Mtd Southwest Tb4016cc "troy-bilt" 2-cycle Gas Chainsaw

1 ratings (1 Epinions review)
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MTD Chainsaw: "Use it Today, Then Throw it Away!"

Dec 16, 2008
Review by  
Rated a Very Helpful Review

Pros:It does cut wood initially.

Cons:Cheaply made, hard to find parts, broke down, old-fashioned start-up controls.

The Bottom Line: Nothing beats a Stihl (so far)


Several years ago I needed a chainsaw quickly.  We had a problem with beavers that were chewing down trees near one of our ponds.  My other chainsaws (all Stihl or McCulloch brands) were in the shop being tuned up and sharpened by a very slow moving technician.  Earlier during that year, I had purchased a display model McCulloch chainsaw from Home Depot.  The saw had a number of small, internal problems.  I got a good price on the saw, and I liked the size, so I opted to contact the company to see if I could have it repaired under warranty, locally.

What I found, to my surprise, McCulloch had gone out of business and was taken over by MTD. MTD (which stands for Modern Tool and Die) was once a champion manufacturer of gas fueled motor driven tools.  They have a number of brands of lawn mowers and other garden tools.  When I contacted MTD via the internet, they responded that they apologize for the problem but they had discontinued manufacturing the McCulloch chainsaws.  Two weeks later, a big box arrived at my home with a brand new MTD chainsaw.

"Huh? MTD chainsaw?"  I had never heard of it, and having seen other MTD products for sale at Home Depot, I was not sure I was going to have a need for it.  I had planned to sell it over the internet.

However, as luck would have it, it was the only chainsaw I had on hand to clean up the mess the beavers made.  The saw was ready to use right out of the box.  I simply added some chain oil and gas/oil mixture and started it up.  The engine zoomed into action and it was ready for cutting.  I brought it to the trees that were leaning over and sliced them up.  The saw worked beautifully!  I was beginning to have second thoughts about the saw.

I did notice that the chain loosened up a bit while cutting.  It was no big deal.  I simply loosened the bar nuts and pulled the bar tight and tightened up the bar nuts.  There is also a tension screw, but I figured the bar nuts needed to be tightened anyway.  I used the saw the entire day without any problem.  I was able to cut up three full live trees with trunks approximately 6 - 8" diameter into firewood sized pieces.  The only problem I encountered during the entire time was the loose chain.

The next day, however, I went back to do some more cutting.  I tried starting the saw, but it would not start.  After pulling the starter rope a dozen or so times, I decided to bring the saw to my shop to service it.  I checked for spark, it was ok.  I check the carberator, looked clean and fuel was flowing to the primer bulb.  The fuel was fresh and clean.  The saw would just not start.

I called MTD on the phone this time.  They provided me with the name of a service center about 15 miles from my home for warrantee work.  I decided to give it a shot.  I was perplexed at what could cause this problem.  The service tech took the saw, tried starting it.  It sputtered, but soon it died.  He tagged it and told me he would give me a call when it was fixed.

A few weeks later, the guy called and told me: "The saw has an internal plastic piece that is broken and the company does not have the parts in stock.  It is not worth fixing it."  So, I went back to the store to pick it up, called MTD and they told me they were not making chainsaws any longer.  What in the world?  They offered to refund my money that I originally paid for the McCulloch saw instead.

That was all a couple of years ago.    I have since gotten all of my Stihl saws back from my local repair tech.  I decided to give the saw to the local guy to fix and he gave it back to me within a few days saying there was nothing wrong with it, it just needed a few adjustments.

I have not used the saw again, except to test it out.  I figured I would use it as a back-up to my back-up chainsaw, should I need to, unless I can give it away to the appropriate person (someone will probably not need to use one but would like to have an ornament in their garage).  I have since added a few more Stihl saws and I am contemplating getting a Makita chainsaw, if it goes on sale.

I would classify this MTD chainsaw as a "light duty" chainsaw.  It would be ideal for someone who lives in the city and might want to cut down a small tree and be done with the saw.  For someone like me, who piles up 15 or so cords of wood each year, this saw is a toy. 

It is relatively easy to use.  It uses a bit of old-fashioned technology with the primer bulb and multi-position switch.  The engine is strong enough at 16cc to get through most light duty wood cutting chores.  The saw, like most saws sold today, has a lot of plastic parts which I do not like.  Also, as with pretty much all gas powered saws, you must mix gas with 2 cycle oil to run the engine.  I premix a gallon of gas oil mixture and just fill the saw whenever it needs fuel.  The black plastic case is a nice one and I will probably keep it to store one of my better saws away.

By the way, MTD does not actually produce this saw.  The saw is manufactured by the Jenn Feng company in China.  There was some news a while back that MTD was being sued by the US government for distributing chainsaws that were not built to pollution control standards.  This might be why they do not sell these saws any longer?  I would suggest doing some research before buying an MTD saw.  I do not see any MTD chainsaws for sale in the big chain stores like Home Depot or Lowes. 

I would not recommend this saw to anyone.  You would probably be better off buying one of the other cheapy saws for one time use.  Cheapy saws are made by Poulon, Homelite, Sears, etc.  They cost about the same amount and if you have a problem you can bring the saw right back to the store for a refund.  At this time, the only chainsaw I would recommend is the Stihl saws (any one of them!).  You will not find these in Home Depot or Lowes.  You need to go to a distributor. I am going to try some other saws like the Husky and the Makita chainsaws, but so far Stihl is the best.  The problem with Stihl is their parts are expensive and often hard to find (such as chains, clutches, internal parts, etc.)  Thanks for reading my review and best wishes for a nice day!

Mike


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