Husqvarna has been a major player in the forestry and landscaping industry for over 60 years now. The Husqvarna 90, introduced in 1959, was their first attempt at a chainsaw, and it quickly grew to be known as one of the finest models of the generation. Fast forward to the present – and the brand’s quality has only improved.
Over the years, the brand has built up a huge catalog of high-performance chainsaws suitable for all sorts of forestry applications. Two of their top-sellers, the Husqvarna 455 and 460 Rancher, often become a subject of debate among enthusiasts.
If I’m being honest, though – there’s not a lot of difference between the two models. The two chainsaws share many similarities with each other. And the handful of differences that they have isn’t really all that big to make you think one chainsaw is vastly superior to the other.
But there are still some differences that are worth talking about. In this article, I will compare the features of the Husqvarna 455 and 460 Rancher to give you a clearer picture of what you will get with either chainsaw. So, let’s hop in. Like always, let’s start with a quick chart to kick things off.
Comparison Table with Specs for Husqvarna 455 and 460 Rancher
|Key Factor||Husqvarna 455 Rancher||Husqvarna 460 Rancher|
|Powerhead Weight||13.2 pounds||13.2 pounds|
|Displacement||55.71 cc||60.3 cc|
|Fuel Capacity||14.87 oz.||14.87 oz.|
|Max Torque||6600 RPM||7000 RPM|
|Engine Power||18 – 20 inches||18 – 24 inches|
|Bar Length||3.2 hp||3.5 hp|
|Price||CHECK LATEST PRICE||CHECK LATEST PRICE|
Differences Between the Husqvarna 455 and 460 Rancher
I’m sure you can already see a couple of major differences between the two chainsaws from the chart above. The thing is, while the two chainsaws are part of the same line and share many similarities, they differ in many regards. It might not be much, but it does affect the performance.
So let me highlight some of the key differences to showcase exactly what you will be missing out on when you go with one over the other.
- Power and Performance
The first thing that most people check when they are buying a new chainsaw is engine power. And it’s only natural since this is what will affect the overall cutting capacity of the chainsaw.
Now both the Husqvarna 455 and 460 Rancher feature their trademark X-Torq engine. So, you can be sure that the quality of the engine is nothing short of perfection. But engine capacity is capped at different levels.
The 455 Rancher, for instance, comes with a 55.71 ccs engine that can deliver up to 3.5 HP output. On the other hand, with the 460 Rancher, you will get a bigger 60.3ccs engine that can go up to 3.62 HP.
From the values alone, you can see that the 460 Rancher is the more powerful model of the two. And the performance boost might look slim on paper, but in practice, the 460 Rancher is capable of dealing with thicker trees much easier than the 455 Rancher. So, the 460 Rancher takes the lead here.
Winner: Husqvarna 460 Rancher
- Fuel Consumption and Emissions
Gas chainsaws can often come with a high upkeep cost that most people forget to consider beforehand. I have lost count of the number of times I have seen people put their new chainsaws on sale simply because they can’t keep up with the cost of fresh fuel.
Now gasoline chainsaws are fuel-hungry beasts, but there are some models that require less refill. It all depends on the engine design and how efficient the overall fuel system is. Thankfully both the Husqvarna 455 and 460 are fuel-efficient chainsaws that don’t chug up an absurd amount of fuel.
But between the two, the Husqvarna 460 Rancher seems like the more fuel-efficient chainsaw in my testing. It has a bigger engine, so naturally, I thought it would use more fuel. However, when I was trying out the two chainsaws, the 460 Rancher would show better runtime on a full tank.
The difference, though, is pretty minimal and shouldn’t matter all that much. The 455 Rancher runs quite efficiently, too, and if you are willing to shave off a few bucks on your investment, it’s a fine choice too.
Winner: Husqvarna 460 Rancher by a slight margin.
- Bar Length Options
If you want to cut through thicker logs, then your chainsaw needs a long bar. While engine power and fuel efficiency are important, without the right bar size, you won’t be cutting any thick branches anytime soon. But unfortunately, you can’t just fit any bar size in your chainsaws.
You see, not all chainsaws can handle large bars over 20 inches. Sure, you might be able to fit it, but your chainsaw might not be powerful enough to drive the bar smoothly at its rated RPM. If your engine is not compatible with the bar length, your chainsaw will not work as intended.
The Husqvarna 455 Rancher is designed to use either an 18-inch bar or a 20-inch bar which is great for moderate workloads. You should be fine if all you want to do is property maintenance, like trimming bushes or cutting small wooden pieces. But for heavy-duty work such as felling trees, you need a bigger bar.
This is where the Husqvarna 460 truly outshines the 455 Rancher, in my opinion. With the 460 Rancher, you can comfortably use a 24-inch bar which is perfect for forestry applications. And since the engine power is better with this chainsaw, you should face little trouble cutting through thicker logs.
Winner: Husqvarna 460 Rancher
Sometimes, you don’t need to look at fancy features. Sometimes, everything just boils down to one simple thing – the price of the chainsaw. Now I understand that budget can be a big issue for many people, but frankly, I would classify both of these models in the affordable chainsaws category.
The reason is that even the more expensive Husqvarna 460 Rancher costs only around 600 bucks which is pretty reasonable for the level of performance that it offers. And if the money’s tight, the Husqvarna 455 Rancher is around 50 to 70 dollars cheaper, giving you excellent value for the price.
From a strictly budget standpoint, though, the Husqvarna 455 Rancher takes the cake.
Winner: Husqvarna 455 Rancher
Similarities Between the Husqvarna 455 and 460 Rancher
I know – the main point of this article is to talk about the differences, but since they are so similar, I couldn’t help myself. Now that you have looked at the differences, here is a quick look at the features that both of these chainsaws have in common.
- Lightweight Design
One of the main appeals of both the 455 and 460 Rancher is their lightweight design. Both of these chainsaws weigh around 13 pounds which is pretty easy to carry around even when you are working on a single project for long stretches at a time.
- X-Torq Engine Technology
Both of these chainsaws feature the Husqvarna X-Torq engine technology. Now, what does that mean for you? Well, the X-Torq engine is a powerful technology designed by the brand that reduces gas emissions by around 60 percent.
It also improves the fuel efficiency of the engine by around 20 percent, meaning your chainsaw will give you excellent uptime. This technology also implies that you will need to spend less on fuel.
- LowVib Technology
Another feature that both chainsaws have in common is the implementation of Husqvarna LowVib Technology. You see, chainsaws, by design, produce a lot of vibration when you use them.
However, because of this feature, the amount of vibration that your chainsaw produces is minimized drastically. So, you don’t need to worry about having to deal with excessive rattling when you are handling these chainsaws.
- Smart Start Technology
Firing up your chainsaw can be tricky if you are a beginner. But with the Husqvarna 455 and 460 Rancher, the manufacturers tried to make it as easy as possible for you by implementing a Smart Start Technology.
For one thing, these chainsaws come with a Quick Start system with Air Purge that pushes out the air from the carburetor, making it easier for you to fire up the engine. In addition, the decompression valve in the chainsaw also reduces the amount of cranking you must do to turn it on.
- Air Injection Technology
Air Injection Technology is another clever design that’s present in both the Husqvarna 455 and 460 Rancher. These chainsaws come with a centrifugal air cleaning system that pushes larger debris out of the chainsaw before it can get to the air filter and clog it up.
As a result, the lifespan of your air filter is increased dramatically. This means you don’t need to worry about replacing the filters after a couple of weeks of using the chainsaw, and the engine will also last longer.
- Chain Brake Safety System
Chainsaws can be extremely dangerous, especially at the hands of someone who doesn’t know what he’s doing. But thanks to the Inertia-Activated Chain Brake system used in Husqvarna chainsaws, the risk of injury due to kickback is as low as it can get.
Both of these chainsaws come with this clever chain brake safety system. So if you are a beginner, you will be fine going with either option. But just because there’s a safety system in place doesn’t mean you can throw your common sense out the window. Make sure there’s no one around you when you are using it.
- Side-Mounted Chain Tensioner
You can make quick and easy adjustments in the chain thanks to the chain tensioner being mounted on the side of the chainsaw in both of these models. This means you no longer need to stop in the middle of your work to adjust the tension.
- X-Cut Chain
The X-Cut chain design is the pride and joy of the folks at Husqvarna. This is their original chain design, and you can find it showcased in both of these chainsaws. It promises to deliver smooth and precise cuts regardless of the type of work you are doing.
- Dedicated Felling Marks
Both the Husqvarna 455 and 460 rancher comes with distinct markers in the body of the chainsaw to make your cuts smoother. These dedicated felling marks help you align the cut with the felling direction of the tree.
Husqvarna 455 Vs 460 Rancher: What’s the Verdict
I’m sure you have noticed how the 460 Rancher outshines the Husqvarna 455 Rancher in almost all things but the price. Well, it really shouldn’t come as a surprise since the 460 Rancher is the upgraded model.
This makes my job easy, though, so you will find no complaints from me. If you have the budget for it and want a future-proof chainsaw that can handle practically any task you throw at it, go for the 460 Rancher. But if the budget is tight, or you would rather spend the 50 bucks elsewhere, the 455 Rancher is a great choice too.
It all comes down to your requirements in the end. The 455 Rancher is an amazing entry-level chainsaw for those looking to do some light property maintenance from time to time. But it’s not well-suited for forestry applications and might show it’s lacking in certain projects.
And on the other hand, the 460 Rancher is a pretty well-rounded chainsaw that can do everything pretty decently. But it does cost more, and if you are planning to do property maintenance only, it might seem like an over-commitment.
I hope my comparison between the Husqvarna 455 and 460 Rancher can help you make an informed decision. Cheers!