View Full Version : Advice need on a buying a string trimmer

jeff d
05-23-2006, 03:12 PM
Hi, I'm in the market for a trimmer, never owned one and have no idea what I'm doing.

The options to purchase from are the usual suspects, HD, Lowes, Sears, etc.

What I've seen so far that I like is I want a 4 cycle so I don't need to worry about mixing fuel and oil. Never liked doing that...

I want something with a cintripical (sp) clutch so that the head doesn't spin when engine idling.

I think I want the two piece straight shaft so I can reach (not a big deal if curved shaft) and use attachments.

From what I've heard Echo makes the best engines, but HD doesn't carry 4 cycle or 2 piece shafts.

The closest match I could find to what I want is the Troy-Built TB575 (I think) 29cc, 4 cycle, straight shaft, takes accessories at around $200.

I don't expect to use this a lot, but I want it to last and be able to handle what I feed it. I'm also not a fan of the non-bump feed systems. I like the TB quick load bump feed design too. I just don't know anything about those engines. Consumer Reports seemed to give the brand good marks across the different models. So I'm guessing that's a good thing?

Any advice? Thanks

05-23-2006, 03:39 PM
Stay away from the 4 cycle. Get a 2 cycle Echo for $199, buy a 1 gallon gas can, label it 2 cycle, and get the echo 2 cycle oil bottle that is set up for 1 gallon, dump it in the can then just fill it with 1 gallon of gas. Easy, less hassle changing oil, etc.

jeff d
05-23-2006, 04:16 PM
Any reason aside from the oil change to avoid the 4 cycle? I like not burning oil, and the less noise. I'm not 100% sold on 4 cycle so I'll think about the suggestion.

05-23-2006, 07:48 PM
A 4-stroke trimmer is just fine. Ive got a Honda trimmer and its not any heavier than the 2-stroke Echo I used to own.
I would avoid buying one from a "big box" store though, go through a dealer.

05-23-2006, 08:12 PM
Any reason aside from the oil change to avoid the 4 cycle? I like not burning oil, and the less noise. I'm not 100% sold on 4 cycle so I'll think about the suggestion.
Yes the two stroke has been around for many many years and it is tried and proven. Get the Echo with an adjustment for the gas jets on the carb and you will have a trimmer that will last a long time.

jeff d
05-24-2006, 12:35 PM
Any advice on where to find dealers for some of the brands like redmax? The only dealers I know around here (new to the area) is Honda. I have a feeling redmax is out of my price range, but there's lots of good comments about them.

ed2hess, I'm really looking for the option of split shaft and there's only one echo that does that, but it's also out of my price range. I'll have to either toss the budget or lower my requirements.

05-24-2006, 12:49 PM
Are you using this strictly as a home owner? What attachments do you hope to attach (string trimmer and edger??). I would still go for the $199 Echo 2 cycle.

jeff d
05-24-2006, 05:29 PM
yeah, strictly as a for my lawn item. I'm really starting to think I'm wasting time thinking about this. I might as well go by a cheap one and be done with it.

I've talked to a few folks along with you guys and what I keep hearing is that the cost of the cheap ones is the way to go. It's almost disposable and then don't worry about repair costs. (because costs will be greater than replacing). I'm not into being wasteful with resources like that, but I've been all over the place talking to folks to find out that I still really don't know what I want.

I thought 4 cycle because of noise and polution, now I'm thinking who cares. (I know I do, but at what cost to me?)

I was thinking split shaft for attachments (like an edger or maybe them cultivator for minor tilling), now maybe I just look at two different cheap pieces.

I was also thinking bump spool because of the horrible experiences I had with trimmers as a teen back in the 80s. It seems these current trimmers are much stronger and the thickness of the cord greater so it should be more durable. I swear the stuff I used as a kid was like 30lb test fishing line.

So now the $200 echo seems like overkill, but... I know that's not true. I have a feeling that anything above $200 will be a waste.

It's now down to do I care about a expandable system or not?
And how do I feel about 2 cycle and mixing (I was surprised to learn that even the 4 cycle stihl requires oil/gas mix)

Redmax for the basic 2600 (I think that was the model) was out of my price range.

Stihl and getting the echo head might put it out of my price range

It really seems like Echo is going to be it... I just wish I could find a cheap edger....

05-24-2006, 06:43 PM
Get a Honda trimmer and you wont regret it. Ive got one and I will never go back to a 2-cycle trimmer.

05-24-2006, 06:52 PM
Jeff, I certainly wouldn't buy a cheap trimmer. Been there, done that, MANY times. A new trimmer every year for awhile. Finally got aggravated enough to spend the money and buy a Stihl. On my 4th year and never a sign of a problem.

You can spend $80 every year or spend $200 once. Your choice.

05-27-2006, 07:04 PM
Before I got into the lawn care business, I went through maybe 3 or 4 big box trimmers. When I started in the lawn business I used my ryobi 2 stroker and of course it flamed out in a few weeks of usage. After that, I went to my local stihl dealer and bought a fs100rx trimmer and WOW! Two years of hard use and it is still going strong. I swear that I will never own another piece of homeowner equipment EVER because the quality just isnt there. If you cannot afford a commercial grade piece yet then dont buy until you can. Trust me you wont regret it. BTW retail on a fs100 is 320$ there are cheaper models available that are still commercial grade for around 260.

05-27-2006, 09:55 PM
I was thinking split shaft for attachments (like an edger or maybe them cultivator for minor tilling), now maybe I just look at two different cheap pieces.

In case you haven't bought the extra stuff yet I don't think either one of the two extra devices are worth anything. You can't do any serious tilling with those devices, and you can do all the edging you need with a trimmer so save the money for those two thing...my 2 cents we got both and they set in the shed.

05-28-2006, 01:35 AM
I agree with ed2hess. I borrowed an edger attachment that fit my trimmer from a friend several years ago and it was useless.
I also borrowed the tiller attachment from another friend and it wouldn't dig dirt. Of course I was trying to install a new flower bed.

You can learn to edge with a string trimmer. It is easy once you get the hang of it. Rent a tiller when you need one.

BTW, I have the large blower/bagger attachment too. I'm not sure these are made anymore since all I see is the ones that look like a plate on the end of the shaft. Anyway, it wasn't worth the money either.

The brushcutter attachment (steel cutting blade) would be the only attachment I would possibly ever get now. If you get one of the commercial units, there are some where you would only need to replace the head and not the lower shaft.

I see these attachments as gimmicks. Don't buy into it.