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Gravelyftw
01-19-2011, 07:52 PM
I recently went to work for a different company and my new boss uses curved shaft weed eaters. POS homeowner single stranded echos to be precise. And I cant seem to get them down to save my life. I have about 3 years of experience with the stihl FS100x and felt that i was more then profficient with it. I even used it to vertically edge the sidewalks and driveways. But now that I have to use these echos I have a hard time trying not to scalp the yards up and an even harder time trying to edge the beds. And forget even thinking about edging grass to concrete with them.
Not to mention It KILLS my back i mean ive never had back problems untill i started using the cirved shafts. Why do they even make them? Do ANY of you guys use curved weed eaters? I feel like everytime some one sees me using the weedeater they're thinking, "look at this idiot using a homeowner weed eater."

Clark Griswold
01-19-2011, 08:11 PM
I've never used a straight shaft before so I'm just the opposite of you on the subject. I guess it's just comes down to what you are used to using!

I will admit that using a straight shaft would definitely be better using under bushes but I don't have that many so no big deal!

Mine will last about 2 years then just throw it away and get a new one!

I do a lot of delicate & fine trimming so what I use is just perfect at low RPM's!

KFLAWN
01-19-2011, 08:36 PM
no way! I think the problem with the curve shaft weedeaters is that they spin the opposite way. making them dig to the dirt

Gravelyftw
01-19-2011, 08:40 PM
Both the straight and curved that i have used both spun clockwise.

Richard Martin
01-19-2011, 08:42 PM
Why don't you buy a trimmer that you'd like to use? A Stihl trimmer will easily last for years and years. Let the boss buy the gas, oil and trimmer line.

Darryl G
01-19-2011, 08:44 PM
I've used both. You need to trim backwards from what you're used to with a curved shaft trimmer. They spin the opposite direction; clockwise instead of counter-clockwise. So instead of trimming right to left, trim left to right. You could try holding it in the opposite hand you're used to but that may make it feel even more foreign and clumsy. Edging beds with curved shaft...I'd have a hard time with that too.

Richard Martin
01-19-2011, 08:44 PM
Both the straight and curved that i have used both spun clockwise.

You must have been using a Homelite straight shaft. Under $200. Go buy one. The Stihl FS100RX definately spins counter clockwise.

Gravelyftw
01-19-2011, 08:53 PM
You must have been using a Homelite straight shaft. Under $200. Go buy one. The Stihl FS100RX definately spins counter clockwise.

damn shows how much attention i payed for 3 years. And I do plan on buying a nice weed eater and edger (probably gonna get the kombi motor with the edger and trimmer attachments). But i dont want to use it at work because i dont want to carry it back and forth. Id have to bring it home because I cut grass after work on the side.

lawnpro724
01-19-2011, 10:33 PM
I used a curve shaft back when I was a kid and couldn't imagine going back to a curved shaft trimmer. If your short, under 5' then a curved shaft maybe the answer for you. If I personally worked for a company who used curve shaft trimmers as their main trimmers I would have to question whether they have the experience necessary to run a landscape maintenance company.

Gravelyftw
01-19-2011, 10:57 PM
Oh he definently has the experience. And i dont doubt that he knows what hes doing all of our yards are very high quality yards all fescue grass perfectly striped. And besides the weedeaters all of the equipment is top of the line. Gravely 52" hydro floating deck mower, BR600s, Stihl edger, stihl pole saws, stihl trimmers. I mean all his equipment is great except the weedeaters.

newz7151
01-19-2011, 11:04 PM
because I cut grass after work on the side.

and THIS is why you're working for a guy that uses the GT200R trimmers..

Gravelyftw
01-19-2011, 11:22 PM
Not sure why me cutting a few yards after work in my spare time has anything to do with my bosses choice of trimmers. but whatever you want to tell yourself i guess.

Jason Rose
01-20-2011, 01:38 AM
There's a commercial guy here in town that uses the same trimmers most of the time. He told me it's easier for new guys to run them as most people have experience with the CW rotation and the curved shafts from just mowing at home. Plus they are CHEAP to replace as his guys usually break them before they wear out.

I had an employee last summer that was shorter and while not a weakling by any means he just couldn't get good at running the straight shaft trimmers. I got him a curved shaft husqvarna and he was happy! he was still slow trimming but was like 3 times faster with the curved shaft and did a better job too.

Talk to your boss, tell him the pros of a good straight shaft commercial trimmer and explain that it will make you faster (since it's what you are good with) and that you can do a better job with it. Plus that it will last MUCH longer. Perhaps he will just buy one to see. It's not that big of an expense...

Goetso
01-20-2011, 06:53 AM
Not sure what to say about needing curved trimmers if you are too short. Im 6-5 and I can not for the life of me do a good, fast trim with a straight trimmer. Oh, and by the way, I have a GT200R also and absolutly love that little thing. It has lasted WAY longer than it should have already.

I have noticed that the straigt trimmers are NOT long enough for me. On the curved the spool is the perfect angle to the ground. My back is prety messed up from being very stupid when I was weight training many years ago. The straight trimmers make me hang my arms down and round my shoulders/back way too much. The lower errector muscles along the spine fatigue, and its all over. Back is OUT!

The thing I have decided, so what if I look like novice with a curved trimmer in my hand. When you get refferels from current customers who like youre work, youre doing something right. 95% of the cust. porbaly dont even know there is a difference in trimmers.

Just do what works for YOU!

Richard Martin
01-20-2011, 07:55 AM
Not sure what to say about needing curved trimmers if you are too short. Im 6-5 and I can not for the life of me do a good, fast trim with a straight trimmer.

I have noticed that the straigt trimmers are NOT long enough for me. On the curved the spool is the perfect angle to the ground. My back is prety messed up from being very stupid when I was weight training many years ago. The straight trimmers make me hang my arms down and round my shoulders/back way too much. The lower errector muscles along the spine fatigue, and its all over. Back is OUT!

It's not the fault of the straight shaft trimmers (sort of). I used to get a very sore back from trimming. It was so bad I would have to stop for a while. I have spoken to a lot of people that have the same problem. I came up with a cure though and now it doesn't bother me.

It's not the length or shape of the shaft that is the problem. It's the placement of the loop handle on the trimmer shaft. Manufacturers spec a minimum distance that your hands should be apart in order to maintain control of the trimmer. They often have the minimum marked on the shaft by a sticker. Each manufacturer is different and sometimes you can get 2 identical trimmers that the stickers have been placed in 2 different places on the shaft. It kinda makes the sticker pointless if there's no consistancy.

If the loop handle is too far down the shaft it forces a person to bend over to use the trimmer. If you spend too much too bending over it's only a matter of time before your lumbars tell you about it.

The fix is simple. Slide the loop handle up the shaft a bit. I've been doing this for at least 10 years and it works great. I've also never had an instance where the trimmer even felt like it was getting out of control. I've helped quite a few people out with this tip and even to this day they still thank me.

fireman9
01-20-2011, 08:55 AM
I'm 6'2" and use straight shaft trimmers, always felt like I was leaning over too. Move the Handle ! Love it, moved mine two years ago and haven't had a back issue since. This last year I took on a large property so large that I've added a trimmer to the z-turn (less walking). It is a curved shaft, haven't used one in years and the learning curve is steep. But the smaller size makes it fit on the machine nicely, and saves lots of time. However when I'm using it I still feel like I've taken a step backward.

gasracer
01-20-2011, 09:24 AM
There was a guy who worked for me that was 6' 4" and was having trouble even with my Kawasaki straight shaft trimmers. We went to different dealers and tested some other brands.He found that a Red Max seemed to have a longer shaft and better feel.His back felt a lot better using it. Moving the handle like Richard said does help too.

SouthSide Cutter
01-20-2011, 10:02 AM
It's not the fault of the straight shaft trimmers (sort of). I used to get a very sore back from trimming. It was so bad I would have to stop for a while. I have spoken to a lot of people that have the same problem. I came up with a cure though and now it doesn't bother me.

It's not the length or shape of the shaft that is the problem. It's the placement of the loop handle on the trimmer shaft. Manufacturers spec a minimum distance that your hands should be apart in order to maintain control of the trimmer. They often have the minimum marked on the shaft by a sticker. Each manufacturer is different and sometimes you can get 2 identical trimmers that the stickers have been placed in 2 different places on the shaft. It kinda makes the sticker pointless if there's no consistancy.

If the loop handle is too far down the shaft it forces a person to bend over to use the trimmer. If you spend too much too bending over it's only a matter of time before your lumbars tell you about it.

The fix is simple. Slide the loop handle up the shaft a bit. I've been doing this for at least 10 years and it works great. I've also never had an instance where the trimmer even felt like it was getting out of control. I've helped quite a few people out with this tip and even to this day they still thank me.

Man I am really shocked. I thought by now someone would have posted this might void the war. on the trimmer or set you up for a lawsuit.
Moved all mine and also rotate them some. Also have taken the handles off other brands because I like the handle better.

lawnpro724
01-20-2011, 01:39 PM
Not sure what to say about needing curved trimmers if you are too short. Im 6-5 and I can not for the life of me do a good, fast trim with a straight trimmer. Oh, and by the way, I have a GT200R also and absolutly love that little thing. It has lasted WAY longer than it should have already.

I have noticed that the straigt trimmers are NOT long enough for me. On the curved the spool is the perfect angle to the ground. My back is prety messed up from being very stupid when I was weight training many years ago. The straight trimmers make me hang my arms down and round my shoulders/back way too much. The lower errector muscles along the spine fatigue, and its all over. Back is OUT!

The thing I have decided, so what if I look like novice with a curved trimmer in my hand. When you get refferels from current customers who like youre work, youre doing something right. 95% of the cust. porbaly dont even know there is a difference in trimmers.

Just do what works for YOU!

Go pick up Tanaka's extended reach straight shaft trimmer that should help your back. I don't know how a curved shaft trimmer is better for you back over a straight shaft. I'm 6' and I would really have to bend over to use a curved shaft trimmer and your 6.5'.

lawnpro724
01-20-2011, 01:41 PM
It's not the fault of the straight shaft trimmers (sort of). I used to get a very sore back from trimming. It was so bad I would have to stop for a while. I have spoken to a lot of people that have the same problem. I came up with a cure though and now it doesn't bother me.

It's not the length or shape of the shaft that is the problem. It's the placement of the loop handle on the trimmer shaft. Manufacturers spec a minimum distance that your hands should be apart in order to maintain control of the trimmer. They often have the minimum marked on the shaft by a sticker. Each manufacturer is different and sometimes you can get 2 identical trimmers that the stickers have been placed in 2 different places on the shaft. It kinda makes the sticker pointless if there's no consistancy.

If the loop handle is too far down the shaft it forces a person to bend over to use the trimmer. If you spend too much too bending over it's only a matter of time before your lumbars tell you about it.

The fix is simple. Slide the loop handle up the shaft a bit. I've been doing this for at least 10 years and it works great. I've also never had an instance where the trimmer even felt like it was getting out of control. I've helped quite a few people out with this tip and even to this day they still thank me.

I've been doing the same thing for years.

nolanjim
01-20-2011, 05:05 PM
Those echo GT200's are the greatest little trimmers ever made for maintenance work. Light, durable, and easy to handle. If you take off the shield they light as a feather. Not ideal for brush cutting but good for everything else. Curve shaft no big deal, just move the handle like one other poster mentioned.
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Gravelyftw
01-20-2011, 05:43 PM
Looking at pics of trimmers that echo makes, im not even sure its a GT200R that I use at work. I noticed all of the pictures of the 200R have 2 string lines instead of 1. Like I said whatever ours are they have 1 piece of line and he buys them at home depot. Might just be an older GT200R. And to the guy who suggested moving the handle back, thanks. ill def give this a try. I have already made the handle loose, so i can rotate it 180 degrees. that way when i turn the weedeater over to edge a bed i can turn the handle with it. On the straight shaft trimmers i held the shaft with my left hand way underneath of the handle when edging, so i never had to turn the handles on them.

And now that I've thought about it the clockwise rotation is why im having the scalping problem.

Jason Rose
01-20-2011, 06:43 PM
I used to always run CW rotating trimmers. Began with a curved shaft when I was a young teen and then Ryobi straight shaft models for years. I could NOT get used to the CCW rotation on real commercial straight shaft trimmers. Finally, 5 or 6 years ago I just FORCED myself to learn at the beginning of one season. bought a Husqvarna 323L and after a couple of weeks I was getting pretty good, after a little longer I was quite proficient. This last summer I tried to run my help's curved shaft model to hit a couple little spots and I felt like a ******! It was about the same feeling as when I try to use the clippers to shave the hair on the back of the neck in the mirror! Everything was backwards and it felt like no matter now hard I was concentrating I still was going the wrong way with the angle of the head! It's all just a matter of what you are used to operating. There's a definate learning curve from one to the other!

I also can trim and not throw many clippings into the beds and also don't have that much of a problem with throwing a lot at my own legs. It's all in how you angle the head. I can trim at a really brisk pace with no problems, other than wearing myself out! haha.

I've kicked around getting one of the tanaka extended reach for myself, I'm 6'4"... But I wish they weren't THAT much longer than a standard trimmer. 6" longer would make more sence. and then there's the price of them, yikes. Plus there's almost NO dealers that sell Tanaka. I've humted for them around KS and there's a number of them that come up on the dealer search but I don't think they ever update those listings. This was a couple years ago and I called I think 4 places and every one of them said they didn't sell them anymore. I could order one online, but good luck getting service or parts... My back definately does get a kink in it when trimming, I have the handle where it's most comfortable for me too. Everyone has their own preferences.

Clark Griswold
01-20-2011, 08:04 PM
How do you guys with straight shafts perfectly contour the grass around ditches, driveway drain culverts, etc, without scalping it?

Jason Rose
01-20-2011, 08:16 PM
Practice and skill! Honestly, I do that sort of trimming constantly and just don't have a problem with it. There's no doubt that good trimming skills is really an art.
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Lazer_Z
01-20-2011, 08:17 PM
Practice and skill! Honestly, I do that sort of trimming constantly and just don't have a problem with it. There's no doubt that good trimming skills is really an art.
Posted via Mobile DeviceWell said Jason!

Gravelyftw
01-20-2011, 08:18 PM
How do you guys with straight shafts perfectly contour the grass around ditches, driveway drain culverts, etc, without scalping it?

same way you do it with a curved shaft.

Richard Martin
01-20-2011, 08:36 PM
How do you guys with straight shafts perfectly contour the grass around ditches, driveway drain culverts, etc, without scalping it?

Lots of practice.

Goetso
01-21-2011, 02:46 AM
I should try moving the handle on my straight shaft and see where it gets me. But I still have to say, the angle on the straight shaft will still be putting the spool at even more of an angle (front of string closer to the ground = forward scalping, instead of being level-like the curved shaft is for me). Mabey some of the curved shafts are bent to different angles, because my GT200 fits perfectly. Mabey I accidently bent it?!

But I still have to say I can swing that curved shaft back and forth like a mad man, with absolutly no inertia counter swing, unlike the straight. And I think I could flick a fly off a flower with out any collaterial dammage! Unfortunaly I still think the straights need another 1.5ft for me wich will make it even harder to be precisly controled, for my ability.

I know Tanaka makes a longer one. But if I remember right its like $500.

This is just another one of those topics that will never die.

Darryl G
01-21-2011, 06:29 AM
I think the bottom line is that curved shaft trimmers are easy to use as a beginner but hard to go back to as a pro after using a straight shaft.

booboy
01-28-2011, 10:34 PM
curved shaft is for morons

Robert Pruitt
01-29-2011, 12:34 AM
I used a curved shaft trimmer (Weed Eater brand) back in the younger days. now it just does not make any sense.i hold onto the trimmer just below the handle. kinda like using a extened lenght hedge trimmer. only use the curved shaft on the edger.

lyndont
01-29-2011, 01:33 AM
I actually threw a weedeater brand curved shaft trimmer in a dumpster and gave my cub cadet 4 stroke straight shaft trimmer to my neighbor after buying a husqvarna 323l. It is so much lighter than the four stroke and way faster than anything else I have used. I also carry an echo straight shaft trimmer/edger combo in case I need a back up but I usually just keep the edger attachment on that one. The next one I get will be a stihl strong enough to put a blade on because I have a lot of underbrush at my house and the old dr trimmer I bough at a garage sale for 40 bucks is just getting too hard to start anymore. Its one of the first ones they made with the techumsa engine. I hate to get rid of it when it still has so much compression but my arm is sore by the time I get it going.
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Robert Pruitt
01-29-2011, 01:47 AM
I actually threw a weedeater brand curved shaft trimmer in a dumpster and gave my cub cadet 4 stroke straight shaft trimmer to my neighbor after buying a husqvarna 323l. It is so much lighter than the four stroke and way faster than anything else I have used. I also carry an echo straight shaft trimmer/edger combo in case I need a back up but I usually just keep the edger attachment on that one. The next one I get will be a stihl strong enough to put a blade on because I have a lot of underbrush at my house and the old dr trimmer I bough at a garage sale for 40 bucks is just getting too hard to start anymore. Its one of the first ones they made with the techumsa engine. I hate to get rid of it when it still has so much compression but my arm is sore by the time I get it going.
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Have you ever tried using the hedge trimmer attachment for the underbrush?

lyndont
01-29-2011, 01:59 AM
No its pretty thick I live in oklahoma by tulsa and my prperty is full of black jack oak trees and everytime I cut some down to try and clear a spot I get a bunch of small trees coming back and can't really stop it I have heard to use diesel but I have a well and don't want that getting into my water somehow and it is also illegal but I haven't found anything that really works I cut the stunps to the ground, drill holes in it and use stump killer or salt and the stump itself dies but the brush keeps coming back.
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Gravelyftw
01-31-2011, 05:23 PM
make sure you cut it all down good during the winter when the seeds arent floating around. And get all the acorns up, if you have a good blower just blow them all.

bobcat48
02-03-2011, 01:57 PM
I have one,but it is mostly a backup and my dad uses it sometimes when he helps me at some accounts.

meets1
02-03-2011, 02:28 PM
I have 12 redmax trimmers. 50-50 mix. I still perfer the curved and so do all our guys. Straights are used under trees, fence lines, and heavy trimming applications due to straight shaft with more power. This is redmax no longer makes curved. I think maruyama does, echo and one dolmar (I think). So maybe change is coming. But those redmax (knock on wood) have been awesome for the last 4 yrs. New fuel filters, plug and air cleaners every year - they don't die!

watsmi57
02-03-2011, 02:43 PM
ALL curved shaft trimmers are IMHO garbage. the drive shaft that spins the head is curved...sooner or later because of torque you will have problems with them. i call it a design flaw honestly. straight shaft is more dependable and reliable and will last longer in most cases. not to mention they get places that curved shafts do not.

that being said i do not use commercial trimmers either. i use the cub cadet 31cc brushcutter 2 cycle model. they can be bought at tractor supply for $150 (cheaper on sale occasionally) these things are a workhorse...i usually get 2 years out of them.

why pay $300 for one commercial trimmer when i can get 2 for that price that lasts just as long?

Gravelyftw
02-03-2011, 04:15 PM
Talked to my boss about it today. Told him that im just not comfortable using the curved shafts and in order for me to do my best work and burn the beds to his standards were gonna have to figure something out. He said as long as im still with him and doing good he's gonna go ahead and buy a stihl for me to use. Also I moved the handle back. made a world of difference on my back but the clockwise rotation is still a problem.

Gravelyftw
02-03-2011, 04:17 PM
ALL curved shaft trimmers are IMHO garbage. the drive shaft that spins the head is curved...sooner or later because of torque you will have problems with them. i call it a design flaw honestly. straight shaft is more dependable and reliable and will last longer in most cases. not to mention they get places that curved shafts do not.

that being said i do not use commercial trimmers either. i use the cub cadet 31cc brushcutter 2 cycle model. they can be bought at tractor supply for $150 (cheaper on sale occasionally) these things are a workhorse...i usually get 2 years out of them.

why pay $300 for one commercial trimmer when i can get 2 for that price that lasts just as long?

Im sorry but I dont agree with your logic on this 1. you should get wayyyy more than 2 years out of a commercial weed eater. The guy i used to work for has a 12 year old stihl that has never even had a wrench taken to it. Still started right up everyday and worked great. No one should ever have to throw away a good commercial weedeater after 2 years.

meets1
02-03-2011, 04:38 PM
watsmi57 - dont agree either. Yes curved puts stress on the drive shaft. But with over 18 + yrs of mowing I have only bought 3 trimmers - that being two toro's then we I expanded I got all echo and stihls - then I got smart and bought our redmax's. I have yet to replace a drive shaft on a curved trimmer - now were trimming 40 acres complexes with miles of curbing to doing a few cemetaries. Secondly - the cost of a cheap trimmer - no matter curved or straight will outway your cheaper trimmer from wherever every single time out. Our last purchase of 12 redmaxes was 3-4 years ago. Plug and filters new every year. I have never or has the dealer ever put a wrench or in the shop for any reason. Yes, i shelled out a few coin for them but the return on investment has paid great dividends thus far.

rwaters
02-03-2011, 05:52 PM
I have 12 redmax trimmers. 50-50 mix. I still perfer the curved and so do all our guys. Straights are used under trees, fence lines, and heavy trimming applications due to straight shaft with more power. This is redmax no longer makes curved. I think maruyama does, echo and one dolmar (I think). So maybe change is coming. But those redmax (knock on wood) have been awesome for the last 4 yrs. New fuel filters, plug and air cleaners every year - they don't die!

Redmax still makes a curved shaft trimmer I sell a few every year. It is not a commercial trimmer but I do not recall them ever making a commercial model with a curved shaft.

meets1
02-03-2011, 07:40 PM
rwaters - I would like to see the redmax curved - I am going to look at our numbers on the trimmer to let u no what I have.

Robert Pruitt
02-03-2011, 09:34 PM
ALL curved shaft trimmers are IMHO garbage. the drive shaft that spins the head is curved...sooner or later because of torque you will have problems with them. i call it a design flaw honestly. straight shaft is more dependable and reliable and will last longer in most cases.

not for sure will have to look it up, i think the Stihl have a life time warranty on their drive shafts.

watsmi57
02-03-2011, 11:23 PM
Im sorry but I dont agree with your logic on this 1. you should get wayyyy more than 2 years out of a commercial weed eater. The guy i used to work for has a 12 year old stihl that has never even had a wrench taken to it. Still started right up everyday and worked great. No one should ever have to throw away a good commercial weedeater after 2 years.

there are always exceptions to every rule. sure with proper care things can last a long time. i usually get 2 years out of my cub cadet's because that's when the warranty is out and i sell them and buy new ones. i have actually only ever had one die on me and i blew it up trimming viny wisteria with it lol.

if you guys don't believe that straight shaft trimmers are better. look at your commercial trimmers. any brand. how many of them are curved? i just looked at stihl, redmax, and echo. none of which sell a commercial grade curved shaft trimmer.

Gravelyftw
02-04-2011, 05:54 PM
there are always exceptions to every rule. sure with proper care things can last a long time. i usually get 2 years out of my cub cadet's because that's when the warranty is out and i sell them and buy new ones. i have actually only ever had one die on me and i blew it up trimming viny wisteria with it lol.

if you guys don't believe that straight shaft trimmers are better. look at your commercial trimmers. any brand. how many of them are curved? i just looked at stihl, redmax, and echo. none of which sell a commercial grade curved shaft trimmer.

You just dont seem to make logical choices at all. seems to me like one should run every trimmer unltill it blows up or am i missing something?

watsmi57
02-04-2011, 08:26 PM
You just dont seem to make logical choices at all. seems to me like one should run every trimmer unltill it blows up or am i missing something?

i pay $150 for a new trimmer. i take care of it. i run it for 2 years until the warranty is out. then sell it for about $75. i get to use a trimmer for 2 years and it only cost me $75.

most of the guys in my area keep their equipment only until the warranty is out. then trade it or sell it and then buy new gear with full warranty. it has saved me a lot of money in repairs and service.

meets1
02-04-2011, 08:56 PM
That's just it = repairs and service. Nothing I have had with high end trimmers. But each his own I guess
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watsmi57
02-04-2011, 09:53 PM
That's just it = repairs and service. Nothing I have had with high end trimmers. But each his own I guess
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i have never had any repair or service on my trimmers, but i only keep em 2 years. i dont even change plugs or filters usually. just gas+oil and go. one pull to choke -one pull to start - every time like clockwork. nice to know if i ever have a problem that it's under warranty

Ted Bell
02-05-2011, 12:13 AM
I don't have a problem with them.