Stihl MS 291 vs Husqvarna 455 Rancher

Stihl MS 291 vs Husqvarna 455 Rancher

Stihl MS 291 vs Husqvarna 455 Rancher which chainsaw is going to give you the most bang for your buck?

Both Stihl and Husqvarna have firmly cemented themselves at the top of the chainsaw market dominating over some of the lesser well known brands like Echo and Remington.

The MS 291 and 455 Rancher are both suitable for light to medium uses. Perfect for at home or on a ranch/farm but are possibly a little under-powered to be used as a professional chainsaw on a busy forestry site cutting large diameter lumber.

Lets take a brief look at each one and see what kind of specifications and features they have at the end we'll pick our preferred chainsaw between the two.

Stihl MS 291

The MS291 from Stihl is powered by 55.5 cu 3.76 hp gas motor. It's fuel tank has a 500 cc capacity. The 291 is advertised as one of Stihl's fuel efficient chainsaws and they claim that it will run 20% longer than the previous 290 model.

Available with sixteen to twenty inch bar length and weighing just over twelve pounds it is still light and small enough some head height use, whilst still having decent cutting power.

Note that you may want to remove the chain that comes out of the box with one of the better ones available from Stihl. Usually once you fit a higher end chain on a new saw the difference in cutting performance is like night and day.

Husqvarna 455 Rancher

The 455 Rancher from Husqvarna is powered by 55.5 cu 3.49 hp 2-stroke gas motor and has a top speed of 9,000 RPM. It's fuel tank is just under 15 ounces in size. 

The Rancher features Husqvarna's X-Torq engine which cut fuel consumption by twenty percent and emissions by almost seventy five percent. It also meets the standard CARB compliant regulations for emissions.

Like most new two-strokes it is best to run in the engine when first purchased. Running at less than full continuous power for the first seven or eight hours is the best way to achieve this.

On the bar front the Rancher can accept anything from thirteen inches up to twenty four inches. So for lighter work you can have the shorter bar making the saw easier to handle and on heavier work the longer bar means greater cutting capacity.

Although with the larger fitted bar you can handle much bigger pieces of wood, ideally for lots of heavy duty work you should be looking at something with a larger 70-80cc motor over the 455's 55cc one.

The 455 Rancher also has a handy easy to read fuel gauge so you'll know before you run the tank dry.


  • 55-1/2 cc
  • 20 inch long bar
  • Inertia operated chain brake
  • LowVib vibration dampening system
  • Smart start system
  • 2 year warranty

Stihl MS 291 vs Husqvarna 455 Rancher

Stihl MS 291 vs Husqvarna 455 Rancher which one is the better value chainsaw?

Well both these saws can be considered to be at the higher end of the homeowner or retail market and at the lower to mid level of the professional chainsaw market.

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Both brands have a very solid fan base and some are quite adamant that the other brand is basically a pile of junk! Which, is clearly untrue. Both models are two highly capable chainsaws and are suitable for most homeowners or light farm use.

Unfortunately the Stihl's are only available through the company's network of main dealers and if you are unfortunate enough to live far from one then they are a bit of a non-runner.

We do have to pick one and for us the Husqvarna 455 Rancher is the winner.

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