PDA

View Full Version : switching from Echo to Stihl


RLS24
11-29-2009, 04:49 PM
Alright, I'm just THINKING about this, not gonna pull the trigger right now, prob wouldnt do this until mid-summer next year, but I'm thinking about replacing my Echo stuff with Stihl. Right now I have an SRM-210 trimmer, PB-200 blower, PE-230 edger and a really old hedge trimmer (which is irrelevant cuz I'll run it til it dies). I'm honestly really happy with my Echo stuff, it always starts, never lets me down, that sort of thing. It's got enough power for what I need, although this time of year I wish the blower had some more balls but in the summer I love it cuz its fine for blowing grass and its light. HOWEVER, I really am not too crazy about Echo's newer models, and as the stuff I have gets older its inevitable that its gonna break, need servicing, and parts, and my closest Echo dealer is an a-hole and I refuse to do business there, and the second closest one is really great and have done a lot for me in the past but they are a good 20+ minute (depending on traffic) ride from my house. My closest Stihl dealer is about a half mile away from home.

Guess I'm just looking for some opinion from people who have used both, or switched to Stihl from another brand and why.

Alan0354
11-29-2009, 04:57 PM
I still see SRM210 and SRM231 in Home Depot and OSH, they are the old grey color ones. People tend to buy the new SRM225 thinking the newer model got to be better!!! I still see the HC151 in store too. Edger, good luck!!! You might want to stock up the trimmers.

You have a tiny blower!!! What is the size of the engine? I saw the Husky 125Bt in OSH for $149 and is a 28cc engine, should be bigger than yours....I guess.

If you are happy with the tiny equipments, this would be the economic way to go.

freshprince94
11-29-2009, 04:57 PM
Best decision I ever made was to switch to Stihl from Echo. The combination of their cheaply made inferior products with their ever shrinking small dealer network has runied Echo. Stihl is the #1 in the nation for a reason.

QualityLawnCare4u
11-29-2009, 05:00 PM
I also have all echo equipment and some of it needs replacing. I too don't like the new echo stuff but there are only two dealers in my area. One sells echo and the other that sells stihl if I were to go in his store there is a real good chance of police involvement.:)

From what I saw on the stihl website I was wanting to try their equipment but don't have a choice. It sux when you don't have a lot of dealers to choose from. I envy you guys that have your pick of any dealer within 10 miles of your shop.

RLS24
11-29-2009, 05:22 PM
I still see SRM210 and SRM231 in Home Depot and OSH, they are the old grey color ones. People tend to buy the new SRM225 thinking the newer model got to be better!!! I still see the HC151 in store too. Edger, good luck!!! You might want to stock up the trimmers.

You have a tiny blower!!! What is the size of the engine? I saw the Husky 125Bt in OSH for $149 and is a 28cc engine, should be bigger than yours....I guess.

If you are happy with the tiny equipments, this would be the economic way to go.

Its not that I'm happy with smaller stuff, I just bought it a couple years ago when I was first starting out and I needed good reliable stuff at a decent price. And to be honest, the number of times I could use a more powerful trimmer are few, dont need a huge trimmer to keep up with stuff that is trimmed weekly. Like I said, I'd like a more powerful blower, but for most of the year the PB-200 is more than enough for blowing grass clippings off sidewalks.

Ideally, I'd like to have (and keep in mind this is all Stilh equivalent to Echo) something thats a step up in power to my trimmer (FS90 maybe?), a step or 2 up in a handheld blower (a friend of mine has a BG86, and I really like that), and as far as an edger goes, I have a walk behind one I use for bed edges and establishing new edges, so maintaining them with what I have now (power wise) isn't bad, more power would be ok, but I do fine with what I have now.

ALC-GregH
11-29-2009, 05:47 PM
I doubt I'll ever own another Echo trimmer, they're so damn reliable. I just bought a new 210 just to get one before they are gone. The one I currently use is going on 11 years old and starts and runs great every time and have never changed the plug or air filter! I'll use that and save the new, if I'll ever need it. It's had Amsoil Saber since new. I do own both brands. I prefer Echo on trimmers but the BR600 blower is awesome. It will start without using the primer usually on the first pull when cold with the choke on, after that it's first pull every time. I'm not biased really, as long as it's reliable I'll buy it. I also use a Echo 230 handheld blower daily that was bought at the same time I got the 210 trimmer. The 600 was mainly bought for leave clean ups. I like the design they used to isolate any vibration from the engine to the person using it. No hand numbing vibrations from it at all.

I think you should just keep them, get another 210 trimmer and maybe a bigger back pack blower.

grassman177
11-29-2009, 06:01 PM
echo has treated us well, but you are using homeowner grade in comparison to the upper models. you should switch to more powerful models and dont be afraid of the newer stuff, we have plenty of it and it has not given any issues at all.

ALC-GregH
11-29-2009, 06:10 PM
I have to disagree. The 210 trimmer is one of the lightest trimmers out there and has enough power to do any trimming you would ever need on a maintained property. More power isn't always good. Weight and expense go up as well as the hit you'll take buying them. More power seems to equal more money in small equipment or any equipment for that matter.

mowerbrad
11-29-2009, 06:41 PM
I don't mind traveling 20+ minutes to go to a dealer, as my stihl/deere dealer is about 35 minutes away. Even the closest stihl dealer to me is about 20-25 minutes away, but they carry both echo and stihl, so I have a choice when I go there. I have always used stihl so I am partial to their products.

Lazer_Z
11-29-2009, 07:02 PM
I travel a little over 11 miles to go to my Stihl dealer and it's worth it.

I switched to Stihl from Echo because of the POS PB650 that I had. Take a look at an FS 90 R for a trimmer, a BR600 Magnum for a blower and an FC110 for an edger. Trust me You'll never go back to using a wb edger after using an FC110. If you want to switch attachments around look into the Kombi system from Stihl.

MONTE
11-29-2009, 07:30 PM
It might be easier to just upgrade your echo's to the current echo's. There are many cutters here using the now 251 hand held and the 755 back pack. You could also go up on your trimmer to a 230 or 265 and have plenty of power. One thing is for sure echo is an easy starting product with a good record.

Alan0354
11-29-2009, 07:34 PM
Its not that I'm happy with smaller stuff, I just bought it a couple years ago when I was first starting out and I needed good reliable stuff at a decent price. And to be honest, the number of times I could use a more powerful trimmer are few, dont need a huge trimmer to keep up with stuff that is trimmed weekly. Like I said, I'd like a more powerful blower, but for most of the year the PB-200 is more than enough for blowing grass clippings off sidewalks.

Ideally, I'd like to have (and keep in mind this is all Stilh equivalent to Echo) something thats a step up in power to my trimmer (FS90 maybe?), a step or 2 up in a handheld blower (a friend of mine has a BG86, and I really like that), and as far as an edger goes, I have a walk behind one I use for bed edges and establishing new edges, so maintaining them with what I have now (power wise) isn't bad, more power would be ok, but I do fine with what I have now.

You really need to step up on your blower!!!:laugh: BG86 is nice. Why not a bp and keep the little one you have for quick job.

As for trimmer, weight is important, if you like the SRM210, it is not wrong to get another one while some store still have the old ones. I agree I am not comfortable with the new orange ones. I have more Shindaiwa stuff, but the Echo HC151 I have is pretty bullet prove. I can't say it is inferior even it is a lot cheaper. There are many LCOs using SRM210 to prove it's worth. I have the expensive big Honda trimmer....just to be hung on the wall for display and use the light little Shindaiwa M242.

MONTE
11-29-2009, 07:46 PM
I like your thinking! I agree the 200 is a tiny handheld but durable. if not a 251 maybe get a backpack. also a 265t would be a good compliment to your 211.

Also I thought the 225 was just a 211 with a facelift.

grassman177
11-29-2009, 07:52 PM
i used a 240 once, it was ok, but not enough power to cut through thick spring growth on cool season grasses. we all agree, you can trim faster with more power and get done faster and with less hassle. i know i can trim about as fast as i can walk, edging too, with the more powerful trimmers. could not do that with a puny little 200 series trimmer.

we do have several pb200 though, for when a hand held is handy!! they are actually quite old, first run machines and still run like champs

AGM Inc.
11-29-2009, 07:57 PM
Best decision I ever made was to switch to Stihl from Echo. The combination of their cheaply made inferior products with their ever shrinking small dealer network has runied Echo. Stihl is the #1 in the nation for a reason.

i agree. best thing vere was switching to all stihl. the performance is just outstanding. i just have an srm210 laying around 4 backup, which i never need because my stihl wont let me down

RLS24
11-29-2009, 08:08 PM
yeah like I said, I bought the PB200 a couple years ago when I was just getting started and needed something reasonably priced and reliable.

HenryB
11-29-2009, 08:28 PM
I doubt I'll ever own another Echo trimmer, they're so damn reliable. I just bought a new 210 just to get one before they are gone. The one I currently use is going on 11 years old and starts and runs great every time and have never changed the plug or air filter! I'll use that and save the new, if I'll ever need it. It's had Amsoil Saber since new. I do own both brands. I prefer Echo on trimmers but the BR600 blower is awesome. It will start without using the primer usually on the first pull when cold with the choke on, after that it's first pull every time. I'm not biased really, as long as it's reliable I'll buy it. I also use a Echo 230 handheld blower daily that was bought at the same time I got the 210 trimmer. The 600 was mainly bought for leave clean ups. I like the design they used to isolate any vibration from the engine to the person using it. No hand numbing vibrations from it at all.

I think you should just keep them, get another 210 trimmer and maybe a bigger back pack blower.

Are you a homeowner or a commercial user? How can you use a 210 for 11 yrs commercially with no maintenance?:confused:

ALC-GregH
11-29-2009, 08:54 PM
Are you a homeowner or a commercial user? How can you use a 210 for 11 yrs commercially with no maintenance?:confused:

I used it in homeowner status for 8 years and almost daily use for the last 2 seasons. I feel confident that it will last me long enough in commercial use as well. It purrs like a kitten, the new one is the same way.

ALC-GregH
11-29-2009, 08:56 PM
I also contribute the longevity to the use of Amsoil Saber.

Alan0354
11-29-2009, 10:23 PM
The little 21.2cc is a great engine!!!! It is pretty much the bread and butter engine for Echo. They even use it on the Mantis. It sure have a lot of power for the size. I have been using the HC151 to compact the recycle bin......Putting all the branches into the bin, stick the HC151 in and cross cutting the branches. It really chomp through up to 5/8" branch like nothing. The blade stay sharp, the engine never bog.

On this note, I know the SRM225 has the same engine and almost like a orange color version of the tried and true SRM210. BUT you never know the CARB crap. I'll wait for user report in two years before I believe it.

Triplex
11-29-2009, 10:51 PM
HOWEVER, I really am not too crazy about Echo's newer models, and as the stuff I have gets older its inevitable that its gonna break, need servicing, and parts, and my closest Echo dealer is an a-hole and I refuse to do business there, and the second closest one is really great and have done a lot for me in the past but they are a good 20+ minute (depending on traffic) ride from my house. My closest Stihl dealer is about a half mile away from home.


Choosing a brand of handhelds based on your local dealer situation is a wise approach - I don't think the issue of which brand is the best will be settled anytime soon.

fobaum
11-29-2009, 10:57 PM
The 210 & 225 Have different engines. 210 has the tornado 225 has the vortex.

STIHL GUY
11-30-2009, 09:53 PM
i really like my Stihl stuff. i would suggest trying it out if you have a dealer nearby

RLS24
11-30-2009, 10:00 PM
i really like my Stihl stuff. i would suggest trying it out if you have a dealer nearby

Yeah unfortunately its hard to find a dealer that does demos on handhelds.

brucec32
12-01-2009, 01:42 AM
With the lower end models you run, the low purchase prices involved, and how long they seem to be working fine for you, is dealer service really even that much of an issue? You're spending maybe $20/month on 2 cycle gear. I'd consider them disposable if I couldn't fix them myself. I've had 2 cycle machines in for repairs twice in 18 years. Both under warranty for ignition problems. If I have to retire a unit a little early, it's no big deal as I have gotten most of the use out of them already anyway and paying $100 to fix an old unit isn't worth it.

One good thing about Echo is you can order almost any part you need on the web, including the big aftermarket catalog places. Filters, triggers, spools, elbows, even carbs. Who needs the dealer? Your machines would cost half their initial cost to repair at a shop even for something simple.

Finally, keep in mind that in many cases parts from an older model will fit its "replacement", so your old machines can serve as parts for the newer ones. So sticking with the same brand might offset the downsides in that regard as well. I've pulled spools, triggers, primer bulbs, hoses, plugs, even a carb off old non-runners from time to time. That gives you time to mail-order a replacement if need-be.

Alan0354
12-01-2009, 03:32 AM
The 210 & 225 Have different engines. 210 has the tornado 225 has the vortex.

Not true. They both have the single ring Vortex engine. But the reputation of this engine is rock solid. I question the carb and the muffler on the new 225. Are they running leaner and with CAT muffler??!!

RonAyersMotorsports
12-01-2009, 09:55 AM
You'll love the power, reliability, and convience of the new STIHL engines. Several local landscapers in the area switched from running all Echo, and Shindiawa to STIHL this year with our dealership. All are loving the increased levels in power and performance, and ease of maintenance. Of course they love our great service here to. Best turn around shop times in the area, doesn't hurt either. Or providing loaner mowers to our customers. We try to make friends and build relationships with our customers, let them know their business is important to us.

Hope you have a STIHL dealer in your area just as supportive.

Buzz it
12-01-2009, 05:19 PM
Itís really unfair that some parts of the country (Ga., Fl.) can sell the BR600 Magnum for $439.99 but can't sell it outside the state on the INTERNET and we in California have to pay $489.99 and up. Not fair in these economic times! Please let others know before they pay to much when other manufacturers have better WARRANTIES and just as good blower specifications. Check out Tanaka TBL7800R with 7 yr. warranty for $431.99 out the door OR Echo PB755T/H with 5 yr. warranty for $451.99 out the door OR shindaiwa EB633RT with 2yr. warranty for $411.99 out the door at WiseSales.com in Illinois, usa with no tax or shipping costs. STIHL DOES NOT SEEM TO BE FAIR WITH THEIR SELLING METHODS CONCERNING CA, what is happening in other states I wonder. Anybody know?

grassman177
12-01-2009, 05:43 PM
we love the pb755t. great blower, even made my arms sore while getting used to all the force it pushes. it was a upgrade to these after using pb46ht, a little older but they were great.

RLS24
12-01-2009, 08:07 PM
With the lower end models you run, the low purchase prices involved, and how long they seem to be working fine for you, is dealer service really even that much of an issue? You're spending maybe $20/month on 2 cycle gear. I'd consider them disposable if I couldn't fix them myself. I've had 2 cycle machines in for repairs twice in 18 years. Both under warranty for ignition problems. If I have to retire a unit a little early, it's no big deal as I have gotten most of the use out of them already anyway and paying $100 to fix an old unit isn't worth it.

One good thing about Echo is you can order almost any part you need on the web, including the big aftermarket catalog places. Filters, triggers, spools, elbows, even carbs. Who needs the dealer? Your machines would cost half their initial cost to repair at a shop even for something simple.

Finally, keep in mind that in many cases parts from an older model will fit its "replacement", so your old machines can serve as parts for the newer ones. So sticking with the same brand might offset the downsides in that regard as well. I've pulled spools, triggers, primer bulbs, hoses, plugs, even a carb off old non-runners from time to time. That gives you time to mail-order a replacement if need-be.

I do agree, however its not like I am replacing a full fleet of machines here. My edger I am prob going to keep another year because most of my lawns I only edge every other week so it doesnt get used as much. I'm thinking about replacing them now before I end up with, say, 3 trimmers and 2 blowers or what have you and I end up "deep into one brand"

karlgrooms
12-02-2009, 12:15 PM
I made the switch and I am pleased with the performance of my Stihl handhelds. The fs90r has so much more torque than the 210 and as a added bonus no more tangling grass, vines etc. around the head. The Br600 has to be the best investment i have made, plenty of power and control to move grass, leaves and whatever else gets in the way. My Stihl handhelds have combined to saved me countless hours and frustration over the last season and half.

RonAyersMotorsports
12-02-2009, 05:58 PM
Itís really unfair that some parts of the country (Ga., Fl.) can sell the BR600 Magnum for $439.99 but can't sell it outside the state on the INTERNET and we in California have to pay $489.99 and up. Not fair in these economic times! Please let others know before they pay to much when other manufacturers have better WARRANTIES and just as good blower specifications. Check out Tanaka TBL7800R with 7 yr. warranty for $431.99 out the door OR Echo PB755T/H with 5 yr. warranty for $451.99 out the door OR shindaiwa EB633RT with 2yr. warranty for $411.99 out the door at WiseSales.com in Illinois, usa with no tax or shipping costs. STIHL DOES NOT SEEM TO BE FAIR WITH THEIR SELLING METHODS CONCERNING CA, what is happening in other states I wonder. Anybody know?

The $439.95 price included a $50.00 check or rebate. Units are standard $489.95 retail nation wide. I assure you STIHL dealers want to make more than $40.00 on a $500.00 blower. Some dealers less than that at $439.95. Rebates and check programs are over now. The $489.95 should now be back in effect.