1. Welcome Hearth.com Guests and Visitors - Please enjoy our forums!
    Hearth.com GOLD Sponsors who help bring the site content to you:
    Hearthstone Soapstone and Cast-Iron stoves( Wood, Gas or Pellet Stoves and Inserts)
    Caluwe - Passion for Fire and Water ( Pellet and Wood Hydronic and Space Heating)

455 Rancher Bar and chain

Post in 'The Gear' started by Bacffin, Nov 17, 2012.

  1. Bacffin

    Bacffin Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2012
    Messages:
    533
    Loc:
    30 Miles Northwest of Boston
    My Husqvarna 455 rancher currently has an 18" bar on it and I would like to get a 20" for the larger rounds. I have looked on Baily's, but not sure what bar and chain manufacture is the best bang for the buck and the large selection looks like I could easily make the wrong choice.

    I will be using this for mostly bucking up logs, not felling and the work is mostly clean. Any suggestions?

    Thanks,
    Bruce

    Helpful Sponsor Ads!





  2. TreePointer

    TreePointer Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Sep 22, 2010
    Messages:
    1,861
    Loc:
    Western PA
    What I'd do:

    Oregon Powermatch bar = not a special light bar, but will do the job. Has a replaceable tip.
    Stihl RS chain = full chisel, not a low kickback/safety chain. (I prefer Stihl chain because it's a little harder and I use it on all my saws).

    Oregon LGX chain = a nice substitute for the Stihl chain. Full chisel, not low kickback.

    Here's a bar & chain combo for a 3/8 pitch, .050 gauge, Husqvarna 455 Rancher saw: http://www.baileysonline.com/itemdetail.asp?item=PMC 20 CJ50&catID=
    amateur cutter and Thistle like this.
  3. Plow Boy

    Plow Boy Member

    Joined:
    Nov 14, 2012
    Messages:
    150
    Loc:
    Iron Station, NC
    I have a husky 55 rancher with a 20" bar, and it does great. If I wasnt going to put a husky bar on it I would use a oregon.
  4. DexterDay

    DexterDay Guest

    I had a 455 w/ factory 20" (3/8") bar and it did well. I put an el-cheapo 16" Forestor Bar and Chain (Oregon LGX) and.it worked awesome.

    I probably will never replace a bar tip. I'll just get another.

    Its gone now, but I liked the 16" over the 20", when the cutting allowed for it. Smaller bar = More oil, Less resistance/chain speed, and less cutters to sharpen :)

    Lots of options. Can't go wrong with Oregon Powermatch.
  5. amateur cutter

    amateur cutter Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Aug 20, 2010
    Messages:
    1,170
    Loc:
    West Michigan
    20" .050 gauge is maxing out a 55cc saw imo. It'll do it, but don't get in a hurry. You'll be running right at the limit for power & oiling capability. Might consider .325 chain & bar, but you'll have to change drive sprockets as well. A C
    PapaDave, MasterMech and TreePointer like this.
  6. Bacffin

    Bacffin Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2012
    Messages:
    533
    Loc:
    30 Miles Northwest of Boston
    Thanks TreePointer!
    What does the special "light bar" gain you...Just weight?
    Does the harder Stihl chain give you more life, ie: sharpening and less normal wearing?
    I am not familiar with "full chisel" cutters. I have just been using what has come on the saws using OEM chains. They are all low kickback.

    ~Bruce
  7. Bacffin

    Bacffin Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2012
    Messages:
    533
    Loc:
    30 Miles Northwest of Boston
    I normally run the 18" on this saw because I also have a 435 with a 16" bar.
    I just want the 20" for the larger rounds.
    If I put a 16" on the 455, wouldn't I run the risk of over reving?

    Bruce
  8. Bacffin

    Bacffin Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2012
    Messages:
    533
    Loc:
    30 Miles Northwest of Boston
    I am never in a hurry using a chain saw. Curious, why would .325 be such a difference over the .375...Friction?

    Thanks,
    Bruce
  9. computeruser

    computeruser Feeling the Heat

    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2007
    Messages:
    337
    Loc:
    East Lansing, MI
    A 2" increase in bar length seems like a waste of money to me, honestly. I didn't always feel this way, but over the years have found that I can accomplish most anything I want to accomplish with either a 16" or 28" bar. If I didn't already own a bunch of nice 20" bars, I would likely stick with 16" and 28" bars. The big part of the equation is a change in cutting technique - more bore cutting, overbucking first to reduce effective log diameter on logs with diameters > bar length, etc. I find I'm more productive this way. I also find that I am using peppy smaller saws - Husqvarna 346xp (16" bar), Dolmar 5100 (17" bar), Husqvarna 238 (13" bar), Husqvarna 44 (13" bar) - for most cutting tasks, rarely pulling out the bigger saws when in years past a 70-80cc saw with a 20" bar was the go-to tool for most cutting tasks. Food for thought, anyway.

    Most.325" cutters tend to take a smaller bite than most 3/8" cutters. This makes it easier for a saw of marginal power to pull the chain at a given bar length.

    If you insist on increasing bar length, Oregon ProLite is fine. It weighs less than PowerMatch and is more than adequately durable for firewood cutting. The solid bars are dead weight for most cutting purposes on <24" bars.
  10. TreePointer

    TreePointer Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Sep 22, 2010
    Messages:
    1,861
    Loc:
    Western PA
    Yep, light bars weigh less. Less overall weight to make you tired. They also change the balance of a saw by moving the center of mass closer to the powerhead.

    There may only be a little advantage to using harder chain, but Stihl chain seems to go a little longer between sharpenings than comparable Oregon chain. It is noticeably harder when filing. I have Oregon chain and others and they are not bad.

    Chisel (aka full chisel) vs. semi-chisel. This refers to the shape of the tooth.
    See recent discussion: http://www.hearth.com/talk/threads/chisel-chain-box-store-chain-diff.94478/
  11. amateur cutter

    amateur cutter Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Aug 20, 2010
    Messages:
    1,170
    Loc:
    West Michigan
    Yep, .325 reduces drag while still being a reasonably fast cutting chain. I used a lot of it years ago before I was able to afford more powerful pro saws. As far is in a "hurry", that's a different thing all together. With a chainsaw haste makes waste, & it's usually in the form of wasted body parts. However, if I can cut 1.5 to 2 rounds to your 1 because my saw is faster cutting, that's not being in a hurry, just a faster cutting saw/bar/chain combo. Whole different deal. A C
  12. Bacffin

    Bacffin Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2012
    Messages:
    533
    Loc:
    30 Miles Northwest of Boston
    I agree. You are in the industry and you would expect that.

    Thanks
  13. MasterMech

    MasterMech Guest

    I'd agree that 18 to 20" isn't much of a difference. Unless the 18" setup is worn and needs to be replaced, I'd stick the $70-$100 you're likely to invest in cutting tackle in the kitty and put it towards a saw with enough Harumph to run 24"+. (60cc pro saw).

    20" on a 455 isn't torture but like AC said, it ain't gonna break any speed records and probably won't help in the big rounds as much as you expect.
  14. Bacffin

    Bacffin Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2012
    Messages:
    533
    Loc:
    30 Miles Northwest of Boston
    You may be right here and this is probably subconscously why I have not done anything in the past.

    What do you guys think? Something along the lines of the 372xp or (I think it is xt now), something in the 70cc range. Might as well look at the 28" capability. Wish I could test drive these puppies :)

    Thanks,
    Bruce
  15. TreePointer

    TreePointer Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Sep 22, 2010
    Messages:
    1,861
    Loc:
    Western PA
    In my earlier post, I wanted to answer your question directly by giving you suggestions for a 20" bar & chain; however, I agree with the others who state that it's likely not worth the investment.

    I had a Stihl 290 (.325 pitch, .063 gauge) with a 20" bar, which is very similar in power to a Husqvarna 455. The dealer talked me into the 20" bar because of it's greater reach (and he was out of 18" bars at the time), and it did help in that matter. It was underpowered when I buried it in hardwoods or making stumps, so I would have preferred a 16-18" bar on it.

    These days, my preference for firewood cutting is a lighter 50cc saw for limbing and small bucking combined iwth a larger 70cc+ saw for large bucking, noodling, and stump making.
  16. Bacffin

    Bacffin Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2012
    Messages:
    533
    Loc:
    30 Miles Northwest of Boston
    Thank TreePointer, I understand. When I have to replace the bar on the 455, I will probably go with the powermatch bar you recommended. I might just keep it at 18" if and when I decide on a larger saw. The larger saw does seem to be the right decision in this case.
    I have the 435 that I use for the smaller stuff already.

    Here is another thought, do you know if Is there a "trade in" market for chain saws, (the 455)? The larger ones seem kind of pricey. This will be a research project in itself comparing all the features and performance etc. Again, if I cannot test drive it, making an incorrect choice could be costly.

    Thanks,
    Bruce
  17. TreePointer

    TreePointer Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Sep 22, 2010
    Messages:
    1,861
    Loc:
    Western PA
    Craigslist is a good local market for chainsaws. You can sell a used 455 for ~$200-300, depending on condition.

    Jonsered (red Husqvarna saws with a straight handle instead of angled) has had a trade-in program for years. Participating dealers offer up to $150 per saw. For comparison purposes, a regular Husqvarna 372XP is essentially the same saw as a Jonsered 2171.
  18. HittinSteel

    HittinSteel Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Aug 11, 2008
    Messages:
    1,587
    Loc:
    Northeastern Ohio
    A 372XP is not really a saw you need to test drive. Just check the reviews and try to find someone that will say something bad about the saw (even die hard stihl guys will not knock a 372). It is simply one of the finest saws ever made.

    The stock 372 will pull a 28" just fine. My ported one is an absolute pleasure to run with a 32" bar.
    DexterDay likes this.
  19. DexterDay

    DexterDay Guest

    I used to own a 455 and a 435 (both of them/ the standard 435 and 435-T tophandle).

    Personally, I would sell the 435 on CL and keep the 455. When the time comes, put a 16" B&C on it and get the 372. That would be a better 2 saw combo (50cc and 70cc).

    I just traded my 455. I used that saw more than any other. I hated to get rid of it :( With a 16" 3/8", it does quite well. :)

    As for the 372. No test drive needed. You wont be able to wipe the smile off your face, if you buy one :)
    Bacffin and HittinSteel like this.
  20. PapaDave

    PapaDave Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Feb 23, 2008
    Messages:
    5,739
    Loc:
    Northern MI - in the mitten
    Bacffin, I recently went the other direction with my 455.
    I went from a 20" to 18" b/c combo and couldn't be happier. It's a bit lighter and cuts a bit faster too.
    Bacffin likes this.
  21. Bacffin

    Bacffin Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2012
    Messages:
    533
    Loc:
    30 Miles Northwest of Boston
    I didn't think of that! That sounds better. I really like the 455 too. I have no probem dumping the 435.
    Is the 372xt just a newer version of the 372xp? Most of the reviews I am looking at are on the xp.
  22. DexterDay

    DexterDay Guest

    Never heard of XT.. All of there Pro Saws are XP's (346XP, 357XP, 562XP, 372XP, 576XP, 395XP, 3120XP, I missed a lot of them).

    The X-T might be X-Torque motors?

    Just keep reading the 372XP reviews :)
  23. Bacffin

    Bacffin Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2012
    Messages:
    533
    Loc:
    30 Miles Northwest of Boston
    Oh Boy, got to get my eyes checked. I could have sworn it was xt.
    DexterDay likes this.
  24. amateur cutter

    amateur cutter Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Aug 20, 2010
    Messages:
    1,170
    Loc:
    West Michigan
    I'm a die hard Stihl guy, & the only bad thing I have to say about a 372 XP is that I haven't found a decent deal on one yet. They're great saws, I predict that you'll love it. A C
  25. HittinSteel

    HittinSteel Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Aug 11, 2008
    Messages:
    1,587
    Loc:
    Northeastern Ohio
    They are stil XP's (husky pro grade), but also carry the XT model name for X Torque. They are strato charged versions of the old design.

    Here's some great and definitive reading on the 576 and 372XT.......

    http://www.arboristsite.com/chainsaw/197366.htm

    http://www.arboristsite.com/chainsaw/156462.htm

    http://www.arboristsite.com/chainsaw/140403.htm

    http://www.arboristsite.com/chainsaw/149464.htm

Share This Page