Makita EK7651H Comes Out as the World’s First 4-Stroke Power Cutter
We make things out of brick, stone, and concrete because we want them to be permanent. Until we don’t, of course. For those times we’d like to make the permanent less so, Makita has introduced its new 14″ 76cc MM4 4-Stroke Power Cutter to its impressive line. The Makita EK7651H is the world’s first 4-stroke engine on a power cutter and while we got to see it at the 2015 World of Concrete show, we finally got on in for review.
Makita EK7651H 4-Stroke Power Cutter Features
One of the really big deals about Makita’s MM4 4-Stroke Engine technology is how much power they’ve managed to harness with it. Typically, equally sized 2-stroke and 4-stroke engines will perform heavily in favor of the 2-stroke. Makita developed the engine on this power cutter to make you forget that was ever a consideration.
Eliminating the need to mix oil and gas is a nice feature of 4-stroke engines, but it’s only one of the useful features of the Makita EK7651H power cutter.
Under the Hood
Internally, there’s a lot going on that affects durability. Air intake is improved by a five-stage filtration system that includes advanced direction airflow. The exhaust outlet is shielded and the spark arrestor screen has been enlarged to help prevent contaminates from restricting airflow.
The engine piston features a three-ring design. The rods, followers, and valves have all been treated through a proprietary process designed to minimize wear. Advanced oil separation and lubrication systems work to improve the entire valve train durability and overall engine life.
Pull start force has been reduced by 40 percent with the help of an automatic engine decompression valve. Even though starting is consistent and easy, a primer bulb and choke switch are in place when conditions are a little tougher. The carburetor design is pressure compensated with a vented choke plate to optimize fuel delivery while at the same time reducing the occurrence of flooding during cold starts.
Using the Saw
Once running, the power cutter can be held or simply guided along the ground or floor using the aluminum wheels on the bottom, just behind the blade. When you’re not using them, they retract to prevent any unwanted rolling. The cutting arm can be changed from center to flush (outboard) depending on the needs of the job.
Fuel efficiency is another major advantage of 4-stroke engines in general. You can expect to use about 0.45 gallons per hour of operation. It should go without saying with this class of tool, but an external fuel vent releases pressure when temperature differences cause a build-up.
No matter how careful you are, jobsites are messy, especially in applications where a Makita 4-Stroke Power Cutter might be put to use. A couple of design features are in play to help deal with the inevitable. The fuel tank filter has been made accessible without the use of special tools. The carburetor is also located for easy access when maintenance is necessary. You can also get to the air filter from the top of the unit, and it opens with a simple twist.
Makita is known around the industry for its focus on excellent ergonomics. While the weight of the MM4 engine works against it, there are vibration-reducing features built-in including four rubber buffers between the engine housing and overmolded handle.
Makita DT2010 Power Cutter Dolly: The Perfect Accessory
When a long line needs to be cut, the power cutter can be attached to an optional dolly, eliminating the need to bend or stoop over long distances. The Makita DT2010 Power Cutter Dolly is specifically designed to work with the EK7651H—so you’re out of luck at the moment if you own a different model. The dolly comes completely assembled for use with the Makita EK7651H.
More Features We Love
The dolly aligns the cutter for floor level cutting by clamping it in place. The intuitive quick clamping system ensures that you’re able to get the cutter attached without the use of tools—an excellent feature if floor level cutting isn’t the only thing on your agenda for the day.
A heavy cast aluminum front guide wheel keeps the blade in contact with the cutting surface. Since you’ll need to swing the blade arm up when using the dolly, a rubber guard on the cart protects you from debris directed by the blade.
An included water tank can also be attached to the dolly if a water supply isn’t readily available. Of course, a hose can still be attached using the quick release coupling. You can pick up the Makita DT2010 Power Cutter Dolly in the $725 range, but I’ve seen it online as low as $620.
Putting the Makita EK7651H 4-Stroke Power Cutter in the Hands of a Concrete Professional
So how did it work? Daniel Elms, owner of Daniel Elms Construction in Lakeland, Florida is a mason with over 30 years of experience. Recently, the owners of a traditional Tudor style home in one of the more affluent sections of town decided they wanted a different home. Rather than tearing it down, it was moved a mile or so up the road to be set in a new location and expanded as an office building.
The property owners are in the process of replacing the Tudor with a 12,000 square foot, $3+ million dollar home. They called Dan to work his magic on the building, and we called him to put the Makita Power Cutter through its paces. Here’s what he had to say.
Pro Tool Reviews (PTR): Describe the work you do.
Dan: I do block work, brick work, masonry work. I cut stone, brick, concrete, anything like that.
PTR: What projects have you used the Makita Power Cutter on?
Dan: I cut holes for electrical work in concrete slabs. We cut block as well. We actually cut a hole in a concrete wall with the Power Cutter, so we’ve used it a lot.
PTR: What were your first impressions of the tool? What struck you?
Dan: That it had a 4-stroke engine, so there was no need to mix the oil and gas. I’ve had a Makita before, but this one is the first 4-stroke I’ve used [or seen].
PTR: What’s different – good and bad – about this Power Cutter compared to others that you’ve used.
Dan: It’s very nice not to have to mix the oil and gas. When I’m on a jobsite and I run out of fuel mix, I don’t have to take the time to make a new mix, just put gas right in the Power Cutter.
PTR: What features did you use? Any features you didn’t use?
Dan: I used every feature except the water tank because each jobsite had a water supply that I attached to the saw. The water hookup was easy. I used the cart—that needed a little adjusting, but once it was adjusted it worked well.
PTR: What was the most challenging part of the work with this saw?
Dan: This saw is heavier than others that I’ve used, but there are wheels on the bottom of the saw which makes the job easier. Of course, the cart also helps a lot.
PTR: What did you like about the tool?
Dan: It’s got a lot of power and it runs well. It also cuts very cleanly. It starts easy and I didn’t have to prime it—it just started on the second pull (at the most) every time.
PTR: What didn’t you like about this tool?
Dan: As I mentioned, just the weight for handheld applications.
PTR: Would you recommend this saw to other Pros?
PTR: This is about a $1,200 tool. What do you think about its price versus performance?
Dan: That’s about right…because if you buy a Stihl, which is Makita’s major competitor, it’s going to be about the same price, but it’s not going to be a 4-stroke engine, so the Makita is a good value and offers good performance.
Dan used the Makita EK7651H in a variety of applications that it was designed for—particularly cutting various concrete forms. He was impressed with the performance and the convenience of Makita’s MM4 4-Stroke Engine. Starting has been easy, bringing the engine to life on the second pull at the latest. The cutting has been powerful, melting Makita’s typically outstanding stock blade through the concrete like butter.
The weight consideration of the system is offset by the performance and the use of an optional wheeled dolly for floor level cutting. Value can be tough to consider when the price tag of your tools reaches four digits, but Makita seems to have gotten it right with a retail price just under $1,200.
Simply put: stone, concrete, and brick don’t stand much of a chance when the Makita EK7651H 4-Stroke Power Cutter comes calling.
Makita EK7651H 14-Inch 76 cc MM4 4-Stroke Power Cutter Specifications
- Model: Makita EK7651H
- Engine Displacement: 4.61 cubic inches (75.6 cc)
- Engine Max Power: 4.1 HP/3 kW
- No Load Speed: 9100 RPM
- Fuel Type: Unleaded gas
- Fuel Tank Capacity: 37 ounces
- Max Cutting Depth: 4-13/16 inches
- Dry Weight: 28.3 pounds
- Warranty: 1 year
- MSRP: $1,239