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Help me decide between these string trimmers

Discussion in 'Homeowner Assistance Forum' started by bamorris2, May 15, 2012.

  1. bamorris2

    bamorris2 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 4

    I'm a homeowner looking for a new string trimmer for my personal use. I have a normal run-of-the-mill tract house, but I still want a decent trimmer. I purchased an Echo GT-200R from HD about 4-5 years ago. I've never been completely satisfied with it because of its lack of power. Granted, I don't do any heavy trimmer, and the lack of power was really a mental issue versus an actual physical hindrance to getting the job done. So when the GT-200R ceased working recently, I wasn't too upset at the though of replacing it. :)

    So I've been doing some looking in local stores as well as researching online, and I've narrowed it down to a few. I'm looking for suggestions to help me make my final decision. Budget is around $200, and I want to buy at a local store.

    Here's my short list, along with notable pros or cons that I'm aware of.

    Kawasaki KTFR27A. This is Kawasaki's residential trimmer. Has a good size commercial engine, but has a "3 bearing residential gearhead". Not sure how this type of gearhead compares to my other choices. Also has braided steel cable drive, which does not bother me. $199 from local dealer.

    Tanaka TCG22EASSLP. Smaller 21cc motor. 7 year consumer warranty. Don't know much else about this trimmer, but I've heard that Tanaka makes good equipment. How does the power compare to my current Echo? $199 from local dealer.

    Stihl FS55R. Big motor. Legendary Stihl name, but I've read that their reputation has gone down over the last few years. $220 from local dealer.

    Echo SRM-215. Not too impressed with Echo based on my previous trimmer, and this looks to have a similar sized motor. Dealers say that this one is better, but they can't necessarily say that I'll be happier with the power. Also, this unit just seems a little over-built to me, meaning too much plastic and they tried to make it look too pretty. $199 from just about every equipment shop + HD in the area.

    That's about it for choices. So what do you think?
  2. zechstoker

    zechstoker LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 975

    IMO, you really can't go wrong with Stihl, though there's always going to be someone who will pose a debate on that. I haven't run a Stihl that I didn't like, but I would advise anyone to steer clear of their lithium ion line-up. I can't speak for the rest of the options listed above as I haven't used any of them.
    Posted via Mobile Device
  3. LawnMan19

    LawnMan19 LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,284

    I would say the Echo but I am biased because that's all I run and haven't been disappointed with them, and I believe you mean the SRM-225.:)
  4. bamorris2

    bamorris2 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 4

    Yes, sorry, meant the SRM-225
    Posted via Mobile Device
  5. Duekster

    Duekster LawnSite Fanatic
    from DFW, TX
    Messages: 7,961

    I have not heard about the reputation failure you speak about.
  6. Fumundachz

    Fumundachz LawnSite Member
    Messages: 16

    My dealer let me demo a couple models today to make my choice. I don't know if your local dealers would do that or not but it couldn't hurt to ask.

    I also heard the Husqvarna 128l was a great trimmer. It has a 28cc motor and is in your price range.

    MS_SURVEYOR LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,002

  8. ommegang

    ommegang LawnSite Member
    Messages: 164

  9. macgyver_GA

    macgyver_GA LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 826

    I have the kawasaki KTFR27A. I bought it about a month ago and use it for light commercial work (Only 11 accounts part time) and it's great. I went with it because it was one of the lightest trimmers but still had decent power. I do very little if any "brush" trimming, only basic trimming of grass around obstacles. I put a speedfeed head (375 model) on mine and it's awesome. I was on the fence between the FS55 and the Kawasaki. I ended up getting the Kawasaki for $190 because it was their display model (it had never been used, just open box).
  10. badbascom

    badbascom LawnSite Member
    from Tx
    Messages: 9

    Husky 223L for me, it was 10 lbs versus a comparable echo of 14 lbs. Its not a powerhouse though, if you need big power it may not be the one for you. I only trim around trees and landscaping so it is plenty for what do.

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