stihl vs echo trimmer

cranheimMay 25, 2007

I have been debating which of two string trimmers I might buy. One is the ECHO SRM-230S (normal 2 cycle) with a 7 year warranty, or the new STIHL FS 90 R (4-mix engine) with a two year warranty. Both have steel shafts. Both claim to be commercial quality. The plus for the ECHO is that it would probably require less maintenance because of the 2-stroke engine, and the 7 year warranty. It also runs fine on the cheaper ECHO blended oil, and never needs valve adjustments or "De-coking". The plus for the STIHL is that it has a larger engine and the newer technology (4-mix). The price is the same. I have had excellent luck with ECHO trimmers. I now own a STIHL BR600 blower and a KM 110R Power head that have the 4-mix engines. While they run great now, I have no feel for what maintenance these units may need down the road. I do use the more expensive STIHL Ultra oil in the 4-mix engines as recommended by STIHL. Any comments or thoughts would be appreciated. Charles Ranheim

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nevada_walrus(Boulder City)

7 year warranty?? Wow, guess I need to check with the sales folks cause I'm not aware of that. Keep in mind 90% or more of true warranty will occur in the first few hours of operation.

As of yet we have not seeing the carbon problems on any of the 4-Mix engines except for the larger backpack blowers. The trimmer motors have not displayed that problem so using the standard oil by Stihl or Echo should be just fine.

The only additional maintenance to the 4-Mix trimmer is valve adjustments and from what we have encounter so far a post break in adjustment seems to be the only one needed until there are an awful lot of hours on one. Stihl even has told us that the first one is fairly common although not always. Some shops will do the first one as a courtesy but it is not required by Stihl that they do.

Not saying one bad thing about the Echo, just saying don't go against Stihl for the wrong reason. As you already know from your blower, the 4-Mix can be a much more pleseant sound if you're like me and hate the whine of a 2 stroke.

Every machine has some differences. You may want to just hold each in your hands in operational position and see how they feel, how they might feel if holding one for an extended time. Comfort of operation could in the end be the more important factor as both are good machines.

    Bookmark   May 25, 2007 at 9:54PM
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Unless the dealer is offering a warranty extension, the Echo "home owner" warranty period is only 5 years. Still, an excellent warranty, and the main reason I recently bought an Echo 210.

    Bookmark   May 25, 2007 at 11:40PM
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masiman(z7 VA)

What NW said and which dealer you would rather do business . I think either has a very good chance of outlasting you :).

    Bookmark   May 25, 2007 at 11:51PM
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boxersandkoi(Seattle, WA)

We just bought a Echo 230S and have put it to two days work. Looked at the Stihl as well. Decided to go with the Echo because of the 2-stroke engine, and because so many guys on a commerical lawn service forum like them as well.

So far the Echo 230S is great. Glad we opted for the steel shaft. Starts easy. We've got a lot of work here (5 acres of pasture and woodlands). It bogged down only slighitly in very tall grass.

It cleaned tall weeds out our chain link fence with ease by throttling down to about half RPM.

Turn the units over and look at the heads. The 230S won us over.

Good luck with whatever you choose.

    Bookmark   May 26, 2007 at 1:29AM
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Thanks for all who responded. I made a terrible mistake on the warranty time. The flyer said the warranty was 5 years starting in 2007. When I made my statement about the warranty I must have had the 7 on my mind from the year 2007. The homeowners warranty is 5 years, not seven as I stated in my first post. By the way, I am buying this trimmer for my daughter. I have been going over to her house with my ECHO trimmer and backpack for years to do her trimming. I gave her my STIHL BR-420C when I got my BR600. I have had such good luck with the ECHO trimmers in the past, I am leaning towards the ECHO. The 5 year warranty also plays a part in this decision. I do have the STIHL KM 110R 4-mix engine Power Head which I also like very much. Charles Ranheim

    Bookmark   May 26, 2007 at 9:01PM
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canguy(British Columbia)

I prefer the Echo but the Stihl is very good. If you go with the FS90 have the dealer install the Autocut 25C head. It is a lot easier to load.

    Bookmark   May 26, 2007 at 10:10PM
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I finally decided which way to go. I went with ECHO and ordered the SRM-260S instead of the 230S. It was only $20.00 more, and comes with a 25.4 cc engine instead of the 22.8 cc in the 230S. I have an old SRM-2601 that has the same size engine and a steel shaft. The extra power will come in handy to take down tall grass and weeds.
This unit also has the 5 year consumser warranty for 2007. Thanks to all for your input and suggestions. I appreciate it. Charles Ranheim

    Bookmark   May 31, 2007 at 5:36PM
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I just bought an Echo 210 and am pleased with the performance with 2 exceptions. The manual says it needs 89 octane fuel and most regular gas is 87 octane. I hate to buy premium gas for yard equipment. Is this really needed for engine reliability or is it just to give a little more performance like most cars? Also the guard is too small and allows grass and trash to be thrown on you unless the head is tilted down on the right all the time.

    Bookmark   April 23, 2008 at 10:56AM
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I'd go with the dealer that offers the best service, but I really like my Stihl FS130. Didn't cost much more than the FS90. I got it because the dealer didn't have a 90 on hand. He saw me eyeballing an FS250 and sold me the FS130. Said the only difference in the 130 and 250 was antivibration and easy start option. Whether that was true or not, I'm happy.

Good Luck.


    Bookmark   April 25, 2008 at 5:06AM
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I think the FS250 is very different from FS130.
1) FS250 is a 2 cycle.
2) FS250 is stronger.
3) FS130 has a lot more optional attachment you can change.
4) FS250 is supposed to be a lot louder, 4Mix sould better.

I had set up a poll in another lawn site comparing the reliability between 4Mix engines vs other 2 cycles. The result is the 4MIx has about 160% more problem than the 2 cycles. But this is only on the engine. People still love the Stihl trimmer because of the weight, handling and power. Thought I mension about the result here. Consenses is use synthetic oil like Stihl Ultra and don't put extra oil. Follow the 50:1 or close to this.

As for me, I use Honda HHT31S, Mantis Honda engine. I would still play it save and not getting 4MIx, but that is just me only. I am sure people that use the trimmer all day long will appreciate the power to weight ratio of the 4Mix.

    Bookmark   April 27, 2008 at 2:49AM
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I have owned both an SRM-230S purchased from home depot and a Stihl fs 110 from an authorized stihl dealer. When I purchased the echo I thought that I just bought the finest string trimmer ever. As time went on starting it seemed to become ever so slightly more time consuming. However, it still performed well and I proudly told everyone with interest how superior it was to any other tool in the shed.
I moved and left it with my father, to use.
I then purchased the stihl and realized that I now have the most superior string trimmer ever! I have slowly replaced worn out, broken, useless lawn and garden tools with stihl tools. As with any stihl tool when you fire it up with one pull after choke everytime, you can feel the solid well built machine humming in your hands. The echo feels a little loose and sloppy in comparison. Oh and one other thing Stihl authorized dealers know everything about their products. The kid at Home depot, wellhe knows where the string trimmers are.
If stihl built cars, I'd drive one. If stihl built houses, I'd dwell in one, If stihl produced women, I'd marry one.

    Bookmark   April 27, 2008 at 10:29PM
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Thanks for the opinions folks. I need to get a commercial trimmer for the first time and I was wondering... I think I'll go with Echo as I have always had good luck with their blowers. (The hand held blowers do it all.;) Why waste $$ and the back strain of the backpack?)

    Bookmark   June 17, 2010 at 3:11PM
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masiman(z7 VA)

If your just blowing off surfaces or moving small dry piles of material, then a hand held is fine.

If you have wet material or large volumes of leaves, you'll probably be happier with a backpack.

I think most will agree that a handheld blower is more tiring than a backpack blower.

    Bookmark   June 17, 2010 at 4:10PM
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Cherryhill-Do you by any chance sell Stihl products?Echo and Tanaka are far superior.

    Bookmark   June 21, 2010 at 9:23AM
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Take a look at the EPA rating before you buy, says a lot about the long term quality. Steve

    Bookmark   June 21, 2010 at 7:18PM
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Hand held is tiring if you have to blow for over 10 minutes. But hand held is more convient for small little clean up after mowing.

All Echos are 300 hours EPA rating and so are Shindaiwa. I believe Tanaka also. I don't think the old Stihl hand held is. Don't know about the new ones. Maruyama Hand held is 300 hours rating.

I don't know the Husqvarna 125B. But for $149, you cannot beat that. It is stronger than the Echo, cheaper. It is only very slightly less powerful than the more expensive Shindai EB3410 ( which I have ) or the Stihl BG86. For home owner use, it is going to last forever if you use Stabil in gas and regularly use SeaFoam for cleaning.

Don't get too hung up on the EPA 300 hours. Under good care, even the cheap Ryobi will run for 500 hours or more. That is not engine longivity, only emmision complience.

    Bookmark   June 21, 2010 at 7:44PM
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The EPA rating is linked to quality, if the 50 hours machines would still meet the EPA specs after 300 hour they would be rated at 300 hours. On the other hand even a 50 hour machine will last many years for the average home owner. If doing commerical work I'd want a 300 hour machine. I,ve had low end Stihl and Husky machines apart and they are built cheap. Steve

    Bookmark   June 22, 2010 at 6:35AM
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I recently read that it cost more to certify a engine for 300 hours than for 50 hours. I'm willing to bet most homeowner machines are only rated to 50 hours because the manufacturers (stihl or husky) did not feel it necessary to pay the extra coin to certify their homeowner equipment for a longer rating. 50hrs is long enough for most average homeowners to get over 10 years out of their machine

    Bookmark   June 22, 2010 at 8:49AM
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Rated 300 hours guarante certain quality. Rating 50 hours don't mean it is lack of quality. They might just not tested for 300 hours. Remember both the Stihl Homescaper engine and the Husky 125 engine have been around for a long time, they are selling well. What is the incentive of taking an old piece of equipment to go through new test if marketing is not even an issue.

Both Stihl HomeScaper and Husky 125 trimmer/blowers are successfully used in commercial lawncare. I read many posts to attested to that. Of cause it is not build as heavy duty, but look at the price. It is plenty good for light duty commercial and home owner use.

In fact, one can argue about the Stihl 4Mix true commercial vs the HomeScaper. All the complains about the 4Mix on using wrong oil, wrong gas and all. I am not sure you really can say HomeScaper equipments are worst.

    Bookmark   June 22, 2010 at 1:33PM
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The fact is that there is a LOT if difference in the quality of Stihl and Husky between thier low end and pro machines and the EPA ratings show it, also when taken apart it's easy to see. With some of the above logic or lack of it why not just rate them all at 50 hours . Steve

    Bookmark   June 23, 2010 at 7:14AM
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I took apart a Stihl HomeScaper engine and A FS100 4Mix engine. I can say the HomeScaper engine look every bit as good. In fact I was very impressed with the design and construction of the Home Scaper engine. It is two piece crankcase divided horizontally rather than the convension engines that divide vertically. This make changing bearing easier. It is a full crank, two rings piston. There is nothing cheap about it. The fact that people use it for commercial use with great success.

Go to lawn site to read and you'll see. I am active in all the sites and I read a lot of good comments on both Stihl HomeScaper and Husky 125.

    Bookmark   June 23, 2010 at 12:52PM
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I took apart MS170 saw , built real cheap compared to Stihl pro saws, why bother making pro saws if the cheapo ones are just as good. Steve

    Bookmark   June 23, 2010 at 7:11PM
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Definitely no comparison within Homeowner and Pro Grade Chainsaws ! Whether you talking Husky , Stil , Solo , Dolmar
the Construction and Serviceability is far Superior within the Pro-Grade Equipment . I would be surprised to see different design parameters within Grass Cutters .

    Bookmark   June 23, 2010 at 10:26PM
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We are talking about string trimmers, I have no idea about saws!!!

I am talking about Stihl HomeScaper trimmer engine vs FS100 engine.

    Bookmark   June 24, 2010 at 3:02AM
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I disagree that epa ratings are the standard to judge a piece of equipment quality. If stihl or husky followed echo's marketing strategy and certified their equipment to pass 300 hrs I guess they would no longer considered inferior since your logic views the epa rating as the sign of quality?

EPA ratings do not determine a machines quality or useful life. They have nothing to do with the amount of work a machine will perform in its useful life. All they say is that this engine will put out this amount of emissions within a certain time frame. After that time frame the emissions increase.

If EPA ratings were the gold standard, all those pro grade saws from 15 plus years ago that are still around are then considered junk because not one of them would pass the epa's standard then even a homeowner piece of equipment can pass today.

    Bookmark   June 24, 2010 at 8:21AM
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Youngman , I was only referring to Homeowner vs Commercial Grade Powerheads (Engines) Not the Quality of Shaft Head attachments or versatility . I will deferr to your superior knowledge of Gas Trimmers , since I have only owned 3 units all disposable Weed-Eater 2-stroke units . 1400 , 1500 and 1700 Models none of them anything but economy models . However they all still run with routine maintenance and shaft cable greasing and Carb Tuning. Just to reiterate the Commercial or Pro-grade Powerheads should be far Superior in Ring , Bore and Bearing Design and Composition not to mention Carburation . Being so their compliance to Epa emmissions guidlines and life cycle should therefore be much more achievable and long lasting . I have to agree with ladylake within the Hr Ratings. However not to say that the Stil is not a Good piece of equipment . along with the Husky . Hell my cheapo Weed-Eaters have lasted 20 yrs being used on a 5 acre Homestead and a 2 acre Camp Site , but as you have indicated none would pass todays stringent Epa Rating Requirements lol .

    Bookmark   June 24, 2010 at 12:54PM
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I never compare "homeowner" vs "commercial". I was just respond to the EPA 50 hours vs 300 hours. The brand make big difference. I took apart engines of cheaper brands like Craftsman, Troybilt and more expensive brands like Stihl, Shindaiwa, Echo etc.

There is a big difference between the cheap brands and the commercial brands. For example, the cheapest Husky 125 and Stihl Homescaper all have full crank( ball bearing on both sides of the crankshaft) vs the cheap weateater, craftsman and troybilt which is half crank. Also, the crankshaft of the commercial brands have 3 pieces crankshaft vs the cheap ones have stamped sheet metals bolted together to for the crankshalf. That is major difference. AND THAT HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH THE EPA RATING.

This is more a brand thing. If you stay with the commercial brand, even the cheapest model is going to be better. And you can take this to the bank. I took apart too many engines to learn this. So don't worry about the rating on Stihl HomeScaper or the Husky 125. They are good. If you don't believe me, go buy some old engines on ebay and take it apart like I did and see it for yourself.

And at that, I never said the cheap brands don't last. It's just impossible to service if the pull start rope break or others break. It is more design for dispossable. I talked to people using Ryobi trimmer and they last about 500 hours and no more. So it does work for home owners. The commercial average about 2000 hours. So this is the fair breakdown.

    Bookmark   June 24, 2010 at 10:16PM
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Yes Even the cheapest Stihl and Husky machines (except for a couple of models which are identical to a Poolan) are built better than the real low grade Crapsman, Homelite etc, but there are not built any where near as good as the Echo 300 hour machines. And anyone that doesn't think a 300 hour machine isn't better than a 50 hour machine give me so real logic why besides the it's a Stihl or it's a Husky hype. Steve

    Bookmark   June 25, 2010 at 7:02AM
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You open a Stihl HomeScaper 28cc engine? I did. I think the design is more robust than the 21 and 25.4cc engine from Echo. Of cause I cannot judge the heat expansion matching etc. I doubt you can tell either. The HomeScaper is rated 50 hours and all Echo is rated 300 hours.

I am not talking about the rest of the trimmer, the head, gear box. Echo might be better since all Echo are commercial quality and HomeScaper is for home owners. But just the engine, I would not say the HomeScaper is inferior.

As I said, I don't know anything about saw, you might be absolutely right about the saws. We are talking about string trimmers only here and that, I went out of my way to buy different engines to study.

    Bookmark   June 25, 2010 at 1:02PM
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Yungman: My Cheap Weed-Eaters have a solid Cast Steel Crankshaft assembly not Pressed (stamped steel) but they do have less robust needle bearings rather than Roller Ball Bearings. Again concur with your superior working knowledge of Husky & Stil Gas Trimmer Models. I have limited experience within trimmers lol. Ask Ladylake about Homeowner Grade Stil Woodboss 290 Models have to be the worst (cheap) chainsaw Stil ever Produced , the Ford Edsel of Chainsaws . Anyhow sorry for the Saw comparison . Great Debate Guys ! I still see Steve's logic on the Hr Ratings as a Indicator of Superior Life Cycle & Serviceability .

    Bookmark   June 25, 2010 at 9:38PM
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Actually I am mainly familiar with Stihl HomeScaper engine. If you notice, these are about the only two 50 hours rated engine that is worth looking. Yes most of the others are pretty bad. You just have to judge individual engine rather than just on the 50 hours rating. Dare I say, unless it is HomeScaper and Husky 28cc, all the 50 hours rated are not as good. At least I have not seen any other 50 hours rated worth looking.

Actually I am an Echo fan and never been a Stihl fan at all. I was just very impressed with the HomeScaper engine. To be honest, I'll take Echo any time than the 4Mix stuff. This is because all the stories of the 4mix dropping valve guide, the requirement of using synthetic oil and 89 gas and all the finiky stuffs. So I am confused somehow I am defending Stihl over Echo!!!!

    Bookmark   June 25, 2010 at 11:25PM
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Yeah I have heard about the 4mix issues with valve guides and Synthetic Oil Only Issues ...strange ? Again not really a fan of 4-Stroke Technology when it comes to Outboards and Trimmers . Sure you have Pro's but with recent two Stroke EPA Guidelines you have reduced emissions without all the weight especially when your talking small outboards and trimmers where the added weight of a 4-stroke can be a burden. As far as Echo , sorry only have Saw Experience within the Brand and they do Manufacture a very Capable Saw with attractive Pricing and Dealer Support. Hey what can I say , guess i'am cheap my Ole "Skil" Manufactured Weed-Eaters are still kicking and get the job done for me. When my most recent Poulan Manufactured XT Weed-Eater bites the dust I might investigate a new trimmer . Heck then what will I do without having to Retune the Old Walbro's every Season lol . Have a Great Weekend Dude !

    Bookmark   June 26, 2010 at 1:19AM
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Hey, just because the cheap brands like Poulan, Ryobi etc. is cheap don't mean they don't last. Yes those are mostly 50 hours rated, but with good care, they last quite a while. I talk to one LCO that exclusively use Ryobi for jobs. He consistantly get 500+hours out of each.

Face it, with an expensive trimmer, when something happened, you fix it!!! But something happened with the crappy trimmer, you dunk it and get a new one. Then when people ask, you said it don't last!!!!

My Troybilt trimmer when through hell and still kicking, my $400 Honda when to the shop and have to have the carb changed in the first 8 months. Long story, but I end up had to overhaut the carb again myself!!!

Just because it is half crank and laminated crankshalf don't mean they don't hold up. I suspect if someone service these cheapy like a $300 trimmer, they might just last 1000 hours.

I don't know saws, maybe they are different from trimmers. Remember a lot more people buy trimmers than saws. So even the chapo trimmer have good design and well debug. They have to because consummer will just complain them out of business otherwise!!! It is like the Toyota Yaris, cheap like hell, but because it sell so much, they have to make it reliable or else that will distroy the name and the warranty repair would cost them even more.

    Bookmark   June 26, 2010 at 12:26PM
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Yungman: Your 100% right on about servicing . What a coincidence the local Canadian Tire (Box Store) outlet locally stocks both Weed-Eater and Troy Bilt Trimmers . I would assume that the Troy Bilt are a little better quality ? Since they are priced higher . Not sure never ran one or repaired any either . Like I said Bro when the dam things finally bite the dust I will have to reinvest in a newer model , rest assured I will take advice that I have learned from within this Forum on Purchase . Thanks for the info !
P.S. As for Saws yes they are very similar these days . My new Stil 361 is very lean out of th box (EPA) had to rejet once broke in to get max performance . Not like the Old Pioneers I ran in the 60's and still run occasionally .

    Bookmark   June 27, 2010 at 1:51AM
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I own two echo, and 6 stihl, 2 husky, and have owned a shindawa. Here is the truth.... the Shidawa hedge trimmer was the best I have used, not two heavy with alot of power. The echos don't have as much power as the others but are maintenance free until they are worn out and then your just done...they don't last as long as you would like. The stihls last forever but its like a mercedaz benz they have to be taken to the shop and spend 100-200 dollars on the damn carbs..... every year! The Husky always start and never brake, and never need fixing. I didn't know this when I decided to buy the stihl products and think I will go to the husky professional models from now on ...or will go back to the shindawa again.

    Bookmark   April 25, 2011 at 5:43PM
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Are you pulling the limiter cap and adjusting richer? Most new engines come set way lean causing low power and short life. steve

    Bookmark   April 27, 2011 at 6:03PM
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went to my dealer. They sell both brands. The Echo has 5 year warr. Stihl has 2yr warr. I'm 67 yers. old & have some shoulder issues. They said the Echo 225i would be the best machine for me. Talk about easy, They were right.

    Bookmark   May 26, 2011 at 4:11PM
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Stihl is currently doubling the warranty to 4 years with the purchase of a 6pack of their oil.Buy a stihl

    Bookmark   June 10, 2011 at 4:46PM
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I run a portable bandsaw and went out on a saw job last week and use my CS400 Echo for trimming logs etc, it started on the first pull every time even when cold, about 5 times. The guy I sawed for was sure impressed, he runs pro Husky saws. Steve

    Bookmark   June 10, 2011 at 6:59PM
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Well, time to re-start this old thread since it seems to be a good topic. I will at least add in Shindaiwa to the Echo vs. Stihl issue, since it's all the same discussion regardless of brand. Sorry, but I know I'm going to get a bit long on this post, but I think I'm not the only one who has questions.

I'm debating which brand of trimmer to buy. I've collected brochures from Honda, Maruyama, Stihl, and then Echo & Shindaiwa (Echo owns Shindaiwa--both subsidiaries of Yamabiko Corporation--on bottom of the back page!). I have done a lot of reading of those brochures, plus a lot of online searching for information about engine and gearbox design, other features, etc. So much to think about. I've ruled out Crapsman, though I will visit Sears today just for grins, and just to make sure, you know. Heck, I could buy two of those for the price of one of the really good brands. When one dies, I just use the other :) But I digress.

I understand the differences between 2-cycle and 4-cycle, and see the point of hybrids, pro and con. A lot of that is just personal preferences, but there are some technical differences as well, such as valve re-adjustments after break-in. Then there is the issue of torque between the three types. One question I have is the difference in torque between, say, these various models:

1. Stihl FS 110R (31.4cc 2-cycle engine)
2. Shindaiwa T254 & M254 (24.5cc "Hybrid-4" engine in both
3. Echo SRM-266S (25.4cc 2-cycle engine)
4. Echo SRM-280S & PAS-280 (28.1 cc 2-cycle engine in both

Only the Shindaiwa has the hybrid engine, so the question is whether the supposed extra torque they say comes from that engine will be equal or a bit greater than the other models. I'm wondering how it stacks up against the Stihl 31.4cc 2-cycle. Big difference in displacement, but how about the real power in operation? I ask this because both of these engines are used in the multi-tool systems these companies offer. So we have 31.4cc vs. 24.5cc for using attachments. Is the Shindaiwa really going to be as powerful as the Stihl in this example? Also, how would the power from the two Echo models compare to the Shindaiwa and Stihl? Any pros out there, or someone with knowledge of how to properly compare engine power and displacement sizes. Are hybrids more inherently powerful than 2-cycle? Are 4-cycle engines (like on the Honda trimmers) even more powerful than the 2-cycle and hybrids? Any pros and cons about the hybrids I should know about?

1) I like the Shindaiwa trimmers, but that 24.5cc number seems low, even for a hybrid, for using attachments.
2) I also like the Echo and Stihl trimmers, at least on paper, but Echo tops out at only 28.1cc, whereas Stihl goes way into the 30s if you want/need size.
3) I don't like the little deflectors on the Echo. They should be wider, I think.
4) I like the Stihl multi-tool option for the FS 110R because I don't have to commit to their Kombi system.
5) Maruyama makes some hot stuff (engines and gearboxes, especially), and they have the multi-tool system with a 30.2cc engine (they don't offer hybrids or 4-cycle), but my city area has only one dealer (a big outfit, however), so I have to wonder if that dealer will not carry Maruyama down the road.
6) The Shindaiwa T282 has the 28.9cc 2-cycle engine, but I'm limited to only being able to add a brush cutter.
7) You'd think Shindaiwa would give a guy a bigger engine for their M254 (24.5cc Hybrid-4) for the multi-tool system, right? At least Stihl gives you the option of the interchangeable gearbox attachment system for the FS 110R, or the Kombi system; and their motor sizes go past 30cc.
8) Honda seems to make a really nice trimer, but the 4-cycle engine is heavier, and I don't think Honda has an attachment system (at least from what I've seen so far), but they do offer a brush cutter option.

Sorry. Long enough. You see what I'm looking at. I don't want to over-analyze too far, but I don't want to drop a big wad of cash on the wrong choice.

Thanks for any input about the above issues. You'll be helping out a lot of people.

    Bookmark   May 19, 2012 at 7:40PM
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For those who are unawares echo trimmers are "light commercial" and Shindaiwa's are "Pro commercial" they are both made by the same company (Yamabiko Corporation) as coasteray stated above.
Stihl, Shindaiwa, and Echoe's are the top 3 machines. I have 6 Stihl FS 130R "4mix trimmers and 6 Stihl BR500 magnum backpack blowers also 4mix and in 2 years ive never had the carbs go out on any of them nor have I had to do a valve adjustment to any of them. The hybrids have way more torque than a 2-stroke with the same cc displacement nearly twice the power and they are quieter. When I first got mine I thot something was wrong with the RPM,s they are supposed to run at 10500 Rpms at full throttle. But to me it sounded more like 5000 Rpms to me. So I loaded everything up and carried my unhappy fat ass bck to the dealership. Salesman got a laugh and said "Uhh-huh you must be used to the whine of a 2-stroke engine these are 2-stroke with 4-stroke qualaties they are running alot faster than you think". So I cranked 1 up and showed him not believing what he said. Got laughed at again this time he went inside and brought out a tach meter and said "go ahead start that thing again". Long story he was rite all 12 were operating at 11000 Rpms or more. He said that was actually to high but would be ok and that the benifits of a 4mix system was it was a 2-stroke that worked like a 4-stroke giving it twice the power.

    Bookmark   May 21, 2012 at 10:38AM
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Wow wat an old post I just realized this was ohh well I stand by what I said in a way tho its just I.M.O.

    Bookmark   May 21, 2012 at 10:40AM
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KubotaMaster: Thanks a lot for responding to my post. It is very helpful. I didn't realize the RPMs are so high on these trimmers. I'm used to snowblowers running at around 3600, though my Toro 1028LXE is set at 3200. It's a wonder commercial uses of these trimmers doesn't ruin them, but I hear they can get 2500+ hours on some of them. I guess it all depends on the care they get.

I am also leaning more toward the hybrid-type engine. I have no experience with them, and don't know if Stihl's 4-Mix or Shindaiwa's Hybrid-4 is the better engine. Guess it depends on the designs, which I don't know about any differences in them. Any idea on that?

I need to correct myself. The Stihl FS110R has the 4-Mix engine, not a 2-cycle. I'm not sure how I made that mistake.

    Bookmark   May 23, 2012 at 4:43AM
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Ehh I.M.O both Stihl and Shindaiwa are neck & neck "hybrid-4 is just a fancy name like 4-mix is for Stihl" they both work exactly the same.
Ohh yeah and a correction I have Br600 blowers not 500 it just says magnum on the cover I thot they were 500's this whole time..

Since we've been looking at some interesting engines lately that take the road less traveled, a comment by rafe03 on this story about this hybrid engine that needs no oil in the crankcase and no oil pump either, but it operates as a 4 stroke. The fuel mix lubricates the engine like a 2 stroke.

The fuel mix is drawn in through the crankcase and, by a very roundabout way, makes its way to the intake port, lubricating everything along the way. There's an animation on the Stihl site. "Cue Link" ( And now you have whats called a 4-mix engine. Which is just basically a hybrid 2-stroke engine posing as a 4-stroke and with the power 2 back it up.

Life used to be so simple, 2 stroke, 4 stroke, diesel. Now we have 2 and 4 stroke hybrids, 6 strokes, external combustion engines ..., and turbines and electrics and hybrids.

    Bookmark   May 23, 2012 at 11:36AM
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Yeah, it is getting complicated. It is the pollution regulations that , I think, made these designs come forth. I have nothing against the 2-cycle engine, but I'm intrigued with the extra torque the hybrids give.

Thanks for the Stihl link. I'm heading to work, so I'll check it out tonight.

    Bookmark   May 23, 2012 at 1:50PM
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Forgive me I posted a dead link earlier this is the new one "Cue link" yes its youtube

    Bookmark   May 23, 2012 at 8:22PM
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In shopping for a trimmer recently, I was told (by an Echo dealer) that Stihl carburetors are proprietary (and thus available only from Stihl, at significantly higher cost) whereas Echo uses carburetors available from other parts sources. This might explain the comment made earlier that carb repairs were expensive.

    Bookmark   July 18, 2013 at 11:45AM
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I've never used a Stihl but I do love the Echo trimmer SRM-225.

It is very easy to use and best of all, no vibrations. The one I have is a straight shaft. Instead of having to mix the gas and oil by hand it came with a pre-mix and you can buy a pre-mix at hardware stores, automotive, Wal-Mart, etc. Only thing I do not like is in my area there is only one place to get any attachments and the store did not know anything about the attachments.

    Bookmark   April 19, 2014 at 3:39PM
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