Field-to-Forum Product Reviews

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by Tanaka, Jun 30, 2005.

  1. Tanaka

    Tanaka Inactive
    Messages: 1,084

    #1 - THT-210S Hedge Trimmer

    #2 - TBC-245PF Grass Trimmer / Brush Cutter

    #3 - TBC-340PF Grass Trimmer / Brush Cutter

    #4 - TBC-2501 Grass Trimmer / Brush Cutter

    #5 - TBC-2501T Extended Shaft Grass Trimmer / Brush Cutter

    #6 - TBC-230 Grass Trimmer / Brush Cutter (From TURF Magazine)

    #7 - TIA-350S One-man Auger

    #8 - TLE-600 Edger (From TURF Magazine)

    #9 - THB-2510 Handheld Blower

    #10 - TBC-280 Grass Trimmer / Brushcutter

    #11 - TBC-260PFL Extended Reach Grass Trimmer

    #12 - HTD-2530PF Hedge Trimmer

    #13 - TED-262DH Dual Handle Planting Drill

    Attached Files:

  2. Tanaka

    Tanaka Inactive
    Messages: 1,084

    Hello my name is Mike Dirks. I’m the owner of Dirks Lawn Care. We are a small lawn and landscape maintenance company in Sterling, Illinois. We have been in business since 1998 and serve a variety of customers from commercial to residential.

    We tested the Tanaka THT-210S hedge trimmer for approximately four hours on a variety of shrubbery including barberry, Japanese yew, and dogwood. We also demoed the THT-210S on approximately 200 feet (five hours) of hedge rows, all with very favorable results.

    On a scale of 1-10 (10 being the best), here’s how I would rate the THT-210S:

    Balance 9
    Power 10
    Fuel efficiency 9
    Easy of starting 10
    Ease of use 10
    Noise Level 10
    Accuracy of cut 10
    Safety features 10
    Overall reliability 10
    Manual/instructions 4
    Quick lock handle system 10

    Our company mainly has used John Deere, Echo, and Husqvarna two-stroke equipment. In comparison to those brands, the thing I like most about the Tanaka THT-210s is how lightweight it is.

    It’s about 1 to 1.5 lbs. lighter than the Husqvarna and Echo hedge trimmers, even though their comparable bar lengths only range between 20 and 24 inches (Note: THT-210S blades are 26"). The noise level seemed a bit lower than most of the other brands that I have used and we all know that this is a big deal these days.

    Overall, I would rate the THT-210S as one of the best hedge trimmers that I have used/demoed. The best feature is the quick lock handle system.
    No matter which direction or position I was trimming, it still felt comfortable. I never felt that I was lacking any power while using this hedger. The THT-210S would cut through everything I could throw at it.

    My biggest complaint is the manual. I would like to see a manual written for each specific hedge trimmer model number, but that is my only complaint.

    Forum Moderator Notes:
    Thanks Mike - great job! Your Tanaka care package is on the way. Also, thanks for the photo, however Tanaka always encourages the use of proper safety equipment including eye protection and gloves.

    If you are like Mike, and don't have a Tanaka dealer nearby, give us a call at 1-888-4TANAKA if you are interested in purchasing the THT-210S. We will find the most cost effective way to deliver it to you.

    Mike in Action.jpg
  3. Tanaka

    Tanaka Inactive
    Messages: 1,084

    Moderator Notes: The TBC-245PF features Tanaka's PureFire low emission two-stroke engine which is EPA Phase 2 and C.A.R.B Tier II compliant. It is primarily sold in California, but the rest of the country will start to see more engines powered by PureFire in the next several years.

    My name is Shawn McGuirt and I am the owner of PROScapes Lawn Care in Dallas Georgia. We have been in business since 1994 and service residential and commercial accounts of all sizes and types.

    I tested the Tanaka TBC-245PF Trimmer for approximately 8 hours in different trimming environments. I used the trimmer on bed edging, curb edging, and driveway and sidewalk edging.

    On a scale of 1-10 rating here is how I rate the trimmer:

    Balance – 8
    Power – 9
    Fuel Efficiency – 10
    Ease of starting – 10
    Ease of use – 7
    Noise level – 8
    Accuracy of cut – 9
    Safety Features – 9
    Overall reliability – 9
    Manual / Instructions – 5
    Weight – 10

    I primarily use Stihl products and when comparing the TBC-245PF to my FS-80 there was no comparison, the Tanaka TBC-245PF was by far lighter and easier on the back. It was so much lighter that it took a few minutes to get used to. That feature alone can make all the difference in the world when servicing several properties a day.

    I found that the string head was problematic in the beginning and kept jamming or knotting the line which required the disassembly of the head and re-wrapping the trimmer line. I replaced with a different .095 trimmer line and the problem went away.

    The manual needs some work. Even if you broke the manual up into front of manual in English the rest in other languages or something. It just made it hard to find the areas I needed to read. I do like the part listings/schematics which help when buying a replacement part.

    Overall a great trimmer! Lightweight and powerful, I would recommend the TBC-245PF to anyone.

    Thanks Shawn - Nice job! For your time, we are sending you a Tanaka care package as well as the opportunity to purchase the unit a discounted rate.

  4. Tanaka

    Tanaka Inactive
    Messages: 1,084

    Briefly introduce yourself and your company
    Coastal Greenscapes. Our company was founded in 1997 out of the need for a high quality landscape maintenance service. Our motto is “If there is time to do it over then there is time to do it right.” Since that time we grew to 3.7 million dollars in revenue. In December of 2004 we sold most of the business with the idea of semi-retiring. However after a few months the bug had bitten again and we are once again a full service landscape company.

    Describe the test environments and the number of hours you used the product in each environment.
    The Tanaka was put into service on May 29th. Since that time it has become the most popular trimmer in our assortment. It is the first trimmer anyone grabs.

    It has seen 5 plus hours of run time each day since then. We are in the coastal region and most of our accounts are within 5 miles of the Atlantic Ocean. The ocean air (salty air) is very harsh on equipment, normally cutting the life of the equipment in half. The Tanaka has not exhibited any of the normal corrosion that we see with our other trimmers. Additionally, the throttle seems to give you more control with trimming over sand and thus reduces the number of “holes” in your legs from sand pelting them.

    Rate the following on a scale of 1-10, (10= Outstanding, 1=poorest):
    Weight - 10

    Balance - 10

    Power - 10

    Fuel efficiency - 7

    Ease of starting - 8 (2 pulls always)

    Ease of use - 9

    Noise level - 10

    Accuracy of cut - 9 (much better with square .105 line)

    Safety features - 5

    Overall reliability - 9

    Manual / instructions - Did not receive

    First. It is an awesome trimmer. I have to say that given its performance I would switch from Stihl. There are 3 things that I would suggest changing.

    1. The gas cap needs some sort of chain/plastic/string to hold it onto the unit so the cap doesn't get lost when filling it. Everyone else has them.

    2. The start lock on the handle needs to be on the other side of the handle. When trimming you can accidentally bump it with your leg and the gas is locked on at 2/3rd open throttle. It is just way to easy to hit. If it was on the other side or bottom it would be safer.

    3. The head could use a little more capacity.

    Compare the unit against other brands you have used
    We use John Deere XT140’s and Stihl FS85’s. In my opinion as well as the other people who have used this trimmer we would switch over to Tanka’s exclusively should the two of three issues mentioned above be corrected. That being the Gas cap and the start lock location. The trimmer is hands down better then anything else we have used.

    Moderator Notes:
    Excellent job Brian! Thanks for staying on me to get the trimmer sent out to you. Photos of the unit in use are on the way.

    For Brian's time, he will receive a Tanaka "care package" plus he will be given the opportunity to purchase the unit at a discount.

  5. Tanaka

    Tanaka Inactive
    Messages: 1,084

    My name is Matt Farrell. I am the owner of Farrell Lawn Care & Management LLC, a small lawn care and maintenance company in Fairfax, Virginia. Farrell Lawn Care was created in 2002 and services residential and small commercial properties.

    We used the TBC-2501 string trimmer for 12-15 hours in the past two weeks. The trimmer was used for a variety of tasks from trimming our weekly accounts to clearing out roadside ditches with 12”+ grass and weeds.

    Rate the following on a scale of 1-10, (10= Outstanding, 1=poorest):

    Weight -8
    Balance -8
    Power -9
    Fuel efficiency -8
    Easy of starting -8
    Ease of use -9
    Noise level -10
    Accuracy of cut -9
    Safety features -10
    Overall reliability -8
    Manual / instructions -6

    A gas cap with a cord should be standard.
    The carburetor needs adjustable high and low speed jets (Moderator Note: C.A.R.B / EPA outlawed adjustable carbs over a decade ago).
    The cutting head was quick, easy to load, and jam free.

    Compare the unit against other brands you have used:
    Our other sting trimmers are the Echo SRM-230 and Stihl FS-85. The Tanaka held its own quite well compared to the Srm-230 and FS-85’s. The weight and balance of the Tanaka was slightly better than the Stihl’s. The Tanaka was a little heavier than the Echo but the balance was also better with the Tanaka. All three brands were the same for basic light maintenance on our weekly accounts. The Tanaka clearly out performed the Echo SRM-230 clearing tall grass and weeds. It was a close call with the FS-85’s, both machines would cut as fast as you can feed them.

    Overall, the TBC-2501 is a very capable trimmer. Both of us feel that this is a high quality machine and will be a welcome substitute for our aging FS-85s’. The main factor weighing against our conversion to Tanaka is the lack of dealers in our area. We would switch over to Tanaka products without hesitation if there was more dealer support.

    We were also fortunate to test Tanaka Quiet Line. This line outperforms and is significantly quieter than the other brands we use (Echo Crossfire, J-Thomas premium round, and Stihl trimmer line). The most notable aspect of this line is that it wears much slower than others we have used.

    Tanaka trimmer.jpg
  6. Tanaka

    Tanaka Inactive
    Messages: 1,084

    1. Briefly introduce yourself and your company.

    Hi, my name is Kevin Rochester. I am the owner of Mower For Less Lawn Service, located in Warren, MI. We are a small company servicing residential properties almost exclusively. My company was formed in 2003, and has been steadily growing since. We now provide a wide range of services to our customers including lawn care, hedge trimming, aeration, dethatching, as well as pressure washing and snow plowing.

    2. Describe the test environments and the number of hours you used the product in each environment.

    We tested the Tanaka TBC-2501T which features a 70” drive shaft, 5” semi-auto cutting head, and padded “D” handle. We used the Tanaka TBC-2501T in various residential environments including: trimming along fences (wood and chain link); buildings (brick, vinyl sided, aluminum sided, wood sided, and block); and various bed borders and curb edging. In two weeks, we have logged a total of 20 hours on the Tanaka trimmer.

    3. Rate the following on a scale of 1-10, (10 = Outstanding, 1 = poorest):

    Weight 9
    Balance 8
    Power 8
    Fuel efficiency 6
    Ease of starting 10
    Ease of use 10
    Noise level 10
    Accuracy of cut 10
    Safety features 9
    Overall reliability 10
    Manual / instructions 5

    4. Compare the unit against other brands you have used.

    We currently use Shindaiwa T230 and T231 trimmers. The Tanaka is easier to start cold, and very easy to restart warm (2 pulls cold, 1 pull warm). It is a very smooth pull, with less effort required than on the Shindaiwa’s.

    Overall peak-power is a near tie with the Shindaiwa’s, but it seems to lack some of the mid-range punch that the Shindaiwa’s have. The bump head is a nice design overall, but could use a slightly weaker spring so that a little less effort to bump-feed is required. It otherwise performed flawlessly, was very easy to re-string, and did not give any jamming problems.

    I did not like the choke design. It sticks out too far to the rear of the air filter, and is right in the line of pull with the starter cord. It is not padded either, and seems to be a finger injury waiting to happen. Shindaiwa, RedMax, and Stihl all use chokes that are more out of the way or completely flush with the air cleaner housing. Functionally the choke was fine.

    The balance was about as good as could be expected for this long of a unit, but could probably be improved slightly with a taller handle that could be placed further down the pole shaft. Fuel efficiency was not too good. Whether that is a product of having such a long trimmer shaft creating extra drag, or just the nature of the engine I am not sure. The Tanaka’s fuel tank capacity of 16.9 fl.oz. would last for about 1 hour of trimming time, compared to the Shindaiwa T231’s slightly larger tank capacity of 22.7 fl.oz, but run time of nearly 2 hours. I would at least like to see a larger tank on the Tanaka to help combat such frequent refuels throughout the day. I would also like to see a more translucent fuel tank. In low light or high glare situations it is very difficult to see the level of fuel in the tank. The oil I use gives the gas a blue tint, so the contrast with the orange tank is very poor. The clear or nearly clear tanks on the Shindaiwa’s are significantly easier to see.

    5. Provide summary and recommendation information.

    This is definitely a niche market trimmer. Its longer length is not for everyone, but for those who need it, it fills a much needed gap and does it admirably. At my 5’10” height, I feel I have to hold the trimmer up past my shoulders to use it, but at 6’ 6” my helper can stand straight and looks comfortable using it.

    To my knowledge there are no other extra long commercial grade straight shaft trimmers to even compete with this unit. For that fact alone I commend Tanaka for stepping up to the plate to fill a gap in the market that no-one else has addressed on a commercial level.

    The longer length was no problem while transporting, and fit securely on my existing trimmer racks. The longer length does become a consideration when trimming in close areas, or near obstructions or cars. That’s not a complaint, as the length is required for the purpose of the trimmer, but only a warning to consider.

    There is plenty of power for normal everyday trimming, and even enough grunt for mild overgrowth and mini-jungles. The cutter on the trimmer guard seems to struggle with cutting my .095 line, and is my only complaint with an otherwise excellent guard. The manual is overburdened with 6 languages all printed side by side. It really needs to be separated into 6 different sections, one for each language. A lot of clarity is lost searching for ‘your’ language.

    Overall this is a great trimmer, and I would not hesitate to recommend it to anyone who transitions from a basketball career into landscaping.

    6. Other comments

    I originally had the need for this trimmer after hiring a helper that was 6’ 6” tall. My regular stable of trimmers were all too short for him to use comfortably. I tried researching options to make things easier on him, and came across Mark Woodling of Tanaka.

    Mark offered to make this special prototype and allow us to test it within hours of hearing my need for such a product. The speed at which Tanaka developed a workable solution to my problem was amazing. My helper and I are truly thankful for the team over at Tanaka that made this all happen as fast as it did.

    Actions like these go a long way towards customer goodwill, and surely will earn them repeat business in the future. Our hats are off to the fine folks at Tanaka, they definitely deserve it.

    Respectfully submitted,

    Kevin Rochester, Owner
    Mower For Less Lawn Service

    Moderator Notes:
    Thanks Kevin! Very thorough. Kevin has informed me that pics are on the way of his 6'6" crew member using the standard trimmer and the long trimmer. Should be interesting.

    Also, if you are interested in purchasing the trimmer, please contact me. We are still finalizing the configuration and other details as well.


    before and after.jpg
  7. Tanaka

    Tanaka Inactive
    Messages: 1,084

  8. Tanaka

    Tanaka Inactive
    Messages: 1,084

    Briefly introduce yourself and your company
    My name is Barry Nicholson, owner of Lawn Pro in Athens, Alabama. We are a full service lawn and landscape company, servicing mainly residential properties.

    Describe the test environments and the number of hours you used the product in each environment.
    We received the auger at the end of the landscape season in December. We did get to use it the first time on a small install, consisting of installing plants in existing beds (2 hrs).

    In February, we began the 2006 season and used the auger throughout the day (6 hrs). Actual runtime was low due to the efficiency of the auger.

    The first install was pretty straightforward. Install plants in existing beds. The beds had great soil, so the auger had no problem digging to the needed depth.

    Our second install consisted of creating new beds to dress up the home for sale. Soil was red clay and rock. This is where the Pengo bit was useful (more aggressive auger bit).

    This little auger packs a punch. We were able to install 30 plants in close to 30 minutes with one man digging and two men installing.

    Although the eight-inch bit is the largest Tanaka offers (for use with a one-man powerhead), we were able to ream the holes to make them large enough for the 3-gallon plants. The eight-inch bit is perfect for one-gallon plants though.

    We can't wait to get some smaller bits for pansy and tulip installs. Throw your shovels and post hole diggers away. (Well, keep your shovels for cleanout, but forget about digging holes with them)

    Rate the following on a scale of 1-10, (10= Outstanding, 1=poorest):
    Weight - 8
    Balance - 10
    Power - 9
    Fuel efficiency - 10
    Ease of starting - 10
    Ease of use - 10
    Noise level - 9
    Safety features - 6
    Overall reliability - 10
    Manual / instructions - 8

    Other Comments
    The guys love this little auger. They even tried it with two men holding it and it worked great. It has good power, but could use just a bit more. We had to clean the bit a few times, as the clay had a bad habit of sticking (common down here).

    The handle design is perfect. It wraps the engine and offers great protection during transport as well as offers a nice height for the operator. We didn't have any problems with the unit and we bought it as a result.

    Compare the unit against other brands you have used
    We had been using the Echo auger, but most everyone agreed that the handle design on the Echo lacks a great deal compared to the Tanaka. Also, the Echo has always been a bit difficult to start when cold.

    Not so with the Tanaka. It was snowing when we were installing the plants and the Tanaka always fired right up.

    If you want to save time, money, and a lot of backaches, give this auger a try on your next install.

    Provide summary and recommendation information
    In short, this little auger is one heck of an investment. I haven't purchased Tanaka before, but I now have found my local dealer and will be paying them a visit.

    If their other products are built like this, I'm switching. We were all very impressed and one of the guys is asking to borrow it for his personal use already.

    This is one piece of equipment with a variety of uses. From plant holes to fence posts to deck posts to tree staking. If you need a hole dug in the 8-10" diameter, the Tanaka auger is the tool to use.


  9. Tanaka

    Tanaka Inactive
    Messages: 1,084

    From the April 2006 issue of TURF Magazine. Thanks to Bill White from Impact Landscaping.


    Attached Files:

  10. johnap104

    johnap104 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 50

    Hello, my name is John and I recently ordered a TLE-600 power edger. I am a homeowner and was looking for a good quality power edger. I looked at many brands of power edgers on the internet. I came across this website by accident and found it to be very helpful in making my decision. Many professional lawn care people suggested the Tanaka edger. Some would say I am crazy to spend the amount I did for homeowner use. I am hoping to try it out next week for the first time. My dealer was excellant. He was very professional and has excellant product knowlege. He has been wanting to sell one of these for some time. He is hoping to use me as a reference if I like the edger. If this edger is what they say it is, I will be back to purchase a straight shaft weed trimmer. I currently use a curved shaft echo weed trimmer and a Stihl blower. Who knows, maybe the blower will need replacing too. It's kind of weird that you guys have been around for more than 20 years and I am just now finding out about you in Western WI. Everything around here is Stihl or Echo. If this edger works well, I will be spreading the word about Tanaka in western WI and SE MN.

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