Gas Weedeater - Hlep i keep going in circles

ncage(z5 IL)April 11, 2010

Ok i had a small weedeater featherlight gas trimmer that i bought at walmart like 5-6 years ago that just dies. I think its the ignition coil. Anyways of course its better just to get something new. The weedeater was good for what it cost. It would start easily up into the day it died. Maybe it was a "little" underpowered but not horrible.

Then i start researching what to buy. Of course most people say to stay away from anything made by MTD which is most everything out there. I do know for the most part my weedeater worked fine. I don't have that much to trim (1/4 acre) and probably only trim once a week. The only thing i can say i really hated about the weedeater was having to reload the spool. It would take me forever to get it write and without that it would tangle all the time.

The area where the featherlight was a little bit underpowered was in the very back of my lot. Its not often but sometimes in the summer the horse weed will get a head start and cutting it down was a real chore with the little weedeater.

So anyways i went back and forth today whether to go cheap or not. Saying that i know i will not spend over $200-$250 on anything.

So i decided to go cheap at first today. Went to lowes and they had a Bolens BL100 on clearance for $59.99. Thought what the heck my last one lasted 5-6 years and this one had a much bigger engine (31cc) compared to the tiny engine my featherlight had (forgot the size). Of course now i'm having second thoughts but i'll have no problem returning it if i want to because its still sealed in the box. I searched on google and got lots of people having issues with this trimmer (of course only the people having issues are probably going to ever post anything).

What would you guys do with the minimal trimming i do? I did look at a variety of more expensive units today (Stihl, Echo, Honda (cheapest was $350 so out of my price ranger). The Stihl seems heavier duty and have a lot bigger engines than echo and also echo are more expensive. You can get a cheap curved shaft stihl for $150 but a echo is $199 and the Stihl has a bigger engine. 21cc in a lot of the Echo seem inadequate. Then i read some post that are negative about stihl...a guy posted that his coil went out on his stihl after 4 years and ive read a few saying they can be hard to start.

Then if i wanted to get a Stihl how to choose which model to get. I definitly will get a home and not a professional model but its hard to see what features your getting when you pay more. I think one of the main ones is easystart which i have no idea if its worth it or not. The sales guys didn't help much. I could see a big difference between the straight shaft and curved shaft of the stihls was the spools which of course i'm wandering about because how much of a pain it was to load my earlier trimmer. Then the more expensive ones seem to have a different gas cap and a different spark plug cover.

As you could tell this had been a hard decision for me and any help would be greatly appreciated.



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I think you can still buy a decent Echo in the $250 range. It's what I own and it's a great unit.

All the repair shops in this area have recently, all but refused, to work on anything considered cheap, namely $250 or less.

I've thrown in the towel myself. I tell the people to change out the gas and the spark plug and if it doesn't start, throw it away.

    Bookmark   April 11, 2010 at 8:57PM
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Coils rarely fail or atleast after the fuel system fails anyway. I would suggest you remove you spark plug, plug it back in, ground it out against the jug (head, or metal part around the spark plug hole) flip the switch to on, and pull the rope? you will either see a nice blue spark, no spark (providing you got it grounded out and the switch in the on position) or a orangish weak spark. Outside change your ingition switch or wiring may be bad.

Most likely the fuel lines are rotted, the gas tank is full of crud, filter is plugged up, carb. plugged up, carb. screws loose, jug screws, loose, crank case screws loose, or it's just worn out (no compression), But I would bet on the fuel system being gone.

I pulled them out of the trash as suggested above and all was wrong with them was neglect. Lets face it most people (95%) just put gas in what ever the own and when it breaks buy another one. Nothing wrong with that as along as you got good credit.

nothing wrong with MTDs if you know how to keep care of them. they will run just as long as the others, but, I wouldn't want to run one 8 hours a day, there not made for that, but for the above average homeowner that has some clue of pre-ventive maintenance they will last a long time

    Bookmark   April 11, 2010 at 10:13PM
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got 2 featherlites myself and one 33cc weedeater. only problems ive had when it became really hard to start was the fuel lines rot out and crack. i bought 2 feet of replacement fuel lines and it cost me 4 dollars. check the fuel lines as that is a common problem with weedeater brand.

    Bookmark   April 11, 2010 at 11:35PM
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I vote to buy a new one!!!

Lowes sell Husqvarna 125L 28cc for $199. It is a entry commercial/super duty home owner model. People use it for commercial with great success. It is powerful (28cc) and is a commercial brand.

    Bookmark   April 12, 2010 at 3:50AM
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Echo-SRM210 for $200. 5 year warranty(Stihl has 2)

    Bookmark   April 12, 2010 at 9:29AM
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I also own an Echo SRM210. I'm going on my third season with and it is worth the $200. The only thing I would say is to buy it from a dealer and not a big box store.
The dealer I bought mine from started it up to make sure it was running right, and he recorded the serial number to register it for the warranty, they aren't going to do that in the big box store. The dealer actually had a better price.
I took mine out for the first time yesterday, added mix (I empty the tank at the end of the season to keep the carb from gumming up) and it started on the second pull.

    Bookmark   April 12, 2010 at 4:04PM
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The SRM-210 has been discontinued and replaced by the SRM-225. They cost about $220. plus of course tax, if applicable. HD sells them, as well as, other dealers. I bought one last year at HD and can readily recommend it.
I took yungman's previous advice and bought at HD, because like he I have had less than good "service" with local dealers.
Regarding Husquavarna, I have read that their lower priced units are really just re-branded Poulan products (at least that is true for their low priced chainsaws). Correct me if I am wrong.

    Bookmark   April 12, 2010 at 6:34PM
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I think mine is the SRM-210 or one step above. I couldn't remember the exact price, but it apparently was about $200. Always starts, does the job and is very reliable.

    Bookmark   April 12, 2010 at 6:57PM
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He mentioned he worry about the power, and the fact he mention about 1/4 acre, that is the reason I did not mention SRM210. Yes I would put my bet on the SRM210 rather than the 125L. SRM210 IS a true commercial trimmer, not a high end consummer trimmer like the 125L. But you have to know the limit of the small 21cc engine.

I am glad to hear the new SRM225 is good too.

    Bookmark   April 13, 2010 at 12:32AM
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ncage(z5 IL)

@yungman or anyone else so do you think i would notice a huge difference between a stihl that comes with a 27cc engine vs Echo 21cc engine? They are both commercial strength engines i would say so the stihl would have a lot more power?

    Bookmark   April 13, 2010 at 11:29AM
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masiman(z7 VA)

Which model Stihl and which model Echo?

If you are only trimming grass, get the lighter model, if you need to do brush cutting I'd get the bigger trimmer with a solid shaft.

    Bookmark   April 13, 2010 at 12:07PM
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I don't buy new ones--i just use the ones that dumbos toss out! I've found one new one that had a bent shaft housing, and it had the tiller attachment, too. It runs well!
found a green one-never did figure out what was wrong with it, except somebody had tied the end of the plastic line around the bottom of the shaft, and then told dear old Dad it was locked up! 'Twas! I cut the string and now it runs great! Tricky off-spring,-had to watch TV, or Twitter! Sold it to a friend!

    Bookmark   April 13, 2010 at 12:11PM
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Echo don't post the hp of the 21cc. But it is a small engine compare to Stihl FS55 or the Husky 125L. You are talking about 30% size difference or more. Yes I am willing to bet the two bigger ones are a lot more powerful.

The Echo is a very good trimmer for it's purpose. But it is a small trimmer. There are very few cases I would not recommend the Echo, you are one of the few!!! Because you mentioned 1/4 acre of land. You need a big one, I did not even talk about the Shindaiwa HomePro because it is only 24cc. The Stihl FS55 is a good one too, I just forgot to mention. And also sounds like you are on a budge, 125L is only $149 in my area. NO one can beat this price. And for you, it is going to last forever. If you like the Stihl, go for it.

    Bookmark   April 13, 2010 at 4:25PM
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My bad, I quote the 125L wrong, it is $199. My mind wasn't working!!! Then you can choose Stihl if it is cheaper.

Don't go cheap and get a Craftsman etc. Stay with the brands we talked about and you won't go wrong. This is a once in a lift time buy, I would not let a little more money stop you from buying a good one. If I were you, I would even consider fitting a SpeedFeed head onto the trimmer. You'll thank me for that.

    Bookmark   April 16, 2010 at 4:44AM
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I have two fairly new 26cc Homelite Mighty Weed Trimmers. Both have less then two (2) hours of running time on them. On one the pull string wont return, it wont start the engine. I tried rewinding the spring and the string at least 8 times and I still canÂt get this thing to work right. I am an automotive machinist of over 40 years I work with the smallest to the largest engines all day. I had several other Top Machinists in the shop take a look at it as well. The string wont return back to its original position after a load is applied to the engine. After the second pull it jams again. The only other option I can think of is to replace the starter pulley. But the trimmer is new right????? I paid $120.00 for the thing new, and spent about $400.00 in time trying to fix it. The other trimmer the muffler fell off after the third (3) usage

    Bookmark   July 18, 2010 at 8:56AM
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Papa: Pleeease! Give it a Rest !!

    Bookmark   July 18, 2010 at 9:09AM
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The 200.00 straight shaft Echo has been the middle of the choices in my opinion and most recommended by landscapers and DIY homeowners. From my personal experiences using and servicing trimmers, you'll have to learn to use whatever you get. You can have problems with any brand/model. logger

    Bookmark   July 18, 2010 at 5:17PM
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Tend to agree with Loger ! I normally lean towards Stil Products (Chainsaws) but have heard numerous complaints with there middle of the road trimmers. The Commercial Grade Straight Shaft Units which are much more expensive seem to get a passing grade. However all the Echo Line appear to have better average comparative acceptance. If you where leaning toward 4-Cycle Honda is what I hear has the Best to Offer , but Probably over your Intended Budget . This of course coming from a Budget Minded Weed-Eater Homeowner Grade Trimmer who does not mind servicing what he owns lol . :)

    Bookmark   July 18, 2010 at 6:15PM
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