One of the most essential tools in anyone’s arsenal, the chainsaw can prove pivotal in different projects.
When talking about tools, it’s hard to pick the best one for your needs. There are plenty of different models and manufacturers of hardy equipment, making choosing difficult. Whenever you see a company update an old favorite of customers, the new version is mostly the same as the previous edition, albeit with some added features.
So really, it boils down to how much you crave the new, device versus the old. The newer model will always have better features and a slightly-advanced design, but at a cost. The cost is the biggest kicker, and deciding if an old model will fit your needs can be tough, especially when staring that new beauty right in the eyes.
Today, we’re going to be looking at the Husqvarna 450, one of the company’s higher-end chainsaws. How does it compare to the older Husqvarna 350? Both chainsaws are meant to tackle everyday tasks, and are a gap between commercial and personal use power tools. Both are highly regarded within the chainsaw community, and carry the same warranty.
The real question: what saw is right for you? Quick answer: if you value a fuel gauge on your tools, it’s probably the newer 450.
Comparing the Husqvarna 450 to the 350
A little background information for you before we dive deep into the details: when trying to find the newest product to be offered by a manufacturer, look at their numbering system. Often, the model is based on the older number, and is just a way for them to tell the generation of the product, and its power.
In this case, the Husqvarna 450 is the fourth-generation chainsaw by the company, and shares the same 50cc power rating as the older model 350. It’s something to look out for when tool shopping, and we felt it was necessary to mention. Does that mean the newer saw is better though?
The Mechanical Similarities Between the Husqvarna 450 and 350
Let’s start with some of the basics regarding both chainsaws. Both saws are meant as a long-lasting solution for a variety of different uses. If you were to pick up either saw you’d find they’re both about 11 pounds in weight, without any cutting equipment. They both feature air-injected, 3.2 horsepower engines, while riding on the same platform. The 450 gains some new technology in X-Torq, with is Husqvarna’s fancy way of consuming less fuel for reduced exhaust emissions on their saw.
Both engines are two-stroke, and sit idle at 2,700 rpm, with a maximum speed of 9,000 rpm. Both air injection systems are designed to keep saw free of any debris that may find the mechanical area. The carburetor air will pass through starter first, with the starter area filtering out and particles that may find their way inside the system.
A Swift and Smooth Operation for Both Parties
If you want saws that have an easy starting mechanism, look no further than either saw. Both the 350 and 450 feature Husqvarna’s Smart Start technology, allowing for smooth, cold-starts with no issues attached. Each saw can accommodate saw lengths from 13 to 20 inches, proving handy in their functions.
As far as handles and triggers go, each device has the same ergonomic handle design. This means that the plastic mold for the handle area also has a soft inlay of material for the sides of your hand to grab when in use, and is nicer to the touch. The material itself is slightly grippy, and there really isn’t any determinable difference between either installed on the 450 or 350.
Speaking of the trigger and handle, both come in handy when trying to reduce and feel vibrations when the saw is in use. With the 450, Husqvarna has added in a reinforced vibration system into the chassis of the chainsaw, with the sole reason of dampening vibrations felt while in use. When a manufacturer can reduce vibrations over longer periods of use, you’ll find that your fatigue won’t drain as fast.
These Tools are More Similar Than You Might Think
When it comes down to it, the two chainsaws are very similar, internally at least. While Husqvarna isn’t setting the world on fire by creating the most powerful saw in the 50cc engine bracket, the company is crafting a solid, well-performing chainsaw that will last many years to you, provided it’s taken care of accordingly.
This is not to say they are truly the same saw, though.
The Biggest Differences Between the Two Chainsaws
It’s tough to get past any similarities, and it may seem like the core of these saws are really the same. If you said that, you aren’t far off. The biggest differences between the two models come in the form of technology, placement of attachments, and little changes to features. Also, there is a lot under the hood, part-wise, that has changed with the 450, but most of it is just the nitty-gritty details. It doesn’t affect the performance much, but should be mentioned that the actual shared parts between the two pieces of equipment are the fuel caps and spark plugs.
One thing heavy chainsaw users might notice at first glance is that the 450 uses a single-bar stud for its chains, rather than a double-bar stud latches that the 350 houses. Some people may claim that the double-bar standard will hold the chain tighter to the track, while others won’t ever notice a difference. When considering chainsaws, the number of studs that hold the chain in place probably isn’t an issue with personal use. You might find that in commercial-grade equipment that statistic will matter, as the saw needs to work at higher speeds. But here, it doesn’t matter.
Winning the Handiness Race Among These Two Saws
If you’re looking for a saw with the more convenience-based features, the 450 wins that race handily. The body of the Husqvarna 450 features a quick release top cover, meaning if you need to get into the engine compartment quickly it’s just a button press away. This can be an important safety device, especially when working alone on something. Not being able to get the cover off can lead to overheating, and being able to pinpoint a problem on the spot is helpful.
Another added security feature that the 350 lacks is a secure air filter setup. While the air filter should hold in place when in, or out, of use, the 450’s air filter area is more secure due to its quick release function as well. Speaking of covers, there is a snap-lock cylinder flap on the 450 that will save time and effort when cleaning the inside of the saw, or when changing spark plugs.
Let’s Talk About That Fuel Gauge
Have you ever tried to drive a car without a fuel gauge? If not, then using a power tool that requires gasoline to function is the same idea. If you had to take the 350 out to work, and didn’t have access to any fuel, there was no way to tell how much fuel was left inside. Unless you could feel based on the weight of the saw–and some can–you’d be out of luck if it were to run out of gas on the job.
The 450 finally rectified that problem, and it is an easy to see transparent indicator. The new model fuel adds a gauge indictor that is visible on the outside of the machine. One last note on fuel: both chainsaws feature a one-liter tank volume, meaning at full throttle the 450 will last longer than the 350 due to its X-Torq technology. Both should last a full day of cutting, though, so no qualms there.
Again, most of the features added to the fourth generation Husqvarna chainsaw are user-friendly, helpful aids that don’t change the power tool altogether. They simply add helpful tips and pieces to make the whole operation smoother. If smoother operation isn’t your thing, then maybe the Husqvarna 350 would be better suited towards your needs.
The Overall Appearance of Each Husqvarna Saw
Performance is king with power tools, but if we take a step back to examine the actual look of them, you might be surprised as to what we find. Even though most people won’t admit it, the appearance of something can greatly affect the way we perceive its value and performance.
In our case, the Husqvarna 450 looks quite a big snazzier than the older 350, with more plastic orange coating used as housing. It also looks futuristic, and the placement of the starting handle makes it easier to use. On the contrary, the 350 seems to employ an aging design, one that is devoid of any real steps to stand out in the crowd of chainsaws.
But How’s the Performance on the 450?
This may be the biggest indicator of whether a chainsaw is better than its older counterpart. To get a grasp of which saw performs better, even under the same cutting specifications, you’ll have to run it through the same tests.
When getting into hardwood, both saws started to bog down when tried to really hit the cutting hard. This is to be expected, as they’re only 50cc, and most of us won’t be on big hardwood cords. The mesquite wood, on the other hand, was handled easily enough by both. The 450 seems to have better trigger control, but both handle nicely and you can tell there is a good weight ratio employed.
While cutting was marginally better on the Husqvarna 450, there were some issues with the 350 that the 450 didn’t exhibit. For one, the 350 seems to have a problem with oil. Namely, it really likes to leak oil. This can create a bigger issue over time, so it’s something to know going in.
One last note regarding the Husqvarna 350: some users have reported that the muffler bolts would frequently come off. We can’t confirm either way, but this issue doesn’t seem to be found in the 450, adding a reason to consider the newer chainsaw over its predecessor.
Verdict: Which Husqvarna Chainsaw Should You Buy?
If we had to give a definitive pick, our advice would lean towards the newer 450. It may seem ridiculous to be paying for a nicer overall design and better functionality for a power tool meant for cutting big things, but truth be told the convenience portions make it a safe bet.
There is no reason to sell you, or your business, short when picking the right tools for the job, and while the 350 will be able to perform up to the same level as the 450, it doesn’t pack in the safety and security features its big brother carries. In this case, too, all the added accessories and revamps to design aid in some way or another. The inclusion of lower fuel consumption and reduced exhaust emissions keep it environmentally friendly, saving you at the pump.
If you’re in the market for a new and improved chainsaw, you could do far worse than the 450. The Husqvarna 450 is an excellent chainsaw that is ready for almost any task you might have in store for it. There’s nothing like seeing your new saw perform admirably, and that’s exactly what you’re getting with the new kid on the block.