Tanaka TPS2501S

This is the latest pole saw from Tanaka. It has solid-shaft drive and is not telescopic, but does have an extension.
The main unit comes with a 2.10m shaft, 25cc engine and 10in bar with chain. Swap the saw and you can use it as a long-reach hedgetrimmer.  A 90cm, screw-on extension kit gives a total reach of 3m. You use it at one length or the other, but nothing in between.
The TPS2501S has features we appreciate, such as the see-through oil tank so we know there’s plenty to lubricate the chain. The harness strap has chunky padding and is non-slip.
The starting mechanism, called S-Start, is a dream — it’s a matter of primer, choke and pull. Being spring-assisted makes it very easy. Extending the pull-cord to about 30cm is all that is needed to fire up the engine. The unit sits nicely on the ground for fuelling.
The tester likes the controls. “The trigger is thick — that’s good — and it fits inside the housing to reduce the risk of damage. The stop button is very positive — no trouble there. There is a bit of give in the D-handle. I would like it to be a little more solid to give more control, but it does give a good grip and the covering reduces vibrations,” he says.
There’s no movement in the joint where the extension connects, but in use, our tester finds more flex in this shaft than in the telescopic variety. “The flex means the head can bounce and nick other branches as a result,” he says.
“In that respect, you have to be careful when you introduce the saw to the wood. But it is lightweight — just 5kg —and that is an advantage.”
The TPS2501S is perhaps not sufficiently “everyday bomb-proof” for the world of contractors. But we do reckon that being lightweight — and with easy starting and good controls — this machine could be a useful tool for head gardeners and those maintaining estates.

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