multi task tools or not

Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by psdnate, Jan 28, 2010.

  1. psdnate

    psdnate LawnSite Member
    Messages: 123

    This will be my first season. I will be doing res. I'm looking at trimmers, edgers and stuff. Should I go with the multi task tools or not? What are the pros and cons? What do you guys use and recommend?
  2. SangerLawn

    SangerLawn LawnSite Senior Member
    from indiana
    Messages: 736

    I do not like them for 2 reasons.

    First there are more moving parts, the more moving parts the more likely something is to break.

    Second we do not use edgers. If someone knows how to use a trimmer correctly it is by far the best edger you can get. I know people are going to tell me I don’t know what i am talking about….but….take a look on my profile at my photo albums…you will find some pictures of my guys edging with a trimmer along with pictures of some edging.

    Another words….why waste your money when you can simply buy 1 really good trimmer, learn how to use it to its potential,and keep it for a long time :)
  3. SangerLawn

    SangerLawn LawnSite Senior Member
    from indiana
    Messages: 736

    by the way...welcome to the site :)
  4. hackitdown

    hackitdown LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,610

    I have a Stihl Kombi tool. It is an excellent product. I have the trimmer, edger, hedge clipper, and brush cutter attachments. For 90% of the lawn trimming, I have dedicated trimmers. The Kombi trimmer is mostly for backup.

    For a solo guy, it is a pretty good way to go. But if you plan to edge every lawn, switching from trimmer to edger is too slow.

    I started with a normal Stihl trimmer. When I needed to get an edger, I went Kombi, and bought the edger and trimmer attachments. That gave me an edger, a backup trimmer, and a platform for the other attachments. I went 4 seasons with that setup. Finally I got another dedicated trimmer since we needed 2 trimmers all the time to keep up. It is a really well made tool, and has held up for years on an open trailer...and employee use. I do minimal maintenance.
  5. mowerbrad

    mowerbrad LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,268

    The kombi unit is great if you are looking to use it for at least 3 different tools, thats when it's worth paying the money. So if you are just going to be using it as a trimmer and edger, then you may want to look at buying two separate pieces of equipment. But if you are going to be buying several tools (ie trimmer, edger, hedge trimmer, pole pruner, etc.) that is when the kombi will be beneficial to you.

    My kombi is my backup trimmer, my edger and my hedge trimmer. It is a great unit since it is very easy to switch from one tool to another. But this unit is not my main unit, just a secondary. I think as a solo operator the kombi can be a great tool, as owners usually take better care of equipment than employees do. My stihl kombi is a great tool, just make sure you get one that is big enough to handle all the tools, I got the km110.
  6. 93Chevy

    93Chevy LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 37,804

    I have the Echo PAS system. It is an invaluable tool, in my opinion. It's my main trimmer, plus I also have a brush cutter attachment and stick edger. I may buy a dedicated trimmer this season, we'll see. It's great to be able to have everything you need with only one power head.

    Main pro to using a system like this: cost. The attachment run about 1/3 the price of a dedicated unit. Also, my Echo has enough power to cut or dig through about anything.

    However, you have to look at it this way: A contractor generally has 3-5 drills in his van. Typically a cordless drill, a heavy 1/2" corded drill, a medium/heavy corded rotary hammer/hammer drill, maybe a heavy right angle drill, and probably a drywall screw gun. Sure, any one of these drill can probably complete tasks normally assigned to other drills, but each one is designed for one or two purposes. Start using them for more than that, and you will loose satisfaction. A PAS or Kombi unit is designed to do a variety of jobs, and doesn't really perform any one function better than a dedicated trimmer, etc.

    Just my 2 cents.
  7. psdnate

    psdnate LawnSite Member
    Messages: 123

    Thanks for the replies guys! I think I'm gonna stay away from the multi task tools for now. Maybe get one as a back up later on.
  8. sawinredneck

    sawinredneck LawnSite Member
    from Kansas
    Messages: 157

    I love my Shinny unit, but a couple of problems, it's heavy, it's overpowered for just weed eating (you really have to be careful around shrubs and trees, sometimes even fences) and if it goes down, I'm hosed!
    I am looking at a small straight shaft dedicated unit just to save some wear on it and my back.
  9. Valk

    Valk LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,711

    Combo's seem great in theory, and I'm sure they come in times.

    Dedicated units are made for their task...not a jack of all trades kind of thing.
    String-trimmer, hedge-trimmer, chainsaw, handheld blower, backpack blower = all essential pieces of equipment in my book.
  10. 93Chevy

    93Chevy LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 37,804

    Don't think that multi units are "bad"...they're good for what they do, but they don't do any one task better than a dedicated unit. They have their purpose and their market. I wouldn't trade mine in, I'm glad I have one. They're cost savers for a one-man operation.

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