Type of Hedge Trimmer

Discussion in 'Industry Surveys & Polls' started by J Dawg, Jun 13, 2013.

  1. J Dawg

    J Dawg LawnSite Member
    Posts: 70

    Hey guys, I am not sure if there is already a thread like this or not, so I apologize if this is redundant since I couldn't find anything. I am still pretty new to the business as I have only been doing this for a couple of seasons so far. I am up to about 6 or so clients for weekly/every other week mowing. :dancing:

    Anyway, I am looking at buying a pair of hedge trimmers for a couple of jobs I have coming up (the current ones I have are electric) and I was debating what kind to get. I want to keep the cost low since I can be quite frugal and do not enjoy spending a lot of money. Since I would only be using them about 10 or so times a year, I was thinking about just buying a cheap set for like $150 from Sears or Home Depot. I was wondering if it would be worth it for me to spend $300 or so dollars for a Stihl since I wouldn't be using it that frequently. Any input is appreciated! Thanks! :)
     
  2. NJ Grass

    NJ Grass LawnSite Member
    Posts: 107

    Spend the extra money and get a quality commercial pair. They're built to last longer and take more abuse, so they'll pay for themselves better over time. They also come with better warantees than homeowner models. Not too mention they'll outperform the cheap ones.
    Posted via Mobile Device
     
  3. GrassGuerilla

    GrassGuerilla LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,437

    It doesn't pay to buy cheap tools. New is safest. But if budget is tight a good used hedge trimmer would be better than a cheap new one.
    Posted via Mobile Device
     
  4. J Dawg

    J Dawg LawnSite Member
    Posts: 70

    Yeah, I found a used stihl HS 80 for sale for $100 on Craigslist, and a kawasaki KHT750S for $250. Has anyone had any experience with either? I have heard some good stuff about Kawasaki but have never used them personally.
     
  5. OakNut

    OakNut LawnSite Platinum Member
    Posts: 4,053

    Do what works for you.

    When I started, I picked up a 22" hedge trimmer from Sears. It's a Crapsman, but I've seen the same unit under different names. It works OK, but a commercial unit would be much, much better.

    Looks like this Weedeater...

    [​IMG]



    At the same time, I bought an articulating hedge trimmer attachment for my Stihl FS90R string trimmer. I use that a LOT. It cuts SO much nicer and has the power to gut the tough stuff when needed.

    [​IMG]

    The extra reach makes it extremely useful. It's a bit too bulky for shaping small shrubs, so I plan on getting a commercial trimmer to replace the Crapsman, but really, for all the more I've needed the small trimmer, the Crapsman has served me well and I was able to apply the money saved to other needed equipment.

    Heck, at risk of being labeled a hack and laughed off the forum, I have a crappy "Yardman" power head that I got at Wmart dirt cheap on clearance and several attachments that were also dirt cheap. I use them for jobs where I don't want to risk damaging my expensive commercial equipment.

    I paid $40 for the attachment on this one...

    [​IMG]

    Compare that to the $200 + (was it $287?) for the Stihl ATTACHMENT.
    Cheap stuff has it's place, just don't expect it to be comparable to a quality commercial piece of equipment.

    You'll get a better cut and much longer life out of a quality unit.
     
  6. J Dawg

    J Dawg LawnSite Member
    Posts: 70

    Forgot to mention that the Kawasaki hedge trimmers are unused.
     
  7. OakNut

    OakNut LawnSite Platinum Member
    Posts: 4,053

    As someone who started out with ZERO extra money to spend on anything, I understand where you are coming from financially, but I can tell you that you do not want to skimp on your trimmer. It will see hard use and if it goes down you are screwed.

    Hedge trimmers will likely see "occasional use" initially, so you can buy yourself time to upgrade, but your string trimmer is something you need every single day on every single job.
     
  8. J Dawg

    J Dawg LawnSite Member
    Posts: 70

    Thanks for the input OakNut! I am currently running a stihl fs 90r like you have for a string trimmer. I bought that last year and I love it! Has a lot of power (especially after coming off a 20 year old echo weed whip that had a curved shaft)! I was thinking about the Weed Eater hedge trimmers that you posted but I am seriously considering the Kawasaki trimmer for $250. I am at the point that I don't want to spend a lot of money, but don't want to have to replace equipment for 6+ years if well maintained. I might give the guy with the Kawasaki a call tomorrow.

    By the way, I hope you don't mind me asking, but why does the Stihl fs 90 R have two handles? I have seen a couple of other guys do that and was wondering why. is it just for comfort?
     
  9. OakNut

    OakNut LawnSite Platinum Member
    Posts: 4,053


    Haha - that confuses a lot of people.
    It makes for easier handling when trimming hedges. I had that handle lying around from an old Homelite or something and tried it out. It works great for hedge trimming - the balance point is not the same as with the string trimmer head. Since it weighs nothing and isn't in the way while string trimming, I just leave it on.
     
  10. J Dawg

    J Dawg LawnSite Member
    Posts: 70

    Gotcha! I was thinking it would probably be something simple like functionality when using it for different purposes, but I wasn't sure. Thanks for clarifying that for me.
     

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