Customer Reviews: Weed Eater FLSST25 FeatherLite 17-Inch 25cc 2-Cycle Gas Powered Straight Shaft String Trimmer
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TOP 50 REVIEWERon 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
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on June 14, 2007
Whenever I purchase a product -- any product -- I do my homework first. I read reviews online, giving weight mostly to customer reviews rather than editorial reviews. Both Consumer Reports and Popular Mechanics gave this 'tool' high marks and ConsumerSearch gave it a 'Best Buy' rating.

I gave this trimmer 2 stars because it is easy to start. And, unlike each of the electric trimmers I have used in the past, I can control the speed of the hub spinning with its trigger. However, on the downside:
- After what, 4 decades now(?) it seems that the 'designers' over at the Weedeater division of Poulan have been unable to evolve or design a string spool that is smart, intuitive, a bump-feed system that works! There are small notches on the string spool that (supposedly) will hold the trimmer string you wind in place as one slides it back onto the spring-loaded shaft. These notch-type retainers DO NOT work with either the proscribed heavier OR lighter weight trimmer string Weedeater suggests one use in this product.(I was using Official Weedeater brand trimmer line to boot!)
- The string invariably tangles inside the spool cup and one is required to interrupt trimming CONSTANTLY to untangle the line and then fumble with the two separate lines as you try to feed the string through the hub feeder-holes.
- The bump feed of this product works inconsistently. Sometimes it feeds just the right amount of string to better trim with, sometimes it feeds out WAY too much and at other times it feeds almost nothing at all so that one finds themself bumping and bumping and bumping the feeder button on the base of the trimmer hub with nothing happening at all!

Like I say, how many years has the Weedeater product been around and they STILL do not have a decent design in place for the business-end of the trimmer?!

To add insult to injury I squandered nearly a half hour online and in various pockets of 'phone hell' attempting to get to someone over at Poulan to address these issues, perhaps send me a replacement hub or bumper-spool, maybe tell me what I've been doing wrong in the 'art' of winding line -- whatever. But I kept on being directed down one rabbit hole after the next, the New Millenium's version of 'customer service' I guess.

Thoroughly disgusted with the WeedEater FLSST25, in every imaginable way, and getting nowhere fast with Poulan itself I finally decided to call Amazon's Customer Service number to begin the process of returning the product.

Beware! DO NOT waste your time or money on this product! (And by the way, I have been doing my own yardwork for the past several decades. I have used a number of other company's bump-feed line trimmers -- all the others electric models -- and I have NEVER had the sort of problems I have experienced with this one. And really? There is no 'art' to winding string on these trimmer spools. Doh. Just pay attention and wrap it evenly. No problemo -- unless you're using a Poulan Weed Eater product!)
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on May 12, 2007
I give this a one star only b/c that is the least I can give it. It deserves NO stars. First trimmer came with broken lever. Much of this trimmer is made of flimsy plastic. I was never able to start second trimmer. I have had gas trimmers for many years and have never had this much trouble starting one!
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on October 2, 2006
Prompt delivery but choke lever was broken off. Customer Service directed me to nearest warranty repair facility where I was advised repair would take 5 to 10 days. After ten days repair facility had not received the replacement choke lever.
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on January 3, 2007
I've used the unit 4 times and on each occasion it was very difficult to start ( 40 to 50 pulls per event). I've not been able to find "the trick" for starting this particular engine.

It is more difficult to start than all of the many 2 cycle engine devices I've owned over my 64 years (i.e. outboards, lawn mowers, blowers, edger's, line trimmers, chain saws, etc.)

Once started it does a great job.
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on August 26, 2006
I am very pleased with this trimmer. The straight shaft allows trimming under shrubs, and hedges easier than curved shafts and fits tall operators better. The .080 line is durable and the spool is easy to maintain. Being lightweight allows me to finish trimming quickly and with less fatigue.

This model appears to be identical to a Craftsman model#79101, priced similarly, but this one has a much better warranty.

Carefully following the starting directions is advised, as it takes several pulls when cold, and with no clutch the trimmer head spins whenever the engine is on. The good part about the trimmer head spinning at idle is that it saves fuel on the light duty trimming.
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on August 10, 2006

*Light and relatively inexpensive

*Excellent cutting power


*Takes longer to start than Ryobi

*Harder to see the cutting head when doing edging

*Replacing the line is harder than Ryobi.

The cutting power makes up for all the deficiencies.

Hence, the four stars.
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on July 8, 2006
Quality product for the price. Light and plenty of power for up to medium trimming chores. Only downside is design which makes starting less desirable than some other models on the market. If trimmer in sitting on ground while starting, trimmer rotates or spins causing either line to expel or chunking on surface causing engine to die out. It is a little to heavy to hold and pull the starter line at the same time. While not the best arrangement, trimmer is still a good buy.
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on July 2, 2006
The price was very competive. The product arrived on time and I find that it works better than my old electric trimmer. I am completly satisfied.
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VINE VOICEon July 31, 2007
As the old adage advises, you do get what you pay for and I chose this model based on a consumer rating service recommendation and price. My property is large enough that an electric model would be cumbersome however the areas that cannot be trimmed with the lawn mower are minimal so I only needed a light duty trimmer. For less than half the price of comparable models from other manufacturers, the weedeater adequately meets my needs. The trimmer is somewhat finicky but over the last six months, I have adapted to the nuances of its operation. As I noticed in other reviews, it can be, at times, difficult to start however for the most part after about six pulls the engine does engage. The idle is problematic so most often I just keep the trigger fully depressed. That uses more fuel but it significantly reduces my frustration with cut-offs and restarts. Obviously, since the idle seldom works the off switch is pretty much superfluous but in that regard it isn't any different my lawnmower which has auto cut off as a product feature. Cutting line replacement is probably the largest headache as the dual feed spool is difficult to thread without entanglements but through trial and error, I was able to come up with a methodology to get the head on correctly with minimal difficulty.

In the end, if price is the primary consideration, the weedeater is a reasonable option but if you are unwilling to invest a little more time in getting it to work, look elsewhere.
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