Echo. Hands down. I've been using an Echo straight shaft for seven
years - no problems. My own residential yard (1 acre), trim around the
perimeter mostly. I should probably change the spark plug for the first
time 'bout now ;-) I bought an Echo leaf blower at the same time. It's
stood up and performed w/o a hitch to regular weekly use as well. Both
BTW, I've had 2 Ryobi rechargeables in the past. Key word *had*. Never
on 8/27/2007 8:59 AM JoeSpareBedroom said the following:
Any whacker with an auto-feed head that has to be bumped to advance the
If it gets stuck, it may take up to a half hour to take the head apart,
unstick the line, and put it back together.
I replaced my auto-feed head with one that takes 6" pieces of strings.
The pieces get pushed into the the holes in the outside of the head and
are locked in by a one-way clip. To change, pull the ends of the old
strings out from the center of the head, and push new strings in from
the outside of the head. It only takes seconds to change. Of course, you
have to shut off the whacker to do this.
I have a reel of string meant for the auto-feed head that I cut pieces
off, rather than buy pre-cut string.
When I go to weedwhack, I take some extra pieces in my pocket.
OK - I remember inventing some new obscenities while dealing with one of
those auto-feed things years ago. I think they were meant to be used in a
grass-free location where the mechanism would never get debris inside. :)
The bump feed on my weedwhacker has behaved perfectly for the almost 15
years I've had it. Bump it on rocks, dirt, logs, gravel, roads, hydro
poles, fence rails, stray kids and wildlife[+]... The only times I have to
open it is when it runs out of string. It gets about 1 1/2 hours work
every 2-3 weeks on some fairly heavy stuff out in the country. The
sawblade gets reserved for trees ;-)
Mind you, it is a landscraper grade (FS85) Stihl.
Has never needed service, always starts with < 5 pulls - even after
leaving it full of gas over the winter. The previous WW a Homelite
whose motor gave up the ghost in < 3 years on much lighter work.
[The FS85's bump head is almost bigger than the motors on some WW's ;-)
Reloading is somewhat obnoxious (getting the ends started), but you
get the hang of it.
Recommended unit. But it is _not_ cheap. I didn't want to repeat
my experience with the Homelite.
Our tree service uses one of these (D handle, not bicycle) with a
chain saw head for branch lopping up to about 15'. Nice unit.
Hard on the arms tho.
[+] Well, not wildlife.... Or kids either... just kidding.
Age and Treachery will Triumph over Youth and Skill
No need to shut off the trimmer if it's got a proper clutch. Just keep a
good grip on the head while changing the line, and if by some freak
event the motor starts to spin up just drop the thing. They don't come
up to speed instantly to begin with, and certainly not if you're holding
the head. It's not like it's a sharp chain on a saw that will cut you
with the slightest movement, the line has to be close to full speed to
really do anything. OSHA and the CPSC of course wouldn't approve of this
technique, but who cares.
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