Need Advice..New system trimmer hedger

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by intravino, Feb 13, 2010.

  1. intravino

    intravino LawnSite Member
    Messages: 23

    Hi, this is my first post.

    I'm not a landscaper, just an homeowner that need a good system for my lawn and ceder hedges. I have to trim some 50 feet long of ceder hedges that are at least 10 feet high that where never trimmed. The other hedges were trimmed before.

    I own right now a Stihl FS38 that I will sell on the internet. I just want to buy a good system now and not make the mistake of getting low end stuff but I don't want to overspend on professional stuff if it's not needed.

    Anyways, I am looking at purchasing an attachment system like the PAS, Kombi or others. I was looking at: Stihl, Echo, Shwindaiwa, Redmax, Husky and Tanaka.

    I have a few questions:

    I heard that it's better not get a hedge trimmer that the pole is too long?

    Is the Stihl KM55 motor head good or it's too low end?

    Paying extra for a solid shaft and bearing drive, is it worth it?

    What about 2 rings piston?

    Carburetors, What is the difference between :

    A) Walbro diaphragm

    B) Walbro WYL barrel valve carburetor for all position use, and excellent throttle response and fuel metering throughout entire rpm range.

    Does the Echo PAS system comes with a solid shaft and bearings?

    Does the 4 mix and C4 really more heavy then a traditional 2 stroke design?

    Thanks for your time.
  2. Lazer_Z

    Lazer_Z LawnSite Silver Member
    from NJ
    Messages: 2,578

    Go with Stihl & their Kombi system. If you're looking for commercial durability and power look at the KM 90 R, if you need to trim tall hedges the hedge trimmer attachment is ideal. It's not very heavy, but it can be a little awkward to use at certain points. The 90 would be just right and have enough power to do what you want without it being overkill. I have a KM 130 R, with the hedge trimmer, trimmer and edger attachments, that (the KM 130 R) would be way overkill for you just using it around your house.

    Hope this help some and if you have any more questions just ask.
  3. intravino

    intravino LawnSite Member
    Messages: 23

    Thanks for the Advice Lazer_Z !

    Two questions:

    Is there a big difference in the blades ( Hedge Trimmer ) between the high end manufacturers ?

    Also, I read that there was bugs in the 4-mix system is the beginning, are there any problems left?

  4. Lazer_Z

    Lazer_Z LawnSite Silver Member
    from NJ
    Messages: 2,578

    1st question: If I'm reading it correctly, you mean (and I'll use Stihl as an example) between an HS 45 and an HS 81 T? Those are both dedicated hand held hedge trimmers. If that's what you mean, then yes a unit like the HS 45 uses a blade against anvil cutting system whereas an HS 81 uses blade against blade, similar to a pair of scissors. The attachment for the Kombi uses blade against blade cutting. I believe Echo, Shindaiwa, Red Max and others use that as well.

    2nd question: Very early on there were problems and there are a few that pop up now and then, but I and a few others on here have 1st generation Stihl BR600 back pack blowers and have had zero problems. All of my hand held equipment is Stihl, that is how much I trust A: the brand and B: my dealer.

    A lot of guys that run stihl on here use the Synthetic oil in the white bottle when making their mix as well as a high grade of gasoline. I've personally used the orange bottle with a high grade of gas and noticed no problems, I am however going to try the Synthetic in the spring. You will also need to do a valve adjustment at least once in the machines life, you can do this your self if you are so inclined or your dealer can do it.

    I'm sure you've done enough research to know that the Stihl 4Mix and Shindaiwa C4 can be run at ANY angle, even up side down. They are not the type you see built by the likes of troy built that have a separate tank for the oil. With the Stihl and Shindaiwa machines you mix oil and gas as if you were using a traditional 2 cycle machine.

    Damn, I wrote a novel to 2 simple questions lol, I hope this makes things a little easier for you. :waving:
  5. Alan0354

    Alan0354 LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,450

    For 10' tall hedges, it is really a catch 22!!! Normally I would strongly recommend a short reach articulate hedge trimmer attachment. Only Shindaiwa and Husqvarna make multi tool attachment series with short reach articulate hedge attachment. This can totally replace a normal hedge trimmer and you only need this to do all hedge work. BUT, it does not reach to 10' unless you climb on a leather.

    What you need is a extended reach articulate hedge attachment. Every brand has it. BUT you cannot control it well enough to do regular hedge trimmer on short hedges, it is way to long.

    Stihl and Echo have only midium reach ( about 20") extension on the attachment side. It is the middle of the road. I don't know whether it is long enough. They all have extended reach articulate hedge attachment.

    If I were to deal with this, I would still get the Shindaiwa M242 or M2510 with both short and long reach articulate hedge attachment. Those attachment is about $220. With the two, you never need to buy a regular hedge trimmer anymore. I have M242 with short reach, I retire my Echo HC151!!!

    On the down side of Shindaiwa, Stihl have more attachment options for future use if you are willing to get a regular hedge trimmer on the side. I think Shihl have extension that is very useful for pole pruning which Shindaiwa don't have. You can get a lot more power with Stihl. My question is whether you need a lot of power?

    Echo don't have short reach articulate hedge attachment either but they have dethatcher attachment that nobody else have. So really come down to what you want in the future.

    Regarding 2 rings, I'd take a two rings any time of the day. Echo is single ring, both Stihl and Shindaiwa are two rings. I don't know about the new Stihl HomeScaper series. It used to be a two rings engine which is very good, but I think they change to a new engine, so I don't know.
  6. Lazer_Z

    Lazer_Z LawnSite Silver Member
    from NJ
    Messages: 2,578

    To the 1st highlighted sentence, BULL SH*T!!! I can reach 10' plus, I know this because I've done it. If you're buying an attachment or a dedicated machine that has the reach why do you need a ladder? that defeats the whole purpose of the dang machine. I did some trimming for a friend of some arborvitae that had to be at least 12' and the reach was perfect, no ladder needed.

    2nd sentence, It takes a good amount of upper body strength to keep the machine balanced ABOVE YOUR HEAD when using it. For normal trimming it's as easy as can be, as long as you know what you are doing.

    Please don't revert back to your old ways, you were for a while gaining my respect for not bashing Stihl as much as you had. I had already given the gentleman a power head recommendation, the KM 90 R. He's a home owner (just like you) he won't be needing the gobs and gobs of power the 110 and 130 produce so it would be foolish on my part to recommend either of those to him. The KM 55 may suit his needs, but even if I my self were a home owner I'd go with the 90.
  7. Alan0354

    Alan0354 LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,450

    Did you read the post? I WAS TALKING ABOUT THE SHORT REACH IS TOO SHORT FOR 10 FEET, NOT THE STIHL!!! The Stihl shorter one might or might not reach 10 feet. I would consider the long one instead of the Stihl short one.

    Even the shorter Stihl attachment is too long for regular hedge trimming compare to the true short reach like Shindaiwa or Husqvarna have.

    Read my post again, where did I say anything bad about Stihl. That was just my opinion on the kind of attachments options of different brands. Or is it just you are too sensitive to protect Stihl no matter what? Read the post again. All I said was Stihl don't have a true short reach articulate hedge attachment. Can you dispute this? Neither does Echo, does that make Echo bad? Which part you don't understand that I did say Stihl have more attachment option than Shindaiwa? That I have the Shindaiwa just because I want the true short reach.

    I don't need your respect. You can keep it. I won't be like you just everything for one brand no matter what. I am just being objective on the attachment option taylor to the poster's need, nothing more.

    Take your blinders off, I had said that I changed my mind after more experience about different brands and particular Stihl did improve the 4Mix. I have been very objective and mainly talk about options. In fact, after experience and reading about the newer 2 cycles having so much starting and warmup problem AND PLUS my Shindaiwa C4 blower have been the more reliable piece and not given me any problem at all for over 2 years make me take a new second look on those hybrid engine all together.

    So beat it!!!

    Back to the options, every brands have different option on attachments. It is more important to look for the attachment option you need than to just look at the brand. Shindaiwa don't have much option other than the true short reach articulate hedge trimmer. I think both Stihl and Echo have better option less the short reach. Both of them has extension that give extra 3' of extension which if you ever get a pole pruner attachment is vitally important........Look I am actually saying good things about Stihl and Echo!!!:laugh::laugh:

    Even about the single ring Echo engine, there are enough people here love the SRM265, and it has been in service for over two years already. Chances are they are good engine also. I just like two rings over one!!! That's just me. But just like all new 2 cycles, you need warmup to pull full rpm, and that is where the hybrid engines like 4Mix and C4 really shine. And both Shindaiwa and Stihl are working hard to improve them already. They could be the engine of the future!!!
    Last edited: Feb 14, 2010
  8. intravino

    intravino LawnSite Member
    Messages: 23

    Thanks Rob, it does make it easier. I don't understand at 100%, the short and long length attachment. But I can tell you this: I'm 100 % sure that I want articulated head. I own a couple of electric trimmers that are not ideal but can do the job at lower heights. I am really feed-up of going up and down on a ladder.

    Thanks Alan, I just don't want to do the mistake of getting something that I will have to change in a few years.
  9. Alan0354

    Alan0354 LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,450

    These are the link for the multi tool systems you mentioned. Take a look at the attachment option available. Shindaiwa has the least amount but it is the only one have true short reach articulate hedge trimmer attachment. Short reach means the attachment do not add any extra length to the shaft. Usually the power unit already have about 29" of shaft. The attachment attach at the end of the shaft. For a short reach, the gear box of the articulate head is right at the end of the shaft and the cutting blade right after the gear box. So this is the shortest configuration. Both Echo and Stihl have certain length of shaft on the attachment. This mean the total shaft length is quite a bit longer than the shaft of the power unit alone.

    I have the Shindaiwa M242. I can pretty much grab the gear box while trimming to get good control. With the extra 10+", I don't know how well you can control for everyday trimming. I just don't know, all I want is to tell you the option. But Shindaiwa don't have 3' extension shaft which make it quite useless for pole pruning attachment. So you have to weight it out yourself, nobody can make this decision for you. I can only tell you that I did a lot of thinking at the time and I decided that the short reach is the most important of it all and I settle with using a manual pole saw instead!!! For home owner, brand is not very important as all three are commercial brands. Again I try to be objective and also as you can see, brands can stirl up a lot of emotion!!!:laugh::laugh:
  10. Lazer_Z

    Lazer_Z LawnSite Silver Member
    from NJ
    Messages: 2,578

    Intravino, This is the setup that I would suggest for you KM 90 Hedge trimmer

    This is the carbon fiber extension shaft that can be added if need be, it's pricey though Here is the steel one, it's defiantly cheaper, but I don't know about the weight

    Alan, You can stick your opinion where the sun doesn't shine, I'm not wearing blinders. I've used and owned Echo & Shindaiwa so don't tell me I'm bias. I've found a brand of equipment that works for me and suits my needs, you are showing your ignorance here, remember who the PROFESSIONAL is who has to use the equipment day in day out and for a profit. YOU do not use equipment like I do nor will you ever.

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