View Full Version : Switching from Echo to Stihl?

Matt Mow's
10-17-2011, 05:21 PM
Right now, I run all Echo handhelds, actually the smaller ones, and they do a pretty good job. I've had the edger and trimmer for a year now and they have served the purpose. I have also heard a lot of good things about Stihl and was wondering what you guys thought. Has anyone made the switch from Echo to Stihl or another major brand? How does the Stihl 4-mix stuff work? No dealer can give me a clear answer. And as far as dealer support goes, I have a good dealer for both in my area. Thanks.

10-17-2011, 05:53 PM
What do you mean by "how does the Stihl 4-mix stuff work"? Basically its a 4-cycle engine but you treat it almost exactly like a 2-stroke engine. You still mix the gas and oil...so on a day to day basis you could not tell that its a 4-cycle engine and not a 2-stroke (except for the sound difference). I'm not that mechanically inclined so I can't tell you all about the differences.

Several years ago I walked into a dealer looking for a new trimmer. I thought I was pretty set on getting echo, however the dealer told me to go with stihl over echo. The dealer sold both and said that they usually aim homeowners toward the echo stuff and professionals to the stihl stuff.

I love my stihl equipment and can't believe that I thought about switching to a different brand.

Ridin' Green
10-17-2011, 05:56 PM
No matter where you go, or who you ask, you're gonna find guys who don't like one brand or another, and usually it's based off of one bad piece of equipment that gave them trouble so they condemn the whole brand.

That said, Stihl makes extremely good equipment. I've used Stihl equipment for almost 30 years along with stuff made by other manufacturer's, with no major problems from any of them.

The 4Mix is simply a 4 stroke engine that runs on 2 stroke fuel/oil mix. There's no oils sump to take up space and make the engine heavier or larger like a standard 4 stroke would have. Stihl recommends having the valves adjusted after the first 139 hours of use (if needed). Some have reported going a LOT longer than that, and never having had the valves adjusted. If the engine starts hard, or runs rough or weak, the valves probably need adjusting.

Other than that, they require no more maintenance than any other quality piece of equipment. The 4 mix BP blowers give the impression that they are not as powerful as the 2 strokes BP's due to their sound, but don't let that mislead you any. They flat out get the job done.

One other thing-
If your dealer can't tell you the difference between a 4 Mix, and a standard 2 stroke engine, find another dealer!

10-17-2011, 06:21 PM
I have been running stihl for over 15 years. Make the change and never look back!!!
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10-17-2011, 06:24 PM
I use Stihl because the dealer is 5 minutes away vs 25 minutes. Im certainly happy with all the equipment, but I cant say its better than echo. Was simply service/dealership that sold it for me.

10-17-2011, 06:51 PM
This is simple stay with the Echo 2 stroke stuff....it is tried it is proven it is easy to work on and the units are reliable. I tried 5 4mix machines and it is just like you can suspect that when you got another variable(valves/adj) it makes it harder to service the machine. And NO unit ever runs forever.

10-17-2011, 07:10 PM
I have old 2 stroke Echo and Stihl handhelds. I like them both about the same, but the Stihl has more impact protection for the engine and carb. which comes in handy from time to time. Personally I would stick with the 2-strokes for now.

10-17-2011, 10:05 PM
I run them both. I use the echo when I want something light and I'm trimming small stuff. The stilh is for when I want something a little meaiter or when I got some major trimming to do. The stilhs have more power than echo if you buy the right ones. So I say use echo for their strenghts light and easy on fuel use stilh for heavy stuff.

Turf Tracer
10-17-2011, 10:12 PM
Echo and Stihl both suck....Echo commercial stuff a bit better in general than Stihl.

Switch to Shindaiwa.

10-17-2011, 10:17 PM
Ive always used echo its been reliable and effective

10-17-2011, 10:34 PM
I switched from Stihl 4 MIXES to Shindy. Total cost of ownership is lower, plus i feel like the Shindy EB802 blower is so well built. I like Stihl, but they carry higher maintenance costs, its just simple to me. The Stihl 2 cycle is great stuff tho.

10-17-2011, 10:46 PM
I'm not commercial, but have been running Stihl over 25 years now, in fact still on the orginal chain saw which replace a pos homelite. I then went hand held blower which is still going strong, buth has been supplemented with one of the 4 mix BR 600, love the power on that thing. I then replaced a junker weed eater brand string trimmer with one of the lighter bicycle handle trimmers.

Since then I added a 2 cycle (pre 4mix) Kombi trimmer, with edger attachment, hedge trimmer, and pole pruner, a dedicated hedge trimmer, and finally for working around beds one of the little tiller units.

I have never had any major problems, the hand held blower has been in a few times for fuel line, on off switch sticking, and some tune ups.

Somewhere along the line the dealer got JD, and I got a real lightweight string trimmer, don't know who makes it but it is a nice little unit for quick light jobs.

I'm taking care of a 1 3/4 acre property with a lot of trimming, plus my parents old house, about 200 miles away in another state, which my sister and I retained, and are keeping up after they had died about ten years ago

Most years the equipment gets a pretty good workout, this year due to extreme drought and heat it was hardley used at all.

10-17-2011, 10:49 PM
Ran stihl blowers for over 15 yrs. Back when the biggest was the br400. I switched over to the echo pb770's. Kick butt. One season. No troubles what so ever
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10-17-2011, 10:51 PM
I have Stihl and Echo and i'm happy with both. I've recently been buying more Stihl because the dealer provides better service than the Echo dealer. I haven't purchased any new Echo stuff lately but my father in law has and both the hand-held blower and the weedeater are commercial grade but run like their 30 years old. I'd go with Stihl.

Snyder's Lawn Inc
10-17-2011, 10:57 PM
Been running Sthil for 30 years and last 2 yrs own 4 mix and wish had 2 strokes
2stroke are better you can turn them up get more RPM out them The 4stroke its like a bulldozer power no speed I think the fs76 has more RPM then my fs110 Think if I buy another trimmer be the Fs130
4stroke will probably out last a 2stroke My 2 stroke would only last me 3-4 yrs with no problems Once I start having down time is when I buy a new ones

10-17-2011, 10:58 PM
Let me see...I run all Echo equipment.
My trimmer is 12 years old.
My backpack blower is 13 years old.
My edger is 13 years old.
My handheld blower is 20 years old. Only works at one speed since it's too old to find parts for so I turned up the idle when the throttle linkage broke.
Stihl may have good equipment. When one of my Echos stop working I may take a look at Stihl too.

Matt Mow's
10-17-2011, 11:04 PM
Thanks guys. I think right now I might be going with Echo. I am buying the Snapper S50x 36" at the beginning of next year. The dealer sells Echo and Redmax. I might have to look into the Redmax also, heard some good things about it.

10-17-2011, 11:17 PM
I used to run all echo and 2 years ago I made the switch to stihl mostly for easier access to parts and service. The stihl equipment is great stuff I feel that its heavier duty and has more power.
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10-17-2011, 11:21 PM
You said you run Echo now and are happy with it.....why would you even want to change. If it aint broke, dont fix it!

10-17-2011, 11:24 PM
stick with echo

10-18-2011, 01:19 AM
I have had both and both have there pros and cons. I currently run Stihl trimmers and edgers but I run shindiawa backpack blowers. The problems I had with echo was I was getting a lot of rust in the cylinder wall and crankcase from all the alcohol in the fuels. This was causing me major issues as I had two trimmers lock up tight and all the other were having the same issues before I unloaded them. I buy all new handheld stuff every year so this stuff was new and not left in the rain at all. Stihl I have had some carb issues but this is common for all the brands since they pretty much all run walbro carbs. The Stihl seem much harder to start but have more torque and use way less fuel then a echo of the same size. I wanted to run red max but the only dealer around didn't have anything over 21cc and I run at a min of 27cc. I will probably be switching to shindy as I love my blowers. Although made by echo they are built so much better but cost about 20% more as well. It is all preference really. Just pick a good dealer that stocks parts and has a good service department. I would recommend if you go echo to use a product call Starbrite ethanol treatment. It keeps the alcohol from drawing moisture. Works awesome I am told. I run it now for added security.
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10-18-2011, 04:56 AM
Stihl 4Mix trimmer are at least 28cc where Echo left off. So if you want small light ones, go with Echo, and if you need mighty power, go with Stihl.

10-18-2011, 05:33 AM
I have a Stihl FS90R & an Echo SRM-230 and I like them both. The Echo is what I use for the vast majority of trimming because that model is lighter and has plenty of power. The Stihl (very easy to start with no warm up needed) is a little more powerful (IMO) and I normally keep a brush blade on it or use it with the chainsaw attachment.

Stihl, Echo, Shindaiwa, Redmax, Kawasaki, Maruyama, Honda, Tanaka, Jonsered, Husqvarna, Dolmar, Makita Etc... All make very good products. One must compare model to model not brand to brand. Some of these brands have both homeowner & commercial market hand helds some produce just commercial quality. Some Brands like Homelite or Poulan no longer produce commercial quality models so it would be best to stay away from those, but again, one should compare model to model not brand to brand.

In the interest of dispelling some incorrect "assumptions" that I have read on this site keep the following in mind: All technology applied being equal a 2 stroke motor of "X" displacement will provide more power than a 4-stroke of the same displacement. Torque & rotational velocity are the two components of power; both 2 strokes & 4 strokes can be designed with bias towards either to achieve its rated power output. Lubricating an engine by mixing oil with it's fuel is NOT an exclusive property of two strokes just as utilizing an oil sump is not an exclusive property of 4 strokes. This is confusing because we for the most part refer to oil for gas/oil lubrication (total loss lubrication) as two stroke oil and as we can see with Stihls 4-mix this is not the case. The 4-mix is also not the first design of a 4-stroke that uses an oil mixed with it's fuel for lubrication....

10-18-2011, 08:21 AM
Stihl 4Mix trimmer are at least 28cc where Echo left off. So if you want small light ones, go with Echo, and if you need mighty power, go with Stihl.

But you'll gain nothing with higher maintenance equipment.
4mix requires valve adjustments to keep running that higher rpm.
Without periodic minor adjustments you have gained nothing.
Redmax...same thing.

When you need it the most, Echo last longer than stihl trimmers.
Stihl can't make a good shaft trimmers, never have and never will.
Please advise us on the warranty difference and shaft experiences.

Also If you want small blowers...go with stihl.

if anyone is comparing 4mix to anything. Then keep it apples to apples.

How about Stihl to Redmax? of course you'll have to do valve adjustments on both, Redmax has a history of problems like stihl so they're pretty close to compare to each other.

10-18-2011, 08:23 AM
Right now, I run all Echo handhelds, actually the smaller ones, and they do a pretty good job. I've had the edger and trimmer for a year now and they have served the purpose. I have also heard a lot of good things about Stihl and was wondering what you guys thought. Has anyone made the switch from Echo to Stihl or another major brand? How does the Stihl 4-mix stuff work? No dealer can give me a clear answer. And as far as dealer support goes, I have a good dealer for both in my area. Thanks.

Not even going to read the post, just answer your question. Yes make the switch you'll be a happy camper. Back in the day echo and redmax ruled the industry Stihl was on the uprising. Then Echo started selling homowner issue machines. If I can walk into Home Depot and buy a piece of equipment I want nothing to do with it.

10-18-2011, 12:13 PM
99 times out of 100, I would say pick the Stihl.

But, if the dealer can't explain how the 4Mix engines work, that would kind of worry me. You have to remember, you're buying a dealer, not just the equipment.

I can tell you that comparitively speaking, the Stihl almost always out performs the Echo.