Sometimes, all it takes is a slight tweak to make for a much better design. That’s the case in the question of which is better, the Husqvarna 440 or the 440E. Both have almost identical features, such as the exact same engine output, and both have Husqvarna’s basic suite of features. Both are similarly priced, so one might cost less one day and the other cost less the next. Both are nearly identical in weight. The difference is that one comes with a T-wrench for fixing the tension of the blade, whereas the other doesn’t need the tool at all. The one that you can tighten without the tool, the 440E, is our pick of the two.
Consider all the factors involved in choosing a chainsaw — power, portability, reliability, and price. In this case, the choice comes down to a very small change in design. The 440 requires the use of a T-wrench to adjust chain tension. The 440E comes with a toolless system. While the 440 includes the tool when you buy it, that means you have to keep track of it. How many home jobs have started with operators tearing apart their garages or workshops looking for the right adjusting tool to start working?
Buy the 440E and you get a newer model of chainsaw. The 440E is built to supplant the standard 440 in the marketplace. Poor design changes sometimes make the older model of something better than a newer one, but not in this case. Eventually, parts specific to the older model will be more difficult to get, which means keeping an older model of chainsaw operational will get more expensive. Combined with the slight improvements in design, this has us leaning towards recommending the 440E over its predecessor.
There is a very small difference in power output, so small that you’ll never notice it except on paper. Both saws use a 40.9 cc engine. The 440E has 2.41 hp of power, and the 440 kicks out 2.4 hp. At 9.7 pounds, the 440E is slightly heavier than the 440’s 9.25 pounds. Again, this is so negligible that users likely won’t notice the difference even after a day’s worth of use. It can also get canceled out depending on the size of blade you attach. While there are differences on paper, there is no difference in practical matters. Both saws are basically identical in performance.
Aside from the toolless chain tension adjusting, both models of saw come with the same basic suite of Husqvarna features. Everything users have come to expect from the 440 is there in the 440E. Both are easy to use, easy to start, and good for new chainsaw users. They are portable and maneuverable to do precision work, yet both have enough power to bring down some decently sized trees without sending a homeowner scrambling for a chainsaw with more muscle.
A quick scan of Internet pricing doesn’t turn up significant differences between the two. There’s a pretty good reason for that. Both chainsaws are almost the same thing, except for the small difference in how the chain tension is adjusted. If that came with a noticeable difference in sticker price, we could see weighing price as an important reason to choose one over the other. It doesn’t, so the lack of difference favors the newcomer.
The 440 was never Husqvarna’s top-of-the-line chainsaw model. It’s designed primarily as a saw for light to medium use around the home. If you have a basic workload that requires a pretty basic chainsaw, this is one that you can toss into the mix of choices. However, you should also go into this purchase decision aware that its chain’s tension has to be adjusted with a wrench for a reason. It’s an older model that is being replaced by the E series. If you want to go with the 440 regardless, look for it at a steep discount. Otherwise, you can spend just about the same amount of money and get an updated model.
Sometimes when a manufacturer releases an updated model, all it’s done is essentially installed a new button that does nothing, and then charged an arm and a leg more for it. That’s not the case for the 440E. It’s a replacement model for the standard 440, but comes with an easier-to-use toolless chain tension adjustment system. With power, price, portability, and safety features all the same, it’s a small but significant difference. It’s also a reminder that this is a replacement model for an older chainsaw line.
In the case of the 440 versus the 440E, the choice comes down to a pretty mundane thing. One comes with a T-wrench to tighten chain tension, and the other features a toolless system. It’s the kind of design upgrade that you’d expect from a newer replacement model of chainsaw. The 440 remains the same chainsaw it has always been. Since it is the older model, unless you can find one at a steep discount, whatever you buy is going to start out its work life a little older. If you can get one at a steep discount, it’s probably worth overcoming the very small differences. Otherwise, spend the same amount of money on something newer and easier to use.
Hi there! My name is Adam and I write for HealthyHandyman. I have a great passion for writing about everything related to tools, home improvement, and DIY. In my spare time, I'm either fishing, playing the guitar, or spending quality time with my beloved wife. You'll also often find me in my workshop working on some new project!