Echo vs. Husqvarna trimmer (which do I keep)?

dhaseleu(Zone 6)May 5, 2007

OK - needed to get my line trimming done today and finally had enough of my old Weed Eater model. Needed to pick something up while I was out and didn't have time to research first, so I ended up grabbing TWO units and figured I would let you guys decide when I got home.

Sooo...Right now in my garage I have an Echo SRM 230 and a Husqvarna 223L. Both cost exactly the same ($269) and appear to have similar features. One is getting gassed up later today and put into service - the other is going back to the store. So - which one do I keep?

I love this forum and put a high degree of trust in your answers. Thanks in advance for your advice/opinions. :)


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I am a bit partial to the Echo, but alot is personal preferance. Weedwhackers are a tool that needs to be ergonomic and well balanced, and that can vary from one person to another. Such as I like loop handles and outboard recoil starters, someone else may like other options.

    Bookmark   May 6, 2007 at 12:01AM
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dhaseleu(Zone 6)

Thanks for the opinion blacknumber1. I have still been trying to sort it out. So far it seems that Echo's are a little better regarded online. The Echo's also have a 5 year consumer warranty now and the Husqvarnas are only 2 (although I think their drive shaft is lifetime). The Echo can take attachments and the Husqvarna can't but the Echo is about 4lbs heavier (thinking maybe the optional shoulder strap is a good idea).

The Echo is rated for 300 hours operation - not sure about the Husqvarna. The sales guy at Lowes said they didn't get any ratings for the Husqvarna's and I didn't see anything on the box, although one post I saw online here mentioned 50 hours.

I didn't get to trim yesterday, but will be doing so today after church. Any other opinions will be greatly appreciated. Thanks again blacknumber1.

Here are some specs for anyone else who might be interested.

 22.8 cc 2-Stroke Engine
 Certified to the highest engine durability period by the E.P.A.
 EchoMatic® Pro Line Feed System
 Heavy Duty Bearings for Improved Power Transfer
 Commercial Grade Air Filter Provides Outstanding Engine Protection
 Padded Edger Style Handle For Increased Control
 Optional Brushcutter Attachment Available For Vines and Saplings
 Die Cast Fan Cover for Decreased Vibration
 Power Boost Tornado 2-Stroke Engine
 Shoulder Harness Clip, Harness Sold Separately
Brand Echo
Model # SRM230sp
Assembled Depth (In Inches) 11.50 In.
Assembled Height (In Inches) 11.38
Assembled Weight (In LBS) 12.2
Assembled Width (In Inches) 72.50
Attachment Capable Yes
Cut Width 17 In.
Engine Size 22.8 cc
Engine Type Air Cooled, Two-Stroke, Single Cylinder Gasoline
Feed Mechanism Bump
Fuel Type Gas & Oil Mix
Gas Mix Ratio 50:1
Line Diameter (In.) .095 In.
Shaft Type Straight
Shoulder Strap Included No
UPC CODE 743184508121
Weight(Lbs.) 13.2 Lbs.

Blade compatible
Loop handle makes it easy to turn and use the trimmer at different angles
Maximum power speed 9,000 rpm
Straight shaft for extended reach
2-year consumer, 1-year commercial warranty
Extended Protection Plans are available for an additional charge
Duty Rating: Commercial Grade
Engine: 2 cycle 24.5 cc
Shaft: Straight
Attachment Capable: No
Cutting Width: 17"
Line Diameter: .095
Weight: 9 lbs.

    Bookmark   May 6, 2007 at 7:59AM
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50 hours of engine life is crappy for anything "commercial rated" Use good quality, marine grade synthetic 2-stroke oil and you can extend your engine life and also reduce smoking/fouling. I am thinking of taking a second look at the new 4-stroke trimmers myself.

You want to be able to add attachments if you want. Some of them are chinzy and underpowered but others, like the hedge trimmer, work very well and you still only have one motor to take care of.

    Bookmark   May 6, 2007 at 5:44PM
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I have a 1/2 acre yard and lots of trimming. For the last 20 years I have been using an Echo SRM 2200. It has never been in the shop. If they are still built the same, I would say there is your answer.

    Bookmark   May 8, 2007 at 5:51PM
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dhaseleu(Zone 6)

Thanks prairiewinters. You helped affirm the decision I reached. I just took back the Husqvarna (unopened) earlier today and have already used the Echo on its maiden run. So far so good. And BIG difference in power over the Weed Eater I must say. I still need to adjust the position of the handrip and throttle lever a bit so my wrist is in a more comfortable positon (HD sells their units already assembled) but other than that I think I am really going to like this bad boy. Hope I get the same 20 years you've enjoyed prairiewinters. Thanks again to you too blacknumber1. Really appreciate you both taking the time to share your opinions with me.


    Bookmark   May 8, 2007 at 8:03PM
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Too bad I didn't see this sooner. I had an old ECHO SRM 1500 and when I could no longer start it I purchased the Husqvarna 223L.

For the 15 years I used the ECHO I did minimum trimming as I couldn't wait to be done with this dreadful chore. I was able to mow inside a large ditch in front of the house so I trimmed only around the house and trees. I had no problems with any of my other ECHO equipment but I was miserable every minute I used the ECHO trimmer. This was the only trimmer I ever used and I didn't know the difference. The only way I can describe my ECHO troubles is that trimming was difficult for me every step of the way, even though the trimmer appeared to work well. With the ECHO I started to avoid trimming whenever possible due to aching arms, back, legs, neck.

I'm surprised I purchased another trimmer after my bad 15 year ECHO experience but the HUSQVARNA felt pretty good when I swung it around in the store. I took it home and used it for several hours the same day. It was excellent right from the beginning

These two trimmers are totally different in handling, ease of starting, and durability. The HUSQVARNA is lighweight, perfectly balanced, easy to start, powerful, takes heavy duty as well as regular trimmer cord, has an easy to load spool, and almost floats across the brush as it anticipates my every move. I have nothing but praise for this HUSQVARNA trimmer 223L as it makes the chore of trimming almost enjoyable for me.

After 2 years of use, the 223L has become MY FAVORITE piece of lawn equipment! With the Husqvarna I just finished 6 hours of continual trimming and am none the worse for wear. The ditch is too steep for my new mower so I've added 230 feet of ditch to trim as well as around the house and trees. I'm even considering using the trimmer instead of the edger I purchased, to trim the driveway and walkways, something I never would have considered with the unpleasant ECHO! I have nearly 2 acres of property and will now be using the trimmer in the back as well as the front of my property.

I hefted a few other HUSQVARNA trimmers when considering which to buy, but none felt as good as this 223L. I don't know exactly what it is that is different but it is different enough to have made trimming one of my favorite chores instead of the most dreaded one.

One big surprise for me is the ease of starting. The 223L has never required more than 5 pulls of the cord to start and once started, it does NOT stall! Whether it is cold or warm, it starts right up, usually on the 3rd pull.

Every so often I try to start the old ECHO up. It remains impossible to start. This gives me great pleasure as I am trying to start it only as a game, not because I need to use it. Thankfully I will never have to use that ECHO trimmer again!

I hope you continue to be pleased with your ECHO but I am sorry I didn't see this discussion when you were still evaluating which to keep.

    Bookmark   April 27, 2008 at 6:20AM
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I have not use either brand trimmer but I am very active in other lawn forum and talk to a lot of people there, reading a lot of posts. Having said that, this is my opinion:

The 300 hours rating you see is only the "Emmision durability rating". It has very little to do with the durability of the engine itself. With good maintenance, you should get over 1500 hours on these. Echo is a top brand but Husqvarna is very good too. If you like the feel of Husky, you should look into 326Lx, this is their bread and butter commercial trimmer and the engine is rated for 300 hours if that make you more comfortable.

Shop around. I see Husqvarna 326L always on sale for $269 which is same price as Echo SRM230. Between the two, I definitely pick 326Lx over SRM230. The engine is much stronger. Even the 223 is stronger. Echo SRM230 is very weak, it's only 22.8cc. That is the general complain in the lawn forum. Also Husky is lighter for the power.

Echo is known to have a cold nature, it never start that well.

Nothing is more important than maintenance. Change gas and air filter accordingly. Clean the fins often. Filters affect the air fuel ratio, if it get too lean, it will kill a 2 cycle very quick, too rich, you will build up carbon. Do everything right, it will last a long time.

    Bookmark   April 27, 2008 at 1:05PM
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I forgot to mension, if you are not using the trimmer all the time, you should use fuel stabilizer like Stabil. Gas go stale after a months or two, if you let gas sit longer than that, put stabilizer. Don't buy large quantity. Use small container so you use it up sooner. Keep the container and gas tank as full as possible. Air inside the gas tank make the gas go bad faster, use small gas container and fill up the tank in the trimmer as much as possible.

    Bookmark   April 27, 2008 at 2:11PM
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I have used ECHO trimmers for years, with great success. I presently have an SRM2601, and recently purchased an SRM260S for my daughter to use on her one acre lot with lots of trimming to do. I have about a 1,000 feet to trim myself because I am on a corner lot with a 450 foot frontage, a 220 foot hedge, the driveway, house and outbuilding to trim around. I use the ECHO Powerblend oil. I would not be afraid to buy another ECHO myself. They have treated me very well. The newer SRM260S had the 5 year warranty. I still have my original ECHO trimmer I use with a saw blade for cutting small plant growth. They have never needed any repairs. Charles Ranheim

    Bookmark   April 28, 2008 at 1:32PM
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To Charles Ranheim
I think SRM260 is more in line for comparison. Now you can compare point to point between SRM260 and 326Lx, that will be hard to pick. I would lean a little toward SRM260. Service wise, I think Echo is easier to take apart. The cylinder can be removed with 4 bolts. Husky's cylinder is one piece with the top half of the crankcase, it you ever want to remove the cylinder for whatever reason, you pretty much taking the whole engine apart. I don't know much about 223, I think it has a plastic lower crankcase???? Not sure. I know one of the Husky have plastic lower crankcase.

    Bookmark   April 28, 2008 at 8:40PM
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blueseatx(z7 TX)

The "EPA" certification on the Echo is your first clue that it is underpowered and a good sign that the engine will not last very long. The more you filter the exaust, the hotter the engine gets because it cannot breath. If you decide to keep the Echo, the first thing you should do is drill some 1/2" holes in the muffler/exhaust. If you gut the exaust, you will increase the power as much as 20%-25% and your engine will last 50% longer.

    Bookmark   April 6, 2009 at 1:48PM
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