Looking into weed whackers. Any source of info on what to get, e.g.
straight shaft, curved shaft, 2-cycle, 4-cycle, brand, string type vs.
whatever other type cutting part, etc. I need one and don't know much about
First decision is electric (corded) or gas. If your yard is small I
would get the corded electric, they're simpler to mess with and much
quieter. They do make electric battery-charge ones too, but the
batteries don't last very long, or so I've heard. They work ok though,
my neighbor has one.
If you have Big Work to do, gas is the answer, more power, more mobile.
I think they're all 2-cycle but I never really thought about it.
Consumer Reports says this is the best buy amongst gas models:
$130 Troy-Bilt Trimmer Plus TB25CS
Two Ryobi models are the top-rated in corded electrics.
Also they say, "Models with straight shafts offer longer reach, while
those with curved shafts tend to be lighter and easier to handle. "
I have a crappy old electric one that seems to work ok but I don't have
much trimming to do.
I believe another poster opted for a 4-cycle, however I don't know why as
2-cycles are more efficient (and I think by the post - cheaper). Oh yeah,
less smelly. True.
As for the shaft, I have a gas curved. It's a bear to cut over the sidewalk,
I think I'd be better with the straight shaft. Sort of always figuring out
I paid about $100 for mine, it came with the interchangeable system that was
in impulse buy. I'll never use it for anything but trimming.
But --- I made the awesome mistake --- of thinking that I needed a new spool
whenever I ran out of string. You just take it apart, and rewrap more that
you can get in bulk.
I've decided electric is out. I have a cheap Black and Decker electric and
the electric cord aspect is a pain in the neck. Also doesn't have enough
oomph. It is a string type and after replacing the original string that
came with it, it is next to useless. When the nylon string breaks, I have
to take it apart each time to advance the string. "Bumping" the automatic
string feeder just doesn't work.
On 6/19/2005 7:21 PM or thereabouts, CGB appears, somewhat unbelievably,
to have opined:
I used a cheap (<$25) Black & Decker as my "lawn mower" for over 10
years to cut the grass in my tiny backyard. While moving to a house with
a larger yard, it vanished. I don't know if it was misplaced or stolen,
but it still hasn't turned up 10 months later.
Having a substantially larger yard now, I purchased a gas lawn mower,
and I replaced the trimmer with a 24 volt rechargeable Sears Craftsman.
It has plenty of power for my needs. I use it to trim grass around the
edges of the house & fence and to edge along the sidewalk and driveway.
It's not ideal for edging, but the head does rotate to make edging
easier than it would be if it was fixed.
I take issue with one poster who is in favor of the 2-cycle weed-wackers.
They may be more lighter than the 4-cycle weed-wackers, but the pollute more
(2 exhaust strokes per cycle - twice as "smelly" as 4-strokes).
I bought the new and more expensive ("Troy-Bilt") 4-cycle weed-eaters ($200
bucks or less), at Lowe's or HomeDepot, with interchangeable shaft so you
can swap out the lower piece for an edger, blower, or trimmer (buy them
separately for $69 bucks or so).
So if you are in the market of a new one, and you can afford it, go for a
4-cycle motor. Less hassle keeping the gas/oil mix, too.
I do part-time landscaping as a biz, I have used the electrics and the
2-cycles, I would prefer electric over 2-cycle any day, they are adequate
although a little more hassle to play with the extension cord(s). Not
helpful when it rains. But I was sick of breathing 2-cycle fumes all day so
I avoid 2-cycle motors any chance I can.
For what it's worth, I have a bad shoulder so shy away from anything that
needs a pull start. I've been using the same corded Ryobi (about $70) for
the last 5 or 6 years and we have a lot of edging (large corner lot) to do.
It uses the same .080 line as most non-commercial gas powered edger's use
and edges just as well as any gas powered ones that I have used. RM ~
I've had a ryobi gas for 2 years now..
Straight shaft with edger, 2string feeder.. VERY POWERFUL..
I removed the guard to get more string.. works great however
I did have to replace the gas line after 1 season..
It's a 2 stroke.. Oil-gas mix. Buy I would recommend it.
I think it's 25cc...
I use a Echo straight shaft 2 cycle unit. Works real well.
I made my decision on the Echo because all the landscapers
in the area use them. Parts appear to be easily found and best
is that its never failed me yet!
I appreciate all the advice. I think I will go with a motorized whacker. I
will likely go with a two-cycle (lighter, don't mind mixing gas and oil, and
the pollution aspect seems to me like micturating in the ocean (I live in
New England and the city of Boston pumps millions of gallons of raw sewage
into Boston Harbor everyday--when they clean up their act, I'll worry about
the pollution from my 2-cycle weed whacker), I will likely use it less than
10 times per summer on a small lot.). Think I will opt for a straight shaft
for versatility and ease (I'm tall). This is not a heavy duty useage.
Looking like a Bolens (Troy-bilt) at Lowes. I feel comfortable with this
choice as long as the "automatic line-feed" works (past bad experiences with
this on the Black and Decker). If line-feed doesn't work, guess I can get
some after-market attachment that uses blades.
I didnt know a damn thing about them, but knew I needed one, so on
Sat. I bought a Bolens curved shaft gas(2-stroke) for $69.98 from
Lowes. It was kinda an impulse buy and I bought the cheapest one they
had. They had a Troybilt for $30 more, but I figured they're both
probably junk compared to the $300 dollar range trimmers.
It works a whole lot better than pulling weeds by hand and a lot
faster! Since I already had a 2-stroke blower I didnt worry about
4-strokes and the higher cost associated with them.
Does the job for me, the question is for how long....
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