I just picked up an Echo PAS-230 with the gnarly blade attachment. I'm
thinking this ought to do me some justice on my area that needs to be
It was $328 for the whole set up. And, as a huge bonus, this Echo machine
has many, many attachments, edgers, trimmers, etc., a very neat little toy.
Now I must get dirty!
New toys the other way...
Consider a scythe. I don't know about brush particularly but it's entertaining
on grass, if you want to stroll around after dinner with scythe in hand,
and decapitate any English Plantain coming up in the lawn - touch it
with the huge razor-sharp blade and it collapses into a pile of unconnected
I may plant English Plantain so there are more of them to knock down next year.
There are brush blades for up to a half inch diameter, though I don't know
if it's a matter of touching or whacking. I have one but no brush needing
whacking at the moment. Next month I'll venture into the back.
Apparently you need the soft steel blades so you can put spectacularly sharp
edges on them. Seymour has high carbon steel, too hard; I got the soft
at www.scythesupply.com . The site has various essays that may appeal or may
not. Their blades fit the Seymour snath if you shim them with a bit of
wood to level the blade, from the hole being a bit too small for the knob.
This huge old scythe with the grass blade does a great job on grass next to
objects, to my surprise. Just insert the point between grass and object
(house, telephone pole ...) and move it forwards and away from object
and the grass falls over cleanly in a pile. I don't think you can beat that
There's also grass that doesn't fall over; I haven't figured it out completely.
You can take it out if it's tall, or if you make a slightly hard landing on it
(no need to whack at any time) apparently to hit it nearer the root than you'd
otherwise slide into it at. Other grass just falls over when you slide into
it at ground level.
You can actually mow the lawn with a scythe but it would be a little slow,
and involve going over again. Areas I've done that way have no grass
additionally cut by a reel mower when I run over them, so it really does it.
Just to say there's an entertaining alternative.
one problem with my overgrowth Ron...........I don't have lawn. I have a
slope that bottoms into woods below the house. My woods on the east side are
poison ivy, poison oak, 13 foot privet, wild blackberries and raspberries,
Virginia creeper which I do love, wild Japanese honeysuckle everywhere, and
a swing blade wouldn't make a dent in my mess. I was just being cute with
LeeAnne. If my woods were less formidable, I'd allow the grasses to grow,
but I don't HAVE grasses. I have weeds and vines and all sorts of
nightmarish things to deal with that I'm unable to deal with. I don't
barely have grass growing in the paths between the raised perennial beds.
And I don't have a front yard either. Just a shared driveway and a front
perennial garden with islands of soil and reseeded annuals and a few stray
pasture grasses and some bermuda thrown in for aggrivation. And the bermuda
refuses to grow where those tiny little islands are in front of the beds and
pop up in the loose, rich soil of the raised beds, of course.
You made a wonderful point though, and rather eloquently, I might add!
cudo's fer ya!
madgardener who questions the "yard" and land she's faced with more every
It was an attempt at humor. Seriously, I have only heard good things about
Echo trimmers, but don't have any first-hand experience. I am in need of a
new trimmer myself and have looked at Echoes. The problem is that I have
one of the trimmers that accepts attachments, and I didn't see an Echo with
I'm short, it went right over my head ;-)
This is their "Professional Attachment Series" (PAS for short) and I got the
model 230 for $229 (I think the 260 was $269) and I bought the brush cutting
blade set up for another $100 (I can put different types of blades on it, I
have the 80 tooth monster right now). I believe there are something like 13
different attachments, from edgers to hedge trimmers, pole saw, etc.
The unit itself weighs about 11 - 12 pounds and the other 1/2 is another two
or three pounds. I used it for a good 1/2 hour last night, and whoa nelly
does it ever work. I do, however, have to invest in either the shoulder
strap or the body harness for better control and less fatigue of the upper
body. My arms were junk after scything back and forth with for a while.
The place I bought it put it all together for me, gassed it up (it's a 2
stroke) and tested it out.
Thanks for the link. I looked at Home Depot, and they didn't have the Pro
Attachment series. I had a Ryobi that I couldn't afford to keep running.
The first one wouldn't work and I returned it after a couple of days. The
second one worked fine for about three years. After that, I had to put
about $90 into it each year to keep it running and the repair shop had a
hell of time getting parts. I know what you mean about them being heavy. I
got the shoulder strap for mine after the first few uses! I am now using a
cheap electric model that someone gave me while I sort thought a final
solution. They say everything comes in set of three. The string trimmer
broke, the garage door broke, and my dog has been in the critical care
hospital for days with a vet bill over $2K. That cheap electric unit may
have to do this year.
yeowch, sorry you're having such a rough go of things and here's hoping that
the pup pulls through ok!
Cheap electric will do you good for another year.
I had to go to an "authorized Echo dealer", ie not a big box store, to get
the professional level model - I figure I'm going to get what I pay for and
that's why I skipped over the 'home owner' version of these little doodads,
I've got one h*ll of an area to clear out of woody growth, this nasty, nasty
invasive vine (shakes fist in air) and some small trees that my bro is going
to take down w/his chainsaw (he just doesn't know it yet), tee hee.
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