Shindaiwa C350

With a 33.6cc engine generating just 1.3kW it is unlikely you'll want to use it full-time for clearing tough, old vegetation and curtailing sapling growth. But, if you need a machine to cut a range of vegetation, including the occasional dip into sapling clearance, the C350 is worth a closer inspection — even more so if you have limited budget. You get a lot for your money with this Shindaiwa.

Standard features include a two-ring piston, chrome-plated cylinder, full anti-vibration system, one-piece carbon-steel mainshaft and four-bearing gearcase. A lot of thought has gone into the engineering, but you might find that this unit feels a bit different in use.
“You get the impression you are holding a piece of rubber in your hand, it seems to float around and feels very strange,” says the tester when he first puts the C350 to use. He adds that the hard-plastic switches are “snappy”. He’s also keen to swap the harness. “It’s awkward to get on and off and there’s not enough protection over the shoulders. Part of the harness is actually digging in my ribs,” he says.
From the forester’s point of view, the C350’s stand could be a potential problem. “In a commercial forestry situation, a stand like this could get snapped off and then there is no protection for the tank,” our tester points out. “And the stand is redundant when you are trying to fuel-up. The angle of the filler spout means you have to lay the machine on its side.”
Having said all that, there is a surprising amount of power available from this machine. For its size and price, its performance does not disappoint.
For a little over £400, complete with a package of heads and blades, an operator who is looking to trim after mowing, or to undertake annual debris clearance, could find that this machine is just what is needed.

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