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Old 10-17-2005, 12:54 PM
soilman soilman is offline
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Weed Eater PE550

Anyone else have a Weed Eater PE550?

It is not commercial grade, and I don't expect it to last too long, but it seems to do a nice job of edging, has more than enough power, and has an effective vibration-damping handle. Replacement blades (which wear very rapidly) are cheap and available. All replacement parts seem readily available.

It has a centrifugal clutch like a stick edger or string trimmer or chain saw. It doesn't have fancy features. Want to put the blade in or out of the soil? Tilt the whole unit forward or back. Edging on an uneven surface such as a curb? OK, it doesn't have an adjustable wheel to level it. But it is so light, that you don't need the wheel -- you can just tilt it so that the blade remains vertical, by tilting the handle, and holding the blade vertical that way -- you lift one wheel off the ground. I suppose you could shim under the wheel, with a stack of 2" x 4" x 12' or 1" x 6" x 12' lumber. But the unit is light enough to fairly easily hold one wheel off the ground by tilting the handle. Or you may have to roll the wheels over the grass instead of on the concrete curb. Seems to works fine that way.

I can see the advantage of a unit with a 4-stroke engine with a linkage to lift the blade up and let it down, and with a manually operated clutch to stop the blade while the engine is running. But are there any advantages to a stick edger type of design? I don't see it. You have to lift the engine, like with a string trimmer or brush cutter, hold it up in the air. It gets heavy after awhile. It seems to make more sense to let the engine rest on the wheels.

Much much faster and neatening up a sidewalk edger, than a string trimmer. I hate string trimmers, anyway.

There don't seem to be any other similarly designed units on the market.
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Old 10-17-2005, 07:13 PM
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mkwl mkwl is offline
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It looks to me like... JUNK, JUNK and you guessed it JUNK!!! Don't waste your money on that, unless it's JUST for BACKUP ONLY.
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2006 GMC 2500HD 4x4, DMAX/ALLISON Fisher 8' Plow
2003 GMC 2500HD 4x4, 6.0L Fisher 8' Plow
2012 GMC 3500HD 4x4, DMAX/Allison- 9' Mason Dump

Bobcat MT-52 mini skidsteer
Scag V-Ride 52"/26
Scag 36"/15
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Toro 21"
LW 27HP Truck Loader
Fradan 18HP S/P Blower
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  #3  
Old 10-17-2005, 11:35 PM
soilman soilman is offline
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Junk?

I like it. It works very nicely. It is light duty, but carefully assembled. It starts right up real easy, and cuts a nice edge, very fast. The engine doesn't slow down or stall even on sidewalks that haven't been edged for months and months. The only thing that stalls the engine is a tree root that goes right up to the sidewalk, and under it, or a big rock right up against the sidewalk. No amount of soil and grass growing over the sidewalk, stalls the engine.

It doesn't have a commercial grade engine with 2 piston rings and a hardened cylinder surface, and I wouldn't recommended it for a lawn care professional but I highly recommended it for home use.

I don't see why anyone would want a stick edger, if you can have an edger that is just as light and maneuverable, but with a motor you don't have to lift and carry.

You don't see it in the picture, but it has 2 wheels (a left wheel and a right wheel). It has a plastic drag-block in front, which slides over the grass, instead of a thrird wheel, like the much heavier edgers with a belt drive have.

Last edited by soilman; 10-17-2005 at 11:41 PM.
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Old 10-17-2005, 11:47 PM
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Lawn Masters Lawn Masters is offline
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a poulan is NEVER worth it, their quality control is sub par on chainsaws, and I'm willing to bet trimmers are the same way. the saws come so lean they dont last 20 hours of homeowner use, which is very light use at that.
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  #5  
Old 10-18-2005, 02:17 PM
soilman soilman is offline
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I had a Poulan-Craftsman string trimmer that lasted a long time (about 8 years of homeowner use) and it looked looked well made. Sear provided a complete parts list as part of the owners manual, and parts are readily available from Sears, and lots of other places. Unfortunately, it vibrated very badly, and made my hands and arms numb an tingly -- but it worked well. I agree my Echo string trimmer is much better. What went wrong with my Poulan was the ignition module vibrated loose, after 8 years, and got damaged as a result. If I were to buy and install a new igntion module, it would give me another 8 years of use before th piston ring wears out. I would simply put a little lock-tite on the screws.

In case you think i like just anything: I have a cheap McCullogh chain saw, and I would not buy another McCullogh product. Nor would I buy anything with a Briggs and Stratton engine. The chain saw was not assembled properly. It leaked oil from the bar oiler reservoir. The B&S crankcase ventilation system (4-stroke engine), failed to open as it should, resulting in the blow-by gasses building up pressur in the crankcase instead of escaping into the air cleaner. In addition, they used the wrong tube, from an older model, from the valve to the air cleaner, and pinched it off during assembly!! I've never seen anything like that kind of nonsense, in a Poulan product or Poulan-Craftsman. Two things wrong with the crankcase ventilation system, in a brand new engine.
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Old 10-18-2005, 02:22 PM
soilman soilman is offline
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I had a Poulan-Craftsman string trimmer that lasted a long time (about 8 years of homeowner use) and it looked looked well made. Sear provided a complete parts list as part of the owners manual, and parts are readily available from Sears, and lots of other places. Unfortunately, it vibrated very badly, and made my hands and arms numb an tingly -- but it worked well. I agree my Echo string trimmer is much better. What went wrong with my Poulan was the ignition module vibrated loose, and got damaged as a result. If I were to buy and install a new igntion module (using Lock-Tite on the screws), I'd bet it would give me another 8 years of use before the piston ring wears out. I guess if anyone wants it, I'll fix it up for you and send it to you for just $8 more than the actual cost of shipping, and a new ignition module. I doubt anyone wants it tho. But if you do, $8.00 should pay me for the time I spend installing the new ignition module.

I have a cheap McCullogh chain saw, and I would not buy another McCullogh product. Nor would I buy anything with a Briggs and Stratton engine. The chain saw was not assembled properly. It leaked oil from the bar oiler reservoir. The B&S crankcase ventilation system (4-stroke engine), failed to open as it should, resulting in the blow-by gasses building up pressur in the crankcase instead of escaping into the air cleaner. In addition, they used the wrong tube, from an older model, from the valve to the air cleaner, and pinched it off during assembly!! I've never seen anything like that in a Poulan product or Poulan-Craftsman.

Last edited by soilman; 10-18-2005 at 02:29 PM.
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  #7  
Old 10-18-2005, 06:24 PM
soilman soilman is offline
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Actually, the B&S crankcase breather valve being stuck closed during intake and combustion strokes, was not the problem. Rather I think the breather valve wasn't closing completely, during compression and exhaust strokes, resulting in inadequate vaccuum in crankcase during compression and exhaust -- I remember too much oil from the crankcase was sucked past the piston rings into the combustion chamber, and the engine smoked a bit -- especially during rapid transfer from idle to higher rpm's. Yes, replacing the valve fixed the problem. Their service manual gave inadequate instructions on checking the valve. I found more things about it that needed to be checked. If the valve were stuck close during intake and combustion I think power would have been very inadequate as blowby gasses would accumulate and the piston would have trouble turning the crankshaft. But that wasn't what happened. What happened is the engine -- a brand new engine -- smoked.
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Old 10-18-2005, 06:34 PM
soilman soilman is offline
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You cannot adquately test the breather valve simply by checking the clearance of the fiber disk with a wire gauge, and checking the little holes, as the Briggs manual says. This is all the Briggs manual said about checking the breather valve. I found that it is best to check the actual operation of the valve -- operation of breather valve unit itself is checked by, with the unit installed, performing a rapid sequence of a blow and a suck, or a suck and a blow, very gently, on the crankcase nipple for the fuel pump operating tube, to change crankcase pressure (remove the tube going to the fuel pump from the nipple, and attach another tube to the nipple, to make sucking and blowing on the nipple easier). You should hear the breather valve close-open, or open-close, with only very gentle sucking-blowing, or blowing-sucking, respectively. The 2 small holes at bottom of valve cover unit allow some air to go in, even if valve is sucked closed, so vacuum creating by sucking will last only a second or so, after you stop sucking.
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