Have you ever thought about investing in a gas powered saw but been deterred by negative reports of starting difficulties, not to mention the prohibitive costs. Well the Remington RM4216 Rebel 42cc 16-inch gas chainsaw is one saw capable of brushing aside those doubts.
Easy to start and operate, the RM4216 has some great features and comes at a price which won’t break the bank. Combined with excellent cutting performance and a solid construction, it would make an excellent entry level gas saw for anyone who has need of an occasional light duty tool.
Carry on reading this review for more information.
Performance and Handling
One criticism of many gas powered chainsaws is that they can be very temperamental and difficult to start, both initially and when warm. The Rebel employs Remington’s quick start technology, designed to make pull starting the saw easier. This requires a simple procedure involving the On/Off button, primer bulb (to get fuel to the engine), choke, starter cord and throttle trigger. Provided the instructions are followed you shouldn't have any issues starting the saw and this is supported by customer feedback. People who have bought the Remington are generally very pleased with how easy it is to start.
The Rebel has been designed for pruning and trimming small and medium sized branches, felling and limbing trees as well as bucking logs. The manufacturer advises that for best results the saw should not be used to cut logs with a diameter greater than 12 inches. Users mentioned that it is good for limbing trees up to about 10 inches in diameter but begins to labor slightly after this so the manufacturer’s guidance seems about right.
Overall, therefore, this saw is suitable for occasional use, light cutting duties. In addition to the tasks mentioned earlier, you should be able to clear minor storm damage, as well as cutting modest amounts of firewood.
In terms of handling this isn’t the lightest chainsaw around, but that can be said of many gas models. However, thanks to its ergonomic design, cushion wrap handles and anti-vibration system, users should find the saw easy to operate and maneuverable – provided they are comfortable handling reasonably heavy power tools. Feedback suggests it cuts well and does everything it was designed to do without problem.
In terms of noise levels, the company has not been able to provide any details about this. However, being a gas saw it is unlikely to be quiet and ear protection is recommended.
The RM4216 comes with a 16 inch sprocket tip guide bar and chain.
These are both MTD products (Remington owner), so replacements are readily available. The bar itself is reversible (and should be changed over every 5 weeks or so to preserve its life) and comes with a sprocket tip which reduces friction, helps the chain to move more easily around the bar and therefore improve cutting performance. Sprocket nose bars do require grease to be injected into a grease hole to prevent them from seizing up. Although this has been done initially at the factory you will need to invest in a guide bar tip lube gun to inject the grease. An example of this can be seen HERE, which as you can see is relatively inexpensive and should last for quite a while.
The chain is a low-kickback type. It has a 3/8” pitch, 0.05” gauge and 57 drive links. This is one of the most popular size chains used on homeowner saws, offering both strength and good performance. How well a chain cuts depends on a number of factors, including chain speed. The RM4216 has a chain speed is almost 20 meters per second, which is reasonable for a gas saw. You will find that this is much better than comparable electric models which have chain speeds in the region of 12-15 m/s.
As with all chains, it will need to be kept properly tensioned to make sure you get the best possible performance as well as preventing the chain from slipping the bar. In the early days you will need to check this regularly (after every 5 cuts if necessary). After the chain has settled, the chain tension will require less frequent readjustments. To tension the chain, the Remington has a side-screw system which is simple and quick. A tool is provided to loosen the bar retaining nuts and then turn the screw, and this is an operation which shouldn’t take you more than a few minutes.
As important as keeping the chain taut, is also keeping it sharp. If you are experienced doing this you will need a 5/32” diameter round file and holder. If you are not comfortable doing this you can get it sharpened by a local service dealer or alternatively purchase a new chain which will cost around $19. You can learn more in our article: What size file do I need for my chainsaw?
A final point to note is that the Rebel comes with different size bars. You can get a 14 inch bar (RM4214) and an 18 inch bar (RM4218). The type of bar you choose obviously depends on the type of cutting it is to be used for, although the 16 inch bar offers a good compromise between maneuverability and cutting diameter.
Design and Construction
The RM4216 is a rear handle saw with all the features you would expect to see in a model of this type.
The diagram above show a view of the left side of the saw. The rear handle houses both the throttle lockout and trigger switches and has a cushioned grip for more comfortable handling. Just in front of the handle on the powerhead unit (not in view) there is the On/Off switch and the primer bulb.
On the powerhead unit itself you will find the oil reservoir and fuel tank caps, as well as the pull starter cord. The oil filter cover sits on top of the powerhead and this is held in place by a large plastic knob which can be turned by hand to remove the cover. This tool-free access to the air filter and spark plug makes maintenance much easier. At the front of the saw there is a set of bumper spikes which are used to balance the saw providing steadiness when cutting.
The Rebel has a full wrap front handle which allows for precise cutting at different angles. In front of this is the hand guard which also doubles as a chain brake lever. The rear hand guard is shown in the diagram above. On the side of the saw, the bar cover is held securely in place by two metal nuts and these sit just above the chain tensioning screw. As you can see the screw is not obstructed and is easily accessible. On the front of the unit is the muffler which helps to reduce noise and redirect the fumes away from the user.
Constructed from plastic and metal (it has a die-cast chassis and prograde components), the RM4216 is a solid, durable saw which users say has good balance.
42cc 2-Cycle Engine
Equipped with a 42cc 2-cycle engine, the Rebel has plenty of power to manage all those light cutting tasks.
To run the engine you will need to add a gas and oil mix in the ratio of 40:1. So for every gallon (3.8L) of gas, you will need to mix with 3.2 fl. Oz (95ml) of oil. Or for every liter of gas, you will add 25ml of oil.
When it comes to the gas there are a couple of definite ‘don’t dos’. Firstly, you shouldn’t use E85 fuel. This fuel has high concentrations of ethanol, which is known to cause damage to engines. Using this type of gas will also invalidate the product warranty. The safest way to avoid problems is to use premium (ethanol free) gas or alternatively, pre-mixed fuel designed for chainsaw use. You will find this a little more expensive but it will protect the engine as well as reducing any performance problems.
If you intend using blended fuel (this is gasoline containing oxygenates such as ethanol and methanol), you should use a stabilizer additive, such as STA-BIL. In terms of the oil, a bottle is included in this purchase and this type should be used wherever possible. If you are unable to get hold of this specific oil then you can use any 2-cycle oil designed for air-cooled engines.
It is very important that the manufacturer’s instructions are followed when it comes to mixing the gas and oil as failure to do so may result in the saw not performing properly. The fuel tank on the RM4216 has a capacity of 22 oz., which is 650ml or 0.17 gallon.
The downside of gas saws is that you will have to carry out periodic maintenance such as changing the air-filter and spark plug. The positive news is that this is relatively easy thanks to the easy access cover and is something which even the most non-technically minded person could carry out.
Automatic Chain Oil System
Ensuring that the chain is kept lubricated is extremely important to reduce friction and this is done on the RM4216 by an automatic, adjustable oiler. The advantages of this type of oiler are that the user doesn’t need to remember to push a button to release the chain oil and also that the rate of flow can be adjusted to reflect the cutting conditions. So if not enough oil is getting to the bar, you simply need to adjust this by turning the adjustment screw with a flat head screwdriver. Clockwise will decrease the oil flow, counter clockwise will increase it.
You will need to remember to add bar and chain oil to the reservoir, which has a capacity of 8.45 oz. (250 ml). This is a reasonable size and the saw has been designed so that you will use one tank of bar oil per one tank of fuel. You should always keep a close eye on the oil level and top up the reservoir frequently.
You should use any good quality bar and chain oil which has been formulated to work over a wide range of temperatures. This is especially important if you are cutting in extreme climates. If you plan on doing a lot of pruning, choosing a vegetable based (bio-degradable) as opposed to a petroleum based oil is preferable. Oil is added through the cap on the side of the saw. This is simple to get to and can be unscrewed by hand so filling up is quite straightforward.
A few users complained that the saw leaked during storage. If you are an experienced chainsaw user you will know that this is a bit of an occupational hazard and is certainly not an issue exclusive to the Remington. Some thought about where the saw is stored should therefore be given.
The Remington comes with a host of safety features, such as:
- ON/OFF switch. The saw will stop immediately when switched to the off position.
- Low kick-back cutting equipment with specially designed depth gauges and guard links to reduce the chance and severity of kickback.
- Throttle lockout switch. Positioned on top of the handle, this must be pressed to activate the throttle trigger. This is designed to prevent the accidental acceleration of the engine.
- Front hand guard which will protect the user’s hand should it slip off the handle while the saw is running.
- Chain brake. When activated, this will stop the chain in milliseconds. The brake can be activated in two ways. Firstly, in the event of severe kickback it is designed to engage automatically. Secondly, it can be activated by pushing the brake lever forward.
- Chain catcher. This is a small hook on the bottom of the saw which will reduce the chances of injury if the chain snaps or slips off the bar.
Despite these safety features, users shouldn’t get complacent and always operate the machine in the designated manner.
Without gas and oil, this chainsaw weighs around 14lbs, which is in the mid-range for a home owner, gas powered saw. It is slightly heavier than some saws in its class, such as the Husqvarna 445 which weighs around 13lbs.
This saw isn’t for everyone and would only suit people capable of using reasonably heavy power tools.
In addition to an operator’s manual, the RM4216 comes with a couple of neat extras, such as a supply of bar oil and a hard plastic carry case.
These are a couple of accessories you rarely get with other chainsaw purchases.
• Cuts well
• Easy to start
• Solid construction
• Reasonably priced
• Adjustable, automatic oiling system.
• Carry case included
• Not the lightest saw
There aren’t an overwhelming number of reviews on-line (around 50 found) so the findings have to be treated with a little caution. That said, most people rated this saw highly with over 70% classing it as either excellent or good.
Consumers liked the quality construction, ease of staring and cutting performance. They also liked the low price. There were a few negative comments about chain slippage and leaking oil during storage. However, these were isolated comments and were perhaps left by inexperienced users who are not accustomed to some of the common issues that affect all saws. Certainly, there was nothing in the reviews which suggests that there are any problems with this product.
You should buy this saw if:
• You are looking to invest in a gas saw for the first time.
• You need a saw for occasional light/medium cutting tasks
• You don’t want to spend a huge amount of money on a top of the range product.
• You want a gas saw which is relatively easy to start.
• You don’t mind mixing gas and oil.
You should not buy this saw if:
• You have difficulty lifting heavy tools.
• You need a heavy duty saw for frequent use.
• You want a low maintenance saw.
Price of Remington RM4216 Rebel
The Remington Rebel RM4216 is currently available at just over $100. This represents excellent value for a gas powered saw, making it ideal for a first time purchase.