in the market for new trimmer

houstontexas123(z9a)August 19, 2012

i used to be cheap about lawn equipment, but after going through four trimmers in the past 5 years, i'm looking for long lasting quality. we have a corner house, so lots of sidewalk to edge, and also a lot of flowerbeds and gardenbeds to trim.

been looking online, of the $200 ones, the Cub Cadet has the best reviews and lowest price. should i go all out and get a Honda/Husq or give the Cub Cadet a try?

Home Depot: Ryobi $200, Honda $330

Lowes: Troy Bilt $230, Husq $330

Tractor Supply: Cub Cadet $180

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Even at the $200 price point, I think you're going to be disappointed with Cub Cadet, Ryobi, TroyBilt, and the rest.

My opinion is that Echo and Stihl are the best for reasonably priced homeowner trimmers. The Echo GT-225 and Stihl FS-45 are both curved shaft machines which retail for about $175 to $200. Next level up would be Echo SRM-225 and Stihl FS-55 which are both straight shaft, gearbox models selling for about $225 to $250. The engines on both curved shaft models are identical or very similar to the straight shaft machines. The straight shaft do offer more versatility and the ability to handle brush blades and saw blades.

While you might be able to get a little cheaper from a big box like Home Depot, many authorized independent dealers will match or come close to the HD price, and you will get better service. The independent will take the time to set up the machine properly and spend a few minutes with you getting you familiar. Also the independent will handle any warranty work, even if you buy from HD. They're supposed to treat HD warranty the same as their own customers, but if they are busy, who can blame them if big box warranty moves to the back of the line.

Good luck with your choice.

    Bookmark   August 19, 2012 at 1:34PM
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hmm, i looked at both Echo and Stihl, their low end and high end models seem to be all 2 cycle engines and have to mix the oil and gas. so they're out.

    Bookmark   August 19, 2012 at 10:23PM
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The best bang for the buck of everything mentioned above is the Echo 225, which I recommend buying from an independent dealer. But it's a 2-cycle engine, which you apparently have a aversion for.

    Bookmark   August 19, 2012 at 10:49PM
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In that case suck it up, buy a Ryobi, Cub, or TroyBilt, and then you can post a gain in a year or two what a POS you bought.

    Bookmark   August 19, 2012 at 11:35PM
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the more reviews i read through, the more i'm leaning towards the Honda 25. gotta do some price shopping tho b/c ebay has a few vendors selling the Husq 224 for $320 shipped.

    Bookmark   August 20, 2012 at 10:14PM
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I guess I don't get it. What's the big deal about mixing up some 2-stroke mix? Never seemed like such an onerous task to me.

    Bookmark   August 26, 2012 at 8:48PM
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I agree i dont git it either a little 2 stroke fuel doesn't hurt nothing plus I've had Honda trimmers be prepared 2 repost in a couple of years about wat a POS it was. I.M.O stihl is the way to go i have a an FS-130 that's ben running strong 10 years give or take a year or 2. And Echo is a good brand as well.

    Bookmark   August 27, 2012 at 4:49PM
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I don't have any experience with the newer OHC Honda mini 4-strokes, but I own an FG100 tiller that has their first generation GX-31 engine on it. That engine is a gem in how it starts and operates. I think you would be happy with a Honda HHT25, or the Husq. 224 that you mention that uses the Honda 25cc engine.

I personally own and use an Echo SRM-230. It is 2-cycle, but I really don't mind mixing fuel. With the 4-cycle, you don't have to mix the oil in your fuel, but the trade off is occasionally checking oil level, performing oil changes, and checking/adjusting valve clearance. So all in all, that aspect is about a wash in my mind.

I'm not sure which trimmer I would purchase if I were buying new, but I got my Echo (homeowner used and ~1.5 yrs old) this summer off of Craigslist for about 1/3 the price of a new trimmer. If you aren't in a big hurry and are cost conscious, I'd recommend checking around for a high quality used unit.

    Bookmark   August 31, 2012 at 2:34PM
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The Echo SRM-230 is an excellent mid-grade trimmer that I have had good experiences with for years (recommended by a Stihl Dealer). Personally I use two trimmers due to the ease of a hard blade to save time with so much concrete to edge. My 3rd trimmer (my backup) is a split shaft Echo giving me both worlds. I Feel The Bottom Line Is What You Fell Best With!! All of us d/n like whatever cars but history speaks if you drive and service your cars.

    Bookmark   September 1, 2012 at 4:51PM
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If made by MTD it is crap. This includes Cub Cadet, Troy Bilt, Sears, Bolens and a few others. Echo is good. Husqvarna is good and owns Redmax. Stihl is good. Homelite is crap. Husky also owns Poulan which is crap. I love my echo PAS225 with grass head and axial blower.

    Bookmark   September 4, 2012 at 11:58AM
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