The engine almost looks too small to be of use but it packs a serious punch when it comes to clearing hazel and hawthorn. And just watch it move. It’s like a giroscope — levelling itself first this way, then that, constantly maintaining the best position for the smooth running of the 26cc engine. Yes, it is only a 26cc engine, and it is high revving, but the power delivery to the cutting head is excellent.
“It’s so incredibly manoeuvrable,” says our main tester. “It’s like using a vacuum cleaner or a broom and the engine on your back is just like a little rucksack.”
The other tester maintains a fluid movement as he takes out inch-thick hazel saplings. He finds it light on the back and the arms, but his partner wants to redesign the harness.
“It’s only got a chest strap so it gets a bit tight. It could do with a waist belt to help distribute the load more evenly,” he suggests. He also reckons gel in the pad would make the backpack more comfortable. There’s a quick-release mechanism, enabling the engine to be dumped in the event of trouble.
But when it comes to the machine, the manufacturer has paid attention to detail. The engine is a Z-series — developed for cleaner emissions — and the recoil starter cord is on an extension so starting is easy.
“This unit is very well built, very clever and so manoeuvrable,” says a reviewer.
Recognising the importance of low emissions, Zenoah has fitted the Strato Charged engine to the BCZ5000CL. This should also give a good saving in fuel. But it does add to the weight. At nine kilograms, this is the heaviest machine in our test. Can the harness help ease the load?
“It’s an unusual harness,” says the tester who is fast becoming something of a harness commentator. “It’s like a parachute and it’s not as difficult to get into as it looks. But I don’t like the clip for the saw.”
What does impress him is the power. This saw quickly passes through Viburnum, hawthorn and hazel up to 25mm thick. Yet while it is throwing out the revs, it has remarkably low vibration.
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