Buy Good trimmer or buy throw away?

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by grassrootsinab, Nov 7, 2003.

  1. grassrootsinab

    grassrootsinab LawnSite Member
    from up here
    Posts: 215

    When I started 5 years ago I debated about getting a good Stihl trimmer or buying a cheap residential one from Home Depot. Since I mainly do residential cutting I thought that I could get away with a cheapo (less than $100). I bought a Homelite and it's stood up very well. It cost me $89. I thought if I forked over $250-300 for a commercial trimmer, I would have to repair it. (parts plus shop time). If my cheapo crapped out, I could buy 3 for the price of one commercial grade. The way I look at it, I'm ahead with a cheap one and throw it away after 5 or 6 years (I think I MAY need to replace it next spring). I don't think a commecial grade trimmer would last 15 years anyway. Just wondering what you guys think.

    (ps. If the shaft goes I can still use the trimmer engine to make a self-propelled skate board for me and my boys....that's the plan anyway)
  2. Turf Dancer

    Turf Dancer LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 681

    I went the cheap route when I started, I ended up excahanging the smae model three times in 2 weeks because none of them would stay running for one reason or another. I am happy with my Hondas
  3. lawnman_scott

    lawnman_scott LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 7,547

    if the shaft goes, why not get a new shaft, take off the head and put it in?
  4. locutus

    locutus LawnSite Bronze Member
    from NC
    Posts: 1,266

    I've posted responses to threads similar to this one in regards to cheapo trimmers. I still have the homelite trimmer that I started with years ago. The darn thing just wouldn't die. I dont use it anymore. Might sell it to a scrub one day. You will find that you can get away with the replacement policy as long as you dont have an extensive amount of trimming to do. As you grow and have more and more to do, seconds and minutes count. Wasted time spent cutting heavier grass/brush because the machine is underpowered will end up costing you in lost productivity. I am absolutley against the throw away philosphy when it comes to blowers. A good blower is a must have from the get-go. IMO.
  5. Josey Wales

    Josey Wales LawnSite Member
    Posts: 93

    loctus are you saying I need to spend more for a blower? :D :D :D

  6. locutus

    locutus LawnSite Bronze Member
    from NC
    Posts: 1,266

    Josey, I'd say that if you were in direct competition with me, that you have a great blower. It's fuel efficient, light, low maintainance and you could easily train a geisha girl to use it. Not to mention that in oklahoma,where the wind comes sweeping down the plain,this may be all the blower you need.:D :D
  7. Josey Wales

    Josey Wales LawnSite Member
    Posts: 93

    LOL locutus. :D

    Seriously though and to get back on topic, even IF a cheapo trimmer will last (as my Weed Eater has), the difference between the cheapo and the pro is like night and day.

    My Weed Eater feels like a Fisher Price TOY compared to my new KM-85R :D :D :D

    new trimmer.jpg
  8. Ron Greenwood Jr

    Ron Greenwood Jr LawnSite Member
    from IL
    Posts: 78

    what no one is going to ask the ? after seeing them bags
  9. Lawn Dog2001

    Lawn Dog2001 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,027

    Thats the point of buying good commercial equipment, you dont have to repair it. I started with 2 homelite trimmers 11 years ago. Neither one made it through even one season. If you guys are getting 5 years out of them thats a miricale. I switched to Echo after my first full season, and i have never had any shop time in 10 years on a trimmer or blower. I had my first Echo 2100 trimmer for 8 years. I have a Echo PB 1000 blower that is heading into its 11th season. I have a Echo 2400 trimmer that is now 3 years old, and a Stihl FS85 3 years old. I have had no down time in all these years on my small engine equip.

    I owned two homelite trimmers that didnt last a year. A pair of homelite hedge clippers that didnt last 4 months before they blew. and 2 Homelite blowers that take nonstop maintainence to keep them running.

    Plus Homelite does not offer a commercial warranty of more than 90 days. Echo and Sthil is 2 years. Also if you go to a dealer you will have customer support that you can not get at Home Depot. Its worth the extra money. If you want to buy from Home Depot, a Echo 210 straight shaft trimmer is only $199. not a bad price to get you into a commercial trimmer.
  10. Josey Wales

    Josey Wales LawnSite Member
    Posts: 93

    LOL.....sorry I don't have a pesticide license.......yet. Taking the commercial T/O exam (2 day class with OSU Extension) in January. That's all Home Depot/Atwood's stuff for my yard ; )

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