The Husqvarna 455 Rancher is a 56 cc hand-held behemoth with a massive 20-inch blade. Though I’d suggest beginners reduce the chance of injury by starting with a shorter, lower-powered saw, the 455 is your weapon of choice if you require serious cutting strength.
Fortunately for you, the E-series is decked out with plenty of safety features. A trigger-lock, arm shield (that also cuts power when pressed), auto shut-off, chain brake and ergonomic design meant I was wielding this blade with the confidence usually reserved for horror movie antagonists. The engine also sits on shock absorbers reducing vibration and enhancing grip, especially after extended use.
Husqvarna’s new X-Torq design incorporates ducts to channel clean air in and exhaust gases out, which helps to prevent you (and the entire forest) getting covered in a cloud of carbon monoxide.
When it comes to cutting, power is king. The 455 will outperform almost any 42 cc or plug-in model on the market. For comparison, the average Vespa scooter has a 50 cc engine. Cutting through six-by-sixes in my backyard was a breeze, and I was able to make a two-foot tall, four-foot wide planter in under 10 minutes.
I mounted my GoPro Hero2 to the 455 Rancher so you can experience what true cutting prowess looks like from the perspective of a 20-inch steel blade. $429. husqvarna.com