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commercial use?...you might as well be using a pair of scissors than one of those things...but if you must use one i would go with the ryobi...
you're gonna get tons of guys telling you to go with commercial machines...if you can't afford them then don't go with them...start with what you can a work your way up...no reason to bankrupt your business cause of one trimmer
I’ve use both in past -as I always tried to save money. In the long run you loose. I still have the Ryobi with trimmer and hedge trimmer attachment. Problem with Ryobi:
1) Gas tank it located on top and its small –when I was cutting 5 accts in one day I had to fill up gas after 45 min of work. I was trimming and edging with it
2) Talking about edging-if you plan to use it to edge, get ready for frustration-because the tank is located on the top and the gas line has no filter or weight box(inside the tank) you have to keep it perfectly angled or it will starve of gas. When I was trimming and edging with it, I had to constantly fill to full tank otherwise once I hit half tank I can’t turn in sideways.
3) The head is small and doesn’t hold enough line-again if this is for your personal use ,that’s fine but once you have few lawns to trim you will be adding line very frequently.
4) Most important-the engine is on the week side so you will have to use 0.85 line –anything larger and it will vibrate and won’t cut the grass but will sort of shred it –I tried to use echo line 0.90 and you will hear the engine drop to half speed once it hits the grass with the 0.90 in it.
As far a Craftsman-I had an older model and it was heavy and the head was very difficult to load and was small-I returned it after 10 days of use-that was about 6 years ago so they might of comm. Long way.
If you plan to use it for your personal use- I would go with Ryobi. I am no professional/commercial landscaper but I have about 40 lawns and when I was starting I always though –every time I ask about something every one started this –BUY commercial spend top dollar. I always went with the low end brands-now I rather wait and get commercial quality stuff.
If I may recommend I use Toro Pro-line string trimmer that I bought it in ACE Hardware for $143 made in Japan –Head and gear box is made in Italy-never been happier.
I have a Ryobi for home use and it is fine. I did have to replace a flywheel the first year due to it cracking. You are better off posting questions like this in the Homeowner forum if it is personal use.