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Looking for a string trimmer (Kombi?)

Genius.
G

Genius.

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My trimmer died on me this weekend so I am in the market for a new one. I would prefer a Stihl.

I will mainly use it for trimming, but if need be are you able to put Brushcutter blades on a string trimmer? I looked at the brushcutters but that's way more money than I am wanting to spend. I know I want a straight shaft, and would like to stay with the professional series line.

I see Stihl's lineup has bike handle versions along with D handle versions which are a few bucks less. Is it worth the extra for the bike handle models?

What is a good size engine? I don't want to get in thick stuff and have it bog down, more do I want to pay for a model were I will never use it to its potential.

Then I get looking at the Kombi system. I see all sorts of attatchments that look very enticing. Trimmer, brush cutter, pole saw, tiller ect. How does this system work? Does it fulfil each task well, or is it one of these tools that is a Jack if all trades, Master of none?

I know the Kombi system is a little more $$ by the time you buy the power head and string trimer attatchment, but if it could be a brush cutter and pole saw too then the price isn'tso bad.

Or is there better values and trimmers than Stihl? I prefer Stihl because of our dealer. I love my Husky saw but my dealer rubbed me the wrong way and will not support that a-hole, and the next dealer is quite the drive. Should I look at other companies stuff?
 
greendohn

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I've gotten a lot of good service from Echo. Been using them since the early-mid 90's. Got 8 years or more from my 1st one. It was used when I got it.
Never looked into brush cuttin'. I've always used a smaller model.
Lately, I have noticed they are advertising on T.V.,, I hope they haven't cheapened 'em up.
 
bigredd

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I have a Stihl FS90 (bike handle) and it has plenty of power. The 3-pronged brush blade is excellent for clearing thick brush and small saplings. No need for anything bigger, unless you plan on using it for 1+ inch sapiings.

That being said, if I were in the market for a new brush cutter, I would also look at the Shindaiwa pro-line trimmers. They are 2 cycle engines and known for quality and durability. Many of the commercial landscape companies around here use Shindaiwa trimmers.
 
Genius.
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Genius.

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I've gotten a lot of good service from Echo. Been using them since the early-mid 90's. Got 8 years or more from my 1st one. It was used when I got it.
Never looked into brush cuttin'. I've always used a smaller model.
Lately, I have noticed they are advertising on T.V.,, I hope they haven't cheapened 'em up.
That's why I shy away from Echo, I see them at Lowes and Home Depot, I'm sure their commercial stuff is better, but that's a big red flag to me.
 
bowtechmadman

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I have a Stihl FS45 (i think it's a 45), had it since 96 and still works well. It was their entry level straight shaft that you could use a brush cutter blade. It isn't much for brush cutting but does fine for sapplings under 1/2" mainly used on briars and does well with this. The D-handle works okay for what I'm doing, sapplings, and briars mostly. Only thing I dislike is the string head where you have to rewind the string on.
I really like my little echo bent shaft where all I have to do is slide in a couple pieces of string when it needs it. The light little echo handles all the house duties for grass.
 
gink595

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I bought a FS250 with the bike handles, I love weed eating with that thing, before that I had a cheapy Stihl that I owned for one season and I'd have rather punched myself in the old sack than to have to used that thing. I hated it. I found that 250 for sale out of the local Stihl dealer rental department and bought it for 190.00. I would never use another one again. Dinger has the same one at his place, in fact he showed me the brush cutter he uses with chainsaw cutter on it, I went home and ordered one. It will knock down small tree's nicely.
 
Genius.
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Genius.

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I bought a FS250 with the bike handles, I love weed eating with that thing, before that I had a cheapy Stihl that I owned for one season and I'd have rather punched myself in the old sack than to have to used that thing. I hated it. I found that 250 for sale out of the local Stihl dealer rental department and bought it for 190.00. I would never use another one again. Dinger has the same one at his place, in fact he showed me the brush cutter he uses with chainsaw cutter on it, I went home and ordered one. It will knock down small tree's nicely.
That thing is impressive isn't it:hmm3grin2orange:

Although that is a little more $$$ than I'm looking to spend (for new)

I will look for used, but those things don't come up for sale often.
 
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gink595

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That thing is impressive isn't it:hmm3grin2orange:

Although that is a little more $$$ than I'm looking to spend (for new)

I will look for used, but those things don't come up for sale often.
Yeah brand new I think they are 550.00. I asked when I bought the rental how much a piston and cylinder was just in case it was close to the end :) The mechanic out there told me it hadn't really been rented much and should be in good shape, it was. I don't know, I think since having this one I would pay the 550.00 if I ever had to replace it. I think Shinidawa makes some real good trimmers too, a guy was telling me I'd throw stones at the 250 if I ran one of the comparable shinnies, he said he had owned both at one point and the shinidawa was hands down a nicer trimmer?

Here is one on ebay...not a bike handle version.
http://www.ebay.com/itm/Stihl-FS250...ultDomain_0&hash=item3a73d48c5b#ht_500wt_1202
 
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thomas72

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I would be nice if Stihl had a km70. That would be a great unit. In my opinion Stihl has the best split shaft unit on the market. Do you self a favor and get one of the commercial models. Talk up a deal to the dealer and see if you can get the attachments at cost if you buy the unit with them.
 
boutselis

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The 250 is a bad mamma. Any of the sihls will work for brush cutting. even the 55 which is a 27cc machine but that one won't hold up as long. But time is relative as to how much you will use it each year as a brush cutter.

But if you have enough money then i would go with the fs 130. I think its the best combo of price and power for those who don't want to pony up the $579 for the fs 250


One other suggestion I have for you is a long shot but if you come across a good running echo 360, one of the grey ones, that is an excellent machine. a little heavy but its full 2 stroke motor put out plenty of torque and lots of rpm. it would make an excellent brush cutter and even in good condition you could probably get one for $150 or less.

I don't like any of the new echos.
 
sunfish

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I've had a FS110 for about 5 years now, with string head and chainsaw teeth blade. Fantastic machine, with plenty of power! Use it around the house and in the woods. Would buy another, if needed.
 
Genius.
G

Genius.

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I've had a FS110 for about 5 years now, with string head and chainsaw teeth blade. Fantastic machine, with plenty of power! Use it around the house and in the woods. Would buy another, if needed.
It's looking like the FS90 or Fs110 is more in my price range.

Looks like I'll take a trip to the dealer this week.
 
ndlawrence

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I do lawn care every day all day, we use fs90's, fs100 & fs110's. The fs90 is the worst power to weight ratio and always gets left in the rack. The fs100 has the best power to weight ratio and Is the lightest out of the 3. The 110 is the heaviest but has the most power and has the option to use attachments if wanted. All that being said I end up carrying the 110 9 times out of 10 because it's heavier, has more power and is easier to edge with.
 
blsnelling

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My KM110 is heavier than I would want for a trimmer. I would look seriously look at Redmax. No clamshell in their good trimmers. If buying a Stihl, it would be FS-70. It's has a 27.2cc engine and is not a 4-Mix, which I won't buy another of.
 
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Fred482

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I just bought a used (near new) FS 250 on C/L. I love it! It's a rival to my old JD 85G, except it doesn't weigh in at 27 lbs!! It's just over half of that, my 66 yr old back wouldn't handle the 85G for more than an hour or two without paying for it the next day. The FS 250 does the same work with half the strain, well worth the money.

The two line head is much lighter and more convenient than the old four string head on the JD. It was good, but the constant fiddling with the four spools was a pain to service in the field. The Stihl head is easy to fix on the move, easy to replace line, easy to advance line (tap the head), everything about it is easier. The 40cc engine is smaller & lighter than the JD/Tecumseh, but just as powerful when used within design limits. The old JD didn't have a guard, so you could run the lines as long as you chose, but power dropped off if you had them out too far, the Stihl has a line cutter in the guard, if I use it, the trimmer powers through long grass and small brush with ease. The bicycle bars help with guiding/steering, both my trimmers have those.

I do have brush cutter blades, haven't tried them yet. I had a circular saw blade for the old Deere, it worked quite well, but the engine governor did pulse a bit with the saw blade, it wouldn't load the engine properly without the additional weight of the four string head.

All said, I love the FS 250 ...:msp_w00t:
 
7sleeper

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I have a KM 85(1.2hp) with string-, blade, chainsaw, hedge trimmer and extra shaft. I found the unit on sale at a store. It has proven to be great sofar. I use the chainsaw with one extra shaft alot. Just had it serviced because the cap of the spark plug ripped. Sure gave me a shock when trying to start it! :D My dealer said I could be happy that I still got a traditional 2 stroke and not the 4 mix. He said they are not as good anymore. The blade is for light duty and I use it mainly for around the property.
I also have a FS120(1.9hp) which I use a lot for the forest with a small blade or sometimes with the string. It just atomizes anything with the string. I keep it at my country house.
Further I have a honda (real!) 4 stroke (25cc model) that is at my parents in laws place. I bought it for them and it is just a fantastic machine. Everytime I start it I just have to chuckle, it is so easy, just a relaxed pull. Powerwise it is similar to the KM85.
Both the FS120 and the Honda have a bicycle handle while the KM85 has the D type. For around the property the D type is definately the choice! That is the only drawback on the honda that I have some small but steep slopes to mow that are just so much easier with a D type and always really awkward with the bicycle. I use a full harness also for the D type (not the sling) so even larger areas are very relaxing to mow.

Good luck,

7

edit: I prefer the straight shaft mowers!

edit 2: I would have no problems with echo, tanaka/hitachi, shindaiwa, etc. but they are simply non existent around here. Husqvarna is available but price wise the same as Stihl and I like the attachments more on Stihl.
 
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morgaj1

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Here is my take on the trimmers. I went through the same decision about a year or so ago. I am not brand loyal, so I looked at all of them. Locally, we have Stihl, Husqvarna, Echo and Kawasaki available. I looked at the Stihl first. I was not impressed by the power/weight ratios of the 4-mix units. I have to weedeat for hours at a time and a couple of extra pounds makes a big difference. The only one that had a decent power/weight ratio was the FS 100RX. However, it is not blade capable, so it was out. I wasn't terribly impressed with the Echo or Kawasaki units either. I ended up with a Husqvarna 326 and couldn't be happier. It is very light, powerful and blade capable. It has a double piston ring setup and is known for its reliability. It always starts on the 2nd pull and is ready to go immediately. If you are open to other brands, check out the Husqvarna. Also, Shindaiwa makes a great trimmer, we just don't have a local dealer.
 
homelitejim

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I picked up 2 Riobi CS26 brand new power heads at the scrap yard for $1, only thing wrong was the filter cover was broken, these have never seen fuel. Went to Home Depot and picked up a Extendit straight shaft line trimmer for $65 with tax, then found a Homelite version in the dumpster that had the filter cover and for $66 I have a brand new trimmer. The pole saw attachment was $99 and I didn't see a brush cutter. I have used it a few time and it works just fine with plenty of power to tackle heavy wet grass and one heavy duty tarp.
 
jsmith40004

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Kombi

I just bought a 130 Kombi unit with all the attachments. It's a little overkill on string head but pulls the pole saw attachment and cultivator attachment with authority. It's a little lighter than the 301 Echo it replaced and the 4-mix has a lot more power. If you get a kombi make sure to get the articulating hedge trimmer attachment. It's a lot easier to clear with than a blade or poly head especially in briars.

James
 
Stihl-Pioneer

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If you are only going to string trim then I would go FS 70 otherwise if a blade may be used I would go with the FS 110 I have the 110 and love it.
 
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