Top critical review
57 people found this helpful
OK for the price, but it has some problems
on April 11, 2007
If you can get this at a discount price it's not a bad deal. I got mine from Amazon for $67, and at that price, there's really nothing else on the market that is significantly better. But, if you're willing to spend more, then there are better choices.
This model has some benefits - when it runs, it has a lot of power to get through tough weeds. The bump and feed works as well as a bump and feed system can work. The key words are "when it runs." Starting is a bit tough (and yes, I followed the directions to the letter, had the proper oil/gas mix, etc.) and it has a finicky idle. It will also occasionally just cut out under full load. Sometimes it restarts, sometimes you get an aerobic workout with the cord. It's not just a string trimmer, it's an upper body toner!
It got a good review at Popular Mechanics as the leading budget string trimmer. For my needs it's a workable choice - I have a small yard but lots of trees and obstacles that makes using an electric model a real pain due to the cord. If it cuts out before I'm done, I just put it away and try again next time I cut the lawn. But, if you have a big yard and need something that starts and runs reliably (and are willing to spend $175+), then you'd be happier with a model from a more durable, well-built brand such as Echo.
One more thing - if you get one and it breaks, don't even bother trying to deal with the "customer service" folks. You'll just waste a whole lot of your time and nothing will get fixed. Your better option is to donate it to a local school or vocational center - sometimes they have programs where they take in broken equipment, have the kids fix it (as a way of learning small engine repair) and then sell it to raise funds for the school.
UPDATE: The starting problem got worse and worse, to the point that it was almost faster to trim the grass by hand. Ditched it and replaced it with a Troy-Bilt 70SS model. Just a few bucks more (Amazon had a sale on that as well) and it's been a night and day difference. The Troy-Bilt starts every time on no more than 3 pulls, and their spring assist system makes janking the cord a breeze. On the down side, their bump head is not as good as the Weed Eater but what's the benefit of a good bump head when you can't get the thing started or, if it actually starts, have it keep running!! Don't know what the long term reliabiity will be like for the Troy Bilt but so far, it's been a joy to use. Good riddance Weed Eater! Never again!! I take back the three stars and give it a ZERO