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View Full Version : I need a hedge trimmer


GravyTrain
10-20-2008, 12:24 AM
Any thoughts. I will be using this for my yard, and maybe 5 other customers, each with only a handful of small bushes. I might have more customers that require this service in the future, but I would say no more than 10 over the next year.

I know a lot of guys hate the big box stores like Home Depot, but they do have a few between 200 and 300 dollars. I guess what I'm looking to know is that with the limited use that I'm going to be doing, can I get away with a "pro" grade model from Home depot, or should I drop the $500 to get a strong quality product like a Stihl.

At the end of the day, I will be getting this primarily for personal use, and when customers require the service, I'll slowly be paying for the equipment.

Accu-cut Lawn Care
10-20-2008, 01:25 AM
Get a Sthil hs 80 and you'll never be disappointed.

Frontier-Lawn
10-20-2008, 08:53 AM
go with the Kawasaki KHS750B or the Tanaka HTD-2530PF

you wont be sorry

lawnboy dan
10-20-2008, 08:58 AM
shindawia home pro is execellent unit for the $

GravyTrain
10-20-2008, 09:10 AM
thanks for the info guys, I wouldn't mind getting a few more suggestions if anybody has any. I'm going to research the one's mentioned above.

Also, for the record, Stihl has moved onto it's next line in the 80 series, it is the HS 81 now.

Turf Dawg
10-20-2008, 09:32 AM
If you do not mind {or can} spending alittle more money I would highly suggest a short shaft hedge trimmer. To me they are so much more usefull and easy to use. On short round shrubs you can tilt the head and you do not have to lean over as far. The one that I highly suggest is the Kawasaki short shaft trimmer. I wrote a review about a week ago on this trimmer compairing it to my others if you want more details on them.

jkilov
10-20-2008, 04:22 PM
You do not need to spend $500 for a quality hedge trimmer.

I suggest you look at maruyama first, their blades are really something else, superhard steel. But there's might be no dealer near you, cause there aren't that many.

The other thing that seems to be the craze for the past few years is the tanaka THT-210S. Light with 11lbs, 26" blades and 1.1hp . Both the maruyama and tanaka retail under $400.

The stihl hs-80 has a reputation for being indestructible but very heavy as well. The engine was too big - that's why it was replaced with the HS-81. You can get it with two different gearbox & blade options ; one for trimming and the other for cutting back. Both are pricey.

As far as shindaiwa goes, every hedge trimmer I demoed was heavy and vibrated like hell. They make tough stuff but this was just too much for me.

IHusky
10-20-2008, 05:02 PM
The stihl hs-80 has a reputation for being indestructible but very heavy as well. The engine was too big - that's why it was replaced with the HS-81.

I have the HS -80, very strong and reliable and agree that it gets heavy!! If I was to buy again, I would look for a lighter unit. Good luck.

Whitey4
10-20-2008, 06:17 PM
I have a Husky 326-something... 36" blade, double sided. Heavy duty machine, and yes, it's a bit heavy, but I really love this hedge trimmer. It will go through 1" branches with ease as long as the throttle is wide open. Nice balance, great cut and the ergonomics are excellent. The ergonomics offset the weight really well.

It will beat the crap out of your arms and shoulders if you are trimming at shoulder height.... that's when I get a ladder. Mine did have to get another ignition coil under warrantee, but other wise, it's a beast. When this one was in the shop, I used a loaner, a Husky 20-something inch single sided, at half the weight. I found that the bigger heavier 326 was much easier to use, and the ergonomics much less stressful on my carpal tunnel problems.

I would recommend this machine... my Husky line trimmer? Different story. See if you can demo this unit. It tackles the big jobs, and you won't outgrow it, except for a long reach hedger like the RedMax.

Elite Outdoor
10-20-2008, 06:24 PM
I have the stihl fs 80 and its a beast, but the weight of it is a major draw back. Next time i will be going with a shaft trimmer.

corey4671
10-20-2008, 06:25 PM
I have the Stihl 81. FOr what you are talking about doing, i would look into the 45. That 81 just wears me out. JUst my .02..

tamadrummer
10-20-2008, 06:41 PM
Any thoughts. I will be using this for my yard, and maybe 5 other customers, each with only a handful of small bushes. I might have more customers that require this service in the future, but I would say no more than 10 over the next year.

I know a lot of guys hate the big box stores like Home Depot, but they do have a few between 200 and 300 dollars. I guess what I'm looking to know is that with the limited use that I'm going to be doing, can I get away with a "pro" grade model from Home depot, or should I drop the $500 to get a strong quality product like a Stihl.

At the end of the day, I will be getting this primarily for personal use, and when customers require the service, I'll slowly be paying for the equipment.

Drop the $500 on a Stihl HL100 or HL100K and be done with it. You will not regret having the pole trimmer but you will be restricted as to how much trimming you can do without the extended reach.

Right now I am using a John Deere SBLE140 (Kinda like the Kombi) and as soon as I can dump it for one of these I will!

LALawnboy
10-20-2008, 06:47 PM
For your intended usage, I'd suggest an Echo HC-150. I've got one and it has been a very reliable piece of equipment. I think I paid in the neighborhood of $270 for it and it has paid for itself many times.

lawnboy dan
10-21-2008, 08:41 AM
shindawia home pro weighs 9 lbs and is way better than an echo

Rons Rightway Lawncare
10-21-2008, 09:01 AM
Nobody here musta been in lowes or home depot lately....

I was at one of the two - can't remember for sure but think it was lowes - and saw a impressive trimmer by Ryobi. It was under 200$ and compared to the units I have had, the engine and blades both looked to be commercial grade. I think for the little use you will need of a trimmer, why waste excess money on a 400+ dollar true commecial grade unit?

Problem with buying a piece of small equipment that is rarely used, is over time the machine rots apart just from sitting around.... gas hardens and yellows the tank, gas lines harden and fail, carbs gum up, seals and gaskets dry out and cause leaks, etc... all repairable, but if you only need to use a tool one or two days every 6 months, no sence in investing in the most expensive tool out there, not when there is another tool at less than half the price that will do just as good.

saw man
10-21-2008, 11:16 AM
Nobody here musta been in lowes or home depot lately....

I was at one of the two - can't remember for sure but think it was lowes - and saw a impressive trimmer by Ryobi. It was under 200$ and compared to the units I have had, the engine and blades both looked to be commercial grade. I think for the little use you will need of a trimmer, why waste excess money on a 400+ dollar true commecial grade unit?

Problem with buying a piece of small equipment that is rarely used, is over time the machine rots apart just from sitting around.... gas hardens and yellows the tank, gas lines harden and fail, carbs gum up, seals and gaskets dry out and cause leaks, etc... all repairable, but if you only need to use a tool one or two days every 6 months, no sence in investing in the most expensive tool out there, not when there is another tool at less than half the price that will do just as good.


Ryobi and commercial grade do not belong together!

The blades on the Ryobi are not the quality of a real commercial unit and it willl take you longer to do your job. When you have a REAL hedge trimmer you will wonder why you didnt spend the money earlier.

Kennedy Landscaping
10-21-2008, 11:41 AM
Personally, I just use a cheap hedge trimmer, it isn't something that I do daily or sometime not even monthly, so I just bought a cheap black&decker electric one. Keep it and the cord on the truck at all times and its there when I ened it. Haven't had any problems as of yet. Now if I get to where I have several full maintenance accounts that require hedge trimming, then I'll buy a gas trimmer and maybe even before that. But what I got works fine for now

Rons Rightway Lawncare
10-21-2008, 09:25 PM
Ryobi and commercial grade do not belong together!

The blades on the Ryobi are not the quality of a real commercial unit and it willl take you longer to do your job. When you have a REAL hedge trimmer you will wonder why you didnt spend the money earlier.

http://cgi.ebay.com/RYOBI-RY39500-22-GAS-HEDGE-TRIMMER-VERY-NICE_W0QQitemZ120318517036QQcmdZViewItem?hash=item120318517036&_trkparms=39%3A2%7C66%3A2%7C65%3A1%7C240%3A1318&_trksid=p3286.c0.m14

http://www.homedepot.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/ProductDisplay?storeId=10051&langId=-1&catalogId=10053&productId=100615526&N=10000003+90401+527118


This is the one I am talking about, and yeah it isn't a commercial grade unit, but for light duty use I am sure it will do just fine.

Most cheap hedge trimmers have a cheap cutting bar with closely spaced openings for the blades, the Ryobi unit has the same exact type of cutting bar and blades as most true commercial grade trimmers. I would bet that they cut great and for the price I don't see where you could go wrong.

jsw2008
10-21-2008, 09:35 PM
For your intended usage, I'd suggest an Echo HC-150. I've got one and it has been a very reliable piece of equipment. I think I paid in the neighborhood of $270 for it and it has paid for itself many times.

I agree. I have one I used about every other day for the last 6 months. It's not too heavy, cuts great, and it does a good job especially for under $300 and it has a 5 yr homeowner warranty.

Grits
10-21-2008, 09:36 PM
I have an Echo HC-150 that I will sell you for $150, possibly including shipping. I like it just fine, but I don't need it anymore. I bought it about 1 year ago and it has been used, but it runs good.

LawnTamer
10-21-2008, 09:40 PM
For your intended usage, I'd suggest an Echo HC-150. I've got one and it has been a very reliable piece of equipment. I think I paid in the neighborhood of $270 for it and it has paid for itself many times.

I helped Whoopassonthebluegrass with a fall cleanup, he has the HC-150 clippers. I used them to clean up a row of poplars, as well as to knock down some bushes. His unit was only a year old, but I was impressed, it had ample power, was super easy to use and not very loud. For the money, it's not a bad way to go.

saw man
10-22-2008, 12:02 AM
http://cgi.ebay.com/RYOBI-RY39500-22-GAS-HEDGE-TRIMMER-VERY-NICE_W0QQitemZ120318517036QQcmdZViewItem?hash=item120318517036&_trkparms=39%3A2%7C66%3A2%7C65%3A1%7C240%3A1318&_trksid=p3286.c0.m14

http://www.homedepot.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/ProductDisplay?storeId=10051&langId=-1&catalogId=10053&productId=100615526&N=10000003+90401+527118


This is the one I am talking about, and yeah it isn't a commercial grade unit, but for light duty use I am sure it will do just fine.

Most cheap hedge trimmers have a cheap cutting bar with closely spaced openings for the blades, the Ryobi unit has the same exact type of cutting bar and blades as most true commercial grade trimmers. I would bet that they cut great and for the price I don't see where you could go wrong.

Look at who owns this company and where it is made.

After you do that decide if the extra $100 that you could spend would be money well invested or money down the drain.

The engine on the Ryobi units will last FAR less than any quality trimmer that starts at around the $300 mark.

The cheap metal on the blade will create more downtime and you will replace them MUCH sooner, not to mention the engine is only good for around 100 yours compared to 1000+ on a quailty unit. That extra $100 now made you a lot more money in the long run!

ricky86
10-22-2008, 12:25 AM
Youdon't have to drop 500.00 Get a Stihl HS45. I'd stay away from that box store junk. HS 45 is a nice tool for the price. Engine might last forever.

DA Quality Lawn & YS
10-22-2008, 12:30 AM
For as little as you are going to use a trimmer (a few houses with a few shrubs) - just get a good electric trimmer. Much lighter than gas ones. Yes, the cord is an issue but for such little use, don't waste hundreds of dollars on a pro model. If you go more big time with your trimming biz, then you can get a gas powered one + have the electric one for small jobs.

saw man
10-22-2008, 12:34 AM
Once you have a quality hadge trimmer you will pick up more jobs. You will no longer be scared to do the work. If you buy a cheapy those big jobs could take you twice as long.

For a good electric you will spend $200+ for a little more you can get a nice gas machine with more power for heavy work. Time savings alone will pay for itself in no time!

Whitey4
10-22-2008, 12:59 AM
An electric? you guys must not be doing much hedge trimming and pruning. I have 5 properties with 12 to 14 foot tall eunomyus, not to mention the other stuff I have to prune. No freaking way I tackle those 75 foot hedge rows with an electric. Plus, the homeowner has to have an outside connection... most of mine don't.

The Husky 326HD75 rips through these hedges. It's 13 lbs, and loud... but being double sided, and it's ability to cut through some heavy stuff, it saves me time and again, the ergonomics are great. This will always be my mian hedge trimmer, for as long as it lasts, but I will need to get the Redmax long reach trimmer next year. Even though the Husky has a 36" blade... the tops of some of my hedges are five feet wide. About 8"s too wide for my reach with the Husky.

The long reach trimmer will mean fewer ladder moves when I'm doing the tops. If I had to do it over again, I'd propably get the long reach trimmer first... then the Husky.

topsites
10-22-2008, 01:22 AM
I also agree the HS-80 is way overkill unless hedge trimming is your main line of work.
That thing is so heavy you will feel that beast in your back!

I don't know if most folks realize this but hedge trimming once you got this gas powered tool
held out in front of you stretching out your arms that puts strain on your back,
the heavier the trimmer the worse the strain, and it hurts.

But the first thing I think you should do is ask the dealer for their recommendation,
that is, after you tell them what you just told us as far as usage, etc.

Now I do somewhere around two dozen or so hedge trimming jobs a year, and when I spoke to my dealer
they recommended what I bought is the HS-45. That was 6 years ago and it still runs strong to this day,
never sharpened the blades because they self-sharpen, never a problem, maybe a spark plug and an air filter.

It's lighter, cheaper, and if I ever do outgrow it I will likely always remember the HS-45 as one of the top homeowner model Stihl's ever made.

But talk to your dealer, that's always the first person to ask things like these.

GravyTrain
10-22-2008, 10:26 PM
Thanks to everyone has posted on this so far.

At this point, I've narrowed it down to 3. From what I'm hearing, the guys that seriously use the trimmer, suggest getting the big boy. The one's closer to what I'm looking to do say go with the cheaper model.

I swung by Home Depot tonight (had to pick up a few other things, and I always like to look at the lawn care stuff, and if nothing else, laugh at the quality of some of it). Anyways, the Ryobi vs. the Echo didn't seem fair. The Echo looked pretty solid and appeared to be able to get few some tougher stuff.

After further investigation, it is also 4lbs lighter. The extra $100 or so is actually only $75 with the coupon I have. but at the same time, the Home owner's stihl is pretty appealing. The problem is that around here, I have found that the dealer's suck. I've only had one that I felt I could talk to, and he is 45 minutes away and is no longer in business. I'm on my 3rd shop in two years due to inconsistencies in service and lack of professionalism. I will give this new shop a chance and see if they even have the 45 in stock and if they would recommend it for my job.

I will post back again once I have made a decision, and then of course another after I've had a chance to use the product and let everyone know how it goes.

Thanks again guys...

lawn_guy
10-22-2008, 10:37 PM
I'd go with the HS 80 (81). I have six of these units and run them 5 days a week for about 4 months of the year. They aren't light, but they'll withstand commercial use. I bought the HS 45 and quickly traded for the 80. Each crew also runs a Stihl pole trimmer for ornamental trees and tall shrubs. I've had good luck with all Stihl equipment.

J&R Landscaping
10-22-2008, 10:59 PM
I have an Echo hc-150. Its not as good as some of the older Redmax 2400 units but I like it. I'm looking for an articulating unit for next season.

ricky86
10-23-2008, 06:30 PM
Thanks to everyone has posted on this so far.

At this point, I've narrowed it down to 3. From what I'm hearing, the guys that seriously use the trimmer, suggest getting the big boy. The one's closer to what I'm looking to do say go with the cheaper model.

I swung by Home Depot tonight (had to pick up a few other things, and I always like to look at the lawn care stuff, and if nothing else, laugh at the quality of some of it). Anyways, the Ryobi vs. the Echo didn't seem fair. The Echo looked pretty solid and appeared to be able to get few some tougher stuff.

After further investigation, it is also 4lbs lighter. The extra $100 or so is actually only $75 with the coupon I have. but at the same time, the Home owner's stihl is pretty appealing. The problem is that around here, I have found that the dealer's suck. I've only had one that I felt I could talk to, and he is 45 minutes away and is no longer in business. I'm on my 3rd shop in two years due to inconsistencies in service and lack of professionalism. I will give this new shop a chance and see if they even have the 45 in stock and if they would recommend it for my job.

I will post back again once I have made a decision, and then of course another after I've had a chance to use the product and let everyone know how it goes.

Thanks again guys...

I'm curious, do you get the consistant service and professionalism that you require from your local Home Depot?

topsites
10-23-2008, 07:22 PM
Once we've eliminated the cheapest, we're down to two choices.

Between Echo and Stihl it's a flip of the coin,
there's not much difference insofar as quality,
both are excellent products.

So if you're stuck between the two, buy
the one you like better for whatever reason,
Echo or Stihl, doesn't really matter there.

lawnboy dan
10-23-2008, 10:29 PM
am i the only one who has discovered the shindawia home pro? way way way better than the echo 1500 and same $

jkilov
10-24-2008, 06:56 PM
Keep in mind that cheaper trimmers tend to have the handles bolted directly to the gearbox (HS-45 and shin included). The vibration going through your hands can really force you out of operation.

Spend an extra $100 on a pro model if you wish and you get a tougher engine, heavy duty gearbox, higher blade speed, induction hardened blades and anti-vib system. Yes, those few pieces of rubber make a world of difference.

I know it sounds like and is overkill for 5 yards. But in terms of value you get more for your money. Pick up a few more jobs and the investment is covered. If for some reason you change your mind, a pro model hedge trimmer can be sold for $200 even if 5-10 years old because it will be hardly used and in mint condition. Good luck trying to sell a ryobi for a decent price.

There is nothing to rust on a machine like this other than bolts and blades only if you keep it stored in a moat. If you drain the tank after each use there's no risk of carburetor problems. A cheap trimmer may last you a decade or two but a pro model is for life.

grasswhacker
10-24-2008, 06:59 PM
I have an Echo and like it alot. Got it from HD too.
Also have a Stihl Kombi system for hard to reach areas.

GravyTrain
10-24-2008, 07:34 PM
Went and picked up the Stihl this afternoon. I weighed the options between that model and the Echo and decided to go with the Stihl for multiple reasons. 1) After taxes, and business expense write off at the end of the year, it was a $45 difference. 2) All my other equipment is Stihl and I have no complaints there. 3) I really did want to give the dealer I've been working with as much business as possible and get more face time.

I just used it on my own bushes, mainly as a simple test and was very impressed. I've only used two other trimmers in my life and they aren't good for comparison. I went through a few bushes that I thought I would struggle with but the Stihl never slowed down. The one downside, which I'm pretty sure will be a problem for me no matter the model of the trimmer is that my forearms got tired before anything else. I've always had very small/weak forearms (thanks Dad). Vibrations were mentioned earlier, but I really don't think that is the problem, the simple weight of 10 pounds held out in front of me is simple the issue.

As for the comment about Home Depot service up above....I never expect good service from Home Depot, but from the dealers, I expect a little bit of respect and honesty in service. I could go into details, but it's not important.

Whitey4
10-24-2008, 09:24 PM
Once we've eliminated the cheapest, we're down to two choices.

Between Echo and Stihl it's a flip of the coin,
there's not much difference insofar as quality,
both are excellent products.

So if you're stuck between the two, buy
the one you like better for whatever reason,
Echo or Stihl, doesn't really matter there.

No, "we" aren't. The Husky I mentioned remians a top notch choice. The way the handle is mounted reduces vibration to nothing... the ergonomics beat the crap out of the Echo and the Stihl. I bought this unit within minutes of handling it at a local trade show. The balance, ability to cut through very heavy stuff and how easy it was to use upside down, sideways or upright...

I have used other trimmers. I think they can't hold a candle to the Husky. My one complaint is that it went in for service this year after I bought it this spring, but was repaired under warantee.

Double sided trimmers are a lot more productive, and with back and forth sweeping motions make it easier to prune a hedge row perfectly, I mean perfectly straight.

I would not trade my Husky in for anything.... but do need the extended reach Redmax for next year for these very high and wide hedges.

If you are doing lightwieght pruning, foundation shrubs, that sort of thing, the smaller trimmers are fine... if you face a 15 foot eunoymous hedge row 75 feet long... the Husky 36" dual sided trimmer is a better choice.

I may look at the Stihl multi... I need a long reach trimmer. And, it might make a good backup for some of my other machines.

cjleblanc
10-25-2008, 07:18 AM
I"m also looking for a good hedge trimmer. Does anybody use a combo hedge trimmer and long reach? I think husky makes a interchangeable one.

baker18
10-25-2008, 07:39 AM
i was thinking of getting a HS-35 or a HC-150 wich do you guys recomend