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Your thoughts on Shindaiwa saws?

Post in 'The Gear' started by brooktrout, Mar 13, 2008.

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  1. brooktrout

    brooktrout New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 23, 2007
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    Loc:
    Hamden, NY
    Looking for a good saw- I know Stihl and Husky, not too familiar with Dolmar, but can anyone give some input on Shindaiwa? Thanks!

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  2. JustWood

    JustWood Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Aug 14, 2007
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    Loc:
    Arrow Bridge,NY
    You get what you pay for!
  3. GrantC

    GrantC Member

    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2008
    Messages:
    65
    Loc:
    Oregon
    I own two Shindaiwa saws - a 488 and a 757 - and couldn't be happier with them. (I also own an old T-20 trimmer that just refuses to die!)

    Years ago, I did some graphics work for Shindaiwa corporate offices here in Oregon. At the time their technical services director gave me a tour of their shop/lab, where they had their saws and their competitor's saws in various stages of testing and tear-down. I got to look inside of their gear, and was highly impressed with the quality of the the manufacture - not just design, but material choice and machining precision. That's when I bought the T-20.

    It's twenty years later, and Shindaiwa has garnered a reputation for tough, long-lasting equipment. (Their trimmers are near legends in the landscaping industry.) Their saws are no different; they're known for being reliable above all else, and they start easily warm or cold. Unlike a Stihl they are hard to flood, and unlike a Husky they don't need priming/choking when warm.

    Pick one up and you'll notice that they are solid, well fitted, high quality machines. (Just unscrew the oil/gas caps from a Shindaiwa and, say, a Husky - I own both, and there's no comparison in the fit and smoothness of the threads.) You'll notice that Shindaiwas aren't cheap; as the fellow above said, you get what you pay for!

    Downsides? They don't have the best power-to-weight ratios - all that quality metal construction weighs more than plastic. (They'll usually fall right into the middle of the pack in that regard.) In any performance measure, they'll always fall into the "average" category.

    Their designs are somewhat dated, in that they still use toggle switches and separate choke controls. (Personally that's one of the things I like about them - I can't stand the all-in-one plastic levers that newer saws have. I want my saws to FEEL like saws!) Their anti-vibration is pretty good, though again not "best in class."

    If you check with the chainsaw fanatics over at Arboristsite, you'll find that someone always has something bad to say about every brand - except Shindaiwa. The worst thing people can come up with is "well, they're pretty good saws, I guess..." They just run and run, and that's hard to argue with.

    Bottom line: buy a Shindaiwa if your criteria are reliability and durability. If you're looking for the best power-to-weight ratio, buy a Dolmar. If brand names are important to you, buy a Stihl or Husky (depending on local popularity.)

    -=[ Grant ]=-
  4. jtb51b

    jtb51b Feeling the Heat

    Joined:
    Dec 24, 2007
    Messages:
    327
    Loc:
    Birmingham AL
    I don't understand this. Shindiawa saws are priced a bit higher than consumer stihls and a bit less than the pro saws..


    I sold Shindiawa equipment for a few years (Stihl for several years as well).. The Shindiawa stuff is first quality.. I have ran a 488 saw quite a bit and it was a great saw. They come with .325 pitch chain vs. LP 3/8ths on most other saws in their price range, they are a bit higher revving saw as well and have the HP to pull the larger chain. I have torn down literally hundreds of chainsaws and can tell you that if you are looking for a quiality saw then Shindiawa fits the bill.. I have nothing against Stihl, they make some GREAT saws, they also make a bunch of dogs (MS-250!!) Echo saws are good quality saws as well. If I had to choose between an Echo CS440, a Shindiawa 488 or a Stihl MS270 I would pick the Shindiawa first... Now, throw me an old 026 and its a no brainer..

    Jason
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