JCB 680 cut-off saw

We all know JCB builds excavators. But recently the famous black-on-yellow logo has been turning up on a variety of kit, from mowers to cut-off saws. What we want to know is whether you get more than just the name for your money when you buy this "branded" product. The answer is yes.

This is a fast, high-performance saw with a focus on ease of use and operator comfort. It has a certain "JCB robustness" about it, which means it weighs in at 11.5kg. But that little extra weight is more than compensated by its monstrous power. This one slices through concrete and stone with minimum effort and, for a stone cutter, at a blistering speed.
At the heart of the JCB 680 is a 66.7cc two-stroke engine producing three kilowatts of power. There's the usual on/off switch and choke at the rear of the machine and pull the cord. First our tester uses the saw free-hand and finds that the shock mountings work well to reduce vibration in the handles.
"It cuts very nicely, goes through hard stone very well and there is very little vibration. You can see the blade clearly while you are cutting and that makes it easy to use. And I like the little stand underneath - that's handy," he comments. "Another very useful feature is the dust guard. It reduces the amount of dust flying out the back of the machine and straight at the operator."
It's only a matter of a few nuts and bolts to fix the saw to the lightweight, steel trolley. Our tester uses this format to create a straight edge to an old concrete pathway. Control remains accurate. The working speed of the saw is adjusted by a throttle lever mounted to the trolley handle and a sight wheel provides a guide for cutting straight lines. The trolley has a water kit for lubrication and dust suppression. It also has the advantage of folding to a small size for transport in the boot of a car.
The trolley has its uses. "There is no strain on the operator. And I like the fact you are carrying water with you. That would be useful where there is no available water supply," he says.
At first our tester thinks the trolley might be a piece of kit to hire rather than buy. He changes his mind when he hears the price. "It's not that expensive and has loads of advantages," he adds.
Maintenance seems straightforward on the 680. All service points are easily accessible and belt tension adjustment is simple. The multi-stage air filter is located on the top. That's unusual but sensible as it is a less dusty position.
A quick-release hose-pipe coupling enables the unit to be connected straight to a tap.

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