Makita DCS430 and DCS520

Makita's latest saws surely place it among the top four chainsaw makers. The technology is advancing and a lot of thought has gone into the design for ease of use and maintenance.

For snedding, one tester highly rates the DCS430. He finds the weight (4.6kg dry) a huge advantage. “This is a lovely little saw. It is very nicely balanced with a 15in bar. Everything is compact and just where you need it. The handles are close in and you don’t have to look for the chainbrake,” he says.
Another tester likes the DCS520 as well, though at first he didn’t think he would. “I thought the chainbrake was going to be awkward — it’s right on your hand when you’ve got gloves on — but it is surprisingly easy to apply,” he says.
The 520 is well designed in terms of switches, controls and accessibility. The Y-shaped choke is easy to operate, even with gloves, and is simple and well protected. The on/off switch is clearly positioned and comfortable to use. The side plate is easy to take off. Large nuts take the frustration out of getting to the air filter and spark plug. And the nuts are tied in so you can’t lose them.
In use, one tester finds the DCS520 struggles a little with a 45cm bar and he reckons the long bar makes it slightly unbalanced. “I think it would be better with a 15in [38cm] bar,” he says.

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