Makita RBC421L and DBC4510

At 30.5cc, the RBC421L is the baby of the bunch but, while it only has half the power of the bigger DBC4510, this little tike still gives a truly commercial performance. We test it with an eight-toothed Eddy blade.

The tester says: “For clearing woody material, this machine is quite amazing.” He tries it on slender pieces of brash first and finds that it almost has too much power. But there’s no problem with saplings about 25mm thick. It evens handles hazel measuring 40mm.
“It kicked a few times — you expect that when you push kit to the limits,” says the reviewer. Another tester also finds it snatches away when trying to cut anything too big. “It’s important to choose the right blade for the situation,” he says.
The RBC421L is a fairly revvy machine but we like it for its adaptability. The range of materials this saw will go through is good and we like the nimbleness of the head. This one is very manoeuvrable. What’s more, the vibration is unbelievably low.
Starting the RBC421L is simple. There’s a pre-primer under the carb and the choke is at the back. Changing the blade requires a spanner and an allen key. The handles can be moved across the shaft for comfort.
With the engine fully encased, the DBC4510 gives one tester the impression of a domestic machine but with twice as much power as the RBC model, this is a full professional machine — you’ll find no pre-primer on this one. Starting is aided by the choke and, for us, the machine starts first time every time.
Our reviewer can’t find fault with the unit and is stunned by the amount of power coming from what he thought was an oversized garden machine. He has no trouble cutting Viburnum, hawthorn and 50mm hazel.
“This really has some power, but it is controllable. As soon as it bites the wood, it’s in and through,” he says. “This is definitely a machine for industrial work such as coppicing and forestry.”
Another tester believes the engine casing will help prevent snagging on branches and brambles. He finds the machine light to use, with little or no vibration to report.
Changing the blade on the 4510 requires just a spanner but what we find clever about this unit is the adjustment to set the head to 45? for comfortable working on banks. Undo the screws, then just twist and retighten. It’s 45? or nothing — no graduations in between — but at least the choice is there.
One tester admits he loves the Makita saws. But he doesn’t feel the same about the harnesses. The padded harness supplied with the RBC421L has what seems a clever connection between saw and pad.
“I hate it with passion. The clip is another bit to lose in the woods,” says the riled tester. “If they sorted out the harnesses and connections, I reckon these saws would rival Stihl.”

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