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Old 07-08-2013, 11:28 AM
diyer999 diyer999 is offline
LawnSite Member
Join Date: Jun 2011
Posts: 121
Issue: What engine size to choose?

I need some new outdoor commercial quality power tools (no Black & Decker level quality). I'm considering engine sizes from at least 21cc and up to about 30cc for a second string trimmer that can take circular saw blades and hedge trimmer attachments, as well. All the major commercial brands of equipment have the attachment options I need as well as several engine sizes. So, please dont mentioned any brands, I will not even consider your reply, I like to do my selection myself when brand shopping.

Cost is NOT an issue. My needs are: The lowest possible noise. Adequate power to cut brush and trim hedges. For me, weight is more of an issue with hedge trimmers, with string trimmers/brush cutters I can use a shoulder strap more effectively.

If I need to run it full throttle, I will most likely choose a smaller engine model (assuming a smaller engine will be quieter and lighter), as long as it has all the same features as the larger engine models. Looking at the various brands that is also possible.
But if full throttle is not the proper way to run a two cycle/stroke engine, then I might go for a larger higher hp model -- I'm thinking that a smaller engine might be louder if I need more throttle to get the job done, hence a higher hp tool can be run at a lower rpm, get the job done easier, and therefore be quieter. Basically, I'm comparing light duty 22cc commercial models to standard duty 25cc, 27cc, 30cc commercial models, nothing bigger. I've never owned a string trimmer with an engine larger than 22cc, so I dont know why there are so many engine sizes so close together?

I have often wondered what determines the size cc to get other than cost ? . . . the work to be done ? . . . how long the tool needs to be run ? . . . how long the tool will last (do larger engines last longer) . . . noise level, are bigger cc engines louder ? . . . are smaller engines subject to more stress? . . . do engines have duty cycles by the hour, day, month, or year? For example, in terms of duty cycle, you know a Black & Decker chainsaw cannot compete with a high end quality chainsaw designed to run all day, but that is more of a quality build thing than engine size. What about two equally high end, best that money can buy models, but each having a different size engine?

Is there a rule of thumb to go by? In one aspect, what I am trying to determine is similar to other tool buying advice, where I am always told to buy more than I need and it will last longer and work better with less stress. Not sure if bigger is better, but, I have noticed that weight seems to be a serious issue for landscapers who work all day long with power tools. Although I presently wont be using any of my power tools that much, I was considering doing some part time work with my son-in-law who is a landscaper. So, weight then becomes a major issue.
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