Trimmer/edger combo or stand alone?

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by Frosty Top, Dec 19, 2010.

  1. Frosty Top

    Frosty Top LawnSite Member
    Messages: 26

    I'm just starting out and I'm looking for a commercial trimmer and edger. Can you share you oppinions on trimmer/edger combos or stand alone units. My son and I are just starting out and we only have a few mid sized residential accounts. Mostly grass no heavy weeds but a couple have chain link fences. We plan on getting a few commercial properties and I need something that's tuff but affordable. And what manufacturers do you preffer?
  2. Lefet

    Lefet LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,887

    Just my personal opinion but I'd prefer seperate units. Combos are good, but if used everyday, the moment you need it for something special, like ext. clippers or a pole saw, somethings wrong with it. Besides, for the money you spend on a combo unit, you can get both seperate. Then if one goes down, you've still got the other.
    My preferances are Redmax & Echo.

    Just my opinion, and we know how THOSE are.
  3. Lefet

    Lefet LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,887

    You also would be able to work at the same time!!
  4. mowerbrad

    mowerbrad LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,268

    I like the combo units like the Stihl Kombi. They are great if you use many different attachments. Plus if you plan on getting several attachments it is cheaper to get the combo units, but you have to have 3 attachments or more to make it cheaper than buying separate units.

    I have both dedicated units and a Stihl Kombi unit. The Kombi is used as more of a back-up machine, specialty tool or just around my house.

    I prefer Stihl handheld equipment, I've had great experiences with stihl for many years. But you should decide which brand by what is the best dealer in your area. Any major brand like Stihl, Redmax, Echo, etc. should be just fine.
  5. Alan0354

    Alan0354 LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,450

    I prefer individual unit. Combo do not end up saving much money in a lot of cases. But in your case, if you just going to have these two attachments, then it is ok money wise since both attachments are on the cheap side. Just don't go wild in planning to buy a bunch of more expensive attachments like cultivator, hedge trimmer, dethatcher, broom type that has a gear reduction. Those can really add up fast, you are better off getting a small cultivator like Mantis or Yardboss.......Well the hedge trimmer is expensive either way!!!

    Bottom line, if these two are what you want to get, it might not be a bad idea.

    Bang for the buck, Kawasaki must be the best, check on ebay if you don't mind buying there. You can get two individual unit cheaper than you can get the combo of other commercial brands.
  6. mowerbrad

    mowerbrad LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,268

    I just don't understand how people can say that these multi-task tools like the Stihl Kombi don't save you much money. People buy these units so they have the ability to run several attachments and change them out fast. They also save a ton of money over buying the individual machines.

    Here's the difference in price between buying a kombi and the individual machines...

    $329.95 -KM110R
    $89.95 -Straight Trimmer
    $179.95 –Straight edger
    $229.95 –Articulating hedge trimmer
    $199.95 –Pole Pruner

    Total: $1029.75

    $349.95 –FS110R trimmer
    $399.95 –FC95 edger
    $549.95 –HL100K hedge trimmer
    $469.95 –HT100 Pole pruner

    Total : $1769.80
  7. mslawn

    mslawn LawnSite Senior Member
    from LA
    Messages: 483

    Exactly. We run lots of dedicated pieces of equipment. But what about when a residential mowing crew every once in a while needs a polesaw, hedger or edger while they are at a property. If they mostly use the trimmer to edge but one day they have a new yard to break in the edges they have an edger. If a customer calls and wants two bushes trimmed when they come mow, they have their hedge trimmer. They have a backup string trimmer with the combi unit. You do not use these items on a daily basis on a mowing route truck, but when you need them, you really need them. If I have to rush something to a truck all the way across town I would rather it not be a hedge trimmer for a couple of bushes.

    My personal preference on a residential mowing route truck is:
    (2) Backpack Blowers
    (2) String trimmers
    (1) Split boom, with edger,polesaw,hedger, trimmer head
    (1) 60" Turf Tracer
    (1) 36" Turf Tracer
    (1) 26" Metro
  8. Lefet

    Lefet LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,887

    It really, like someone else said, depends on what dealers are in your area. If you're still around a couple of years down the road, you will inevitably try different brands. But you NEED that dealer support.

    The key is efficiancy. How can I get it done, efficiantly, have a happy customer, and make a profit. Time is money and you can't make any if someone's standing around waiting for the trimmer because you're using the edger.
  9. Alan0354

    Alan0354 LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,450

    First the pole pruner of the combi is too short, it is no HT100, not even close. with the extension is only 3' longer. Individual pole pruner like Echo go up to 12 to 15' shaft length. I really looked into the pole pruner, there is no brand that has long attachment pole pruner. If you just need a 10' or less, the manual pole saw work just fine, I cut trunks up to about 4" really fast with just the pole saw. It is the high branches that is the kicker and the pole saw become very unstable to use. that's when you need the gas long saw. As I said, the hedge trimmer is the difficult one and combi might be the way to go.

    Maybe if you just use it for the string, edge and hedge, that would be worth to get the combi. Also if you get all these attachments, you better get a second power head for second person to use or as a backup.
  10. Lazer_Z

    Lazer_Z LawnSite Silver Member
    from NJ
    Messages: 2,578

    Alan, Alan, Alan, Here you go again spouting off on something you know nothing about.
    You say that the pole saw for the Kombi is too short, OK, let's bump up the HT100 that Brad listed to the HT131 and subtract the attachment. How many times during the season is a DEDICATED almost $700.00 pole saw going to be used? and who is going to want to carry it around if they can just change out an attachment?
    Brad is 100% correct that the Kombi saves money, I've said countless times I don't know what I would do without my KM130 and attachments. Unless you run a business you have no idea of what kind of savings a Kombi could result in vs buying dedicated machines.

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