Husqvarna names their chainsaws with a three-digit model number, often followed by a letter or two. The numbers do not seem directly related to saw size or price, nor do they put the saws in any other obvious order. This really put me scratching my head when I was trying to understand the lineup.
So what’s the logic behind Husqvarna saw model names, or is there any?
In this article, I will tell you what you need to know about you the Husqvarna chainsaw naming. In short, the three digits in current Husqvarna chainsaw model names tell you the saw series and a rough engine size. The first digit (1…5) tells you the series, which is related to saw construction, and the following two digits give the engine size in cubic centimeters (cc). The extra letters (XP, G, …) designate special properties or versions. There have been many exceptions and versions to the Husqvarna naming system, which are discussed below.
After reading this post, you will be able to tell the most important specs of a Husky chainsaw just from the model name. Whether your looking for a new or a used saw, understanding the basic pattern is very useful in navigating Husqvarna’s lineup.
Below, we will start with the current three-digit system, then talk about the letter add-ons to the number, and finally look at the older two- and three-digit names.
NB: This article is about the (mostly numeric) model names. These should not be confused with Husqvarna serial numbers (S/N) or part numbers (P/N) – see my earlier post on reading these.
Current three-digit system
Since around 1997, all Husqvarna chainsaw names have had a three-digit number like 266 or 435 as their core part. These number part of the model name contains two useful pieces of information: the saw series and the engine displacement.
Saw series: 1xx, 2xx,…
The saw series is coded by the first digit: saws like 120 and 135 are part of the 100-series; 365 and 395 are in the 300-series; and so on.
Saws in the same series have similar construction. The 100 and 200 series are affordable saws intended for homeowners with cost-driven (i.e. plastic) construction choices.
The 300 series is a mid-range series for landowners and professionals. Currently, the 300-series saws in production are all mid-to-high-cubic models. The 400 series is a mid-range series quite similar to the 300, but with low-to-mid-cubic saws in production.
The 500 series is a recent series of professional saws of high quality with costlier construction choices like a magnesium crankcase and a three-piece crankshaft. The series includes gas saws from 25cc to 71cc and all of Husqvarna’s battery saws.
The table below summarizes the saw series. One thing to note is that the makeup of the 100-, 200- and 300 series has changed over the decades. The 1960s, 1970s and 1980s saws do not follow the same logic, i.e. a 298 XP, launched in 1986, was not a homeowner saw.
|2xx||homeowner, low cost|
only 240 remains
all battery saws
Engine size: x45, x72, ….
The second and the third digit in the Husqvarna saw name code the saw engine size: the 450 has a 50cc engine, the 543 XP has a 43cc engine, the 560 XP has a 60cc engine, and so on.
This is the key to Husky saw naming and worth emphazing:
Two last digits are the engine size in cc.
This rule is the most useful of the Husqvarna chainsaw naming rules: the two digits tell you the saw power, size, and price range at a glance, since all of these scale with the cylinder displacement (cc).
This rule helps you understand why 395 XP puts out 6.6 hp and costs almost $1300, when a 543 XP comes in at only 3 hp and around $550, despite the more “premium” series.
The number is not always the exact engine size, though – the cc numbers in the name are often a bit off from the real cylinder displacement. The 390 XP, for example, has a 88cc engine, while the 440 has 41cc and the 445 has 50cc.
The reason for these offsets seems to model differentiation. Many saws have had the same engine size as previous model, and had to be marked up or down to make them unique: the 395 XP (94 cc) became that because Husky had already a 394 XP (94 cc).
There is one exception in this system with four digits: the 3120 XP. This massive saw is, and has been for three decades, Husqvarna’s flagship chainsaw. It’s large engine displacement of 120cc requires three digits to encode in this system, and pushes the model name to four digits.
The 3120 XP is in fact the only Husqvarna saw with an engine larger than 100cc. However, Husqvarna did produce a few 99cc saws with four-digit model names like 1100CD, 2100, 2100CD and 2101XP in the 1970s and 1980s.
What do the letters mean?
The numeric Husqvarna chainsaw names often have extra letters before or after the numbers. What do these add-ons mean?
I have tried to list all modifiers to Husqvarna chainsaw names in the table below. The most important ones are:
- XP: short for Extra Performance – basically means higher power per weight, higher RPM, etc. Targeted for professional users.
- X-Torq: an environmentally friendly engine with lower fuel consumption and emissions
- –i: This tiny letter after the number means the saw is battery-powered!
higher power per cc, pro users
|X-Torq||reduced fuel consumption, emissions|
|–EL||electric (plug-in) saw|
|–G||heated handles or carburetor|
How about the Rancher addon, seen in many mid-range Husqvarna saws since 61 Rancher in 1978? I was sadly not able to find any explanation for this – that is, apart from an old mention on more ergonomic handles, which no longer seems to hold. The current 450, 455 and 460 Ranchers do not come in non-Rancher versions, so we can just take them as models of their own.
Early two-digit system
Most of the early Husqvarna chainsaws had two-digit names like Husqvarna 90, 62, or 50 Rancher. This system was used in parallel with the three-digit system up to as late as 1996, when the Husqvarna 49 was introduced.
The two-digit system had a very simple coding: the model name number indicates the saw engine displacement in cc (cubic centimeters): the Husqvarna 44 was 44 cc, the 34 was 34 cc, the 61 was 61 cc, and so on.
This is basically the same as the current three-digit system, but with the first saw series digit omitted.
The two-digit model name did not always match the engine displacement exactly, though – there was similar offsetting and rounding as in the three-digit names today. The Husqvarna 45, for example, really has a 44 cc engine, but is “45” since there was a 44 already in the lineup.
The Husqvarna 22 and 23 are an interesting exception: their model names are the engine displacement in cubic inches (x 10), not cubic centimeters.
The reason? Hard to tell, but at least they gave space for later model names in the crowded 30-something-cc range.
Old 100, 200 and 300 series
As mentioned, Husqvarna used 100-, 200-, and 300-series names already in the 1970s. While these saw did follow the same engine size coding as today – cc in the last two digits – the meaning of the series digit was not the same.
In fact, I could not find out what the series digit meant back then: what distinction was made seems a bit mysterious based on the specs.
What I could tell is that this was not forced by the two-digit names being already used: the Husqvarna 180, with a 77 cc engine, was launched in 1969, and named “180” although “77” and “80” were available.
As with many other product lineups, Husqvarna’s chainsaw naming is a mixed bag: there is a lot of logic and meaning, but also funny exceptions and hard-to-understand choices.
Fortunately, the most important piece of info has had a simple and reliable coding: the last two digits in the saw name are usually the engine size in cc – or at least close.
The last two digits in the saw name are usually the engine size in cc – or at least close.
If you remember this, the Husky chainsaws fall into a logical order, and the series digit, letters and all the rest is details.