New hedge trimmer (echo vs. stihl)...

WestchesterGrower(Lower NY)May 7, 2010


I went to one of my local shops and they have (I believe) the stihl HS45, which seems like a good trimmer. I was set to buy it, but decided to look online for opinions and it seems the consensus is that echo makes a better trimmer for less money. Lighter and better working, etc.

Is this the case? I did not see any echo's in this store, although I know he carries that brand so I am sure he could order it. My main concern is that I do mostly privet hedges and the new grown can be very delicate or soft. The stihl seems like it may be too heavy duty and more so for rougher stuff. Although I am sure the same holds true for the echo/s.

Although I may be dead wrong as I have only used electric thus far. I am excited to get a gas powered one, but was wondering what your opinions on it was? I don't mind spending upwards of 300, but I need a machine that will do a good job on light to medium duty trimming. Weight is not that big of a concern for me.

Thanks a lot for the help!

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I purchased an Echo HC 150 20 inch trimmer earlier this year and have used it so far to cut down large fountain grasses. The unit has plenty of power and isn't too heavy.

I have about 30 boxwoods that I will use it to trim a little later in the spring as well.

    Bookmark   May 7, 2010 at 12:09PM
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I have the Echo HC151. It is a good quality commercial trimmer, but it is too short and is uncomfortable to use. If I were to budge $300, I would buy Kawasaki 600D, a true heavy duty commercial 24" trimmer. For home owner, 600S is plenty good. Still a commercial trimmer. IT is about $250.

I don't know about the Stihl HS45, but it is only a home owner model, All Echo are commercial equipments......Yes even the ones in Home Depot or OSH. I don't believe HS45 is heavier duty, I am not sure even the HS81 ( the commercial Stihl) is heavier duty than Echo.

    Bookmark   May 7, 2010 at 12:26PM
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WestchesterGrower(Lower NY)

Thanks, guys.

I was not aware of the commercial quality of all echo's, Yungman... appreciate the thoughts.

Also, I read somewhere that you want blade on blade cutting action. What is meant by this? and I assume all echos have this?

    Bookmark   May 7, 2010 at 8:55PM
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The high quality ones always have both blades moving in opposite directions for better cuts. As oppose to some cheap ones that one blade is stationary and only one blade move.

Yes, a lot of people think just because Home Depot sell Echo, then they are not commercial quality. That HC151 is a tough cookie!!! Because it's too short, I bought a Shindaiwa short reach articulate hedge trimmer ( $$$$ toy!!!) and I have been using the Echo to cut through over 1/2" branch to compact the recycle box. I mean I stuff the branches into the box, stick the HC151 blade into the box and cut through them, pack more down and stick the blade in and cut. That is a rough task and it really hold up!!! That is trimmer abuse!!! It is powerful, earn my respect to the HC151. Still quite sharp even after all the abuse.

    Bookmark   May 7, 2010 at 9:07PM
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WestchesterGrower(Lower NY)

Thanks again!

Tough decision now, but I am shifting gears a bit, as I like what I am seeing in terms of the Kawasaki 600D, per your suggestion. Not many dealers around my area, but I think it may be worth a look.

    Bookmark   May 7, 2010 at 9:17PM
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Buy online. Look at ebay. They were selling it for only $259 last year. Somehow, they seem to raise the price lately. But keep checking on ebay. You might get lucky and find one cheaper new. I won't get used ones.

I won't let the lack of availablity from dealers stop you. I have good luck with online shopping.

    Bookmark   May 7, 2010 at 11:58PM
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I own the Stihl HS45 and love it! I'd say I use it 10-15 time a year sometimes for 2-3 hours at a time and it's never given me any trouble.

    Bookmark   May 8, 2010 at 1:06PM
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WestchesterGrower(Lower NY)

Hey Guys,

I decided to go with the HS45 afterall. I am not that big time and even though there may have been some better options, I have to say I am very happy with the purchase....Quite amazing and what a relief compared to electric. Slices like butter and can handle some various work loads, although as I said it will only get low to medium duty.. It will also get about 15-20 hrs a year.

Having said that, how often should I have the blades sharpened or replaced?

And any special cleaning measures? After I use the machine, I blow the blade areas off with a blower. If anything remains, I wipe off, but there is a lot of grease and I try to respect that. Any other aspects I should keep in mind? Re-greasing blades, etc?

Thanks a lot.

    Bookmark   May 15, 2010 at 9:22PM
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Spray with fluid film before and after using. It clean off all the crap stuck on the blade. It is very very important to do that. Crap build up on the blades and prevent it from cutting good. I almost throw away my Echo HC151 thinking it's a piece of junk.....I am serious. Someone recommended my to use Fluid Film and never turn back. It actually clean out all the stuff from years of buildup after a while. I use it on my Shindaiwa articulate hedge clipper from day one, it's been almost two years and I yet to have to clean or wipe the blades yet, it is still shinny as the day I bought it.

Fluid Film, and I am not associate with them and don't get commision from them!!!!

    Bookmark   May 16, 2010 at 12:42AM
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