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Weedeater types??

Discussion in 'Industry Surveys & Polls' started by BotetourtBoy3, Apr 19, 2007.

  1. LawnMowerMan2003

    LawnMowerMan2003 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 768

    I have a curved-shaft rebuilt Echo. I bought it because I was really low on cash at the time, and to its credit it has been pretty reliable, but if you are tall I definitely wouldn't advise it because I'm 6'1" and I can't always stand up straight to use it so it's hard on my back. I've used straight shaft and I prefer those, Echo, Stihl, or Shindaiwa. Personally I would not start with Shindaiwa, although they are great, because they are expensive and heavy and it might be a waste if you don't have alot of customers. I have not used Kawasaki or Husqvarna yet, but I'm thinking about getting a Kawasaki.
  2. WoodChucker

    WoodChucker LawnSite Member
    Messages: 10


    The Shidaiwas are heavy, clunky, and EXPENSIVE.
    Also, you are tied to a "commercial" dealer where parts and service can bust your budget.
    I have watched guys plead to get something fixed in less than a month because of the seasonal backlog.

    Some guys like Echos.
    For me, they start and run just fine.
    However, I have not found one that "fits" me, nor have I found one that will bump feed reliably.

    If an Echo fits you, go to Lowes and get the $19 Arnold precut string head.
    It fits almost anything, and will work with .080 to .105 round or square line.
    The same unit with a different name can cost twice as much elsewhere.

    Keep your precut line stored in a jug of water or make up (with PVC solvent cement) a carrier from 2" PVC plumbing pipe with a screw in plug in the top.
    Somehow, soaking in water for a few days makes the line work better and last a lot longer.

    You will use half as much line this way, compared to a bump feed which wastes a lot of line every time you bump it.

    I have not used the Kawasakis, but I would be leery of parts and, especially service issues.

    The answer:

    For $269, the Husqy 223L from Lowes is the hands down winner.
    Nothing fits me better, or feels better, or works better.

    The pull start is on the far end (easy to service).

    My right hand fits the housing to hold it so I can pull start it with my left hand.
    I tore out my rotator cuff and bicep on my right arm. Surgery helps, but it never is really the same. Also, I am 62 years young (?).

    The 223L is a commercial rated (class B certified) unit.

    The manual is really good and gives really good instructions for recalibrating the carb after run in (100+ hours) to maintain California standards.

    Everything about it is so well designed that I have not found anything that I don’t like about it.

    The unit is so light, well balanced, and “ergonomic” that it is a joy to use.
    It has a long straight shaft.
    The large (but not bulky, clunky, heavy) guard really works.
    The motor housing is so well designed that it will not eat elbows and arm pits even on big guys.

    When you buy it, get the $2 Frost King window unit air conditioner foam filter pad for a lifetime supply of air filters, …before you leave the store.
    Before you gunk it up, use the new filter for a pattern, and cut several out with scissors.

    Husqy sells several bump feed heads.
    They all look pretty good and the M35 that comes on the 223L really works.
    Always use the Husqy .095 Titanium line.
    Nothing works as well in any bump feed.

    I would not put a brush blade on the 223L.
    While at Lowes, look at the TroyBilt TB90 and the Swisher Line MOWER (It is not a trimmer...too strong for that).
    The TB90 comes with a brush cutter and a J handle (yes, you need that) for about $150.
    If they can't handle it you need a heavy duty brush mower.
    I use the blade on the TB90 and the .155 line on the Swisher, and am pleased with both.

    If you really need to chop down Sherwood Forest, look at the DR stuff.
    It ain't cheap, but it is reasonable and it really works.
    Those folks really use their stuff and it shows.
    I have been amazed out how much better their stuff really works (brilliant design and great construction).

    If you do have problems, Lowes is really good about customer satisfaction.
    I got the extended warranties on all my Husqy stuff and have never had to use them, but the service is phenomenal.

    When I bought my Husqy 42” twin blade “trim tractor”, I called the 800 number and asked a lot of questions.
    I was amazed at how professional they were, and at how well I was treated.
    Light years better than most places.

    If, God forbid, they can’t fix it and get it back to you soon enough, for $269 having spare 223L is a good (and affordable) investment.
    (Lowes is also very reasonable with their credit card program.)


  3. chops_74

    chops_74 LawnSite Member
    from texas
    Messages: 7

    I would go to your local delaer and hold each to find out which one is more comfortable to you. We currently use stihl and my guys love them. Straight shaft is the way we go. We like the torque, power, and balance of our machines. Let me know if you have any questions abotu what we run.
  4. MJStrain

    MJStrain LawnSite Member
    Messages: 156

    I've never before had the pleasure to read a post with so much useful information. Congrats!
  5. mower&more1986

    mower&more1986 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 524

    dont go with curved shafts if you value your back and the are useless when it comes to trimming under trees. I use to think what was the differness then i found out.
  6. mower&more1986

    mower&more1986 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 524

    I'm giving my echo gt200 to my dad he doesnt have a lot trimming to do and the weedeater brand he bought doesnt run well. I have a stihl 4mix fs 90R
    stright trimmer with a solid steel shaft which allows me more options of what I can use as a head
  7. LawnMowerMan2003

    LawnMowerMan2003 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 768


    I have one question. Wouldn't it be better to cut your own line than buy the precut stuff, as it seems it is much more expensive that way?
  8. DillonsLawnCare

    DillonsLawnCare LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,100

    dont get a husqvarna. i bought the 223L my first year, it cost $330.00. it was great, the titanium line was good. then i bought the shindaiwa t230 with the speed feed this past june. its lighter than the 223L and the line that they offer (.095) is freakin awesome. the bump speed feed is great. i only paid $321.00. shindaiwas arent clunky and heavy. it depends on what type of trimmer you get. the bigger ones might be. husqvarna is good to start out with, but youll end up paying the same for an entry level commercial. everyones gunna tell you to get the trimmer they have. go try them out. find out which model is best for you and what best fits you. find a lawn care guy and ask if you can test it out. go to dealers. demo.demo.demo.

    do what you want, but ive learned that you get what you pay for. JMO
  9. haul03486

    haul03486 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 17

    Bent shaft trimmers will also create more back pain for you. Go with simplylawncare suggestion my neighbor had a stihl trimmer for 19 years.
  10. vermonta

    vermonta LawnSite Member
    from Vermont
    Messages: 87

    I still have an Echo 2501 I bought in 1987. I had a U handle on it so we didn't use it much for weed whaking to slow but ran 2300 straight shaft (much quicker) We had the bigger one as a backup but a couple of years later the smaller one seized up over the winter?? so we bought a couple more smaller echos but went to Husky after that light in weight but not rugged at all and harder to work on IMHO. Anyway two years ago my son found the old 2501 in the shed and put gas in it and it started on the third pull and ran strong so we fitted it with a small handle and ran it last summer.

    You can't beat quality

    Sadly I need a muffler for it now and can't seem to find one but it still runs good if we had a muffler


    I have two Echo split booms now and love them too.

    But as mentioned earlier go with what fits YOU not what the salesman is trying to sell you :)

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