After putting in over 20 hours of research for the best gas chainsaw on the market today, we have chosen the Husqvarna 455 Rancher model to fit the category of best gas chainsaw.
It is neither the most powerful, largest, smallest, nor the lightest weight in the gas-powered class of chainsaws.
Rather, we have chosen the mid-sized 455 Rancher for its overall product characteristics that will suit a lot of different users and potential chainsaw uses.
If you are already familiar with this chainsaw and just want to see the current price, click here to see the Husqvarna 455 Rancher on Amazon .
Otherwise, read ahead to see why we chose this chainsaw as the best gas chainsaw.
A little history
Husqvarna, a Swedish manufacturer of power equipment, began making chainsaws in 1959 with a goal to reduce the noise levels of chainsaws made by their competitors. Today, they still make high quality, sturdy chainsaws for a wide cross-section of chainsaw users, from the homeowner to the forestry professional. Many innovations in chainsaw technology have been added since the first Husqvarna 90 chainsaw was produced.
Some notable features of the Husqvarna 455 Rancher
Powerful engine lets you do big jobs
The 3.5 horsepower 55.5 cc 2 stroke engine is powerful enough to handle heavy duty use at the home and ranch. Storm clean up crews will find the power sufficient to handle long days of use on the job.
Super easy to start
The 455 Rancher features a built-in button to manually activate the decompression valve. This valve is designed to release some of the the compression in the combustion chamber while starting the engine.
This makes it easier to turn over the engine while pulling the starting rope. This button is pressed before attempting a start and automatically closes once the engine starts.
This chainsaw generally starts within the first three pulls. So you’ll be spending more time cutting and less time messing with starting your machine.
Easily handles 18 inch or 20 inch bar sizes
The 455 Rancher is sold with your choice of either an 18 inch bar or a 20 inch bar. Larger bars can physically be fitted to the 455 Rancher and some users report attaching and using up to a 24 inch bar successfully.
However, a larger bar is going to tax the engine heavily, possibly beyond design parameters. Therefore, Husqvarna recommends the upper limit of a 20 inch bar. It is possible that using a larger bar could void the warranty.
Fuel efficient engine with low emissions
Husqvarna’s patented X-Torq® technology produces an engine that uses 20% less fuel than the standard 2 stroke engine and 60% less emissions. Here’s a video of how the engine operates:
Centrifugal air cleaning system keeps filter cleaner
The patented Air Injection® system removes the largest debris and dust particles before the air filter. This makes filter change and cleaning easier and less frequent and increases engine life.
Quick release air filter for super fast maintenance
Accessing the air filter is quick and easy. There are three flip latches on the upper housing of the saw, then the filter is released with the flip of a latch over it. The cartridge can then be removed and cleaned or replaced. Three types of filters are available for Husqvarna chainsaws, including a standard filter, a winter filter and a felt filter.
Easy access to chain tensioning screw
The chain tensioning mechanism is directly on the side of the case for quick and easy adjustment of your chain’s tension. The 455 Rancher comes with an appropriately sized tool to fit the adjustment screws.
Adjustable flow for optimal oiling rate
The automatic oiler on the Husqvarna 455 Rancher is adjustable so you can choose a flow rate that suits your use.
Inertia activated chain brake for safety
All Husqvarna chainsaws are equipped with an inertia activated chain brake. If the tip of the chainsaw is forced up suddenly, the inertia causes the chain guard to move back activating the chain brake.
Anti-vibration technology for greater user comfort
Using a chainsaw is not a particularly comfortable endeavor and the vibration of the equipment can increase fatigue on the operator, making the situation more dangerous over time. The 455 Rancher chainsaw includes Husqvarna’s LowVib® technology to decrease overall machine vibration and minimize user fatigue.
Purchase of the 455 Rancher chainsaw includes a 2 year limited warranty. Warranty repairs must be diagnosed and performed by approved Husqvarna dealers.
Are there any negatives to this machine?
May leak bar and chain oil
There really aren’t a lot of downsides. The biggest issue we have observed among users is that the bar and chain oil sometimes leaks out when the machine is in storage. This seems to be a nearly universal complaint of automatic oiling systems in the chainsaw market. Prior to automatic oilers, the manual pumps didn’t leak so much, but they often didn’t get used enough to serve the chain and bar, prompting manufacturers to design automatic oilers.
We suspect this is just the nature of the beast when it comes to automatic oilers. Their primary business is to make sure there is plenty of oil on the chain. This means the system has to be fairly free with the oil and the system is not well sealed when shut off. The best response to this is to expect leakage and plan accordingly. Drain the oil after use or put absorbent materials under your saw during storage.
Carburetor needs adjusting out of the box
Another issue that some users have had is the need to adjust the carburetor upon purchase. This really isn’t a negative issue, in our opinion. It is just a fact of owning a piece of equipment with a small engine.
Without computer controls, the manufacturer cannot set the carburetor to operate optimally for all circumstances. It is a matter of being able to customize the machinery to your specific environment.
This is not that difficult to do and you can find plenty of how-to videos online. This is something that should be expected as part of small engine ownership and regular maintenance.
Why we chose this chainsaw for best gas chainsaw
Husqvarna chainsaws are not new to the chainsaw market. The manufacturer has a reputation of producting high quality and dependable products in a broad spectrum of the power equipment market.
The Husqvarna 455 Rancher chainsaw is no exception to this. When properly used and maintained, the 455 Rancher will last for years and give many hours of robust service to professionals as well as homeowners.
We like the fact that the 455 Rancher is so easy to start. With the easy start primer bulb and the decompression valve button, you are ready to saw in just a few pulls of the cord.
We like the ease of maintenance and adjustment of the 455 Rancher. The air filter is easy to remove and clean and the chain tensioning is quick and simple, which is important since you really should do this every time you use it.
Who should choose the Husqvarna 455 Rancher?
The Husqvarna 455 Rancher is a pretty beefy chainsaw for the price you’ll pay. It’s probably more saw than required for the casual user. Here are some categories of users that would appreciate this saw:
Homeowner, Ranch Owner: If you own property with a substantial woodlot or a ranch where you need to cut downed trees and limbs regularly, this is the saw for you.
Heavy Firewood User: If you cut a significant amount of firewood, you will also appreciate the heavy-duty 455 Rancher’s ability to keep up with the demand for many cords of firewood.
Storm Clean-up Crew: This is a super chainsaw for use on storm clean-up crews. It is big enough to handle a majority of what would be encountered in this line of work, but not a complete beast to wield.
Commercial Operation with modest chainsaw needs: The Husqvarna 455 Rancher is a good choice for the commercial user whose business does not revolve around using a chainsaw, like landscapers, lawncare specialists and property maintenance pros.
Is the Husqvarna 455 Rancher right for you?
Go here to see the latest price on the Husqvarna 455 Rancher 2-stroke gas chainsaw.
Is there another chainsaw that would suit you better?
No one chainsaw will suit all users or all needs. But we’ve got you covered!
See our review of the best chainsaws here. You’ll find the best chainsaw in several categories and for several different purposes.
FAQs for the Husqvarna 455 Rancher
You can get a case for your 455 Rancher that will hold the saw, plus oils, filing equipment and more.
You will also need a sharpener for your chain. Here’s the appropriate Husqvarna 7/32” file:
Here’s another choice of filing set with variable sizes:
The most common injury from using a chainsaw is, naturally, getting cut, but there are other risks involved. Gas chainsaws are loud, and the Husqvarna produces 104 dB, so you need to protect your hearing. You need to protect your face and eyes from flying debris. Here is a list of protective wear that you should put on when using your chainsaw.
* Hearing Protection
* Face and Eye Protection
* Leg and Arm Protection
Here’s a complete kit that covers all these areas:
Additionally, a good pair of non-slip work boots is best for stability while working.
A good quality bar and chain oil is your best bet. See a selection here.
Per the manufacturer, the Husqvarna 455 Rancher operates best with non-ethanol gasoline, 89 octane or higher, mixed with 2-stroke oil at a ratio of 50:1. This is about 2.6oz of oil per gallon of gasoline.
While less than ideal, you may use ethanol-containing fuel that is no more than 10% ethanol, but any greater percentage will void your warranty. Ethanol-containing fuel is not good for small engines generally, as it is hygroscopic and will pull water from the atmosphere into the mixture and possibly damage the engine.
Here are a selection of 2 stroke oils that will work for your Husqvarna 455 Rancher chainsaw.
You can see the service manual here.
Husqvarna offers these bits of safety advice here.