Stihl Trimmer Selection... help please!

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing Equipment' started by ColliCut Land Mgmt, Jan 31, 2014.

  1. ColliCut Land Mgmt

    ColliCut Land Mgmt LawnSite Member
    Messages: 139

    So this will be my first season on my own. I have enough commercial business lined up to keep me busy (none direct, I'm sub'ing for a guy I know and trust), so I doubt I'll look for any new accounts this year. I purchased a Stihl BR600 last fall to help with leaf clean-up, and would like to stay with Stihl for handhelds. That said... I need to pick up a new trimmer in the next couple weeks and I'm torn on what to purchase.

    I'd like to go with the pro Kombi system. Initial purchase would be a 130 power head and a string trimmer attachment. I'd likely end up with an extension and adjustable-angle hedge trimmer later in the Spring, as I will definitely have the opportunity to use them on my accounts, but if I'm not equipped, the guy I'm sub'ing for will do the hedge trimming himself (and he's okay with that). This is a $470 set-up for just the initial trimmer purchase. The downfalls are obviously the price, the weight of the unit, and the fact that it's more than I need right now.

    Alternatively, I could get a smaller, lighter, dedicated Stihl trimmer for a lot less money to meet my current needs, then upgrade later and keep this as a back-up.

    I'm a solo part-time operation. I will generally be running the trimmer for about 3-4 hours per weekend.

    I'd really like to hear from guys that are (or at least were, at some point) in a similar situation as me. Though I'm leaning towards going all out with the Kombi system, and it wouldn't bankrupt me by any means, I recognize that I have a tendency to over-spend and I'm wondering... what would you do?

    Thanks in advance!
  2. hydemow

    hydemow LawnSite Member
    Messages: 85

    Why do you need such a big power head. Why not go with the km90 its almost $100 cheaper or the km56 its only $200 for the head, I only use fs56cr and fs70s for the dedicated trimmer and a km55 for our kombi, we use it as a trimmer, brush cutter, hedge trimmer and edger. They all have plenty of power
  3. ColliCut Land Mgmt

    ColliCut Land Mgmt LawnSite Member
    Messages: 139

    Thanks for the insight hydemow. I thought about the 90 (I feel the 110 is too close in price to the 130 for it to be worth it). I've read some reviews on here though about needing the 130 for a couple of the attachments, so I figured I'd go with that... But if you've used the km55 for all those attachments you mentioned with no issues, maybe the 90 power head is what I need to be looking at...
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  4. hydemow

    hydemow LawnSite Member
    Messages: 85

    Yeah we have used it for 4years I think. Never had any problems. Around here the biggest most lcos use for trimmers is the 90
  5. knox gsl

    knox gsl LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,253

    I've used the 55, 56, 100 and 130 trimmers and the smaller ones have enough power for weekly properties but don't have a good feel to them. The 130 has tons of power but is heavy and the 100rx is just right. BTW the 100rx and 110 have the same engine just different shafts. I am a running a 2 man operation and couldn't imagine running a Kombi system. For us we run all dedicated equipment. 2 trimmers (3 when the new fs94 gets here), extended hedge trimmer, 2 smaller hedge trimmers, pole saw, hand held tiller, 3 BR backpacks, chainsaw, and a handheld blower.
  6. TPendagast

    TPendagast LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 11,099

    Bigger Kombis are heavy and cumbersome, especially if you're doing tall hedges or deep hedges where you are either doing over head work or reaching out far…

    Ive ran an FS55R Kombi for several years now.

    I generally don't buy the bigger 90s etc unless Im doing something other than lawn care.

    the only attachment I don't recommend using with the smaller 55/56 is the broom…get the bigger power head if you use the broom…

    Otherwise save some cash, some gas and some muscle… the 55/56 is plenty for a trimmer and hedge trimmer and the mini chain saw I find incredibly useful.
  7. ColliCut Land Mgmt

    ColliCut Land Mgmt LawnSite Member
    Messages: 139

    Are you referring to what they consider to be the homeowner version 56? The smallest pro Kombo I've seen is the 90. If so... Your experience has been that the homeowner 56 handles the trimmer, pole saw, edger, and pruner, and it holds up long term? If so, that's great news!
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  8. Ridin' Green

    Ridin' Green LawnSite Fanatic
    Male, from Michigan
    Messages: 17,828

    The 55 and 56 are both homeowner units. The 56 has .09 HP more which is due to a slight difference in the carb.

    The 90 will run every attachment easily except for possibly the bed re-definer. I have most of them and run them on my FS 90 all the time. It will handle the power broom, the pole pruner, articulated hedge trimmer, edger etc etc all with ease. It is really too much power for the hedge trimmer IME. I don't find the 90 or the 130 (which only weighs about a half pound more) heavy to use, but for those who do, the added weight is handy for counter balancing the hedge trimmer attachment.
  9. 2 Cycle

    2 Cycle LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 624

    I have the km 130. Nice choice but look elsewhere for your trimmer, use that for clearing brush and other major stuff like the broom. It is so powerful and heavy you will hate life if you use it to trim
  10. TPendagast

    TPendagast LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 11,099


    F that "homeowner" label.

    they did that because of EPA regulations, a certain percent of their 2 cycle line up sold has to be compliant.

    The vast majority of their line will be bought by pros, so the pro-line is all 4mix technology.

    The FS55/56 isn't…its standard 2 cycle…non compliant, but they won't sell many of them….

    That kombi/trimmer (the 55/56) is the same machine it was when kombi units first came out well before 4 mix technology and it will behave the same it did back in 2002.

    Just because it's old tech, doesn't mean it's bad tech.

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