Trimmers-Shaft or Cable?

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by Tharrell, Jun 3, 2003.

  1. Tharrell

    Tharrell LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,964

    I'm looking to get some new trimmers and was wondering what the advantage/disadvantages between shaft and cable? For example, Echo offers the 260 with either one.
     
  2. Grass Master

    Grass Master LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 328

    Tharrell...

    Pay the extra $20 to $30 and get the SRM-260S with the steel shaft.

    It is much smoother and has a ton of power. The steel shaft transfers power better to the cutting head....it is a great trimmer!!
     
  3. Hometown

    Hometown LawnSite Member
    Posts: 60

    I just bought 2 echo 260-s models this spring, they were $20.00 more than the 260. The lack of vibration in the 260-s makes for a easier day of trimming less fatigue in the arms (if you trim a lot during the day)and back. They use the same engine in both models so they should be equally dependable from that part,and the only problem I have had so far is the screw holding the air cleaner is a little too long and it will scratch the choke plate enough to eventually make it break but the dealer sent me a new one and took the time to grind both of them down for me so it won't happen agian. I really like the units.
     
  4. FrankenScagMachines

    FrankenScagMachines LawnSite Platinum Member
    from IN
    Posts: 4,739

    I've got the Stihl FS80 which is same as a FS85 but cable drive instead of shaft. No problems thus far and I've done some heavy overgrowth clearing with the string, no cable problems. I've heard that for around $30 you can replace the cable with the shaft used in the FS85, so if it ever goes out i'd do that but no need yet, of course it's only a year old. I think it was lot more than $30 to jump to the FS85 though.
     
  5. Jimbo

    Jimbo LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,093

    I have an old (5 years of heavy use) FS80 with the cable drive and I have run all the attachments from string, to weed blades, to saw blades with no problems. I ran this thing hard!!!! They dont recommend running the cable when using the metal blades but I did anyway. I think it stops alot of the vibration.

    No complaints here.

    Jimbo
     
  6. mag360

    mag360 LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,446

    I have cable and shaft driven trimmers and do not notice a big difference between them as far as comfort and power. I would not hesitate to buy more of either kind.
     
  7. Tvov

    Tvov LawnSite Bronze Member
    from CT
    Posts: 1,157

    Echo may have a lifetime warranty on the cable, or at least a very long one.

    I would go with the shaft. I've used both, and never really noticed a difference, but I like the idea of the shaft better.
     
  8. cmcquate

    cmcquate LawnSite Member
    Posts: 6

    I don't usually have much to say - just sit here and read all the stuff y'all post, but... On this subject I gotta speak! The shaft is so much smoother and, I believe takes less power to turn. Less power lost in turning means more at the head or blade and since the shaft is a little heavier you have more flywheel effect - less RPM drop when you go into heavy grass or tough brush. Just my opinion, but I am much happier with my 2 FS85RT's than the previous flex shaft trimmers.:blob2:
     
  9. FrankenScagMachines

    FrankenScagMachines LawnSite Platinum Member
    from IN
    Posts: 4,739

    cmcquate, you didn't mean curved shaft trimmers did you? A curved shaft will lose some power due to the curve in the shaft and the friction and extra energy needed to flex the shaft cable, but a straight shaft trimmer with cable drive shouldnt' be MUCH harder to turn, although you are somewhat correct about the flywheel effect.
     
  10. cmcquate

    cmcquate LawnSite Member
    Posts: 6

    FrankenScag,

    No, I meant flex shaft or cable. Every time that cable flexes, it touches the inside of the shaft = friction + lost motion = more power to turn. Solid shaft does not flex, rub etc = less power to turn. Once again, this is my opinion as observed by me, but you are certainly entitled to your opinion.
     

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