If you’re a fan of gas powered chainsaws and you are looking for a powerful home owner saw, then the Remington RM5118R Rodeo 51cc Chainsaw could just be the product for you.
It isn’t perfect by any stretch of the imagination (what chainsaw is?) but it has plenty of fans who will swear by it. Not only this, but it's available at a price which might surprise you.
In this review I’ll tell you all about pros and the cons so you can decide for yourself if this is the right product for you.
Performance and Handling
Without question, the Rodeo is a powerful home and farm use chainsaw, designed to tackle a range of medium to heavy duty jobs. This makes it suitable for cutting firewood, trimming medium and large trees, as well as clearing storm damage. It has all the attributes required to make it a great product but how does it perform in the field?
Firstly, Remington claims that its Quickstart technology, incorporating electronic ignition, should reduce the effort it takes to pull start the engine, allowing for faster start-ups. Starting the Rodeo involves the use of a throttle control trigger, safety latch, stop switch, primer bulb, choke and pull lever.
There are detailed instructions on how to start this saw which must be followed to the letter. It is clear from consumer feedback however that a number of users found getting the saw fired up a bit of a challenge. There may be several reasons for this, including user inexperience and not following the correct procedures. Like most gas chainsaws, once you get used to the starting procedure and technique, getting your saw up and running becomes much easier.
When it comes to handling, anti-vibration handles help to reduce fatigue in the hands and arms and these are definitely needed. One particular feature of the Rodeo is that it is a heavy product, something which many users have pointed out.
This doesn’t therefore make it the best saw for carrying out long spells of continuous work or for certain types of cutting (for example cutting from beneath a branch). If you have difficulty lifting weights this saw is likely to be beyond your capabilities. However, if you are used to large gas saws, the Rodeo shouldn’t pose you too many problems.
When it comes to cutting performance, the Rodeo can take on some of the most demanding tasks that a home user is likely to undertake. It will comfortably cut through medium size limbs up to 14” in diameter in a single pass, which is the maximum recommended by the manufacturer. That said, users have used it cut through much larger 18”-20” softwoods, such as pine.
You can see the saw in action in the video below.
The RM5118R is equipped with an 18 inch guide bar and chain.
The guide bar has a sprocket nose which helps to improve cutting by reducing friction. As with all sprocket nose bars, the tip of the bar will have to be greased on a regular basis, which is simply a case of using a syringe to add grease to the sprocket hole. Grease syringes can be picked up for less than $10 and will last you quite a while.
The chain meets the low kickback standards of ANSI B175.1. It has a 0.325” pitch, 0.05” (link thickness) gauge and has 72 drive links. These chains are slightly lighter than the most popular 3/8” pitch variety, which makes them more of a ‘high speed’ chain. The chain speed itself is around 19 meters per second, which is at the top of the range for a home user saw and contributes to better cutting performance.
To sharpen the chain, you will need a 3/16” round file and file holder. Alternatively if you are not comfortable doing this there are plenty of places where you can get this done professionally for a few dollars. When eventually you need to replace the chain, you can purchase an Oregon H72 for around $25, although I would always recommend that you keep a spare one just in case you are half way through a job and your existing chain fails.
As with all saws, you will need to ensure that the chain is kept properly tensioned at all times. This means regular checking of the tension, especially in the early days when the chain is most prone to stretching. Once the chain has run in, tension should be checked each time before use and occasionally during operation. To adjust the tension, you will need to loosen the bar retaining nuts and then use a screwdriver to adjust the screw, which is positioned on the front of the saw’s power head unit. This isn’t a difficult task but isn’t quite as simple as some of the tool-less systems available.
Design and Construction
The RM5118R Rodeo is a solidly built, well designed chainsaw.
Constructed from metal and tough plastic, it has a durable die-cast chassis, as well as a professional grade crank case and sprocket. It isn’t perhaps as hard wearing as some of the top end professional saws but compares well with most homeowner saws currently available.
The diagram above shows a view of the left side of the power head unit. The oil reservoir and fuel tank caps are large and easily accessible. The front half wrap handle isn’t rigid and will move slightly, which is a part of the anti-vibration design. The hand guard also doubles as a chain brake which is engaged when pushed forward with the left hand. The Rodeo also has a set of large metal bumper spikes which grip the wood and provide stability when cutting.
The diagram shown above provides a better view of the back of the saw. On the rear handle, as well as the hand guard, you will find the throttle trigger and safety latch, used together for safe starting. As well as this there is a stop/kill switch, the choke and a primer bulb which is pressed to release fuel to the carburetor. Just above the stop switch is the cylinder cover which is removed to gain access to the air filter and spark plug. This is removed by loosening the cover retaining screws.
As mentioned, this is a solidly built product which is more than capable of surviving the odd bump and bruise. It also comes fully assembled.
Equipped with a powerful 51cc 2-cycle gas engine, the Rodeo packs a real punch when it comes to dealing with all those jobs around the home and farm.
To run the Rodeo you will need to use a Gas/Oil mix in the ratio of 40:1. Particular care should be exercised when deciding which fuels to use. It should be pointed out that a number of users have commented on the fact that the saw is difficult to start, doesn’t work properly and stalls often. Some of this may be down to the incorrect types and mixing of the fuel. These are the primary reasons why gas chainsaws don’t run properly.
In terms of gas, this should be unleaded fuel, preferably with very low or NO ethanol content. Try to use a high octane fuel, such as 90 or above as this will improve performance.
You should not use E85 fuel in this unit. Gas containing greater than 10% ethanol can damage the engine and will invalidate the warranty. Always read and follow the manufacturer’s recommendations with regard to the use and mixing of fuel.
With regard to the oil, you should use a quality synthetic 2-cycle air-cooled engine oil as part of the mix. Don’t use automotive or boat oil as these will damage the engine.
As with any motor, if you keep fresh gas in it and run it once a month or run it dry for winter storage, it will make life easier.
The fuel tank itself has a capacity of 18 oz. so a gallon of fuel will be enough to fill it up around seven times.
Chain Oil System
If you are an experienced chainsaw user you don’t need me to tell you about the perils of not properly oiling the chain. Excessive wear on the guide bar due to overheating, poor cutting performance not to mention dull and slipped chains, these are just a few consequences of poor lubrication.
Oiling the Rodeo’s chain is made easy thanks to the adjustable, automatic oiling system. This will ensure that the bar is properly lubricated without the user having to remember to manually release the oil. Not only this, but you can adjust the oil’s rate of flow to match the cutting conditions. So, for example, if you are working in different temperatures you might wish to change the flow rate as the viscosity of oil does change depending on how hot or cold it is. Adjusting the rate of flow is simply a case of using a screwdriver to turn the adjustment screw.
You should fill the oil reservoir each time you add fuel to the saw. As shown above, the reservoir cap is quite large and easy to access and the reservoir itself has a capacity of 6.8 oz., which is quite respectable and should ensure that you don’t have to refill too frequently. You should ensure that you use only a recognized bar and chain oil and this should be vegetable based if you are pruning to prevent harm to the trees.
This model is designed so that one tank of oil last the same length of time as a tank of fuel. Even so, you should still regularly check on the oil level, especially if you have adjusted the rate of oil flow on the oiler. Unfortunately, there isn’t a window in the reservoir to make this easy so it may be a case of checking the blade to ensure oil is still running off or shining a torch into the reservoir itself. With regular use of the saw, you will soon get a feel for how much oil it is using and this will become less of an issue for you.
A number of users mentioned that the chainsaw leaks oil when being stored. Unfortunately, when it comes to chainsaws this can be an occupational hazard. If you find this to be an issue, try letting it sit outside its case for a few hours on an oil absorbent cloth to allow any build-up of oil on the bar to run off.
This is a pretty powerful saw and as such demands some appropriate safety features. These include:
- Low kickback cutting gear, including chain which meets ANSI B.175.1 standards. These are designed for the less experienced user and reduce the likelihood and impact of kickback.
- Large bumper spikes to provide safer, more stable cutting.
- Chain brake. When severe kickback occurs the operator’s left hand will push forward against the brake lever (front handguard), which in turn will bring the chain to a complete stop in a matter of milliseconds.
- There is a chain catcher designed to intercept a whipping chain. It will prevent injury in the event that the chain derails or breaks during operation.
- There is a STOP switch which will bring the engine to a halt when pressed.
- Front and rear guards protect the user’s hands from injury caused by the chain or flying debris.
- Spark arrester screen to help prevent the unintentional starting of fires.
As always, users shouldn’t rely solely on the saw’s safety features for protection. Wearing the appropriate gear and operating the saw in the correct manner are the best ways to stay safe.
Without fuel, the Rodeo weighs around 17.5lbs, which will take some handling by an untrained home user. If you are looking for a light, easily maneuverable saw, then this probably isn’t the one for you.
As well as the operator’s manual, this product also comes with some bar and chain oil and a scabbard to protect the bar. Best of all, it also comes with a heavy duty carry case, which is unusual for these products.
- Excellent power
- Good cutting performance
- Automatic, adjustable oiler
- Excellent value for the price
- Issues reported running saw and getting it started
- Can leak oil in storage
Remington RM 5118R Rodeo Consumer Ratings
As you can see from the chart below, the green segment shows that the overwhelming reaction to this product is positive.
In terms of numbers, there are several hundred reviews on line and just under 75% rate this saw as either good or excellent.
Positive reviews center on the saw’s excellent power and cutting ability, as well as its excellent price.
The main negative reviews covered difficulties a fair number of users had starting the saw and then issues with it stalling. Although the majority of users didn’t report any problems, there were enough negative reviews to suggest some kind of problem. Gas saws by their nature can be temperamental and unless the correct fuel and mix ratio is used, problems will be encountered. It may be that some of these issues were as a result of not following the instructions carefully enough.
You should buy this saw if:
• You have a fair amount of medium/heavy duty cutting to do around your property.
• You are used to handling gas saws.
You should not buy this saw if:
• You want a saw which will start first time at the press of a button.
• You have difficulty handling heavy power tools.
Price of Remington RM5118R Rodeo
Currently available for a fraction over $200, you get a whole lot of saw for your money. We believe that it is fairly priced.