New String Trimmer

Old 03-24-03, 09:35 AM
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Question New String Trimmer

I'm in the market for a new string trimmer. My current string trimmer, an ancient McCulloch Eager Beaver, is hard to start and the short curved shaft kills my back. Consumer Reports lists in their "Best Buy" category the John Deere S1400 and Ryobi 775R (14 lbs.). However, I've read some negative things about Ryobi and am hesitant to buy the Deere also since I consider it a second tier brand (13 lbs.). Would I be better off buying a lighter, albiet more expensive Stihl or Echo, both brands I currently own for other power tools.

Is there a down-side to a longer straight shaft that I should know about?

I hope I'm posting this in the appropriate forum. I did a search of the forums for string trimmers and the vast majority of hits were here, including those pertaining to new purchases.
Old 03-24-03, 02:34 PM
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I would say go with an Echo or a Stihl, they are among the best.

Take a look at the brand of equipment that landscapers in your area are using---that's a good indication of what is good and puts up with heavy use and is easy to use.
Old 03-24-03, 02:55 PM
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After selling and working on the brands mentioned plus several others..... ECHO is still an OK brand for a homeowner but they went downhill for the pro-user when they went to the mass-merchants. John Deere is a very good brand and so is Stihl, all are better than the Ryobi.

If you want something to last a lifetime, I would buy a Shindaiwa and step up to the better end of them. My personal favorite, if it is still made is the T260, I sold many of these model to Pro's, Home-owners, Municipalities and to Sea-World Orlando. When they were looking, I simply gave it to them (Municipalities and Sea-World) and told them "Here, try it for a week and if you don't like them, I'll take them back". Never took one back.

They are in the 13.5 lb range but well balanced and a power house to boot. Many didn't think a 26 cc trimmer would do the job but they were always pleased.

The other thing is service: BUY FROM A DEALER, not a store.. stores have to send things out for service.. And Shindaiwa is only available from dealers.
Old 03-24-03, 06:37 PM
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great trimmer ,have lawn service and have bee getting at lest 5 to 6 years out of every machine , straight shaft is the way to go , we lost our shindaiwa dealer in my area , so have went to huskvarna sorry for the miss spelling , so far it is a keeper , any good trimmer is going to cost you 300 and up , but it will last a home owner a life time , so worth the bucks
Old 03-24-03, 06:53 PM
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Hello Gratefulgary!

I agree for the most part on all of these trimmers reccomended. The Ryobi is one I would definitely advise against. My favorites would be Stihl and Shindaiwa. A better-end stihl should last as long as any of the best and might save you a little in comparison to the shindaiwa. Both are excellent. Echo is generally good, but They have not been a favorite of mine since they started selling to the box stores.
Old 03-24-03, 08:23 PM
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Personally I have found the 4-cycle Ryobe works great. Go to Wal-Mart and get to square string and it works better.
Old 03-25-03, 06:59 AM
Oil Doc
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I love Husqvarna chain saws but not the trimmers. When I was selling them, most people felt the same and a couple of the reasons are.

The chain saws run at such a high RPM and are smooth and powerful.

The bad points on the trimmers, and I'm going back 5 yrs, maybe they fixed this now, were, Too heavy, not balanced very well, the so called anti-vibe didn't work and everyone complained about their hands going numb from the vibration, and the case was made from fiberglass, so as time went on and your sweat deteriorated the case along with the sun, bits of fiberglass got into your skin and you itched like crazy.
Old 03-25-03, 07:10 AM
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After working on and/or selling the brands mentioned for 25 yrs I will stick to staying away from Ryobi (REE-O-BEE) . If you want to replace your unit every few years, by all means, buy it. and remember the first time you have to take it in to get repaired and they tell you it is almost as much to fix it as replace it, what you were told.

The square or diamond line does work great but Wally World stuff is usually what it is when you buy it, CHEAP. The better stuff is a polymer and usually not as brittle as it gets a little older.

We use to tell people to store the cheap stuff in Distilled water so it didn't dry out, this advice came from the suppliers and manufacturers. Why Distilled water ? Because it doesn't promote algea growth.

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