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"Home Owner" Gold?

Discussion in 'General Industry Discussions' started by zechstoker, Mar 29, 2012.

  1. zechstoker

    zechstoker LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 976

    This may come off a bit "rinky dink", but have any of you bought something that was home owner quality, maybe something that sounded like a gimmick, but turned out to be a valuable asset for doing work commercially?

    Around this time last year, I needed a chain saw for some tree pruning work, but I didn't want to go all out and buy a Stihl since tree pruning is not something I do on a regular basis. I was told that Black & Decker made a really awesome chainsaw (the Black & Decker Alligator Loppers), and I managed to pick one up for $65 (after tax) from OSH. I've used this thing on numerous jobs over the past year, and it's still cutting like a champ. Best $65 ever spent, hands down.

    Anyone else have a similar experience? I typically don't recommend using home owner quality stuff for commercial work, but there's gotta be some exceptions to the rules.
  2. zak406

    zak406 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,519

    I buy homeowner handheld blowers, I buy the echo 251 for 150 bucks you get something that lasts a few seasons and is cheap...
  3. OakNut

    OakNut LawnSite Platinum Member
    Posts: 4,077

    This will get me laughed off the forum, but...



    The Yard-Man and all the attachments were picked up on after season clearance at Wmart. I wanted a cheapo backup trimmer and decided to get a split shaft for versatility. The attachments were so cheap I went back and bought a second hedge trimmer and pole saw. The hedge trimmers are perfect for doing crappy work that I wouldn't want to risk damaging my Stihl attachment on. The extra pole saw gives me an additional extension shaft which has come in handy on several occasions already.

    I will note that the Yard-Man string trimmer SUCKS (bogs down/underpowered and spins the opposite way), but it runs the other attachments with no problem.

    You have to start somewhere. If I had bought all these in commercial grade, I'd have a lot of equipment that sees little use, and I'd be broke. As it stands, I have what I need in a pinch, and I'm making money when I use them. I can now determine by usage what I will get as a commercial grade replacement and it looks like the pole pruner is on my list.

    My Stihl FS90R alongside for comparison...


    As far as commercial stuff goes, that Stihl articulating hedge trimmer attachment was money well spent. Love it.

    Oh, yeah. I have a Crapsman :eek: saw too. Same reason - it made no sense to buy a commercial chain saw for the amount of cutting I need to do.

  4. zechstoker

    zechstoker LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 976

    That reminds me. We're in the market for a small handheld blower to put on one of our pest control trucks. Only need it on that truck because the technician has weed control accounts that he fertilizes at, and needs a blower on hand to blow the rogue granules off the pavement and back into the lawn.
  5. zechstoker

    zechstoker LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 976

    To OakNut: That's precisely what I was getting at (shopping practical and smart). Obviously, I wouldn't be one to laugh about the equipment line-up in the pictures above. I have a lot of tools on my truck that aren't designed for commercial use, but they work out perfect for the specific tasks I bought them for. It's a lot easier on the wallet. That's for sure.
  6. LawnMan19

    LawnMan19 LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,284

    Yeah, if it gets the job done and is cost effective it makes sense to me also.
  7. cashishift

    cashishift LawnSite Member
    Posts: 57

    I'd imagine finding a lightly used model on Craigslist would fit the bill for that.. just depends how much he uses it.
  8. nortonlawncare

    nortonlawncare LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 307

    i use the same poulan, at the time it was cheap and i only needed it for the last part of the season, it's worked great for hedges and edging as well as trimming
  9. weeze

    weeze LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 8,895

    i have a craftsman 21" pushmower with honda gcv 160 engine on it. been using it over 5 years since i don't pushmow that much. i also have a craftsman c3 19.2v battery powered hedge trimmer. it's very light and does a great job. i have 4 batteries for it.

    [​IMG] [​IMG]
  10. OakNut

    OakNut LawnSite Platinum Member
    Posts: 4,077

    Take a look at the Stihl BG-55


    They run $150. It's not part of the commercial lineup, but my dealer says he sells a ton of them to local landscapers.
    It's very light, compact, and pretty powerful. (rated higher than the commercial model I looked at)

    Don't let the following sway you because I think I either had a lemon, or it just needed more adjustment, but I was having trouble starting it and I didn't feel like messing with it, so my dealer gave me an even trade for an Echo PB-251.


    I've been pleased with the Echo, but the Stihl was definitely more powerful and was easier to stash in my truck bed because it's slightly slimmer.

    Both run about the same in price.

    And if you haven't figured it out, yes, I have a photo ready for just about everything. :laugh:

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