Husqvarna 450R Review
Pros: Stupendous cutting performance, automatic stop switch return, quick wind-up, fast refueling
Cons: Ridiculously loud, expensive
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|Pros||Stupendous cutting performance, automatic stop switch return, quick wind-up, fast refueling||Top-notch cutting performance, long-lasting battery, easy chain tensioning system, many other tools that use the same batteries||Great cutting performance, cord stopper, intuitive tensioning system, oil flow is adjustable||Phenomenal charge time, long bar, metal bucking spikes||Spectacular battery life, two chain speed settings, barely consumes bar and chain oil|
|Cons||Ridiculously loud, expensive||So-so wind-up time||Oil tank location is not ideal, cord placement could be better, limitations of corded tools||Heavy, noisy||Not 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 power||One of the best options if you're looking for bar length, battery life, and tool-free chain tensioning||A corded model that quickly slices through wood and has an easy-to-use tensioning system||This battery chainsaw has a battery that charges ultra-quick to keep you plugging away at your project||A 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%)|
|Ease of Use (30%)|
|Power Performance (25%)|
|Specs||Husqvarna 450R||Ego Power+ CS1800||Makita UC4051A||Greenworks Pro 80V||Husqvarna 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|
|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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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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