The latest Husqvarna benchmark 50cc chainsaw release is ‘not just a pretty face’.
The brand-new 550 XP® Mark II is market leading design and top tier technology, thoughtfully bundled into a well-balanced and compact, user-centric package.
In a special year for Husqvarna – celebrating 60 years of chainsaw design and manufacture (1959-2019), professional tree climbers, ground workers, and hand-fallers should get excited for more great modern chainsaw engineering and smart and clever design. Seriously.
For those users who are familiar with the original 550 XP® you will see a technical and design transformation with new advances cleverly integrated into the Mark II build: increased power output; higher chain speed; significant improvement with airflow, higher capacity design air filtration and better cooling capacity including a new improved rigid heat shield allowing a cooler carby area and easier restarts; AutoTuneTM II (ten times quicker fuel and air mix adjustment than AutoTuneTM I); enhanced durability through lower temperatures; and improved fuel efficiency – 14 per cent longer run time, so more work out of every tank of fuel.
Dependable, innovative features and proven platform tech have been retained in the Mark II unit including: Low Vib®, Air Injection®, X-Torq® engine technology (lower fuel consumption and reduced exhaust emissions) magnesium crankcase, captive bar nuts, adjustable oil pump, 500 series ergonomics, aggressive, slimline design with tough external cosmetics, snap-lock cylinder cover, flip-up reservoir caps with visible fuel level, easy access quick chain adjuster screw and of the course the return to start control switch.
For the tech heads, there’s, even more, to like about this saw: the main bearings have been updated along with the crank and cylinder including a new crankshaft, new piston, cylinder base gasket redesign (to reduce heat transfer), and new carby ceramic sleeves embedded in the crankcase.
As you may have already guessed, I really enjoy reading and digesting the stats and specs on any new saw and am always impressed with the ‘brain in the bucket’, but ultimately, it’s the cutting capacity that really gets my attention in the field. This saw proudly boasts best-in-class cutting capacity. Matched up with the all-new optimised Husqvarna X-FORCETM guide bar (say 16” or 18”), X-CUTTM SP33G pixel pre-stretched chain and used in combo with Husqvarna’s Bio-Advanced chain oil (a vege-based chain oil formulation) – this 50cc beefcake is a torquey powerhouse!
Working with this new saw predominantly on the ground for regular rigging and medium size tree removal operations, it feels compact, lightweight and powerful, with the power to weight ratio being absolutely spot on for both me and my favorite contract climber – Joe Loorham from Tree Pioneers. It really is a grab-and-go chainsaw; super reliable for prepping material for the chipper, trimming and cross-cutting for firewood rounds and a myriad of tree felling duties on the job site – perfect to keep the groundies (like me) working hard!
Climbing contractors like Joe (pictured working in Emerald, Victoria) also love it for blocking down or some of the larger scaffold removals on a big prune as it’s super responsive on the trigger with 30 per cent faster acceleration than the original 550XP®. It really is a treat to work with; surprisingly quick and I do mean surprisingly – perhaps give the old 550 to the apprentice and keep this one for yourself.
This new Pro saw is a top tier unit born out of the new chainsaw generation platform, i.e. the same family heritage as the recently released 572 XP®.
It isn’t the big, bold and brutal beauty that is the 572 XP® but it is inherently based around the same ‘ground-up rebuild’ philosophy, with many of the latest technological advancements recalibrated for the 50cc market.
Optimised for an all-around professional experience, this dynamic upgrade has me enjoying the groundwork more than ever. That’s no mean feat for a tree career spanning nearly thirty years.
Smart and simple for a small job, or work hard out in the field all day. Let’s hope the saw lives up to your expectations once you’ve settled it into your fleet. It’s certainly exceeding mine thus far.
This new saw is not a shelfie; it wants to work. It’s built to deliver a quality experience in a demanding professional environment and is fated to become a fleet favourite for tree workers worldwide.
If you like to work, and I mean really like to work, then get your hands on the new chainsaw generation 550 XP® Mark II. It is as they say – cutting excellence reinvented!