Stihl MS 271 vs Husqvarna 450 Rancher – Which One For The Win?

If you’ve ever been on a hunt for chainsaws, you’d have known that Stihl and Husqvarna are two of the most iconic giants that have been gobbling up the market share.

A showdown between Stihl and Husqvarna is similar to the epic battles for Coke versus Pepsi or McDonald versus Burger King in the masculine logging industry.

Pro series are always the best for any type of working gear, yet sometimes you may want to loosen up and go for smaller arsenals instead.

Or maybe you are a chainsaw novice who’s looking for some sort of buying guides.

That’s why we’ve decided on showcasing feature-by-feature comparisons between Stihl and Husqvarna’ mid-range homeowner representatives, Husqvarna 450 Rancher vs Stihl MS 271 Farm Boss, which is supposingly most suitable for newcomers.

Let’s unveil this Stihl MS 271 vs Husqvarna 450 Rancher disclosure, shall we?

Last update on 2021-07-31 at 16:57 UTC-8 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API


Header

STIHL MS 271 FARM BOSS

HUSQVARNA 450 II RANCHER

ENGINE POWER

3.49 bhp

3.2 hp

POWERHEAD WEIGHT

12.3 lbs

11.3lbs

FUEL CAPACITY

16.9 oz.

15.22 fl.oz.

CHAIN OIL CAPACITY

8.12 oz.

8.8 oz.

GUIDE BAR LENGTHS (Recommended ranges)

16" - 18" - 20"

20"

MAXIMUM PERMISSIBLE POWER SPEED

9,500 rpm - 13,000 rpm

9000 rpm

NOISE LEVEL

115 dB

113 dB

DIMENSION

11 x 19 x 13 inches

38 x 9 x 12.5 inches

Something In Common?

Price & Design

Both tools score the same deal with almost identical outer build and accessories’ specs.

They can both be fitted with 20” bars, although a 18” one is more recommendable for the MS 271 due to enhanced harmony with the fuel-efficient engine.

Standard fuel mix ratio

Both of them require a 50:1 petrol-to-oil ratio to operate, as depicted in this How to Mix Fuel for a Husqvarna Two Stroke Engine Chainsaw by Lowe’s Home Improvement.

If we have to nitpick, the stark contrast may be traced down to the fact that there is a separate compartment to pre-mix oil for the 2-stroke Farm Box, while you would have to go traditional and let your Rancher break-in.

Any Stark Contrast?

Lightweights

Stihl plays an ace card in this round with their lightweight chainsaws, paying origin from their smaller bars and vinyl crankcase.

Meanwhile, Husqvarna’s products are often designed for intense felling, delimbing and cutting via bigger engines and longer bars that thwart them from becoming the lightest things on earth.

If you fit a 20” bar in each saw, then it’s a draw.

But if you use a 16” to 18” bar for light-duty trimming or storm clean-up tasks, then the Stihl MS 271 Farm Boss would outshine a little more.

Husqvarna 450 Rancher has dominated this round so far.

Emission level

From the spec sheet, the Husqvarna 450 Rancher is super environment-friendly with built-in Husqvarna’s latest CARB compliant features.

Notably, it operates on a 50.2cc X-TORQ engine which reduces fuel emission by 60% and fuel consumption by 30%, thus saving you some good coins.

Yet Stihl doesn’t lag behind either by running their MS 271 Farm Boss on an incorporated lightweight and lugging-efficient 2-MIX engine.

Prime it on and you’ll get EPA compliant burnt 2-stroke fuel with 50% less emission. 

stihl farm boss vs husqvarna rancher

The 2-stroke (generated by Husqvarna) makes more sense in small gears like chainsaws for its low-end torque, lightweights, simplicity and more available repair options.

stihl ms 271 vs husqvarna 450

Maneuverability

Every ergonomic gear, in general, offers comfort grip and is extra lightweight to handle, inclusive of the Husqvarna 450 Rancher.

This user-friendly system stems from exclusive breakthrough Low Vib anti-vibration technology, which alleviates judder and fatigue on your working arms and hands with 3.1 m/s² vibrated front handle and 4.9 m/s² vibrated rear.

The Stihl Farm Boss, correspondingly, packs an anti-vibration system that facilitates you in felling a red oak patch behind your ranch for a long time without major physical fatigue.

Going down with the same ergonomics maximization theme, Husqvarna also designed a soft indwelling asymmetrical rear handle for their 450 Rancher.

Likewise, MS 271 also features risk-dampened front and starting handles that are ergonomically angled for comfort grip.

husqvarna 450 vs stihl 271

Intended using purposes 

Although MS 271 Farm Box is advertised as a noble farm and ranch chainsaw, Stihl’s 2-stroke motor approach has shown their eagerness to dip into the market for lumberjacks.

Fascinatingly, since it’s 450 Rancher’s 2-stroke low-end torques that match more with heavy cutting and pruning, yet Husqvarna launched it to captivate the heart of light-duty homeowners. 

To boot, as a result of a 0.68 oz. larger oil tank capacity, Rancher was given glowing reviews about shorter refueling breaks and better self-lubrication - crucial attributes for smoothly log run-through. 

If you are looking for some multi-purpose mid-range homeowner chainsaws to add into your arsenal collection for storm clean-ups or tree branch trimming, go no further than a Stihl 271 Farm Boss.

But if you tend to involve in heavy-duty wood cutting, Husqvarna 450 Rancher would definitely meet your needs better.

husqvarna 450 rancher vs stihl farm boss

Safety Indications

Stihl seems to have invested a good deal in risk-dampening features for their MS 271, including bumper spikes against pull-in; a Quickstop chain brake system against kickback; throttle trigger lockout to release the Master Control lever controlling the tool idle status and a front handguard.

The 450 Rancher definitely steps down the game this round with a poor collection of basic safety features like crank shafts or throttle trigger. 

Winner: Stihl MS 271 Farm Boss.

farm boss vs rancher

Ease to use

Take the descriptions above as a reference, except for the handguard, every other MS 271’s safe factor has to be activated step-by-step prior to and after starting.

Such amount of dedication, all poured into the first phase and not even near slicing cutting tools through a log, is a hassle to even consider.

So, are the protection procedures any simpler on the 450 Rancher’s end?

Unfortunately, it’s still that same old story, but you can probably save some sweats with an inlay Smart Start function aimed at RPM deduction for proper ignition and an add-in auto return stop switch which automatically resets to ON mode once the choke is ignited. 

Once having rated how trouble-free it is to start each chainsaw, let’s gauge their components on a serviceable scale. 

Specifically, the Farm Boss offers toolless side-mounted chain tensioners featuring a bar wrench to adjust the saw chain opposite with the guide bar adjustment screw position, a crucial user-friendly attribute that Husqvarna’s chainsaws, in general, are missing out.

Yet, while being handier and easier for self-tune, the MS 271 may still lose its edge against its counterpart since the hunt for a Stihl local dealer will put you in a baffle, making it hard to consult any skillful merchandiser when issues arise. 

In other words, the limited market presence within exclusive mom-and-pop or local farm and fleet stores only of Stihl makes their chainsaws less serviceable than those of Husqvarna, despite their more comprehensively adjustable features.

The fact that Stihl won’t seal a deal with big-box retailers leads to the absence of their hardware on digital platforms, which is kind of outdated.

compare stihl ms 271 vs husqvarna 450

Ease to clean

To serve fewer periodic cleaning duties and renovated engine life, the 450 Rancher was injected with a centrifugal air cleaning system with a quick-release filter.

This technology, in essence, introduces major dust and debris particle blockage, thus dusts off some of the cleaning burden for you.

On the flip side, there’s no special air filtering system in the MS 271, except for a stain-abrasion spark arresting screen near the muffler.

stihl ms 271 and husqvarna 450 - which is better

Power performance

In terms of power-to-weight ratio, based on dry weight only, the Stihl MS 271 seems to outperform the Husqvarna 450 Rancher by the split 0.0005 HP/lb. 

Elsewhere, regarding chain sharpness, to deliver clean and neat log cuts, a 20” Swedish forged 10% reinforced X-CUT saw chain with .325” pitch was screwed into the 450 Rancher.

At up to 9000 RPM for a 50.2 cc fuel tank, you can buck up a 4” tree without worries about major chips or constant refueling. (check this ABITIBI BUSHCRAFT testing video).

The same .325”, 7/16 pitch chain does also come along with the MS 271 Farm Boss’ 30-45 degree kickback angled chain, besides its being engaged with a 7-tooth spur sprocket set. (refer to this chainsaw testing video from The Toolsman for further investigation) 

Reportedly, users have expressed happy experiences with the Stihl gear’s competence to operate fuel-efficiently for a wide variety of mid-range bars at low RPMs.

The Rancher outshines in cutting power from better build, yet it consumes more petrol at higher RPMs than its Stihl equivalent.

Winner: We have to confer the crown to Stihl MS 271 Farm Boss this time.

stihl ms 271 vs husqvarna 450

Quick Rundown: Stihl MS 271 vs Husqvarna 450 Rancher - Which One Is Better?

Husqvarna 450 Rancher

It sits at the top of its class, being an affordable mid-range heavy-duty wood delimbing and pruning chainsaw for homeowners.

It places high value on user-friendly features such as an efficient muffler, a quick release air filter or SmartStart technology.

For further customer’s satisfaction, Husqvarna puts a lot of effort in spreading their distribution network online and offline, at mom-and-pop stores or at big-box retailers.

Husqvarna 20 Inch 450 Rancher II Gas Chainsaw
  • X-TORQ - Delivers lower fuel consumption and reduced exhaust emission levels in accordance with the world´s most stringent environmental regulations
  • AIR INJECTION - Centrifugal air cleaning system removes larger dust and debris particles before reaching the air filter. This results in reduced air filter cleanings and improved engine life

Last update on 2021-07-31 at 18:48 UTC-8 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API


Pros

  • Low vibration.
  • Instant start.
  • Inertia-activated chain brake.
  • Widespread availability

Cons

  • Flimsy semi-chisel chain without tool-less chain tensioners to secure, thus you have to carry along the toolbox into the woods.
  • A bit on the heavy side due to big fuel tank and bar.

Stihl MS 271 Farm Boss

If you are looking for some decent chainsaw to buck up about 5 cords per year or for light-duty trimming only, Stihl MS 271 Farm Boss will be your best friend, since farm and ranch are within its realm. 

It’s extremely lightweight with risk-dampening features such as safety wrapped and angled handles. 

Yet it’s the 2-stroke fuel-efficient build that puts its name on the map with a wide range of RPMs for a variety of bar lengths, which wraps up your daily bucking and churning routine with high productivity at low RPMs.

Ironically, this fuel efficiency vibe may make you feel undergunned in lieu of cutting power.

Pros

  • Sophisticated environmental-friendly features.
  • Long product life.
  • Little periodic maintenance.

Cons

  • Substantial oil leakage.
  • Available at limited licensed local dealers only.
  • A bit high-dollar within its market range.

Bottom Line

With a final score of 4:3, Husqvarna 450 Rancher has won our recommendations.

This triumph arises from its lower vibration, more eco-friendly X-TORQ engine, more comprehensive overall build, greater cutting power, more user-friendly incorporated features and customer service.

In the end, that Stihl MS 271 vs Husqvarna 450 Rancher, which one to take the final win, all boils down to your intended using purpose and preferences.

That’s why this comment box is always open, waiting for you to share with us some piece of your mind!

2 thoughts on “Stihl MS 271 vs Husqvarna 450 Rancher – Which One For The Win?”

  1. I own both stihl ms250 and husqvarna 450 which both cut about the same. My main issue with husqvarna is the outbound or external clutch with makes chain mounting and cleaning much more difficult, especially in the field. These are both fine saws and I have no issue recommending either.

    Reply

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