Lots of comments from the First Sale
Let’s learn all about the warranty
Wish I would have waited when I spent $500 for the 20" Stihl chainsaw I recently bought. This Hitachi is on a par with the best chainsaws available…Stihl, Echo and Husgvarna. I’m almost tempted to buy one anyway because the price is so great. This is NOT a refurb, it’s brand new.
If you need to cut some heavy duty large stuff and you want a dependable chainsaw that starts easily, look no further, as this is it. And you can’t beat the price.
My father or any family member does not own this company. I do not have stock in the company, nor do I have friends working for them. I do, however, have many friends who own and use them and I’ve watched them in action. They are great to use, very dependable and will last many years if you take care of them.
I bought one of these a previous time it was on woot for $250. Only fractionally bummed that it’s cheaper again now, I love it!
Below is the Amazon review I wrote for it, verbatim. I think it covers most of the important bits.
I bought this chainsaw recently from Amazon’s daily deals site, woot. I obviously have no input on long term reliability, though this is a Tanaka chainsaw under the skin and the Tanakas I grew up with were grand quality and seemed to last pretty much indefinitely if you kept the premix oily and cleaned the cooling fins. (grew up on 150 acres of woodland in a big 'old house heated primarily by wood. You could say I have a passing familiarity with chainsaws and axes shudder )
It started for me on the 2nd pull from brand new, the cylinder decompressor works a treat. It restarts from hot just fine (a common problem) It cut cleanly and easily. It’s reasonably fast, even with the low-kickback safety chain it comes with (great for beginners but disguises the true performance of the power head, this saw is capable of much faster work with the right chain if you know what you’re doing) the muffler is good, the exhaust note isn’t half as nasty as most saws I’ve used. The chain oiler didn’t over-oil and it is adjustable (lovely feature!) Nicely vibration-isolated handles, though it has a funny kinda thunk when you move it certain ways, this seems to be down to a cool sort of rubber bumper-with-a-pin-in-it mechanism they have used that allows them to use much softer springs in the handle suspension. Technology has moved on since I was a kid I guess. Works very well though, pretty much no wrist-killer vibration. I dont know what power output it’s ultimately capable of, chainsaws generally takes 15+ hours of work to break them in for full power, but it’s got quite enough to ring up 30" diameter tree trunks I’ve been hoarding since the last storm here, so long as you’re a little patient (back in the day I’d have been using a 80cc+ saw for that sort of work, which would be a fair bit quicker but also much harder work and more dangerous). Takes nice standard Oregon chain and comes I think with an Oregon bar from the factory.
50cc/20" is the biggest chainsaw you should ever consider starting with as a beginner, and even then this is a big heavy saw (in absolute terms, it’s much the same weight as all saws in this size class). I’m 6’2" and 250lbs, have a bit of experience, and it still takes a fair bit of effort to wield effectively. This is no limbing and light garden work saw, you want something maybe 30cc with a 16" bar for that, and you’ll be much happier.
As regards durability, hear ye, hear ye; this is no professional saw. To buy a true professional saw of this capacity will set you back about three quarters of a kilobuck, and it’ll be a thing of beauty and maybe last 1000 hours. However, if you’re reading this review all the way to the end, I can basically guarantee that you don’t need it. This unit is contractor/pro-ish grade. It has a 300 hour emissions rating, meaning it’s rated for at least 300 hours work before the engine is worn to the point that it goes out of emissions spec. That’s the longest rating available, for whatever that means. I seem to remember that 50 hour is home user grade, 125 hour is intermediate and 300 is ‘pro’ and the highest rating they have. This is Chinese made for a Japanese company (the Tanakas of my youth will have been Japanese made, for what that’s worth) though that comes with the territory for this price. Make no mistake, this is plenty of saw for the money (assuming you pay a bit over a quarter of a kilobuck for it)
Bottom line, I’m delighted with it. Quality feels just as good as the low end Stihls, Echos and Husquavarnas I’ve used recently, but for a couple hundred bucks less initial outlay. Of course, I don’t plan on cutting myself 10 cords a season either. Though I get the feeling I probably could without any issue.
Oh, and the best advice anyone will ever give you in these days of ethanol polluted petrol; always (ALWAYS) use fuel stabilizer and high quality synthetic 2-stroke oil, I prefer to mix slightly stronger at 40-1 than the official 50-1 recommended, but that’s just my late father screaming in my ear about being careful, and when you’re done cutting, unless you know you’ll be picking the saw up tomorrow to continue the job, always empty the tank of petrol and run the saw till the carb is dry. Always. Every. Single. Time.
You’ll thank me
Oh, and if I have any adverse events with the saw, I’ll be sure to come back and revise my review.
If the saw is a good quality machine, which the reviews and owners generally seem to say it is, then this is an exceptional value. This falls in the mid range of chain saws, not a light duty backyard saw and not a professional heavy duty saw. Since it’s made in China, I expect it will work just fine for a reasonable period of time and then fall apart. A comparable Stihl 50cc saw is the MS271, and you’ll probably pay around $500 for one of those with a 20 inch bar. At less than half the price, buying this Hitachi is a no brainer. If you use it enough to wear it out, you’ll know that you need a pro saw.
It has some nice features like the oil tank on top and the chain tensioning screw on the side cover. I don’t notice much difference with the decompression valve and I don’t even remember to use it when I start my saw. The low kickback chains that they are forced to put on these saws really reduce the cutting power for hard wood. If you have a good bit of experience with chain saws, you will like a commercial type chain much better.
You need at least two chains, three is better. I doubt that you’ll find this particular chain at the local hardware store. So I would order a couple extra chains as soon as I got the saw. From the photos it looks like either a .325 or a 3/8 chain. Either one is fine, I prefer the 3/8 but the .325 cuts pretty well too.
The Irish gentleman who wrote the long review gave a lot of good advice, but I would repeat the part about emptying the fuel tank and running the saw till it’s out of gas, before storing it. All the funky stuff they put in gas these days is really bad for small two stroke engines.
Dang, looks like a nice saw, but not needing one just yet.
Hope this means Woot brings out a Hitachi blower…fingers crossed.
The small engines like the ones on my two older chain saws have trouble with ethanol in the gas. How is this one since it is a “new” saw?
You should use premium gas, no ethanol. Or so I’ve been told…
Wish I had waited. I bought a Stihl last year for more than this, and have been really disappointed, considering that they are supposed to be the best. after a friend used it and put it away with gas in it, I picked it up 2 weeks later and it no longer ran strong. $108 later at the Stihl dealer and they had cleaned the carb. Boy do I feel like a sucker. I am sure it was an ethanol issue, but with a new saw, this seems exceptionally touchy. This hitachi would be a better saw at a lower price, and it could not be worse in terms of maintenance…
I agree about the gas. After disassembling and cleaning two carburetors (even though I used additives) this year, I located a station nearby that sells non-ethanol gas for an extra $1/gal. I use that.
In terms of surviving the ethanol gas, the only truly effective path is to empty the tank and run the carb dry whenever it’s not going to be used for more than about a day. Pain in the arse but it works. Stabil and equivalent additives help, but they’re not sufficient in and of themselves.
On the plus side, with a chainsaw it’s pretty trivial to empty the tank when the time comes.
Just in time for Halloween!!!
50cc is a big saw. Most homeowners with land can get by with a 40cc saw which will be much easier to handle and tote around. My 40cc echo is 10.1lbs and this 50cc is 17.64. This saw is 70+% heavier than my echo and only marginally more powerful. This saw is a bit cheaper but the power to weight is not even in the same ballpark with the echo.
Excellent advice! An additional thought marinas sell non ethanol gas.
You made the point, “Since it’s made in China, I expect it will work just fine for a reasonable period of time and then fall apart.” My guess is that I’ve been around a little longer than you simply because of my age. I remember the times (during the 50’s and 60’s) when people would laugh when they noticed the “Made in Japan” mark on consumer items. Maybe it was funny then but just look at all the American gold we are sending to Japan these days. They have learned to make these items as well or even better than we make them here in America. If you’ve not noticed, the chainsaw we are talking about today is a product of Japan and no one is laughing any more.
It’s the same with China today. They are getting better at making products to please American and European consumers and they are doing so at a lower price. As an example, China has developed its optics industry to the point where it is a real player on the world market today and no one laughs anymore when they see the made in China mark on an optics product.
I posted last time this was on woot .I said tnen I would post photos of the box I found for my Hitachi limb saw . And as I stated then…I only pull out my Husquavarna when I get down to the tree trunk ! I would love to buy this one but thuogh I “want” it, I don’t “need” it .
Oops…it seems woot is not set up so I can post photos I took of box…will have to find product photo
To clear this up, you have been told wrong. This depends heavily on where you live, and in most larger markets that use reformulated gasoline (think any big city), there is no ethanol free gas available anywhere.
Unless gasoline is advertised as ethanol free and cost 40+ cents more per gallon, it is likely not. Premium fuel uses a different pipeline blendstock, but ultimately is still mixed with ethanol at the terminal level before going to the street.
The best advice has already been given, use a fuel stabilizer, available at your local big box or co-op, and run the saw out of gas each time you use it if it is going to sit for any length of time. This applies to all small engines, weedwackers, lawnmowers, snowblowers, powerwashers, etc. Ethanol is a fine fuel for cars and great for octane, but not optimal for these small carbureted engine applications where the fuel will sit for long periods of time in the carb.
if you host the photos on a site like imgur or photobucket, you can embed the pics to a post using [img] tags. lemme know if you have any questions about this!
Why does the product page state a 7-year warranty? Looks like this link says 5 max.