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Trimmer woes - need recommendation

Discussion in 'Homeowner Assistance Forum' started by chuckcintron, Jul 24, 2007.

  1. chuckcintron

    chuckcintron LawnSite Member
    Messages: 54

    I have a two-year old John Deere 2-cycle string trimmer, from Home Depot. I think it was around $125 when I bought it.

    Every time I use it, I have a problem where the string gets worn down to a certain point (around 1.5") -- and then it is 'sucked' back into the trimmer head. Suddenly, I'm trimming with nothing but air. :angry:

    I've tried all different varieties of trimmer line, and gauges -- no joy. I believe that there is a design issue at play here. The trimmer head is such a small diameter that the line is wound around a very small, tight radius -- and that makes the line "springy" -- which causes it to more easily retreat back into the trimmer head when it gets short.

    So, is it possible to put a better head on a Home Depot trimmer? Or, should I just ditch it and get a "pro" trimmer?

    Which trimmers should I look at that will be easy to use, lightweight, and not have this annoying problem of the trimmer line suddenly disappearing back into the spool/head?

  2. DCE

    DCE LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 311

    The same used to happen to my dad. I got him a Husqvarna 124L and twice shortly after he got it I had to take the spool out and re-wind all the line and basically, re-do everything. My folks have a lot of brick edging in the front yard and along the side, and I told my dad that the line wears down faster as he trims along the brick, and for him to advance the line more often. I switched him over to the Husqvarna Titanium Force trimmer line and it seems to hold up very well from abrasion. So far, so good. Try advancing the line more often.

    If that doesn't work, no need to throw the baby out with the bathwater. I think, you can change the head itself. I am not sure if Echo makes a universal fit head or not, but I've used Echo trimmers in the past and have found that their head is a simple yet durable design. Me, I'm running my Husqvarna 225L and I think it has their Trimmy Hit head on there. No problems like you describe with mine. But, I'd try advancing the line more often first and if that still doesn't take care of it, try swapping the head out. But if you just wanna get a new toy, then have at it! :)
  3. chuckcintron

    chuckcintron LawnSite Member
    Messages: 54

    Thanks for the advice...yes, I do advance the line like a madman while trimming -- problem is that I do a lot of trimming along brick & concrete and it does wear the line down quickly. I just wish at least a little 'nub' of line would stay poking through the head grommets so I can advance the line...the darn stuff snaps back into the head almost arbitrarily (it seems).

    I'm using Husky "titanium" line, which is supposed to be pretty good stuff (?)

    Stupid observation: when advancing the line I seem to have two choices:

    1. tap the head of the trimmer down on the grass, which scalps the grass in that spot.

    2. tap the head of the trimmer down on the brick driveway, which gives a beating to the plastic hub on the bottom of the trimmer head.

    Silly, huh? Either ruin the grass or wear down the trimmer head... do any other trimmers handle this differently?
  4. Capemay Eagle

    Capemay Eagle LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,752

    I myself just went through this and just gave in and bought a new trimmer. On the other hand I did change my trimmer line on my previous trimmer to grass gator pro .095(orange) this stuff seems to work really well even around the concrete. And it is still thin enough that is does not bog down the engine. I have tried a few different lines and this is defiantly the best I have ever used. Maybe give it a shot and see if it helps. I buy it at the Depot.
  5. DCE

    DCE LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 311

    You're using the same line I am. When I tap to advance I usually do it on a hard surface to avoid scalping the grass. Just to give you an example, my Husky is over 10 years old and I'm running the same head on it that originally came with the trimmer. The plastic knob on the bottom of the head that you hit to advance the line is made of pretty thick plastic. Plus, you're just tapping as opposed to holding the spinning head down on the pavement.

    Getting back to your original problem, I would definitely try to see if a more expensive replacement head, like the Echo one, will work on your trimmer. You might want to take the trimmer with you and go to a dedicated power equipment retailer so he can have the trimmer right there to determine which head will fit. Good luck!
  6. leejp

    leejp LawnSite Member
    Messages: 129

    Got an Echo universal head on my trimmer after the original stopped advancing the line. 5 years now without a single problem.
  7. DCE

    DCE LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 311

    Well, there you go! One of the things I like about the Echo head is the ease of disassembly for winding line on it. I have even contemplated getting one to replace the one on my Husky, except the replacement heads come wound with that Cross Fire line. Cross Fire is good line and works well with rough weeds but it wears quite easily because of its odd shape.
  8. chuckcintron

    chuckcintron LawnSite Member
    Messages: 54

    Thanks to everyone for suggestions. The trimmer runs fine, so I think I will explore the idea of putting a replacement head on it.

  9. cranesrule

    cranesrule LawnSite Member
    Messages: 104

    Take a look at the Stihl Autocut head, you don't even have to disassemble it to fill it, you just stick the ends of the line in and ratchet it in. Very easy, and the advance also works very well. I have never had the line retract into the head. The Stihl professional line (dark green) is also a great choice, it lasts forever for me.
  10. DCE

    DCE LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 311

    That reminds me, Echo has their RapidLoader head that also accepts pre-cut segments of line...no winding of line on the spool for folks who don't want to fool with that. You can buy whatever style of line [the normal, wind-it-yourself style] you like in the appropriate size and cut it into segments yourself. It's much cheaper to do it this way than to buy the pre-cut/pre-packaged line segments.

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