Was thinking of getting a gift for a friend of a Homelite gas string
Home Depot seems to sell them in the price range I'm in ($ 100 or so)
I have a 5 year old one, and it's worked pretty well.
But, i've heard that Homelite is (essentially) no longer in business, or
viable, and that
parts and repair are no longer available.
How true is this, and how concerned should I be about buying one ?
They are in business, pretty much in name only. They are owned by the same
Chinese conglomerate that owns Ryobi and others. Parts and service will suck
down the road. I would consider them to be a throw away trimmer, once it
breaks, toss it. Most any piece of lawn equipment sold at large chain stores
will have poor parts and service availability, there are some exceptions.
Why not break out some more cash and buy something you can get parts for,
and also help out a local retailer? Stihl for example makes great trimmers.
A low end Stihl can be bought for around $150, and parts are easy to find.
Deere & Co divested themselves of Homelite in 2001 according to 2002
A reference on a review from Popular Mechanics confirms the Ryobi
Ah, OK. Makes sense - My homelite trimmer has interchangable parts with some
JD equipoment but its circa 1996. I'm waiting for the damn thing to die so I
can key a Stihl or Husqvarna trimmer. I only feed the thing gas and string,
replaced the head once or twice and maybe a spark plug.
From the referenced annual report apparently Homelite was bleeding $$$
My JD-branded trimmer is some 20 years older yet and still going
strong--it's one of the Japanese makers (I forget who, it's anonymous)
and parts are still(!) available--the gas tank had to be replaced last
yeat because it cracked simply from age-hardening and, to my surprise,
the same identical one was available regular parts route in two days...
Why not "break out some cash and help a local retailer?" Because they suck,
their help are a bunch of high school drop outs, charge way too much to
"fix" things, try to sell me a new Stihl when they can't, and because my
"throw-away" Ryobi hasn't needed anything but trimmer line in 3 years, and
my Murray (!) riding mower hasn't needed anything in 6 years of mowing just
under an acre (compare that with my dads John Deere that needed two
transaxles in the same amount of time the first less than 3 months after he
bought it - not covered under warranty due to "abuse").
Maybe I get lucky.
Find another dealer then. I can't help if your dealer compares with Kmart!
Sears used to be known for their service, you see posts here all the time
from people bitching about poor service.
I have a couple dealers for lawn equipment in the area I would trust, both
have shops that hire real people, not some high school punk. The service
manager in one shop has worked there for 20+ years. The other darned near as
I glad you have had good luck with your chain store equipment. I wonder if
you would be bragging just the same if either of them needed a simple
repair. If your local shops are hacks, who would fix your Ryobi, or Murray,
if you could not?
Yep, I agree, you have been lucky. One day you will need a part and no where
to get it except to order it from form high school kid at the chain store
you bought it from.
I bought one about six years ago from HD, still working fine. Just fed
it gas and string so far.
I bought Homelite because years before I worked for a lawn maintenance
outfit that had purchased five of them, two of which could be counted
on to work at any given time. Because the owner was cheap and they
were always breaking down (pull cords, springs, carbs, trimmer heads,
etc.) I had to cannabalize the non-working ones all the time for parts.
I always kept them in the truck.
But being able to tear them down and build them back up in a pinch to
get the job done was a specialty of mine so I guess I got suckered by
I guess to Homelite's defense, we abused the heck out of them on our
jobs. They really weren't built for 10-12 hours of continuous use day
My buddy has a lawn service, he buys nothing but $200+ Stihl trimmers. He
has me check them over in the spring and usually they will run all summer
without repair. He has one that is ten years old, looks like crap but still
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