Clearing Saw Stihl FS460Updated: July 5th, 2017
firstname.lastname@example.org | FS460 manual
Radmore and Tucker | 01392 254270
Usage Diary | Update on Strimmer Head: Comment 3
On Monday the 6th July I called around making enquiries about a brush-cutter. I knew Bennett's in Tavistock, a Husqvarna dealer, as I bought a chainsaw there last year, but they didn't have a model close to the ones I had viewed on-line. I fancied Husqvarna as that was the only powered landscaping tool I've used. However I wasn't that happy with Bennett's and not finding a suitable number to to call Husqvarna directly, some 0843 number, I called Stihl's head office. Bennett's did recommend a Makita or something but that just put me off them more.
I had hoped to buy a battery powered brushcutter, but even with a battery pack costing some £800 the best of them didn't seem powerful enough and Stihl hadn't released the model in the UK yet.
Locally there's 'Cornwall Farmers' re-branded 'Patch and Acre' in Tavistock. I spoke to Alex there and he said the most powerful model they stocked is the Stihl FS100, 31cc and weighing 5.8Kg. I was thinking of a 45cc engine size as I'm familiar with that sort of power on the chain saw.
I had spoken to Bennett, Stihl and others to ask about a backpack version, in the 55cc range and weighing some 12kg. However most said such are difficult to handle and only recommend where other versions couldn't be used, as in narrow ditches etc. Alex gave my number to Ian Dennis, a mobile distributor for machines that Stihl insist should be introduced to new users for safety reasons. Contrary to Stihl's promise that someone would bring a demo back pack to Tavistock for me to try, Ian said he would only bring the model I actually order.
Ian talked of a range which had special anti vibration mountings and suggested the FS360 at 37cc and weighing 8.5Kg. He also said that the FS410 was a better buy, with a 41cc engine and only £40 more.
So feeling let down about what I could view and weight wise, get a feel of, I looked on-line and noticed that the FS 360, 410 and 460 all weighed the same. As the power to weight ratio was the best in the FS 460 (45.6cc at 8.5Kg) I settled on that. It was, after all, the engine size I felt comfortable with and there were only two more powerful with increased weights of (9.1Kg and 10.2Kg)
I then called around to see where I could see one before I order, and although there was a Penzance store that was easier to get to I ended up negotiating with Jan Rayner at the Helston store. This meant a two and a half hour journey by train and another hour bus ride with waiting times just to get there. Jan has been an amazing help. I was also speaking to another Stihl dealer in Ivybridge, which is much closer and the same machine was £110 cheaper.
However it was clear that Jan was far more knowledgeable and helpful than anyone at Ivybridge and she did manage to reduce the price by £50.
By now I was checking out the optional accessories. The first thing that struck me as odd was that this powerful tool came with a strimmer line cutter. Stihl grade their machines of this nature as 'Lightweight Strimmers and Brushcutters', 'Petrol Powerful Brushcutters' and' Clearing saws'; the FS460 being in the later group. I still can't quite get over the fact that only the FS460 with a shorter shaft and the largest model FS560 come with bladed cutter.
- Problems with circular saw fitting. Pages: part 7, all 8 and part 9
See also Page 13 for errors in supplied Paper Manual
- Issues around fuel usage and storage. Page 10
- Thrust Washer and Collar Nut. Page 11
- More on fitting the shredder blade. Page 12
- Problems with balancing. Page 14
Now Page 2, where the fun begins in earnest:
3 comments Most Recent Last
Email to Shelly Curtis, head of customer services Stihl GBDear Shelly Curtis
Since Monday 6th I have been trying to purchase a clearing saw with immense difficulties, that are still not resolved.
I will stress myself out by relating all the problems I have encountered with dealers and your offices but needless to say, as I'm sure your colleagues will confirm I have called tech and customer services, when tech are unable to resolve issues, dozens of times.
Yesterday I placed an order with a local company Radmore and Tucker for the aforementioned FS460 plus three extra cutting blades and guards etc. The dealers recommend and indicate the appropriate fittings needed to attach these items. [teaserbreak]
Although not directly related to you, as I ordered over the phone I have no confirmation of the order earlier today, so to get ahead I downloaded the manual from your website, which led me to question the dealers recommendations.
They assured me that they had included everything and they didn't know what I was talking about so reluctantly I called your tech staff.
Here is the first problem.
In the manual it suggests changing 'a guard ring' and tech confirmed that this was correct and gave me the part number.
Back to the dealer: They don't have the number in their system and wonder again what I am talking about. I explain this is the guard ring for the saw attachment. They reply they have never known of suchÂ thing and regular customer buy the saw blade and associated guard only.
I wonder if the guard ring is really necessary and as the saw blade and guard are out of stock I ask them to check it will fit the standard guard ring before posting them on to me.
OK back to the manual: I see a note saying the user should not change the guard ring personally but ask the dealer to do so
Recommendation: The guard ring must
be mounted with particular care. Have
this work performed by your servicing
dealer. STIHL recommends a STIHL
So now the problem develops
a) The dealers don't know of the guard ring
b) they are supposed to fit something that doesn't exist to them
c) they were about to sell me the saw blade and guard without the appropriate guard ring
d) It seem pointless buying an attachment that every time I want to use I have to got to the dealer some hours away.
Do I need to go on
Back to your tech about needing the dealers to change the guard fitting
1 First your tech don't know what I am talking about
2. They get a manual and confirm the recommendation
3. They have no understanding of why but to toe the line they say there must be a reason and they will look into it.
Back to the manual with reference to the circular saw attachment
I find a note about an item called the 'rider cup' again something my dealers did not mention.The manual indicates a specific 'rider cup' for the saw blade.
Back to Tech
They confirm there is a specific 'rider cup' and give me the number
Back to the dealer who again don't know what I'm talking about
The outcome is that I decide not to buy the saw blade and guard as I have no confidence in the dealer or tech providing me with full details and information.
Just a note to say I had at least six similar problems to resolve this week which took up all day Tues and Wed and part Mon and Thurs.
Your staff where fed up of me calling and today when I called customer services they would not talk to me.
This is a query I would like to address to tech, but they have already indicated a) they do not know and inferred they would not find out. So maybe you could address this query to the manufacturers for me.
The problem is about a part called 'The rider cup' in two instances and a 'Guard Ring' in another.
There is a problem in the description the later item 4116 717 2702 is a small version of the 'rider cup' recommended for use with a 'shredder blade' 4007 713 3903. It is not a 'Guard Ring' in the sense that it is a ring on the gearbox adjacent the guard. What it does is protect the securing nut as do the 'rider cups'. The fact that it is considerably smaller that the two 'rider cups' and may look more like a ring could provide the name 'rider ring' or 'nut guard' but not 'guard ring'
OK having tried to normalise the nomenclature I will get to the material problem around these
Â objects that protect the securing nut from abrasion.
Here to the questions.
I have already stated the obvious that the items are there to protect the nut, so why are there three versions? The question tech could not answer, other that to say 'recommended' but why?
Don't forget the dealers are not aware of some items and so inappropriate items are being used.
If this is a safetyÂ factor then important mistakes are being made.
There can be two possible reasons for different nut protectors,
more functional or safety.
Let's rule out safety for now as I can see no difference.
I am left with functional
Here comes the engineering side.
The main difference in the 'nut protectors' is their diameter.
In two of the cases, where they are called 'rider cups' they are wider than the trust washer that they sit upon and cover.
In the option for the shredder blade the 'nut protector' here called a 'guard ring' 4116 717 2702 is much different. It is so narrow that rather than cover the thrust washer it sits upon it.
Now here comes the logic.
It the first two the load applied by the nut forces not only the 'rider cup' onto the thrust washer but onto the cutting blade and in doing so adds rigidity to the blade and helps stop it warping in use.
Now with the circular saw blade that can be quite a significant benefit, yet I have yet to discover if the 'rider cup' for the saw blade is for that reason wider that the standard most other blades: and even if that is the case how does that reflect on the difference between a 200mm and 225mm blade.
In fact it may well be smaller and offer less rigidity that the standard as one of your tech guys indicated that it a different size to get a deeper cut from the circular saw.
Well if your tech guy's assessment is true then I could use the standard 'rider cup' which may be slightly wider and a) would provide a more rigid blade albeit with a slightly shallower cut by some millimetres but b) would also put less strain on the engine.
So I would like to know the diameters and why they are different.
This then lead to the question about the 'nut protector' for the shredder blade which is significantly smaller.
Why is it so?
I canÂ see no reason not to use the larger cups?
As you can see I don't like to be in the dark as to what a) is recommended and b) why it is recommended and neither the dealers or your tech see able to provide answers.
I have not gone into all my thoughts on this but this is enough to go with
So to summarise
1. I have had multiple queries that took all week to look into
2. I am very frustrated by the lack of knowledge by all I have spoken to
3. Your staff are clearly annoyed an my persistent querying
4. I have resorted to contacting you in hope of a co-ordinated communication of the problems I have, not just in tech help and cust serv response; but to enlighten you to the fact that even the dealers are at a loss on some occasions and are not providing even the basic information that is available in the manual.
A manual which I hope arrives with the product
that is unlikely to be read in full, else others, dealers and end users would have come across these problems.
Well thank you if you have read this.
Top marks if you understand it.
All the best anyway
but I have little expectation of any suitable resolution.Roger Lovejoy