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Thread: string trimmer/weed whacker woes

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
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    Escondido, CA
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    5,172

    string trimmer/weed whacker woes

    Just smoked the trimmer. Shaft got so hot, the head assembly melted. It was a John Deere branded Homelite model.

    Made in 1999 - no replacement parts.

    Reviews indicate the newer Homelites no longer John Deere and most reviewer used the initials POS associated with the new ones.

    Home Depot choices offer Echo, Black and Decker, and Ryobi. There is also a Sears in town. Other resort is on-line or a 200 mile round trip to Phoenix.

    So---new trimmer. Would like to stay under $100. Gas or electric - don't care. Less than a half acre here. Has to be done maybe twice a year.

    Also the lighter in weight the better. Bad back, you know.

    And the collective trust suggests....???

  2. #2
    you can buy weed eaters with wheels, but am not sure of the price

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
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    Mountain Home, Arkansas
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    11,833
    There was a similar thread on this a while back. I'll repeat what I said then.
    When we bought our current house I bought a new Weed Eater brand trimmer. It lasted two seasons and quit. When I tried to get repairs no one would work on it. Fiddling around myself I found a little label that said this was a 50 hour unit. In other words designed to die after 50 hours use.
    I decided to spend the dollars and get a real trimmer and bought a new Stihl. It is running beautifully after five seasons use.
    I also have a 35 year old heavy duty Stihl I used considerably on the farm to cut heavy weeds and small trees. With the right blade, it will go through a 4" tree in seconds. It also runs beautifully.
    My advice? Don't screw around with big box store El Junkos. It just isn't worth the aggravation and, in long run, extra cost.
    "Folks is funny critters."

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

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
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    Delton, Michigan
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    another happy stihl customer, they do have smaller models carol..or you could just pay your neighbor to do it and not have the hassel anymore..
    If in Doubt, Build it Stout!
    One hand washes the other!
    Don't put off today till tomorrow!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
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    Quote Originally Posted by Frank Fusco View Post
    ...My advice? Don't screw around with big box store El Junkos. It just isn't worth the aggravation and, in long run, extra cost.
    Ditto this. I went through two big box string trimmers before I bought an Echo from my local chainsaw shop. (I'm a big Stihl fan, but the Echo machine was a bit lighter weight and had a longer warranty.) It's a notch below their full-blown pro models, but big steps ahead of the ones sold at the borgs. With my other trimmers, I used to spend as long monkeying around getting the machine to work as I did actually trimming weeds. With the Echo, I fuel it, start it, and cut. No drama involved.

    Like chainsaws, the string trimmer companies have different model lines for the big box stores than they do for the pro shops. In many cases, replacement parts and service the big box machines are not readily available, making them disposable tools. Had I bought the Echo to begin with, I'd have saved some money over the long run. And a lot of frustration.
    When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro. - Hunter S. Thompson
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  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Whittier, CA, USA
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    512
    I was about to bite the bullet on a Stihl gas line trimmer when I came across the Stihl electric line trimmer.

    Stihl FSE60

    For incidental use and not having to deal with gas it works well. A lot better then the borg electrics.
    Dan Gonzales
    Whittier, CA, USA
    Dona nobis pacem

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    Tellico Plains, Tennessee
    Posts
    4,352
    I have a Ryobi from Lowe's that's going on about 10 years... still runs strong. I was having a little trouble starting it, until I figured out that I was using the gas mixture for my chain saw which is different from what the Ryobi takes... changed gas and it runs great again.... but while I was having trouble, my son brought me a Troy-bilt that doesn't use an oil/gas mixture... it runs on straight gas, and has an oil tank to lubricate...it's a little slower to start, but runs strong as well.
    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.

  8. #8
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    RETIRED(!) in Austintown, Ohio
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    Quote Originally Posted by Frank Fusco View Post
    ...I decided to spend the dollars and get a real trimmer and bought a new Stihl. It is running beautifully after five seasons use.
    I also have a 35 year old heavy duty Stihl I used considerably on the farm to cut heavy weeds and small trees. With the right blade, it will go through a 4" tree in seconds. It also runs beautifully.
    My advice? Don't screw around with big box store El Junkos. It just isn't worth the aggravation and, in long run, extra cost.
    Much as I hate to agree with Ole Frank, He's right on with the advice.

    My six year old Stihl has never even burped, and it still starts on the third pull (a Stihl idiosyncracy). My Stihl chainsaw, although not used a lot, is the same. It's never quit on me.

    My cheapo Homelite leafe blower failed halfway through the second season. The Stihl that replaced it (The biggest backpack blower they make) puts out more wind at idle than the homelite did at full throttle, and has been rock-solid reliable.

    Bite the bullet; spend the bucks; get a Stihl. It'll likely be the last one you'll need.

    BTW, a lot of the commercial guys here use Echo, too, but not the comsumer (read Home Depot) models. The better Echos are also pricey.
    Jim D.
    Adapt, Improvise, Overcome!

  9. #9
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    Nov 2006
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    Between Aledo and Fort Worth, TX
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    This is over the price range for you Carol, but I wanted a 4 cycle to get away from the oil mix and resultant smoke. I wanted the Stihl, right up until my wife said it better start the first or second pull every time, or you get to do the weed eating. I hate weed eating. So one day in Lowe's, I see the Troy Built, knowing it won't last forever, that has an outboard electric start. It was a free instant rebate on that weekend. Brought Glenna back to look at it to make sure it wasn't too heavy. It's borderline on weight, but I rigged up the shoulder strap from the old McCulloch and she said it works fine. It is a breeze to start!
    It does sound like an electric would fit your needs best. (We have a acre with lots of brush outside the fence down to the creek. Wouldn't even try it with an electric.) Just remember to factor in a decent electrical cord if you don't already have 1 or 3 that will work! Jim.
    Coolmeadow Setters...
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    At a minimum, I'm Pentatoxic...but most likely, I'm a Pentaholic. There seems to be no known cure. Pentatonix, winners of The Sing Off, season 3


  10. #10
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    Mar 2007
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    Larry, you remember my neighbor. She's 85.

    Dan, I liked your suggestion the best, but that model is proving hard to find and one site said it was discontinued, but the Stihl home site didn't mention that. Interestingly, other web stores said the manufacturer only allowed in store pick-up.

    Vaughn, got a model number?

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