A robust all round chainsaw, ideal for demanding cutting jobs where more power is required for a longer guide bar. Equipped with X-Torq engine with high torque over a wide rpm range.

Husqvarna 966048324 460 24-Inch 60cc Rancher Chain Saw

460 Rancher 24" Gas Powered Chain Saw, 3.62HP 60CC
Two cycle engine
Inertia activated chain brake and LowVib features for added safety and comfort
Air purge Smart Start provides easy starting
Side mounted chain tensioner460 Rancher 24" Gas Powered Chain Saw, 3.62HP 60CC
Two cycle engine
Inertia activated chain brake and LowVib features for added safety and comfort
Air purge Smart Start provides easy starting
Side mounted chain tensioner

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Reviews

It was time to consider a new chain saw for our summer house. Its surrounded by tress and we also have larger trees to take take care of. We also make fire wood.

We have a 38 cc McCulloch saw at home for the ligher cases, but need something for the heavy cases. So the budget is by $ 500. Next, since we use the saw in Sweden and need a brand giving us support there.

We also considered a Prio saw which is available for this money, but since we have a 16 inch saw, we need something bigger. Then the Pro saws come out of focus. On the other hand we to not use the saw every day. This would definitely trigger for a pro saw.

Husqvarna make intermediade saws above the consumer level. These are called Rancher saws or Semi Professionals. This saw is the largest of this group.

The 60 cc model gives in the reviews a mixed image. The reason is that there are two different versions on the market:

Rancher I with automatic bar lubrification
Rancher II with adjustable bar lubrification

The Rancher II is on the market since 2012. So when considering this saw have this in mind. The model with automatic lubrification gave some issues which is documented well in many sources.

The model I am writing about here is the Rancher II.

The saw is available in different setups in the box: With bar attached and with bar to be mounted. When ordering the saw you can see on the 966 number if the bar is on or not:

966 04 83-24 24" Bar, 3/8" Pitch, .050" Gauge, Assembly Required
966 04 83-34 24" Bar, 3/8" Pitch, .050" Gauge

(Information from January 2015)

Attachting the bar is simple, so do not worry.

My model was the -34 version ready to go.

The saw is with 12 pounds compared with the the 38 cc McCulloch with 8 pounds weight heavy, but with the bigger engine not so surprining. So this saw will give you a good workout.

Engine: Th x-torq engine a technology from the pro saws with higher torque and less consumprion. The engine comes with decompression valve for easy start. Its true, I never had a saw statring simpler.

Bar oiler: The tank is on the regular position as on all saws, but the oil pump is adjustable, which is an advantage. The 60 cc Rancher saws are the only ones in the Rancher group having this segmant. The smaller engines 55 and 50 cc have automatic pumps. The bar oiler is accessible by a screw from the bar side to adjust the flow of chain oil

Gas: The engine runs on 1:50 mix. Husqvarna rcommends 89 octane or higher.

Ethanol: You should not run the saw on Ethanol gas. When checking the Husqvarna website, they do not recommend it. I double checked with the swedish site. Same thing.

Chain oil: I use mineral chain oil since this does not become sticky after a while. Bio bar oil is a good idea when you use the saw frequently so that the oil does not become sticky. My favorite bar oil comes from Oregon.

The bar: The 24 inch bar is huge. This covers even largs logs. The saw has by far enrough power to handle this bar length. It's a beast!

Other bar lengths: It is possible to attach a shorter bar. Husqvarna ships this saw with 20 and 25 bars. So when you need a shorter bar, say more effect at the chain due to harder wood, use the shorter bar.

The chain: The saw comes with a low vib chain, low profile teeth. This is made for a good reson to reduce the kick back effect. When you are a non-experienced user, stay with these chains, if you are experienced try semi- or full chisel chains.

The standard chain is the H46 chain with 84 links, 0.05 gauge, 3/8th pitch. This is a low vib chain.

The handle: Husqvarna started here with a 7 degrees tilted upper handle. This makes the saw much easier to hold. A simple thing, but a very good one.

Vibrations: The vib damping on this saw is better as on our Jonsered (38 cc) and McCulloch (38 cc). As I have been told its the damping of the pro saws.

Handling: Despite the big engine the saw is well balanced. Even limbing is possible, but I prefer a 16 inch bar for this work to get around the stem. But when you have just this saw you can do it. My way is to cut of branches on one side, then on the other while I am standing on the opposite side.

Engine power: This has by far enough power to cut. When you know consumer saws and compare with this you will understand. Its a beast in the forest. When ever you cut, you will make it. The engine has 3.62 HP which is more than sufficient for the Rancher.

User experience: When you are ethusiastic and are not experienced I would recommend to start with a smaller saw. This thing has power. A chain saw is not a toy. And when you decide for this saw, stay with the low vib chains. They need more maintenance, but have respect for the kick back effect. Never underestimate this.

Update January 19th 2015
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The 2014 saw model does no longer come with the quick release buttons for the upper cover. Now 4 screws have to be removed to get the cover off

The bar oiler is accessible from the bottom and clearly marked to in/decrease oil flow.

Update May 5th, 2015

The saw ran today to cut up a tree which fell last winter. With the diameter of about one foot the saw had no problem and the job was done in some minutes. I filled the tank with Aspen 2T today. Its runs wonderful and quite, starting the cold saw was easy. Pressing the decomp valve. Then prime 8 times (tank was empty), pull the choke and pull. One pull and it wanted to run.

Chocke to 50% and it started right away after an additional pull.

Note: Aspen 2T gas is very popular in Europe and lasts longer as regular gas, but its twice as expensive. I paid 160 swedish crowns for 5 l container.

I added five images. Two images show the saw from the bottom. It shows the adjustment for the chain oil pump. When the screw is perpendicular to the longitunal axle (along the bar). This is position 2 for bars up to 16 inches. The other shows the screw 45 degrees tilted. This is the seting for 20 to 24 inch bars.

The other three images show the saw prior and after work. Cutting up that wood took just 5 minutes.

Additional

When you consider buying a chain saw you should have in mind that a chain saw is potentional dangerous. It's good to have respect, but no anger.

Before you start the engine you will need:

- Personal protection equipment

* Helmet with vizor & peltor

When you do extensive cutting you shoould change the helmet every five years, when it took a hit by a falling object or when it gives cracking sound when you compress it.

* Cutting protection for your legs

Either chaps or cutting protection pants. The protection shall be good to match the chain speed of your saw.

* Cutting protection for your upper body

It's a warm recommendation to carry a cutting protection for your upper body. Since the saw may be in kick-back this protection keeps the saw away from your body.

Remark: In case you cut the upper outside layer its not a problem, you can repair it. But when the saw protection underneath is damaged, discard the item it will no longer protect you. Why? There are fine strings in the cutting protection in a number of layers. Typically 6 ot 9 layers. Then the protection is attached to the lower end and upper end of the pant or jacket.

When the chain now by accident cuts in the protection the strings are quickly pulled in the saw towards the sprocket and block the saw. This equals to stop the chain. Just imagine the protection is no longer complete and it might be a bloddy job.

* Protection boots or shoes

Carry such shoes / boots with appropriate protection.

* Cutting protection gloves

These gloves protect your fingers/hand when the chain slips of the bar. There is a chain catcher on the saw which is good and a lower hand guard on the rear handle but since the chain does swing around it might hit your hand as well.

This sounds all very much, but when I go out for wood cutting I put all this always on and its done in minutes. Well invested minutes to protect your life.