Trimmers: Straight or Curved Shaft?

tennisbumbishopSeptember 17, 2006

Is it better to get a straight shafted string trimmer or a curve shafted model?

I'll mainly be using it for edging, a small about of weed eating about various playsets, brick, and plastic, and then to clear a 50' by 5' ditch in my backyard that has so "larger" weeds and 'growths' in it.

I'm thinking about a couple different models: ECHO SRM-210 ($200), ECHO GT-200R ($150), Stihl FS 45 CE ($170), Stihl FS 45 ($140), Husqvarna 125C ($150), and Husqvarna 125L ($200).

Thanks for your help.

TennisBumBishop

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canguy(British Columbia)

A quality curved shaft should work well for your needs. The straight shafts run heavier line and are more suitable for large weeds and light brush. The downside is extra weight and less manoevrability.

    Bookmark   September 17, 2006 at 11:39PM
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wise_guy(NW MN)

The straight shaft is better for heavy jobs. The straight shaft trimmer will generally use less HP between engine and cutting head and also includes a more rigid drive line that will transmit force better.

Of course a curved shaft doesn't stick out as far (shorter arm and therefore less moment) and provides better maneuverability in tight spaces or awkward positions.

The durabilty argument on an Echo is mute due to their lifetime drive line warranty.

    Bookmark   September 17, 2006 at 11:55PM
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tennisbumbishop

WOULD A STRAIGHT SHAFT OR CURVED SHAFT BE EASIER TO USE ALONG A DRIVEWAY FOR EDGING?

THANKS FOR THE HELP SO FAR.

TBB

    Bookmark   September 18, 2006 at 8:25AM
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wise_guy(NW MN)

I think a straight shafted trimmer would be easier for edging due to less weight hanging off of the certerline. A curved shaft would cause more tortion and force for you to over-come to hold the cutters perpendicular to the ground.

    Bookmark   September 18, 2006 at 5:18PM
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eal51

I have an Echo SRM210 and a Stihl F85, both are straight shafts. No problem with manuverability. I get into tight places without a problem.

I trim over 2 acres every other weekend.

Any of the timmers you listed will work very well. I recommend the straight shaft.

eal51 in western CT

    Bookmark   September 18, 2006 at 6:17PM
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rrcrossing

I've got a name brand trimmer with a straight shaft and an extra curved shaft. I prefer the curved shaft for most of the trimming. I'd suggest to you that you handle each at the store pretending that you're trimming and see which you're more comfortable with.

Bob
Central Arizona

    Bookmark   September 19, 2006 at 12:27AM
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tennisbumbishop

DO YOU PREFER YOUR ECHO OR HUSQVARNA? WHICH HAS HELD UP BETTER? THANKS.

TBB

    Bookmark   September 19, 2006 at 7:51AM
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ggoyeneche

Personally, I prefer Echo and Stihl over Husky, although Husky is good machine.

As for curved or straight, it's more a matter or preference. I use Echo and Olympyk straight shaft trimmers, and have an old Homelite curved shaft cheapy which I can't seem to kill. Straight shafts are longer, which is better for me since I'm 6'3". Only Stihl and Tanaka make extra long curved shaft machines. Also, usually only straight shaft machines can be fitted with cutter blades. Curved shaft often use a bushing at the end rather than ball bearing, which is a wear item.

    Bookmark   September 20, 2006 at 7:24PM
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newjerseybt(5b NE PA)

Anyone using a 4 cycle trimmer? Comments are appreciated as I am thinking of replacing my 4 year old 2 cycle HomeLite with one. I recently moved and have 600 feet to trim every week plus knock down heavy growth on a steep 8 foot hill 200 feet long. The HomeLite seems short on power in the heavy stuff.

There is always black goo oozing from the exhaust which gets on my clothing. I never get the mix just right and I am always afraid of using too little oil which may be my problem. There are light and heavy 2 cycle oils which changes the mix formula.

One more thing regarding safety...Which trimmer models are less prone to throwing rocks in your face. Lucky I had my new prescription safety glasses on as I got whacked in the left eye with a stone which dinged the lens.

    Bookmark   September 20, 2006 at 10:27PM
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tennisbumbishop

I definately see a reach advantage with the straight shaft, the line is a little thicker (.08 vs. .095 I believe), and it would be easier on this 6'3" persons back. However, it feels as though the curved shaft is easier to handle and therefore easier to keep steady as I edge up and down my driveway. I guess it's just one of those things I'll have to go with my gut on!

Thanks for all the input.

TBB

    Bookmark   September 21, 2006 at 7:48AM
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okinawa

I currently use a ryobi c-30 or a troybuilt 7055 and have always had problems with the string attachment. I can load the head correctly but there seems to be excessive heat build up the causes the string to bond to itself. I was wondering if a straight shaft would eliminate this heat that I assume is caused by the curved shaft.

    Bookmark   July 6, 2010 at 1:22PM
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