I work outdoors, when asked, the nature of it is best described as hack & slash…What this means is that small urban gardens are best left to others with nice little vans.By choice I prefer larger properties, this is where my little Suzuki 4×4 comes in. It has changed how I do my job, and never ceases to amaze me where she goes. Often called my workmate and she really is.
Today the starter cord broke on my law mower snapped just as the client was bringing a mug of tea out. We chatted as I quickly sorted the issue. The mower looks old, scruffy, yet cuts wet grass like nothing else. A few years ago I was given it along with a strimmer after they got thrown out. Sadly, the strimmer died after a couple of years of sterling service.
Late last year one of my clients gave me an old Echo CS330EVL chainsaw. It had sat in their shed for quite a few years. They said that it had an issue with the chain brake. I did fire it up a few days later, it ran, but the brake didn’t work, and the starter got stuck. After putting it down, it sat, forgotten once again, until this evening. Sadly, once again the need for a reliable small saw has risen. For 3 years I used a beaten-up Stihl 009, this little saw was amazing, but finally died last year.
People assume that bigger chainsaws are better, yet I would argue that say one with 12inch to a 16inch bar is far better for 90% of all the jobs you need to do. Unless you are felling bigger trees, then, of course, a larger saw is better. I don’t and when most of my use is logging and only small trees, a lighter saw is far better. First, you don’t get so fatigued using one, and second, they are cheaper to run, less hassle to maintain.
This evening, I dug the little saw out, got my socket set from the truck and set to work. The chain brake was simply down to being clogged solid with fine sawdust. This is where the Echo reveals its older design. Modern saws have the chain brake on the inside of the bar cover. This means that every time you take it off it is a simple job to clean the brake. With this Echo, the chain brake is behind the engine drive sprocket and stays on the machine. Hence, it is far more difficult to keep clean, which then reduces the performance until it stops working. After cleaning, it now works well, which means the saw is safe to use again. It is a little more complex than more modern designs, yet the quality is clear to see, and I’m impressed compared to cheaper, newer saws.
After sharping the chain, I then found the second major fault…
The starter cord was jammed, so once again, my tools came out, pulled it apart. Only to find starter drum was cracked. A quick look online proved that this a rare part. Only available from the States. Cost £6 and £16 for postage…
Tomorrow I’ll test the saw and if it runs well, then it will become my everyday one. I’ll order a couple of spare chains, for £15 which will mean that for £40 I’ll have a good saw…
And that is a bargain.
Classic chainsaws for the Classicaraddict… Of course.
Quick update, the day after writing this post I did try the little saw.
Considering how long it must have been sitting, it did really well. At first a little smokey and until the fresh fuel worked through a little rough running. It now seems to have settled down and after I get a spare chain, this will be the saw that lives in the truck, (Tug). I also would like to thank my clients for giving me this saw. They are truly good people.