I have a TroyBilt, with a few of the attachments, and rather like it. I've
had two-cycle and corded trimmers before and have ended up pitching them after
a season or two. I hated them. This thing works really well.
After letting a lawn service doing my yard for eight years, I am going to do
it myself again. I bought a Toro cordless and it worked well enough for my
small yard. Regrettably, after being discharge for a few (well 8)years, the
stinking NiCad batteries will not recharge. I am going to see if I can
replace them with NiMH cells. If I can't I'd be certain to look for a unit
with NiMH cells or LiON cells and not NiCads. My Black and Decker cordless
lawnmower took a charge after nearly 8 years and performed flawlessly.
Though I can't say for sure, I believe the B&D uses sealed 12V lead gel
So the answer is yes, they work quite well - trimming's not a heavy
horsepower activity - but you may experience battery issues as I have. If
you're interesting I'll pull the Toro specs from the nameplate. It's
sitting on the kitchen floor recharging. It spins the head slowly, so I am
going to try some discharge/recharge cycling before I gut the SOB. It only
saw two seasons of use before I switched to a lawn service. Did I tell you
I hate NiCad cells? (-: Polarity reversing, anemic, dendrite-growing crap.
Bring on the pain, NiCad lovers!
Well, with a little egg on my face I have to report that when I opened the
unit up to replace the batteries I discovered a lead acid cell, not NiCads.
Oddest one I've ever seen with rounded corners, recessed contacts (bad idea,
VERY hard to clean) and 6VDC/9.5Ah rating. Showed 5.4 volts until a load
was connnected, then dropped back to the millivolt range.
Cost of replacement battery and shipping is more than the cost of a new
trimmer. In dusting it off and setting it up I realized what I really
disliked about the trimmer: it's too short. I am 6'0" and I had to stoop
to use it. I don't know whether newer models have an adjustable length, but
I urge you to hold it and determine whether it's long enough to use
comfortably. That's what I'm going to make sure of when I pick up a
Cordless is really the way to go with a small yard. While I've learned how
to do the "don't mow the cord" dance with corded equipment (mostly - I still
chop the hedge trimmer cord on a regular basis - have had to patch it back
together three times. I love my cordless B&D mower - about the only B&D
tool that I bought that was worth a damn. Quite, competent, mulches or uses
a bag. Very quiet and unless I let the grass get way too high, does my
front and back lawn on a single charge.
I'm still somewhat in shock to have discovered that it ran off a lead acid
battery. If it had a 12VDC motor I would have slapped on a jury-rigged gel
cell, but I've reached a point where I won't bother repairing something
that's got a fatal flaw which in this case was being to short to use without
stooping. I've already retrieved the case from the trash once and thrown it
out again. I kept thinking - what a nice red plastic case. I could use it
to build something. Yeah, yeah. I looked around at all the junk in the
basement I am holding onto for that mythical day when I "settle all family
business" and repair or somehow reclaim all the "not quite completely dead"
stuff in boxes on the shelves.
One other thing I will check for is a battery compartment door - I've
started seeing those on cordless vacs. It was preposterous to have to
disassemble the whole damn thing when all I really wanted was to swap
batteries. I'll report back with any information concerning a replacement.
Sorry about the bum steer on battery types. I've never seen a lead acid
battery in a tool like that before.
The problems with my Troy-Bilt 4-cycle have little to do with the
number of strokes. Mostly driveline related. The clutch drum reamed
out. An impossible to replace compressed ring on the upper upper
driveline cames loose and now the driveline falls out the end of the shaft.
The EZ-Link receiver at the end of the upper shaft keeps loosening up.
The shaft that the pull rope rides around, which is an integral part of
red outer housing, broke (then melted). Other than that, it's a fine,
In contrast to my 2-cycle Stihl, the 4-cycle isn't necessarily quieter,
but the sound is a lower pitch which many people might be less irritating.
The 4-cycle has a better torque curve which helps will non-string
attachments like a cultivator. The Stihl has a nice long shaft, which
turns out to be very helpful.
To jump on the "has anyone ever tried" bandwagon,
Has anyone ever tried a propane powered trimmer?
One appeared at a local big box a few years ago. It uses those
ubiquitous disposable 16 oz cylinders.
Well, you probably have advice both ways. I have had a small engine, mower,
lawn equipment repair business for over 45 years. I certainly do NOT
suggest a 4 stroke small engine. However, you must take care of a 2 cycle
engine more carefully. Make sure you have the proper mixture of the right
oil and the right gas. (The right gas means ZERO ethanol - thank obama for
the 15 % crap).
It also depends on what engine you purchase. Most, or at least many
trimmers and other equipment like blowers, etc, use bad engines. Most
engines have only ONE main bearing. These brands include Weed Eater,
Home-Lite, John Deer, and many others. The only dual bearing (a bearing at
each end of the crank shaft) trimmers are ECHO and Stilll. All the rest
have only one main bearing and have a warranty, which I have never seen
honored, of 1000 hours. I am not in business in any way, but for my
money, I buy Echo. I will NEVER buy a trimmer with a curved snout at the
head. Look at the starter. In some equipment, the starter pull rope is
below the engine. Look at how hard it is to change the starter mechanism,
which is one of the main problems with trimmers. Then look at an ECHO. The
starter is on the back of the engine and you can change it yourself if you
have any moxie at all. Look at the carb, look at the bearings, and don't
buy a throw-a-way trimmer with a curved shaft. Buy an Echo - best buy for
Like I said, I don't make a cent off of lawn equipment anymore, I'm just
giving you my best advice after years in the business.
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