Craftsman 18 in. Gas Chain Saw, 42 cc 358

Craftsman 18 in. Gas Chain Saw, 42 cc 358

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Craftsman Chainsaw Model 358.350880 - Create a Texas Chainsaw Massacre on Trees!

Oct 20, 2007 (Updated Feb 24, 2008)
Review by  
Rated a Very Helpful Review
  • User Rating: Excellent

  • Ease of Use:
  • Durability:
  • Noise Level:

Pros:Excellent handling, easy for beginners, solid build quality, nice carrying case.

Cons:Absolutely nothing to note here.

The Bottom Line: Worth every cent, I would have paid more for it after finding out how great it is.


Background:
I've owned this chainsaw for 14 months now and consider it my best landscaping power tool. More fun than a lawnmower or blower and powerful enough to handle big jobs.

I live in a wooded development with large size lots. I own almost one acre of land and have well over 30 trees on my property. The majority of which are Oaks ranging from 25 feet high to over 60 foot high.

I have safely removed 11 trees from my property with this chainsaw by myself (side note: I used a ladder and manual winches to control fall for some of the trees)

This chainsaw runs like a champ. Engine is well built and never gives me a problem starting-up. It is a 2 cycle engine, so you must use gas/oil mix at a ratio of 40:1.
40 parts gas / to 1 part synthetic oil
Also equal to 3.2 ounces of oil per 1 gallon of gas.

The package:
Included in your purchase will be: The chainsaw, A sturdy carrying case, Manual, One 3.2 ounce bottle of synthetic oil for mixing with gas, one bottle of chain oil.

Don't confuse chain oil with synthetic motor oil. Chain oil lubricates the chain while the unit is powered on. Chain oil has it's own reservoir/cap. Synthetic motor oil mixes with gas prior to filling the gas tank.

The case is large enough to throw a pair of safety glasses and an extra bottle of chain oil and motor oil. Case is built to take a beating and not break on you.

First time use:
A very important thing to keep in mind when using the chainsaw for the first time: A brand new chain will stretch during first 15 minutes of use. Re-adjust tension as needed (tighten!). If the chain becomes too loose during operation it will come off of the chain bar. This goes for all chainsaws! I had this happen once and it was no big deal, just a minor annoyance, but it can be a safety hazard!

Tension Adjustment:
Simple, very simple.
Open bar knob by pulling tab to 90 degree angle, rotate knob counterclockwise. Spin adjusting wheel up to increase tension or down to decrease tension. Check chain tension. Rotate bar knob clockwise to lock tensioner. Push bar knob back into chainsaw so it's flat.

It may sound a little involved, but it takes a matter of seconds to complete this task.

Manual:
The manual is very well put together and informative. It is 50 pages long, has illustrations, is easy to understand, maintenance techniques are explained, and cutting/pruning techniques are explained, and safety/handling is well defined.

Handling/Cutting:
Cutting full grown trees and pruning is very easy. Too easy. You will spend more time on safety and precautions than actually making one cut. Example: It took me 2 minutes to drop a 40+ foot oak tree with a diameter of approx 22 inches at hip level, with only three notch cuts to help control fall. Prep consisted of using a ladder and "Keeper" ratchet tie-down (link below), of course I had to prune limbs off and then cut logs down to size.

This chainsaw handles like a dream come true. Start-up is simple. Trigger controls speed of cut. When fully depressing trigger chain will move fast and engine will have a nice steady roar. Pruning small limbs should never need trigger depressed at full capacity. Grip is comfortable and handling is easy, chainsaw is not very heavy but fatigue can affect arm muscles with extended use. During usage all cuts should be quick and controlled, your arms or body will have a slight vibration at most

Tips:
Expect to empty a full tank of gas with approx. one hour of usage. Expect to empty chain oil reservoir with approx 45 minutes of use. Remove clutch cover after usage and clean out sawdust to keep unit clean. An air compressor is perfect for the job but canned air will also do a great cleaning job, even a plastic scraper will do if you have nothing else.

When purchasing this chainsaw:
Please consider buying the following useful items:
Extra Chain Oil (Approx. $2)
Extra Synthetic Motor oil for mixing with gas (Approx $2)
Can of compressed air, if you don't own an air compressor. (Approx $7)
Safety Glasses (Approx $5)
Heavy duty work gloves (Approx $7)
A chain sharpener (Approx $10)
An extra chain if you plan on using chainsaw extensively (Approx $20)
Earplugs, if sensitive to somewhat loud noise (Approx $1)

Note: I have sharpened the same chain twice prior to throwing it out. A sharpened chain works like a brand new one. A chain sharpener is well worth the investment, it will guide you sharpening the chain at the proper 30 degree angle at all the grooves. The sharpener should be two pieces, the actual sharpener and a guide for placement/sharpener usage on dull chain.

Why didn't I list any cons at the top of review?
The only con I can think of which pertains to all chainsaws is the operating expense of using gas, synthetic oil, and chain oil. This is a typical drawback and not particular to the Craftsman Chainsaw I reviewed. I believe there are no "cons" related specifically to this chainsaw. Plus operating expense is nominal. Example $10 of oil and gas will get you multiple hours of usage.

Closing Statement:
I love trees and I love nature. My situation involves problematic oak trees which are in bad shape and a hazard to my home and property. I plan on planting smaller trees once my job is complete. The world can never have enough trees right? Can't wait to get some Japanese Maples growing!

Thank you for reading my review!

Specifically mentioned in this review: Keeper Ratchet Tie Down / Click for review

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Recommend this product? Yes


Amount Paid (US$): 150

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