Grass trimmer

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Gufomel
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Grass trimmer

Post by Gufomel » Tue Feb 28, 2017 7:59 am

Recently moved into our first home, so I'll be purchasing a grass trimmer soon. We have a little over 1 acre, but almost all mowable (have a riding lawn mower). I hope to minimize how often I need to edge, but will inevitably have to do it some. Ideally I'd like to get one for <$150. Possibly something like Ryobi (http://www.homedepot.com/p/Ryobi-40-Vol ... /203763425). Could go higher in price if it makes a significant difference in quality / longevity. If it's electric, it will need to be cordless.

Any opinions on gas vs. electric? Electric seems to be popular these days based on my limited search so far.

Any tips on getting one that jams less than others? Probably too much to ask for :)

Thanks.

onourway
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Re: Grass trimmer

Post by onourway » Tue Feb 28, 2017 8:38 am

For my smallish city lot I went electric and would never go back. My trimmer and my blower share the same battery and there is no going back to gas once you've had the convenience of electric. Most of my electric stuff like this is Ryobi and it has all worked great for many years.

That said, for a 1 acre lot, an electric trimmer may not be up to the job. The string sizes are necessarily smaller on electric, and the battery run times while good are much shorter if you are running at full tilt. Electric works great for edging sidewalks and curbs and light grass trimming around buildings and trees, but I can't see it working for a country lot with heavier weeds. The electric stuff is improving at a rapid pace though and it may be that my 2 year old equipment is no longer representative of what's in the stores today.

retiredjg
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Re: Grass trimmer

Post by retiredjg » Tue Feb 28, 2017 8:43 am

I've moved almost everything to electric and am very happy with the decision. Lawnmower, trimmer, blower (all use same battery system) and little chain saw (which uses the same battery system as the electric drill).

I think it may cost more in the long run because batteries are expensive and they will have to be replaced periodically. However, not having to mess with gas and oil or tinker with the engines is a GREAT freedom.

In the springtime, I simply pull out the mower, press a button and start mowing. Every time. It's wonderful!

I'm using EGO system (Home Depot), but there are now others that are probably just as good.

corysold
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Re: Grass trimmer

Post by corysold » Tue Feb 28, 2017 8:46 am

I have an older version of this...

https://www.lowes.com/pd/BLACK-DECKER-E ... /999978362

...that I use for trimming roughly an acre. Mostly just around the house, a few trees and the sidewalk/driveway. The battery will usually last the entire sesssion, I sometimes need to swap it out if I do extra, but it comes with two so there is always one charged. I've had it for 8 years now with no issues.

I wouldn't use it for anything heavy duty, but for light trimming of grass and small weeds it's been great.

livesoft
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Re: Grass trimmer

Post by livesoft » Tue Feb 28, 2017 8:56 am

The motor is the easy thing

OK, how do folks with string trimmers get the darn plastic string cord to feed and not break off all the time? And the string just tightens around the reel like an ace bandage around your ankle and jams. And these "bump feed" things wear out after a season, so they need replacement.

It seems like yard crews dispense with any safety and use metal cables for the plastic.

It seems though you can't live with 'em and you can't live without 'em.
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Toons
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Re: Grass trimmer

Post by Toons » Tue Feb 28, 2017 8:58 am

"One does not accumulate but eliminate. It is not daily increase but daily decrease. The height of cultivation always runs to simplicity" –Bruce Lee

investordoc
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Re: Grass trimmer

Post by investordoc » Tue Feb 28, 2017 9:09 am

My philosophy is to buy something once and buy it right. I would not go with the big box brands. Go to the local mower shop where the yard guys buy stuff. I have a Stihl gas trimmer and it is still going strong after 12 years. They make a consumer line as well as the pro line. It is well built and feeds the line out nicely. Never had a problem. Years ago I would buy the big box riding mowers and need to replace every 3-5 years. 15 years ago I bought a pro walk behind (now most are the sit down kind) Toro mower. Sharpen the blades, change the oil and it's good to go. Never had a problem and most likely won't in the future. Buy it once and forget about it.

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fire5soon
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Re: Grass trimmer

Post by fire5soon » Tue Feb 28, 2017 9:12 am

Gas definitely. I have 3/4 acre and started out with an electric. After dragging the cord all over the yard, around trees, etc. I got a gas trimmer and haven't looked back.
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atomicsquirrel
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Re: Grass trimmer

Post by atomicsquirrel » Tue Feb 28, 2017 9:16 am

Do yourself a favor and spend a little more. $250 to 375. Get yourself an Echo, straight shaft model with Speedfeed 350 or 450 head. At the same time pick up a 1000 yard spool of 0.95 dia line. This is the easiest trimmer head to load and it holds a bunch of line so your are not constantly restringing. This setup can last you 20 plus years. You are not saving money buying a Ryobi yard tool. Ryobi is fine for some things but not in this application. Echo consumer warranty is 5 years. Always use 2 stoke mix with a fuel stabilizer (most have it nowadays).

Other very good brands to consider are Sthil, Rex Max, Tanaka, Shindaiwia.

One acre is fairly large, Id stay away from electric corded and rechargeable.

investordoc
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Re: Grass trimmer

Post by investordoc » Tue Feb 28, 2017 9:18 am

livesoft wrote:The motor is the easy thing

OK, how do folks with string trimmers get the darn plastic string cord to feed and not break off all the time? And the string just tightens around the reel like an ace bandage around your ankle and jams. And these "bump feed" things wear out after a season, so they need replacement.

It seems like yard crews dispense with any safety and use metal cables for the plastic.

It seems though you can't live with 'em and you can't live without 'em.



Since you asked.... Make sure the line is the proper size for your trimmer. If it is tightening instead of feeding out could you be winding it in the wrong direction on the spool? So that when it spins it is tightening instead of dispensing? Just a thought.
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teacher5
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Re: Grass trimmer

Post by teacher5 » Tue Feb 28, 2017 9:21 am

Buy a Stihl gas trimmer. It is more expensive, but in my opinion it will work better and last much longer.

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DaftInvestor
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Re: Grass trimmer

Post by DaftInvestor » Tue Feb 28, 2017 9:24 am

I'd definitely go gas. You don't want to be dragging a cord around on a 1 acre property and battery/rechargeable trimmers aren't that powerful - you'll spend 3x the amount of time trimming due to weak power than you would with something gas powered.

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Clark & Addison
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Re: Grass trimmer

Post by Clark & Addison » Tue Feb 28, 2017 9:27 am

I've used this Echo trimmer (http://www.homedepot.com/p/ECHO-2-Cycle ... /100675439) for the last four years and have never had a problem. The bump feed line works just like it is supposed to and is very easy to reload. Price is a little more than you wanted to spend though. It comes with a 5 year warranty. I would buy a gas powered trimmer (haven't tried newer electric options).

If you do end up with a gas trimmer, I suggest using ethanol free fuel in it. It cost more, but you won't use that much with just an acre. Gas with ethanol in it goes bad after a handful of weeks causing problems with small engines.

Yooper
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Re: Grass trimmer

Post by Yooper » Tue Feb 28, 2017 9:28 am

It's more than you want to pay, but I picked up an Echo SRM-225 three years ago and you can't kill it. What I really like is that I was able to buy the Echo blade conversion kit and mow down super thick (i.e. never cut before) grass. Liked that so much I bought an additional blade that allowed me to cut down shrubs/trees (willows for example) up to 1/2" thick with little difficulty. It's been used, used hard, and has never let me down.

mckaydw
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Re: Grass trimmer

Post by mckaydw » Tue Feb 28, 2017 9:32 am

Honda mowers and Stihl trimmers. Straight shaft trimmers with changeable attachments work nicely so you can edge with a metal blade.

STINGRAY75
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Re: Grass trimmer

Post by STINGRAY75 » Tue Feb 28, 2017 9:35 am

If you're convinced adding to your cylinder index is the only route - ECHO or STIHl. IMO however, The 56V battery powered trimmers are the set it and forget it of lawn maintenance

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lthenderson
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Re: Grass trimmer

Post by lthenderson » Tue Feb 28, 2017 9:58 am

I have two acres and it hit me how much I hate string trimming. I spent a summer adjusting landscaping so there wasn't any corners and the mower deck could overhang edges. Every other place that wasn't feasible, I use a judicious amount of roundup to kill the grass and mulch. As a result, I can mow my entire two acres around my house and lots of trees without every getting off the rider, with the exception of the two times a year I apply roundup. As a bonus, I have found I never have to service, fiddle around with or even start my jug of premixed roundup.

mancich
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Re: Grass trimmer

Post by mancich » Tue Feb 28, 2017 10:11 am

As others have said, if you have a small yard, electric/battery may be fine. I tried the Ryobi 40V battery model and found it a bit wimpy for my medium sized yard needs. Sold it already, and am going to the local Stihl dealer in a few weeks to buy a new trimmer. I already have a Stihl backpack blower and love it. They make great stuff and if you take care of it, it may be the last trimmer you ever buy. Worth the extra money in my opinion.

barnaclebob
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Re: Grass trimmer

Post by barnaclebob » Tue Feb 28, 2017 10:25 am

FWIW, my Troy built 4 stroke has given me 6 years of absolutely trouble free starting but it sees fairly light duty, maybe a 2-3 hours of use a year. The spool is pretty easy to re-spool and reliably dispenses

How long (total life, not single use runtime) do the batteries in the electric options last these days? Does anyone have a 10 year old battery that still performs well?
Last edited by barnaclebob on Tue Feb 28, 2017 1:02 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Wakefield1
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Re: Grass trimmer

Post by Wakefield1 » Tue Feb 28, 2017 10:32 am

Get a good one. At least a smaller commercial grade unit,gasoline fueled. Hopefully it will do for you for a long time. And people might show up trying to hire you to clean up around their properties! Something to consider is whether there is a good Stihl dealer convenient to you,if not then perhaps get an Echo. Might be a couple other good Japanese brands. I don't think Kawasaki/Astron is still available. I do think Stihl tries to take care of their dealers by restricting parts availability to them perhaps not wanting you to service your own equipment (in favor of the dealer getting the business)and that is a negative to me.
If you can get ethanol free gasoline that would be well. At least mid grade octane for most Stihls. All gasoline even if ethanol free should get a proper dose of stabilizer when you buy it and keep the gas can closed (sealed) when not in use and use up the gasoline at least before it has been a year since purchase.
Bad gas,gas gone bad,gas contaminated with water (ethanol "gasohol" which is the only kind available at big city gas stations will absorb water vapor from humidity in the air if it has the opportunity)
also use proper oil for 2-stroke and "4-mix" engines-might consider using something like "Stihl Ultra" synthetic (I think Echo packages an equivalent)
the string heads/line feed system heads supplied for commercial units are probably better than the ones on cheap Dept. Store models-some reading of the instructions necessary for refilling them properly! And use the proper gauge/size line for the head

Might check out "clearing saws" but you shouldn't need one of those heavier things unless you are taking down small saplings with your "brushcutter".

Wakefield1
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Re: Grass trimmer

Post by Wakefield1 » Tue Feb 28, 2017 10:36 am

DaftInvestor wrote:I'd definitely go gas. You don't want to be dragging a cord around on a 1 acre property and battery/rechargeable trimmers aren't that powerful - you'll spend 3x the amount of time trimming due to weak power than you would with something gas powered.


THIS ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

user5027
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Re: Grass trimmer

Post by user5027 » Tue Feb 28, 2017 10:47 am

I self maintain 1 acre. Lots of trees and have 600' of heavy weedwacker property line with brush. I do not trim every week, probably every 2-3 weeks from April to September.

In May 2009 I bought a Craftsman 358.795920 and it is still running great. Starts after 2-3 pulls. It uses the short pieces of plastic line rather than the long pieces on the bump and feed style. I replace the line every 3-4 uses. It came with an brush cutting blade attachment I rarely use. It uses the same mix gas my blower requires.

With Sears on the ropes, I would not recommend Craftsman today. :shock:

If you go 2 cycle gas, stick to a common mix for all your 2 cycle tools so you only need 1 can of mixed gas and not use the wrong mix. :oops:

If I was buying today, I would checkout Troy-Bilt's electric start option for their pull start tools.
Link

likegarden
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Re: Grass trimmer

Post by likegarden » Tue Feb 28, 2017 11:07 am

We have only short of 1/2 acre. I only use the mower and a sharp spade. Once a year I go around with that sharp spade where some trimming is needed. Otherwise I do the first pass of mowing with the bag on the mower, so I do not need a blower either. My lawn looks clean and not overgrown.

corysold
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Re: Grass trimmer

Post by corysold » Tue Feb 28, 2017 11:45 am

I've noticed that when it comes to lawn and garden equipment, Bogleheads seem to be sold that when it comes to equipment, the bigger and more powerful the better.

Not a commentary either way, but it just seems every thread on this topic is something like, "I'm looking for a 21" push mower, any suggestions?"

"You don't want a push mower, you want a XSP6500 Super Garden tractor with plow attachment, 54" cutting deck and enclosure for plowing, a 30' outbuilding to store it and a hydraulic lift for servicing."

I just find it somewhat humorous that lawn and garden seems to be the anti-car, where most say just go for the Honda Accord when someone wants a Mercedes.

Riverstwo
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Re: Grass trimmer

Post by Riverstwo » Tue Feb 28, 2017 12:38 pm

I've had a LOT of weed trimmers. I would go with Echo. That is the one most of the landscapers use as well. Having said that, I would also recommend the EGO leaf blower from Home Depot, it is rechargeable and has a great power button that lasts about 15 mins. I would not get electric anything.

jadedfalcons
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Re: Grass trimmer

Post by jadedfalcons » Tue Feb 28, 2017 12:49 pm

If you stay with gas, a Stihl FS56RC-E will be perfect for you. It'll run you $219.99, and can handle that size of lawn with no problem. If you want to upgrade to a professional model, then either their FS100RX (fantastic model, but discontinued last fall but still easy to find) or its replacement, the FS111RX, will be perfect. Those are about $349.99. If you want to go lithium ion, they make a FSA90R as well that's a professional model. 36V battery, but don't get tied up in just the volts, it also comes down to amp hours. Stihl's lithium ion units are fantastic, but the FSA90R will run you around $500 for the trimmer, battery, & charger (though the same battery works across a range of units) so well outside of your desired budget. They have cheaper ones that run $129.99-199.99, but they're brand new and so far very scarce availability, and not as powerful.

Since it sounds like you have issues with spooling your line, any of those units can take one of two different easyspool heads (Autocut C25-2 or C26-2) or a Durocut 20-2 head. The Durocut is the kind that you slip in a couple 8" pieces of line and replace them when they get worn down.

Just remember that whenever you see government entities and most landscapers, they tend to be using Stihl. There's a reason.

Gufomel
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Re: Grass trimmer

Post by Gufomel » Tue Feb 28, 2017 2:22 pm

Thanks for all the comments.

Sounds like Stihl has a lot of positive comments. Looks like I can get an FS 40 C-E for $159 from my local mower shop. There's a lower end FS 38 for $129 that doesn't seem to have as good reviews (could just be sample size).

jadedfalcons, you suggested the Stihl FS 56 RC-E. That one is $219. What am I really getting out of that for the +$60? Couldn't really find a discernible difference (in my assessment) based on the specs.
Last edited by Gufomel on Thu Mar 02, 2017 8:00 am, edited 1 time in total.

Gufomel
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Re: Grass trimmer

Post by Gufomel » Tue Feb 28, 2017 2:40 pm

corysold wrote:I've noticed that when it comes to lawn and garden equipment, Bogleheads seem to be sold that when it comes to equipment, the bigger and more powerful the better.

Not a commentary either way, but it just seems every thread on this topic is something like, "I'm looking for a 21" push mower, any suggestions?"

"You don't want a push mower, you want a XSP6500 Super Garden tractor with plow attachment, 54" cutting deck and enclosure for plowing, a 30' outbuilding to store it and a hydraulic lift for servicing."

I just find it somewhat humorous that lawn and garden seems to be the anti-car, where most say just go for the Honda Accord when someone wants a Mercedes.


This made me laugh. Very true.

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FraggleRock
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Tools? Bigger is better

Post by FraggleRock » Tue Feb 28, 2017 3:19 pm

corysold wrote:I've noticed that when it comes to lawn and garden equipment, Bogleheads seem to be sold that when it comes to equipment, the bigger and more powerful the better.

And, the bestest tools may be found at http://www.hiarchive.co.uk/index.php?content=binford

atomicsquirrel
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Re: Grass trimmer

Post by atomicsquirrel » Tue Feb 28, 2017 3:54 pm

Whatever you decide make sure to get a SpeedFeed or comparable bump feed head. These trimmer heads hold 15 to 18 feet of trimmer line and are the simplest to load by far. Such a big change from the early days. Stay away from anything that takes those single strands of 8" preclipped line. Waste of money, time and effort. The Speedfeed is a must. U will thank me later.

Wakefield1
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Re: Grass trimmer

Post by Wakefield1 » Tue Feb 28, 2017 4:06 pm

In the Stihl equipment the true 2 stroke stuff (FS 80?) seemed to have more range of response to the trigger throttle,the 4-mix (like FS 130) seems to have more of an on/off effect with the throttle. I don't know if they even have some of the 2-strokes anymore,the EPA requirements seem to be making them steer to more models with 4-mix motors (uses oiled fuel but has valves in it like a 4 stroke)
people tell you not to put more oil in the mix than instructed (like one part oil in 50 parts of total volume gas + oil) but never put less oil!
If you use the little premeasured bottles of oil (like one bottle makes a gallon of mix) use some of your gas to wash the remaining oil out of the bottle after you empty it into your mix can and put that gas in there before you finish filling it so that you get all of the residual oil into the mix.
(I must confess to "tilting" towards getting a little bit more oil into the mix than the exact prescription but I understand "Stihl Ultra" gives significantly less carbon build up than the other oil anyway so I'm ok) (Stihl Ultra may be recommended for the 4 mix motor over the regular 2 stroke oil because that motor is more sensitive to carbon build up
Last edited by Wakefield1 on Thu Mar 02, 2017 10:57 am, edited 1 time in total.

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victorb
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Re: Grass trimmer

Post by victorb » Tue Feb 28, 2017 6:01 pm

You have gotten a lot of good advice. There is a personal preference and some people just hate gasoline and go electric. There are some electrics mentioned that would be good for you. Also, if you have the money, and extra battery charged up would help on the large lot.
If you like or can go with gas, the Echo & Stihl units are extremely good. I have an older Echo 30cc - straight shaft and it has been a great unit.
Honda also has gas units that are 4-cycle and have oil inside the engine. I have no experience with these, but Honda mowers, snowthrowers are among the best. I would go to a Stihl dealer and get his recommendation. We have a good hardware store that sells Echo and he has been invaluable with great advise and products.

Good luck to you.

Vic

brokendirtdart
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Re: Grass trimmer

Post by brokendirtdart » Tue Feb 28, 2017 6:19 pm




I purchased this exact model from Amazon's "warehouse" in supposed like new condition. With some various coupon codes found on Slickdeals, I ended up paying $93. I have used it for two years now on not a larger yard, but one with a sizeable amount of trimming/edging. Very happy with it.

I move a lot, and am on my fifth state since the middle of 2012. I normally throw away my trimmers when I move, but will likely take this one with me.

Silk McCue
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Re: Grass trimmer

Post by Silk McCue » Tue Feb 28, 2017 7:36 pm

I bought this Kobalt 80v Trimmer from Lowes . Check out the specs and reviews and see if it fits your needs. It is powerful and has amazing battery life. It can accept attachments which furthers it's utility. I like not having to deal with gas and tune ups although that may be of no concern to some.

https://www.lowes.com/pd/Kobalt-80-Volt ... r/50394980

jadedfalcons
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Re: Grass trimmer

Post by jadedfalcons » Tue Feb 28, 2017 8:50 pm

Gufomel wrote:
jadedfalcons, you suggested the Stihl FS 56 RC-E. That one is $219. What am I really getting out of that for the +$60? Couldn't really find a discernible difference (in my assessment) based on the specs.


The most important thing is to go to the dealer and see what feels comfortable in your hand. Don't go for the FS38. It has a lighter duty piston and is made in China. The other ones we're talking about are made in Virginia Beach.

The FS40, 50, and 56 are all built on the same architecture. They all have the simplified starting system with semi-automatic choke. The 50 and the 56 have engines producing 1.07hp, the 40 produces .94hp. The difference between the 40 and the 50 is the 50 has a shaft that's 6" longer, a larger thumb nut to control tightness of the handle, and it comes with a C5-2 Easyspool head. I personally use a FS45 (predecessor to the 40) with the C5-2 head on it. My trimmer is also 15 years old, and the only repairs it's had are a couple of spark plugs and air filters over the years.

The 56 switches you to a straight shaft but also changes the head to a larger capacity 25-2. This is the same head that the pros are using. The head on the 40 or 50 will hold about 5.5' of .095" line (they come with .080") per side (you load two pieces of line.) The head on the 56 will hold about 22' of .095" line, per side. The reason I think this is worth noting is because if you have an acre to cover, you want to make sure you have plenty of line when you go out there. The smaller trimmers will probably hold enough line, but possibly not. Straight shaft trimmers will also get more power to the head. Curved shaft trimmers lose power in the curve. If you just had a regular sized homeowner lot, it's no big deal, but since you're taking care of a larger area, you might want that. Depends on how long your driveway is and how much walkway you want to edge.

bds3
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Re: Grass trimmer

Post by bds3 » Tue Feb 28, 2017 9:57 pm

Having previously worked in lawn care for 5 years, I will never own anything other than a gas, straight shaft string trimmer. One of two brands: Echo or Stihl, both are fantastic.

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Cosmo
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Re: Grass trimmer

Post by Cosmo » Tue Feb 28, 2017 10:19 pm

Clark & Addison wrote:I've used this Echo trimmer (http://www.homedepot.com/p/ECHO-2-Cycle ... /100675439) for the last four years and have never had a problem. The bump feed line works just like it is supposed to and is very easy to reload. Price is a little more than you wanted to spend though. It comes with a 5 year warranty. I would buy a gas powered trimmer (haven't tried newer electric options).

If you do end up with a gas trimmer, I suggest using ethanol free fuel in it. It cost more, but you won't use that much with just an acre. Gas with ethanol in it goes bad after a handful of weeks causing problems with small engines.


^This. Since you have over an acre, get a heavier duty gas trimmer. I have a similar model, which came in handy when we used to have a much bigger lot. The nice thing about these little engines is they are completely serviceable. My trimmer is going on 10 years now and still going strong.

Cosmo

MoneyIsntEverything
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Re: Grass trimmer

Post by MoneyIsntEverything » Wed Mar 01, 2017 7:52 am

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Breakaway72
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Re: Grass trimmer

Post by Breakaway72 » Wed Mar 01, 2017 9:04 am

I second bds3's opinion. I have a mix of Stihl and Echo equipment for my yard work - hedge trimmer, chain saws, string trimmer, leaf blower. Not a problem with any of them in over 10 years of heavy use. My string trimming needs are pretty demanding - 150' of driveway, 300' of street frontage, multiple flower beds in islands throughout the yard, over a dozen free standing trees, and a large fenced in pool area. My Stihl handles it.

Personally, I do not like the "bump - feed" heads. I buy a spool of line and cut 10 inch (estimated) lengths in mass. I stick a dozen or so in my back pocket and go to town. Takes about 30 seconds to replace worn out lines. Maybe it is just my innate clumsiness, but I hate reloading the bump feed heads in the best of times. And when they get tangled I go bonkers.

Gufomel
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Re: Grass trimmer

Post by Gufomel » Wed Mar 01, 2017 1:10 pm

jadedfalcons wrote:
Gufomel wrote:
jadedfalcons, you suggested the Stihl FS 56 RC-E. That one is $219. What am I really getting out of that for the +$60? Couldn't really find a discernible difference (in my assessment) based on the specs.


The most important thing is to go to the dealer and see what feels comfortable in your hand. Don't go for the FS38. It has a lighter duty piston and is made in China. The other ones we're talking about are made in Virginia Beach.

The FS40, 50, and 56 are all built on the same architecture. They all have the simplified starting system with semi-automatic choke. The 50 and the 56 have engines producing 1.07hp, the 40 produces .94hp. The difference between the 40 and the 50 is the 50 has a shaft that's 6" longer, a larger thumb nut to control tightness of the handle, and it comes with a C5-2 Easyspool head. I personally use a FS45 (predecessor to the 40) with the C5-2 head on it. My trimmer is also 15 years old, and the only repairs it's had are a couple of spark plugs and air filters over the years.

The 56 switches you to a straight shaft but also changes the head to a larger capacity 25-2. This is the same head that the pros are using. The head on the 40 or 50 will hold about 5.5' of .095" line (they come with .080") per side (you load two pieces of line.) The head on the 56 will hold about 22' of .095" line, per side. The reason I think this is worth noting is because if you have an acre to cover, you want to make sure you have plenty of line when you go out there. The smaller trimmers will probably hold enough line, but possibly not. Straight shaft trimmers will also get more power to the head. Curved shaft trimmers lose power in the curve. If you just had a regular sized homeowner lot, it's no big deal, but since you're taking care of a larger area, you might want that. Depends on how long your driveway is and how much walkway you want to edge.


Thank you so much for all the detail. That was extremely helpful. I'll go to my local dealer and see what I think about them.

PlagueOnWheels
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Re: Grass trimmer

Post by PlagueOnWheels » Wed Mar 01, 2017 1:15 pm

This is by far the best battery powered trimmer on the market.

http://www.troybilt.com/equipment/troyb ... mer-tb4200

Expensive, but SUPER powerful, and runs for 45+ minutes on a charge. This is next generation stuff, not old school run for 5 minute battery.

westie
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Re: Grass trimmer

Post by westie » Wed Mar 01, 2017 2:25 pm

atomicsquirrel wrote:Do yourself a favor and spend a little more. $250 to 375. Get yourself an Echo, straight shaft model with Speedfeed 350 or 450 head. At the same time pick up a 1000 yard spool of 0.95 dia line. This is the easiest trimmer head to load and it holds a bunch of line so your are not constantly restringing. This setup can last you 20 plus years. You are not saving money buying a Ryobi yard tool. Ryobi is fine for some things but not in this application. Echo consumer warranty is 5 years. Always use 2 stoke mix with a fuel stabilizer (most have it nowadays).

Other very good brands to consider are Sthil, Rex Max, Tanaka, Shindaiwia.

One acre is fairly large, Id stay away from electric corded and rechargeable.

this is great advice

clutchied
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Re: Grass trimmer

Post by clutchied » Wed Mar 01, 2017 2:32 pm

fire5soon wrote:Gas definitely. I have 3/4 acre and started out with an electric. After dragging the cord all over the yard, around trees, etc. I got a gas trimmer and haven't looked back.


I have like 2 acres and tried to go at it w/ electric. It works but not well. I wish I had gotten a nice big straight shaft Echo string trimmer. The electric just takes a lot longer.

With that being said everything else I have is electric; except my mower.

rterickson
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Re: Grass trimmer

Post by rterickson » Wed Mar 01, 2017 4:31 pm

Whatever you choose, make sure you get the type that has a belt or harness that lets you support the weight of the trimmer at your waist.

I have a (relatively) cheap Toro cordless trimmer that you support entirely with your upper body, and it's pretty hard on your back after just a few minutes.

Gufomel
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Re: Grass trimmer

Post by Gufomel » Thu Mar 02, 2017 8:00 am

Thank you to everyone for your great input. Based on the feedback, I'm pretty intent on one of these two. They're both the same price ($219).

Stihl FS 56 RC-E ($219) - recommended by jadedfalcons
https://www.stihlusa.com/products/trimmers-and-brushcutters/homeowner-trimmers/fs56rce/

ECHO 2 Cycle 21.2cc Straight Shaft Gas Trimmer ($219) - recommended by Clark & Addison
http://www.homedepot.com/p/ECHO-2-Cycle-21-2cc-Straight-Shaft-Gas-Trimmer-SRM-225/100675439

Any final thoughts on deciding between these two? Several of you have advised getting a trimmer with a SpeedFeed. The Echo has it. From what I can tell, it looks like the Stihl has an "AutoCut" head. Is it good? If not, can I put a SpeedFeed head on a Stihl? That would of course increase the price.

Also, several of you have advised getting a trimmer from a dealer rather than a big box store. It looks like I can get the Stihl at my local dealer, but looks like the ECHO is at Home Depot. Any issue with getting the ECHO from Home Depot?

TOJ
Posts: 325
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Re: Grass trimmer

Post by TOJ » Thu Mar 02, 2017 9:58 am

I bought the $200 Home Depot echo job last year after a lifetime of $80 gas trimmers. I am underwhelmed. I am going to sell it and buy the $300 husqvarna 4-stroke this year.

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Fletch
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Location: USA

Re: Grass trimmer

Post by Fletch » Thu Mar 02, 2017 10:40 am

I have very good experiences with:
Stihl gas for yard trimming equipment - weed wacker, edger, blower bought from a dealer.
Honda gas for self-propelled 21" lawn mowers (the high end models) bought from a dealer, not the big box stores.
John Deere gas lawn tractors - 42" deck size bought at a Deere dealer, not the cheaper stuff sold at big box stores.
Honda gas portable generator bought at a dealer.
Ariens snow thrower bought at a dealer.

The above are all more expensive than what you find at the big box stores, but the quality and ease of use is outstanding and longevity has been great (i.e. a couple decades so far for most of them). According to the mechanics, a secret to long lasting small engines is to start them at least every month or two in the off seasons to keep piston rings from sticking and let the engines run until hot (10 to 15 minutes), use premium gas with Stabil - especially important for air cooled engines, oil changes etc. by the factory recommendations. I follow those recommendations. I also would not buy equipment from a place that does not do their own service on what they sell.

I had a VERY bad experience with a Husqvarna chain saw, never could get it started without major effort and then only a third of the time. Got rid of it and went with a corded electric model by Worx.

Edit: If you go with Stihl, I'd strongly consider the 4-Mix engines rather than the conventional 2-cycle engines. They start very easily and are less smoky as well as more torque (power?): http://www.stihl.com/4-mix-engine-light ... power.aspx
Last edited by Fletch on Thu Mar 02, 2017 10:58 am, edited 3 times in total.
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Wakefield1
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Re: Grass trimmer

Post by Wakefield1 » Thu Mar 02, 2017 10:51 am

Another thing to think of-some of the higher line Stihl machines-such as FS 130 and "Kombimotor" have interchangeable heads or sections available that allow one powerhead/engine to drive a sickle bar (used as hedge trimmer) or "chainsaw on a stick" as well as the string head--I am sure that some Echo models also do this.

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pennstater2005
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Re: Grass trimmer

Post by pennstater2005 » Thu Mar 02, 2017 11:31 am

I have 1/2 an acre. I started with a cordless but it never had enough juice but for the smallest of weeds. I ended up with an Echo SRM 225 straight shaft trimmer. I didn't like the curved shaft personally.

The Speed Feed head is pretty cool. I've never had an issue feeding trimmer line into it and it starts every time with nothing but the basic maintenance each fall before storing it.
“Life is short, Break the Rules, Forgive quickly, Kiss slowly, Love truly, Laugh uncontrollably, And never regret anything that made you smile" - Unknown

jadedfalcons
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Re: Grass trimmer

Post by jadedfalcons » Thu Mar 02, 2017 12:03 pm

If you haven't already figured it out, I'm a Stihl dealer. Echo, Husqvarna, Red Max, they all want me to sell their equipment too, but I'm very happy with Stihl across the board.

Here's the biggest argument I can make for you, as a Stihl dealer, vs buying Echo from a big box store.

If something goes wrong, or you just accidentally break something and need a new part, do you want to be able to walk into a Stihl dealer and get service, or go back to Home Depot? As a Stihl dealer, I have access to over 20,000 items, and I stock around 2,000 or so in store. On that FS56RC-E, if you accidentally break the air filter cover, you can walk in, buy one, and head right back out. If you buy a unit at a big box store, they'll only have the most basic parts available. Even on the trimmer head that the FS56 uses, I sell replacement heads, replacement spools, replacement trim rings, eyelets, and springs. Stihl & Red Max dealers will back their merchandise up with parts on hand and knowledge, Echo & Husqvarna are much more hit & miss on that since their products tend to be sold in chains. If you have a local dedicated dealer, then your situation may be different. They're all good brands, you just have to go with what you like.

And again, if you don't enjoy loading heads, if you go with the FS56RC-E, if you decide you dislike the head on it, then you can replace it with a C25-2 or the brand new C26-2 head that are external loading.

Also, on that Echo you're looking at, look over the engine on it if you can. Note on Stihl's head that all the essentials are well covered up under the housing, even the primer bulb is tucked up away for protection. Not sure if Echo is the same?

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