'Best' weed trimmer for dependability / maintenance

uvascanyon(8A)April 17, 2011

After many years of buying and fixing Ryobi trimmers, I made an impulsive buy at Lowe's and got a Husquarvarna last summer. I typically do research before making such a purchase, but didn't on this unit. I had a great experience with one of their chainsaws, and bought it purely on the name. I have not been happy with it...

I'll spare the details, but it's not starting and I've done all the usual stuff (clean intake filter, exhaust, clean / new spark plug, fresh fuel mix, clean carb, etc.)... I'm guessing that it will need a carb rebuild, already.

I just don't want to deal with that so soon, and would prefer getting a new, betterh unit.

With maintenance and rebuilds being necessary, for any gas-powered trimmer, what make / models are best in terms of not needing such attention so often? I'm not one to neglect my tool, don't get me wrong, but I'd like to get more than a few tanks of fuel before facing serious down time...

So what make it best with respect to maintenance? Not sure exactly, but what comes to mind are:

- frequency for such need (as said earlier)

- ease of doing the job on that trimmer

- availably of parts

- cost of parts

Do all units have fuel filters in the tank? Are there some that have thicker, longer lasting fuel lines? Just some things that come-to-mind...

After a fair amount of reading, I'm leaning toward an Echo or a Stihl FS-45.

Thanks any input you might have.

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loger_gw

"I" feel all of the small engines basically need periodic maintenance (yearly/monthly/weekly) depending on the use, to continue to perform. I fine 2-cycles to be a pain to many, which means I find many good ones on the curbs. They will insist on you following starting directions, proper fuel mix and etc compared to 4-cycles.

1. Do you use StaBil or enhancing additives in your fuel?

2. Are you storing your small engines "Bone Dry" of with fuel in them?

3. Are you finding small derbies in your fuel tank?

4. Are you getting medium priced trimmers (200.00) for home use only?

Good Luck! loger

    Bookmark   April 18, 2011 at 10:32AM
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uvascanyon(8A)

Thank you loger.

I did not store it "bone dry" when not in use. I had planned to, but just got too busy, and added some stabilizer instead. Maybe that is the reason, although this has not been a problem for me before (with other trimmers)...

After a difficult start, I was able to burn through a tank of fuel. What problems can be caused by not storing it bone dry?

I will check the fuel tank, but I didn't notice any debris. What is the best way to clean the fuel filter? Maybe there's an easy way...

This trimmer (Husqvarna) costs about $250, so not a top-of-the-line, but not a cheap either...

As stated, I'm open to a new machine, and would like some feedback.

    Bookmark   April 18, 2011 at 11:58AM
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loger_gw

The stabilizer should have prevented any varnish build-up if it was mixed with the fuel and run through the system. "Bone Dry" = completely dry when there is no fuel left in the engines during the off season that could cause varnish to build-up.

I use compressed air to back flush filters or change them if I see or suspect debris from what I see in the tank. Usually this is more of a chainsaw problem with fine sawdust (if the tank's fill area is not cleaned etc before filling). The fine sawdust can clog the oiling also.

I feel most major brands are basically the same quality but the operator has to maintain any to maintain quality. I usually ask the local lawn care crews and service shops for suggested brands. I doubt the average home owners/users use or service enough "different" equipment to have a good honest opinion. Loger

    Bookmark   April 18, 2011 at 3:45PM
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andyma_gw

I have an 8 yr old Husquavarna straight shaft. Other than replacing the fuel line a couple yrs ago, it has been fine. Even though it is s'posed to have 50:1, I run on a rich 32:1 mix with a dash of Marvel Mystery Oil in it. I mix one 2 gallon batch at 32:1 and use it in 3 different 2 strokes. Absolutely no starting or running troubles. It sits all winter with whatever is in the tank and starts fine in the spring. I think the mix oil has stabilzer in it, so I stopped adding it and havent had any troubles even if it is over 6 months old.

    Bookmark   April 18, 2011 at 9:31PM
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uvascanyon(8A)

Loger, thanks for the follow-up. Good info. If there is varnish build-up, where are the typical spots and what would be the proper way to clean this up? I'm guessing a carb cleaner...

Speaking of which, I removed the carb and cleaned it up already. It was dirty. Is it obvious when a carb kit is needed?

andyma, interesting on the 32:1 ratio. Might I ask what grade of fuel? Here in CA, low grade is 87. I thought I read somewhere that it's better to use higher grade fuels...

I removed the fuel filter tonight and noticed some dark discoloration in one spot. I wonder if this might be the culprit.. I took some soap and water to it, a brush, and now it's sitting in some bleach.

I might consider trying to start it with no fuel filter. If it still doesn't start, I'd then be able to rule-out the fuel filter...

    Bookmark   April 19, 2011 at 4:33AM
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loger_gw

ï· Posted by uvascanyon (My Page) on Tue, Apr 19, 11 at 4:33
ï·
Loger, thanks for the follow-up.

Good info. If there is varnish build-up, where are the typical spots and what would be the proper way to clean this up? I'm guessing a carb cleaner...

Reply: Internal passages, disassemble, rem adjment screws and all gaskets and diaphragms from carb and soak at least an hour submerged in carb cleaner, B-12 is good as others.

Speaking of which, I removed the carb and cleaned it up already. It was dirty. Is it obvious when a carb kit is needed?

Reply: Hard and cracked diaphragms are good indicators.

andyma, interesting on the 32:1 ratio. Might I ask what grade of fuel? Here in CA, low grade is 87. I thought I read somewhere that it's better to use higher grade fuels...

Reply: Personally, I use low grade 87 with StaBil. I also leave the treated fuel in all of my equipment through all seasons w/o a problem.

I removed the fuel filter tonight and noticed some dark discoloration in one spot. I wonder if this might be the culprit.. I took some soap and water to it, a brush, and now it's sitting in some bleach.

Reply: I doubt the filter was the problem on the young trimmer. Sounds like you are killing the filter. Was the fuel line still strong/tuff on the young trimmer.

I might consider trying to start it with no fuel filter. If it still doesn't start, I'd then be able to rule-out the fuel filter...

Reply: Part of troubleshooting!

Reply: The sight at the address below should help you. Even better would be one on 2-cycly carbs showing diaphragms, as they would use. Googling 2-cycle carb cleaning should get you in the ballpark. I have to get busy and âÂÂBeat The HeatâÂÂ, here in TX this morning. loger

http://www.briggsandstratton.com/engines/support/frequently-asked-questions/Overhauling%20the%20Carburetor/

    Bookmark   April 19, 2011 at 1:17PM
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ewalk

Holy Sh%& never use Household soap products or bleach on Fuel Filters. Only Automotive Fuel Cleaning Agents. Also 32:1 Fuel/Oil ratio is excessive . Long term engine damage will be the end product . 50:1 is current Industry Standard. If you go with Premium Synthetic " Amsoil Sabre "
recomendation is 80:1 . Other than that follow Loger's very sound advice . Husky Trimers and Snowblowers have been given less than stellar reviews . I personally fel Echo is the best product for the $ . Stihl does have some very good trimmers also but at a substantial $ adder unfortuantely .

    Bookmark   April 23, 2011 at 8:48AM
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