Husqvarna has been one of the top brands of chainsaws on the market for more than 60 years. While you can expect to find quality in any of its chainsaws, selecting the right one for the job can be a challenge. Husqvarna manufactures more than 40 different models of chainsaw ranging from small 14-inch chainsaws for light yard work to giant 24-inch beasts for felling large trees. The range of sizes available can make choosing the best Husqvarna chainsaw for the job a little overwhelming. Ahead, learn about what features you should consider when shopping for one of these premium chainsaws, and don’t miss our reviews of some of this premium brand’s top models.
- BEST OVERALL: Husqvarna 445 18″ Gas Chainsaw
- BEST BANG FOR THE BUCK: Husqvarna 120 II 16″ Gas Chainsaw
- UPGRADE PICK: Husqvarna 16 in. Bar Gas Chainsaw, Model #435
- BEST FOR SMALL PROPERTIES: Husqvarna 120 Mark II 14 in. Gas Chainsaw
- BEST FOR LARGE PROPERTIES: Husqvarna 450 Rancher 20 in. Gas Chainsaw
- EASIEST TO USE: Husqvarna 40V Cordless Chainsaw
- BEST HEAVY-DUTY: Husqvarna 460 Rancher 24 in. Gas Chainsaw
What to Consider When Choosing the Best Husqvarna Chainsaw
Husqvarna makes a broad range of chainsaws for both homeowners and professionals. Ahead, learn how to choose the chainsaw that best suits the job.
Types of Husqvarna Chainsaws
Though Husqvarna chainsaws are almost entirely gas powered, the company also makes a few electric chainsaws.
Husqvarna makes one electric chainsaw and one battery-powered chainsaw. These models are more difficult to find at retailers, but they are available. The company’s 16-inch corded chainsaw provides a constant stream of power and is easier to start than its gas-powered models, though it is less powerful. The company also makes a battery-powered chainsaw that uses a rechargeable lithium-ion battery, and it is also suitable for light-duty applications.
The majority of Husqvarna’s more than 40 chainsaws have gas-powered engines. They range from its smallest 12-inch bar models up to its massive 24-inch bar rancher chainsaws. Husqvarna’s gas chainsaws are some of the most powerful on the market with engines that range in output from 38 to 50 cubic centimeters.
Engine capacity on a Husqvarna chainsaw is measured in cubic centimeters (cc). The greater the engine capacity, the more torque the engine can create. Greater torque allows the chainsaw to support a chain with a longer bar while also making it better able to pull the chain through denser material. Husqvarna chainsaw engines range from 38 cubic centimeters, found on its smaller 16-inch chainsaws, up to more than 50 cubic centimeters, which are found on its 20-inch plus models.
Bar Length and Weight
With more than 40 models available, Husqvarna’s chainsaws run the gamut in bar length and weight. The chainsaw’s bar length determines the diameter of the branch it can cut. Bar lengths of 12 to 14 inches are well suited for light-duty jobs, such as cleaning up fallen branches after a storm and general pruning needs. General-purpose chainsaws for cutting small trees and chopping up firewood range in length from 16 to 18 inches, while large 20-inch chainsaws are suitable for cutting larger branches and medium-size trees.
Husqvarna’s chainsaws vary in weight from its lightest 12-inch bar model, which comes in at a little under 6 pounds, to its large 24-inch rancher chainsaw, which tips the scales at more than 14 pounds.
Selecting a chainsaw size largely depends on the type of job. A 14-inch or a 16-inch chainsaw is suitable for light-duty yard work that involves pruning small branches. An 18-inch chainsaw is a good choice for jobs that require cutting down small trees or thicker branches. Larger properties require heavy-duty chainsaws that have bars that are 20 inches or longer.
Husqvarna is known for equipping its chainsaws with technologies that make them easier to maintain. These features include automatic chain oilers, which eliminate the need for the operator to stop the chainsaw periodically and oil the chain, and side-mounted chain tensioning systems that allow the operator to make adjustments to chain tension on the fly. Some of Husqvarna’s larger chainsaws also include quick-release air filters that make it easier to change or clean the filter.
Husqvarna makes its chainsaws safer by addressing one of the most common causes of chainsaw injuries—kickback. This phenomenon occurs when the tip of the bar comes into contact with a solid object, causing the bar to move upward suddenly. While most chainsaws have a chain brake that disengages the chain when the guard in front of the handle is pushed toward the chain by the operator’s hand, Husqvarna’s chainsaws improve on this with an inertia chain brake. This technology stops the chain in fractions of a second as soon as it senses a sudden upward motion in the bar.
In addition to its maintenance and safety features, Husqvarna also equips its chainsaws with other technologies that make them easier to use. The “easy start” feature makes it easier to get the chainsaw started by eliminating the need to make numerous pulls even when the engine is cold. Many of Husqvarna’s chainsaws also include anti-vibration technology that helps reduce operator fatigue over long cutting sessions.
Though most of Husqvarna’s chainsaws use gas engines, they are more environmentally friendly than other brands, thanks to its use of X-Torq, which helps to reduce fuel consumption by up to 20 percent and emissions by up to 60 percent. This technology works by allowing the engine to provide maximum torque at a lower rpm (revolutions per minute). The X-Torq feature also uses pure air, as opposed to air mixed with fuel to flush out exhaust fumes, resulting in cleaner emissions.
Our Top Picks
The list below includes a broad range of Husqvarna chainsaws to suit a variety of needs. It includes the best Husqvarna chainsaw for homeowner use and models suitable for larger properties.
With user-friendly features that cater to less-experienced chainsaw operators and enough power and bar length to take on larger jobs, the 445 is a great all-around chainsaw. A 50.2 cc engine and 18-inch bar make the 445 capable of taking on most jobs around the yard. Features on the 445 abound for DIYers. The “effortless starting” technology helps get the chainsaw up and running without the need for repeated pulls while an anti-vibration feature saves the operator’s hands and arms during longer jobs.
A chain brake that stops the chain when it senses kickback makes the 445 one of the safer chainsaws on the market. It’s also easy to maintain thanks to an automatic oiler that lubricates the chain and a side-mounted tensioning system that allows for on-the-fly adjustments.
- Engine size: 50.2 cc (gas)
- Weight: 14 pounds
- Bar length: 18 inches
- Numerous user-friendly features
- Inertia chain brake stops the chain when it senses kickback
- An automatic oiler and the side-mounted tensioning system makes maintenance easier
- Ample power and bar length for yard maintenance
- A bit pricey as far as 18-inch chainsaws go
Get the Husqvarna 445 chainsaw on Amazon or at Northern Tool.
Though the 120 may be Husqvarna’s most affordable chainsaw, it’s still formidable as far as 16-inch gas chainsaws go. Its 38-cc X-Torq engine produces more than enough power for its 16-inch bar, making it capable of handling most jobs around the yard, including tree pruning and firewood cutting. This kind of power is what one would expect from one of the most expensive 16-inch chainsaws on the market.
The 120 also benefits from the user-friendly technology found on higher-end Husqvarna chainsaws, including an anti-vibration system, easy-start technology, and maintenance-free features that include an automatic chain oiler. The 120 also includes a built-in safety brake that reduces the risk of injury, which is a feature chainsaw that novices will certainly appreciate.
- Engine size: 38 cc (gas)
- Weight: 13.5 pounds
- Bar length: 16 inches
- Anti-vibration and easy-start technology make it easier to operate
- Automatic change brake reduces injury risk
- Automatic chain oiler
- More expensive than other 16-inch chainsaws
Get the Husqvarna 120 II chainsaw on Amazon or at Lowe’s.
The 435 is a great choice for those looking for a little more power when performing general chainsawing tasks around the yard. With its 40.9-cc engine, it produces more torque than the 120 II, which also has a 16-inch bar. This makes it more adept at tackling bigger jobs with more cutting power.
The 435 has the same anti-vibration technology and chain-brake safety features found on the 120 II. There’s also a side-mount chain tensioning system and an auto chain oiler that makes maintenance easier. The 435’s “smart start” starter, a feature lacking on other Husqvarna 16-inch chainsaws, makes the 435 easier to start up. It’s also a bit lighter at 9.7 pounds, making it easier to wield over longer cutting sessions.
- Engine size: 40.9 cc (gas)
- Weight: 9.7 pounds
- Bar length: 16 inches
- Light weight makes it easy to use
- Includes easy-start technology
- Larger engine capable of cutting more quickly
- One of the most expensive 16-inch gas chainsaws on the market
Get the Husqvarna 435 chainsaw at Northern Tool.
While the 120 Mark II may rank as a lighter-duty model by Husqvarna standards, it still packs quite a punch compared to the larger market for this size chainsaw. Its 14-inch bar is well supported by a 38.2 cc gas engine, which supplies ample torque for pruning or cutting up firewood.
Its compact size and manageable weight of 10.7 pounds make it nimble enough for light-duty use, partly making up for the fact that the 120 Mark II does not have the anti-vibration technology found on other Husqvarna chainsaws. Though it lacks the easy-start pull starter found on the company’s other chainsaws, the 120 Mark II does incorporate some of Husqvarna’s easy maintenance technologies, including an automatic oiler and a side-mounted chain tensioning system.
- Engine size: 38.2 cc (gas)
- Weight: 10.7 pounds
- Bar length: 14 inches
- Plenty of engine power for a 14-inch bar
- Manageable weight
- Auto chain lube and side-mounted chain tensioner helps with maintenance
- No anti-vibration or easy-start technology
- Pricey for a 14-inch gas chainsaw
Get the Husqvarna 120 Mark II chainsaw at Tractor Supply Co.
With its larger size and engine, the 450 Rancher can make short work of fallen tree limbs or even medium-size trees. Its large 20-inch bar is capable of cutting trees up to 36 inches in diameter thanks to a massive 50.2 cc engine. The chainsaw is also loaded with Husqvarna’s best user features, which include a “smart start” starter that makes it easier to get the 450’s beefy engine up and running, and a low-vibration system that eases user fatigue over longer cutting efforts.
Maintenance-free technologies that include a side-mounted chainsaw tensioning system and an automatic oiler shorten delays while working. An inertia chain brake is a crucial additional safety feature especially given the higher torque and longer cutting bar of the 450.
- Engine size: 50.2 cc (gas)
- Weight: 11.2 pounds
- Bar length: 20 inches
- Includes anti-kickback inertia chain brake for safety
- Smart-start technology makes it easier to start up
- Maintenance features prevent delays
Get the Husqvarna 450 Rancher chainsaw at Tractor Supply Co. or Northern Tool.
Husqvarna’s only electric chainsaw is a worthy choice for those who value the push-button start-up and maintenance-free design of a battery-powered chainsaw and don’t mind the trade-off in power. Though the 120i isn’t the most powerful battery-powered chainsaw on the market, its 40 minutes of runtime place it squarely among the top of battery-powered chainsaws in terms of runtime. The operator can stretch battery life an additional 10 minutes when putting the 120i in the brand’s “savE” mode, which decreases the chainsaw speed for lighter-duty tasks.
The push-button startup makes the 120i easy to start, while the same inertia-activated chain brake found on Husqvarna’s gas chainsaws reduces the risk of injury. A toolless chain tension adjustment adds to what is already a maintenance-free design. In addition to being easier to start than a gas chainsaw, the 120i is also easier to wield thanks to its light 6.5-pound weight.
- Engine size: N/A
- Weight: 6.5 pounds
- Bar length: 14 inches
- Battery life among that of the top electric chainsaws on the market
- Light 6.5-pound weight makes it easier to use
- Inertia chain brake helps to prevent injury
- Average torque for a battery-powered chainsaw
Get the Husqvarna 120i at Acme Tools.
With a cutting bar that spans 2 feet, Husqvarna’s mightiest chainsaw on this list is capable of taking down large trees, making it a worthy choice for those who need to manage large wooded properties. A beastly 60.3 cc engine provides plenty of torque for turning the 460’s longer chain, making the chainsaw the brand’s heaviest model at 14.5 pounds.
All of Husqvarna’s best technologies are on display with its largest chainsaw including its effortless starting feature, which helps get the larger engine up and running. The 460 also comes equipped with Husqvarna’s vibration-reduction technology and inertia chain brake, which is crucial given the 460’s bar length and large engine. The maintenance features include a side-mounted tensioning system, a quick-release air filter, and an automatic oiler.
- Engine size: 60.3 cc (gas)
- Weight: 14.5 pounds
- Bar length: 24 inches
- Capable of felling large trees
- Anti-vibration technology helps dampen engine vibration
- Effortless-starting technology
- Beefy 60.3 cc engine
- Husqvarna’s most expensive chainsaw on this list
- Heavy total weight
Get the Husqvarna 460 Rancher chainsaw at Northern Tool or on Amazon.
With its 18-inch bar length and stout 50.2 cc engine, the Husqvarna 445 gas chainsaw is the best all-around chainsaw Husqvarna has to offer. Those looking for a more affordable model for light-duty use may want to consider the Husqvarna 120 II gas chainsaw.
How We Chose the Best Husqvarna Chainsaws
In creating our list of the top Husqvarna chainsaws, we included a broad range of models to suit everything from light-duty pruning and trimming up to professional-level tree cutting. When possible, we chose models that incorporate the most useful Husqvarna options, including anti-vibration and easy-start features, as well as maintenance technologies like auto-oilers and side-mounted chain tensioners. Although Husqvarna makes predominantly gas-powered chainsaws, we also included one of its electric chainsaws for those who like the convenience of electric-powered power tools. Engine power was important, so we chose models that produce enough torque to power their respective bar lengths.
Tips on How to Use a Husqvarna Chainsaw
There are a few tips to keep in mind to make working with a Husqvarna chainsaw easier and safer. First and foremost, understand your limits. If you don’t feel comfortable with the chainsaw in your hands or if the task feels too big, then consider calling a professional. Before getting started, check to make sure the chain is properly lubricated and has the correct amount of tension. While working, be mindful of the potential for kickback. Hold the chainsaw firmly in both hands and make sure the tip of the chainsaw does not come into contact with any objects. When making cuts, keep the chainsaw steady and don’t cut anything that is above shoulder height to reduce the risk of injury. Finally, always use protective equipment, which includes a helmet, eye protection, hearing protection, and chainsaw chaps.
- Make sure you feel comfortable with the chainsaw and the job.
- Properly lubricate the chain and adjust the chain tension.
- Hold the chainsaw firmly in both hands while cutting.
- Never cut anything above shoulder height.
- Use the necessary safety equipment.
Read on to find out how to decipher Husqvarna model numbers and bar chain codes and to learn how to select the right size chainsaw for your property.
Q. What do Husqvarna model numbers mean?
The first number in a Husqvarna chainsaw model number refers to the generation of the chainsaw. The second and third digits refer to the cubic centimeters of the engine. Chainsaws meant for professionals include an XP at the end of the model number.
Q. How do you tell what year a Husqvarna chainsaw is?
The year of the Husqvarna chainsaw is delineated by the first two characters of the serial number. For example, a series number that starts with 99 is a 1999 model.
Q. How do you read a Husqvarna chainsaw bar?
A chainsaw bar will have a series of numbers printed on it that include a decimal, a fraction, and a number followed by “DL.” The decimal refers to the gauge size of the chain. The fraction refers to the pitch size, while the number before “DL” lists the number of drive links.
Q. What size of Husqvarna chainsaw do I need?
If you’re a casual chainsaw user who needs a chainsaw for light trimming and small branches, then a 14-inch chainsaw should be adequate. For medium-duty work that includes felling small trees, look for chainsaws in the 16- to 20-inch range. For cutting down larger trees or thicker branches, select a chainsaw that’s 22 inches or longer.
Q. How do you start an old Husqvarna chainsaw?
While starting an old chainsaw can sometimes be a struggle, there are a few things you can do to make it easier. Make sure you’re using fresh fuel and that the chainsaw has the right amount of oil in it. Also, check the spark plug to make sure it’s in good working condition and properly seated.