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View Full Version : What are the requirements for a trimmer to be considered a commercial unit?


GlynnC
04-04-2010, 11:37 PM
Tomorrow, a friend is coming over to buy a string trimmer from my "collection". The ones I will offer to him start with curved shaft Homelites and go to Shindaiwa 270 with several in-between. He's a homeowner user--probably doesn't appreciate the difference in quality (or price).

I got to thinking about what it takes to make a trimmer a "commercial trimmer"?

Must it be specific brands--Stihl, Shindaiwa, Husqvarna, and I'm sure others have homeowner and commercial units.

Must it have a solid shaft vs flex shaft--some of Echo's highest powered units have flex shafts.

What about engine size--no, lots of really nice 23 & 24 cc commercial units--most all the homeowner units are in the 30 (plus) cc range.

How about bought from a dealer vs big box?? The Echo 210 that ALC-GregH (and many others) likes could have been bought at either place.

If Ryobi made a straight shaft, solid drive shaft, 2 piston rings, full crankshaft engine, good string head, good power-to-weight ratio trimmer, sold at dealers only, would it be accepted as commercial?

No right or wrong answers--your opinions--what does it take???

castlerockmo
04-04-2010, 11:54 PM
I think some of the internal working is what makes it a commercial unit. example: they grade them out A,B and C I belive. the commecial units are rated to last 300 hours and consumer use is 50 hours.

Also the husqvarna 223L trimmer is sold at lowes and the your local dealer and is rated as a consumer unit, yet it has the same cc and head as the 326 commerical unit. the only diferance is a few internal parts.

Cloud9Landscapes
04-05-2010, 12:00 AM
First of all, no curved shaft units are to be considered commercial units. Units sold at big box stores and the like are not commercial units either. The engine must be powerful enough to cut through weeds knee high and have 2 piston rings, in my opinion. Solid drive shaft isn't a requirement but it is a huge plus and what I prefer. Also, there must not be large amounts of plastic on the unit.

Southern Pride
04-05-2010, 12:04 AM
I don't know. I bought both my echo srm210 and my echo blower at Home Depot in 2001-2002?

Still used them solely today. Last week was the first time I cleaned the carb on both units and I did fuel filters. That's about it...I have never winterized them either. I'm about to go redmax trimmer and blower and make these my backups but I couldn't say enough about them.

I don't really care for power in a trimmer. It's all about weight for me. Blowers on the other hand I consider the opposite.
So would I buy echo from Home Depot again? Hell yes.

mowerbrad
04-05-2010, 12:15 AM
The one main thing that makes a trimmer "commercial" is how it is built. If it is built to be used for prolonged periods of time with minimal down time, then it is commercial.

It can have any sized engine. It doesn't need to be able to cut through 3 feet for grass/brush...just be able to do the job it was meant to do. Small engine units are meant for light cutting jobs, where as larger engine units are meant for more heavy cutting.

So the main thing is just built for high hour use and to withstand the "commercial" abuse.

Alan0354
04-05-2010, 04:21 AM
Stay with commercial brands................Troybilt, Weedeater, Homelite, Craftsman and Ryobi are not one of those!!!

Even the bottom line commercial brands still good enough, yes even bought in box store like Echo SRM210 or Husqvarna 125L.

topsites
04-05-2010, 04:45 AM
Is the Homelite unit being thrown in the mix as educational material?

I think the commecial units are rated to last 300 hours and consumer use is 50 hours.

I don't see how Homelite gets theirs rated unless the time it spends on the shelf counts lol

Merkava_4
04-05-2010, 04:48 AM
What makes a trimmer a commercial trimmer is its part number. :D

Alan0354
04-05-2010, 05:13 AM
Is the Homelite unit being thrown in the mix as educational material?



I don't see how Homelite gets theirs rated unless the time it spends on the shelf counts lol

I meant those I named are not commercial!!! I saw Homelite on discontinue sale for $29 in HD a year ago!!!

Richard Martin
04-05-2010, 07:13 AM
It is my thought that generally commercial can be distinguished from homeowner by where the recoil is located. Commercial is usually on the end of the engine. You remove 4 screws and it comes off for repair/replacement. The homeowner units tend to place the recoil on the front of the engine where the drive shaft comes out. This placement requires the whole shaft assembly to be removed and then the front cover. Only then can you get to the recoil. If the engine has a clutch sometimes the clutch must be removed before you can get at the recoil assembly. It's a pain in the rear.

ALC-GregH
04-05-2010, 08:54 AM
Stay with commercial brands................Troybilt, Weedeater, Homelite, Craftsman and Ryobi are not one of those!!!

Even the bottom line commercial brands still good enough, yes even bought in box store like Echo SRM210 or Husqvarna 125L.

The Echo srm210 trimmer is considered a commercial trimmer.

MikeKle
04-05-2010, 09:03 AM
I don't know. I bought both my echo srm210 and my echo blower at Home Depot in 2001-2002?

Still used them solely today. Last week was the first time I cleaned the carb on both units and I did fuel filters. That's about it...I have never winterized them either. I'm about to go redmax trimmer and blower and make these my backups but I couldn't say enough about them.

I don't really care for power in a trimmer. It's all about weight for me. Blowers on the other hand I consider the opposite.
So would I buy echo from Home Depot again? Hell yes.

This has been discussed so many times on here, even though it says Echo or Husky on the trimmer, it is not the same as the model you get at a regular dealer, they are made with cheaper internal parts, and usually the same amount of money versus the dealer, so why buy it from HD or Lowes? The srm210 was a good trimmer, but they havent made that for years now. You will like the redmax trimmers.

ALC-GregH
04-05-2010, 09:07 AM
This has been discussed so many times on here, even though it says Echo or Husky on the trimmer, it is not the same as the model you get at a regular dealer, they are made with cheaper internal parts, and usually the same amount of money versus the dealer, so why buy it from HD or Lowes? The srm210 was a good trimmer, but they havent made that for years now. You will like the redmax trimmers.

Yes they are the same Mikey. Echo doesn't change a part just to ship to box stores.

MikeKle
04-05-2010, 09:13 AM
Yes they are the same Mikey. Echo doesn't change a part just to ship to box stores.

Thats not what the dealers are saying. Certain models are made for the HD and Lowes floor, but you still can buy them from a dealer too. This was discussed awhile back concerning a Husqvarna and it was proven the box stores do sell lesser quality models.

Holartic
04-05-2010, 09:19 AM
Almost every "commercial" trimmer mfg makes a "lower" end trimmer to "compete" with the ones sold at Home Depot or Lowes.

You have to get lucky if you can get ANYTHING trimmers or otherwise at the mass stores like Sears, Home Depot or Lowes that will last more than a season.

Of course "finding" these products takes time too, and often it is hard if not impossible to "prove" they are any better than anything else unless you purchase and try them for yourself.

In short, generally speaking any straight shaft trimmer can be a "commercial" trimmer. Heck even a "curved shaft" trimmer can be a "commercial" trimmer. Again, the issue these days is the emissions requirements put on lower end equipment which puts the homeowner and/or professional user in a difficult situation in terms of how much to spend on equipment.

Of course, as contrary to American Spending, it has always been true, it is less expensive in the long term to have something that you KNOW you can fix and repair than to repurchase the "same" product again and again. That is unless you have pockets that are huge and corporate deep where you can have thousands of units of any type and out-manufacture the competition. This tactic was used in WWII, we "out manufactured" the enemy and won the war. The problem, is that afterward, we forgot that the "common" "average" American does not have the revenue to be able to "afford" to perpetually repurchase these inexpensive products.

In short, a fairly priced "expensive item" is CHEAP. "Cheap" items are almost always overpriced and invite you to repurchase them with regularity. This keeps the average American poorer.

STIHL GUY
04-05-2010, 09:55 AM
in my opinion, a trimmer is considered commercial if it can put up with being used at many stops everyday with little or no down time or problems

mhaley927
04-05-2010, 10:03 AM
i'd consider a trimmer commercial if i know a guy who has been using one commercially for 3+ years with minimal problems. those are the ones i buy.

joel29m
04-05-2010, 10:13 AM
I meant those I named are not commercial!!! I saw Homelite on discontinue sale for $29 in HD a year ago!!!

Homelite are made by BFI and allied waste, a piece of s&$t. Started with a homelite blower and took it back before I had a chance to open the box.
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joel29m
04-05-2010, 10:21 AM
Thats not what the dealers are saying. Certain models are made for the HD and Lowes floor, but you still can buy them from a dealer too. This was discussed awhile back concerning a Husqvarna and it was proven the box stores do sell lesser quality models.

Maybe so you can buy from them hell the echo srm 230 is sold a the dealer and the box store, and for the same price and that's a fact, paying 280.00 before tax for one trimmer is not a homeowners model to me it's commercial, no homeowner will want to pay that much for a trimmer to only cut there yard twice a month.
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ALC-GregH
04-05-2010, 10:26 AM
Thats not what the dealers are saying. Certain models are made for the HD and Lowes floor, but you still can buy them from a dealer too. This was discussed awhile back concerning a Husqvarna and it was proven the box stores do sell lesser quality models.

Mike, I understand you're basing this off what a local dealer is saying. I went straight to the horses mouth and talked to a person at Echo about this and they said the product the dealer gets is the same exact model you can buy at HD. In other words, the dealer feeding you this is full of it. A SRM-225 trimmer bought at HD is the exact same model you'll buy at a Echo dealer. NOTHING is different what so ever. Exact same product.

joel29m
04-05-2010, 10:29 AM
I have two of the srm 230's and been used always, I even ran them for an hour and a half straight on three yards in one neigborhood non stop and guess what, still rolling, I don't care, they are commercial to me and served the purpose and has paid me off.
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GlynnC
04-05-2010, 03:27 PM
I have two of the srm 230's and been used always, I even ran them for an hour and a half straight on three yards in one neigborhood non stop and guess what, still rolling, I don't care, they are commercial to me and served the purpose and has paid me off.
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I have 3 of the 230's. Have had 1 for several years--works great, has been trouble free. Our local HD's put the grey ones on clearance when changing to the Echo orange. Bought 2 more for $75 each--yes these were the same ones that a couple months earlier, they were selling for $279.

Merkava_4
04-05-2010, 03:47 PM
I get the feeling half of you guys are soured by Echo's
move to Home Depot, and the other half of you don't care. :D

joel29m
04-05-2010, 04:04 PM
I get the feeling half of you guys are soured by Echo's
move to Home Depot, and the other half of you don't care. :D

It's not the fact who's selling them, paying 280.00 for one when you can buy 4 weedeaters is not commercial, Actually I paid 700.00 for both with the warranty.
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K/B
04-05-2010, 04:48 PM
Like others have already said, what makes a trimmer a commercial unit is determined by many things, and there's not really one particular thing you can point at and say "Yep, that's a commercial trimmer because it has such and such a feature". But there's 2 things that instantly come to mind when I look at a trimmer that gives me a good idea what kind of trimmer it is. #1, does it have a clutch, #2 where is the recoil positioned (as already mentioned, this is because one of the defining features of a commercial unit is it's ease of access to maintenance parts). I would not say that the number of piston rings is a factor, although many will say that is debatable. Manufacturers using engines with 2-ring pistons will tout it as being supreme, but the fact remains that there's thousands of single ring pistons performing just fine in punishing environments.

Other defining factors would be power-to-weight ratio, placement and design of covers (i.e. tank guards, muffler guards), anti-vibe systems, use of heavy duty ball bearings vs. bushings, engine materials.

GlynnC
04-05-2010, 04:51 PM
It is my thought that generally commercial can be distinguished from homeowner by where the recoil is located. Commercial is usually on the end of the engine. You remove 4 screws and it comes off for repair/replacement. The homeowner units tend to place the recoil on the front of the engine where the drive shaft comes out. This placement requires the whole shaft assembly to be removed and then the front cover. Only then can you get to the recoil. If the engine has a clutch sometimes the clutch must be removed before you can get at the recoil assembly. It's a pain in the rear.

Richard, I've sorta had this opinion also--what you are describing is a full crankshaft engine vs half crank. However, I bought at auction a couple of 33cc full crank Craftsman trimmers, made by Husqvarna (have 1 disassembled and it has Husqvarna on the engine block). These sound like a Husky, and have an awsome amount of power at full throttle. They have your typical (Craftsman, Ryobi) type split shaft. As it turns our, my Echo edger attachment fits this connection so I'm using one of the power heads as an edger. Yep, I have a Craftsman hanging on the rack with a RedMax and a Kawasaki!!!!

MikeKle
04-05-2010, 08:29 PM
Its still better to buy from the dealer over HD or lowes just because they can service it right there instead of sending it God knows where! It is kinda odd the same trimmer is the exact same price at both dealer and big box store? I would think the box stores have more buying power and could sell it for less.

Southern Pride
04-06-2010, 01:42 AM
For the guy who said "the dealer said" the trimmers that are the exact same model as Home Depot or Lowes but have magical internal parts the box stores don't got sold on some BS.

Like I said, my home depot echo srm210 and echo pb4ot blower were solid for about 8 years, 0 maintenance or winterizing. It's still my main weedeater and blower now but I'm about to invest in the redmax and make these solid backups, SO, yes box stores carry commercial grade trimmers and blowers. Fact.

However, you want to make sure you go to the dealer to buy your mower. HD and Lowe's ZTR's are junk for sure. Same goes for the push mowers.

Curved shaft weedeaters are not commercial grade. Especially if you are over 4ft tall. They are back breakers for anyone who has enough talent to edge with a weedeater. Take a note and look at every landscaping trailer you see. See how many curved shaft trimmers you see on there. I would never make my employees use that crap.

Hawg City Lawns
04-06-2010, 01:56 AM
It is my thought that generally commercial can be distinguished from homeowner by where the recoil is located. Commercial is usually on the end of the engine. You remove 4 screws and it comes off for repair/replacement. The homeowner units tend to place the recoil on the front of the engine where the drive shaft comes out. This placement requires the whole shaft assembly to be removed and then the front cover. Only then can you get to the recoil. If the engine has a clutch sometimes the clutch must be removed before you can get at the recoil assembly. It's a pain in the rear.

ive noticed this also once the pull cord on a non commercial unit breaks might as well junk it

Richard Martin
04-06-2010, 05:26 AM
Curved shaft weedeaters are not commercial grade. Especially if you are over 4ft tall.

What does being too tall to use a tool comfortably have to do with whether it's commercial or not. A lot of operators over 6 feet tall say they get back pain when they use a standard length commercial trimmer. Does that mean the standard length commercial trimmers aren't really commercial trimmers to them?

Merkava_4
04-06-2010, 07:06 AM
What does being too tall to use a tool comfortably have to do with whether it's commercial or not.

I've often wondered why the majority of professional string trimmers are the length that they are.
It stands to reason that they all could be at least 6 inches longer without hurting anything.

Richard Martin
04-06-2010, 07:58 AM
I want to also add that if I were inclined to use a curved shaft trimmer I wouldn't hesitate for a moment to use the Shindaiwa F222. It is classified as a homeowner model but this trimmer is all commercial from the inside out.

http://www.shindaiwa.com/usa/en/_images/products/trimmers/enlarge/f222.jpg