Trimmer H.P. - Is it THAT important?

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by JTF40, Apr 22, 2006.

  1. JTF40

    JTF40 LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 875

    I really like my Makita - very light (9.3 lbs), descent size (24+ cc,1.3 h.p.), very durable and comfortable. However, I have to use .080 line as apposed to .095 line - the head speed drops with the .095 diameter. While my trimmer has NEVER failed (4 yrs.), I do want a new 2nd trimmer. All the good ones (Redmax, Echo, Stihl, Kawasaki, Tanaka, etc.) are located nearby. My question is the h.p. rating important or cubic inches or what? I am tired of having to use the .080 line to achieve engine speed (line breaks prematurely).

    For what it's worth, the Kawasaki KGT27A (26 cu. in., 10.2 lbs., 1.6 h.p.) is impressive on paper.

    I know this dog has been hunted many times. But any suggestions will be appreciated.
     
  2. tomo

    tomo LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 660

    hello, yes HP is important as that is how most makers list them lowest to highest . Typically engine size will follow.Caution as some makers use the same eng to give different hp ,typically only domestic models.1.3HP is agood general trimmer NO LESS 1.5-1.6 also good and probaly reduce your job time.1.8-2.0HP to heavy &thirsty on fuel for general trim work.Best suited to medium clearing work.Do you use a blade occasionally 1.3hp ok best is 1.5hp and up for small diameter/ large blade 2.0hp and above 2.5&up best Personal preference mainly. service ,spare parts instock and 4 how long. EG 20year old saw still servicable parts . STIHL THANKS TOMO
     
  3. rob7233

    rob7233 LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 861

    For what it's worth, the Kawasaki KGT27A (26 cu. in., 10.2 lbs., 1.6 h.p.) is impressive on paper.

    Regarding if in the end, you decide to go with Kawasaki, please do yourself a favor and stay strictly with the KBL series and not the KGT, such as a KBL26A. The KBL's are the true commercial units, are super smooth, great power, light weight, stone cold reliable. I have one personally along with some Shindaiwa units. Horsepower is important although torque rating is more so but that's not usually provided. So hp is all you got. I've also observed that the mass/weight of the head is a factor in throttle responsiveness. This relates to how fast you can trim and change trimmer speeds while moving quickly with changing terrain. The line size also adds weight verses line durability and it's effectiveness in cutting. I've had go with a smaller mass head to use my .105 line to keep the same responsiveness.

    Overall weight is big factor also as is comfort and feel. Echo is popular but it's slow to warm up and that's a pita. Stihl has had some coil issues of late especially in hot climates. The Shindaiwa T261 is good but heavier than the equivalent RedMax. Shindaiwa's got the speedspool head and redmax has the PT104 head. Shindaiwa's is heavier with the cat. converter but very nice. However, do stay with with a 25cc or bigger. (Best balance of power to weight) Beyond a 27.5 size your carrying more power/weight than you'll ever need for 90% of what you'll likely do. I think Echo doesn't even publish Hp/torque figures and I can't assume to know why. So, if I don't know, I don't go. Can't comment on Tanaka or Husqvarna. Had Maruyama and they're tough but not as refined as the others. I hope the info helps...
     
  4. HenryB

    HenryB LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,829

    What is the difference between the KGT and the KLR?
     
  5. totallawncare912

    totallawncare912 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 80

    The SHAFT is different between the 2 KGT is the entry level Kawasaki with a solid steel shaft and the KBL has the LEXUS of shafts i think its the bearings inside and the outer shaft is a little thicker which gives it a more smooth operation both have a lifetime shaft warranty but spend a little more and go KBL its only like 30.00 if you cant make that up in a yard or 2 your in the wrong business you will kick yourself in the end for not getting the KBL your arms and hands will thank you at the end of the day RIGHT ROB ???????? LOL
     
  6. JTF40

    JTF40 LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 875

    Thanks to all - the ONLY difference that I can see between the KBL & the KGT is the ability for the KBL to accept a saw blade. Everything else is exactly the same. I am still test-driving both the Redmax and the Kawasaki.

    According to Kawasaki's websight, the KBL26A is only available in California. The KBL27A is the model available for the rest of us.:usflag:
     
  7. rob7233

    rob7233 LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 861

    I checked on the website also. Yes,the KBL's are now setup for a blade but for that to be done, something has to be Heavy duty. However, the KGT27A looks fine too. Things to consider: will you be leaving the guard on or take it off ? If taking it off, Then you still have the blade option availible to you. Without carrying the extra weight.

    One of the biggest advantage to the Kawasaki is that the throttle cable runs on TOP on the shaft vs. the bottom like redmax and shindaiwa. It can be a big recurrent issue if using racks since they will be sitting on that cable and switch wire which can be pulled out or damaged. Also, Kawasaki has the ten day money back guarantee. If don't like it w/in 10 days get a refund !! My 2 cents - good luck.
     
  8. JTF40

    JTF40 LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 875

    The guard is always removed - added weight and a nuisance.

    Also, the price difference between the two is around $30.00. That leads me to believe that the KBL has a different guard set-up for the blade attachment (notice the photo on the websight). :usflag:
     
  9. topsites

    topsites LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 21,653

    I've used both the Stihl Fs-85 and the Echo srm-260s - Both of these run better with 080 line, at least I much prefer it with the thinner line.

    As for it breaking prematurely, only time I find it doing this is when I let out too much ... It takes practice, one technically wants to weedeat with the outer edge of the disc formed by the string, thou when trying to cut apart some brush yes, the 080 line stinks for this.
     

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