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Oil not only leaked out but INTO the electronics of the saw
on June 6, 2013
The saw arrived, I put the battery on charge, carefully filled the oil reservoir and began work on mounting the chain and rail. By the time I'd finished with the rail and its adjustment, oil was beginning to appear everywhere. But reviewers had warned that oil would leak if the chain was pointed downward, which I had surely done while mounting the rail. So I wiped off that oil, placed the saw flat on stack of fresh paper towels, and filled the oil reservoir a second time. Within ten minutes it had emptied again. But oil had saturated the paper towels under the entire saw. And when I picked it up I found oil oozing OUT of every seam in the plastic enclosure, out of the battery connection, and even out of the air vents at the far end of the electric motor.
OK, I thought I might have a unit with a broken internal connection between the reservoir and final oiling nozzle. So, after once again cleaning things up, I took off the rail and chain so that I could observe that nozzle directly. I refilled the reservoir a third time, again with the saw flat on a pile of paper towels. To my surprise, oil began to drip quickly from the oiling nozzle indicating that there was NOT a broken connection. But then I could see that, laid out flat on my workbench, that the unit tilts slightly backward. And as a result, oil drops from the nozzle run down the plastic housing and into the wide (~ 1 mm) gap between it and the rectangular metal block into which the rail is screwed. Then, having found an easy (essentially designed in) path into the otherwise fairly tight plastic shell, the oil then proceeded to distribute itself all over the whole interior of the unit.
Oil all over the innards of a saw is probably just fine for a gas-powered saw. But as an electrical engineer, I KNOW that oil inside an electric motor, on/off switches and battery contacts is an invitation for disaster (and perhaps the cause of the early motor failures reported by some reviewers). I have to conclude that B&D just didn't care if the saw only works for a year or two.
I bought the saw to avoid the mess and noise of a gas-powered unit. But I got the mess anyway (and thereby a saw that would probably fail prematurely). So its going back to Amazon (sorry about the mess), and this will be my last ever B&D power tool purchase.
So can anyone recommend a small gas-powered unit with a neighbor-friendly muffler? At least that way I'd get a unit likely to work well, for a long time.