String Trimmer Question


Old 07-24-03, 09:18 PM
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LOVE my Echo blower - ready for a new trimmer now

My old Ryobi is a pain - it is one of those that has a locking bottom shaft, so that attachments can be added, but I tried one when I bought it years ago, found it of no use and returned it. The trimmer works, but the connection where the shaft locks into the main shaft, is kind of wobbly. In fact, I don't think it's ever been rock-steady. So when I am edging, I have poor control over the edging line, because of the swaying of the bottom half.

I went into Lowes and HD tonight to see what they had. No Ryobis. But now they have Toro brand, and Homelite. Also a few Echos. I am inclined to go for the Echo, since I have one of their blowers. I picked up a few, and found that the 17" straight shaft is too short for me - I need the 18". But I can use a shorter curved shaft. What is the advantages/disadvantages of a straight shaft over the curvved shaft? And also, I really would like to get one that has a "snap-lock " shaft, so that other attachments can be added. ( Echo has one, but it goes for over 249.00 - and that is a bit steep for me.)

So, just looking for your opinions - curved or straight shaft and why. and attachment shaft or not, and why.

Thanks in advance!.
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Old 07-25-03, 05:55 PM
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Hello yardnut!

Your question is a good one, but there is no solid answer to it, lol . The straight vs curved shaft debate has been going on for a long time. Basically, whichever suits you better is the right one. For commercial purposes straight shafts are generally preferred, mostly because you don't lose power and generate heat and wear in the bend of the shaft where the drive cable rubs. This is pretty much unnoticeable in a homeowners application though, because you won't be using if for 6 hours straight every day.

I personally don't like the changeable attatchments. They are usually flimsy, poorly made, and not easy to control well. My opinion is if you want an edger, get an edger, and if you want a trimmer, get a trimmer. Many of the attatchments made for trimmers are extremely hard on the drive cable, clutch, and engine. They can cause premature failure of the unit. Echo is a good brand, and can outlast the cheaper ones you mentioned several times over.

Let us know what you decide, and check in often because I'm sure others will post their experiences with these things too.
Old 07-26-03, 04:47 AM
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Arrow My Two Cents

Hello: yardnut

I moved your questions from the lawn forum into this small engines forum. The question is much more likely to get the replies and opinions of several members here since the questions pertains to outdoor power equipment and not to lawns.

I agree with the points made by cheese. The choice between a straight verus curved shafts is a personal selection. For the non commerical user either model will do well.

Comfort, ease of usage and optional add on attachements, etc are often conciderations over cost factors for the amount of intended usage and number of years the machine will be owned.

Features like add on attachments, shoulder strap supports, limited space for storage of additional machines for specialty tasks, etc are all valid reasons for attachments and paying a higher initial cost.

Regards & Good Luck.
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Old 07-29-03, 06:49 AM
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Okay -I've done a bit of research and here is where I am so far.

1) If I get the straight shaft - I can do both trimming grass against the fence, AND bed/lawn edging. With the curved shaft - that is impossible w/o having a split shaft to remove and change position.

2) The Echo seems to be the most consistently reccommended brand, and has accessories available at Lowes/Home Depot too.

3) Echo is EXPENSIVE! $200 for the least expensive model, closer to $300 for what I want.

4) Amazingly enough, the Echo SRM-260 is weighs less than my old Ryobi - 11.9 lbs vs,. 12.25. The SRM-260s is even lighter - not sure why that is - I would think that the steel shaft would be heavier. ?? (Any ideas?) The SRM-260 weighs less than the less powerful SRM-230. This seems weird too.

5) Most people recommend a 25cc or greater engine. My Ryobi had 31cc. The Echos I am considering are all less than that, which I find surprising. Why is that, if it is supposed to be better?

6) The SRM-230 and SRM-260 are straight shaft (not split - no attachments) and are 22.8 and 25.4 cc respectively. The PAS-230 and PAS-260 are the split-shaft models, that take many attachments (same cc's). The only attachment I would expect to ever use would be the edger. However, if having the Echo allows me to now have better control than my old wobbly Ryobi, than I can's see the need to get the split shaft - since I can simply turn the thing upside down and edge. Has anyone used the PAS models with the edger attachment? Is it worth the extra money?

I do plan to visit my dealer - possibly this weekend, so hopefully they will be able to answer my questions. But I'd appreciate any opinions you folks have as well. Thanks.
Old 07-29-03, 10:13 PM
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The things that can make a difference in the wieght of the machine are : engine size, fuel tank capacity, features like split shaft mechanisms, handlebars, etc... and weight saving designs implemented in higher end machines. Ryobi is a bottom of the line product, and weight saving is not a real big issue in their design...there is a lot of extra, unneeded weight in them.

The cc of the engine is a guide to go by, but not a rule. Some cheaper engines may have over 30ccs, but be less powerful than a top quality engine with less ccs, but better carburetion, ignition, balance, exhaust, and higher RPM. Bigger is not always better/stronger. You will find that the Echo is smaller and lighter, yet stronger, faster, easier to start, more reliable than most any dept. store trimmer.

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