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New SUPER lightweight trimmer

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing Equipment' started by JimsLocalLawn, May 19, 2017.

  1. TPendagast

    TPendagast LawnSite Fanatic
    Male
    Messages: 10,760

    I thought this was going to be a spoof thread on scissors.

    I've always liked Tanaka
    We don't have any around here
    Heck just about ALL we have is stihl
     
  2. JimsLocalLawn

    JimsLocalLawn LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 878

    Sorry to bump this thread. I promised a video and I did make a video review of this Tanaka. Was planning on editing it over the off season and posting it. My SD card in my phone now says it's damaged. Tried to recover the data but the SD card is shot (no idea why). Unfortunately the video was saved on that SD card :( I will get a video up eventually, but I doubt it will be this year - so I'll touch base on the highlights of things I like and dislike about this trimmer.

    It is super lightweight, 9 pounds total weight and very well balanced. The hand grip is the best / most comfortable I've ever used. The trimmer has more power than say a SRM-225 but not as powerful as say a Stihl FS110 either. We take the guards off and run 10" of line on each side and this trimmer doesn't bog down when doing so. Speed feed head spins right on (without adapters) and overall this trimmer is probably one of the best "day to day" trimmers out there. I can't stress how nice the weight / balance of this unit is! In my opinion there is nothing else on the market to compete with it. If your looking for comfort you won't be disappointed.

    To the things I don't like...
    First and foremost - the gas tank! It's just too small! We fill this thing up every yard / other yard while with the smaller echo's we fill up every 3-4 yards. It doesn't sound like a big issue, but if your trimming a cemetery that gas tank is a problem. Secondly this unit is nowhere near the build quality of mainstream brands like Stihl , Echo, etc. I'd go as far as saying it's not near the build quality of their own products. I've had tanaka in the past and they were bullet proof - not this model. The bolts that hold the plastic shroud on the engine broke off in the back in the first 30 days. On the 3rd month of heavy use the carb died (I run 100:1 Amsoil). The shut off switch on this trimmer had quit 3 times this year, and the throttle trigger spring inside got "sticky". Of all the breakdowns Tanaka fixed them all under warranty no questions asked, and I was pretty impressed with the price of the parts (even though I didn't pay for them) but this maybe the problem to begin with. The carb was $30, spring was $1, shut off switch was $2. and the screws were 10 for $1.

    Now I will go as far as saying this. My guys FIGHT for this trimmer. If I ask them to take out a Shindaiwa or Stihl they look at me like they did something wrong and are being punished. Everybody who touched this trimmer doesn't want to use anything else. My son is 11 and has no trouble using this trimmer. If you hire smaller guys / women this would be a great trimmer choice for them as well. Maybe I got unlucky with my unit but the warranty is rock solid if you have a nearby dealer. Stihl, Echo, etc would of fought tooth and nail over the carb (trust me I've been through it) and they gave me no trouble what so ever with the replacement. Would I recommend this trimmer? Sure. Would I recommend it over a Echo / Stihl / Husqvarna / Shindaiwa? No - simply because it was the first trimmer I had that broke down so quickly. Maybe I been lucky, but none of the mainstream trimmers had broken down on me that fast. Would I buy another one? In a heartbeat! Next year I'm going to buy at least 2 more just because everybody wants to use them and I trust the warranty. I may buy an extra if these breakdowns become common just to have a backup. Are they the best trimmer for the money? NO, but they are lightest / most comfortable. Sometimes ease of use trumps quality when it comes to trimmers.

    Hope this helps - sorry for the long post.
     
  3. Gus McGee

    Gus McGee LawnSite Member
    Messages: 24

    That is my main concern. Our employees seem to be good at breaking stuff.
     
    RDALawns likes this.
  4. JaekayDesign

    JaekayDesign LawnSite Member
    Messages: 213

    Do the echoes 225 have longer shafts than the stihls? I am 6'2", I LOVE weed eating and getting down with if.. They just make me hunch over and hurt my back. So much I have considered making a longer drive shaft and maybe using a carbon fiber longer shaft with aluminum ends. Also... Why hasn't anyone made a "race" version f a string trimmer? Ya know ... Magnesium drive shaft gear box, carbon shield. Carbon engine covers, or anodized aluminum, carbon fiber shaft with a titanium drive shaft?? I know it can be done.. Maybe this will be a side hobby... Develop the lightest, baddest string trimmer out there.. Using a factory engine, just modified, along with everything else..
     
  5. ed2hess

    ed2hess LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 14,464

    And the cost would be...:rolleyes: Shafts about same between echo 265 and stihl 94r ....give or take an inch or so
     
  6. ltdlawn

    ltdlawn LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,651

  7. Dawson

    Dawson LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 883

  8. Ridin' Green

    Ridin' Green LawnSite Fanatic
    Male, from Michigan
    Messages: 17,649

    Copied from this link on the history of Hitachi-
    https://www.hitachipowertools.com/us/main-navigation/tanaka-history

    "In May of 2007, Hitachi Koki Co., Ltd from Japan acquired Tanaka and created two new companies- Nikko Tanaka Engineering Co., Ltd. to conduct OPE manufacturing and domestic sales in Japan and then Nikko Tanaka Engineering USA Ltd., to conduct North American sales and support, based out of Auburn, WA."
     
    hort101 and Dawson like this.
  9. JaekayDesign

    JaekayDesign LawnSite Member
    Messages: 213

    Oh, yeah.. the “race” weedeater would be hella expensive. Look at the first professional downhill mountain bikes. They were exotic, one off, light, and expensive as hell with a lot of anodized parts,carbon here, titanium there.. that’s kinda where I am going with it. Would it be practical and make and sense other than just getting a 110 and working it..? No..
    Would it be cool as hell and be super light.. yes. That’s all.
    I feel like some people are too serious on this board and and too business. It’s cutting grass.. I love it. It’s fun and I love the equipment and making a lawn look good. Idk.. that’s just me
     
    Valk likes this.

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