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Husqvarna 450R Review

A high-performance gas-powered chainsaw that offers exceptional cutting power
Husqvarna 450R
Credit: Husqvarna
Editors' Choice Award
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Price:   $430 List | $449.99 at Amazon
Pros:  Stupendous cutting performance, automatic stop switch return, quick wind-up, fast refueling
Cons:  Ridiculously loud, expensive
Manufacturer:   Husqvarna
By Ross Patton ⋅ Review Editor  ⋅  Jul 21, 2022
Our Editors independently research, test, and rate the best products. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and we never accept free products from manufacturers. Learn more
80
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#2 of 10
  • Saw Performance - 35% 10.0
  • Ease of Use - 30% 7.0
  • Power Performance - 25% 8.0
  • Noise - 10% 4.0

Our Verdict

The Husqvarna 450R is a beast of a chainsaw and is one of our favorite gas-powered models. With a 50cc 2-cycle engine and a beefy 20-inch bar, this machine makes extraordinarily quick work of large cuts. With features such as a quick-release air filter and cover, an automatic kill switch return, fuel & oil level windows, and centrifugal air injection, this model has all of the bells & whistles covered. While it doesn't run quite as long as some of the longest-lasting cordless electric models, it takes mere seconds to refuel thanks to its flip-top fuel cap meaning that you'll be back to cutting almost immediately rather than waiting around for a battery to charge for half an hour or more.

Compare to Similar Products

 
Husqvarna 450R
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Husqvarna 450R
Awards Editors' Choice Award Editors' Choice Award Editors' Choice Award Top Pick Award Best Buy Award 
Price $430 List
$449.99 at Amazon
$369 List
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$400 List
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Overall Score Sort Icon
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Pros Stupendous cutting performance, automatic stop switch return, quick wind-up, fast refuelingTop-notch cutting performance, long-lasting battery, easy chain tensioning system, many other tools that use the same batteriesGreat cutting performance, cord stopper, intuitive tensioning system, oil flow is adjustablePhenomenal charge time, long bar, metal bucking spikesSpectacular battery life, two chain speed settings, barely consumes bar and chain oil
Cons Ridiculously loud, expensiveSo-so wind-up timeOil tank location is not ideal, cord placement could be better, limitations of corded toolsHeavy, noisyNot the strongest cutting power, plastic chain tensioning system, electronic controls slow down sawing
Bottom Line A high-performance gas-powered chainsaw that offers exceptional cutting powerOne of the best options if you're looking for bar length, battery life, and tool-free chain tensioningA corded model that quickly slices through wood and has an easy-to-use tensioning systemThis battery chainsaw has a battery that charges ultra-quick to keep you plugging away at your projectA good degree of performance and an exceptional battery life at a reasonable price
Rating Categories Husqvarna 450R Ego Power+ CS1800 Makita UC4051A Greenworks Pro 80V Husqvarna 120i
Saw Performance (35%)
10.0
9.0
9.0
9.0
6.0
Ease of Use (30%)
7.0
8.0
8.0
6.0
6.0
Power Performance (25%)
8.0
8.0
6.0
8.0
8.0
Noise (10%)
4.0
6.0
6.0
6.0
7.0
Specs Husqvarna 450R Ego Power+ CS1800 Makita UC4051A Greenworks Pro 80V Husqvarna 120i
Model Number 450R CS1800 UC4051A GCS80420 120i
Bar Length 20 inches 18 inches 16 inches 18 inches 14 inches
Power Source Gasoline Battery Corded Electric Battery Battery
Measured Weight 14 lbs, 0 oz 12 lbs, 4 oz 12 lbs, 6 oz 15 lbs, 2 oz 10 lbs, 11 oz
Measured Battery Weight n/a 3 lbs, 8 oz n/a 3 lbs, 8 oz 2 lbs, 12 oz
Amps n/a 5 A 15 A 2 A 4.2 A
Motor Size 50cc 2-Cycle 56V 15 Amp 80V 36V
Measured Runtime 25 minutes 60 minutes n/a 27 minutes 40 minutes
Measured Run Time Eco Mode n/a n/a n/a n/a 54 mins
Recharge/Refuel Time 1 min 90 min n/a 30 min 120 min
Measured Average Cutting Time 4.8 seconds 5.9 seconds 5.7 seconds 5.3 seconds 13.5 seconds
Measured Wind Up Time Instant 1.25 seconds 0.5 seconds 1.15 seconds 0.5 seconds
Measured Decibel Reading at 48in 106.5 dBa 88.8 dBa 94.1 dBa 86.8 dBa 85.9 dBa
Control Type Thumb safety w/ chain brake Side safety w/ chain brake Side safety w/ chain brake Electronic button, side safety, and brake Electronic button, side safety and brake
Chain Replacement and Tensioning Type Included Tool Tool Free Tool free Tool free Tool free
Metal Bucking Spikes Yes Yes Yes Yes No
Oil Conservation 8 8 9 6 8
Bar & Chain Tank Location and Type Side Side, Screen Top Top Side, flip-up
Measured Body Dimesions 16 x 9.5 x 7 inches 16 x 9 x 8 inches 19 x 6 x 6 inches 14 x 9 x 7.5 inches 19 x 7 x 7 inches

Our Analysis and Test Results

Husqvarna has been producing chainsaws for more than 50 years and is most certainly a brand you can trust. With their 450R, they have combined several of their technological innovations into a product that would make a great addition to any logging or tree service fleet but is also small enough and easy enough to operate to be considered a consumer model. If you want a gas-powered chainsaw from an industry-leading brand that will help you get your projects done in record time, this is the one.

Performance Comparison


Husqvarna 450R chainsaw - the husqvarna 450r is the way to go if you're in the market for a...
The Husqvarna 450R is the way to go if you're in the market for a top-tier gas-powered chainsaw.
Credit: Ross Patton

Saw Performance


For the first 35% of our total score, we conducted a series of side-by-side evaluations to determine which saws made the fastest cuts and which handled the best. We also paid close attention to how long it took each saw to wind-up to full power after pulling the throttle trigger. Whether it was logs, lumber, or felling trees, the Husqvarna 450R was the champion of all of our cutting tests.


To begin this assessment, we created a "fake log" out of a stack of Douglas Fir 4x4s, then made several timed cuts and calculated an average time. The purpose of this test was to make sure that each saw was cutting through the exact same amount and type of wood.

Husqvarna 450R chainsaw - the husqvarna 450r cuts faster than any other model that we've tested.
The Husqvarna 450R cuts faster than any other model that we've tested.
Credit: Ross Patton

Our team quickly determined that this model had a practically non-existent wind-up time. As soon as you pull the trigger, it's go time. After making several timed cuts, the Husqvarna 450R showed an average cutting time of 4.8 seconds — a GearLab record.


After our time trials using a specific size and shape of wood, we took the 450R around our six-acre test site to subjectively judge how it handled and performed in a real-life logging situation. Our team found that the Husqvarna cut through the local Pinyon Pine like a hot knife through butter. It handles exceptionally well with its ergonomic handlebar and rear handle. The saw feels perfectly balanced. Although it is a bit heavy, the weight of a chainsaw can often help rather than hinder while completing a task, especially while bucking logs down into firewood.

Husqvarna 450R chainsaw - tons of power coupled with a long bar makes the husqvarna 450r a...
Tons of power coupled with a long bar makes the Husqvarna 450R a great choice for those that have big projects to get done.
Credit: Ross Patton

Ease of Use


Among the various types of chainsaws produced by dozens of manufacturers, there are all types of bells, whistles, and subtle features that can make your life easier while handling your projects. For this section, we closely look at the elements designed into each saw that have user-friendliness in mind. Over the years and years and thousands of products that we've tested here at GearLab, we've also found that sometimes manufacturers tend to fib a bit on their tech specs. For this reason, we measured each saw's body dimensions and threw each model on the scale to double-check the dry weight. This section of our review accounts for 30% of the overall score.


Scoring just short of the top of the pack for this metric, the Husqvarna 450R has many attractive features. One of our favorite details is the automatic stop switch return. When you're constantly stopping your engine, it's nice to know that when it's time to make cuts again that all you have to do is pull the cord. The auto-return also doubles as a safety feature. Because you have to hold the stop button down for a couple of seconds to stop the motor, if you ever accidentally bump it while making a cut, it will return to the "run" position before the motor stops.

Husqvarna 450R chainsaw - the stop lever on the husqvarna 450r automatically returns to the...
The stop lever on the Husqvarna 450R automatically returns to the run position.
Credit: Ross Patton

We are always fans of indicator windows on the fuel and oil tanks that allow you to visually see how much gas and oil you have left without opening the caps. And no chainsaw can be considered high-performance without metal bucking spikes.

Fuel-level windows are always a plus.
Fuel-level windows are always a plus.
Metal bucking spikes aid in leverage by biting into the wood as the...
Metal bucking spikes aid in leverage by biting into the wood as the chain pulls the bar downward.

2-cycle chainsaws have an air intake that feeds the cylinder with oxygen from the atmosphere in order to allow the fuel to combust. The 450R has a centrifugal fan wheel that pushes air into the cylinder and a quick-release air filter that is easily cleaned. A large part of the upper saw body is a quick-release cover that protects the cylinder as well as the air filter.

The 450R cover clips easily pop off by prying them with the included...
The 450R cover clips easily pop off by prying them with the included tool.
Once the main cover is removed, the air filter has a quick-release...
Once the main cover is removed, the air filter has a quick-release wire clip that is removed without the use of tools.

Power Performance


When it comes to portable chainsaws, they are either powered by a battery or powered by fuel. For this metric, we considered the benefits and shortcomings of using each type of saw. We also wanted to perform a side-by-side comparison on which ones ran the longest, either per battery charge or gas tank. We also timed how long it took each battery to recharge after being completely exhausted of power as well as how long it takes to refill a gas tank and get back to cutting. This metric accounts for 25% of the total score.


To measure runtime, we used metal straps to anchor the saws to a stump or outdoor wooden table. We then used a large utility clip to hold the throttles down and timed how long the saws ran at full throttle until they effectively ran out of juice. We stopped the timer and gave the saws a rest every ten minutes in order to let the motors cool and refill the bar & chain oil.

Husqvarna 450R chainsaw - we used metal straps to anchor the saws and then a large utility...
We used metal straps to anchor the saws and then a large utility clip to hold the throttles wide open to measure runtime. Do not try this at home.
Credit: Ross Patton

The Husqvarna 450R didn't run for as long as several of the electric models, but it most certainly did not have the worst showing for this evaluation.


While the 450R didn't have the most impressive runtime, it more than makes up for it with the time it takes to refuel. One of the beauties of gas-powered chainsaws is that you can refuel and get back to work in under a minute.


As long as you have gas on hand, the process of mixing a gallon of 2-cycle fuel also takes mere seconds. Even the fastest chainsaw batteries take much longer to charge, and you need a power source to charge them.

Noise


For the remaining 10% of our overall score, we measured the amount of noise emitted by each chainsaw with a decibel meter from a distance of four feet away while the machines were running at full throttle. We also used a panel of judges to determine if there were any pitches or sounds that the saw made that were especially hard to have to listen to.


Unfortunately, this is not a strong suit for the Husqvarna 450R. Not only was it the loudest gas-powered model, but it was also the loudest saw out of any chainsaw type.


If you're going to go with the Husky, be prepared to also purchase some serious PPE for your ears and maybe warn your neighbors that it's going to be loud for a while when you're working. Also, unlike electric models, gas-powered models need to idle between cuts making them extra annoying to operate.

Value


The Husqvarna 450R is one of the most expensive models in our review. That said, the way we see it is that you're investing in a high-performance machine that can handle the toughest jobs. However, if you don't absolutely require a heavy-duty chainsaw, it makes sense to go with a model that costs a whole lot less.

Conclusion


When it comes to gas-powered chainsaws, it would be difficult to beat the Husqvarna 450R. Like most 2-cycle chainsaws, this model can be refueled in a matter of seconds. Its list of features is enough to convince any sawyer that it's a worthy model, and Husqvarna is a brand you can trust. Above all, the cutting performance displayed by this model is one of the best

Ross Patton
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