If using a chainsaw is an essential part of your every day job and you’re looking for a light duty, top handle gas saw with great cutting power, then the Tanaka TCS33EDTP/14 32.2cc 14-Inch Top Handle Chainsaw could be just what you’re looking for.
Easy to start and well balanced, this machine packs a real punch for its size and comes at a fraction of the cost of other well-known branded models.
In this review, you will find out exactly what makes the TCS33EDTP/14 such a great saw and why it has almost 90% approval ratings.
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Performance and Handling
The TCS33EDTP/14 is a top handle saw designed for use by the commercial and very experienced home user. It is ideal for pruning and shaping as well as moderate felling and log cutting duties. In addition, it can also be used for hobby work, such as wood carving.
One complaint about many gas powered saws is that they can be very difficult to start, especially when they are warm. You will find no such problems with the Tanaka. User feedback is universally positive in this regard, pointing out that starting the saw when it’s both warm and cold is very simple. The half throttle choke and purge primer button help in this respect.
Top handle saws are more difficult to operate than traditional rear handle models. The potential for kickback is greater, which means that this saw is only suitable for professionals or home and farm users who have a lot of experience with chainsaw operation.
When it comes to handling, the Tanaka is well balanced and maneuverable. Although it is slightly heavier than some other commercial grade top handle models, it is not an overly demanding saw to operate. There is an anti-vibration system built in to help reduce fatigue. That said, this saw has a high power to weight ratio and vibration levels are around 4.4 m/s² on the front handle and 6.1 m/s² on the top handle. At these levels you should only safely use the saw for around 1.5 hours in every 8 hour period and it is recommended that appropriate chainsaw safety gloves are worn.
The TCS33EDTP/14 is a versatile chainsaw, which can deal with a range of tasks. Thanks to its built in lanyard ring, the saw can be used for tree work (for those trained for this type of task) as well as dealing with jobs on the ground, such as clearing moderate
storm damage and for use clearing trails. It is an extremely powerful saw which is quite capable of cutting through 10-12” diameter logs without any problems. As such, it would make a useful companion on camping trips to cut firewood.
To summarize, this is a powerful little saw, which is both easy to start and reliable.
The TCS33EDTP/14 comes with a 14 inch bar and chain, although a cheaper version with a 12 inch bar can be purchased should the user prefer this.
The bar is an Oregon sprocket nose, which provides added control and improved cutting. As it has got a sprocket, you will need to grease the bar tip on a regular basis using a grease syringe.
The chain itself is an Oregon 91PX Low Profile chain. This is a low kickback chain with a 3/8” pitch, 0.05”” gauge (thickness) and 52 drive links. This is the most popular size chain with professional users as it offers an excellent balance of strength and performance. The 12 inch version has the same pitch and gauge, but only has 45 drive links. These chains are engineered so that oil is carried around the chain efficiently and kept where it should be during cutting.
The chain will need to be kept properly tensioned and regular checks should be made, especially when the chain is new. To tension the chain, you will need to use the tool provided to adjust the screw on the side of the saw. Side tensioning screws are usually preferable to those positioned on the front of the unit as these can be difficult to access. Full instructions are provided on how to tension the chain so that it is not too tight or loose.
Finally, the chain speed is 22.9 m/sec, which is excellent for a saw of this size and helps contribute to cutting performance.
Design and Construction
The Tanaka is a solidly constructed saw made from hard plastic and aluminum.
The picture below shows a view of the left side of the saw. As you can see there is a large top handle, on which are positioned the throttle trigger and lockout buttons. There is a half-wrap front handle and in front of this the hand guard which also doubles as a chain brake.
On the side of the saw is the pump primer which is used to supply extra fuel to the carburetor and aid starting and next to this is the recoil starter. The oil reservoir and fuel tank caps are in close proximity to each other. Both these are easily accessible and so filling with fluids is quite straightforward.
On the front of the powerhead unit, there is a set of metal bumper spikes. These act as a pivot when in contact with a tree or log and help provide stability when cutting.
On the right hand side of the saw, there is the muffler which reduces the engine exhaust noise and directs the gas. There is also a locking nut to keep the clutch cover secured as well as the chain tensioning screw. On the underside of the powerhead unit is a chain catcher which helps to restrain the saw chain in the event of chain failure. Although not shown on the diagram, there is also a built-in lanyard ring for easy climbing, making it useful if you have a lot of tree work to carry out.
When you receive this product, it will require assembly. This essentially involves fitting the bumper spikes, along with the bar and chain. Full instructions are provided on how to do this.
The engine on this chainsaw is Tanaka’s 32.2cc 2-stroke commercial grade Pure Fire design. Tanaka describe this as an innovative two-stroke engine that produces ultra-low emissions without the need for special or additional internal moving parts.
It is capable of producing 1.6 horsepower which helps to generate a chain speed of 23 m/sec; more than adequate for a light duty saw.
In terms of fuel, the manufacturer recommends that a branded 89 Octane unleaded gasoline be mixed with a two-cycle oil in a ratio of 50:1. You should be aware that fuel with a high ethanol content can be harmful to engines and may adversely impact performance. For this reason, many users prefer to use pre-mixed non-ethanol fuels.
The maximum speed of this engine is 12,000 rpm and the idling speed is 3,000 rpm. The fuel tank has a capacity of 9.9 oz. (295 ml) and the fuel consumption rating is 534 g/kWh. As an estimate, the saw would use around 900 ml per hour so you should get around 20 minutes of cutting time per tank.
In terms of noise level, as you would expect of a gas saw it isn’t particularly quiet. It produces a noise level in the region of 100 dB(A). Continuous exposure to this level of noise can cause damage to your hearing and for this reason the manufacturer recommends the wearing of ear protection when using this saw.
The major downside to owning a gas saw is that it requires a fair amount of maintenance and the TCS33EDTP/14 is no different. Maintenance includes regular tasks such as checking and cleaning spark plugs, cleaning and replacing the air filter, cleaning the muffler and carburetor as well as emptying and cleaning the fuel tank.
Chain Oil System
The Tanaka TCS33EDTP/14 is equipped with an automatic, fixed flow oiling system. This means that the bar and chain will automatically be oiled when the saw is in use so you don’t need to remember to do this manually. The downside is that there is no way to adjust the flow of the oil, which is a useful feature on some saws as it allows more or less oil to be released if necessary depending on the conditions.
You will, of course need to remember to keep the oil tank topped up and the reservoir should be filled every time the saw is refueled. The oil tank has a capacity of 6 fl. Oz. and the oil should not run out before the fuel. However you can’t completely rely on this and should ensure that oil is always being released to the bar. Unfortunately, there is no reservoir window to check oil levels, however you can check that oil is being released by carrying out a lubrication test. Simply start the saw and hold the bar over a stump or piece of paper, run on full power for around 10 seconds and you should be able to see the oil being discharged.
Finally, in common with most chainsaws, you may find that there is some leakage when the tool is being stored. You should think carefully, therefore, where you store it.
A number of safety features have been incorporated, several of which have already been mentioned. These include:
- A chain brake which will stop the chain in the event of severe kickback. If serious kickback occurs, the aggressive movement of the saw will force the user’s left hand to push forward on the brake, bringing the chain to a halt.
- A chain catcher. This helps to protect the operator in the event of chain failure.
- Throttle trigger lockout. This prevent the accidental use of the throttle trigger.
- Front hand guard. This will protect the user’s left hand from flying debris or coming into contact with the chain.
- Anti-vibration system to help reduce vibration and fatigue.
The dry weight of the powerhead unit is 8.4lb. With the 14 inch cutting equipment attached the saw will weigh in the region of 11lbs. This isn’t overly heavy for a gas powered machine.
The TCS33EDTP/14 comes with a bar and chain protection cover as well as a scrench tool for fitting and adjusting the bar and chain.
- Well balanced saw with handle above the motor.
- Starts well and easy to operate
- Powerful light duty machine
- Excellent cutting performance
- Low price for professional grade saw
- Suitable for tree work
- Slightly heavier than other commercial grade top handle models
- Requires plenty of maintenance
There are almost 200 consumer reviews online for this product and the general consensus is positive. Almost 90% of buyers rate the saw as either good or excellent, which is outstanding for a gas powered saw.
Consumers like the balance of the TCS33EDTP/14 and how well it starts. There were positive comments about its power and cutting ability, as well as how useful it is for both ground and tree work.
It was difficult to find any real negative trends, other than some users felt that the saw was heavier than they had expected.
You should buy this saw if:
- You need a saw to carry out regular light cutting tasks
- You are an experienced/professional chainsaw user
- You need to work in trees.
- You want a gas, top handle saw which won’t break the bank.
You should not buy this saw if:
- You are an inexperienced chainsaw user.
- You don’t want to spend time maintaining the saw
- You need a saw for medium/heavy cutting work
The Tanaka comes with a limited 7-year consumer and 2-year commercial user warranty.
Tanaka TCS33EDTP/14 Price
Costing over $250, the Tanaka isn’t cheap, although you will find that it costs far less than some other well-known brand, commercial grade top handle saws. Based on this, as well as the excellent user feedback, we believe this offers excellent value for the money.
Should you opt for the 12 inch blade, you will save a few dollars on the purchase price.