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String trimmers

Discussion in 'Homeowner Assistance Forum' started by stryper, Apr 13, 2004.

  1. stryper

    stryper LawnSite Member
    from IL
    Posts: 132

    I posted this over in one of the GardenWeb forums, but I thought I might get some pretty good insight here too:

    I'm looking for a good, non-commercial string trimmer. Is such a thing even possible? I stopped by my local turf equipment store today, and the salesman kinda scoffed at the notion, saying if I was going to spend $150 on a Deere (which he sells), I might as well spend $80 on a Craftsman, since they're both "junk." Unless I was ready to drop $250, he basically said, I was wasting my money. Another guy at the same shop said the $150 model was just fine. It just wasn't commercial quality, therefore it wasn't going to last as long, whereas the commercial one would be the last one I ever had to buy.

    So now I'm confused. $150 is a lot to lay out for "junk." But $250 seems like a lot to drop for a weedwhacker, when I'm not in the weedwhacking business. (I've got a whole lawn mower that cost less than that, and it runs just fine--just don't ask how I think it cuts.) I understand that pros need a better grade of equipment, but what about the average homeowner?

    So my question is, what do I do? Am I doomed to spending more money than I would like, or can I get something good for <$150? I've looked around at the different box and turf stores, and I pretty much have anything I want at my disposal--Echo, Stihl, Shindaiwa, Redmax, Toro, Deere, etc.--and I don't know which way to go. Ease of starting and string reloading, I guess, are my primary concerns.

    Any suggestions? To a guy who just wants to move on from a $35 Craftsman electric trimmer to something nicer, the last two days have been sort of an awakening. At least I think I finally understand the straight shaft or bent debate....
  2. Josey Wales

    Josey Wales LawnSite Member
    Posts: 93

    If you've never used a "commercial" grade trimmer I can certainly see the reluctance to spend $250 and up on string trimmer.

    If there's some way for you to demo one then go for it and then see if you feel the same way about the extra cost.

    The difference (in my opinion of course) is that it's a night and day comparison to put an $80 to $150 trimmer up against a pro quality $250 and up trimmer.

    I'm currently using a Stihl KM-85R Multi Tool and I can't imagine using anything of lesser quality. I gave $275 for the powerhead, $100 for the trimmer attachment and $150 for the straight shaft edger and I like it so much that it makes me want to go back to my dealer and give him more money lol....not.....but seriously I say spend the extra if you can and then enjoy the heck out of what you pay for. :)
  3. luketrash

    luketrash LawnSite Member
    Posts: 8

    I just picked up a sears trimmer, the 31cc model with the bent shaft (being as I have a small yard to take care of)

    The reason I got it there is that I got a 3 year replacement warranty that covers even stupid stuff like me backing over the trimmer with my truck.

    I figure I spent the money, and I'm good to go for at least 3 years, guaranteed.

    I used it last night and it seems to work fine. I don't know if you can add attachments to it or not though, but I only plan on using it along my fenceline and whatnot.

    I gave 120 bucks (after the warranty purchase)
  4. Dint

    Dint LawnSite Member
    Posts: 9

    I have used the Homelights for 8 yrs. and like them. They have a good balance and don't seem to be as heavy as the stihls. Plenty of power and relieable, cost about $110. Can replace the spring knob without replacing the whole spool. $3. 50 compared to about $ 20.00. Also I drilled out the wholes to accept 105 dia. string.
    This works for me mowing about 12 hrs. a week with one cemetary.
  5. stumpking

    stumpking LawnSite Member
    Posts: 12

    I just picked up a Shindaiwa T230 for around $230. I can tell you that it is at least 1/3 less weight than Sears/Ryobi models that I've used. The cutting swath is really big and the power is nearly scary. I don't need much more than half to 2/3 throttle to even cut down small saplings with it.

    The power and the balance of it are simply amazing. It makes trimming effortless compared to others I've used. Yes, it's pricey, but man, what is the value of effort saved? I'm a lazy guy, any savings in effort is well worth it to me.

    When I bought it, I purposely asked the guy for a baseline commercial unit, one that would last a homeowner for years. I told him I wanted power/balance/longevity over the price, but didn't need any fancy features or excessive power for my needs. He really hit the mark.
  6. Eagle3Fan

    Eagle3Fan LawnSite Member
    Posts: 17

    I've have a Ryobi that I purchased in 1997. It has a straight shaft and I use the blower attachment also. I don't use it for commercial use but it's run flawlessly for nearly 7 years. The only maintenance so far is cleaning the air filter.

    I haven't used a true commercial trimmer so I don't know what I'm missing. Having said that, for my residential use, the Ryobi has been a good investment.
  7. joe stihl

    joe stihl LawnSite Member
    Posts: 35

    Go buy a Stihl FS45. You don't even have to take the string head apart to reload string. Have the salesman show you. Should be around $150.
  8. The Lawn Boy Pro

    The Lawn Boy Pro LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,218

    I've got the Shinny T-230, and I love it. I think the power and the price are perfect as far as quality in a string trimmer.
  9. turftammer

    turftammer LawnSite Member
    Posts: 99

    well your in luck shindaiwa just introduced a new home owners model this year for $200 & like other members said the shindaiwa is probably one of the lightest trimmers out there. I own all shindaiwa equipment including three trimmers one which is 7yrs old and still running strong(t230) but if the new model isn't available I would suggest the T230 which will probably last you a long time(7yrs for me commercially)
  10. dwost

    dwost LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,666

    Just picked one up three weeks ago. Works beautifully and replaces a 5yo Ryobi that siezed. Spend a little more, it's totally worth it. There is no comparison between this one and the Ryobi. I'm only using this for my yard as well. Paid $199 and comes with a 2 year warranty.

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