“The P4 is perfect for tree surgeons with avenues of trees to maintain. It’s a tidy machine and very accurate. I like to be specific with pruning work. The last thing you want is the machine lashing out and damaging another branch,” comments the tester.
Of the larger P5x machine, he says: “This one cuts really well — it’s probably the most fluid I have used.”
Both machines have 30cm bars and chains, and oil pumps with a screwdriver adjustment to match lubrication to the type of wood. The low-vibration chain minimises kickback.
With its shorter reach and smaller engine, the P4 is especially lightweight and easy to handle. Features we like about this saw include the soft-grip shaft covering that gives a good range of hand-holds, the tool-less, chainless tensioning and the auto-return stop switch, which automatically resets to the “on” position for trouble-free starting when wearing gloves. The 24.5cc engine is powerful and accelerates rapidly. It is fitted with Husqvarna’s Smart Start system, which reduces pulling effort by about 40 per cent.
The P5 has an E-Tech engine of the same displacement as the P4 but also has a catalytic converter. It runs on Aspen fuel — much more pleasant when the engine is close to your face. But although it is positioned away from the body of a right-handed user, several times our tester feels the heat of the exhaust on his elbow. The P5 also has an odd-looking engine guard, shaped like a handle, and once or twice the tester was tempted to use it as such, but found it too close to the exhaust for comfort.
The shaft on the P5 is 1m longer than the P4’s and comes in two sections for easy transport and storage. The shafts are solid, but lighter than telescopic models. The tester likes the lack of weight but finds the telescopic models give a greater range of positions from which to approach a branch. There’s a term for that: “Swings and roundabouts.”
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