Echo vs Stihl String Trimmer

ncage(z5 IL)April 1, 2012

Just bought a Stihl blower tonight now i'm in market for a string trimmer. To be honest with you my cheapy bolens string trimmer i bought 2 years ago works fine. The only reason i want to replace it is how much work it is to fill the trimmer line once it is empty. It runs and starts just fine. I have no doubt that both Stihl & Echo units are fine. I know Echo seem to have a little less power but they would be fine for my yard. My question is which has the best and easiest system for line replacment? With either unit do you have to get a more pricier model to get the better string system. I probably don't need a straight shaft trimmer but if i get a much better spool thats easier to replace trimmer line then i will get that.

I tried to get a spool replacement for the bolens that would be much easier but i found out i have to almost rip the shaft apart to replace the spool which i'm not willing to do. Hopefully if i wanted to replace the spool on a echo/stihl it would be much better.

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ncage (I'm guessing that you're not Nicolas Cage?), speaking from the standpoint of my personal preference, I have a lower-end Echo that does not have a spool. It uses two 8-inch pieces of string. When they wear down, I merely pull them out by hand (from the inside of the spindle), pull two pre-cut strings out of my pocket and slip them into place, then resume cutting. This works better for me than any spool I've ever had - I always had trouble with the string welding to itself inside the spool and not feeding. From a brand standpoint, I've had Stihl and Echo products, plus a number of others; I've always been satisfied with those manufacturers' products, but not always happy with the other brands. Just one guy's opinion.

    Bookmark   April 1, 2012 at 10:50PM
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I have an Echo SRM225 with the U-turn head. The head is really easy to reload.

Here is a link that might be useful: Echo

    Bookmark   April 2, 2012 at 1:10AM
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ncage, Why not use the individual strings in your existing head (double and single)? I have even made-up my own due to the welding issue.

The hard blade on a straight shaft is a dream in my case if it's not too heavy. I had a Stihl with a pure straight shaft with a steel drive-shaft vs a cable that was a killer on my bask. I found a long shaft with a slight bow that use a cable that I have never twisted. I feel the my Echo straight shaft uses a cable with a reasonable weight. Plus, I feel it would support a blade vs the string now. The dual or split shaft supporting string or a blade seams ideal. 75% of my trimming will support the hard blade and saves tons of time. Good Luck! loger

    Bookmark   April 3, 2012 at 10:30AM
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I have both brands and the Echo gets used much less.... as in not at all. If the engine size is equal, the Stihl beats the Echo in all categories.

    Bookmark   April 5, 2012 at 7:00AM
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"the Stihl beats the Echo in all categories"...The only problem I have with Stihl is that I understand their parts are available only to Still dealers and as a result some repairs can be very pricey.

    Bookmark   April 5, 2012 at 6:18PM
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Echo will have better quality than the low end Stilh trimmers, about the same as high end high priced trimmers. Steve

    Bookmark   April 8, 2012 at 7:48AM
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ncage(z5 IL)

For anyone searching i want to let everyone know what i did. I end up going to my local Stihl/Echo dealer and telling them about my dilemma. They suggested if i'm unhappy with my spool and happy overall with my trimmer just to get a new head/spool for my trimmer. They had a head which is almost identical to:

But different colors. Its amazing head. Very easy to cut existing line i already have and use it in the spool. No need to buy special line.

My friend has the cheapest stihl trimmer with the curve shaft and he said line is pain to change in his trimmer too.

The only thing is my 31cc bolens seems to bog down slightly from the head. But not that bad. Its definitely still usable. In the future i will probably buy an echo or stihl trimmer but for now i'm happy with what i have.

I think some of you though are to hard core on the stihl vs echo. I think both of them are damn fine trimmers. I won't narrow my decision in the future though to the spool since its so easy / cheap to replace. And i bet a lot easier to change than my bolens (why i had my dealer swap it instead of me).

    Bookmark   April 9, 2012 at 7:47PM
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There are quite a number of different heads available available with a selection of arbors to fit different brands. I like the speed feed system, align the arrows on the cap then feed a length of line through the head. Rotate the cap to wind it in then nip the line off the spool. As far as Echo vs Stihl, I prefer Echo. The entry level units are smoother and quieter and I am diehard 2 stroke,no 4-mix in this yard.

    Bookmark   May 4, 2012 at 11:23PM
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"I think some of you though are to hard core on the stihl vs echo."...I respect ladylake's opinion. From reading his other posts he is much more knowledgable about 2-stroke engines that I am.

    Bookmark   May 5, 2012 at 3:37PM
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I purchased a Stihl FS110 trimmer from a reputable dealer and had some problems with my first autofeed head. He replaced it (the head) w. no questions asked. The 2nd unit has had zero problems for the past 2 years. Putting new line on the autofeed head is not too bad (there are notches to hold the 1st wrapping in place while you work on the 2nd). If you don't want to bother you can buy a new, pre-wrapped insert from your dealer. I also use a blade for dense brush & briers and an edger attachment. FWIW, Stihl doesn't want you to use the edger with handlebars (vs D grip).

Note: Be sure to get some grease and apply it regularly to the trimmer end (there should be a fitting).


    Bookmark   May 10, 2012 at 7:46PM
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