Stihl TS 400 Cutquik Masonry Saw Review
the same time I must compliment Stihl and apologize a little bit for
this review. The review for the TS 400 is written from my experience
using a masonry saw that is eight years old. In looking at the current
specs and pictures of the TS 400, I can tell that while there haven't
been huge changes to the design of the saw, I'm not sure there need
to be. And the fact that a review can be written about a handheld masonry
saw that is eight years old and still running says something about the
TS 400 has always been a very reliable saw. Starts cold, continues to
run during heavy use on
hot days. The saw is one of the lighter ones we have for it's ability,
which means it's a little easier on the arms and back when cutting in
hundreds of lineal feet of brick pavers in a day. However, I do hope
that in the more recent versions of the saw, they've addressed the vibration
issue. A few years ago I spent an entire day cutting some very hard
clay pavers, and by the end of the day I couldn't feel two fingers and
the thumb on my right hand. This numbness continued for several days.
If there was a silver lining, I had an infected cut on one of those
fingers, and was able to scrub it clean with a toothbrush without feeling
a thing. But if I had to draw designs with that hand, I'd have been
out of commission for awhile.
once I both like and dislike the distance between the handles and the
blade; having the blade a good deal forward of the handles makes the
saw feel a bit safer, moving the cutting action a little further from
your hands compared to other saws. However, this also makes for a saw
that is less balanced than some of the other masonry saws on the market.
Hmmm...This one is also a good news, bad news story. The good news is
I can predict exactly which pull will start our TS 400, every time,
every day, cold or hot. The bad news is, it is almost always pull #13.
The first couple years I tried to tweak the carburation settings, but
no matter whether the mix was rich or lean, it always took 13 pulls
to start. The first 10 pulls were at full choke, with the tenth pull
reliably giving me a sputter. Depres the compression release valve again,
flip to half-choke, and pull number three at half-choke gets her running.
to me is a pleasant surprise. Not using some of the more technologically
advanced filtration techniques of other masonry saws, including
oil-impregnated filters, the TS 400 relies solely on a foam filter followed
by an accordian paper filter like you'd find in most cars. While you'd
be inclined to think that this filtration system would not be up to
the long-term abuse that the environment that a masonry saw can produce,
this saw continues to have clean piston cylinder walls and no blow-by.
To me, the results saw everything.
note on close cutting: because of the design of the saw and it's blade
guard, the TS 400 allows us to get in tighter against vertical structures
when making cuts on horizontal surfaces. This was never made obvious
to me until I has to cut away pieces of footings on which rested large
posts that supported an outdoor structure. We could snug right up to
the posts and cut away large portions of the footing without problems
(though the reason we were cutting footings is a long story).
items of note: The starter cord on Stihl saws is so great that I always
buy extra and outfit our other saws with the Stihl "elasto-start"
starter cord. Seems to last longer and is easier on the hands and machine
when pulling to the full length of the cord. Also, with an arbor size
of 20mm, we often need to buy extra plastic rings to slide over the
arbor for most of the masonry
blades we use.
So if you're
looking for a masonry saw that will allow you to cut in close proximity
to a vertical wall, or you're the type that appreciates the value of
a saw that you don't have to repurchase every few years, and don't mind
some extra pulls when starting or wearing anti-vibe gloves, this might
be the perfect saw for you.
TS 400 Specs:
Power: 4.4 bhp
Weight (14"): 21.6 lbs
Fuel Capacity: 25 oz
Engine Speed: 9,700 rpm (I believe max spindle speed is aroun 5,400 rpm)
Arbor Size: 20mm