Wednesday, 13 May 2015

Husqvarna 545 Chainsaw Review

Husqvarna 545 Chainsaw Review - Intro


I am a fire wood chopping home owner and I have happily used by old 2nd hand Husqvarna 136 for 2 years worth of log chopping, unfortunately it developed a fault (chain moves at idle), and before I could fix it I had already (whoops) bought a new chainsaw.

First Impressions?

Moving from bottom of the range home-owner saw, to a bottom of the range pro saw is a big move. This combined with the saw being newer and a more modern design, well they are worlds apart.

Husqvarna 545 Chainsaw Review - What is in the Box?


The saw turns up partly assembled. You will need to fit the bar and chain. By box as shipping / posted also contained:

  • Tube of Grease
  • Allen Key / Socket Spanner Tool
  • Flat Blade Screwdriver / Socket Spanner Tool (Scrench)
  • Grease Gun (!)
  • Saw Blade Cover / Sheath
  • Instruction Book
  • Cold Weather Attachment

Husqvarna 545 Chainsaw Review - First Impressions


The Husqvarna 545 is the cheapest Husqvarna saw you can buy (I think) that is made in Sweden. No doubt all the parts are made in china, but the saw feels good qaulity. The crank case is made of metal, rather than plastic, and the fit of the parts to each other is very very neat.

Four muffler bolts - Seems very secure.


The saw is heavier than my old saw, but I expected this. At 5kg it is only 10% heavier (1 lb) than my old saw yet has 50% more power. Which seems like a good trade.

The workman ship is very good, the machining around the bar oil plug being very neat.

Been on a diet?


It is a thin saw side to side, this has been done intentionally. Not sure why.

The feel of the Husqvarna 545 is reassuring, with most of the componenets being built very solidly. The fold up handles on the filler caps are a nice touch, and seem to be tough depsite their being quite thinly made.The front handle is metal with a rubbery plastic grip. The rear handle is plastic with rubberised areas on the the upper sides.

Flip Up Handles on Fuel and Oil Bungs are Handy

And very neat when folded away!

The muffler is attached via 4 bolt on to the front of the Husqvarna 545. The chain brake hand guard is neatly designed and comes down to meet the cylinder cover.

Underneath the cylinder cover you will find  a plastic mesh type air filter, and NO adjustment screws on the carburettor. This is because this chainsaw has AutoTune.

Husqvarna 545 Chainsaw Review - AutoTune

 

Autotune is a feature that adjusts the idle, low jet and high jet setting on the carburettor automatically.

Look - No Adjustment Screws

AutoTune was a big selling point for me. I like the thought of not being able to damage a chain saw for mis-adjustment of the carburettor. Perhaps I should have more faith in myself. When first using the chainsaw I found a big chunky log and followed the below instructions:

The following steps should be taken when the chain saw is started for the first time or when outside circumstances change (fuel, altitude, air filter etc.): Start the engine. Accelerate the engine to full throttle and saw a number of cuts in a thick log (3-5 min.).The chain saw must be run (8,000 - 12,000 rpm) the entire time so that the carburettor can adjust itself.

These instructions are fairly basic, and I suspect even if you are chopping fire wood you can find some way of doing this so it is not a waste of effort. If you are working thinning out thin trees though it may prove tricky.

When cutting in to the big log for the first time, you could hear the chainsaw adjusting it self, 4 cycling and then not and then 4 cycling again until . .  . perfection.

Husqvarna 545 Chainsaw Review - Performance


WOW. I am comparing this to my old 136 but the 545 is very powerful, at full revs the saw cuts very smoothly. The tone of the engine is very steady. The pick up i.e. the acceleration of the chain is very impressive. The chainsaw came supplied with a 15" bar, which is a little short (18" would be better as standard Husqvarana) and as you would expect you can bury the entire length of this in the wood with little loss in revs.

I had to tension the new chain 3 or 4 times through the first hour of use, and the hot starts were faultless. There is a procedure to follow (turn the choke on and off before starting), but the saw will start without doing this if the stop period is brief.

Combined Stop and Choke Switch

Note. On following the hot start procedure the chainsaw will rev up quite considerably saw be sure to engage the chain brake.

Husqvarna 545 Chainsaw Review - Price

This saw costs around the same as a Husqvarna 455 Rancher, which is now also available with autotune. On many websites the 545 is cheaper than the 455, yet is has one or two features which  push it up in to the bottom of the pro saw catergory.

545 under the hood

I paid £457 (inc VAT) for my chainsaw. A 455 is £500 perhaps people are distracted by the 55cc displacement of the 455, despite this 10% extra cylinder capacity it has only 2% extra power.

The next step up for a 550xp (which is basically the same chainsaw), expect to pay around £530.

For the Stihl equivalent with M-Tronic  (AutoTune alternative) can be had MS261- M for around the same price if you find a good deal.

Husqvarna 545 Chainsaw Review -Conclusions


I agonised over this decision for some time, there are a lot of choices out there. I paid £450 for this chainsaw, and I hope it will last for 10 years. Until it has lasted that long I will not have released its value.

For a weekly user such as myself perhaps a £260 Dolamr or Makitta might have been  better choice. A Husqvarna 236 can be had for £160. Perhaps this would have been better value, time will tell

That being said the 545 is a joy to use. It is easy to start and will run for 45 minutes on 1 tank of fuel. I love it, although as with any chainsaw it scares the living $h1T out of me!

Please leave a comment.

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3 comments:

  1. This is nice post which I was awaiting for such an article and I have gained some very handy information oscillating multi function power from this site. Everything I fully expected of these tools. Great review!
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  2. Must say the 545 is great little saw, it's very light and narrow which makes it very "flickable" when you're limbing. I use it a lot for hedge and thinning work

    Acceleration is very good and its got more than enough power for the light stuff you tackle with a 50cc.

    For the money its a much better saw than the plasticy Rancher series. I used to have a 455 and this is soo much more of a saw.

    It's not as strong as the 550xp with it's rev boost but let's not take away form the 545 its a great saw.

    Hope it's serving you well

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  3. I really like the saw, it is fairly light and well made, lots of metal parts which I like. The acceleration I am impressed with also.

    I went for this 545 over the Rancher 455 as I am more interested in longevity than all out power. Happy chopping.

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