Husqvarna 51 Review: Specs, Features, Price, And Parts

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The Husqvarna 51 is a 51cc chainsaw that was originally released in 1990 and was still being sold until 2002 (at least). It is recommended for use with a 13 – 20-inch bar.

While it’s long been discontinued, 51s still pop up frequently for sale on online marketplaces. Sometimes they are advertised as being just for parts, but saws in good working condition also come up every so often as well. The Husqvarna 51 is a good chainsaw – it’s well built, durable, and reliable – as long as it has been cared for, and is worth picking up for the right price.

Whether you are looking to buy a Husqvarna 51 or just want to know a little more about it, this is what we’ve been able to uncover.

Husqvarna Chainsaw 51

is the husqvarna 51 good
From the 2002 version of Husqvarna’s website

When the 51 was being sold, Husqvarna described it like this:

A reliable and rugged saw for demanding part-time users. It has all the features that distinguish a genuine Husqvarna saw. The rugged engine has enough power for handling demanding applications, while the saw is both flexible and easy to use. Our LowVib vibration damping system minimises vibrations in the handles.

The 51 is an efficient firewood processor but it’s also suitable for felling small trees, pruning, limbing, and other yard or light-farm work. It’s not a powerhouse of a saw, but it’s a good bit more powerful than the Husqvarna 136, 141, or 45, which were of the same era. It even has a slight leg up on the 50cc 350 which came out in 1998.

The 51  shares parts with the Husqvarna 50 and 55 Rancher and you can often you can use parts from these 3 machines interchangeably. This is helpful because there are fewer parts available for these old saws as the years go by.

Husqvarna 51 Review

is the husqvarna 51 worth it
Source: jb_fontaine on Instagram

On his Instagram account, jb_fontaine shared:

Nice little home owner stack after some fallen trees prompted my first chainsaw purchase. It was between this used husqvarna 51 and an older 81. I tried them both. I think the big boy was owned by leatherface himself. Wanted the 81 but for what I need this will do.

Most guys who own and use the 51 really like the saw. There are some hated Husqvarna saws out there, but this one doesn’t tend to be one of them. It runs well and gets the job done. As long as you’re not expecting it to do more than it was designed to do, “it’s a little beauty”.

Here are some comments from users:

  • Love my 51 so reliable!!
  • I have the 51. Insanely durable, powerful, compact, and useable. My go-to saw.
  • 51 will accept a 55 cylinder head and piston with no modification and it’s worth doing
  • My 51 says 49cc on the sticker but I think it’s more than that. I run a .325 16″ bar on mine for firewood and it rips.
  • 51 are great saws , especially with a 45 mm closed port p&c!
  • 51/55 are excellent firewood saws.
  • You can rebuild and upgrade the 51 with a 55 rebuild kit. I have a old 51 I was going to do it to but haven’t yet.

Darwin said:

In my opinion great little limbing saws. My buddy used one every day for years on white pine. The 51 was awesome but the 50s I had were junk.

Quentin said:

I’m not a logger, don’t do this for a living, but I cut a chit load of firewood. I own a 262XP, a 357XP, a 550XP, and a 51. That 51 is my favorite saw. At least for firewood, those are awesome saws.

Rick said:

I have had a 51 since 1994.

It has cleared a few house lots for me. It will do a lot of work, take down some decent-sized trees for firewood, etc. Mine is in great condition. Don’t plan on changing anytime soon.

And Brad said:

My main firewood saw. Easy to lug around. They don’t usually have a decompression valve so can be a bear to start. Mine starts every time though. 3 pulls to prime under choke, 1 pull to start.

Overall, it’s a very popular chainsaw and it’s hard to find any cons or negative comments about it.

Specs And Features

Specs Details
Cylinder displacement 51 cm³ / 3.1 cu. inch
Power 2.3 kW / 3.1 hp
Cylinder Bore  45 mm / 1.77 inch
Piston Stroke 32 mm / 1.26 inch
Max RPMs 12,500
Idle RPMs 2,500
Sound level 98 dB(A)
Noise emissions, LWA 108 dB(A)
Vibrations, front/rear handle 4.7 m/s² / 5.6 m/s²
Weight without cutting equipment 5.2 kg / 11.4 lbs
Fuel tank volume 0.60 l / 1.27 US pint
Oil tank volume 0.30 l / 0.63 US pint
Oil pump type Automatic, fixed flow
Chain pitch .325 inch
Recommended bar length 33-50 cm / 13-20 inch

It has all of the features that were common to Husky chainsaws back when it was manufactured.

These include:

  • Chain brake for stopping blade rotation when triggered
  • Throttle lock to reduce chainsaw injuries and accidents
  • Automatic chain oiler (non-adjustable)
  • Anti-vibration handle
  • Good power-to-weight ratio
  • Air injection filtration system

Of course, these features are much improved in today’s Husqvarna models.

For more information about the Husqvarna 51, including maintenance, safety, and service details, download the manual here.

Price And Parts

how much husqvarna 51 worth
For example on eBay June 2023

What is the Husqvarna 51 worth?

As always, it depends on location and condition. You will see this saw listed for anywhere from $20 to $300+ – though I personally don’t recommend paying $300 or over. You can buy new Husqvarna chainsaws for around that price.

On eBay at the time of writing, for example, there is the saw pictured above for $299.99, another one listed as “just for parts” for $31, and another working model (that looks a bit rough) for $100. These saws used to sell a bit cheaper on eBay but used chainsaw prices seem to be going up just like everything else.

However, you can often find better deals on FB Marketplace or in local chainsaw groups or forums. For example, I was just reading one account of a guy who recently picked up 2 running models for $40.

Before buying a used chainsaw, if you are able, check the compression and have a look at the piston through the muffler. Start it up and slowly tilt the powerhead 90° left and right while idling. If it stalls or picks up in RPM, there is likely an air leak somewhere.

Whatever Husqvarna 51 parts you need, we recommend visiting HL Supply first. HL Supply is known as being one of the best parts suppliers, as well as being fairly priced. They have one of the best ranges of Husky parts.

This includes:

  • Piston kits
  • Muffler bolts and brackets
  • Carburetors
  • Cylinder kits
  • Crankcases

Alternatively, you will always find parts on eBay!

Husqvarna 51

The Husqvarna 51 Chainsaw is worth picking up for the right price. Anything around $100 is good for a working model. It’s best not to overspend, especially if you’re not 100% on its condition and history.

Almost 100% of the hundreds of Husky 51 reviews I read from owners and users of the saw were positive. The only complaints relate to picking up a damaged saw, having difficulty finding parts, or getting a saw with non-OEM parts that don’t perform very well. Other than that, it’s seen as one of the best Husky saws.

It’s not a logging chainsaw, but it’s a great homeowner saw for yard work, firewood, and storm clean-up. Let us know your thoughts about the 51 in the comment section below.


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24 thoughts on “Husqvarna 51 Review: Specs, Features, Price, And Parts”

  1. Great thanks for putting this together. I picked one up for$60 at a garage sale. Seems to be in decent condition.

  2. Owned my Husqvarna 51 since i was 18 im now 27. Best chainsaw by far, i have a 26 blade on it and chops down trees with no problems. I rebuilt the engine recently, my nephew over revd it and blow the piston up. 180$ had it going again. There worth around 500-600$ in newzealand. I got mine free from my mate. It was in a box of parts said not going so i put it together and it went straight away 😅

  3. The 51 is my go-to saw for most jobs around the home. None of my others compare and it’s just comfortable and like an old friend now.

  4. I have one and it cost me $20.00 runs like a top. Used to have old Husky 181 gave it to a buddy as Im to old to handle the power. Im 80. the 51 is just right for us seniors. just having difficulty finding the right chain, I live in the city now, not sure which chain I should pick.

  5. I bought my 51 now i know in april 95 it has been an awesome saw ive cut lots of firewood with it.
    i even have the original bar. thx for the info. i am currently looking for a new bar and chain for it if you have any insight ? thx !

  6. I have a Husqvarna 51 that I purchased new in 1996, 26yrs ago!
    I ran a 20” bar with 325/.058 chain, rakers low, while I did tree work/land management as a side business and worked this saw hard for 6yrs. Then it became my firewood saw and occasional tree job saw. Today it still looks almost mint, runs perfect and strong as ever. Sharp chains, good maintenance and keep it clean and ready when stored, worth every minute and dollar invested. “Treemendous” saw!

  7. Hey I like reading the comments about the big 51 saw. Wish I knew wear tree job was so I can help. Maybe the tree job will find me and we could take the saw and work it for the best

  8. Thank you for all the good info here on the “51”. I recently bought one, starts and runs but seems a bit tired. I pulled off the cylinder to find out it’s 44 mm, was that original? The piston and cylinder don’t look too bad but the compression is only 80 lbs. Nearly all replacement cylinders seem to come as 46 mm. I am looking for a good place to buy a piston and cylinder and perhaps which ones not to buy, thanks. Most seem to come with the hole for a de-compression valve, mine does not have that. thanks for any input.

  9. I’ve owned a Husqvarna 51 chainsaw I replace the head twice the flanges that hold the muffler bolts square headed break off the head flanges other than that I love the saw seems like a poor design to me where a lot of your head bolts screw into the head this has these funky little aluminum flanges on each side that retain the muffler bolts they crack and break off therefore making the saw useless unless you replace the head

  10. My husband bought one he used regularly. He bought a brand new one that has never been used, just in case. What would it be worth?

  11. Bought mine new in 92. I cut about 4 cord a year and clean up downed trees on the property. Everything is original except expendables. It is 30 yrs old and looks every bit of it. Fantastic machine.

  12. I just got one from a friend who was told it would cost more to fix it than the saw is worth. But being a Husqvarna fan, I have a Rancher 454 and love it, I could not just let it go for junk. Will be checking it out soon.

  13. Great saw. I bought mine new in 1995 and it is still my primary firewood saw. When I first bought it I was clearing my property, I dropped a 44” diameter Black Oak, although I don’t recommend this, not because it didn’t work well but because it wasn’t designed for felling trees that large and required multiple cuts, which is dangerous…….ahh to be young again.

    A couple of tips, clean the bar oiling and general clutch areas often or you will have messy oil leaks and may damage the oil pump system. When removing the clutch remember it is reverse threaded. Also when removing the clutch, after removing the spark plug to stabilize the piston, rather than using a metal plug I prefer to use a hank of nylon cord pushed into the cylinder through the spark plug hole to avoid damage to the piston head.

    I bought this saw and except for tune up and sharpening, it has worked flawlessly. A product that long ago paid for itself.

  14. I purchased my 51 new in 1995 and it works flawlessly. Have cut down trees in multiple sizes and makes quick work of cutting 18# diameter trees with ease. Just need to store it with ethanol-free fuel when not using it, full of bar/chain oil and keep your chains sharp. I usually rotate three chains – one newly sharpened spare in the case and one at the shop getting sharpened. Went from a 16″ to an 20″ bar and that gives me more utility. As others point out, it’s light and so easy to handle, so perfect for a 60-year old looking for free firewood. Never even considered upgrading it.

  15. I have a 51 with a smaller bar and chain 14” is it possible to run an 18”or 20” bar and chain without changing the sprocket on the engine ?? Thx Rob

  16. I won my 51 in 1992. The High School Ag. kids were raffling it off. Six tickets for five bucks and about two weeks later got a call to pick up my saw.

    Back then, I was a dyed in the wool Stihl fan. Worked in the woods in Humboldt and Mendocino cutting mostly Redwood.

    That darn 51 has gone so far above and beyond. Countless cords of firewood, clearing several building lots and a huge amount of work clearing brush from the sides of a mining claim access road. I couldn’t guess how many hours this little 51 has on it but it’s a lot!!!

    I’ve taken good care of it and it still runs like a top. I couldn’t be happier! When it finally dies I’m planning on seeing it reborn as a 55. I’m 69 now and sometimes I wonder if the 51 will outlive me. Sure, I look at those new shiny wiz-bang saws but always remind myself I’ve got a fantastic little Husqvarna 51 and keep the money in my wallet.


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