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What is most important in a trimmer?

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by Acute Cut, Jun 23, 2004.


What is most important in a trimmer?

  1. POWER! Tim allen drool on.

    41 vote(s)
  2. Weight? Arms like PeeWee and its heavy....

    31 vote(s)
  3. GAS! You want HOW MUCH PER GALLON?!!!

    2 vote(s)
  4. Earth Friendly-i cant even submit this seriously. lol

    1 vote(s)
  1. Acute Cut

    Acute Cut LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 980

    Ok, question is what is most important when buying a trimmer. Weight, Power, fuel economy, Earth friendly (For all you electric fans out there:D )

    My dealer and i were having this discussion and he said he knew people that did not think like i do. HOW DARE THEY! lol. I'll post my thoughts in a bit as seeing how i would really like to see what yall say first. Thanks.

    (P.S. This thread is a little bit of research as well for the article i am writing for TURF on the Stihl 110. Thanks guys)
  2. Potchkins

    Potchkins LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 570

    power first in a light package second
  3. hole in one lco

    hole in one lco LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,793

    The carb is the most important, If i cant flip it over it useless to me

    TROTTMAN LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 397

    For me its weight as long as the power is decent or avarage. I would say weight first, then power, then fuel efficiency.

    The thing is, for most lawns that are kept up with weekly or bi-weekly, a huge 1.4+hp engine isn't needed. Really as long as its about 1hp it can handle all the edging and trimming for regularly maintained lawns. But this is just me, and I only do lawns. I never brush cut and I rarely have to deal with overgrown lawns.
  5. Richard Martin

    Richard Martin LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 14,700

    At one time I had thought that I looked at weight as a major issue and it still is but since I bought a Stihl FS80 2 weeks ago I have changed my mind. I had read a lot about the Stihl trimmers here at Lawnsite and everything I read was good so I decided to try one. So I get the FS80 home and take it for a test spin.

    I had been using Shindaiwa T-230s prior to this purchase so some of my observations will be of the comparison nature.

    As soon as I started the Stihl up I noticed it was loud, very loud. In fact it seemed like it was twice as loud as my Shindaiwas with the spark arrestors removed. The spark arrestor was still in the Stihl by the way.

    I started trimming and I then noticed that the trimmer head assembly seems to weigh a good bit more than the Shindaiwa. I don't really care for this since it is more weight that I have to move around constantly.

    On the plus side the power head on the Stihl is lighter than the Shindaiwa. With the Shindaiwa sometimes my back would start to ache after a while. I have not noticed this with the Stihl.

    Well after about 5 minutes of trimming I noticed that the trimmer was starting to dig into my arm right below my elbow. I stopped the trimmer and looked at my elbow. It was getting red from the abrasion of the trimmer. So I looked at the trimmer and saw that there were a lot of sharp angles on the case of the power head. I took the trimmer into my shop and rounded off the sharp edges. Back to work I went.

    Well the trimmer still abraded my arm. The only thing left was the plastic housing surrounding the spark plug. So it's back to the shop to cut the housing down.

    Okay now the trimmer is not rubbing on my arm anywhere but now I am getting very hot air blowing out of the spark plug opening in the housing onto my arm.

    I'm thinking to myself that there must be something wrong. There is no way Stihl would release a trimmer that would cause this many problems to an operator. So I thought about it for a second and decide to try something.

    Ever since I started trimming I have trimmed "left handed". That is with the throttle trigger in my left hand. So I switched to holding the trimmer right handed. Bam! All of the trouble disappeared. There was no hot air on my arm and my arm didn't even come close to the spark plug opening.

    The Stihl is also a pig on gas. It uses about 50% more than my Shindaiwas did. This is not a good thing with gas prices the way they are.

    The Stihl does very well when it is being used to edge beds and sidewalks. The extra weight of the trimmer head assembly gives it more stability than the Shindaiwa. The lighter weight of the power head also means that my left hand, which is holding the power head 4 feet off the ground, doesn't fatigue as quickly as with the Shindaiwas.

    The Stihl has major power compared to the Shindys. They are like toys compared to the Stihl. With 105 line the Stihl was burning everything clean to the ground. This irritated me and it was not my style to scalp trim. So I swapped out the 105 for my usual Echo Crossfire 080 and I can now get that "skim" trim that I like so much. I have tried 105 in my Shindaiwas and they didn't have the power to trim with it.

    All in all I would now have to say that the first thing I will look at in the future will be which hand the trimmer is built to trim with. I hate to have to do this much work to a trimmer when it is brand new and it still blows hot air on my arm.
  6. allstar

    allstar LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 282

    I've been in this business for about a year now and,even though I have 2 nice JD trimmers,I still use Weedeater brand trimmers 90% of the time.For most basic trimming jobs(cutting around trees,along ditchbanks,etc.)I don't really need alot of power;I just want something that's lightweight and easy to handle.These Weedeater trimmers are soooooooo light and seem to hold up fine.The price,around $80,is hard to beat.The only time I use the JD trimmers is when I'm cutting heavy brush and for walkways I use stick edgers.
  7. Rick Jones

    Rick Jones LawnSite Senior Member
    from NY
    Posts: 427

    Weight is important, as well as balance. You can have two trimmers, weighing exactly the same, but one is easier to handle because the weight is distributed more evenly.
  8. txlawnking

    txlawnking LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,905

    For me its all of the above, but most important. LOW Vibration, I've got carpal tunnel and I HATE a trimmer that makes your hand go numb.
  9. Acute Cut

    Acute Cut LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 980

    Hmmmm, interesting. Well, there are more "light trimmer" guys than i thought there would be. My trimmer is 19.8lbs (I think) and i wouldnt give it up for one instant. As a matter of fact, i have 5 trimmers in my invatory right now. All fully functional. Myself and my two employees will chose the big heavy ones every time. Why? POWER! The light ones get used if ours break or we have a newbie. I figure i'll get used to the weight. Ya, i know, i dont have a job ________hours long. Ya, i do. :D I still say power over anything else. Some other trimmers are more comfortable, but still.............. I hate getting into something with too small of equipment. If my trimmer cant handle it then i put on the blade. There is NOTHING so far it cant tackle. I even can take out 2" diameter trees with one swing with the blade on.

    Very interesting post. I am surprised also that there was not ONE person who was most concerned about fuel efficiency. Maybe someone with some pull somewhere will catch this thread and get a clue!

    TROTTMAN LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 397

    Acute Cut,

    I think the reason no one mentioned fuel economy is that the trimmers are pretty much the least of our gas worries as a whole. Mowers use the majority of gas. The blowers use more than the trimmers, but still not much. What you have to worry about more than anything is the vehicle. Not to say that you shouldn't look for fuel efficiency in smaller power equipment, I'm just making a guess as to why no one picked that as the MOST important thing.

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