Chainsaws

Stihl vs. Husqvarna Chainsaw: Which Brand is Better?

There is a clear consensus among loggers and DIYers that Stihl and Husqvarna make the best chainsaws in the market. However, when it comes to deciding which between the two outperforms the other, there is an almost 50/50 split.

Although many loggers have almost fixed mind states on which between the two brands works best for them, things can be confusing for everyone else. However, we aim to change this by looking at the two brands and what sets them apart.

Stihl Chainsaw

Stihl Chainsaw

Photo: Stihl

Stihl is a German power tool brand that has been in business since 1926. However, the company now commands a significant global market share and has one of its main offices in Virginia, USA.

Stihl did not focus on making chainsaws when they were starting, and it was only in the 1950s when they released a one-person chainsaw that regular consumers could buy and use. However, the company now boasts one of the broadest chainsaw categories in the market.

Besides making both gas and electric chainsaws, they also offer them in various other categories like carving, forestry, pole pruning, arboricity, and property maintenance chainsaws.

Most of their products are famous for requiring less overall maintenance, easy starting, and being more affordable than other brands like Husqvarna.

Advantages of Stihl Chainsaws

  • More affordable
  • Offers a broader category of products
  • Lighter and easier to handle
  • Quick and easy starting
  • Requires less regular maintenance

Disadvantages of Stihl chainsaws

  • Relatively smaller fuel tanks
  • Not the fastest

Husqvarna Chainsaw 

Husqvarna Chainsaw

Photo: Husqvarna

Husqvarna is a Swedish company that prides itself on being one of the oldest power tools manufacturers in the market. The company was founded in the late 1600s as a weapon manufacturer, but they only started making chainsaws in the late 1950s.

Like Stihl, Husqvarna has a global presence with products in almost every country. However, the company is more prevalent in Europe and North America. Professionals often prefer Husqvarna as it makes heavy-duty and more powerful chainsaws that can handle the more demanding tasks and lots of abuse.

While the brand might not have a product line that is as broad as what you get with Stihl, they still have something for everyone. They make both gas and electric chainsaws, including battery-powered ones.

Also, they offer other product categories like professional and casual chainsaws, forestry, pole saws, power cutters, and stump grinders.

Advantages of Husqvarna Chainsaws

  • Makes more powerful engines
  • Highly advanced safety features
  • Larger fuel capacity
  • Longer domestic warranty

Disadvantages of Husqvarna chainsaw

  • Some models can be pretty pricey
  • Often quite heavy

Comparison Table

Stihl MS291

Husqvarna 455 Rancher

  • 3.76 horsepower
  • 13,000 RPM max speed
  • 16.09 fluid ounce fuel capacity
  • Weighs 12.3 pounds
  • 1-year domestic warranty
  • 3.49 horsepower
  • 9,000 RPM max speed
  • 14.4 fluid ounces
  • Weighs 12.8 pounds
  • 2-year domestic warranty

Stihl MS291

  • 3.76 horsepower
  • 13,000 RPM max speed
  • 16.09 fluid ounce fuel capacity
  • Weighs 12.3 pounds
  • 1-year domestic warranty

Husqvarna 455 Rancher

  • 3.49 horsepower
  • 9,000 RPM max speed
  • 14.4 fluid ounces
  • Weighs 12.8 pounds
  • 2-year domestic warranty

Product Comparison: Stihl MS291 vs. Husqvarna 455 Rancher

1. Engine: Stihl Offers Slightly More Horsepower

The Stihl MS291 and Husqvarna 455 Rancher are farm and ranch chainsaws that run on a 55.5cc, 2-cycle engine, meaning their performance will be the same in most instances. However, this is not entirely true given the difference in horsepower.

With the engine on the Stihl MS291, you get up to 3.76 horsepower, while the 455 rancher provides 3.49 horsepower. Although the difference might not be significant for most applications, the extra punch you get with the Stihl chainsaws might be crucial when tackling projects that require as much power as possible.

2. RPM: Stihl Offers Higher Max Speed

Your chainsaw’s RPM has a significant effect on things like cutting speed and efficiency. Here the Stihl MS291 has a slight edge over the Husqvarna 455 Rancher as it can deliver up to 13,000 RPM while the latter reaches a maximum of 9,000 RPM.

This means that the Stihl chainsaw cuts relatively faster and will also make somewhat finer cuts given the chain rotates faster.

However, the actual maximum power point for the Stihl saw might be relatively lower than the 13,000 RPM. Also, given how efficient Husqvarna saws tend to be, you can probably still get the 445 Rancher to at least 10,000 RPM before it blows up.

3. Fuel Tank: Longer Runtime with Stihl MS291

Given these chainsaws have the same engine size, the fact that the Stihl chainsaw has a larger 16.9 fluid ounce fuel tank means it will give you longer runtimes. Hence, this will be a better tool for tackling projects that involve a lot of cutting and shorter deadlines.

The 455 Rancher has a 14.4 fluid tank, which might be smaller but should still be enough for typical farm and ranch applications and use around the home. More still, Husqvarna equips the chainsaw with their Ox-Torq engine technology that enhances fuel efficiency for longer runtimes and reduces emissions.

4. Weight: Stihl is a Slightly Lighter Tool

Since these chainsaws are meant for simple domestic applications, they are designed to be more compact and lightweight. However, the Stihl MS291 is relatively lighter than the 455 Rancher.

The Stihl chainsaw weighs 12.3 pounds, which is half a pound lighter than the 12.8-pound 455 Rancher. This half a pound difference is quite significant when you have to carry and use the chainsaws for extended periods without stopping.

5. Warranty: Husqvarna Always Provides Longer Warranties

Husqvarna always provides generous warranties for all their chainsaw. When you buy the 455 Rancher for domestic use, you get a 2-year warranty cover. On the other hand, the Stihl chainsaw comes with a 1-year domestic warranty.

Even the professional and commercial warranty is longer with Husqvarna. The 455 Rancher comes with a 90-day warranty if you intend to the tool professionally or commercially, which is way longer than the 30-day cover you get with the Stihl chainsaw.

Conclusion 

Both Stihl and Husqvarna make some top-quality and high-performing chainsaws. Hence, you will still end up with a reliable tool regardless of the brand you choose, and so your personal preferences should guide you.

However, when looking at the two brands side-by-side, Stihl is a more ideal choice for those looking for a low-maintenance, more affordable, and easier-to-use chainsaw. But, if you prefer something hardier and with more advanced safety features, go with Husqvarna.

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