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weed whacker recommendations?

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  • weed whacker recommendations?

    I need a weed whacker for my fence lines in my pastures. About 3000ft of fencing. Main goal is to just keep weeds down and off hot-wire, and make it look reasonably nice (so around fence posts and such). Will also use around the barn & house.

    Any recommendations? The list of options at Lowes/Home Depot is quite daunting.

  • #2
    I don't like buying stuff like this at Lowe's. Just think you get "homeowner" quality when you need farm quality. I bought a Stihl and use it around the farm. It is light enough for me to use and start. I don't know the model but it is more for farms. Probably around $275 new.


    • #3
      Stihl FS110
      Nudging "Almost Heaven" a little closer still...


      • #4
        When I was looking at them, I was told the straight shaft is a stronger machine. Husband ended up buying me a John Deere Landscaper's machine. Capable of running for HOURS and not overheating, needing constant attention after a little bit of use. It holds the largest size "string" which I think is .95. You can use other strings that are smaller too. But in my experience, using the largest diameter string works the best. Came with a body harness to support it, those shoulder only straps are hard on your shoulder.

        It starts EASILY, usually 1-2 pulls after priming. This is EACH and EVERY time starting, cold or warmed up. Jerking the string MANY times makes me crazy!! Still starts that easy, machine is about 8yrs old now. Reloading the string is easy, though I did order some extra string holders, so I can just change them if I run out. You want the feeder holes for string to have metal edging, so they don't wear out fast.

        Son tells me the motor is a Briggs and Stratton, good brand motor. I am saying this because the local JD folks tell me they don't make a JD weed wacker anymore. But looking at Professional Grade models by different makers, you should be able to find them with a Briggs and Stratton motor, straight shaft, easy start. A good place to start looking, is the local Lawnmower, Snow machine, Repair Shop. Ask THEM what brands need fixing most often, what kinds seldom need attention.

        The other point, is I wouldn't buy at the Home Depot, box type stores. The equipment they sell may be the SAME BRAND NAME, but is not the better quality of those machines sold at my JD dealer or Industrial Supply locations. Brand Name folks sell a whole different quality line of machine equipment for the box stores. My brother has gone thru 3 weed wackers from box stores since I got my machine, while I still have my WORKING weed wacker. and my machine has done MILES more work than any of his have. He does treat his stuff pretty good, they just are not that good of quality, don't hold up, not worth repairing.

        I have replaced the gas lines (easy fix, just pop on little piece of tubing from repair shop), a couple spark plugs, cleaned the filters a number of times. And I am NOT mechanical! Son greased the shaft for me several times, he is mechanical. Just regular maintenance stuff that the manual advises you to do.

        I do a LOT of fence weed wacking each year, along with keeping my drainage ditches cleaned so the water LEAVES after hard rains. If my fences are not clean, they are not hot to keep horses out of trouble, so weed control is required here. It gets run for hours at a time, with me planning to quit after two tanks of fuel. Darned thing runs a LONG time on a tank of fuel!!

        The Professional Level machine has done an excellent job for me, so if it needed replacing, that is where I would start shopping.


        • #5
          The new Love of my life is my husqvarna trimmer with interchangable attachments. I LOVE the pole saw and the brush cutter attachments. I feel "safe" using the pole saw and have even used it to cut down rail lengths. I think my new obsession was over 300.00 but worth every penny.


          • #6
            Stihl FS110. We've been running one for 6 years. We also have an FS85 that is almost as good, and 3 or 4 years older. Run the synthetic Stihl oil, and ethanol free gas if you can find it, and they will last and last.

            The bike handles are much easier on your back than the loop handles. Stihl loop handle machines have an R on the end. FS110 is the bike handle version, FS110R is the loop handle version.

            Once you get it, take all the time you need to get it adjusted to you JUST right, and balanced perfectly.


            • #7
              I have a toro trimmer, will have to check the model. It starts after 3 or 4 pulls. Only trouble I have is that when I'm using it, I usually rest my arm on the housing around the motor and it gets pretty hot. I take a shop rag and duct tape it onto the housing to keep my arm from touching it. Looks ugly, works great.

              I just finished weed-eating over a mile of fenceposts and such yesterday. I think 4 tanks of gas and two re-spools with trimmer line. I got the machine used from a friend at work who said it didn't work and he was tired of it --- gas line came disconnected inside tank. He used it for a year or so, and now I'm on my 3rd summer with it. It's by far the best weed-eater I've ever used. I currently own 3, but the other two don't even get a look from me....

              I use .85 line and it seems to cut the grass/weeds well without damaging my PVC fence posts.


              • #8
                Originally posted by casper324 View Post
                The new Love of my life is my husqvarna trimmer with interchangable attachments. I LOVE the pole saw and the brush cutter attachments. I feel "safe" using the pole saw and have even used it to cut down rail lengths. I think my new obsession was over 300.00 but worth every penny.
                I love my Husqvarna too and have been drooling over the pole saw attachment!!

                Replaced a Troy Built that was underpowered trouble!


                • Original Poster

                  thanks all. after some research, it seems like all of them are kind of a crapshoot as to whether they'd last and how good they are.


                  • #10
                    I've been using a Husqvarna Model 323L for 10 years with zero problems. I do run a 30:1 gas/oil mix rather than the recommended 40:1, and haven't noticed any unusual plug fouling.

                    It starts on the 2nd or 3rd pull. The one problem is my elbow resting on the hot engine shroud. Using a foam elbow support from the sporting goods store as insulation fixed that.

                    I wash it off after each use, and do a yearly maintenance including running the carburetor dry before putting it up for the winter.
                    The inherent vice of Capitalism is the unequal sharing of blessings. The inherent virtue of Socialism is the equal sharing of miseries.
                    Winston Churchill


                    • #11
                      Craftman High Wheeled Trimmer... it's like a lawn mower and a weedeater had babies. Briggs and Straton motor... big fat string. http://www.sears.com/search=high%20w...psid=18x408247
                      Last edited by fourmares; Jun. 1, 2013, 02:29 AM. Reason: added link


                      • #12
                        Straight shaft Echo from Home Depot. By far the best weed eater I've ever used. Research the brands recommended in this thread and compare.


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by morganpony86 View Post
                          thanks all. after some research, it seems like all of them are kind of a crapshoot as to whether they'd last and how good they are.
                          No. Not all. The ones that are a crapshoot, and usually crap, are the two stroke models. Some get lucky and get one that runs and stays running for more than two years.

                          I have a Yardman YM26CS 4 stroke(gas job), and love it! No mixing oil and gas, nice quiet engine, lighter than the two strokes, exhaust fumes way, way more bareable and so easy and reliable to start.

                          It was $600 and the best money I've spent since swearing off of the two stroke's. I believe it's seven years old now. And before that I've bought around four two strokes, and at $140 give or take, it has more than paid for itself.

                          Someone above mentioned Briggs and Stratton bieng good motors, they are very correct! They are excellent long running, tough engines.

                          Spend the money on good quality, you won't regret it. I just love my 'whipper snapper' as I call it lol


                          • #14
                            Several years ago, hubby got me a DR Trimmer Mower. It's similar to the Highwheeled trimmer mentioned earlier. It's got a good high horsepower Briggs & Stratton gasoline engine, and starts on the first pull. Instead of a reel of string you have to keep feeding out, it uses two pieces of cord that you can buy pre-cut to length or in a spool and cut as needes. It whips through heavy weeds with ease. Mine has a "guard" on one side - I use that when working around siding or pvc pipe sticking up as the cord will slice siding and plastic pipe.

                            I wanted it specifically to keep my electric fence line cleaned out - we had about a mile and a half of fence line and it was great for that, plus I found lots of other areas around the farm to use it. Now that we live in the 'burbs, it's handy but a bit of overkill - though I would never get another one not on wheels.

                            DRs are expensive but great quality and not hard to do maintenance on.


                            • #15
                              Stihl, hands-down the best I've used. Not sure of my model (it's in the barn, I'm at work) but wasn't cheap. Gas, starts up cold or warmed up by 2nd pull. I have both a string head and the cool plastic slats, as well as a metal brush head. I have the "bike handle bars" and the harness, and I can weed whack for hours without back and arm fatigue.

                              Do not buy the crap from Lowes/Home Depot, et al--they are not going to stand up to the rigors of farm life. Buy what the landscapers use--Stihl, Husqvarna, etc.
                              Proud member of the "Don't rush to kill wildlife" clique!


                              • #16
                                My favorite weed whacker for fence lines is PasturePro and my pull-behind sprayer...just a different thought!