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Advise on Brushcutter/Trimmer

Discussion in 'Homeowner Assistance Forum' started by David_Bricker, Jun 26, 2008.

  1. David_Bricker

    David_Bricker LawnSite Member
    Posts: 4


    I'm a simple homeowner, with a 30 acre property. About 5 acres is maintained in grass (well, it's green, and my wife can get the lawn tractor over it). Not one big area, so a fair amount of edge trimming/bushwhacking with the brushcutter. I havde a Stihl FS81 brushcutter that just lost the bearings on the connecting rod and tossed them into the piston.

    This FS81 has, for the past 15 years been a bit hesitant to run really well. I compare to my 20+ year old Husky 154 chainsaw, which has been flawless. So, I'm a bit hesitant about going with Stihl again.

    My dealer, whom I respect very highly, is not pushing Husky over Stihl or the other way. He is suggesting either the Stihl FS130 or the Husqvarna 326Rx. I was wondering which would be the better choice for longevity, each of use, etc. I was also looking at the Stihl FS250 or the Husky 335Rx.

    My wife used to use the Stihl, but it just didn't run consistent enough for her to easily use it. A lighter machine would be better for her, but I don't want less power than the FS81 had. I almost exclusively use a heavy 3-point steel blade on it - we have lots of obstructions that would take out nylon blades of string far too often.

    I don't cut trees with this thing, but do get into some heavy brush, berry bushes, maybe saplings an inch in diameter. I suspect the FS250 or 335Rx may be overkill, but I'd rather spend $80 more and get something I don't have to think about for another 15 years.

    Could anyone give my recommendations, opinions, pros/cons? Thanks in advance.

    David Bricker / SYR
  2. kleankutslawn

    kleankutslawn LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,185

    i have the fs100kx and like it but i see alot of complaints on here about the 4 mix
  3. David_Bricker

    David_Bricker LawnSite Member
    Posts: 4

    Is the 4Mix carbon buildup and big problem with light use, as I would have, say, 20 hours per season? Or is it something that is more prone to heavy commercial use?

    I have had a FS130R on loan for a couple of days not, put about 4 hours on it. Certainly different, lower RPM, but not necessarily quieter. Seems to have plenty of power for heavy grass/weeds. Going to try it on some brush today. I do think I prefer the bike handle over the loop - I don't seem to have as much control with the loop handle.

    David Bricker / SYR
  4. Lazer_Z

    Lazer_Z LawnSite Silver Member
    from NJ
    Posts: 2,579

    David, Stihl has both the FS130 & FS250 in bike handle configuration. I'd personally go with an FS130, your FS81 lasted 15 yeas so that says something in itself. You will find that the 4Mix machines do indeed have a different pitch to them Vs a regular 2 cycle. I see you have also noticed the torque that they have, that is a definite plus for Stihl.

    As far as carbon build up goes, if you use the Stihl Synthetic oil & mid grade fuel you'll have no problems.

    Good luck with your decision, I hope I was of some help.
  5. mybowtie

    mybowtie LawnSite Senior Member
    from NY
    Posts: 683

    If you have a redmax dealer near by, check them out. I have stihls also, but I like the redmax alot. Good luck..........:usflag:
  6. David_Bricker

    David_Bricker LawnSite Member
    Posts: 4

    Thanks, sounds like the FS130 is the way to go on the Stihl side. I'm a bit surprised that Husky hasn't had any comment. My biggest concern is that my Stihl FS81 had not run as consistently as my Husky 154 chainsaw. I know they are two different products, but would have liked to have seen better reliability out of the Stihl.

    Something else I noticed with the FS130 - it seems harder to pull to start than my old FS81. In fact, the FS81, I could easily restart with the unit strapped on. Just reach back and yank. I can barely do that with the FS130. Is that a function of bigger motor, newer machine or the 4 stroke?

    David Bricker / SYR
  7. Lazer_Z

    Lazer_Z LawnSite Silver Member
    from NJ
    Posts: 2,579

    I'm not sure about the pull start, all of my machines start with little effort. I sometimes forget with my FS 90 and I almost yank my shoulder out. Is the unit brand new or is it like a rental/demo unit? if it's that latter that may have something to do with it. If not though then I'd ask the dealer.
  8. PTP

    PTP LawnSite Bronze Member
    from Tulsa
    Posts: 1,383

    The Husky and the Stihl that you bought 15-20 years ago will not be found today. It is unprofitable to make a decision based on what those machines did for you. The reason being the EPA. Trimmers are not what they were 20 years ago - totally different engines, carburetors, etc. The manufacturers have to jump through hoops to make their machines meet certain requirements.

    My recommendation would be to simply go with a commercial trimmer that your favorite dealer has in stock. Generally speaking, all of the commercial brands produce a quality product.

    Also, take a look at what most of the lawn crews around you are using. Chances are that they have a pretty good idea of what consists of a quality product.
  9. David_Bricker

    David_Bricker LawnSite Member
    Posts: 4

    This was a demo unit, though looked pretty close to new. I will watch the pull effort on the new units and see if I can tell a difference between the brands and models. This may be an issue, as my wife wants to be able to use it as well.

    David Bricker / SYR
  10. tamadrummer

    tamadrummer LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,102

    I know this is a bit late but if it is hard to pull over, than more than likely it is in need of a valve adjustment. If you bought the demo unit, take it in and tell them that they need to check he valves and adjust.

    I only know this because my BR600 was getting hard to pull over and when I took it in that was what they did and now it pulls over better than it did new!

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