OT - Seeking Recommendations for a Decent Weed Wacker (Metal Content)

I'm tired of nursing along my 10 year old Homelite string trimmer. The plastic choke rod broke last summer and you can't buy another one without
buying a whole carb. Yea I could probably make one, but....
I can get it started with starting fluid, but even then it isn't as powerful as it used to be. Besides, I hate the head that holds the string.. Bought a replacement one that you manually put the string through, but it's almost as much a PITA as the original head. Here are some Brands that I know are supposed to be good, Jonsered, Stihl, Husqvarna, and Shindaiwa.
I'd like to stay under $250 or so in price. I want a head that works reliably, even after several years of use if that is at all possible. It will be used around the house and yard, occasionally on green blackberries, not the hard woody stuff. But would like to be able to change heads to something stronger for that capability too.
Would like to hear about your experiences with any models of the brands I mentioned above. Or if there is another brand you think I should look at feel free.
Thanks Lane
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On Tue, 24 May 2005 18:40:12 -0700, "Lane" <lane (no spam) at copperaccents dot com> wrote:

Echo have been highly recommended, that said, my homelite is the best value I've seen in a long time - I bought it used two years ago. It still had most of the original line on the spool and they sold it to me for $2 because it was leaking oil! I suspect they were using a 3:1 mix. Gerry :-)} London, Canada
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Lane I have a Stihl with the geared head. I don't use string but the head with the plastic blades. I sure like it and it does a very good job. lg no neat sig line "Lane" <lane (no spam) at copperaccents dot com> wrote in message

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I've had real good luck with the stihl fs80 very easy to change string and the heads last a long time also very easy to advance the string. They are easy to start and the engine is used on a bunch of other stihl machines so parts are readily available. I am a golf course mechanic and I think I know a good tool.We have several at my course and I also have one at home I have ten acres and I use it wherever I can't get to with my tractor or walk behind mower
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Get a 4-cycle one. I don't remember the make of mine, but it was the best one I ever used. I pulled it out this spring, topped off the half tank of gas, and checked the oil. It started (and continued to run) after about 6 or 8 pulls. And took one or two pulls to start later after it had cooled down.
Vince
Lane wrote:

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Lane wrote:

I got one of those heads that use three serrated plastic blades for mine, it works good. Well, it does on the rare occasion I get the thing out..
John
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On Tue, 24 May 2005 18:40:12 -0700, "Lane" <lane (no spam) at copperaccents dot com> wrote:

ECHO Echo echo
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I just bought a 4-cycle Husqvarna 324L last weekend, and it's a class act. Quiet, powerful, and I can put a blade attachment on it instead of the string head if I need to.
Tom Dacon
"Lane" <lane (no spam) at copperaccents dot com> wrote in message

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Tom Dacon wrote:

'Year before I bought a Husqvarna, don't rememeber the model, but that doesn't make a difference for my point. Which is: the string feeds MUCH too readily. I refilled it several times before testing it. The spring that is compressed to allow the spool to retract and feed more string is much too weak. It feeds just with contact with heavy weeds!
I went back to the hardware store where I bought it: "too late", out of waranty. I wrote Husqvarna a nice "help me" letter and didn't even get a canned response. I won't be buying Husqvarna again.
YMMV, Bob
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Lane wrote:

I have a nice "Husky" model - just under the top Pro model - it is the second tier pro model. It runs nicely. STHL also has them.
Check out the local vendors or scope out the yard working teams...
Martin
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"Lane" <lane (no spam) at copperaccents dot com> wrote in
Good question Lane, I'm also about to replace my old Echo which IIRC is about 17-19 years old, and has been heavily used during that time. It will be hard to beat the service that this trimmer has given. It will also be hard to steer to something other than an Echo, based on experience. I'll be watching this thread also.
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Anthony

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I'm going out today to touch and feel some trimmers after reading several posts here and on a commercial lawn service forum that I found last night.
The new Echo's aren't near as good as the old one which you had. The brands that are highly rated now by the boys that use them everyday, all day are: Husqvarna, Shindaiwa, Redmax and Stihl.
Thanks for all the posts, appreciate it much.
Lane
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"Lane" <lane (no spam) at copperaccents dot com> wrote:
[...]

OK, so I got to this thread late. I vote for Stihl, if it makes any difference. As long as you stick with their brand of oil, get new gas each season, and keep your air filter clean the engine and carb should last pretty much forever. And I prefer the way they sound, personally. Oh, and if you can get a non-vented gas can and shake the crap out of it before each fueling you'll prolong the fuel's (and carb's) life. Just make sure you fuel up outside!
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YOur 110% right about Echo anyhting any more. Before they changed over to their ECO carb they were some good little engines, now they are a constant pain in the neck. I bought a Echo back pack blower and had nothing but troubles, returned it and bought a stihl BP340, and it has yet to miss a beat. The Stihl cost less than $60 more than the Echo cost....
I just recently bought a weed wacker. I had looked at all of them from BOlems, troybuilt, Homelite, Ryobi, Shindawa, Husky, Echo, Toro, Poulan Weedeater) and Stihls. I got the Stihl FS45 on sale for $120, and its super. I also have two Jonsered brush type with bike type handle bars (40 and 60 cc engines) which are opver 20 years old and work just fine, but much to large and heavy to use for general trimming. The Stihl FS45 is light, powerfull and its head is great. Refilling it with line is a snap, and with about 20 tanks of fuel put through it already it has yet to screwup on the line feed, even when it gets packed with mud and wet grass etc, as I use it in and around my pond a lot.
For the money, the FS35 Stihl is hard to beat, .080" line, tad over 1 hp, lightweight, balanced nicely and 2 year no hassle warranty with Stihl.
n Tue, 31 May 2005 00:41:42 -0500, "B.B."

=============================================Put some color in your cheeks...garden naked!
~~~~ }<((((o> ~~~~~~ }<{{{{o> ~~~~~~~ }<(((((o>
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On Tue, 24 May 2005 18:40:12 -0700, "Lane" <lane (no spam) at copperaccents dot com> wrote:

Lane- I have and love my Ryobi 4-stroke weed whacker. It's a model 875R. One of the neat things about it is that the shaft seperates so that different attachments can be put on. So, I take the string head off and put on the blade head. I modified it to take 7 1/4" skillsaw blades. I buy the cheap carbide toothed ones for about 4 bucks. It will saw through a two inch alder. Salmon berries and blackberries are no match for it. The string head will go through green blackberries. I use a star shaped cross section line that works better than the round line. The Ryobi string head is made so you can poke the line in a hole and wind it in instead of taking the head apart. I take the head apart anyway though because my hands don't work so good and it is easier for me to do it that way. I've had the Ryobi for 5 or 6 years now. It still runs great. And one big advantage of the 4-stroke, besides not mixing oil and gas, and the better mileage, is that the torque curve is flatter. So when it bogs down in heavy stuff it will keep on cutting rather than stalling. Eric R Snow
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I'm swimming against the grain, here, but have been beating the crap out of 2 Ryobi trimmers for years, now, the latest one (because i wanted the 2-piece shaft to add roto tiller attachment) from harbor fright for under 100.00.
I recommend the echo head (from most dealers) into which you stuff pre-cut pieces of line, like the chinese finger-cuff.
I recommend the shaped (not round or square) line, which has sharp cutting edges. Some don't like this, as it has higher wind resistance than round stuff, but I love it.
just my 1.6 cents / mark
Lane wrote:

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I'm generally not a Ryobi fan, but I've been using one I bought for $79 at Costco for about 5 years with zero problems, and I do a lot of trimming. We even had one at work we got more than a few years out of.

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No need to buy anything. Gas trimmers are always poking out of dumpsters somewhere. Carb gets funky, and it's tossed. A little diving, snag one, hose out the carb, and your'e good to go. JR Dweller in the cellar
Lane wrote:

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I've never seen one. Must live in the wrong part of the country I guess....
Lane
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wrote:

Swap meets are good sources too. I got my $5 Mitsubishi there about 10 yrs ago. Now the gas tank has split, and Im not sure if I can find a replacement.
Gunner

"Pax Americana is a philosophy. Hardly an empire. Making sure other people play nice and dont kill each other (and us) off in job lots is hardly empire building, particularly when you give them self determination under "play nice" rules.
Think of it as having your older brother knock the shit out of you for torturing the cat." Gunner
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