Petrol strimmer recommendations?

Looking at strimmer/brush cutter for clearing largish overgrown area.
Seeems to be a number of X in 1 devices with hedge trimmer/ chainsaw attachments around.
It`s likely to be a one time major clearance and then minor maintenance after so not looking for daily use quality but putting chainsaw and cheap in same sentence worries me...
Any advice or experience?
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On Sat, 06 Aug 2016 06:18:41 -0700, Adam Aglionby wrote:

I've had a Mitox brushcutter/strimmer for about 10 years now and it gets a regular workout. No problems with it. I've now got a Mitox multi as I needed a pole hedgecutter and chainsaw but the cost of those separately was more than the multi kit which came with a brushcutter/strimmer attachment. Hedgecutter and pole chainsaw both work fine. Strimmer part will no doubt prove useful when I get halfway through a job only to find that the reel has emptied and will allow me to rewind at my leisure.
https://mitox.co.uk/index.php/products/multi-tools.html
Hmm - gone up by £50 since I bought.
Advantage for me in Mitox is that the local ag merchant has them and he is very good at getting any bits that may be required (nothing for the Mitoxes so far)
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That's funny, given I've just posted that Mitox stuff is pretty poor. The aluminium castings are incredibly soft - I've had to drill out a couple of self tappers & put bolts all the way through to hold bits together, the cam mechanism in the head of my long reach hedge cutters failed after about 18 months & when I came to use them a couple of weeks ago, there was a huge crack in the fuel tank. I wouldn't buy any more of it.
OTOH, I have a ~15 y/o Fuji "Robin" brushcutter which has been brilliant. Never broken, starts easily first time, works like a champ.
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On Sat, 06 Aug 2016 14:46:27 +0000, Huge wrote:

Each to their own - you've had problems, I haven't.
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Mitox stuff is made of cheese.
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On 06/08/2016 15:43, Huge wrote:

But its one of the few makes you seem to be able to get spares for. So if the cheese breaks you can get more.
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On 06/08/16 19:27, Fredxxx wrote:

Found a ryobi OK.
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On Saturday, 6 August 2016 14:18:43 UTC+1, Adam Aglionby wrote:

Hire one. Get a big one with the body harness. And plenty of the plastic blades.
When the stuff regrows, zap it with weedkiller.
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On Sat, 06 Aug 2016 09:49:35 -0700, harry wrote:

Mitox has metal blade for brushcutting.
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On 06/08/2016 14:18, Adam Aglionby wrote:

I bought a Titan Multi-tool from Screwfix.
It lasted 20 minutes before the shaft seemed to seize up. At full power the engine sounded it was producing power but no turning shaft, even without an attachment connected. When turned by hand the shaft was very stiff.
It seems you get what you pay for.
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On 06/08/2016 19:23, Fredxxx wrote:

My Stihl FS 100 has been OK. I use it as often as I cut the grass. Likely it cost more!
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On Sat, 6 Aug 2016 21:09:56 +0100, Michael Chare
<snip> >> It seems you get what you pay for.

And why most of the professionals use them.

But what do they say, 'buy cheap buy twice' and not all of the cr&p stuff is that cheap?
One good thing about Stihl is that you can get spares (and pattern versions) easily, should you need them, meaning you can protect your investment even longer.
Cheers, T i m
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On 06/08/2016 22:50, T i m wrote:

I went to a chain saw museum in Prince Rupert where I learnt that Stihl used to be the leading brand of chain saws in North America before WW2.
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On Sun, 7 Aug 2016 21:01:52 +0100, Michael Chare

Sounds like an arboriculturalists idea of fun. ;-)

Oh, who are now if not Stihl do you know? Husky?
Cheers, T i m
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On 06-Aug-16 2:18 PM, Adam Aglionby wrote:

I've used a Kawasaki one for several years now, and given it some pretty tough jobs to do. It has a metal blade for the tougher jobs. Excellent piece of kit.
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On 06/08/2016 14:18, Adam Aglionby wrote:

Don't know about advice, but take what you want from my experience.
The first one I had was a Ryobi two stroke. It was ok and had enough power to drive the various tools I had for it (line head, hedge trimmer, chainsaw pruner). It did not last that long before it appeared to ingest a part of its own carb, and the results were not pretty:
http://internode.co.uk/ryobi/
I replaced it (on a spur of a moment) with a 4 stroke ryobi that was on sale at a cash and carry (paid about £75 for it!). That was far less satisfactory. Heavier, less powerful, slower revving. It also had a habit of stalling when you held it at the wrong angle, or the fuel tank was less than half full. Over time it got progressively harder to keep running at all. Even after attempting to set the tuning up better, it was getting close to impossible to get useful periods of work out of it. Turns out that major engine components (like the cam shaft and the push rods) are made out of plastic, and as it gets warm they wear increasingly quickly. So before long the timing is all to pot and you are shagged.
So at that point I decided I was done with toy tools, and discovered that the ryobi attachments can be persuaded to work on Stihl power heads. Ordered a Stihl KM 94RC-E engine from FR Jones & Son (about £245) and have not looked back. Its in a completely different class. Lighter, smaller, more powerful, freer revving, can run properly at part throttle as well. Easier to start. Never stalls or cuts out, lovely machine to use. I would have been much cheaper and easier if I had bought one in the first place!
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On Sun, 7 Aug 2016 01:11:03 +0100, John Rumm

Nice pictures John and a nice overview of what can happen with these things. I predicted a dead Stihl blower as suffering something similar (low compression, wouldn't even fire on Easy-start) and to prove the point to someone who suggested it was just a carb fault, replaced the piston ring and it ran again. Not well of course as the bore was badly scored and the big end was f*d.

<snip>

I can also recommend FR Jones (as a customer).

And why all ('most' ? ... some are into their 'Husky stuff') pros use Stihl gear. I was waiting at some roadworks the other day and watched a team cutting a concrete lamppost off just above the access door with a Stihl Cutoff saw. One guy on the saw, one guy on a water dispenser and another in the crane ready to catch it. ;-)

'Buy cheap, buy twice'.
Except, *sometimes* you can find a cheaper tool that does just happen to work and last but it's often too much of a lottery, compared with investing in a 'known quantity'.
And as you say, ideally it's not just about 'will it start' and 'can it keep running' but when it's working, does it work well and make the job easy?
Cheers, T i m
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I have a Ryobi 4-stroke with many Expand-it attachments. After some adjustments I find it very reliable. If you search the internet for 'problems with Ryobi 4-stroke' you will find lots of people with the same problem. The mixture adjustment often drifts too weak and you get the symptoms you describe. Once you've twigged this and have the required 'pac-man' adjustment tool then the Ryobi can be made to run very well. Mine gets heavy use as we have 9 acres of paddocks to maintain.
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Chris Green
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On 07/08/2016 10:02, Chris Green wrote:

Yup I have the pac man tool, and spent many hours reading / watching lots of the info out there. Alas no amount of re-tuning would make up for a knackered cam profile.
It may be later models have starting using metal in critical places and they have improved, I have not paid much attention to it since. However the key point remains, that its performance even when new did not match the two stroke version, and neither come close to the Stihl.
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I had a 2-stroke before the 4-stroke, I never got on well with it. I don't find the 4-stroke underpowered.
I did have one other fault which stopped it running well, an air leak (I assume) in the petrol feed system, just dirt I think because taking it apart and putting it back together (just the plastic pump thing on top of the carb) fixed it.
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