Husqvarna 285 CD Chainsaw Review: Specs, Features, Price, And Alternatives

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The Husqvarna 285 CD is an 85cc (some say 88cc) chainsaw that entered production in 1977.

It’s a powerful beast of a saw that is popular for felling trees, bucking firewood, and that type of work. Some also use it as a milling chainsaw. The downsides are that it’s quite heavy, it lacks modern comfort and safety features, and parts are becoming harder and harder to find.

Here’s a quick rundown of the Husky 285 CD Chainsaw.

Images sourced from Láncfűrész Múzeum’s Facebook post.

Husqvarna 285 CD Chainsaw

husqvarna 285 cd parts
Husqvarna 285 CD at Láncfűrész Múzeum

The CD part of 285 CD stands for Capacitor Discharge relating to the ignition system – more info about Husqvarna designations here. It’s a pro saw but it came out before the XP designation.

The ignition system is one of the hardest parts to find with most having to settle for other alternatives. You will first need to work out whether you need the SEM or Bosch ignition.

The best spots to look and ask:

Other parts, such as air filters, fuel lines, and clutch covers are easy enough to find through the links above, it’s just certain parts that are more difficult to come by.

You’ll often see people sharing things like, “Great saws. Mine has been out of action for a while. It needs a new coil but can’t find one anywhere.” Or “I have a Husqvarna 285cd and the ignition coil has packed up. I am struggling to find one here in the UK.”

Parts seem to be easier to find in Europe or places like Hungary rather than in the US, Canada, and UK.

285 CD Price

husqvarna 285 cd chainsaw review
Husqvarna 285 CD at Láncfűrész Múzeum

The chainsaw itself is usually listed for sale anywhere from $20 to $200 and above depending on the condition and place of sale.

I saw this comment recently in an FB group:

Yes, it’s a desirable saw. Back in the day many got repaired with the 6 cube 2100 engine. It’s worth a measure…

Also check for spark. If it works its worth a couple hundred. Spin the recoil with a big assed drill and check. A lot of them died because the kill wire under the flywheel got chopped and shorted – easy fix if you can pull the flywheel.

Around 2010, the price was around $300 for a good model, but these days with a lack of parts and better options available it’s not commanding the same rates.

285 CD Specs And Features

husqvarna 285 cd parts

The 285 CD is a grunty saw that’s great for cutting thick logs and hardwoods.

It can be used with anything from a 16″ – 36″ bar though it gets pretty heavy with the longer ones.

Husky 285 CD specs:

  • 85cc (some may be 88 ccs)/5.2 cu in
  • 21.4 lbs/9.7 kgs with 20″ bar and chain
  • Magnesium construction
  • Nylon mesh air filter
  • Centrifugal clutch
  • 52mm/2.05″ bore
  • 40mm/1.57″ stroke
  • Bosch WS7F or Champion CJ7Y spark plug
  • Tillotson HS-136B, C, D series carb

The 285 CD has an automatic adjustable oiler and AV system. Some versions had a mechanical chain brake and others did not.

285 CD Review

The 285 CD is an excellent chainsaw that can be picked up very cheaply – for example, I just a post from one guy who got one in perfect working order for $25.

Parts are hard to come by – especially the ignition system – but can sometimes be substituted with parts from other models (such as the Husqvarna 2100 CD).

It’s a heavy chainsaw, weighing over 20 lbs. Compared to more modern chainsaws of the same power, it’s much harder to handle for long days of cutting. For example, the brand new Husqvarna 585 weighs around 16 lbs compared to the 285s 21.5 lbs.

If you can get a working 285 CD for the right price, it’s well worth it, but a non-working model will probably cost more to get running than it’ll be worth in the end.

Here are some comments from owners and users who have put it through its paces:

  • The 285 CD was the 1st Husky I ever bought – great saws.
  • Some had chain brakes and others did not but they were all good saws.
  • Great saw, built like a tank. Same bones as a 2100 100cc saw.
  • Same crankcase as 2100 except no manual oiler and only 85cc.
  • Excellent saws I’ve had my for 15 years
  • The 285 shares the same case and cover as the 2100, 2101, and 298.
  • I have a 285cd with a 36 bar. Love it.

The 285 is a popular and much-loved saw. People tend to hold onto them and treasure them rather than sell them.


  • A powerful chainsaw that’ll go all-day
  • Easy to service and maintain if you can find the parts
  • Hard-working, well-built, durable


  • Lacking safety and comfort features
  • Difficult to find some parts
  • A bit heavy for lugging around the forest

Husky 285 CD


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Overall, the 285 CD is worth having as part of a collection.

It’s powerful and grunty enough for tough jobs that your regular homeowner chainsaws aren’t so good at.

It’s not a model you’d want to be using all day due to its weight and lack of comfort features (old anti-vibe system, etc), so you’d be better off getting something like the Husky 562 XP, 262 XP, or the 372 XP.

It’s also probably not best for non-mechanical people who don’t want to be working on the chainsaw – get something that’s in really good condition instead.

Let us know if you have anything to add in the comment section down below.


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3 thoughts on “Husqvarna 285 CD Chainsaw Review: Specs, Features, Price, And Alternatives”

  1. I’ve owned a 285CD since 1985, I bought it non running, it turned out to be a split crankcase gasket. It’s still my favourite saw, yes it’s heavy but the grunt is addictive. It’s now Oct 23 and I’ve just spent a day thinning a wood near Leeds UK. The 285CD was flawless as usual.
    I’ll never sell it


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