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Tanaka brush cutters

Post in 'The Gear' started by Treacherous, Oct 18, 2012.

  1. Treacherous

    Treacherous Minister of Fire

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    Anyone have any experience with the Tanaka brush cutters?

    [​IMG]


    7 year consumer warranty and lifetime driveshaft warranty. I've seen them regarded fairly well around the web. It seems about half the price of a comparable Stihl model. I believe they are made in Japan but not sure.

    There is something appealing about not having something else to mix gas in... do the 4 stroke Honda's have enough power for cutting 1-2" trees while using the saw blade?

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  2. TreePointer

    TreePointer Minister of Fire

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    I've never run a Tanaka trimmer, but I wouldn't shy away from one. I've haven't heard any bad about them.

    I do have Stihl's version of a 4-stroke engine (4-Mix) in the FS130 (bike handle). It uses 2-cycle fuel mix, but the tradeoff is that there are no oil changes.

    At 36.3cc, the FS130 with a Stihl chisel tooth saw blade has no problems with 1-2" trees
    http://www.stihlusa.com/products/trimmers-and-brushcutters/professional-trimmers/fs130/
    http://www.stihlusa.com/products/tr...ries/trimmer-heads-and-blades/circularchisel/
  3. Backwoods Savage

    Backwoods Savage Minister of Fire

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    I have one of those by another company and have had it for many years. We cut lots of brush with it and it also has a 4 edged blade for big weeds plus the string. I remember buying it and think it was in 1986 or 1987 and we got it at Sears. Seems someone had bought it and brought it back. It was unused but we got a huge discount for it. We were never sorry except for the fact that it is heavy and using it comes in small doses because of a bad back.
  4. Treacherous

    Treacherous Minister of Fire

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    That sounds like the same one my dad has. He bought it in about '84/'85. It was called a Sears Brushwacker with the Robin/Subaru NB04/Sachs-Dolmar BC37.7 engine. It is currently a rebuild project of mine but if that doesn't work out I might just buy a new one. As a kid I remember really winding it up and a good swing you could really take down the trees with that saw blade on there.

  5. Backwoods Savage

    Backwoods Savage Minister of Fire

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    That sounds like the same one. I remember finding a fellow close to us that was trying to get a sharpening business started and took the blade to him several times. I think he charged me $2.50
  6. Treacherous

    Treacherous Minister of Fire

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    It worked great until recently. My brother apparently borrowed it and used a weak oil mixture in it. IIRC it needs 16:1 and he used something like 40:1 in it. Some scoring but I think I have it cleaned up pretty good. Throwing $30 (piston and rings) in parts into it and crossing my fingers.
  7. Backwoods Savage

    Backwoods Savage Minister of Fire

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    Hopefully that works. It is amazing to me that folks don't ask what mix it should have.
  8. MasterMech

    MasterMech Guest

    I own 2 4-mix engines (FS110R and a BR600). Fantastic engine. They use the same mix I run in the saws (and everything else actually) and run/lubricate equally well in any position. Important in a trimmer as I often turn it on its side to edge.

    Tanaka has been around for awhile. They have a good reputation for making reliable equipment with good ergonomics. I would make sure you have a good source for parts/repairs if you plan to use the unit regularly.
  9. Treacherous

    Treacherous Minister of Fire

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    Good to know!!! Thanks!
  10. JOHN BOY

    JOHN BOY Minister of Fire

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    Never heard anything bad about tanaka... Ive run a stihl 130R thing was a beast !
  11. Treacherous

    Treacherous Minister of Fire

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    I decided to pick up this 42.7cc Echo SRM410U. It is Japanese made and seems well built.



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  12. basod

    basod Minister of Fire

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    My coworker has a similar echo for the past 4 yrs and he has used the heck out of it - brush clearing only. It's comfortable/balanced and reliable
    The primer bulb just cracked on it the other day - other than that no issues.

    I'll have to get a pic of my FS353 up - vintage beast
  13. Pallet Pete

    Pallet Pete Guest

    I have an Echo CS-310 and a Echo weedwacker they are very well made products and I love them. In five years all I had go wrong was the oil filter on the saw. High quality stuff.

    Pete
  14. Joful

    Joful Minister of Fire

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    All my non-chainsaw OPE is Echo, and I've said many times that my Echo 510 EVL is the most reliable saw I've ever owned. It's also the brand most of the local landscapers use. You can't go wrong with Echo.
  15. Pallet Pete

    Pallet Pete Guest

    Also Hitachi owns Tanaka now days and they offer a heck of a warranty ! 7 year's.
  16. basod

    basod Minister of Fire

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    Get one of these for it
    [​IMG]
  17. Joful

    Joful Minister of Fire

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    Ever take a close look at that Hitachi warranty? I bought a saws-all from them a few years ago, and the outside of the box had a big label, "7 year warranty!" The warranty info in the actual manual was quite different, though. Something like 1 year on the motor, and 3 years on the plastic chassis. There were no components warranted to 7 years, according to the actual warranty statement in the manual.
  18. Treacherous

    Treacherous Minister of Fire

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    Not many dealers in my area to service Tanaka even though their US office is in my state (Auburn, WA). I had also considered Redmax. I guess the Tanaka's are made in China now.

    Does that leave Echo/Shindaiwa as the only line that produces some stuff in Japan? The power head on my Echo says Made in Japan. This says it might be a hybrid US/Japan arrangement.

    http://echo-usa.custhelp.com/app/answers/detail/a_id/422/kw/where are echos made

    "Most of the ECHO products are manufactured in the U.S.A. The shortblocks are made in Japan. "
  19. Treacherous

    Treacherous Minister of Fire

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    I like it... I need to pick one of those up. Aside from the 10" 80 tooth blade the unit came with I also bought the following:

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  20. greg13

    greg13 Feeling the Heat

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    When you are using a blade, don't forget to wear the harness with it. It can save your leg from a nasty gash.
  21. Treacherous

    Treacherous Minister of Fire

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    Definitely... I can't imagine using it for any period of time without it.
  22. basod

    basod Minister of Fire

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    Those 22 tooth blades last a long time if you can keep them out of the rocks/dirt
    I believe they are carbide tipped so you'll have to pay to sharpen it
    That's the beauty of the beaver blade - hand sharpen and it acts like a clutch so it limits kick back

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