Stihl MS 271 vs Husqvarna 450: Which one is the best?

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By Jake Hill


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If you are in the market for a brand new chainsaw, Farm Boss and the Husqvarna 450 Rancher are familiar. These saws have been in fierce competition for years. The two machines got the attention of domestic and infrequent users.

Their outstanding performance in mid-size cutting projects and great features made many ranchers want them.

The similarities between Rancher 450 and Farm Boss 271 made users confused about which one was the best. If you need clarification regarding the Stihl MS 271 vs. Husqvarna 450 differences, we are here to help. In this blog post, we will thoroughly compare the two chainsaw models.

Stihl MS 271 vs. Husqvarna 450: A Quick Overview

The Husqvarna 450 is famous for its reliable performance on small-scale projects. It can also fit a wide range of bars, from 16″ to 20″. You would notice, however, a slight slowness in its performance with a 20-inch bar. This Husky model comes from the Rancher series, which also contains the Husqvarna 445 and 460.

Thanks to its powerful engine, this chainsaw can be used for light-duty and heavy-duty cutting and cleaning tasks. Also, you can use it for felling softwood and hardwood trees, including pine and cedar, gum, and hickory trees.

Stihl 271, also known as farm boss, is one of many Sthil products with this nickname. Other Stihl chainsaws bear the same name. This includes MS 311, 391, and 291. All these models are less well-known than the MS 271. So, it is very common to find many users believing it is the only farm boss model out there.

The name farm boss is widely considered an equivalent to the rancher series from Husqvarna. In general, both series are not meant for simple cutting jobs. So, both items in this comparison are different from entry-level chainsaws. Still, they are not the ultimate professional chainsaws either.

Stihl MS 271 Overview

There are better choices than the farm boss for heavy-duty farming tasks. However, they need to address the needs of entry-level chainsaw operators. The farm boss category covers the needs of mid-size projects. So, it is somewhere in the middle between professional and entry-level saws.

Its engine has a capacity of 50.2 cc. However, it is considered a lightweight chainsaw with an impressive power-to-weight ratio. Another noteworthy specification of this Stihl model is that it is manufactured in the U.S.

Moreover, it is compatible with two different size guide bars. This includes 16 and 20 inches. However, the manufacturer only recommends using the farm boss with a 16-inch bar.

The advanced safety features of the Stihl Farm Boss could be one of the reasons why this saw is highly sought-after. This chainsaw has a Quickstop chain brake system, activating the brake once you push the lever forward. Such a feature has greatly reduced the chances of getting cut in cases of kickbacks.

Moreover, the saw has bumper spikes. Bumper or bucking spikes give the saw more stability when you operate it on a tree.

Like most modern Stihl chainsaws, this farm boss featured fuel efficiency and reduced emissions. It also has advanced anti-vibration technology for increased comfort and better control.

This saw has been on the market for around 13 years, but newer versions are coming. This is why its advanced features keep getting better over the years.

Husqvarna 450 Overview

The Husqvarna 450 is one of the most reliable mid-size chainsaws. It comes with a very powerful engine with a capacity of 50 cc. Such power makes the machine pairable with longer guide bars. You can pair this Husqvarna rancher with a 20-inch blade.

One of the standard features between this Husqvarna 450 and the Stihl MS 271 is the automatic oiler for distributing bar chain oil. Moreover, this Husqvarna rancher is equipped with side access to the tensioner. This way, you won’t need any tools to adjust the chain easily and in no time.

The machine provides efficient fuel consumption thanks to the X-Torq technology in the saw. This built-in technology makes the 3.20 hp 2-stroke gas motor consume less fuel by around 20%.

That same feature is similar to the reduced-emission engine technology in Stihl chainsaws. In this Husqvarna model, the emissions are reduced by around 60%.

Starting this Husqvarna rancher is relatively easy. The presence of a start-stop switch makes the starting process faster and simpler. However, the recoil starter is meant to last for a short time. It would jam after a little use.

It is not a heavy chainsaw; its dry weight reaches 5.2 kilograms (11.6 pounds). This means the machine is very portable. This only changes a little when the machine comes into use. The actual weight with all fluids and the bar and chain on reaches 6.3 kilograms (14 pounds).

Husqvarna 450 vs. Stihl MS 271: The Comparison

Deciding which chainsaw is the best requires in-depth knowledge of the distinctions and features of each machine. You would find some similarities, as both saws are in the same price category.

For instance, both of them have the same engine capacity. Also, both use the same fuel-to-oil ratio. Besides these three points, you will find totally different machines with much to offer.

1. Powerhead Weight

As both machines are built for medium-range cutting jobs, portability is essential. While we have encountered many lightweight chainsaws from Stihl, this is different here. The Husqvarna 450’s lighter weight allows for better maneuverability and portability around the ranch.

The dry weight of Husqvarna 450 is about five kilograms (11.2 pounds). Meanwhile, the Stihl farm boss weighs 5.5 kilograms (12.3 pounds). So, the Husky rancher is a winner at this point.

2. Pollution Levels

Both manufacturers are constantly competing to meet the strictest carb emissions regulations. This is why their chainsaws are always promoted as eco-friendly machines. There is always competition to make chainsaws with the lowest smoky emissions. But at this particular comparison point, you will find that the Husqvarna is the winner.

According to the manufacturer, the Husqvarna Rancher is efficient in fuel consumption and emissions reduction. The advanced X-torque technology reduces the smoky exhaust by 60%. On the other hand, the farm boss is only decreasing the emission level by 50%.

3. Horsepower

Engine power is a determining factor in the chainsaw buying process. The higher this number is, the better performance you will get. Stihl’s M.S. farm boss has this higher number. Its engine produces 3.4 bhp, whereas the Husqvarna 450 Rancher has only 3.2 bhp. This indicates that Stihl’s engine is more powerful.

4. Fuel Tank Capacity

The fuel tank’s capacity is essential in determining the frequency of tank refueling. The farm boss has a bigger tank, so it gets refilled less frequently. Things are even better with the integrated fuel efficiency system. Such a system reduces consumption by 20%.

The Husqvarna 450 has a capacity of 15.2 ounces of the recommended gas type. Meanwhile, the farm boss has a capacity of nearly 17 ounces.

5. Bar Chain Oil Tank

The larger fuel tank on the farm boss might lead you to believe the same applies to the oil tank. However, the farm boss has a smaller lubricant reservoir. Stihl MS 271’s tank has a capacity of 8.1 ounces (0.24 liters) of the recommended lubricant.

Meanwhile, the Husqvarna 450 has a larger tank with a capacity of 8.8 ounces (0.26 liters) of the proper lubricant.

6. Comfort

Both saws are equipped with reliable anti-vibration systems. This way, any user would feel minimal vibration and experience reduced fatigue. However, real-world applications have revealed some differences between them. The Husky 450 offers better levels of comfort while holding the handle.

7. Pairable bars

Regarding the number of compatible bars, both saws have the same number, and the farm boss goes along with three different sizes. The Husky 450 Rancher, on the other hand, can accommodate two different bars. Stihl goes along with a 16, 18, and 20-inch bar. Meanwhile, the rancher goes along only with an 18″ or 20″ bar.

8. Uses

While both saws target mid-range users, the Rancher 450 can be more than this. The former is a good fit for ongoing mid-size farm or ranch woodwork. The Husky 450, on the other hand, offers better refill intervals and chain lubrication. Such features make the machine more suitable for heavy-duty chopping.

9. Safety

Stihl has been investing in security features to a greater extent. It might not surprise you that the farm boss offers increased security. This saw has an advanced chain brake that instantly responds to the stop-pull switch. This helps minimize the chance of getting hurt during a chain kickback.

Moreover, there are also bumper dogs that increase the brake system’s efficiency. There’s no need to forget the throttle lockdown alert. This option facilitates the activation of the master control lever. It also increases the functionality of a frontal handguard.

That said, it does not mean the Husqvarna 450 Rancher has no security features. It has an efficient electric chain brake. But all in all, the safety measurements are higher in the Stihl 271 Farm Boss.

10. Ease of Maintenance

Caring for your chainsaw is a mandatory step to guarantee an extended lifespan. Most chainsaw owners must be aware of the maintenance fundamentals, including cleaning the filters, removing gunk from the bar and chain, etc.

The Husqvarna 450 has the upper hand in maintaining the air filter. It has an advanced filtration system that allows quick and easy filter removal.

The rancher also has an improved system for rotational airflow cleaning. Such technology keeps the debris far from clogging the filter and, typically, the engine. This way, you won’t need to worry much about frequent and regular cleaning.

The farm boss lacks these advanced centrifugal air filtration technologies. However, it is simple to clean. Still, it is more demanding than the Husky 450.

11. Ease of Use

While both machines are simple to understand, the Husky 450 is a lot easier to understand for the vast majority of users. The design of the Stihl MS farm boss is simple. However, there are many steps required to start the machine.

The Husky 450 Rancher, on the other hand, is easier to get started without too many steps. Moreover, the Smart Start feature makes the starting process simpler.

Stihl MS 271 vs. Husqvarna 450: Which one is the best?

To decide on the best chainsaws, you should first determine your needs. If you want something lightweight and moderately powerful, the farm boss is the best match for you. However, if your farm has large and thick trees and demands heavier work, you will love the extra power push of the Husky 450 rancher.

If you are concerned about the budget, Stihl MS 271 is more affordable. There is no need to mention that it has increased safety and reliable performance. Yet again, Husqvarna is relatively simple to operate and maintaining it. So, give all the comparison points some time for serious consideration.

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