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Post in 'The Gear' started by bartlett920, Feb 24, 2008.
I was wondering if anyone had any feedback on the Husquavarna 455 Rancher chainsaw?
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If you do a search on "Chainsaw Rancher" you will probably find a pretty fair bit of comment on it. I have not used one personally, but what I've gotten from the feedback is that it's an OK saw in terms of reliability, but nothing great. It is the upper end of the Husky "Homeowner" grade saws, rather than a pro-grade. As such it's heavy for what it does, and a bit shy on power compared to many of the other similar size saws out there. However it is adequate for cordwood cutting, light felling etc. However there appear to be better choices available.
Based on that, I would tend to say that it might be worth picking up a used one at a "bargain" price, and I wouldn't turn one down if it were given to me, but if I were shopping for a new saw I'd look elsewhere.
Disclosure - I just purchased a Dolmar 7900 (79cc engine, 6.4 hp) w/ 20" bar for $659, and I love it... Dolmars are definitely worth looking at.
I picked one up at Costco brand new. I was looking at several saws and what happened at the end of December, no more online sales for Husky's. The dealer wanted way to much $ for the saw I wanted, like 45% more than online. I was at Costco and there was the 455 Rancher, 20" chain, $299. The saw was slightly smaller than what I wanted but I figured at that price, I would give it a try. It is heavier than most saws, but so far it has worked every time.. The 3.4 hp was less than the 4.4 range I was looking at, but it will still cut some larger wood, just not as fast. It is a little heavy for the small stuff. I would not pay the $390 for this saw at a box store or the dealer, but for the price I got it, it is pretty good, in my opinion. For 5-6 cords of wood a year, this saw is fine.
I have had one for 2 years and it's fine. Starts easy, runs nice, I tuned it up myself and got more rpms out of it. Yes it is quite heavy, but I use it for the bigger stuff and use my small Echo for the smaller stuff.
Just as a "for what it's worth" - I paid $699 on-line for my Dolmar from Amick's Superstore, Dolmar is also supposedly prohibiting on-line sales, but they haven't come down on Amick's so far. The service was FANTASTIC, I got the saw faster than I was expecting it, the tracking info said it was shipped two hours after I put in my order. I had one part that was damaged in shipping, I called, and they didn't have the part in stock, so they pulled a replacement off a new saw, and got it to me in three days, no charge, and even through a ten-spot in the package for my trouble!
Of course, $699 was considerably more than the cost of the Rancher... However I got a 79cc saw, with about 6.4hp, in stock trim, with a 20" bar and chain, or almost twice the horsepower of the Rancher, but at 13.6 lbs dry-weight for the powerhead, it weighs about the same. I've been told that if you open up the muffler it's possible to get more power out of it, but I really don't see why I'd bother. I also purchased a 28" bar for the occasional hunks of "big wood" that I encounter, and expect the saw will have no trouble with it - If I need still more, Dolmar rates the saw as good for up to a 32" bar.
It is a very smooth running saw, the engine is spring mounted and counterbalanced so that when you hit the gas it just gets louder, but gives NO vibration, it's smoother at full throttle than it is at idle. The balance is excellent, with the 20" bar it's just ahead of the top bar. Starting is very easy (as long as you don't forget to mash the compression release button %-P ) and reliably 1-2 pulls.
It cuts like the guy in the Ginsu knife commercial only dreams about... It goes through red oak like it wasn't there, including full bar plunge cuts - put it on the log, pull the trigger catch it when it comes out the other side...
(Can you tell that I love this saw? :coolgrin: )
Got another one to come over to the dark side!
I have had mine for about a year and it seems to do well for the wood I cut in Kansas it is heavier than my Stihl but cuts better. I am overall pleased with it. One thing I was wondering about is the adjustable chain oiler. If I have it set on anything more than the lowest setting all the oil will leak into my box during storage. Does anyone else have this problem?
Some Huskys do leak bar oil while sitting.
I've got the rancher's dad, the 55. I have owned it for 11 years, cut 6-8 loads of wood per year, plus have done occasional limbing with it as well. It is a bit lighter than the 455 and has an 18" instead of 20" bar. At the time I purchased it, it was 55 vs. Stihl 029 and at that time (1997), the 55 was lighter and turned more rpms. What have I done to it in 11 years? 1 new air filter, 1 new bar. That's it! Been solid as a rock.
Those old 55s are great saws. Take care of it!
Don't worry, we take care of each other! :coolsmile:
I purchased a 455 about a month ago from T.C.S. for 350.00... The first day the chain fell off twice, Ive cut wood for many
years and never had that happen let alone twice in one day.a week later the bar oiler quit working
Ive owned a 268 husky for ten years and love it but the new huskys are now made by poulan (junk in my opinion)
called T.S.C. and I got my money back no questions asked.I seen your post and just thought Id give you my two cents
Hard to distinguish things in today's global, megacompany, merger-happy environment, but it is my understanding that Poulan is owned by Husqvarna and has been since the late 70's. I would hope (again, no expert, just hypothesizing and don't doubt for a minute that jdtractor got a lemon) that if anything, Poulan quality should come up to Husky, not the other way around. Kind of like JD tractors that are now made by manufacturers around the world that used to make national/regional brands in Europe and Asia, but now make big green. No one is calling JD a Mahindra or a Zetor. Like I said, I dunno, but I hope for us Husky fans it is more a case of getting a lemon rather than a manufacturing trend.
Husky, Poulan and Jonsered are ALL owned by Electrolux - so remember that when you purchase any of them, you are dealing with a company that made it's fortune on products that suck! :lol:
More seriously, everything I've seen discussing the saws is that there are two distinct classes of Husky - The consumer grade / big box store models, that are nothing more than Poulans with an orange paint job - dealers claim there is about 80-90% parts interchangeability between them, and they are built in the same plant on the same assembly lines as the Poulans, and have the same (poor) quality. OTOH, the "Pro-grade" Husky's are still made by the Husky plant, and are mostly pretty solid saws like Husky has always been noted for. Husky has recently changed their policy such that the pro-grade Huskys are now only sold through their dealer chains, no on-line sales or big-box stores need apply.
Most chainsaw manufactures make inexpensive consumer lines and professional lines. It all boils down to how often your going to use it and what your budget is. If the chain slips off I would tighten it up. I have my original Homelight XL, I am gonna guess on it's age, I bought it new 30 years ago and runs great.
Pretty sure (if web reports are correct) that Electrolux "allowed" Husqvarna to have its independence. Based on what I have read they no longer have any controlling interest in Husky.
Makes sense with the "big box commercial" and "pro" models. Many items go that way these days - from lawnmowers to paint brushes. I would still hope however that quality control means something - I don't care if I buy it at the Logger Supply Shop or at Lowes - it's orange, it says Husqvarna on it, and it still wasn't cheap cost-wise. If there is a gap in quality there, that will eventually taint the entire product line (the ol' "perception is reality" axiom).
On another related note, a good friend of mine is a wood cutter by trade, and among his cadre of saws he has a 455 that he speaks very highly of. Of course in his line of work, a 455 is practically a limbing saw to him! :lol:
like I said before I own a 268 husky and love it.Its about ten years old now .I agree there are two types of saws,ones that are made for everyday use and ones that are used when a tree loses a limb in the front yard after a wind storm...once every couple years. I bought the 455 thinking If it says husky on it it should be as good as the older ones .but like many things nowdays quality has taken a back seat to, how can we build it cheaper? trouble is now Ill go to a stihl or something else. sorry you lose husky!
Could be on the Electrolux thing, I haven't seen anything official either way, but the Arboristsite folks still talk about them as an Electrolux division, and those guys OUGHT to know the way they live and breathe chainsaws - makes our interest in wood burning look like a casual hobby...
As I've said, I don't have any personal experience with the low budget Huskys, but the posters on arboristsite that described them as orange Poulans were frequently outdoor power shops that repair the stuff for a living, so I'd expect they'd know... I've also seen some pictures over there of "Frankensaws" with a mix of orange and green parts so there has to be at least some level of exchange.
Well I hope my 455 holds out I dont know if it is a lemon or not but I have used the crap out of it with very little maintenece except for the damn oil leaking out its alright. I just run it empty before I store it. or almost empty I will say one thing Husky chains are terrible I went to using Stihl Oilamatics.
There are many pro series saws on the market that do not cost anywhere near $800. My MS361 (which is a helluva saw in the 60 cc range at 4.4hp and 12.3 pound power head) was out the door with 18" bar, spare chains, added a 25" bar (and chain), gallon of bar oil and 6 pack of 2 stoke oil, chaps and ear muffs for $620. Now, mind you that this was 2 years ago, but still not too bad.
Note: Rancher 455 is a 3.4hp at 12.8 pound power head with a price tag in the area of $350-370 w/18" bar.
Second the under $800 on a pro-saw... I paid $659 for my Dolmar 7900 a month or so ago - 80cc, 6.3 HP, 13.6lbs, powerhead, w/ a 20" bar and chain. Definitely a pro-grade saw, it just about falls through logs. I got mine online from Amick's, and unfortunately Dolmar has gotten stupid and is cutting off the distant shipping sales, but there are at least some dealers offering similar or better pricing for pickup...
I have a 5100s Dolmar it's great. All so have a Stihl ms310 but I'm thinking about selling that.
I bought a 455, I think it all depends on your usage. Would I like a pro saw, well yes, but I can not justify the extra, I would like pro for all my tools.
I have not had the oil issue, could it be the type/viscocity. Maybe it will be an issue if it ever warms up.
Anything substantial for HD or Lowes I use a 10% voucher, never saw them in Costco, all I can say it seems quite a bit up on the Poulans I looked at.
I did feel the weight, but I look upon it as a free work out. And its not as if I am using it a lot. With the box and the oil it was about $400.