Husqvarna 450 Chainsaw Review. Versatile Bar and Chain Length


The Husky 450 Chainsaw is a great choice for the homeowner looking for a powerful, quality saw that can handle everything you’re likely to throw at it. It’s designed for the more casual user but still comes with enough power and a robust build to make it suitable for lighter use by a professional. We hope that you find our Husqvarna 450 Rancher chainsaw review helpful.

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Husqvarna has built their reputation on making dependable power tools for the garden and forest, something they’ve been doing since the 1950s. Their range of gas powered chainsaws is one of the go-to brands for many people looking for a good machine, so it comes as no surprise that many stick with them for many years.


The 450 is in the middle of their range of ‘All-round’ saws that are marketed as being very easy to start and handle, lightweight and efficient. We’re going to take a good look at the features and performance of this 20-inch chainsaw to find out if it lives up to that promise.

husqvarna 450 20 inch chainsaw

What are the features of the Husqvarna 450?


Many people just want to know exactly what a chainsaw has to offer, so here’s a summary of all the features and specifications and then we’ll take a look at some of these in more depth:


• X-Torq 3.2hp Engine 50.2 cm³ / 3.06 cu.inch


• Maximum power speed 9000 rpm


• Fuel tank volume 0.95 US pint


• Idling speed 2700 rpm


• Torque, max. 2.6 Nm


• Fuel consumption 504 g/kWh


• Recommended bar length, min 13 in - max 20 in


• Chain pitch 0.325"


• Weight (excl. cutting equipment) 11.24 lbs


• Oil tank volume 0.55 US pint


• Oil pump type - fixed flow


• Centrifugal air cleaning system


• Quick-release air filter


• Easy access chain tensioner


• Ergonomic rear handle


• LowVib system to reduce vibration levels


• Three-piece crankshaft


• SmartStart system for easy starting


• Inertia and handle operated chain brake


• Visible fuel level gauge


• Air purge bulb


• Felling direction marks


• Sound power level, guaranteed (LWA) 115 dB(A)


• Sound pressure level at operators ear 104 dB(A)


• Equivalent vibration level (ahv, eq) front handle 3.1 m/s²


• Equivalent vibration level (ahv, eq) rear handle 4.9 m/s²


What’s in the box?


When you open the box after getting your new chainsaw you will find the following inside:


• Chainsaw


• Saw chain


• Guide bar


• Guide bar cover


• Combination spanner (some call this a scrench – i.e. a screwdriver and wrench)


• User manual


The warranty on this chainsaw is for 2 years if used for personal, household use and 90 days if used commercially. It’s worth mentioning that if you purchase 3 x 32oz cans of the Husqvarna pre-mixed fuel at the same time as the chainsaw, then you can extend the homeowner warranty to 4 years at no extra cost. The extra years are added when you register your product online and will require proof of purchase.


How easy is it to put together?


If you buy this model from most retailers, including Amazon, it comes fully assembled, so all you will need to do is put fuel and oil in it, check the chain tension and start using it.



There are instructions in the manual that comes with the saw but many reviews complain that the way they are laid out makes it difficult to follow. We recommend checking out the Husqvarna videos on getting started with your new chainsaw for the best advice.


What engine is in the Husky 450?


This model is powered by one of Husqvarna’s own brand of engines, the X-Torq 50cc 3.2HP. These engines have been developed by the manufacturer to provide lower fuel consumption and reduced emissions, which means the 450 meets most environmental regulations, currently including those in California.


The 3.2HP engine rating together with a maximum speed of 9000rpm gives this saw plenty of power to tackle most jobs the typical homeowner is likely to throw at it with ease.


As this is a 2-stroke engine, it uses a petrol/oil mix for fuel which needs to be mixed at the ratio of 50:1. For the best results always use good quality unleaded gas over 87 octane together with 2-stroke engine oil for air cooled engines.


What size bar and chain does this
model come with?


The 450 can take a minimum bar length of 13 inches up to a maximum of 20 inches. The model we are looking at comes with the maximum size which is the biggest many homeowners will need. This particular model, with Husqvarna part number 967166101 is delivered fully assembled with a 20 inch bar and chain.


The chain is a low-kickback variety as is usual in consumer chainsaws these days and has a pitch of 0.325” with a gauge of 0.058”, fairly standard stuff. It also comes as an 80-link chain which is more than a lot of competitors that typically have just 72 or 76 links.


This all helps to make cutting a lot quicker and if the chain is kept at the right tension and sharpened regularly, it will serve you well for a long time.


What safety features does the 450 have?


There are some very important safety mechanisms on this chainsaw, but none of them can make up for learning how to use one properly in the first place. We recommend attending one of the many courses run all over the country on how to handle your saw safely, even if you’ve used one before.


The main thing to watch out for on a chainsaw is of course kickback and there are a couple of safety mechanisms on the saw to help prevent injury should this occur. The first one is the front hand guard operated chain brake which will stop the chain and engine immediately if pushed forward. The idea behind this is that as the chainsaw comes toward the operator when kickback occurs, then the hand on the front handle will roll forward and push the guard to stop the saw.


The second one is called an inertia activated chain brake which is activated by the rapid movement that occurs in a kickback situation. It should be noted that neither of these mechanisms can be relied upon to activate every single time as it is dependent on how and where the saw is being used when kickback happens.

husqvarna 450 20 inch chainsaw

The other main safety features on this model are:


• Chain catcher - designed to catch the chain if it snaps or jumps off.


• Throttle trigger lockout - prevents accidental operation of the throttle control.


• Right-hand guard - helps protect the hand from a broken chain and stops branches or twigs loosening your grip.


How loud and heavy is this chainsaw?


Like all 2-stroke engine driven chainsaws (or any garden power equipment), the Husky 450 is pretty loud once it gets going. A sound level at the operator's ear of 104dB is average for a chainsaw so you will definitely need to wear hearing protection when operating this one.


Weight wise, this model is quite light for a 20-inch model, coming in at 11.4lbs without the cutting gear installed. That makes it light enough for extended use occasionally and the low vibration technology on the 450 really helps as well.


Does the LowVib technology work?


There’s no doubt that the vibration damping systems developed by Husqvarna reduces the amount of vibration felt at the handles considerably. The official ratings come in at 3.1m/s2 at the front handle and 4.9m/s2 at the rear which is good for a chainsaw with this much power.

This video speaks volumes for the anti vibration technology!


The LowVib dampeners sit between the mechanical parts and the handles absorbing a lot of the vibration. This makes the 450 much more comfortable to handle plus reduces fatigue and you will certainly appreciate this at the end of a long day’s use. It’s still worth buying some good anti-vibration gloves though as part of your protective gear, more on that later.


Is the 450 chainsaw easy to start and stop?


Assuming you have put some decent fuel in the saw, then Husqvarna has done everything they can to make starting as simple and quick as possible from both cold and warm. Things like a combined choke/stop control and an air purge bulb together with their own SmartStart technology help to ensure it starts with the minimum of fuss. SmartStart reduces the resistance you feel on pulling the recoil cord by up to 40% which makes the many restarts you might have to do during the day much less tiring.


Warm starts are aided by a decompression valve that releases some of the compression in the cylinder during starting. There is also an optimized fuel pump on this model which ensures the fuel lines are always clear.


Stopping the chainsaw is very simple. You just need to push the start/stop switch down and it will cut the engine.


Does this chainsaw have an easy to use tensioner?


Although still requiring the scrench, the chain tensioning system on this model is very simple to use and does not require removal of any covers to do it. The process involves undoing the nut holding the bar and then turning the adjustment screw until the correct tension is achieved, then tightening the bar nut back up.


What does the centrifugal air cleaning system do?


A centrifugal air cleaning system on this model means that all the air heading for the carburetor intake passes through the starter. This pushes out large dust and debris before it even reaches the air filter, helping to improve engine life and the number of times the filter will need to be removed or changed.


Access to the air filter is via a quick release cover so checking and cleaning the filter regularly is a simple process.


Does this chainsaw have an automatic
chain oiler?


Keeping the chain lubricated on a chainsaw is one of the things you must do to keep it running and in good condition. Manufacturers of modern chainsaws have made that easier for us by fitting an automatic oiler that feeds oil onto the chain as it goes around and the 450, of course, has this feature.


It’s very important to keep the chain oil reservoir topped up with the correct oil and to make sure the oiler is working correctly every time you use it. There is a simple process to follow in the manual to check so make sure you know how to do this.


What checks do I need to do before using the 450 20” Chainsaw?


It’s a good idea to run through a regular checklist each time you get the chainsaw out to use. Here’s a useful list we found buried in the manual that we’ve added some of our own recommendations to:


1. Check that the chain brake works correctly and is not damaged.


2. Check that the rear right-hand guard is not damaged.


3. Check that the throttle lockout works correctly and is not damaged.


4. Check that the stop switch works correctly and is not damaged.


5. Check that all handles are free from oil.


6. Check that the anti-vibration system works and is not damaged.


7. Check that the muffler is securely attached and not damaged.


8. Check that all parts of the chainsaw are tightened correctly and that they are not damaged or missing.


9. Check that the chain catcher is in place and not damaged.


10. Check the chain tension.


11. Check the chain oil tank is full and that the auto chain oiler is working.


12. Check the air cleaning system vents are clear and the air filter is clean.


What routine maintenance should be performed?


There are instructions in the user manual on what routine maintenance tasks need to be performed and when to do them. For an easy to follow reminder checklist look for the table that has lists of daily, weekly and monthly tasks.


Obviously, if you just use the 450 now and again you will need to adjust this schedule to fit how you use it, but at least you have a list of all the things you need to check in one easy place. In our manual, it was on page 31, but yours may be different depending on the version. Just look for the ‘Maintenance’ section in the Table of Contents.


What are the reviews like for the Husqvarna
20” Chainsaw?


This brand of chainsaw is very popular and there are always lots of online reviews available for their models. In the case of the 450, the reviews are very positive with most consumers finding that it does everything it’s supposed to with few problems.


The only things that crop up are occasional problems with starting or with the chain getting jammed


One thing that does get mentioned a fair bit is the poor quality of the manual. For some reason, Husqvarna decided to put all the diagrams at the front rather than in line with the specific section. This is annoying as it means you have to keep flipping pages back and forth when working out how to do something.


What protective gear do I need?


We think any chainsaw owner should invest in the following equipment as an absolute minimum! Not only will they help protect you from a nasty gash or worse, but will also keep you safe from other dangers not so obvious.


Anti-vibration gloves – we mentioned these earlier and they provide some protection from the damage caused by handling vibrating power machinery. Despite the superb damping mechanism on this model, prolonged use can cause a condition called HAVS (hand-arm vibration syndrome, also known as vibration white finger) which is not much fun to get. There are gloves available specifically for use with chainsaws and they are well worth investing in.


Safety goggles and a helmet will protect your eyes and head from all sorts of flying debris. As we mentioned before, ear defenders are a given if you want to protect your hearing from these very loud machines. The best buy is to get a safety helmet that has both eye and ear protection in one unit.


Chainsaw chaps may seem like taking safety too far, but they are well worth it. These go over your pants and protect your legs so if the chainsaw should touch your leg, the chaps will take the cut instead of your skin.


Make sure to wear non-slip protective footwear and tight fitting protective clothes. Nothing baggy or loose fitting and tie long hair back.


You may also want to think about a dust mask and/or respiratory protection if working in a dusty environment.


Check out our article on chainsaw safety tips for further advice on how to use your new chainsaw.


Final thoughts


The Husqvarna 450 20-inch Chainsaw is a great saw for the homeowner that needs something to tackle bigger jobs with plenty of power to spare. Easy starting and the tough engine on this model combine with the ergonomic, low vibration handling to make for an all-round package that is hard to beat.

husqvarna 450 20 inch chainsaw

The 450 is also a versatile machine, taking smaller bars and chains if you don’t need, or don’t want to use the 20” that comes with it. Many casual users might find the supplied bar and chain is too much to handle initially, so the flexibility to use a smaller one, with the power in reserve for a longer chain when you need it makes this a chainsaw worth considering even for the inexperienced.


You can pick up a fully assembled version of the Husqvarna 450 Rancher right now on Amazon.



If you think that this saw is not the choice for you, please check out our further reviews of other 20 inch chainsaws here.

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