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Which is the best medium sized gas-powered chainsaw? Husqvarna 450 vs Husqvarna 455

Husqvarna has been one of the most popular brands of chainsaw manufacturers for a long time and it’s easy to see why, with their reputation for building quality machines that last for many years. Their medium sized models are the benchmark for 18 and 20-inch saws so we have taken the two best sellers from their mid-range landowner models and pitched them against each other to see which one is best for your needs.

Both these models will work very well for the landowner, farmer or rancher but have different strengths depending on what you need a chainsaw for. With the 18” Husky 450 you have a light but rugged saw that can tackle most medium duty jobs and handles well enough to be used for tasks requiring extended use without causing too much fatigue. The 20” 455 Rancher, on the other hand, is more of a heavyweight that has the power to tackle demanding jobs but is maybe too heavy for lighter duty tasks such as limbing and pruning.

Even though we’re comparing these as an 18” model versus a 20” model, both chainsaws can take a variety of bar and chain lengths making them versatile machines that could be used for different tasks more suited to a shorter or longer chain for example.

The best way to see what each saw has to offer is to list out the main features and specifications so you can compare them side by side, which you can find in the table below.

Specs and Main Features

 Husqvarna 450 966906738Husqvarna 455 965030298
Engine50.2cc 2-stroke X-Torq. 55.5cc 2-stroke X-Torq.
Maximum speed9000rpm9000rpm
Power output3.2 hp3.49 hp
Chain18” – 0.325” pitch / 0.050” gauge20” – 0.375” pitch / 0.050” gauge
Compatible bar lengths13” min to 20” max15” min to 20” max
Starting aidsSmart Start, air purge, combined choke/stop control, fuel pumpSmart Start, air purge, combined choke/stop control, fuel pump
Pre-air cleaningYes – centrifugal air injection cleaning systemYes – centrifugal air injection cleaning system
Air filterStandard quality. Tool free accessStandard quality. Tool free access
Automatic oilerYes. Not adjustableYes. Adjustable
Chain tensioningExternal side access with included T-wrench External side access with included T-wrench
Chain brakeYes – hand guard and inertia operatedYes – hand guard and inertia operated
Cold weather cover adjustmentNoYes
Spark arrestorCheck model being purchasedCheck model being purchased
Low vibration systemYes – LowVib systemYes – LowVib system
Fuel tank0.95 US Pint. Visible fuel level0.93 US Pint.
FuelGas/oil mix 50:1Gas/oil mix 50:1
Fuel consumption504 g/kWh470 g/kWh
Chain oil tank0.55 US Pint0.68 US Pint
Weight (without cutting gear)10.8 lbs12.6 lbs
Felling marksYesYes
CARB compliantYesYes
Vibrations at front/rear handles3.1 m/s2 and 4.9 m/s²3.4 m/s² and 4.5 m/s²
Sound pressure at operators ear104dB(A)104dB(A)
WarrantyResidential 2 years. Can be extended by buying premixed fuel at the time of purchase.
Commercial 90 days.
Residential 2 years. Can be extended by buying premixed fuel at the time of purchase.
Commercial 90 days.

Comes fully assembledYesYes

We have in-depth reviews for both these models as well as other popular brands and sizes on our website. You can find the full reviews by following the links here for the Husqvarna 450 review and the Husqvarna 455 Rancher review here. Note that even though the bar and chain size may vary in some of our reviews, the power head unit remains the same.

Engines, Performance, and Chain

The 455 Rancher has a larger and more powerful engine than the 450 which gives it an advantage in terms of the raw power available to tackle the more demanding jobs.

Both models have the X-Torq type of engine that provides for better fuel economy and reduced emissions. This is a 2-cycle or 2-stroke engine that requires a gas/oil mix as fuel which on the Husqvarna range is mixed in the ratio 50:1.

The 450 model has a 50.2cc engine that develops power of 3.2 hp at a maximum speed of 9000rpm whereas the 455 Rancher has the 55.5cc engine with a power output of 3.49 hp. The maximum engine speed is the same as the Husky 450 so as a direct comparison, the Husky 455 Rancher is a clear winner.

The chain provided for each of these models is a different length obviously and on the 455 the pitch is the larger 0.375” size which can make a positive difference when cutting. Both are low kickback chains that are good quality, but of course are easy to swap out for a different brand or type if required. As we mentioned earlier, you can fit a different bar/chain length in either model with both taking a maximum 20” length. The 450, however, can take a smaller 13” length which given its light weight, makes it ideal as a light duty machine.

Overall, the 455 Rancher is better in pure power and performance, but the 450 certainly has some things going for it, especially if you prefer a lighter weight saw.


Both chainsaws have many of the features that help make starting a lot easier and more dependable than is common on some 2-stroke engined chainsaws. Researching the experiences of users indicates these work well although there are some isolated reports of starting problems as you might expect.

One thing the 455 Rancher does have that is not present on the 450 (at the time of writing) is a decompression valve and that really improves the experience especially with the larger engine.

For that reason, we feel the 455 is going to be a better choice if you’re worried about problems getting the chainsaw started.

Air Cleaning

Husqvarna has developed a neat system that pre-cleans the engine air and this is fitted to both these models. It uses the cooling fan to provide a centrifugal force that pulls out larger particles of dust and debris before it even reaches the air filter, reducing filter maintenance and improving engine life in the process.

The lighter 450 model also benefits from tool-free access to the air filter which makes cleaning it very quick and simple when you need to. The 455 has four captive screws that need undoing to get at the air filter which is less convenient, unfortunately.

One benefit the 455 does have though is that the cylinder cover can be adjusted for running the chainsaw in cold weather, with preheated air from the cylinder being diverted into the air path to prevent icing up of the filter etc.

With the same air filter fitted there are pros and cons for both models, so we will call this one a draw!

Safety Features

Like most modern chainsaws these days, both models are fitted with some safety features to help protect the operator if some mishap should occur.

The biggest danger is when kickback occurs and together with the low kickback chain, these models are fitted with a chain brake system that is operated either by the front hand guard or through the inertia created when the bar kicks back.

You also have a chain catcher and a rear handle design to protect against a broken or dislodged chain. Some chainsaws come with a bar fitted with a safety guard at the tip, but neither of the Husqvarna models has this, unfortunately.

If you require a spark arrestor in the muffler then this is available for both these models, check with your supplier to see if it is fitted before purchase to be sure.

As both models have the same safety features there is no winner in this category.

Low Vibration System

If you have never heard of a condition called HAVS or vibration white finger then you need to be aware of it, especially if you use chainsaws frequently. This condition is caused by the vibrations experienced through the handles when holding the saw and modern saws usually come with some sort of dampening system to counter the problem.

Husqvarna has one of the best systems around which they have called LowVib and it reduces the vibration on both these models to quite low levels.

They are both very similar so there is no clear winner and you will find either saw much more comfortable to hold than some competitors.

Weight and Handling

As we mentioned above, there is quite a difference between these two chainsaws in terms of weight with the 450 coming in at nearly 2lbs lighter than the 455 Rancher. That’s quite a difference and is one of the main factors you will need to consider when choosing your preferred model.

Fuel Capacity

The fuel capacity on the 455 Rancher is very slightly less than the 450 but more importantly from a usability perspective, it does not have the visible fuel level window that the smaller saw has.

It’s surprising really for a more expensive saw to not have that basic feature, but that’s how it is on the current model so something to bear in mind.

To make up for it a little, the larger machine actually benefits from a better fuel consumption rating so, in theory, will last you a little bit longer between fill ups.

Even so, we think the 450 wins out in this category over the 455 Rancher.


The Husqvarna warranty on all their chainsaws is standard across the range with 2 years cover for residential use and 90 days for commercial.

Something to remember when purchasing your Husqvarna saw is that you can extend the residential warranty by a further 2 years if you buy some branded premixed fuel at the same time. This must be on the same receipt and is a great way to get additional peace of mind for not much cost.

Which is the best medium sized chainsaw?

There are quite a few differences between these two models so it’s important you know the type of work you will need it for overall before deciding.

Just to recap, if you need a lighter chainsaw that can be used throughout the day without causing too much arm fatigue then the Husqvarna 450 is going to be your best choice, particularly if you will not be using it for lots of heavy duty type tasks.

However, if you need something that can tackle demanding jobs requiring more power then the Husqvarna 455 Rancher is the model to go for. Many users find this has the best balance of weight versus power for this type of work and is very popular amongst folk with large plots of land to look after, especially if you have lots of wooded areas.

Whichever model you go for, both will provide you with excellent service if looked after properly and used in accordance with the user manual provided. Check for the best deals on these chainsaws by clicking the button for each model below.

Which is the best 18″ chainsaw? Husqvarna 445 vs Husqvarna 450

Which is the best 18” gas-powered chainsaw?

Husqvarna makes some of the most popular chainsaws around with models catering for everything from the casual novice user to an experienced contractor. Two of their most popular mid-range machines are the 445 and 450 18” gas powered saws which are very similar with just a couple of differences, mainly in the engine and power output.

Both these models are ideal for the landowner with quite a large plot and are even capable enough to be considered by farmers and ranchers. They have a rugged quality to them and are loaded with the professional features an experienced user would need.

We’re going to compare the 18” versions of these two chainsaws, but they will both take other sizes of bar and chain making them quite versatile and suitable for use by more casual users as well, especially as they are fairly light compared to larger, more powerful machines.

First of all, let’s take a look at how the specs and features compare so you can see at a glance what each model offers.

 Husqvarna 445 965084001Husqvarna 450 966906738
Engine45.7cc 2-stroke X-Torq50.2cc 2-stroke X-Torq
Maximum speed9600rpm9000rpm
Power output2.8 hp3.2 hp
Chain18” – 0.325” pitch / 0.050” gauge18” – 0.325” pitch / 0.050” gauge
Compatible bar lengths13” min to 20” max13” min to 20” max
Starting aidsSmart Start, air purge, combined choke/stop control, fuel pumpSmart Start, air purge, combined choke/stop control, fuel pump
Pre-air cleaningYes – centrifugal air injection cleaning systemYes – centrifugal air injection cleaning system
Air filterStandard quality. Tool free accessStandard quality. Tool free access
Automatic oilerYes. Not adjustableYes. Not adjustable
Chain tensioningExternal side access with included T-wrench External side access with included T-wrench
Chain brakeYes – hand guard and inertia operatedYes – hand guard and inertia operated
Spark arrestorNoNo
Low vibration systemYes – LowVib systemYes – LowVib system
Fuel tank0.95 US Pint. Visible fuel level0.95 US Pint. Visible fuel level
FuelGas/oil mix 50:1Gas/oil mix 50:1
Chain oil tank0.55 US Pint0.55 US Pint
Weight (without cutting gear)10.8 lbs10.8 lbs
Felling marksYesYes
CARB compliantYesYes
Vibrations at front/rear handles6.1 m/s2 and 5.5 m/s23.1 m/s2 and 4.9 m/s²
Sound pressure at operators ear103.3dB(A)104dB(A)
WarrantyResidential 2 years. Can be extended by buying premixed fuel at the time of purchase.
Commercial 90 days.
Residential 2 years. Can be extended by buying premixed fuel at the time of purchase.

Comes fully assembledYesYes

Quite an impressive list and very useful to see them side by side. We have full, in-depth reviews of both these models (note the bar/chain lengths may differ but the basic saw remains the same). You can find the Husqvarna 445 review here and the Husqvarna 450 review here.

Performance and Engines

This area is the where our two models differ the most. They both have the 2-cycle Husqvarna X-Torq engine with its lower fuel consumption and emission levels but they come with a different size and power.

The 445 chainsaw comes with a 45.7cc engine that has a power output of 2.8 hp and a maximum speed of 9600rpm. The 450, on the other hand, has a slightly larger engine at 50.2cc that develops more power of 3.2 hp. The maximum speed on this one is lower though at 9000rpm.

In terms of real world usage, there’s not too much to choose between them but we would generally go for the more powerful engine, just because it will handle those tough jobs a little better.

The chain spec on these two is exactly the same with both having a professional quality, low kickback type of chain. Both saws can also take different bar and chain lengths from 13” right up to 20” and when using the longer length, this is where the Husky 450 will score more points as it has the additional power to cope.

Overall, the 450 has the edge when it comes to power and performance, but both chainsaws are capable machines.


If you take a look at the reviews for either of these models you will find only a few complaints about poor starting, which is good news for a 2-stroke machine.

Husqvarna has done lots to improve the starting on their modern chainsaws and these both come fitted with some features to help make it as easy and reliable as possible. This includes an air purge bulb, the Husky SmartStart system, and a combined choke/start control. These chainsaws also have a fuel pump to further aid easy starting.

Both saws are pretty evenly matched when it comes to starting them so there is no clear winner here.

Air Cleaning

The 445 and 450 both benefit from the Husqvarna Air Injection system of pre-cleaning the engine air before it even gets to the air filter. This centrifugal air cleaning process removes larger debris and dust particles which help to improve engine life and reduce the amount of maintenance needed.

Accessing the air filter is simple on both models with a snap-lock cylinder cover that can be removed without the need for tools. The air filter itself is also quick release so keeping it clean or replacing it is quick and easy.

Again, nothing much to choose between the two models when it comes to the air cleaning system.

Safety Features

No modern chainsaw these days should come without some important safety features and Husqvarna products are no exception.

The main safety feature is the chain brake which on both models is inertia and hand guard operated. This helps to protect the operator from the dangers caused by kickback although there is no safety guard supplied for the tip of the bar.

It’s also unclear from the specifications if these models come with a spark arrestor fitted to the muffler. If the model you receive does not have one, we recommend buying it as an accessory.

Both models have the same safety features so no winner for this category.

Low Vibration System

The problems caused by prolonged use of a chainsaw can lead to some serious long-term damage including a condition known as HAVS or white finger.

Husqvarna has developed their own vibration dampening system called LowVib which is fitted to both these models but surprisingly is more effective on the higher powered 450 chainsaw.

With a much lower vibration rating for both the front and rear handles, the 450 comes out on top for this one.

Weight and Handling

As both chainsaws weigh exactly the same (10.8lbs) then the Husky 450 wins out in this category as it provides a much better power to weight ratio. It’s worth noting that this is quite a light weight for a rugged chainsaw so both these models would be great to use in situations where you might need to hold it for extended periods such as when limbing or light pruning.

Fuel Capacity

With a fuel tank capacity of 0.95 US Pints (0.44 L) the 445 and 450 hold the same amount of fuel, but with a slightly better fuel consumption, the smaller model will last a bit longer on a full tank.

Just to note, you can tell when you need to top up without removing the filler cap on both these machines as they have a window that lets you see what the fuel level is. A very handy feature missing on many other models.


The warranty on the Husqvarna chainsaws is standard across the range and comes with 2 years cover for residential use and just 90 days if used commercially.

You can extend the residential use by a further 2 years if you buy some Husqvarna branded premixed fuel at the same time as buying the chainsaw. Both must be on the same receipt and is very much worth doing so make sure to remember this when you come to buy.

So which one is the best?

With very similar specs and features, there is not too much to choose between these two models but the Husky 450 definitely comes out on top. It just has that bit more power without weighing anymore and is only a little more expensive than the other model.

However, if keeping to a strict budget is important to you then you will find the Husqvarna 445 will perform just as well for most homeowner tasks so you will not regret buying that one either.

If one of these models ticks all the boxes for you then you can find the best deal by comparing their price below.

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