Weed Whackers

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 them. Thanks. Chet
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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.
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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 the angles.
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.
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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.
Chet

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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 don\'t have a clue what I\'m talking about.


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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.

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though,
mobile.
have
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On 19 Jun 2005 15:52:16 -0700, in alt.home.repair RE: Re: Weed Whackers snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com wrote:

And if you have Very Big Work, I would suggest a Stihl straight shaft.
--
To reply to me directly, remove the CLUTTER from my email address.


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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 ~
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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...
Joe

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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!
Tom
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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.
Sound reasonable?
Thanks.
Chet

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<snip> You get on with your Boston Red Sox loving self.
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Sounds fine, how much are the cheap units???
My straight shaft Echo weekwacker was 200.00 at home depot. (the auto feeder has yet to fail me)
Tom
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Straight shaft Bolens, 2-cycle, (Troy-bilt) is about $90.

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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....
Matt
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Not a native New Englander. I'm a Pirates fan. Red Sox/Patriots/Celtics stuff here in New England is enough to drive any sane person nuts!!

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