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Honda 35cc trimmer review

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing Equipment' started by Valk, Apr 17, 2013.

  1. Valk

    Valk LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,738

    I'm solo and wanted a backup trimmer (with some added power) for my Stihl FS-80 2-stroke. While I'm unsure as to the advertised power of an FS-80, I find it mostly adequate as it does indeed have more power than my old commercial RM that it replaced.

    Winter research led me to all the brands and all the choices out there...which is a LOT. Then it hit me. What would be best for me and my customer? Less stench and less noise -> that only a true 4-cycle that runs on straight gas can deliver. The smaller Honda-engined Husky was ruled out due to it not being listed under their commercial trimmers...and I just wanted more power anyways. So, it came down to Honda's 35.8cc vs Dolmar's 33.5cc. I found a Honda HHT35SLTA hanging on the rack of a great local dealer and bought it.


    Pros: seamless POWER, padded handle, easy to start, VERY quiet, power is easily feathered, no smell, sips the fuel

    Cons: heavy

    First off, this unit just feels like quality in how the controls operate and how easy it starts. There is a large/wide throttle button-trigger instead of an exposed skinny trigger. While I've never broken a trimmer trigger, I can't see how this button could even be damaged. It utilizes a cable for it's driveshaft as opposed to a metal shaft...as this is supposed to increase shock absorption to the clutch/engine. It revs VERY smoothly.

    I can carry on a conversation w/o having to raise my voice one iota while this thing is idling. At full throttle it is probably a little louder than an idling 2 stroke (except for the sound of the trimmer-line whirring). Running just off idle makes for the kind of trimming I prefer = low RPM with no carbon buildup. Edging is a dream due to the instant torque. Can't recall even needing full throttle thus far. This thing sips the gas so slowly - like I've never seen.

    The stock trimmerhead is similar to an Echo in that it takes one piece of line folded in the middle and then wound on. Due to the sheer power I've found that just plain round line works better than the twisted line I was using.

    WITH the guard and head installed this Honda comes in at 14.8 lbs. Since I don't need to use it trimming all day as a solo, it's not a big deal to me. The Dolmar is 14.7 lbs "without tool and cover". Honda FTW.

    This is not a trimmer for everybody, especially for an employee...more or less just due to the weight. The abundance of power is not always needed, but it is there in reserve. There are a few times/year (late May/early June) when I do some brush/grass clearing and then I'll really see what this thing will do.

    For ~$380 I don't think this Honda is overpriced. (Heck, it's just $30 more than the 25cc Honda model) Am pretty sure these can be purchased at HD or perhaps some other big box stores for ~$360 (w/o tax), but I prefer to support my dealer...& for a number of other good reasons.

    I've not tried Honda's lil 25cc trimmer, but it is available in a Honda HHT25S or a Husky 224L. The claims of these true 4-cycle trimmers paying for themselves in fuel savings coupled w/ no need for 2-stroke oil expense are probably true...though it will take a few years at the rate I use it...but I can see that it will happen in ~5-6 yrs.

    Both Honda's accept a blade if one wants to go that route.

    If someone would want to review their 25cc Honda here, it would be most welcome.
  2. weeze

    weeze LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 12,558

    nice review. i've had my 25cc honda for 10 years now. i paid $299 for it. i basically agree with everything you said. the same is true for the 25cc trimmer. the weight is only noticeable when you first buy it but you get used to it. everyone thinks they are heavy because they've been using 9lb 2 stroke trimmers so the first thought they have is honda is too heavy. the 25cc is 13lbs. i don't even notice the weight anymore. i've used it for hrs at a time with no issues in fatigue. it's only 4lbs more than a 9lb trimmer and 2lbs more than a 11lb trimmer that many are these days. once you get used to it it's no big deal at all. it's only a few more lbs.

    i can tell you my honda uses half as much fuel as my dad's husqvarna 323L 2 stroke trimmer. the gas savings is huge not to mention no oil to mix with the gas. you do change the oil in the honda every 50hrs but it's less than 3oz of oil so takes about 5min to do an oil change. you just turn the trimmer on it's side and dump the old oil out and then set trimmer on a level surface and put oil in it until it starts to drip out of the hole. even with the bottom of the hole is the full mark. so using the dipstick to read it really isn't even necessary but you can if you want to.

    these things are built like tanks man. i checked my valves for the first time in 10 years and they were still in perfect adjustment. basically you will never need to adjust the valves at all on these trimmers unless you have yours for 20 years or more.

    i've never had any issues and it still cranks first pull every time. i also bought a husqvarna 324ldx since it accepts attachments and i'm using it as an edger and a backup trimmer. it has the same honda 25cc engine.

    in my honest opinion the hondas or husqvarna/hondas are the best trimmers out there. reliable and less expense to operate.

    just think about it. 10 years i've been using half as much gas as a 2 stroke and no expensive oil mix. that is a huge amount of savings. the small amount of oil these trimmers use is almost free since you can just use any spare oil you have around leftover from mower oil changes or whatever. i usually have an extra quart sitting around just to top off the oil level on all my equipment if needed anyways.
  3. Ridin' Green

    Ridin' Green LawnSite Fanatic
    Male, from Michigan
    Messages: 17,610

    Good review Valk.

    But....... I don't see any pics of the average sized oaks you've cut down with it.:laugh:

    Actually, some pics of the trimmer would be nice.;)
  4. Valk

    Valk LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,738

    I did provide a link! -heh

    Tired of 2-stroke fumes. I'm even considering a Dolmar 4-cycle blower - except for leaf season when the RM can spread her wings. Who has a 4 cycle hedge-trimmer??? I realize there are attachments for the Husky/Honda, but quite pricey.
  5. Ridin' Green

    Ridin' Green LawnSite Fanatic
    Male, from Michigan
    Messages: 17,610

    Might be my computer, but the link doesn't work for me. Doesn't Honda make a 4 stroke hedge trimmer?
  6. Valk

    Valk LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,738

    Honda's site has been slow today. I just tried it and it worked, but it took awhile.

    I don't see an hedge-trimmers on their site...dang-it.
  7. weeze

    weeze LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 12,558

    they make them but it's over in austrailia and europe. they don't sale them here in the usa yet.

    i'm using battery powered hedge trimmers right now since i don't do much shrub trimming work.

    i wish honda did sale them here as well as a backpack blower.

    Last edited: Apr 17, 2013
  8. DXN1EL

    DXN1EL LawnSite Senior Member
    from TEXAS
    Messages: 721

    A few months ago, I went with the local JD dealer to purchase a new trimmer. I was an Echo guy a had no issues with the brand. I was thinking to get another Echo. I was looking at the ones the dealer had. notice this Honda 35cc, so I bought it.!
    paid $403.99

    It is reliable it a HONDA, a bit heavier which make it UNSTOPPABLE, no mixing crap in the gas which is also a plus on this trimmer.

    If you are like me who likes to have something "HEAVY BUT UNSTOPPABLE" this is the trimmer you should be looking at.!
    Last edited: Apr 17, 2013
  9. crazyflyboy30

    crazyflyboy30 LawnSite Senior Member
    from Alabama
    Messages: 372

    Honda 35cc was my first choice .But I could only get good deal on Husqvarna so I got the Husqvarna 224L that has a 25cc Honda on it. $276 out the door.
  10. Valk

    Valk LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,738

    That's a great price especially when Husky's site has MSRP at ~$330. Honda's 25cc lists at ~$350. You're quite the bargain finder!

    I've so far (gasp) left the guard on this behemoth. While I do feel less pain/debris hitting me, I still hate it when it gets in the way. Surprisingly, I can edge just fine cuz I can see what I'm doing/see where I'm at as I walk backwards while edging hard surfaces. I seem to recall other past guards blocking my vision while edging.

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