Solid shaft vs cable trimmer

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by BSnyder, Apr 26, 2006.

  1. BSnyder

    BSnyder LawnSite Member
    Messages: 17

    How big of a difference does a steel shaft make over a flex shaft? I saw that 1 of the Kawasaki trimmers will accept a blade attachment, something I may be interested in using in the future. Are blade attachments strictly for solid shaft trimmers?
  2. SEKscag

    SEKscag LawnSite Member
    Messages: 40

    As far as I know the solid shaft Stihl units are the only stihls that offer attachments. I have both a cable and shaft driven trimmer and feel the performance is about even on both. I got the shaft trimmer as a second trimmer so I could add the attachments to it. Just my .02.
  3. JTF40

    JTF40 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 875

    First of all, solid shaft trimmers are more durable - i.e., SOLID.
    Second, on the Kawasaki's, the KTR's are really for entry level. Now the KGT's & the KBL's, are truely commercial units. The ONLY difference between the two is that the KBL will accept a blade. The Kawasaki's have the BEST power-to-weight ratio in the business - 26cc, 10.2 lbs, 1.6 hp.

    The only reason I bought a KGT over the other is because last week I found a company on Ebay that sold me a NEW unit for $215.00 + $15.00 shipping. I checked everywhere and the best price I could find was $259.00. I finally got a good bargain.:weightlifter:

    If at all possible, get a KBL or a KGT. :usflag:
  4. z_clark

    z_clark LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 369

    I have been told by the dealer that the solid shaft units are more durable. This being said, we broke the shaft on a sthil edger last week :rolleyes: It was a cheep fix, and we have plenty other units that have never had a problem.
  5. rob7233

    rob7233 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 872

    The difference between the two as I understand it is, in theory, less power loss (more torque) with the solid shaft since it is more direct, with no flexing. What attachments are you interested in using? That info would help people in giving you advice for a purchasing decision. Most trimmers are not able to accept a blade. Some others will take attachments like hedge trimmers, power brooms, cultivators etc. A lot more than just the shaft, determines if a machine will work well with some of the above attachments. Have you looked at or considered a spilt shaft unit?
  6. NEPSJay

    NEPSJay LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 492

    Cable would be more durable than solid. Heres why: think of safety cable vs. safety chain. Its a hell of alot harder to cut cable w/ bolt cutters than it is to cut a link of chain of the same diameter.
  7. BSnyder

    BSnyder LawnSite Member
    Messages: 17

    Safety cable may or may not be more difficult to cut than safety chain. But, neither really have anything to do with Solid or hollow shafts vs 5,6 or 7 ply cable shafts in a grass trimer application.
  8. BSnyder

    BSnyder LawnSite Member
    Messages: 17

    Thanks everyone. As far as durability, I guess either will be fine for my limited use.

    rob7233- As for attachments, I didn't mean hedge trimmer, power broom or cultivator attachments. Just a metal blade for cutting thicker stuff.

    Is one style more or less prone to vibration issues?
  9. rob7233

    rob7233 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 872

    I wouldn't think so regarding the vibration issue except if you bend the solid shaft you may or may not be able to bend it back to the original "balanced" condition. By that time you got other issues> like a bent outer shaft. The only other thing that i can see is, the need to flip the flex (inner) shaft over, that is, to reverse or switch the ends at the engine side. This is something that manufactures suggest in a curved shaft stick edger which always use the flex shaft. I actually read it in the owner's manual......This will even out the wear in the end off the inner (flex) shaft since it's not solid. Which units do you have your choices narrowed down to ???
  10. BSnyder

    BSnyder LawnSite Member
    Messages: 17

    I decided to go with the Shindaiwa T-230. Spent a little more than I planned but I think it'll be worth it. Local dealer had Kawasaki, Tanaka and Shindaiwa lines. The tanaka TBC-225 was priced at $209 but the controls and hand grip were low budget. Was a toss-up between the Kawasaki and Shindaiwa but they threw in a Speed-Feed head and some line so I went with it. Thanks for all the advice guys.

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