Why such expensive weedeaters?

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

  1. ToroLandscaper

    ToroLandscaper LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,177

    I dont get the point behind buying these really expensive, heavy, gas guzzling weedeaters. I have a Shindawia 22t which is actually considered a "homeowner/pro" weedeater...it serves its pupose...fairly enexpensive (everything this day and age is expensive though) it is very light, doesnt use much gas and has enough power for what it is intended to do....i dont see why people lay down so much money on simple things like this? I figure if i can get 2 seasons (which i can prolly get more) outa a 22t it would be actually cheaper then gettin a heavy expensive one and replacing it in 3-5 seasons and have to carry the heavy thing around! I looked at Shindaiwas and the 22y weighs 10.6 and the "best" most powerful one weighs 13.8, i know this isnt that big of a difference but when you have to carry one around all day i would rather have a lighter one

    Does anyone else use some what cheaper lighter less powerful weedeaters?
  2. topsites

    topsites LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 21,653

    The question is how many seasons have you gotten out of them, not how many seasons you might get.
    When I buy equipment, money is not the issue unless I don't intend on using something a lot. It has to work, it has to get the job done, it has to last and it has to have some POWER !

    As to why I like the heavier models, they really don't eat more gas unless you're always at WOT. With my new FS-100rx, just a tic above idle on the throttle gets most yards done, but at full throttle I can clear brush and sticks and the thickest and tallest grass falls over as if touched by the magician's wand. That thing has power to spare, even the 095 string that came with it does well, I can't wait for that to wear out so I can put my usual 080 on it.

    It's just nice to have that torque, that extra power when you need it. Most of the time I don't use it, but I enjoy the low-rpm rumble of the motor as well, almost sounds like a tiny Harley engine. And yes, it's a 4-cycler goes vrooom-vroooom and not taca-taca neeeeee.

    The lightest weed-eaters I've ever used is the FS-85 by Stihl and the Echo srm-260s. The stihl only lasted one season because I Wot'ted it all the time, by the time I bought the Echo I had learned: I ran the echo with just enough throttle to do the job, and it lasted over 3 full seasons, that's over 1,500 yards serviced. It still runs, but it's leaned out (yes leaned, not a typo).

    Also the bigger models aren't that much heavier, unless you go for the fs-110.
  3. Trinity Lawn Care  LLC

    Trinity Lawn Care LLC LawnSite Senior Member
    from NJ
    Messages: 946

    It really depends on your workload. It depends on how many accounts you are servicing and how much trimming you are doing over the course of the season. Some folks could get away with a homeowner/pro model and it would last them a couple of years. Others a homeowner/pro model may only last a month or two. If you are servicing 10-15 accounts a day is different the servicing 20+ accounts a day.

    I tried a heavy duty homeowner model last year as one of our trimmers. It was fried by the end of the season. Completely fried. You may be just fine with what you have.:)
  4. Bustus

    Bustus LawnSite Member
    Messages: 181

    I think it depends on the usage as well. I still have my original trimmer that is residential grade for 4 years now. It isn't used as much now, but was my primary machine for a while. It would do 10 accounts a day no problem.
  5. burns60

    burns60 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 291

    I had good success with a couple of the smaller Sthils. A FS 55t and FS55. One I even converted to a stick edger and both of these units are over 4 years old. The 55 is now my back up trimmer.

    BUT, to answer your question as the why spend for the "gas guzzlers" I would have to say that I have not found it to be a guzzler. I can trim out a yard so much faster with the 4mix Sthil that I don't even think about it using more gas. After you get used to the extra power, you can literally trim as fast as you can walk and not have to be "dabbing" at a tough weed or something to get it cut. They cut some corners with the lower part of the unit to save some weight, which I at first thought it made no difference, but now when I pick up the old 55 I can tell a big difference in that it feels a lot heavier to me. I am sure the top or engine is heavier on the 4mix but there again you get used to that because you don't have to use it as long as the smaller models.

    One complaint I have had is that occasionally it doesn't start on the third pull like the others have always done, but it has never failed to crank. If it is hot it nearly always cranks with first pull. The only other thing is that fuel cap. I hate that thing. They should have asked someone with arthritis in his or her thumbs to try it before they decided on that cap.

    Hope this may help you decide to go ahead and try a 4mix Sthil or something similar in another brand as I have heard good things about others as well. You surely will be amazed at how much faster you can trim with it.
  6. topsites

    topsites LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 21,653

    Yeah the fuel caps on ALL stihl units today are total Bee ESSSS !!!

    Just when you think you got it, you pick it up and go running off and next thing you know, fuel everywhere (especially with the backpack blower, it goes down your pants lol it's not funny cauz it can irritate sensitive skin such as that which is on your butt).
    Nevermind the fact that if you twist and twist to get it on, the string inside gets all twisted, too.
    I do wish it had a larger fuel tank thou, I liked how the Echo would go 8-10 yards on one tank.
  7. mcwlandscaping

    mcwlandscaping LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,163

    my $320 stihl trimmer has been worth every penny of that money as it has NEVER broke, needed a part replaced ANYTHING, it has worked perfectly on every job that ive ever needed it to and i wouldn't hesitate for a moment spending that much or more on another stihl trimmer
  8. ToroLandscaper

    ToroLandscaper LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,177

    I have a friend who has 3 of them and 2 are on there 3rd season and he added another last season and the two that are on the 3rd season are still running good and strong.....as far as throttle...i do not run it wide open at all hardy just when cutting really high grass or brush
  9. Richard Martin

    Richard Martin LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 14,699

    I am in total agreement. The twist to close Stihl cap is a total piece of crap.

    Getting back on topic. I carry 2 trimmers on my trailer, a Shindaiwa T-231 and a Stihl FS-85. I use the lighter weight, cheaper Shindaiwa on those lawns that only need light trimming because it is a little horsepower challenged and the Stihl for heavier trimming just because I don't want to be all day trimmimg taller weeds and such.
  10. MOW ED

    MOW ED LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,028

    I hate to admit this but I will. I have used a Homelite trimmer for 8 years. I have a grand total of 150 invested. (bought 2 way back when) and I can't seem to kill the second one. I have to say that one of them is now a donor for spare parts but the motors of both still hum. I have used Amsoil 100:1 mix and thats all I do.
    I really want to buy a nice new one and have looked around and I probably will buy one this year or next but I really don't use a trimmer like lots of guys do. I just clena the stragglers where the deck doesn't hit and off I go. Its no more than 2-4 minutes a property if that.
    I don't really get any calls for brush clearing but I would like to so I have an excuse. Don't get me wrong, I am a HUGE advocate of professional equipment and everything else I have is commercial grade but I just can't kill these little Homeys.:weightlifter:

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