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Echo PPT 265 Power Pruner (Pole Saw) Review

Post in 'The Gear' started by Beowulf, May 4, 2010.

  1. Beowulf

    Beowulf New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 24, 2009
    Messages:
    211
    Loc:
    SoCal Southern Sierras
    Device: http://www.echo-usa.com/product.asp?Model=PPT-265&Category=POWERPRUNER

    Well, got to looking at a bunch of oaks with assorted sizes of dead limbs on the property, thinking about how much fun I have had over the years with my manual pole saw (something like none), then looking at my mostly worn out Remington electric pole saw, I decided to investigate gas powered pole saws.

    There seemed to be quite a few options, from the attachments that go on the power unit of Troy-built/Ryobi or other multi-purpose yard devices (think trimmers, blowers, etc.) to professional grade chainsaw's on a stick. (Stihl, Husqvarna, and maybe Echo.)

    I kind of liked the look of the Stihl HT series pruners, and a local guy had the Husquvarna 327P5 unit handy.

    I decided that the lack of Stihl dealers in my area (less than an hour drive anyway) was a factor, so narrowed it to the Husky unit. I went to look at one and figured on purchasing it, when the dealer mentioned that he also had the Echo PPT 265. I got to hold them both, inspect them, wave them around and generally menace light fixtures and other shoppers. I ultimately decided the pole mechanism looked better on the Echo, plus it telescoped where the Husky did not. It also had a 4' extension available to put the reach out to 16 feet or so.

    I decided to buy the Echo (price was within $3 of the Husky), even though they won't rate the HP of their 25.4 cc engine.

    Yesterday was my first day to play with it. Here are my thoughts:

    1. This device cuts through 8" Oak dead branches like a hot knife through butter. I'm hooked.

    2. This device is one heck of an upper body work out! The shoulder strap is not terribly useful. The Husky came with a dual strap affair that looks like a back pack harness. My dear wife watched the fun and then ordered the Echo equivalent unit for me at something like $51.

    3. The Echo Vortex power unit is easy to start, CARB compliant, quiet, and reasonably responsive. I think it has enough power for the 12" bar and a sharp chain. I suppose it will pick up a little HP when it is broken in and I can tune the carb for our altitude. It comes running pretty rich. It cut through hard, dry, dead oak quickly, though. The biggest limb I cut was about 10" at the base. That may have taken a couple of minutes, including repositioning after making an under cut, first. You will spend more time positioning than cutting with one of these.

    4. The pole, extended out, with the 4' extension attached, will get you far enough away from lower limbs so that you don't drop them on your head. It is a handful to maneuver it at it's max length, but manageable for a 5'7" guy that never made any claims to be an athlete. I have not climbed a ladder with it, yet, but probably will violate this owners manual recommendation at some point. I don't think you would want to have it extended out very far and climb a ladder. The cutting head feels heavy when it is 12-14 feet out from you.

    What I like
    : Cuts fast, 5 year consumer warranty, quiet, easy to start, about the longest reach available for this type of pruner, pole is more rigid than the Husky, almost no flex.

    What I don't like: At 20 lbs, it feels heavy and awkward (so did the Husky), useless shoulder strap that slides around and tries to choke you, just when you think you are in the perfect cutting position.

    Overall, the device meets my expectations and seems like a very useful addition to the saw stable. I have about 4 hours experience with it now and will update this if I learn anything useful next week. If you have a lot of trimming to do at 6-14' up, this thing is great. It really beats climbing a ladder and strapping in for that sort of stuff.

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  2. Flatbedford

    Flatbedford Minister of Fire

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    Croton-on-Hudson, suburbs of NYC
    What did you pay for it? I bought a crappy $99 Poulon electric one last month. It is basically an electric chainsaw on a stick. Not a great tool, but for $99 I can deal with it for a couple hours a year.
  3. Beowulf

    Beowulf New Member

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    $538 + $99 for the 4' extension.
  4. JustWood

    JustWood Minister of Fire

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    Arrow Bridge,NY
    A good tip that will save your saw and maybe yourself from injury.

    Always make your top cut closer to the tree than the bottom cut. If you don't the saw bar can get caught it the cut on the limb side and come down with the limb. Damaging the bar, pole or possibly YOU.
  5. Flatbedford

    Flatbedford Minister of Fire

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    That's why I have the cheap, crappy one. Looks like you got yourself a very nice little tool there. I wish you were closer, maybe I could borrow it from you. :)
  6. Singed Eyebrows

    Singed Eyebrows New Member

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    Lee, Are you saying to make the bottom cut & make the top cut parallel just a bit closer to the tree & let the short section just tear out? Or do you angle the top cut to join the bottom cut? Thanks for the advice, Randy
  7. Singed Eyebrows

    Singed Eyebrows New Member

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    Midwest
    I bought the Echo PPT-280 pruner. This is a powerhouse as the thread starter says. I was going to buy a Stihl HT-101 as I could get a new one for $511.31(list $600). I read some negative comments on the 4 mix engine, the gentleman on AS said if nothing else he could enter the Renaissance Fair jousting tournament with his. Many people have good luck with the Stihl, I didn't want to take a chance though on an expensive saw. Echo uses a tried & true 2 cycle engine. I have 30 year old(approx) Echo trimmer that runs like new. This pole saw has a 13' 2" reach & has an optional 5' extension that I don't believe Stihl offers. One person commented that Ebay is loaded with HT-101's because people use them & then get rid of them. I'm real happy with the Echo as you can bury the 12" bar in hardwood & it doesn't even slow down, Randy
  8. Beowulf

    Beowulf New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 24, 2009
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    Loc:
    SoCal Southern Sierras
    Update to original review: I received the Harness/Belt rig that the DW bought me. Tested it out yesterday and was quite pleased with the improvement in maneuverability that it gives the saw. If you adjust the harness and belt snug, then hang the padded wire hook sort of thing off the belt, it does a nice job of distributing the saw's weight about your upper body and provides a good pivot point to balance the saw on while re-positioning. It really should have come with the saw (like Husqvarna just started to do with the 327P5x), but better late than never. If you are buying a new PPT, you should work your dealer over to throw in the harness, or at least discount it heavily.

    The pole system on this saw rocks. It is quite solid; no wamblies. Pruned some cedars up about 14' and was delighted with the cutting speed on 4"- 6" branches. Still have not managed to drop one on my head.

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