Echo or Stihl

Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by surfocean, Oct 11, 2005.

  1. surfocean

    surfocean LawnSite Member
    Posts: 7

    I am in the process of getting my 2-cycle equipment. I am purchasing a trimmer, blower, and edger. I am trying to stay in-budget and my plan is to entry model or near-entry model equipment for my part-time lawn service. I've done the research on the manufacturers websites but I am wondering what your personal opinions on the two brands are and how the service and support is as well. Thanks for your time.
    Fabian
     
  2. Joey bag a' donuts

    Joey bag a' donuts LawnSite Member
    Posts: 146

    I like the quality of stihl more but echos not a bad brand and is fairaly cheap for your "near entry" budget. Stihl seems to be a little more pricey but in this business many times you get what you pay for. Check out ebay, I bought my blower on ebay used but basically brand new for $300 less than what it would have costed new, I've had it for three years and have never had a problem with it.
     
  3. BSDeality

    BSDeality LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,850

    go with the biggest equipment you can afford. more power = more efficiency = more jobs = more money.

    Personally I'd go with echo, i only own stihl chainsaws cause their blowers can't punch their way out of a wet paper bag, I wasn't very impressed with a trimmer of theirs i ran either, although that was years ago.

    Ultimately, go with whatever brand has the best support around, you never know when you're going to need a little tech help to fix something on-the-spot.
     
  4. PMLAWN

    PMLAWN LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,535

    I use both and I think the Echo is less money to buy. The Echo is a little lighter and easier to flip around. Got 230's and 260's --The 230s are great for everyday use and quick and light. 260 for the power stuff. The 230 are used the most and about 15 hours of actual use a week. Going on 2nd year (38 weeks use) and just starting to show power loss. They will not be used next year and must be replaced. But they still work.
    The stihl (4 mix) has great power and will out cut the 260s. It does weigh a little more and can slow down the back and forth of large area cutting. The Stihl seems to be put together a little better as we have less breakage and missing parts.
    Most of the guys will grab the Stihl but I have small hands and the handle is thicker on the stihl and the Echo feels better.
    Bottom line, Test them both and buy what you will be happy with using as you will hold it a lot more than anything else you hold. The small difference in price means nothing over a year of use. But both will do you well and pay for themselves.
     
  5. grass_cuttin_fool

    grass_cuttin_fool LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,504

    Check out the dealers in your area and see which you like best. I prefer stihl equipment but I have to admit I dont have any of the 4 cycles and alot of the 2cycles are being phased out. And I have never owned any echo and I can comment good or bad on them
     
  6. z_clark

    z_clark LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 369

    As said above...try what fits you best!

    We have both, and both are great....I prefer the sthil, most of my crews prefer the echo. Both are simmarly priced....with in 20 bucks when comparing similar models. Our Echos (230 and 260's) have larger gas tanks than our Sthils (FX80).
     
  7. Runner

    Runner LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 13,494

    I own and run plenty of both. I can tell you that they are both great pieces of equipment as long as you have the right calibur for the work you expect it to do. I can tell you that the Stihl equipment, no matter what it is, is alot more tempermental in starting than the Echo equipment. The Echo equip. just ALWAYS started so much easier.
     
  8. LB1234

    LB1234 LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,210

    Have you taken a look at Redmax.

    I've had three echo trimmers over the past 5-6 years (SRM XXXX...can't remember). We bought our first Redmax trimmer (believe the BCZ-3000 or something like that) last year have replaced another echo this year with the redmax b/c we like it soooo much more over echo. It is better in almost every aspect...of course this is our personal opinion...you need to see for yourself.

    Echo backpack blowers...we love em. Have a little PB-603 for grass clippings on the walks/drives. Have a 650 for the leaf season. We also have a redmax 8000 and 4401. We like them but prefer our echos. We are kinda forced to move to redmax since two of the dealers we deal with no longer carry echos. One carries redmax/stihl and the other carries just stihl.

    As far as a stick edger we have a STIHL FS83 with both the articulating hedgetrimmer and edger. Very versatile tool. Little on the heavy side but it has taken a few drops here and there with nothing to show for it but steady starts.

    As far as chainsaws...we have two...an smaller echo and a stihl. Echo chainsaw was a POS since the beginning. Only keep it for prunning small, low-hanging branches b/t 1-3" thick. Always had trouble with it. The stihl we just purchased this year and love it. Although its hard to compare since they are two different sizes. BUT...the stihl has given us ZERO problems in the first few months.
     
  9. ArizPestWeed

    ArizPestWeed LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,457

    Echo.................Hands down !!!
    My first weed wacker was a 2501 ........ lasted for 7 years .
    It made me , well , my guess is over $20,000 all by it's self .
    Of course I've no way of realy knowing how much it reqally made me .
    The pistons have 2 rings .
    I would try a Stilh , though .
    My Echo's always started up fine .

    Yes , without question , buy 'em big and powerful .
    The work go by easier , quicker
    Don't cut yourself short and by one with a little motor.
     
  10. ken0564

    ken0564 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 141

    stihl wackers/edgers/hedgers, echo blowers. no problems with either. get what you pay for. i think every now and then all makes have some lemons slip by qc and end up in someone's hands, just hope it's not mine.

    was told for years how honda makes a A++++ car by friends and others. finally broke down and puchased 99 accord lx, at 35k tranny was trashed. covered by warranty. within months had a great rate deal, stopped in, worked a deal, had wife go in and trade for an '01 accord ex, v-6. 24k tranny was trashed, covered by warranty, given a 7 year/120k mile bumper/bumper warranty by honda motor due to our experience. wife still driving at 70k miles, no problems but will likely trade it before 100k.

    i know they make an excellent vehicle but just shows that all have lemons slip through. take it in stride, that's life.
     

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