Some Initial Takeaways
It appears that the plastics assembled into the trimmer were cheap to begin with, but that likely has to do with the plastic’s finish.
Most other trimmers you’ll come across have a very shiny, glossy finish. This Tanaka trimmer uses plastic finished with satin. Otherwise, the plastic appears to be able to withstand the wear and tear you’ll get from using it everyday.
Putting the head on the trimmer shouldn’t take more than 15 seconds, and only 60 seconds when assembling the handle. Other reviews on this same Tanaka trimmer are partly based on the owner complaining that the assembly instructions are poor. Look, if a set of instructions is what’s keeping you from putting on the handle and head, then perhaps you’d be better off getting in touch with a dealer and buying from them.
[quote_box_left]The switches Stihl uses on their hedge trimmers are similar to the Tanaka’s On/Off switch; more specifically a rocker type switch rather than many other trimmers using a slide switch. This should work fine.[/quote_box_left]
A throttle safety is lacking in the Tanaka TCG22EASSLP, which is nice in a way because you can trim quickly by squeezing the throttle (a safety isn’t there to push down). Although other trimmers using a safety aren’t that difficult to work with anyway, they can be a nuisance, especially if you’re going to be using the trimmer (you’ve inverted) for edging.
Problem with the Choke Lever
With the choke lever, it’s rather small and cheesy. It’s nicely protected, but there could be more difficulty using it when wearing gloves. The design should have been with an open choke while the lever is positioned (not up) down. Most of the time, bumping the lever will bump it down rather than up. With how it’s designed, the choke will turn on if the lever is bumped (not off). The carburetor reveals a remote mounted primer bulb (on the engine where the air filter is found)- easy to work with even if wearing gloves.
A Somewhat Disappointing Feature
Of almost any machine, the air filter is one of the worst you’ll come across. It’s a little piece of flimsy foam, found within the perimeter of the air filter cover. There are plenty of spots on the air filter with no support.
[quote_right]If dust is quickly settling in the air filters because the area you live in is dusty, then maintaining the filter on a daily basis is essential.
If a restriction is starting to reveal itself within the filter due to a buildup of dust, it’s more likely to collapse without the necessary support. It’d be like running a trimmer without an air filter if it collapses.[/quote_right]
The sticker on the engine reads “300 hour Emissions Compliance Period”. The EPA hasn’t made a number higher than that for handheld, small equipment (that I’m aware of), which also holds true for equipment of commercial type.
The covers on the engine keep it covered well, although you’ll find a problem with the cover on the main engine. Tanaka took the spark plug and mounted it on the cylinder at the top. It’s really a poor place to have it at, and most of the time not necessary. The large fairing poses a problem as it’s pointing up to protect the wire and spark plug. This is particularly critical if you’re one to use a trimmer with your arm resting there (trimming one-handed). If you’re holding it this way, don’t be surprised to have your arm getting sticked by the fairing.
The exhaust on the muffler is one of the tiniest you’ll find with any hand-held equipment. At a hair over quarter of an inch, it’s shaped round. Either you’re going to need to use an oil/lean mix fuel ratio or continually be running the Tanaka wide open. You can assume this tiny port quickly getting clogged up.
Also, it’s not possible to remove the spark arresetor screen. There’s not a way to get into the muffler (where it’s found inside) to remove it. This spot is another that could choke up quickly. Tanaka appears to only have spot welded the screen, so it can be expected to rattle around and come loose at some time.
The gas cap could be in a better place. If you have heavy gloves on, getting it off is almost impossible. It’s hard to get your fingers totally around the gas cap, and getting it off if over-tightened can also be a bit of trouble.
Bonus points to Tanaka for not flopping with the recoil handle’s ease of accessibility (and large design).
How Much Should you Really Pay for a Tanaka TCG22EASSLP?
The price hovers somewhere between $180-$230, but I have seen it closer to the lower end of that price range at Amazon.com.
If you get it at Amazon you’ll have great customer service to back it up. Hats off to them. That’s it for this review for now. Comments are welcome below to get the discussion going on this trimmer. Have you used it? Is there a better one similar to the TCG22EASSLP?