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Thread: A New Spinny Tool

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    ABQ NM
    Posts
    30,017

    A New Spinny Tool

    Our back lawn is level, but beyond that is a hillside that goes down another 100' to 150' or so at a 30ļ to 45ļ slope before leveling off at the bottom. The hillside is not cultivated, but we get a yearly crop of foxtail grass and assorted weeds at the end of the rainy season. (Right about now.) Like everyone around here, we have to keep the hillside trimmed or face fines from the Fire Department.

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    Sunday I fired up my 3 or 4 year old Troy-Bilt string trimmer and spent probably 10 minutes out of an hour actually cutting grass and weeds, and the other 50 minutes monkeying around with it trying to get it to run, or trying to get it to feed string, or trying to find the parts to the line spool that had gone SPROING! into the weeds. I went through similar frustrations last year with this trimmer, and had already spent $50 or so trying different "improved" line spools. Even when the line did feed OK, the engine didn't run strong and I always had to baby it along. I decided it was time to replace it with a good one.

    So after spending some time Sunday night doing a bit of research, I had narrowed the search down to either Echo or Stihl. Echo seems to be what most of the pros around here are using, but Stihl also has an excellent reputation. Monday I went to the local shop where I bought my Stihl chainsaw -- they sell both brands -- and told the guy I needed a string trimmer. He asked "What do you want to trim?" I said "Well, string, of course." Anyway, after getting his advice and checking out a few different models in each brand, this ended up following me home:

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    It's the Echo SRM 230S, which is supposed to be sort of a crossover between Echo's homeowner and professional lines. It was a bit lighter and better balanced than the comparably priced and equipped Stihl, and it comes with a 5 year warranty versus the 2 years that Stihl offers.

    Home Depot sells this model for about $20 less than what my local dealer charged me, but the dealer walked me through the operation and maintenance of the trimmer, took me outside to show me how to start it, test ran it for a bit, and will be there for me if it ever needs service. I don't think I'd get that same service from the Borg. Plus, he threw in a Stihl padded strap and the ring for attaching a shoulder strap for free. (The strap and ring retail for about $25 or so.)

    I had a chance to run about a half tank of fuel through it this afternoon before my back told me to quit, but so far I'm pleased as punch with this machine. Even though it's still in the break-in period and I'm not running it at wide open throttle, it chewed up and spit out everything I pointed it at. I love using a good tool. It's a similar feeling as when I replaced the Poulan chainsaw with the Stihl, or the Sears lathe with the Powermatic.
    When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro. - Hunter S. Thompson
    When the weird get going, they start their own forum. - Vaughn McMillan

    workingwoods.com

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Mooreland, Indiana
    Posts
    171
    I've got a new spinny tool too. Oh, but not to cut grass and weeds.
    Randy,

    Maker of Fine Lathe Tools & Accessories.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Mountain Home, Arkansas
    Posts
    11,833
    I'm a Stihl fan.
    I have a 30 year old heavy-duty Stihl trimmer I used at the farm to cut everything from grass to small trees. With the right blade, it will go through a 4" tree in seconds. I don't use it much these days but glad I have it for those occasional needs. And, it still starts and runs reliably.
    When we moved into this house seven years ago I, mistakenly, bought cheap and got a Weed Eater brand from Wal-Mart. Two seasons light use on grass and it quit permanently. I went to the local hardware store that sells Stihl and bought a model they recommended. Plus, I got a string holder they recommended. Both are reliable and work without fuss. The string spool is easy to load and advances when I need it to.
    "Folks is funny critters."

    Think for yourselves and let others enjoy the privilege to do so, too. ~Voltaire

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    Tellico Plains, Tennessee
    Posts
    4,352
    Vaughn,
    I haven't had a chance to run it yet, but my son brought me a new spinny toy last fall when he dropped off his Toro riding lawn tractor for me...I was having trouble with my Ryobi string trimmer, couldn't get it to run for beans...so he brought me one that doesn't use a gas/oil mixture... the oil goes into a separate oil reserve and you only put straight gas in the gas tank... Since I have a severe case of CRS this morning, I'm thinking it's also a Toro... I do know it's red. I've since decided that the most likely problem with the Ryobi is I screwed up the gas mixture... I used the same gas in it that I use in my chainsaw and they are different mixtures.... I only have about a 1/3 acre that I have to keep weed trimmed... there are too many rocks and stumps on the wooded part of my lot for a lawn mower and I have a steep section on the hill behind the house that I can't ride the tractor over... it runs at about a 30 deg angle and if I fall off the hill, I'll land on the back porch.
    Chuck
    Tellico Plains, TN
    https://www.etsy.com/shop/TellicoTurnings
    My parents taught me to respect my elders, but it's getting harder and harder to find any.
    If you go looking for trouble, it will usually find you.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    GTA Ontario Canada
    Posts
    12,258
    I got sons that do that job At least they good for something.

    Way to go Vaughn i like your buying logic and support of the local guy. Its time for the tide to change towards your way of thinking.

    Dont envy you cutting all that grass. Just curious about one thing, how do the hills around you look now since the fire and the rain. Does the bush/scrub there bounce back as quick as your grass.
    cheers

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    ABQ NM
    Posts
    30,017
    Rob, the hills are showing green, but it'll be a few years before things really rebound.

    Last October:

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    Last Week:

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    Quote Originally Posted by Randy Privett View Post
    I've got a new spinny tool too. Oh, but not to cut grass and weeds.
    Is it something for your rotary bowl blank drying machine?
    When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro. - Hunter S. Thompson
    When the weird get going, they start their own forum. - Vaughn McMillan

    workingwoods.com

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    GTA Ontario Canada
    Posts
    12,258
    Thanks Vaughn for the pics, quiet amazing how it bounces back.
    cheers

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    ABQ NM
    Posts
    30,017
    Rob, the green plants in the recent pic are primarily grasses and weeds that will be brown by June. The various brush species that were there before will take a few years to get re-established. It's still nice seeing things green up, even knowing everything will be brown soon.
    When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro. - Hunter S. Thompson
    When the weird get going, they start their own forum. - Vaughn McMillan

    workingwoods.com

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