Most helpful positive review
42 of 44 people found the following review helpful
The good, the bad, but nothing truly ugly...
on September 4, 2009
I wish I could give two reviews for this electric chain pole saw - one for the unit, and one for the refurbishment.
Let's start with the unit itself. First, a general warning: it's not going to last long if used for professional-level workloads - it's simply not heavy duty enough. However, that's not the market it was aimed at, nor what it was designed for. If you want heavy duty, buy a full-fledged chainsaw. But, for the average homeowner with a few unreachable small to medium sized branches to cut, it works great... lightweight, easy to maneuver, and surprisingly powerful.
Great price, powerful unit, efficient garden tool...
Filling the chain oil reservoir is a messy proposition, and the unit reaches 15' only if you're Shaq standing on a footstool, or a more regular sized person using a 6' ladder.
As to the refurbishment process, the saying you get what you pay for comes to mind. I've seen some refurbished tools look factory new... while others look like they came straight from heavy use, got shoved in a box after a cursory examination, and sent on their way.
The unit I got was dirty, had mulched-up wood pulp stuffed around where the chain goes into the unit's housing, and had dirt and oil in the threads of the pole extensions. Also, the cap on the oil reservoir must not have been closed tightly so it leaked - thankfully, the unit was wrapped in brown packing paper inside the box or it would have been a worse mess than it was.
I cleaned it up, and the saw works great, so overall I'm happy - but I did call the refurbishers a few choice names when I opened the box, I'll tell you that!
(Safety Note: like with any chainsaw, watch your balance while you're cutting - it's even more important to keep in mind when the saw is extended well away from your body - having the heavy end of the saw that far away from you takes some getting used to!!!)
Now that I've had this saw a year, I'll change one comment... maybe buying new and avoiding refurbed units is the thing to do. This saw has leaked oil since the day I got it. Every time I go to use is, the pole has a film of oil on it that I have to clean off. I store this thing vertically, and apparently the seal doesn't like that... (on the other hand, I now know why it was covered in oil when I first got it.) Don't get me wrong, the saw does it's job well - but the leaking oil thing makes me dread using it.. it's really difficult to lengthen or shorten the pole when the grips are slippery, ya' know?
The only operational issue I have is having to scoop out the wood pulp from the housing around the chain after every use - it gets stuck in there and won't come out without assistance. (I unplug it and use an old screwdriver blade to reach into the housing.)
One other item of concern: The balance thing I mentioned earlier? It can be a problem, even when you know about it. I had the saw fully extended and was standing on a ladder to cut a palm frond. Palm fronds take some force to cut through - the problem came when I finally cut through it. Suddenly, I'm pushing down on a fully extended saw that is front heavy to begin with, and the resistance from the palm frond is gone. Oops. Luckily, the chain stops when you release the trigger &/or the safety... so when it hit, no damage was done. (I thought the impact might either fix or worsen the oil leak, but it did neither...)
So, after a year's experience, I'd downgrade the four star rating I gave this item. A refurbished unit would get only two stars: I'd take off one star for the oil leak, and another for the balance problem because it's a safety issue. A new unit, assuming it worked fine out of the box, would get four stars with an asterisk - the less upper body &/or arm strength you have the less stars it would get.