Pros:Smooth and fast, comfortable for a lot of cutting.
Cons:The one-piece plastic body (includes the gas tank) is a very expensive replacement part.
The Bottom Line: The salesman who said this was a great saw was right.
The first two times I tried to use my 350 I had the same problem as several of the people who gave it negative reviews here: it wouldn't start. Actually, I didn't know how to start it.
Recommend this product?
This is my first chainsaw purchase, and pretty much my first experience using a decent gas-powered chainsaw. I was ready to take it back. Fortunately, the guy who sold it to me told me the trick. After four or five pulls there is a slight change in sound as the engine tries to catch. It only does this once or twice, and at that point I MUST TURN OFF THE CHOKE. If I keep pulling past this point I am only wasting my time because I am flooding it and it will not start until I leave it alone for quite a while and try again.
If I turn off the choke at the right time, it starts right up. Once I get it going, it will continue starting up easily until the engine is cold again. Not once have I been able to start it up cold if I leave the choke on.
Again, my sequence for a cold start is:
1. Pull the choke out (ON) and push in the little decompression button on the side that makes pulling easier.
2. Pull 4 or 5 times until I hear the subtle sound of the engine trying to catch.
3. Push the choke back in (OFF) and make sure the compression release button is still pushed in because it might have kicked out.
4. Pull again and it should start within 2-3 pulls. If it doesn't, I try repeating from the beginning, but then it might try to catch after only one or two pulls.
5. Whatever I do, I don't continue pulling with the choke on past the point of it trying to catch. When in doubt, I try a few pulls with the choke off before trying it again with the choke on again.
I don't know why they didn't say all that in the manual.
Now that I know how to start my saw every time without fail, I really enjoy using it. It's fast and smooth and comfortable. I was surprised at how well it did at full 18" blade depth on (soft) maple--both crosscut and ripping! I have noticed no vibration effects at all; in fact I forgot about that problem until I read the other reviews here.
I agree with things others have said: This saw does leave me looking for more wood to cut. Its power and comfort are so smooth that I sometimes forget it is extremely dangerous and (not being a highly experienced chainsaw user) I move too fast and start violating safety rules and good sense. I ALWAYS wear good hearing protection, because I don't want those 100 dB literally ripping the auditory hair cells in my inner ears.
There is one problem, however. The last time I used the saw, the trigger mechanism was beginning to stick so that now I can't depress the throttle or get up any speed. I have yet to get this fixed.
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