PDA

View Full Version : Trimmer woes - need recommendation


chuckcintron
07-24-2007, 05:52 PM
I have a two-year old John Deere 2-cycle string trimmer, from Home Depot. I think it was around $125 when I bought it.

Every time I use it, I have a problem where the string gets worn down to a certain point (around 1.5") -- and then it is 'sucked' back into the trimmer head. Suddenly, I'm trimming with nothing but air. :angry:

I've tried all different varieties of trimmer line, and gauges -- no joy. I believe that there is a design issue at play here. The trimmer head is such a small diameter that the line is wound around a very small, tight radius -- and that makes the line "springy" -- which causes it to more easily retreat back into the trimmer head when it gets short.

So, is it possible to put a better head on a Home Depot trimmer? Or, should I just ditch it and get a "pro" trimmer?

Which trimmers should I look at that will be easy to use, lightweight, and not have this annoying problem of the trimmer line suddenly disappearing back into the spool/head?

Thanks,
Chuck

DCE
07-24-2007, 10:49 PM
The same used to happen to my dad. I got him a Husqvarna 124L and twice shortly after he got it I had to take the spool out and re-wind all the line and basically, re-do everything. My folks have a lot of brick edging in the front yard and along the side, and I told my dad that the line wears down faster as he trims along the brick, and for him to advance the line more often. I switched him over to the Husqvarna Titanium Force trimmer line and it seems to hold up very well from abrasion. So far, so good. Try advancing the line more often.

If that doesn't work, no need to throw the baby out with the bathwater. I think, you can change the head itself. I am not sure if Echo makes a universal fit head or not, but I've used Echo trimmers in the past and have found that their head is a simple yet durable design. Me, I'm running my Husqvarna 225L and I think it has their Trimmy Hit head on there. No problems like you describe with mine. But, I'd try advancing the line more often first and if that still doesn't take care of it, try swapping the head out. But if you just wanna get a new toy, then have at it! :)

chuckcintron
07-24-2007, 11:42 PM
Thanks for the advice...yes, I do advance the line like a madman while trimming -- problem is that I do a lot of trimming along brick & concrete and it does wear the line down quickly. I just wish at least a little 'nub' of line would stay poking through the head grommets so I can advance the line...the darn stuff snaps back into the head almost arbitrarily (it seems).

I'm using Husky "titanium" line, which is supposed to be pretty good stuff (?)

Stupid observation: when advancing the line I seem to have two choices:

1. tap the head of the trimmer down on the grass, which scalps the grass in that spot.

2. tap the head of the trimmer down on the brick driveway, which gives a beating to the plastic hub on the bottom of the trimmer head.

Silly, huh? Either ruin the grass or wear down the trimmer head... do any other trimmers handle this differently?

Capemay Eagle
07-25-2007, 12:10 AM
I myself just went through this and just gave in and bought a new trimmer. On the other hand I did change my trimmer line on my previous trimmer to grass gator pro .095(orange) this stuff seems to work really well even around the concrete. And it is still thin enough that is does not bog down the engine. I have tried a few different lines and this is defiantly the best I have ever used. Maybe give it a shot and see if it helps. I buy it at the Depot.

DCE
07-25-2007, 08:25 AM
Stupid observation: when advancing the line I seem to have two choices:

1. tap the head of the trimmer down on the grass, which scalps the grass in that spot.

2. tap the head of the trimmer down on the brick driveway, which gives a beating to the plastic hub on the bottom of the trimmer head.

Silly, huh? Either ruin the grass or wear down the trimmer head... do any other trimmers handle this differently?

You're using the same line I am. When I tap to advance I usually do it on a hard surface to avoid scalping the grass. Just to give you an example, my Husky is over 10 years old and I'm running the same head on it that originally came with the trimmer. The plastic knob on the bottom of the head that you hit to advance the line is made of pretty thick plastic. Plus, you're just tapping as opposed to holding the spinning head down on the pavement.

Getting back to your original problem, I would definitely try to see if a more expensive replacement head, like the Echo one, will work on your trimmer. You might want to take the trimmer with you and go to a dedicated power equipment retailer so he can have the trimmer right there to determine which head will fit. Good luck!

leejp
07-25-2007, 09:46 AM
Got an Echo universal head on my trimmer after the original stopped advancing the line. 5 years now without a single problem.

DCE
07-25-2007, 10:48 AM
Got an Echo universal head on my trimmer after the original stopped advancing the line. 5 years now without a single problem.

Well, there you go! One of the things I like about the Echo head is the ease of disassembly for winding line on it. I have even contemplated getting one to replace the one on my Husky, except the replacement heads come wound with that Cross Fire line. Cross Fire is good line and works well with rough weeds but it wears quite easily because of its odd shape.

chuckcintron
07-25-2007, 10:56 AM
Thanks to everyone for suggestions. The trimmer runs fine, so I think I will explore the idea of putting a replacement head on it.

Thanks!
-Chuck

cranesrule
07-25-2007, 12:41 PM
Take a look at the Stihl Autocut head, you don't even have to disassemble it to fill it, you just stick the ends of the line in and ratchet it in. Very easy, and the advance also works very well. I have never had the line retract into the head. The Stihl professional line (dark green) is also a great choice, it lasts forever for me.

DCE
07-25-2007, 12:58 PM
Take a look at the Stihl Autocut head, you don't even have to disassemble it to fill it, you just stick the ends of the line in and ratchet it in. Very easy, and the advance also works very well. I have never had the line retract into the head. The Stihl professional line (dark green) is also a great choice, it lasts forever for me.

That reminds me, Echo has their RapidLoader head that also accepts pre-cut segments of line...no winding of line on the spool for folks who don't want to fool with that. You can buy whatever style of line [the normal, wind-it-yourself style] you like in the appropriate size and cut it into segments yourself. It's much cheaper to do it this way than to buy the pre-cut/pre-packaged line segments.

All_Toro_4ME
07-25-2007, 01:06 PM
Anyone start with homeowner equipment from Wal-Mart or Home-Cheapo when you first start before the comm. stuff?

Pitbull05
07-25-2007, 01:25 PM
Are you using the Husy T-25 trimmer head? This is what I use and I have no issues at all.

And for the cheap equipement, 3 trimmers in two years. Then I figured out, spen a little more now and sa alot later, not to metion how much better commercial equipment performs. The trimmers are al ot lighter also

cranesrule
07-25-2007, 09:34 PM
That reminds me, Echo has their RapidLoader head that also accepts pre-cut segments of line...no winding of line on the spool for folks who don't want to fool with that. You can buy whatever style of line [the normal, wind-it-yourself style] you like in the appropriate size and cut it into segments yourself. It's much cheaper to do it this way than to buy the pre-cut/pre-packaged line segments.

The AutoCut is actually a bump feed head, you stick the ends of two 13 ft pieces of line in and then ratchet it into the head with the bump knob. No precut segments, just tap to feed. It's a great head.

dfischer
07-25-2007, 11:59 PM
Chuck, your two threads suggest you're being frugal to a fault. Reliability, quality, and proper engineering? MTD, craftsmen, cub, hushy, and etc.? Hm.. Don't normally see those in the same thought

Time to quit buying second tier stuff.

chuckcintron
07-26-2007, 10:29 AM
Ha, yes frugal...but let me clarify & defend my honor :laugh:

First, I wouldn't throw Husky (Husqvarna) onto the same list as MTD, Cub, Craftsman, etc. I'd rank their power equipment a bit higher, IMO. I have one of their chainsaws -- it is an absolute gem.

Second, my MTD snowblower, the Craftsman leaf blower and the (prior) Craftsman chainsaw were gifts, which I had no input on. I've since educated family members to please stop buying me tools (other than automotive hand tools) from Sears.

Third...okay...I *thought* John Deere made good equipment, but my 21" WB mower and my string trimmer have been huge disappointments. I wasn't being frugal on those purchases -- e.g. the mower was around $500, which I think moves it out of the 'frugal' classification, for a homeowner. I guess if I were running a farm I'd be happy with a $250,000 John Deere combine -- but their line of homeowner stuff is absolute junk. Live and learn.

So, I have no problem at all spending money on better tier equipment. As you can see, I was considering the new Cub 33" WB, but did the right thing and asked questions here and got better educated. I'm now saving up for a Quick 36, which I hope to be able to purchase next season. I don't do credit cards, or spend money I don't have...

-Chuck :)

chuckcintron
07-26-2007, 10:52 AM
Take a look at the Stihl Autocut head...

Looks like a nice head. I found it online as a replacement part for Stihl trimmers. I wonder what the chances are of being able to put it on my John Deere trimmer...hmmm....

-Chuck

DCE
07-26-2007, 12:31 PM
nice head



:laugh:

While I am desperately resisting cracking some sort of off-color snide remark, do you have a Stihl dealer in town? Take your trimmer out there and let them take a look.

chuckcintron
07-26-2007, 02:52 PM
Well...I said "nice"...not "good" (!)

Yeah, I'll see what the receiver on the JD trimmer looks like, and if it isn't something wacky I'll probably bring it with the OEM head removed to the power equip place and see what we can do.

-Chuck