- Max. Bar Length (Recommended): 24 inches
- Fuel Tank: 0.9 US pint
- Max. Power Speed: 9000 RPM
- Tool Weight (Excl. Cutting Equipment): 13.2 Pounds
- Warranty: 2 Years
- Powerful 55.5cc engine for heavy-duty cutting
- The long 20-inch bar for cutting large-diameter logs
- X-Torq® system reduces fuel consumption and exhaust emissions
- LowVib® technology reduces tool vibration and lessens operator fatigue
- Ergonomic front handle for comfortable and secure handling
- Automatic inertia-activated chain brake for operator safety
- Adjustable oil pump for control oil flow depending on prevailing conditions