Petrol strimmer / brush cutter recommendations

I need a petrol strimmer. Basic requirements are:
Long - must reach the ground when I am standing up - something most tools of this sort seem to fail to do!
Usage will be relatively light - an hour a week perhaps trimming edges, round and under trees etc.
It would be handy if it could take a hedge trimmer attachment - I have one tall evergreen hedge about 60' long that could use the occasional taming. The extra reach would be handy - I don't have a hedge trimmer at all at the moment.
Any recommendations?
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Cheers,

John.

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Not a recommendation but Screwfix do have one on special offer. <http://www.screwfix.com/prods/61459/Landscaping/Landscaping-Power-Tools/Brushcutters-Trimmers/Ryobi-Petrol-Brushcutter-30cc-1-04Hp just in case you have not seen it.
Adam
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ARWadworth coughed up some electrons that declared:

<http://www.screwfix.com/prods/61459/Landscaping/Landscaping-Power-Tools/Brushcutters-Trimmers/Ryobi-Petrol-Brushcutter-30cc-1-04Hp
I bought the 25cc version of the Ryobi above. It's noisy and a bit unbalanced to hold, but it was at the cheaper end (79 quid) and it's still got more guts than an electric. Apart from caveats mentioned, it seems competent. It was a distress purchase as I was faced with vast amounts of 2' high grass last week.
However, I did go and get the hedge cutter attachment from Bodgeit-Qwik this week and that seems quite good for lots of light trimming. Biggest stick it would go through was about 3/8". I would be interested to find out what the chainsaw/pruner attachment is like...
I have noticed various combo deals on the web.
like this one:
http://www.cheapmowers.com/acatalog/Special_Offers_-_Strimmers___Brushcutters.html
and this one
http://www.worldofpower.co.uk/Garden-and-Outdoor/Grass-Trimmers-and-Brushcutters/Petrol-Brushcutters/sc1540/p4262.aspx
I'm sure I saw a combo deal on chainsaw + hedge trimmer for about 70 quid, but I can't find it just now...
HTH
Tim
PS
Apparently the Ryobi ExpandIt system is compatible with other similar systems including Flymo's, or so the sign in B&Q claimed...
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ARWadworth wrote:

<http://www.screwfix.com/prods/61459/Landscaping/Landscaping-Power-Tools/Brushcutters-Trimmers/Ryobi-Petrol-Brushcutter-30cc-1-04Hp

Yup loads of places seem to have the ryobi... on the plus side the attachments are readily available and cheap, but most of the reviews I hjave read don't seem that favourable (flimsy construction, poor warm starting, lame line feed units etc).
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Cheers,

John.

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John Rumm coughed up some electrons that declared:

<http://www.screwfix.com/prods/61459/Landscaping/Landscaping-Power-Tools/Brushcutters-Trimmers/Ryobi-Petrol-Brushcutter-30cc-1-04Hp
Warm starting seems fine on the 25cc engine. Line feed is OK. Flimsy - maybe; I'm having some suspicions about the starting cord ratchet but if it's dodgey I'll make sure I break it in the warrenty period.
Cheers
Tim
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If you just want cheap crap, I bought a Spear and Jackson from Argos a 30cc brush cutter which has been adequate for garden use. It has a metal blade as well as a line, cost 64 and it works fairly relentlessly on long grass, cow parsley and nettles.
Don't expect much from the name, it's just more rebadged Chinese crap, but as long as you use it for light use it will be fine. On the positive side it's very comfortable to use, has a long reach and bicycle style handles which are comfortable for long sessions of use. The tools provided were good including a 2T mixing bottle of decent quality.
For the farm we use much better quality stuff since sclearing hedges and banks wil generally involve working for 8-10 hours a day. We tend to use Stihl brushcutters and split-shaft units for farm work. They cost a lot more (400 to 600) and the attachments are each more expensive than a no-name brushcutter but the engines are more rugged (4-stroke) and the attachments don't fold up when you snag discarded wire or polypropylene rope.
If you want a compromise, I've had good experience with Husqvarna at about 180 for the motor/brushcutter and 60-80 for the accesories. I'd say these were "good enough" for garden work. I think these are also sold as "Partner" in some parts of the country, but IIRC both Husqvarna and Partner are Electrolux brands. Ryobi offer the cheapest recognisable name split shaft units with attachments priced around 40. I've not used one, but the attachments sold in the local garden shop look flimsy.
If your use really is light, I'd buy separate cheapskate units. Firstly they will cost a lot less and having two motors and no split shaft means that if one fails the other still works and the units are stronger than cheap split shafts. The lowest price I have seen for long-reach hedgetrimmers is around 100-140.
If you want a leap into the unknown, there are some "Zomax" brushcutters with hedgetrimmer attachments for sale on eBay for 100. No idea how good they are, or even what they are. They have 35cc engines so they should have decent torque for the price. Ryobi are next on the lsit at 140 for brushcutter + hedgetrimmer. You can also get a chainsaw pruner for the Ryobi which may well sway the decision. Although the Ryobi is sold by Screwfix the attachment prices seem to be about 2x the price elsewhere.
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On Sun, 25 May 2008 15:11:35 +0100, John Rumm wrote:

I'm looking for similar. I've found a couple of offers (including hedge trimmers) from a company I've bought from before :-
www.gardenlines.co.uk/Default.asp/p/Product/1/GARDEN/2/GARDEN+MACHINERY/3/STRIMMERS/4/Ryobi+PBC+3046YE+30cc+Brush+Cutter+with+Hedge+trimmer
www.gardenlines.co.uk/Default.asp/p/Product/1/GARDEN/2/GARDEN+MACHINERY/3/STRIMMERS/4/Ryobi+RBC%2D30SESA+Brush+Cutter+with+Hedge+cutter
I think I might buy one of those - not sure yet. This is not a recommendation as I don't know how good these products are - still investigating :-)
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Hugh Jampton
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On Sun, 25 May 2008 18:35:49 +0100, Hugh Jampton wrote:

FWIW (not a lot) I've had a Ryobi strimmer only for several years and it's OK. Started without too much fuss on the old petrol after being stored over winter. "Stored" meaning it was just cleaned as normal and put back in the garage after the last use, probably in October may have been earlier.
It only has a dual line head and that is it's second. On the orginal the cup that covers the spool failed around the middle near were the shaft joins.
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Cheers
Dave.




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John Rumm wrote:

I found a strimmer made a decent hedge trimmer anyway..
They are all much of a muchness really. Try and get one that feels balanced to your height. They are heavy bastards to use over long periods.
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I think I went into detail about this last year on another group. I set up on my own as a gardener/handyman last May and spent a lot on new gardening equipment.
I went round to a load of different dealers looking at what they had to offer.For everyday use, almost all recommended buying from the Stihl range. So my search narrowed down. Stihl do a 'multi-use' range where you unplug the strimmer, and turn it into a high hedge cutter etc. They were quite pricy, but a good quality motor should ensure no problems. Then I went to try them out. The strimmer was pretty good. the other attachments were not. It is clear they were not designed for the one use, so the balance of the unit was completely wrong for a stand alone trimmer/lopper etc. I discounted them immediately as too unwieldly. A local dealer then showed me the Tanaka range of strimmers/hedge cutters/chainsaws. I was smitten. They felt good in the hands, and the dealer recommended them for everyday use - just as reliable as a Stihl product he reckoned. So I bought the strimmer/brushcutter, and an 18" hedge cutter (both petrol). <http://www.abbeygardensales.co.uk/subprod/tanaka-brushcutters-0000367.a spx> <http://www.mowdirect.co.uk/acatalog/MowDIRECT_TANAKA_PETROL_HEDGECUTTER S_1088.html>
They do do an extension adaptor to fo fit a long reach hedge trimmer to the strimmer head. The strimmer has been perfect. Screw on the strimmer head, or take it off to fit a steel blade. Dead easy, and it has been perfectly reliable. The hedge cutter was faulty when I bought it. It went back twice, as it would only run for 5 minutes, then die. It went back again, had a new carb fitted, and has been trouble free since. I would recommend them for everyday use. However for just use at your own garden it may well be a little OTT, as the combined cost was around 400. The dealer seemed to think the Ryobi range was perfect for occasional use, but would quickly wear out when used daily. At half the price, that is quite understandable. For my own gardens use, maybe 6 times a year, then the Ryobis would be on my list to look at.
I've also got a quality electric hedge trimmer - a Viking HE615. Using this is a revelation compared to cheap hedge trimmers. It is so lightweight, balanced and powerful. the downside is the electric cable dangling from it, which, although I like to think I'm quite capable, and aware of things, I cut through it once. For garden use, where access to a long extension lead is available, then I dont think you could get better than that one. HTH Alan.
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A.Lee wrote:

It being a wet bank holiday I may venture off to the spiritual home for such occasions (a garden centre!)

Ta, another option.
Just notices that Lawson have some Makita strimmers:
http://www.lawson-his.co.uk/scripts/products.php?cat=Makita%20Petrol%20Linecutters
I have been quite impressed with their engine on a chainsaw I used, and the main machine price looks quite competitive. The hedge trimmer accessory is pricey mind you. Anyone ever seen these in the flesh?
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Cheers,

John.

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http://www.lawson-his.co.uk/scripts/products.php?cat=Makita%20Petrol%20Linecutters
I
Which one were you considering?
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Andy Hall wrote:

The 2110 or 2510 look like they would be adequate...
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Cheers,

John.

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A.Lee wrote:

Do you still do much gardening work Alan?
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Dave - The Medway Handyman
www.medwayhandyman.co.uk
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No. I went into it without too much thought (hey, I know that now!). I had intended to do the gardening/patios etc as the full-time job, with the back up of a handyman type service. As it turned out, it is near impossible to start up a gradening business from scratch, as well as paying bills/debts/mortgage. Firstly, few people want to pay more than 10 a hour. Some will gladly pay 15, but they are rare. Then there is the travelling time between jobs. I was finding it hard to do more than 6 hours works a day - the rest taken up with travelling etc. 6 hours work at 10/hr would soon bankrupt me. The final straw came in August when I reluctantly took on an old womans garden. I didnt know anyone who could be so fussy with their garden. There were 3 lines of bedding plants, most still in bloom. I got a 10 minute tirade of abuse about the previous gardeners over the last 5 years who had the audacity to plant bedding plants in her garden. It transpired the only things she wanted were grass,roses and privet hedge. My first job was to restore the borders, and lay turf. So we agreed I'd do the front first, and be there at 10am the following week. I fetched the turf/compost/sand for the front garden, got there at 9:55, and sat for 5 minutes or so listening to the radio news. My phone went at 10:01 - "I thought you said you were coming at 10am?" So I walked in, and she said she'd changed her mind, and wanted the rear garden doing first. which needed 3 times the amount of turf/sand to make it good. I explained to her the problem, and she said just do what you can to the rear. So I did. She was told that it will take 4 to 6 weeks to root, then I'll fill in any dips that occur. She rang me 4 days later, saying the grass wasnt completely flat, would I come round that day to level it. No. I was coming the next week, so would do it then. She than rang me a couple of days later to make sure I had got enough turf. Yes I had. She rang me again the day I was going. "Are you coming" I was 3 miles away at this point with 10 yards of turf in my trailer. I flipped, and told her I wouldnt be coming any more, as I just didnt want the hassle, and for what I was charging, it barely covered my costs. She wasnt at all happy, but I had lost money on that, and got so much hassle from her, that I just wasnt bothered if she was unhappy. I got 2 more phone calls asking me to go back there and finish it off.
So, after that, I have refused to take on any more gardening work. I still cut the lawns of 2 people local to me, but otherwise dont do any gardening now.
As an aside, business has definitely picked up. Dec to March were pretty awful, just keeping my head above water, but since the beginning of April I have been doing 6 day weeks, albeit at my ridiculously low prices, and getting a lot of repeat custom. I'm not regretting starting up at all, I'm still skint, - any spare cash I do have goes straight on new tools/equipment, so in future years there will be less outlay, there'll be more people recommending me, so I should be able to start paying off my mounting credit card bills! I've recently finished a Council Grant job , with the Council Officer very pleased with the work, so I'm to go on their approved Contractors list when it is next updated, which is another good thing. Alan.
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No. I went into it without too much thought (hey, I know that now!). I had intended to do the gardening/patios etc as the full-time job, with the back up of a handyman type service. As it turned out, it is near impossible to start up a gradening business from scratch, as well as paying bills/debts/mortgage. Firstly, few people want to pay more than 10 a hour. Some will gladly pay 15, but they are rare. Then there is the travelling time between jobs. I was finding it hard to do more than 6 hours works a day - the rest taken up with travelling etc. 6 hours work at 10/hr would soon bankrupt me. The final straw came in August when I reluctantly took on an old womans garden. I didnt know anyone who could be so fussy with their garden. There were 3 lines of bedding plants, most still in bloom. I got a 10 minute tirade of abuse about the previous gardeners over the last 5 years who had the audacity to plant bedding plants in her garden. It transpired the only things she wanted were grass,roses and privet hedge. My first job was to restore the borders, and lay turf. So we agreed I'd do the front first, and be there at 10am the following week. I fetched the turf/compost/sand for the front garden, got there at 9:55, and sat for 5 minutes or so listening to the radio news. My phone went at 10:01 - "I thought you said you were coming at 10am?" So I walked in, and she said she'd changed her mind, and wanted the rear garden doing first. which needed 3 times the amount of turf/sand to make it good. I explained to her the problem, and she said just do what you can to the rear. So I did. She was told that it will take 4 to 6 weeks to root, then I'll fill in any dips that occur. She rang me 4 days later, saying the grass wasnt completely flat, would I come round that day to level it. No. I was coming the next week, so would do it then. She than rang me a couple of days later to make sure I had got enough turf. Yes I had. She rang me again the day I was going. "Are you coming" I was 3 miles away at this point with 10 yards of turf in my trailer. I flipped, and told her I wouldnt be coming any more, as I just didnt want the hassle, and for what I was charging, it barely covered my costs. She wasnt at all happy, but I had lost money on that, and got so much hassle from her, that I just wasnt bothered if she was unhappy. I got 2 more phone calls asking me to go back there and finish it off.
So, after that, I have refused to take on any more gardening work. I still cut the lawns of 2 people local to me, but otherwise dont do any gardening now.
As an aside, business has definitely picked up. Dec to March were pretty awful, just keeping my head above water, but since the beginning of April I have been doing 6 day weeks, albeit at my ridiculously low prices, and getting a lot of repeat custom. I'm not regretting starting up at all, I'm still skint, - any spare cash I do have goes straight on new tools/equipment, so in future years there will be less outlay, there'll be more people recommending me, so I should be able to start paying off my mounting credit card bills! I've recently finished a Council Grant job , with the Council Officer very pleased with the work, so I'm to go on their approved Contractors list when it is next updated, which is another good thing. Alan.
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On 2008-05-26 07:15:46 +0100, alan@darkroom.+.com (A.Lee) said:

Which models did you buy, Alan?
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TBC230 strimer: <http://www.abbeygardensales.co.uk/brushcutters/tanaka-brushcutters/show item-F1-TBC230S.aspx> THT2000 hedgecutter - got the small one as it felt well balanced: <http://www.mowdirect.co.uk/acatalog/MowDIRECT_TANAKA_PETROL_HEDGECUTTER S_1088.html>
Alan.
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On 2008-05-30 06:46:56 +0100, alan@darkroom.+.com (A.Lee) said:

I figured that these would probably be the ones, Alan.
I'm looking for a line trimmer/brush cutter and a hedge trimmer - ideally long reach.
I noticed that Tanaka have a hedge trimmer as an attachment for the TBC230 model but also a slightly different TBC230SF (Smartfit) with a range of accessories. Did you look at any of those or was there a particular reason to choose separate machines?
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Andy Hall wrote:

I had a stihl combo one once. The diddies nicked it and now I have two separate ones. Frankly the weight and power for the brush cutter is overkill to one holding up and cutting hedges with.
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