This post may contain affiliate links. This small commission costs you nothing and allows us to write more great power tool reviews for you.
The Husqvarna 455 Rancher 20-inch 55.5cc 2-stroke gas-powered chainsaw with X-Torq Engine (that’s a mouthful) is a seriously bad-a$$ tool that runs the line between hobbyist and professional. It’s light, quiet, powerful, and efficient. If something needs chainsaw’ing, this is the saw I’d choose.
Whether you’re a farmer, homeowner, professional landscaper, or just want to terrorize some kids at a summer camp, the 455 Rancher is a great choice.
The 55.5 cc gas engine is plenty powerful but the LowVib® and Smart Start systems, combined with the anti-kickback inertia brake, make the Husqvarna 455 a breeze to work with.
Bottom line: This is a high quality chainsaw with top-end features at a mid-level price that is powerful enough for almost anything you’d want it to do but comfortable and approachable enough for a novice.
I do a great deal of wood cutting on my property and in my job as a forest technician. I use the Husqvarna 455 Rancher 20-Inch 55-1/2cc 2-Stroke Gas-Powered Chain Saw for both purposes. It has X-Torq engine technology that helps to reduce the amount of fuel consumed by up to 20 percent and it also reduces emissions up to 60 percent.
The Smart Start engine technology also allows for easy start-up. After extended use, a couple of minutes to cool down is all it takes and the saw fires right back up again.
This saw has a 20 inch blade (but can also use an 18″ or 24″ bar*), which is excellent and makes it fairly to easy to cut very large trees. I can down a large tree and get it cut for firewood in an incredibly short amount of time, thanks to this work horse of a saw.
- Bar Length: 20″*
- Overall Length: 41″
- Engine: 55.5cc 2 stroke gas
- Horsepower: 3.5
- Weight: 12.8 lbs (without “cutting equipment”)
Simple to start. I would think that a larger saw would be tougher to crank than smaller models, but the opposite is true. I really like the easy-start aspect of the Husqvarna 455.
It’s powerful. This saw cuts through even large trees very easily. Doesn’t matter whether I’m cutting hard maple wood or a less dense wood, it cuts like a hot knife through butter.
It’s durable. I take good care of the saw. A lot of maintenance is required if you treat a saw right. I’ve gotten a great deal of use out of the saw. It’s paid for itself many times over and I don’t see any signs it’s slowing down.
It has a 20-inch blade. This powerful chain saw has a nice 20-inch blade. Coupled with the power, it’s not a complicated process to cut through even the largest trees I’ve felled or cut for firewood.
Low vibration. This is one of the features that Husqvarna touts on their sales page and, while I didn’t pay much attention to it when I read it, after using the Rancher, you can definitely feel a difference. I didn’t even realize how bad my other chainsaws vibrated (which can cause serious medical issues) until after I had used the 455 for a couple of hours.
Great warranty. As long as you follow the recommended maintenance and use the approved products, the Husqvarna warranty is pretty solid (2-4 years). Keep in mind that you need to buy the approved premixed fuel at the same time you buy the chainsaw to extend the warranty from 2 to 4 years.
This chainsaw is very sensitive to the right oil/gas mixture. I’ve had a little more trouble with the saw in relation to gas and oil mixture than I’m accustomed to with most of my other gas power tools.
Over time, I’ve overcome that problem by buying a separate gas can just for the 455 and premixing a big batch all at once. Fortunately, the X-TORQ engine is very efficient so one tank can last a bit longer than normal. You can also just buy the premixed fuel right from Husqvarna as well.
Speaking of gas, the fuel tank on the Rancher is not meant for all day use. I usually get 1-2 hours of solid work out of it. Something to keep in mind if you’re going far off-site and aren’t planning on bringing a gas can.
Another gripe I have is that this saw is heavy. Of course, you can cut anything you need to cut with the Husqvarna 455 Rancher, but, at about 20 pounds (with fluids, cutting equipment, etc), it does start to wear on you. I do a lot of extended work, so it’s quite a workout. Aside from scaring campers, this isn’t a saw I would want to lift over my head much due to its weight so if you’re planning on “limbing”, you might want to choose something smaller and lighter like the 440e.
I take good care of the saw, and maintenance is a big part, I think, of whether or not you’ll be satisfied that you get your money’s worth. Almost every time I use the saw, it’s heavy use. I flip the bar every few uses. I keep an eye on the air filter and replace it as needed.
I have a tool for sharpening the chain saw blades. You can tell when sharpening is needed by looking at the size of the chips. If a lot of sawdust is being created, that means you’re working with dull blades.
With the upkeep on sharpening, the Husqvarna 455 does a fantastic job of cutting even the hardest woods and the largest trees.
Overall, I’m completely satisfied with the Husqvarna 455 Rancher 20-Inch 55-1/2cc 2-Stroke Gas-Powered Chain Saw. While it can definitely be classified as a “professional” tool, the 455 seems to be the perfect fit for the homeowner with a lot of land or a part time professional.
I work with it at home and on the job, and it simply does an excellent job. It’s a terrific value.
*On a final note, I have not tried this but I’ve heard from people online and at my local hardware store that the 455 Rancher can also use a 24″ bar without any issues. I’ve also noticed that the 455 is being sold with an 18 inch bar as well.