Echo vs. Stihl

Discussion in 'Homeowner Assistance Forum' started by Roger Wilkerson, May 8, 2006.

  1. Roger Wilkerson

    Roger Wilkerson LawnSite Member
    Posts: 69

    Ok I am trying to narrow down what trimmer to get. I am am looking at Stihl and echo units that are adaptable to a brush blade. I value the opinion of the pro's because you guys are using them every day and I am just a lowly homeowner...lol

    I am looking at a budget of around 400.00 including the brush blade.

    The units that have caught my eye so far are the Stihl fs110 and the echo 261T. What are the pros and cons of each unit and also what about the ease of changeover from brush blade to trimmer head(I heard it is a nightmare on the echo, but that was from the stihl dealer)

    Thanks
     
  2. ed2hess

    ed2hess LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 13,311

    Don't know much about that Stihl but the Echo 261T is good unit and has that new gear box to give more torque. The echo is a true 2 stroke no funny business engine with valves, and it has a needle valve for adjusting gas intake for differenent weather and wear conditions. You can't go wrong with this unit we have 8 of them and many are 4 years old with heavy use.
     
  3. Roger Wilkerson

    Roger Wilkerson LawnSite Member
    Posts: 69

    Ed do you know how difficult it is to change over from trimmer head to brush blade?

    Roger
     
  4. Martino

    Martino LawnSite Bronze Member
    from Midwest
    Posts: 1,772

    Roger....

    About a 5-10 minute job with a screwdriver. You'll take the plastic grass shield off, along with the line head, and install the blade and metal shield. You can buy a kit that has everything you need, including the safety strap. On second thought, Echo used to include the blade kit (sans blade) with most of their straight shaft trimmers...not sure if this is still the case. If not, you can buy the entire blade kit seperately and choose the type of blade you need, as well.

    U-handles are also recommended for using a blade.
     
  5. Roger Wilkerson

    Roger Wilkerson LawnSite Member
    Posts: 69

    Thank you Martino, I kinda figured the dealer was overstating the difficulty factor
     
  6. J&R Landscaping

    J&R Landscaping LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 5,096

    The echo 261T handles a blade head extrmely well! Echo sells a blade conversion kit to put the blade on the unit and it only take about 5-15 mintues to put on. It is not hard at all!

    The Stihl dealer is telling you about echo....No offense but were you expecting a truthful answer???
     
  7. Roger Wilkerson

    Roger Wilkerson LawnSite Member
    Posts: 69

    Nah...not really...lol....I guess I need to decide between the Echo 261T and the Stihl FS90 to have a fair comparison now. The biggest difference that I see is in the engine. The 4 mix vs. the 2 cycle. What is your opinion on that? Well the Stihl also has the bike handles with the throttle and kill switch. I am not sure what the echo has with the blade kit. The Echo also ends up costing around 20-30 more with the blade kit than the Stihl will.

    Thanks, Roger
     
  8. Martino

    Martino LawnSite Bronze Member
    from Midwest
    Posts: 1,772

    Roger....

    When given the choice, I will always choose a 2 cycle. Less moving parts, less (not none!) mmaintenance, proven technolgy, and, generally, more power. I find it incredibly simple to mix the oil & gas (I realize you still will with the Stihl), but frankly, many people find fuel mixes to be a pain..

    Thing to consider.....if the large majority of it's use is for grass trimming, you'll probably not like the bike handles, cuts way down on your reach. I only have very occasional use for a blade, and I don't use the bike handles (it is recommended). I do, however, always use the safety harness with a blade, as it will keep the business end away from you.
     
  9. Roger Wilkerson

    Roger Wilkerson LawnSite Member
    Posts: 69

    unfortunately probably 50% or more will be spent with the brush blade. I am starting a pretty ambitious project of beating back my woods to reclaim some yard and also making my wife a winding path up and down the creek bed (complete with building bridges) etc. The brush cutting capacity it more important than the trimmer to me. I have an old stihl fs36 that runs like a champ I just hate the bump feed and no other heads are available for it since it is so long out of production.

    I could rent a brush mower but that requires too much planning and eventually just as mmuch money as buying a commercial trimmer with a brush blade
     
  10. Martino

    Martino LawnSite Bronze Member
    from Midwest
    Posts: 1,772


    roger, Roger....

    With that ambitious of a plan, then, I would definitely use the bike handle set-up, whichever one you buy.

    Good luck!
     

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