If you were to ask any experienced chainsaw owner which are the most popular brands, Husqvarna would be right up there with Stihl and Echo. In this review, we examine the Husqvarna 240 2 HP Chainsaw, one of the company’s basic range saws designed for light duties.
‘Husky’ owners have come to expect excellent quality and performance from their saws. Does the 240 make the grade and deserve its place in the Husqvarna family? Read on to find out…
Performance and Handling
In terms of size and power, this saw is it the lower end of Husqvarna’s product range. It is ideally suited to light duty tasks such as occasional trimming and pruning. It can also be used to fell small trees and cut light firewood on an occasional basis.
If you want a saw capable of handling regular 5-10 hour days or if you want something that will cut easily through large hardwood then this saw is not for you. As mentioned, it’s designed for casual use and as such benefits from breaks and cool down periods.
User feedback suggests it is ideal for small jobs such as cutting up saplings and trees between 2” and 6” in diameter. It is capable of handling one-off larger jobs but will really start to struggle with anything over 10” in diameter.
When it comes to starting, the 240 2 HP has spring assisted starting as well as a combined choke/stop control. This has been designed to reduce the risk of flooding the engine and therefore to help make starting the saw much easier. Does this work?
Unfortunately, listening to feedback, many consumers don’t think so. One of the main criticisms of the saw is that it is actually quite difficult to start. Whilst many people have commented that provided you follow the instructions, starting is not an issue, other users, including long time Husqvarna fans, have stated that it isn’t the easiest saw in the world to start-up. Many users also had difficulties at first but eventually managed to figure it out. The video below gives some practical tips on how to start this saw.
The fact that this saw is one of the smallest models produced by Husqvarna, it is also pretty easy to handle. It is reasonably lightweight for a gas saw and also features Husqvarna’s LowVib ® system which helps to reduce vibration and user fatigue. You should therefore be able to tackle all those small jobs around your property without getting too tired – especially if you are unable to handle the larger saws.
The Husqvarna 240 comes with a 16” bar and chain. It has a standard 3/8” pitch (distance between the drive links) and 0.05” gauge (link thickness) and has 66 links. You have some flexibility in that you can change the guide bar for one of a different size. Husqvarna recommends that anything between 13” and 16” would be suitable.
The standard 16” bar which comes with this saw has a nose sprocket which helps to reduce friction for smoother chain operation as well as protecting the bar. You will need to remember to grease the tip of the bar by using a grease gun to add oil into the sprocket hole. This is a very simple operation which takes only a few seconds but an important one as forgetting to do it will have a negative impact on performance.
With regards to the chain, this is an own brand Husqvarna chain. As with all chains it needs to be properly maintained to ensure cutting performance. This means that it should be sharpened on a regular basis using the appropriate sharpening tools. These include a 5/32” file for plate maintenance and a file holder. You can pick a sharpening kit up for less than $15.
In terms of performance, the chain speed at maximum power is just over 16 meters per second. This is a measure of how many meters of chain pass a fixed point each second and the higher the speed generally translates into better cutting performance. Although some of the more powerful saws can achieve speeds of 25 m/s, this is still pretty respectable and compares favorably to electric chainsaws. The popular Worx WG303.1 for example has a chain speed of 12 m/s.
When using your saw it is important to check that the chain is tensioned correctly as a slack chain can jump off and cause injury. The manufacturer recommends that this is done each time the saw is refueled. That said, new chains do have a ‘running in’ period when they need to be checked more often. To adjust the chain tension, you will need to undo the bar nuts on the clutch cover and tighten the chain tensioning screw which is located on the front of the saw. A combination spanner is provided to loosen/tighten the nuts and adjust the tensioning screw.
Design and Construction
The 240 is a well-designed, attractive looking saw constructed of metal and hard injection molded plastic.
A ‘throttle lock-out’ switch to prevent accidental start-up runs along the top of the rear handle. The handle itself contains the throttle trigger and has a hand guard for right hand protection. Just to the left hand side of the front handle there are the choke control and stop/start switches. Just above the handle on the main power head body there some ‘start-up’ instructions.
There is a standard half-wrap front handle which sits just behind the hand guard, which also operates as a chain brake.
On the left hand side of the unit, you will find a primer bulb which is used to release fuel to the carburetor when starting the saw. There are also two large, easily accessible screw caps for the fuel tank and chain oil reservoir. The caps themselves have large grips making them easy to unscrew. In addition they also have tethers so that you don’t misplace them whilst adding fuel and oil. Usefully, the tethers can also be popped out so that you can take away the caps completely. This is particularly useful when draining down the fuel and oil in the tanks. The chain oil cap is at the front of the saw and the fuel cap at the rear.
Finally, on the left hand side, there is a plastic starter handle. It doesn’t have a rubber grip so be sure to wear gloves when firing your saw up.
On the right hand side of the saw is the clutch cover. This has two screws which need to be removed with the combination spanner to enable you to fit the bar and chain.
Access to the air filter and engine cylinder is by way of the cover on top of the saw. This cover is fixed in place by three screws. The air filter is made from felt and is washable. It needs to be cleaned on a regular basis to prevent things like loss of engine power and carburetor malfunction. Washing with soap and water is recommended. After a while, when cleaning is no longer feasible the filter needs to be replaced. The air filter is held in place with a screw and a screwdriver will therefore be needed to remove it.
One especially useful feature is a marker line on the clutch cover which runs over the top of the saw and down the recoil cover on the other side. This is a cutting mark which is good for lining up the chainsaw to achieve a straight cut.
On the front of the saw you will find the muffler which helps to reduced noise levels and also to direct fumes away from the operator. You should note that the muffler gets very hot when the saw is in use (even when idling). Care should therefore be taken not to get inadvertently burned but also when working near flammable substances.
Finally, the saw is constructed with several anti-dampener springs positioned in various places. These help to absorb vibration and direct it away from the handles.
The Husqvarna 240 has a 38.2cc X-Torq engine which the manufacturer claims reduces harmful emissions as well as providing better fuel consumption. The engine output is 2 brake horsepower which provides a maximum power speed of 9,000 revs per minute. The power generated is at the lower end of the gas chainsaw scale, however, this is a light use consumer saw and there is plenty of power to deal with all the tasks that the saw has been designed to perform.
There is also an air injection centrifugal cleaning system. This helps to remove any large particles before they get to the air-filter. In turn, this means that the filter will stay cleaner for longer, reducing the number of times you have to wash it.
The saw will run on a gas and oil mixture ratio of 50:1 or 33:1 depending on the type of oil used. Full details of the oil types are included in the user manual. For the best results a 50:1 mix using Husqvarna’s two-stroke engine oil is recommended. In terms of gas, a minimum of 90 octane is required as using a lower grade will result in engine knocking and possible damage. If working at a constant high revs a higher octane grade is recommended. The gas tank has a capacity of 0.14 US pints
The carburetor settings (which regulate fuel flow) are set under factory conditions and may, on occasion, require a slight adjustment to ensure optimum performance. If the saw is difficult to start or doesn’t run properly then this should be checked out. Although detailed instructions are provided, unless you are confident in what you are doing you should get an expert to do this.
In terms of noise levels, at the operator’s ear these are around 100.7 dB. This isn’t too bad for a gas powered saw but prolonged use at anything over 90dB can cause ear damage. Users should therefore consider ear protection.
Chain Oil System
This chainsaw has an automatic oiling system which means that you don’t need to flick a switch to release the chain oil. The manufacturer advises that the oil reservoir capacity is 0.09 US pints and that the oiler releases 8ml per minute. This means that you will get just over five minutes of cutting time before the reservoir requires refilling. Unfortunately, unlike on some other Husqvarna products, you are not able to adjust the rate of oil flow.
The system has been designed so that, providing the correct oil is used and the carburetor is adjusted as per the manufacturer’s recommendations, the saw will run out of gas before chain oil. Some users have advised that the 240 does throw out quite a bit of chain oil and sometimes this runs out before the gas. It may be that the incorrect type of chain oil (too thin) is being used but nevertheless it is always worth keeping an eye on the levels and not being totally reliant on the system working.
You can buy a liter of Husqvarna own brand chain oil for about $10. This will provide you with around two hours of cutting time.
One downside is that there is no window on the oil reservoir so it is difficult to check the oil level. You should therefore remember to fill up each time before use and keep a close watch on the bar and chain to ensure it is being properly lubricated.
As you would expect the 240 comes with a range of safety features.
To help stop the chain in the event of kickback, the saw is equipped with a chain brake. The chain brake can be activated manually by pushing the hand guard forward with the left hand or automatically by the inertia release mechanism. The ‘inertia’ chain brake involves a link between the top handle and the brake trigger applying the brake if the bar is forced upwards.
There is a throttle lock out switch which is designed to prevent the accidental operation of the throttle control. The lock-out switch, positioned on top of the handle is activated when the handle is gripped, releasing the throttle control.
Providing the chain is kept tensioned at all times you should not have any problems with it snapping or jumping off the bar. If for any reason either of these events occur, there is a chain catcher which will help protect the hands. The wearing of gloves will also provide further protection.
Protection of the hands is also provided by both the rear and front hand guards. These help to reduce the chance of injury due to flying debris and chain problems. The front hand guard will also prevent twigs and other foliage from interfering with the operator’s grip on the handle.
Finally, the machine is equipped with an anti-vibration system (LowVib ®), as mentioned earlier. This is designed to reduce the impact of vibration on the user’s hands whilst at the same time making operation of the saw easier. It should be noted that cutting hardwoods (generally broad leafed trees such as oak and maple) creates more vibration than cutting softwoods (such as most conifers).
The operating weight of this saw is 10.3lbs without the cutting equipment. The cutting equipment will add another 1.5 – 2lbs to the weight of the saw so you are looking at an overall operating weight before fuel and oil of under 13lbs. This is very light for a gas powered chainsaw.
In terms of accessories, the saw comes with a guide bar scabbard and a user manual.
No case is included. However, if you would like one, the Husqvarna 100000101 classic chainsaw carrying case can be purchased for just under $50.
Husqvarna 240 2 HP Chainsaw Consumer Ratings
Customer opinion of the Husqvarna 240 is mixed to say the least.
Consumers are happy with the saw’s lightweight construction and the fact that it is relatively easy to handle. They are also pleased with the ease of assembly and its ability to cope with light duty jobs.
Many users found the chainsaw a little difficult to start and others mentioned that the engine had a tendency to cut out. A few consumers thought the saw was light on power.
Some of the criticisms are perhaps a little unfair with people expecting perfection from the Husqvarna brand. Husqvarna is a quality saw maker which produces different models for different users. The 240 is clearly a ‘light duty’ saw although some reviewers appear to have been expecting a top of the range Husky.
With regard to starting difficulties, many users advised that they had no problems starting the saw by correctly following the instructions. Others advised that they had difficulties at first but managed to figure it out in the end. There are enough reviews, however, to suggest that this saw may be more difficult to start than other models.
As mentioned, some users experienced problems with the engine stalling. This is as a result of an incorrectly set carburetor which may require adjustment. This isn’t ideal as you would expect your product to work straight out of the box.
You should consider buying this saw if:
• You want a lightweight gas saw
• You are looking for a low cost gas chainsaw
• You want a saw to carry out light cutting jobs around your property
• You need to carry out work away from a power point and don’t want a battery powered saw
• You are prepared for the possibility that the carburetor may require adjustment.
You should not buy this saw if:
• You need a saw for medium and heavy duty tasks.
• You are prepared to pay more for a more powerful, higher-end saw.
• You don’t wish to mix fuel and oil
• You want a saw which will start up straight away with the flick of a switch (consider electric)
• Easy to handle and maneuver
• Low vibration
• Excellent light duty cutting performance
• Competitively priced
• Not as easy to start as some chainsaws
• Not suitable for medium/heavy duty tasks
Price of the Husqvarna 240 2 HP Chainsaw
Retailing at under $250, this saw is competitively priced, especially as it is produced by one the world’s leading chainsaw manufacturers.