Questions for Echo string trimmer users

woodsrunner55(SW OH)June 1, 2006

I've about decided on the SRM 210 or the SRM 230 based on researching old posts here. I was reading through the manual for the 210 and had a couple questions.

The manual recommends 89 octane fuel. All my other equpment runs fine on 87 octane. Comments?

The manual also recommends that the unit not be stored with fuel in it, they say to drain unused fuel after each use. I have seen a few posts that have complained of fuel line deterioration with these units. What are your experiences?

And last, is the 230 worth the extra $70.00? My lot is bordered on one side (about 500 feet) by woods, which requires periodic "beating back". And I will be using it about twice a year to clear shooting lanes through the woods at the gun club.

Thanks for all your thoughts/comments.

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I have a 210. I don't know about the 230 but I'll share my observations about the 210. First of all I'm not a big fan of trimming, I try to mulch and roundup as much as possible. I really like the 210 for medium duty work, it is super light, quiet, reliable, and easy to work with. It is not crazy with power however, which suits me fine. I don't know how good it would be for beating back real thick stuff. I think a few more ounces would not make it harder to work with, but as I said I have no experience with 230. Have fun.


    Bookmark   June 2, 2006 at 10:48AM
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Last message was incomplete. I use 87 octane because that is what I have, no problems. There is no way I'm keeping two types of gas around. I like that echo uses 50-1 oil mix. same as my chainsaw. At the end of the season either empty out the engine or run it dry. Easy enough to follow the manufactuers instructions no reason not to. Unfortunately all 2 stroke motors can be problematic even the best, just do the best you can and have fun. Any chance you can just run some kind of lawnmower on those paths, just a random thought.

    Bookmark   June 2, 2006 at 1:22PM
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Ubique(Pac NW)

Buy a four stroke, they are cleaner, quieter and easier on the environment. I have a Honda straight shaft with a Tanaka trimmer head that I can use any weight of line in. Light stuff for trimming around the lawn and big stuff for bashing down Salmon Berry and other brush. It works well with blades too.

    Bookmark   June 2, 2006 at 9:30PM
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The SRM-210 is a good unit but kind of light duty, if you are trimming anything heavier than just grass is's probably worth the extra money to go up to the 230 as there is a noticable power difference. They reccomend 89 octane because these engines are running much hotter than they have in the past because of decreased fuel consumption to meet environmental regulations. The engines are much cleaner and better designed overall but 87 octane can cause "pinging" or premature detonation of the fuel mix which can damage internal engine parts, mainly the upper connecting rod bearing.

As far as storing with fuel, I would only be worried about draining for long term storage. The problem with the fuel lines wearing out quickly is pretty much gone, the biggest problem is stale fuel causing running problems. Dont keep fuel in the unit or a fuel can past 3 months without a fuel stabilizer, and past 6 months if using a stabilizer.

    Bookmark   June 3, 2006 at 1:02AM
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I have the SRM-210 but other than a lot of trimming, I have no heavy stuff to contend with and would have gotten the 230 with your situation. I switched to 89 octane for all my gear rather than having double gas storage containers.

    Bookmark   June 3, 2006 at 9:00AM
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sfhill(c PA)

I have been an Echo servicing dealer since 1970 and I have yet to see any echo product that will run any better with a different grade of gasoline. To make it simple, just use the regular grade of gas. The only thing I like to see is Echo oil mixed with the gas at a 50-1 ratio. The problems are dull chains on saws and the wrong length or diameter of cutting line on the trimmers, not the grade of the gas. As for fuel lines deteriorating, this happens on all brands of equipment over time. I would never drain the fuel out of the equipment after every time I used it but I would on it's off season. Buying a four stroke weed cutter is the same as buying a dead dog. Unless you like dead dogs, don't buy one. Of course I'm spoiled by using Echo trimmers for many years. This is just my findings over the last 35 years.

    Bookmark   June 3, 2006 at 9:48PM
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canguy(British Columbia)

LOL. I am not a fan of 4 stroke trimmers either. I don't like the extra weight and regular oil changes are a must although the torque is nice. The jury is still out on the 2 stroke/4 stroke hybrids but so far I am not impressed with their durability, especially in commercial applications.

    Bookmark   June 4, 2006 at 3:55PM
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I've been using my 210 for over a year on regular gas - same as my tractor. No problems. I run the gas out at the end of the mowing season. Fill it up in the spring and off I go. Wouldn't worry about gas line deteriorating for several years.

I do alot of trimming because I'm surrounded by woods - most of it mine. I do have to cut back some pretty heavy grasses and weeds every once in a while. The trimmer has yet to let me down. I will be getting a brush cutter soon - probably an Echo.

So enjoy your trimmer.

eal51 in western CT

    Bookmark   June 4, 2006 at 7:05PM
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DrynDusty(z8 AZ)

I got the Echo SRM 230 last week. It runs like a dream. Not quiet. It replaces a Homelite US 200775 trimmer, that lasted about 4-5 years.
I got the brush cutter attachment as I'll be "logging" 1 1\2 acres of brush and weeds that I refer to as "Lawn." So far I haven't been able to get the trimmer head off, so can't evaluate the brush cutter.
The machine has lots of power so far, and I'm happy with it.

    Bookmark   June 15, 2006 at 3:03PM
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DrynDusty(z8 AZ)

I took the 230 back to the Box store where it was purchased to get help getting the trimmer head off and the brush cutter installed. I was helped by the Echo Rep who happened to be there, and a young woman who said she was a former aircraft mechanic. It took the three of us 45 minutes of head scratching and cursing, together with a call to the Echo tech support which hung up on us before we had a chance to explain the problem. Anyway, we got the thing done. I took it home and whacked brush to a fair the well. Plenty of power. Not too dangerous. I used it for about an hour on a mixture of tree of heaven and mesquite. Impressive.
Then I attempted to change it back to a trimmer. I'm now stuck. Perhaps I'll take it back to the big box.

    Bookmark   June 17, 2006 at 5:11PM
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Does anyone have any opinion or experience with STIHLs 4-mix engines? I understand they operate like a 4 stroke, but use the same or very similar mix of oil/gas as you would use in a 2 stroke engine. It is supposed to produce more power with cleaner emissions. I was thinking of getting one of the new backpack blowers (STIHL BR 600) with this engine. I thought I read they also are using, or are planning to use this new engine design on their string trimmers. Charles Ranheim

    Bookmark   June 17, 2006 at 11:02PM
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masiman(z7 VA)


That really surprises me about your Echo. Almost to a T that 230 gets good reviews. I hope that it is a defect as user error seems to not be the issue. I vote for returning sooner rather than later before they start to give you a hard time about returning it.

My next vote would be to find a good dealer near you and buy a trimmer/brushcutter of equal quality from them. It may be an Echo, Stihl, Shindaiwa, Tanaka.....etc. The dealer should know how to and show you how to do all the tasks you want from the tool. If they don't or can't, I'd think about finding another dealer. At that point the dealer would be of no more value than the box.

Stihl is fairly simple to change. Simply stick a bar (about the size of a 16 penny nail) in a the provided hole to lock the hub and unscrew or tighten the trimmer head. In the case of the brushcutter it is a nylon bushed nut that has to be wrenched. About 3 minutes to change from one to the other.


I believe the FS100 or FS110 is using the new 4mix engine. I read that there was a problem when they were first introduced but that it has since been fixed. What the problem was, when it was or what the fix was, I do not know. Just something I read somewhere, maybe even on this forum.

    Bookmark   June 18, 2006 at 9:45AM
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I bought the Echo 210 after doing a lot of reading on this site and others. Keep in mind I was upgrading from an electric model, and do nothing but basic grass trimming around the yeard.

I have had no regrets with my choice. I get the job done in a fraction of the time not having to move the cord all over the place. I've been using it all season - have only re-filled the tank once, and have only advanced the trimmer line a total of 3 times after a total of probably 10-12 uses.

I do use the higher octane gas as recommended, but I already use premium for my car, so it doesn't bother me at all.

    Bookmark   June 20, 2006 at 3:18PM
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canguy(British Columbia)

The Echo head should be easy to change. There is a U shaped opening in the cover directly above the head. Rotate the head tuntil the hole in the washer appears in the opening then stick a pin in to lock the head. Rotate the head clockwise as it is left hand thread to remove it. The beef I have with Echo is the necessity of changing the guard when installing a blade, it won't fit under the trimmer guard and the blade guard does not have the line knife.
Stihl has the 4 mix on trimmers, the FS100 and FS110 have been out for a couple of years. They now have a 36cc FS130 which I have not tried but should be a real powerhouse.

    Bookmark   June 20, 2006 at 7:19PM
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masiman(z7 VA)


The description sounds similar to the Stihl method. Makes sense since it is simple and straight forward.

That is surprising that they would do the guards that way. Although, I think Stihl does recommend changing guards for brushcutting. Echo just enforces it.

    Bookmark   June 20, 2006 at 10:44PM
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I have an Echo SRM-2100. About 4-5 years old or so. I guess this model came before the 210. Anyway, This thing is great, no problems, Plenty of power, easy to re-wrap new line. Mine doesn't have the orange lever on top that you have to hold down, it only has the orange finger trigger.

I use 87 in all my OPE, no problem.

    Bookmark   June 21, 2006 at 1:31PM
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More power is always good.... I have a 4 year old SRM2400SB
and while I usually use .090 string I switch to either .130 or .150 (which ever is Echo's heaviest) string for the really heavy stuff. The best thing about mine is that it is a split boom, so I can slip off the trimmer and put on another accessory. So far I have accumulated 2 trimmer heads, a hedgecutter, an edger and a brush cutter.... although I took the brush cutter off and installed a cultivator on the brush cutters shaft. So I have 4, quick change tools in one.

    Bookmark   June 21, 2006 at 3:14PM
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Hi, I inherited an Echo SRM 200BE which my wife says must be 20'sh years old. I've been using it for 15 years with out any probs but only during the summer months here in the UK. This year it's decided to take a holiday of sorts.

After working and getting warm it gives all the symptoms of a weak mixture gradually losing power until it has insufficient to keep going and do it's work.

I've stripped and checked the carb.... all clean, no dirt.
I've stripped and cleaned the exhaust.... just a little carbon, nothing to write home about.

Spark plug works fine, is clean and electrodes ok.
Petroil mixture fresh this year as in previous years.

Without other test gear I'm a bit lost. Are there any known faults with this model?
Thanks for any replies.

    Bookmark   June 26, 2006 at 4:15PM
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archyd(SW Louisiana)

My SRM2100 runs about 5 minutes and then loses power. If I let up on the throttle for a minute or two and then reapply it, it will again run fine for another few minutes and the cycle starts again. Does anyone know what is happening here?

    Bookmark   July 16, 2006 at 1:36PM
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It could be a number of things. I would suspect fuel delivery first. A couple things to check...
When it begins to run poorly, if you loosen the gas cap, does it run better? If so, the tank vent is probably not functioning properly.
Is the in-tank fuel filter clean?
Are all of the fuel lines in good physical condition? i.e. no hairline cracks or holes

    Bookmark   July 17, 2006 at 9:30AM
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My SB-2400 had the same problem a few weeks ago. I replaced the fuel filter, air filter and plug but did not fix the bogging down problem. I finally took it to a dealer who said he had to rebuild the carb. It works great now but it cost me about $40 to have it done.

    Bookmark   July 18, 2006 at 11:23AM
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I have switched all of my equipment to the higher octane and everything is running great/much better. I swear by Echo products and highly suggest the higher octane as the new ethanol fuels have a tendency to gum up small engines particularly in the gas powered hand tools.

    Bookmark   July 18, 2006 at 11:53PM
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I would use the gas that the manufacturer recommends. Usually a gallon of gas will last me all season with my trimmer. I use about 4 gallons for my Stihl BR550 back pack blower and MS250 chain saw combined each season. If I switch to 87 instead of using he recommended 89, I save maybe $0.60 a year. Blowing up a engine for $0.60 is not worth it to me.

Most new cars can get away with using 87 because their computers will retard the timing if the knock sensors detect pinging. This of course reduces horsepower, but saves the engine from detonation or Pre ignition. Older performance cars used higher compression engines which generate more heat. They used a higher octane gas because it takes longer to burn when compressed. This allowed the piston to get to Top dead center before the fuel burned. This is how they reduced the chance pre ignition. If they used a lower octane fuel, the increased heat from the higher compression would begin to burn the fuel before the piston reached TDC(pre-ignition). Most of the engines on the trimmers are designed to give the most power like the older performance cars. These little engines do not have the ability to compensate for the lower octane so you increase the chance of putting a hole in the piston from detonation by using a lower octane gas. I'm not trying to tell anyone what type of gas to use. Its your equipment so use want you want. I know many don't have problems using 87, but if you have ever seen a engine that had experienced denotation, you'll think twice about using a lower octane gas.

    Bookmark   July 23, 2006 at 9:30AM
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jimtnc(7b Raleigh tttf)

Then is there a problem using 89 when they call for 87? Some folks have 2 or 3 OPE's that use either a gas mix or straight, and I would like to NOT have to mix 2 different batches of gas mix, one with 87 and one at 89 to appease the manual when using my two-strokers.

    Bookmark   July 24, 2006 at 6:37AM
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I've never had a problem using a higher octane when the manual called for 87 in any of my equipment or cars. I've only experienced problems when I used a lower octane gas than what is recommended. I hear you about mixing 3 different types of gas for different equipment. I have a Stihl chainsaw and package blower that uses 89 octane with a 50:1 ratio. I have 14 McCollough chainsaw that uses 87 with 40:1 ratio, a Ryobi trimmer 87 with 32:1 ratio in addition to tractor and generator that run reg 87.

    Bookmark   July 25, 2006 at 8:57AM
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jimtnc(7b Raleigh tttf)

den69rs96 - Thanks. I was fairly sure is would be okay, but with these smaller engines, who knows. Gotta Echo backpack blower and a cultivator that use the mix, so one more won't hurt.

    Bookmark   July 28, 2006 at 8:37AM
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I run a 210 with a dual string quick load head,( installed by the dealer as a free replacement after I complained about the bump head model I was replacing) and was told to always use 89 and he recomended a major brand. Sure enough after buying cheap gas it cost about $80 to have the carb repaired because of the water that magically appeared in the gas. I now only use good fresh gas even if I have to throw some away. Better safe than sorry. Oh, and don't forget the proper oil mix. That gets expensive too.
As to the deteriorating fuel line: it took about three years of use before I had any fuel line trouble and it wasn't really trouble with the fuel line but the rubber grommet into the tank, and the pump bulb. But then I usually run mine out of gas ,too, when I use it. That's usually a good stopping point.
I also use .155 line. The biggest they make I think. I'm in Texas and regularly have to contend with Johnson grass, which can get to 1/4" thick and 6 feet high. The 210 with the big string has no problem with it till the grass starts to dry out. For the normal grass you don't even have to rev the engine too much to cut through it. I'd buy another one.

    Bookmark   September 20, 2007 at 10:54PM
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Hi folks,

I have used a "cough, cough", Ryobi gas trimmer in the past few weeks. Thing caught fire, almost killed me... Returned to HD for refund. I only bought it because of the split boom, and HD did not have any split boom Echos at the time.

Here's my question: I trim grass around my city yard. I have some weeds around the edges (by the fence). I MAY use the edging attachment - although I think the trimmer does a pretty OK job just turned sideways along the lawns... I do want the split boom so I can lightly roto-till my raised garden bed - a smallish 10 by 16 plot.

I am considering the SRM 210 SB, OR the PAS 265. I can get a pretty decent price on the 265 right now, and they both give me the "split boom" option... For my usage, is the 210 SB enough? Will it be okay to use with the cultivator - if I just want to loosen the soil on top, till under the weeds, etc.?

Because I can get the good deal on the 265, I'm just wondering if the extra $50 is worth it??? Can the 210 do the job with the cultivator, and maybe an edger attachment? I noticed some of you use the cultivator unit with the 2400SB...


ps: I'm buying tomorrow, so if anyone has some good info tonight, I would be grateful.

    Bookmark   August 18, 2008 at 7:47PM
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I think I read in Echo catalog that they don't recommend 21cc for cultivating. Can you still get the older PAS260 or PAS230? They are more try and true.

    Bookmark   August 19, 2008 at 1:05AM
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Thanks Yungman... I don't think I can get the older units, but the brand new PAS 265 is supposed to work with all the attachments - and it has 25.4cc? Should be OK, shouldn't it?

I don't want to be underpowered for sure, so I'm going to the dealer to ask some questions and pick up a unit in the morning... I'm leaning towards the 265PAS...

Anyone out there use the edger attachment? Does it work? I hear a lot of complaints from many users about them not being "serious" edgers? Is this true?


    Bookmark   August 19, 2008 at 3:43AM
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I am having an impossible time getting my new Echo Srm 280 started. Just put in new fresh fuel mix, followed the instructions in booklet and I am exausted. The gal next door played around with the fuel mix screw and managed to get it going yesterday. I am too embarassed to go back. Does anybody have any ideas?

    Bookmark   May 20, 2009 at 7:32AM
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I think you should bring it back to the dealer and have them fix it. I won't play around the mix yourself. You might get it too rich and create more deposit in the long run inside the engine and cause sticking ring. I opened an old Echo SRM260 enging that have half the top ring stuck by deposit.

Bring it back to the dealer and have them deal with it. Don't say anything about you adjusted anything!!!

    Bookmark   May 20, 2009 at 12:19PM
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I have a echo srm-210 and it will not start, i noticed when i pump the primer it is not pulling fuel. how do fix the problem ?

    Bookmark   March 4, 2012 at 8:13AM
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1. Have you primed it through the carb with carb cleaner or small amount or fuel mix and ck for spark 1st?
2. Have you checked all fuel lined for tight connections (and fuel tank grommet if it has one as my PE-2000)?
3. Have you checked for suction directly at the purge/primer bulb�s connection port?
4. Have you pulled muffler to ck your apark arrest X no carbon and see condition of your cyl/piston and rings?
5. Can you hold the compression in the cyl with your thumb/finger or what is your compression Ga showing?
6. These little critters can test you. The PE-2000 finally made a keeper after I trimmed the limits and adj carb.

Good luck! Please post your results. loger

    Bookmark   March 4, 2012 at 12:03PM
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