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I need a tougher weed eater!

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  • I need a tougher weed eater!

    We have successfully killed another weed eater. Ryobi didn't last a year so we got an Echo. It did a better job and has lasted 3 seasons.

    We weed eat fence lines, around XC jumps in the jump field, around the few trees that we have, and around the gallop track. The whacking is mostly grass with some weeds.

    Best guess is that it would work 4 hours a week on average from March thru Nov.. The heaviest months would be May-July.

    My SIL is the operator. He is wanting a heavy duty, professional grade, gas powered weed eating machine.

    What weed eaters have you all found to be up to the task?

  • #2
    Great topic! I am thinking about a new weed eater as well. When we got the farm I got a Toro with exchangable attachments from Ryobi. (homedepot) It is light and I liked the idea that I have a blower and weed eater in the same machine.
    I thought to just use it till it dies. I have 9 acres and have to weed eat a lot!
    So far it didnt die...(for 3 years now) It is kind of amazing I wanted to get a professional stihl and keep the Toro as a blower, but there is no real reason for it. The stihl is three times the amount of money, I pay about the same for exchanging the weed eats head and its less convenient. So I decided against it. I will use the Toro till it dies.... And so far it doesnt do it. And I can buy a new Toro at the homedepot in case this one dies.

    I have this one.... And I know its ridiculous because I should have a Stihl. But it lasts and lasts..
    Last edited by Manni01; Jun. 24, 2016, 12:48 PM.


    • #3
      Stihl. Seriously, just buy the professional grade gas model with the bike handlebars. You will not regret it. We have the plastic "blades" instead of string, as well as the metal blade head. Cuts through brush, small trees, heavy grass--you name it! Ours is years old now, and we can have it serviced at our local saw shop if needed.

      Our POS Ryobi from Home Depot crapped out after one year. Waste of money.
      Proud member of the "Don't rush to kill wildlife" clique!


      • #4
        We bought one these last summer

        It's not cheap but it's a "commercial grade" (necessary for real farm work). I also got the "limb saw" which is great for trimming tree limbs to a height just taller than the cab of our tractor. Makes mowing easier.

        Good luck in your choice.

        Mangalarga Marchador: Uma Raa, Uma Paixo


        • #5
          Originally posted by Guilherme View Post
          We bought one these last summer

          It's not cheap but it's a "commercial grade" (necessary for real farm work). I also got the "limb saw" which is great for trimming tree limbs to a height just taller than the cab of our tractor. Makes mowing easier.

          Good luck in your choice.

          This is what I bought as well. You won't regret it. ( and when I had a bigger farm, I had a mechanical weed eater and 3 goats ) . I am not recommending goats for the average person, but there is no way I could weed-eat 24 acres of fenceline )
          Come to the dark side, we have cookies


          • #6
            I have the Husqy interchangeable one too. Middle of the line model - forget which one. The string trimmer and the power scythe. The power scythe is awesome! anything that will fit in it's teeth gets cut. Great for grass to rose bushes to saplings.

            The string trimmer attachment tends to lose it's string retracted into the holes on a semi-frequent basis. It is easily fixed (once you learn to take the head apart and if you have strong fingers) but annoying when you are in the middle of something. We only use it when we need to trim up against a wall.

            Attachments are a breeze to change.

            G- I really wanted that limb saw but my husband didn't want me landing a limb on my head. I guess I am not man enough


            • #7
              Limb saws are not for those with lots of "machismo"!!!

              I've found the "small bites" approach works best and it makes cleaning up the detritus a bit easier.

              Mangalarga Marchador: Uma Raa, Uma Paixo


              • #8
                We have 3 Stihl weed eaters. The BIG one with the handle bars, and two smaller ones (one has a saw blade for brush and saplings, the other a regular head, but can take a HEAVY grade string).

                The BIG one, is too big for me to manage for any length of time. It's just too heavy.

                The little one is just right.

                If you haven't been using small gas engines for your farm chores so far, if at all possible, use non-ethanol gas in them. The engine runs stronger AND you will have less trouble with your carberator. The non-ethanol is slightly more expensive, but it is less frustrating and maybe cheaper in the long run because you aren't having to fix the carb every 12-18 months.

                My son wants to get the plastic blade attachment for the weed eater. From what we have heard, they are awesome. You just have to be very careful, it is more dangerous than line, but not as dangerous as a saw blade.
                Last edited by jawa; Jun. 24, 2016, 09:41 AM. Reason: Add info


                • #9
                  Jawa touched on my suggestion. Years ago when I worked full time and had a hired man to do such things as mow clear my fence rows, he converted his weed eater by adding a saw blade to replace the string or plastic. It was incredibly efficient --but he was a professional farm maintenance worker (retired from mowing the 80-90 Toll Road for 30 years) and mowed my pastures and cleaned up my fence rows for the next 20 years. But then he had a stroke and sold his tractor --never did find another man like him at any price. Now I use Round-up where I don't want weeds as I (little old lady) can spray using a tank sprayer from my smaller tractor along fence lines, and I only mow half the acreage (again with my smaller tractor). I spray for broadleaf weeds once a year (Trimec) and fertilize my pastures at the same time (Coron and EleMax). What I don't mow looks beautiful and lush. Horses are happy and I'm happy. And just because I'm a nice old lady, I spray the yard for my husband --he loves his beautiful lawn.



                  • #10
                    Get a pro quality straight shaft. I know another CoTH member that swears by Tanaka's.
                    Stihl's tend to be a good brand.

                    On a funny side note I was trying to look up the wheeled weed eater thingy and I Googled weed machine and clicked images. OMG I did not realize there were machines that looked like soda machines that dispensed marijuana. There are gumball machines and dispensers that look like snack vending machines.

                    This was what I was looking for:

                    I have always wondered how well these work for fencelines.
                    Oh, well, clearly you're not thoroughly indoctrinated to COTH yet, because finger pointing and drawing conclusions are the cornerstones of this great online community. (Tidy Rabbit)


                    • #11
                      I had/have an older version of the Husqvarana (about the only time I have used q without a u after it). It worked well enough for several years. But got a bit temperamental, bit of a PITA to start. Plastic shielding broke easily, gas tank vibrated loose. But it was a decent trimmer for a few years.

                      Have a larger Hasgvarana chain saw also. Bought it because Husky saws were a respected brand when I cut wood/trees for a living along time ago. Very disappointed with it. Still have it but it doesn't compare with the Sthil 039 which is a bit bigger.

                      I replaced the trimmer with an Echo. The 2 most used trimmers landscapers seem to have on their truck are Echo, then Sthil around here.

                      I bought an Echo SRM 266-T. It received very high consistent reviews, from the pros and weekend warriors. The "T" is more powerful than the standard 266.


                      I did not buy mine from H-D. Got it at my local Farm Equipment dealer. It cost a few dollars more but they work on, repair the stuff they sell as an authorized dealer. The box stores do not. They send it it out to who ever the local bard X repair shop bid the lowest for the work. Found this out the hardway.

                      Have only been using the Echo 2 years now but it is REAL easy to start and runs very strong. I also use a "cutting wheel" on it for the "woody" weeds. These can be had for just about any trimmer. But they add a lot of weight, spinning torgue and can stress/snap the "drive shaft" cable on lesser trimmers. Ask me how I know.

                      The "handle bars" and harness can be bought and added to just about any trimmer.

                      Just my 2 cents.


                      • #12
                        I just bought a Stihl FS90 with the handlebars which will take solid blades that can cut very heavy brush and small trees. It is in addition to a ten or fifteen year old Stihl FS 80 that has never let me down. Both work and work well. In addition, if you buy the Stihl Ultra mixing oil, the warranty is doubled.

                        For a Stihl trimmer to work with blades, it has to come with the Handlebars. Ask me how I know.

                        Stihl is worth very penny extra, in part because all their dealers HAVE to provide service.


                        • #13
                          We have this one:
                          And the stupid shield broke the second time we used it!!! AUGH!! Also the steel blades the guy at HD sold me didn't work with that model.

                          The "button" that holds the shield on is what broke, so if anyone has an idea, please share. It just spins on the end, useless. Overall I'm happy with the trimmer, we were mowing down some crazy stuff, but I don't know if it is tough enough for the OP.
                          DIY Journey of Remodeling the Farmette:


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Guilherme View Post
                            I also got the "limb saw"
                            Or as we refer to them, "chainsaw on a stick."
                            "Facts are meaningless. You can use facts to prove anything
                            that's even remotely true."

                            Homer Simpson


                            • #15
                              I appreciate the I put on weed eaters

                              If you haven't been using small gas engines for your farm chores so far, if at all possible, use non-ethanol gas in them. The engine runs stronger AND you will have less trouble with your carberator. The non-ethanol is slightly more expensive, but it is less frustrating and maybe cheaper in the long run because you aren't having to fix the carb every 12-18 months.
                              ^^^Boy is that ever Gospel. DH has rebuilt the carburetor on two chain saws thanks to ethanol.

                              Rhe weed eaters quit before the ethanol had a chance to rot them out ---- which is why I appreciate the input


                              • #16
                                We have a monstrous, heavy-duty Ryobi with a metal blade -- after more than 12 years and four acres of clearing blackberry canes, thistles and assorted weeds and brush, it is still going strong. No thanks to us, as we are notorious for abusing power tools. It has its share of POS qualities, including the fact that we've never been able to change to the strim trimmer head that came with it, there are no Ryobi repair shops close by, and it's too heavy for me to use for long, but it slices through the worst stuff like butter.
                                They're not miniatures, they're concentrates.

                                Born tongue-in-cheek and foot-in-mouth


                                • #17
                                  I sold a Stihl that I had used for about 3-5 yrs and let sit for about 6 yrs to a friend and she's been using it for 4 yrs. Neither she nor I ever used it to the extent that the OP uses it (4 hr/wk from late spring to late fall).

                                  The yr after I sold it to her, I started doing my own weedwacking again and bought an Echo. I'm on yr 3 and had problems starting. Took it in where I bought it and the carburetor had to be replaced because I was using gasoline with 10% ethanol. Even though I added Sta-bil to the gas the mechanics said to get the high test gasoline that doesn't contain ethanol. Not easy to find. Fortunately I have a couple of weeks till I need to weedwack again.

                                  I'm not saying let's go kill all the stupid people...I'm just saying let's remove all the warning labels and let the problem sort itself out.


                                  • Original Poster

                                    Thank you everyone! Lots of good info here.


                                    • #19
                                      Originally posted by SonnysMom View Post


                                      I have always wondered how well these work for fencelines.
                                      Very well.


                                      • #20
                                        Originally posted by Guilherme View Post
                                        We bought one these last summer

                                        It's not cheap but it's a "commercial grade" (necessary for real farm work). I also got the "limb saw" which is great for trimming tree limbs to a height just taller than the cab of our tractor. Makes mowing easier.

                                        Good luck in your choice.