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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey guys!

I'm in the market for a new string trimmer. Haven't even had one for about 3 years. Picked up a used one for free 2 years ago. Supposed to be a nice one, SRM 225. However, I never could get it to run. I went out last weekend on a mission to bring home a Stihl FS56 and struck out. Best I could find was an unassembled FS70 and I just haven't done enough research on that model to justify bringing it home that day. My question to the crowd, Go get the 70? Are there better machines out there I should be looking at? I also like the ability to use the same mix gas I already have for my chainsaw and 2 stroke snowblower in a trimmer and not have to have a different mix.
 

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A trimmer is a good opportunity to start converting to cordless electric. I started with a single-stage blower, but the trimmer was my second tool purchase...

This all started off with me buying a used Greenworks Pro single stage snowblower to replace a failed SnowJoe corded unit. It came with one 2Ah battery and a rapid-charger and worked very well, but I added a second used 2Ah battery (and now a 3rd new one) to extend the operating window. The snowblower runs more than 40 minutes on one battery and recharges in 30 minutes, so I'm good to go there. I've now added the other items shown below. I have watches on eBay and Craigslist, etc. for additional deals on batteries and other items. The batteries are available for $75 or less...
  • GreenWorks 2600402 Pro 80V 20-Inch Snow Thrower, 2Ah Battery #1 07/25/2017 & Rapid Charger #1 - $100
  • Greenworks 2901302 2Ah Battery #2 10/31/2017 - $75
  • Kobalt KST 140XB-06 16" Trimmer (modified to use Greenworks Battery) - $46
  • Troy-Bilt PS720 TrimmerPlus Pole Saw Attachment - $62
  • Troy-Bilt BR720 TrimmerPlus Power Broom Attachment - $140
  • Greenworks GCS80450 Pro 80V 18" Chain Saw - $178
  • Greenworks BLB489 Pro 80V Leaf Blower - $120
  • Greenworks 2901402 80V Rapid Charger #2 - $26
  • Greenworks Pro 80V GLSS802100 Snow Shovel, 2Ah Battery #3 09/06/2021 & Rapid Charger #3 - $87
 

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Same here. My Weedeater corded model is starting to slow down through tallish (ie 3") grass. Brushes obviously worn.

BUT I like this machine--no bump feed, no "protection" around the head other than a "cutter' to slice off the string that extends beyond the head.

40 yr of service from Weedeater ?? Ya, because all it is is a motor, a trigger and a handle.
 

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I have a base model curved shaft Stihl FS45 gas trimmer that's maybe 7 or 8 years old. Works fine and no issues with it but I thought I'd try a cordless straight shaft model so I bought a Milwaukee. Since I already have several Milwaukee tools it was natural fit. I had to order it sight unseen as they didn't have any in stock. Bad idea. I've had it about a year now but I'm not real happy with it. I thought it would be easier to use vertically as an edge trimmer but its not. With the big supplied battery on the end it doesn't balance well no matter how you hold it or where you place the handle and the trigger is too touchy to set a constant speed around delicate plants and wood structures like fences and decks. I'm still trying to like it but at this point I wish I would have bought a Stihl straight shaft gasser.

I also have a Stihl battery hedge trimmer thats about 3 years old but in hindsight for all I use it I wish I would have bought a simple corded trimmer. My 25 year old corded B&D hedge trimmer was better built and had more power than the Stihl. I also doubt the battery will last 20 some years or even available by then. On the other hand at my age that likely won't be an issue
 
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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Not looking to go battery powered. Besides homeowner use, I would be taking it to our hunting lease and using the steel brush blade. I know the Stihl 56 will do it, not super well, but it will. Was told the 70 would do a blade nicely. Just making sure I’m not missing a better machine. While I like stihl, I don’t necessarily always think they are to notch.
 

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I tried a 40v Ryobi trimmer, but returned it as I thought it was a little too heavy for me. Had quite a bit of power. Don't know how long the 40v battery would last, but it was still at 2 out of 4 bars on the battery after 30 minutes.
Decided on a Ryobi 18v model (since I already had the batteries). It's lighter, but the 1.2 amp-hour batteries really don't work well with them at all. I have a 4 AH battery that easily lasts the 30 minutes. Trick is to keep the thing running, so the intertia helps it along. When it bogs down, takes a few (1-2) seconds to get back up to cutting speed.
Both were quiet, and the new method of installing the string in the Ryobi head is light-years ahead of my old weed eater and Homelite.
Project Farm did a test of the battery-powered trimmers.
 

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Not looking to go battery powered. Besides homeowner use, I would be taking it to our hunting lease and using the steel brush blade. I know the Stihl 56 will do it, not super well, but it will. Was told the 70 would do a blade nicely. Just making sure I’m not missing a better machine. While I like stihl, I don’t necessarily always think they are to notch.
I just put 30 bucks into a free trimmer. Carb and coil. Runs new. 30 bucks. Just sayin" Glad I didn't spend 200 bucks or more on new. Can you fix the old one?
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I finally sold it cheap because I was stumped. Put a new carb on it, new spark plug. Best I could ever get was it wanted to start using helping fluid. Never got it to run. Then I started thinking maybe the fuel lines were crossed. Switched them. Then could never even get gas back into the bulb when pumping it.
 

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I tried a 40v Ryobi trimmer, but returned it as I thought it was a little too heavy for me. Had quite a bit of power. Don't know how long the 40v battery would last, but it was still at 2 out of 4 bars on the battery after 30 minutes.
Decided on a Ryobi 18v model (since I already had the batteries). It's lighter, but the 1.2 amp-hour batteries really don't work well with them at all. I have a 4 AH battery that easily lasts the 30 minutes. Trick is to keep the thing running, so the intertia helps it along. When it bogs down, takes a few (1-2) seconds to get back up to cutting speed.
Both were quiet, and the new method of installing the string in the Ryobi head is light-years ahead of my old weed eater and Homelite.
Project Farm did a test of the battery-powered trimmers.
I also have the Ryobi 18v. The unit works ok but IMHO it is cheaply made. I can change it to an edger with just a click. It has two power settings and low works pretty well for most applications.
 

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1979 (or so) Toro 724 (38050) and 2018 Ariens Platinum 24
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Had to imagine . . . I have an Echo SRM series trimmer, an Echo chain saw, hedge trimmer, and 2 blowers and they have required very little maintenance. You don't mention if this was used or new . . . if used, and older, either the metering diaphragm or pump diaphragms can harden in the carb (easy and fairly cheap to replace), but other than that, they are about as complex as a bowling ball . . . You said you replaced the carb, so assuming spark, short of a torn up cylinder, there is very little to go wrong . . . . Myself, Echo is my go-to . . . (zero interest in eletric . . . ).

Heck, even if the chain saw sits for over a year wet, 5 or 6 pulls and it's running . . .
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
When I got it, it was used, free. Lady said it was locked up. I lubed the cylinder and persuaded it loose. When pulling it, it seemed easy and normal but never was able to get to run on its own. All I can think of is persuading it did just enough damage? I messed with about everything else I could think of aside from the internals. Not saying all echos are bad. That left a foul taste in my mouth is al. I understand whatever I decide to go with will be new so they should all run fair for a while depending on my care.

So that’s 1 for echo. And you strongly recommend the SRM? 225?
 

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1979 (or so) Toro 724 (38050) and 2018 Ariens Platinum 24
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Lockup is typically due to lack of lube resulting in massive piston/cylinder damage, and is likely the reason it did not run. My bet would be that someone put plain fuel in it, and it died because of it. Did you happen to look at the side of the piston through tne exhaust port? That typically would tell you everything you need to know . . .

With proper compression, you know it when you pull it . . . very "bumpy" stroke as you go past TDC . . If it pulled smoothly, you had no compression.

Echo IS one of the best brands, but even it has its limits . . .

And yes, the SRM series are good units. The 225 is more homeowner with the 21.2cc engine (the others are bigger, for heavy commercial use . . . I've never found anything this won't handle, and smaller saves some $$ but is built the same). Myself, I've never had any love for curved shaft trimmers, which leaves the G*** models out . . .

(PS I ran mine yeaterday, and it's an SRM230, for what it's worth . . .)
 

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If you don't mind spending a little more than box store trimmers, I can't say enough good things about the Redmax TRZ230s. One of the best and most reliable string trimmers I have ever owned..and I've owned a bunch (Stihl, Echo, Ryobi, and Craftsman). Most Redmax dealers are selling the TRZ230s for $299. I've had the Redmax TRZ230s for 12 years now. Not a single issue or repair needed. Not even a broken fuel line or a carb cleaning. NOTHING. Hit the primer bulb three times and it starts first pull every time. Incredibly lightweight at 10.14lbs with a super powerful 2-stroke 22.5cfm engine. Amazing throttle response, no lag or bogging. Redmax also incorporates a grease zerk on the spline shaft, so you add 3-4 pumps of grease every year to keep the spline well lubricated. In terms of the factory trimmer head it's easy to re-load, but for $30 I highly recommend an aftermarket Speedfeed 400 head. Makes replacing trimmer line a breeze. You can restring the Speedfeed bump trimmer head in less than 30 seconds. Very happy with all my Redmax equipment (TRZ2301 string trimmer, EB7001 Backpack Blower (20+ years old), and CHT220L 23" gas hedge trimmer (5 years old).
 
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The number one thing with gas trimmers is does it start easily and reliably over time. That's on the owner. Box store or top shelf. 😎
 

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Like RalphS I bought the Ryobi 40V trimmer last year. Not to be confused with the 18V which is not nearly as powerful. My 40V has a straight shaft with detachable head that can receive other attachment. I bought an edger and a tiller to go with it.

You will not want for lack of power. This is as powerful as any gas trimmer I have ever used.

I highly recommend it. Its alos very nice to not have to mess with mixed gas.
 

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I’ve had a Stihl FS45 bent shaft trimmer for a few years and other than the bump feed not really working (I advance it by hand) it’s been a good machine. It was the least expensive of the Stihl line but always starts for me. It doesn’t get as good of a treatment as my heavier gear but no complaints on my end.
 

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Not looking to go battery powered. Besides homeowner use, I would be taking it to our hunting lease and using the steel brush blade. I know the Stihl 56 will do it, not super well, but it will. Was told the 70 would do a blade nicely. Just making sure I’m not missing a better machine. While I like stihl, I don’t necessarily always think they are to notch.
My need was similar, when I was choosing one a few years ago. A mix of grass trimming, ditch clearing and tidying up the small trees that sprout up everywhere. Our plot is close to 4 acres.
At the time I was advised to go with minimum FS91. Enough power without being too heavy. It’s worked well. Average 1-2 hour per week. Only occasionally it’s felt under powered. When it goes pop, I will replace with similar or more powerful.

Also, get a good harness. It makes a big difference. One of the best 100€ I’ve spent.
 
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