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Joined: Mar 2015
Posts: 248
Widget Offline OP
Apprentice level 3
Hi all,

So in the past, all my (cheap-brand) trimmer I pick up end up failing and can never get running again. I've had a Stihl that stopped working (have a thread somewhere here), a gardenline (which worked well when it worked) and lastly a almost-new Ferrix (Aldi brand) that worked good (heavy thing though) then no longer wanted to start after a half-dozen uses. Stripping/cleaning carb didn't help, after many start attempts the pull cord starter started to break smirk. It could just be my lack of knowledge and experience as to why I can't fix, or perhaps I just have bad luck, and I get duds, lol.

What brands should I look at and what brands should I avoid. I'd like a brand/model that's known to have a good history so I can have a trimmer that might last.

Membership information
Joined: Jan 2016
Posts: 7,430
Likes: 136
SENIOR TECHNICIAN
Hi Widget,
Plenty of good trimmers out there but good ones are expensive and that is why the market is flooded with the cheap Chinese rubbish

Joined: Feb 2006
Posts: 4,670
Likes: 163
SENIOR TECHNICIAN
My Mitsubishi TU-26 powered Kaaz trimmer I paid almost $500 for in 2005 still going strong.
Like a hand held executive car! Smooth, powerful and with a nice exhaust crack!

I think any of the Japanese brands are good but Husky and Stihl are better for parts availability and they're good also of course.

In conclusion, get a brand!!


Ahh, if only victa had kept producing the thumblatch catcher series, they would be in better shape today!
Joined: Jul 2018
Posts: 2,082
Likes: 80
SENIOR TECHNICIAN
Same advice, except don't get a stihl with a number under FS55 (inclusive). They are utter crap in my opinion.

If I were to buy a new trimmer today, I would look at echo or Husqvarna. Bear in mind echo is distributed by briggs, their parts prices are sometimes $$$.

The one I would go for is a 322l Husqvarna, recently discontinued, you will get one for around $550 on run out. The new one is a 522l, exactly the same thing but a different number, will run you $650.

Amazingly light and plenty of power (though only a 22cc motor it really packs a punch). One of the lightest trimmers I have ever used, on par with my old kawasaki.

If I was feeling particularly excessive, I would buy a 525LST for around $850. Bigger motor, 300grams heavier and more powerful. Will last forever in home owner applications. I have seen them beat to hell by contractors and they keep going (aside coils being a bit weak).

Joined: Jul 2017
Posts: 151
Likes: 4
Apprentice level 2
Go with Ryobi Lawn Hornet built 1980. This machine was built to last. Maybe the reason why old Ryobi Japan lost the business and sold to Homelite because they built a units that will last for decades. I still have this units working. Obviously there's is no petrol Trimmer that will last without rebuilding the carby and replacing diaphragm and gasket. But mechanically I recommend the vintage Ryobi.

Cheers,
CM

Joined: Apr 2014
Posts: 219
Likes: 10
Apprentice level 3
I can’t say I have anything approaching a representative sample, however, I’ve been very happy with the more industrial end of the Stihl line that I’ve used over the last 35 years.

I’ve worn one completely out with many years of hard use, had the replacement stolen and am now on my third. It’s five years old and has done a lot of hard work but runs just as well as the day I bought it.

I’ve used others but they weren’t as durable.

Joined: Sep 2015
Posts: 2,001
Likes: 137
SENIOR TECHNICIAN & HISTORIAN
I've thrown out hundreds of line trimmers and a lot just needed a carby clean and fuel hoses , about 3 years ago
a mower shop would charge $120. to service a line trimmer and even though I like the old Ryobi line trimmers and
the Stihl FS36 which has a Ryobi engine.

I must have given away at least a hundred working line trimmers by now.

When I advertised $5. snippers that needed a carby clean there wasn't much interest.

I also know of a few mower shops that just throw old line trimmers into scrap metal.

It just doesn't make sense to fix line trimmers these days unless it's for yourself .

These days you can buy a new Honda GX35 35cc 4 Stroke Engine with the same power as the 322l Husqvarna
for less than $150. with free postage Then buy a second hand trimmer from a tip shop for $5. to use the Honda motor on.

The Honda will always start cold in 2 goes of the starter cord and one after it's been run.

Old trimmer carbies don't always clean up internally at home unless you have a ultrasonic cleaner so
most times it's easier to buy a new cheap carby on eBay.


I have a few newish 52 cc 2 stroke line trimmers , one was thrown out in the new box with the chain saw attachment
looked like it had been used once ,they seem good enough and last ages.

It sort of depends on what you plan to use the snipper for as when I use one close to the house I just grab my
electric corded Ryobi and that starts every time first go and can trim hedges with the different attachment without
the exhaust blowing in your face.

Cheers
Max.

Attached Images
52 cc 2 stroke.png (147.86 KB, 111 downloads)
Joined: Jan 2016
Posts: 7,430
Likes: 136
SENIOR TECHNICIAN
I have people always asking if I have any to sell but I always say they are not worth my time and effort to bother with them. I always give them a quick go when I get them to see if they will fire up. I get the odd one now and then that I can get going without too much work but I usually won't spend more than 10 mins trying and if no success in the scrap bin

Joined: Mar 2015
Posts: 248
Widget Offline OP
Apprentice level 3
Thanks for all the feedback smile



Originally Posted by Mowerfreak
I think any of the Japanese brands are good but Husky and Stihl are better for parts availability and they're good also of course.

Thanks Mowerfreak. The Stihl I had before was the STIHL KM56RC. Any series Husky and Stihl you would avoid? Japanese brands seem to get a good rep when it comes to engines, though are there any particular model that have come with a negative rep ?


Originally Posted by Tyler
Same advice, except don't get a stihl with a number under FS55 (inclusive). They are utter crap in my opinion.

If I were to buy a new trimmer today, I would look at echo or Husqvarna. Bear in mind echo is distributed by briggs, their parts prices are sometimes $$$.

Amazingly light and plenty of power (though only a 22cc motor it really packs a punch). One of the lightest trimmers I have ever used, on par with my old kawasaki.

Thanks Tyler. What makes <FS55 crap ? I'll keep an eye out for Echo and Husq, though wondering, what would be the minimum CC motor youd suggest for a trimmer ?


Originally Posted by thecarbymaster
Go with Ryobi Lawn Hornet built 1980. This machine was built to last.

Cheers,
CM

What model/series are those?

Originally Posted by maxwestern
It just doesn't make sense to fix line trimmers these days unless it's for yourself .

These days you can buy a new Honda GX35 35cc 4 Stroke Engine with the same power as the 322l Husqvarna
for less than $150. with free postage Then buy a second hand trimmer from a tip shop for $5. to use the Honda motor on.

Old trimmer carbies don't always clean up internally at home unless you have a ultrasonic cleaner so
most times it's easier to buy a new cheap carby on eBay.

I have a few newish 52 cc 2 stroke line trimmers , one was thrown out in the new box with the chain saw attachment
looked like it had been used once ,they seem good enough and last ages.

Cheers
Max.

Thanks for the feedback Max smile.

Oddly, searching you image on ebay nothing comes up for me smirk.

In the past I've picked a few trimmers (usually just the engine section), old Ryobis etc.. end up getting them work work (sort of) but the effort to get there, I ended up just getting rid of them. Any trimmer I find these days it would be for personal use, though the ones I generally find are cheap-brand types that end up failing more often than being useful.

The Honda engine seems like a good ida. I'm assuming (most) shafts would be straight swap? I put a straight shaft from a Husky onto a bent-shaft Talon in the past. Seemed to work.

I have one of those Jewlers ultrasonic cleaners. Pretty small but seems to work with trimmer carbs. Thought about getting a larger one but don't have the money and I don't tinker with engines much anymore.

The last trimmer I had was the Ferrix brand. Barely used it, now it just doesn't want to start so I gave up on it. Heavy thing, I think it too was 52cc, though for home use in urban area, thinking 52cc is overkill ?

Regarding Tip-shops, I see you're in Sydney. Might I ask where the nearest tip-shop is? I've Googled but can't find any, unless I'm searching the wrong keywords. Nearest I've found is way down south near Wollongong.


Thanks again guys smile

Joined: Apr 2014
Posts: 219
Likes: 10
Apprentice level 3
Yes, I guess my usage is a little more on the industrial side of things. I usually run through two or three tanks of fuel per session. Using a battery or corded machine isn’t yet an option.

Joined: Jul 2018
Posts: 2,082
Likes: 80
SENIOR TECHNICIAN
Widget, the number of problems I see with FS38, fs45 and FS55 trimmers is incredible. Its stihls bargain basement motor and I don't feel they are made or engineered well.

They have an accelerator pump thing in the carby for better response and this little plunger has a tiny little o-ring. Since the ruixing chinese carbies they use aren't that great with finishing, this o ring is often draged up and down through a rough bored hole. Pretty soon its sucking air - a symptom is a primer that won't fill up.

Can't buy the o ring on its own and usually can't get it in a kit - new carby time.

Another known problem with them is that if they backfire they can often bend or snap the connecting rod - just think about that; a backfire snapping a connecting rod. Have personally seen it myself 2 times (bending) and heard about it another few clean breaks. Apparently stihl are happy enough to fix it under warranty, but tell you to get stuffed otherwise.

Then FS38 or 45 you are stuck with the sthil crap feed heads - they aren't terrible but you can't fit many after market heads easily. FS55 you can, but the gearbox is sealed so you can't add grease to bevel gears

All this doesn't add up to a long term reliable trimmer.


With regards to cc, it all depends on use. I could comfortably live with 14cc (ancient stihls had these), but for most people I recommend 25cc+. The 322l only has 22cc but really punches above its weight. Look up husqvarna X Torq, its a clean air purge system which they use now. Runs cleaner and has more power.

The main thing I like about the 322 is the weight - really light.

Joined: Sep 2015
Posts: 2,001
Likes: 137
SENIOR TECHNICIAN & HISTORIAN
As a dirt cheap trimmer the Ryobi was pretty good ,I have given so many away even about 20 to 30 electric RYOBI Trimmers.

If you get second hand Line trimmers you just want one that is still decent mechanically (good compression)

I still have quite a few left over ,when people come over and say to me can you fix my line trimmer I usually say no but you can
have this better working one for free.

The 30 cc Ryobi 2 stroke has a power output of . 7 KW and the Electric Ryobi I use is . 8 KW.

The Honda GX35 looks like it will bolt up to a 52 cc Trimmer shaft. I don't have a Honda GX35 here at the moment to check.

I haven't checked the tip shops for years as I still have lots of mowers and trimmers to dispose of.

Yes Widget ,sounds like you have Googled the wrong Key words.

https://www.ebay.com.au/itm/151379685278

https://www.ebay.com.au/itm/393427926043

https://richmondvalley.nsw.gov.au/s...ery-waste-facility-and-transfer-station/

https://kimbriki.com.au/

https://reversegarbage.org.au/

https://bower.org.au/about/contact/

Cheers
Max.

Attached Images
Ryobi Snipper.jpg (143.62 KB, 62 downloads)
Ryobi elect .8 KW.jpg (166.88 KB, 62 downloads)
GX35-Clutch.png (44.87 KB, 62 downloads)
Joined: Jan 2016
Posts: 7,430
Likes: 136
SENIOR TECHNICIAN
I have probably half a dozen here I spend about half an hour messing with them and if no go they go to the scrap, just not worth wasting time on them. I have a lot of stuff going to the scrap shortly

Joined: Jul 2018
Posts: 2,082
Likes: 80
SENIOR TECHNICIAN
Max, I can confirm a gx35 will fit the 52cc cheapo type shafts. Same clutch drum and all

Joined: Sep 2015
Posts: 2,001
Likes: 137
SENIOR TECHNICIAN & HISTORIAN
Ok thanks Tyler for confirming the Honda and 52cc is the same to bolt up, thinking about it now I remember seeing
a GX35 on a motorized scooter that originally had a 52cc 2 stroke motor ,the electric starter from the 2 stroke swaps
onto the Honda also.

I've got to get a few loads ready for the scrap also Norm , just remember Scrap is just Crap with a S.


Cheers
Max.

Attached Images
52cc.jpg (143.33 KB, 50 downloads)
Scrap Crap.jpg (93.49 KB, 47 downloads)
Joined: Jan 2016
Posts: 7,430
Likes: 136
SENIOR TECHNICIAN
Hi Max, it is the hours you spend stripping all the alloy bases down that I struggle a bit with

Joined: Sep 2015
Posts: 2,001
Likes: 137
SENIOR TECHNICIAN & HISTORIAN
Hi Norm,
Yep even the time to pressure wash 30 to 50 bases is time consuming.

I keep forgetting to tell you Norm ,with the Line Trimmers with alloy shafts, if you cut the alloy shaft off, the alloy
is classified as extruded aluminium so if you sell that separately to cast alloy you will get $2, a Kg ,same price as a
mag wheel.

Cheers
Max.

Joined: Feb 2006
Posts: 4,670
Likes: 163
SENIOR TECHNICIAN
Sad thing is I stripped a pretty clean VC160 base and put it on a neighbours pile at night and it was gone the next morning. I basically helped out a scrap metal collector for nothing.


Ahh, if only victa had kept producing the thumblatch catcher series, they would be in better shape today!
Joined: Apr 2023
Posts: 8
Novice
Are the echo line trimmers at bunnings Made in Japan?

Joined: Jan 2015
Posts: 1,233
Likes: 32
Junior Technician
my best and most reliable whipper snippers are...

Pope 33cc old but very reliable and powerfull , even for cutter blade.
Gardenline, 25 cc old faithfull, i thrashed this little one.... gave it away
Tanaka Japanese 25cc reliable powerfull light...
Makita 25cc 4 stroke.... reliable and powerfull.
Makita 25cc 2 stroke reliable , still using it....

But with all of them, i think the high revs and vibration makes things loosen and go out of tune .
I've got 5 to be looked at......... in the waiting room, and many went to scrap metal.........

cheers
speedy


........................Keep your blades sharp......................
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