Husqvarna 455 Rancher Chainsaw Review: A Powerful Saw Capable of Nearly Any Task

With hundreds of trees on my property, I'm constantly managing growth, clearing dead trees and removing invasive species. I tested the Husqvarna 455 Rancher chainsaw and it was up to it all.

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Fhm We Tried It Husquvarna 455 Rancher ChainsawPAMELA BONDURANT/FAMILY HANDYMAN

We all love trees, but they need lots of maintenance to keep our yards safe and beautiful. Branches that are encroaching on my driveway must be cleared to allow safe passage of my vehicle as well as large septic trucks that must be able to run the length of the drive. With so many trees on my property, it’s not practical or economical to hire someone to maintain the parts that I can manage myself.

I use a chainsaw to trim dead branches, fell invasive species like Russian Olive, and remove smaller dead trees like aspen and small elm. And not just any chainsaw—the Husqvarna 455 Rancher is my go-to for keeping my yard healthy and safe. It’s more than capable of any task a homeowner can throw at it.

What Is the Husqvarna 455 Rancher Chainsaw?

Husquvarna 455 Rancher ChainsawPamela Bondurant/Family Handyman

Per the manufacturer, the Husqvarna 455 Rancher is “designed for forest works such as felling, limbing, and cutting.” With its 20-inch chain bar, the chainsaw is a bit more capable than most residential use chainsaws and is a formidable machine when combined with the 55.5cc engine.  The casing features Husqvarna’s signature orange and the start-up directions on the machine are some of the best I’ve ever seen.

It uses a standard 50:1 gas to oil ratio, which is readily available pre-mixed at hardware stores. I prefer pre-mixed fuel because it doesn’t contain ethanol, which offers numerous benefits such as preventing your carburetor from clogging and extending the life of all your oil and gas tools.

Attaching the bar and chain was the only setup required to start using the chainsaw, and the directions were clear and easy to follow. It came with all the tools you need to attach the bar and chain, as well as tension the chain and adjust the carburetor, oil pump and idle screws.

We Tried It

Husqvarna 455 Rancher Chainsaw

This simple-to-use chainsaw tackles all kinds of everyday landscaping with surprising power.

Husqvarna 455 Rancher Product Features

Husquvarna 455 Rancher ChainsawPamela Bondurant/Family Handyman

The engine weighs in around 13 pounds and felt light at first touch, though that 13 pounds started to feel like a lot more after using the saw for some time, especially when cutting overhead. The chain oil is automatically fed to the chain and has a large reservoir at least large enough to go through a tank of gas without having to refill it. One really helpful feature is that you do not need to use the included multi-tool in order to get into the oil and gas reservoirs.

Husquvarna 455 Rancher ChainsawPamela Bondurant/Family Handyman

The product comes with an app for Android and iPhone users to help you shop for parts, troubleshoot and even access the user manual (a hard thing to keep track of over the years).

Husquvarna 455 Rancher Chainsaw App ScreenshotVia Iphone

The manual contains directions for self-servicing the chainsaw, which is perfect for those who like to work on their own small engines and plan on frequent and/or heavy use of the saw. With advice on how to maintain the spur sprocket, lubricate the needle bearing, adjust the chain oil flow and clean the cooling system, the manual makes it clear this chainsaw is meant to last a lifetime.

How We Tested It

Husquvarna 455 Rancher ChainsawPamela Bondurant/Family Handyman

Since the intended use of the saw is for felling, limbing and cutting, I put it to the test on each, braving the cold weather and remains of snow to venture out and do some much needed work. The startup directions printed on the chainsaw are some of the best I’ve ever seen and, to my surprise, the chainsaw started on the first attempt.

The “wild” portions of my property are a magnet for Russian Olive trees that are invasive to my area. They are fast growing, smell great and have a beautiful orange wood that is fun to work with. However, these trees contain nasty thorns that have a habit of finding their way into my lawn tractor tires and, more dangerously, choke out native plants, creating food shortages for other creatures. With that in mind, I went after a Russian Olive tree first and the 455 Rancher sliced so quickly through the branch that I was caught off guard.

I then headed to an 18-inch diameter log because it was one of the largest on my property that I thought the saw could handle. It easily went through the log, and nipped through the surrounding small branches and twigs that can often bend around the chain and bog down a chainsaw (not the 455 Rancher though!).

Next I headed to my blue spruce branches that were dry and dead after being sun-deprived by the layer of branches above them. Not surprisingly, the Husqvarna chainsaw snapped the branches off like I was cutting the stems off of flowers.

Pros

  • Long chain bar combined with a capable engine allows for cutting large pieces
  • Engine is quiet and smooth for extended use
  • Great for large properties
  • Durable construction
  • Two-year warranty for residential or commercial use
  • Entire product is self-serviceable

Cons

  • Overkill for a small property owner
  • Large and heavy chainsaw may not be accessible for some

FAQ

Using a chainsaw is a dangerous endeavor, but you can reduce risks by wearing safety gear and following the safe practice guidelines that are supplied in the user manual. Buy safety gear conveniently through the Husqvarna phone app.

What is the longest bar you can put on a Husqvarna 455 Rancher?

20″, 3/8″, X-cut 1,3 mm, Rancher Bar SKU: 970 61 32‑60
Equipment
Bar length (inch) 20 in
Recommended bar length, min 13 in
Recommended bar length, max 24 in

How much HP is a 455 Rancher?

3.5 hp

What is the gas mixture for a 455 Rancher chainsaw?

50:1

What other reviewers have to say

Beebz gives the saw 5 stars on Amazon and writes, “Cuts through trees like butter. I bought this chainsaw to upgrade from my newbie 18-inch Poulan Pro, which has been a very durable saw and great for me to learn from and become comfortable with.”

“Great Saw! STARTS EASY! RIPS GOOD! I like this thing,” says reviewer ItAin’tEasy. “I’m only about 4-5 tankfuls of gas into run-time I am impressed. It’s fairly heavy, but that’s standard with a larger chainsaw. There is ample power. And even ‘big’ logs like 18-inch diameter live Oak, this saw buzzed right through. I pretty much had no problem ripping through any length up to the full 20-inch bar length.”

Another verified purchaser, Randy, writes, “I have had no problems with it, never had to modify the carb settings, she starts every time, and it operates well. I have only some minor complaints, but most of these are inherent in chainsaws in general. First, its heavy, but it is 55cc’s of tree-chewing power in your hands. After 8 hours in the field, you will have shoulders like a body builder.”

Product Comparison

The Husqvarna 455 Rancher weighs in about a pound more than a comparable Stihl saw and almost five pounds more than my Stihl MS 170. Consumers must be physically able to operate the chainsaw and educated on proper usage. Husqvarna and other manufacturers make smaller saws that may be more suitable for some consumer’s needs.

Final Verdict

Husquvarna 455 Rancher ChainsawPamela Bondurant/Family Handyman

For many years I’ve managed my yard with a much less powerful and smaller chainsaw. I would have made the leap to this saw long ago had I known how much faster and with less frustration I could get through the ongoing maintenance. A chainsaw of this weight and capability might require a little more strength on my part, but also means that I’ll be spending half the normal time to accomplish my tasks. Count me as a fan.

Where to Buy the Husqvarna 455 Rancher

The Husqvarna 455 Rancher price ranges between $450-$550 and through Amazon, Lowes, Walmart, Northern Tool and Husqvarna.

We Tried It

Husqvarna 455 Rancher Chainsaw

This simple-to-use chainsaw tackles all kinds of everyday landscaping with surprising power.