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topdog1961

String trimmers and string.

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topdog1961

If you do any heavy duty weedeating, I have a tip for you.  I’m not talking about “zzzt…zzzt…zzzt” trim around your petunias with a rechargeable weedeating.  I’m talking extreme full contact weedeating: charge into knee to waist high growth across a steep riverbank, constant full throttle, swinging in wide arcs with your speed of advance governed by the motors ability to take the load. I’m talking you can’t see because sweat and poison ivy juice is burning your eyes and flowing across your safety glasses, debris is hitting you in the face so hard you can taste your own blood weedeating....for many hours straight. If you do that, you appreciate good trimmer string. There’s good reason I only trim the riverbank twice per year.

 

I’ve used a Stihl FS 85 straight shaft trimmer for going on 15 years, you can’t beat it’s durability.  I’ve also had a Ryobi that takes all the attachments like edger and cultivator that got less extreme use but lasted 25 years, until I broke the throttle trigger this spring throwing it into a wheelbarrow.  So I replaced it with another Ryobi, thankfully the attachment system hasn’t changed.  It is a 25cc straight shaft 2 cycle.  I had it over the riverbank this weekend and though smaller and lighter, it cuts every bit as good as the Still, and cost less than 1/3 as much, only $115 at Home Depot.  I suspect some of the difference is the Ryobi trimmer string.  I always used the generic red plastic stuff with the Stihl.  The Ryobi string says it’s .095 diameter, the same, but looks and feels much thinner.  It has the consistency of wire as it can be bent and it retains that shape.  One thing is for sure, it is tough as nails.  I found myself advancing string much less often than with the generic string.  Of course it cost more, but I just ordered 110 feet of it.  I can’t wait to get it on the Stihl to see what it can do with it. It also comes in other diameters.

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aje4

I’ll have to give this stuff a try!  It’s a pain in the ass when the string is constantly breaking.  I have an Echo trimmer that I like....once I use all the string I have for it I’ll try this....

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Tracker 6

+ 1 on the trimmer string. It's good stuff !!!

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Brad Eden

Timely. Today is designated weed whacker day. (Decent straight shaft Echo) General whacking around foundation, and landscaping and some more serious whacking out at the grape arbor and property edges. I'm thinking I may be needing to rewind some string. Not sure what diameter I have but I have a lot, and will consider this strong stuff later. Looks like the ticket for all the maple and oak sproutings that always pop up from previous chainsawed stumps.

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MUSTANGER7

When I had twenty acres in KS northwest of Kansas City I had a Shindawa heavy duty weed whacker with handle bars and I would take worn out chain saw chains cut them down to size and no weed known to man stood up to this approach. Had lots of nettles, etc even a few copperheads that were in the nettles that fell to this rig, I could also put a 90 tooth cutting blade that I could take down 4 in buck brush with. This Shindawa had a stainless steel drive shaft and other parts that stood up to the heavy cutting.

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gunsrus

Looking forward to how the Stihl handles this stuff . 

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Rick (VA)

Thanks. Recently replaced my FS 85 with a 90. Quieter and more fuel efficient, but seems less powerful. Do need better string for thick grass and small shrubs that grow in the fence line. I have blades that will cut just about anything, but string is much more efficient for the grass. Have been eyeing some of those twisted type strings waiting to run out of my plain string. Thanks for the tip.

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Two Barrels

I have been using the same FS85 for over 20 years.  I rebuilt the engine last summer and it runs strong as a new one again.  If you have never tried one, look for a “brush knife”.  The one I have has three blades and resembles a throwing star.  It will eat through anything up to 1/2” saplings.  No string to replace or get wrapped up in heavy grass.

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terrym

I was in Home Depot today and wandered over to the weed whacker area. Ya know just becuz. The one that caught my eye was a Dewalt electric. Uses same 20v lithium batteries as my drill. I'm in a subdivision so only light use. Wonder how good this rig would be? I have a cheap gas one now which is no hell. 

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oak stob
40 minutes ago, Two Barrels said:

I have been using the same FS85 for over 20 years.  I rebuilt the engine last summer and it runs strong as a new one again.  If you have never tried one, look for a “brush knife”.  The one I have has three blades and resembles a throwing star.  It will eat through anything up to 1/2” saplings.  No string to replace or get wrapped up in heavy grass.

 

Those blades on a 85 will pop thru a fair bit larger stuff than 1/2”.....tho, the Stihl repair guy did say mine was the first straight shaft he ever saw come in with a bent drive shaft.

It did have some vibration.

 

I do use string around fragile stuff like tanks.

For tall stuff and tough stemmed weeds(everybody’s tough is different), the blade gets the call.

 

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topdog1961
56 minutes ago, Two Barrels said:

I have been using the same FS85 for over 20 years.  I rebuilt the engine last summer and it runs strong as a new one again.  If you have never tried one, look for a “brush knife”.  The one I have has three blades and resembles a throwing star.  It will eat through anything up to 1/2” saplings.  No string to replace or get wrapped up in heavy grass.

 

I considered the blade and still may give it a try. My only concern with one is safety. My riverbank is large and so steep it's very difficult to stand on in some places. It always seems it's 90 degrees when I find time to do it. The entire job is about 8 hours if you go full throttle pretty much non stop. I'm a masochist and push myself to the point of being staggering around, can't think straight, can't see for the sweat exhausted. People do stupid things when they're that tired. I have on occasion whacked my ankles on the steep bank, usually after I release the throttle and am lowering the trimmer back down after swinging uphill. It takes a few seconds for the head to stop spinning. Likely if I just wore some taller than my current 6 inch leather boots I'd be fine even if I did that with a blade. 

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Marc Ret
35 minutes ago, terrym said:

I was in Home Depot today and wandered over to the weed whacker area. Ya know just becuz. The one that caught my eye was a Dewalt electric. Uses same 20v lithium batteries as my drill. I'm in a subdivision so only light use. Wonder how good this rig would be? I have a cheap gas one now which is no hell. 

 

Terry,

 

I can't speak to the Dewalt but I have a cheap 20V Black & Decker my aunt gave me after my uncle passed away. Having a couple gas Echo trimmers, I didn't need it (or really want it). If I trim my whole property, it takes about three hours with one of the Echos. Surprisingly, for just around the house, the B&D works fine for the 15 mins I need it. Battery lasts about 15-20 minutes. I'm sure the Dewalt would work well for you as long as you don't expect too much from it. 

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Brad Eden

A couple onservations on weed whacking. Never do it with shorts on and always wear sunglasses or safety glasses. I also wear ear protection these days. They throw a lot of stuff around, fast, painfully and head high. 

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RDG
1 hour ago, terrym said:

I was in Home Depot today and wandered over to the weed whacker area. Ya know just becuz. The one that caught my eye was a Dewalt electric. Uses same 20v lithium batteries as my drill. I'm in a subdivision so only light use. Wonder how good this rig would be? I have a cheap gas one now which is no hell. 

 

step-up to the at least the 40V in either the Black and Decker or the Dewalt. 

 

I have the  B&D 40V model and love it. Battery lasts forever and does an awesome job. Plus it’s super  light. I also have the 40V chainsaw and blower.  And before you laugh, that 40V chainsaw earns it keep for its size.  It’s perfect for trimming  branches on trees and cutting smaller stuff up. 

 

Dewalt and B&D have 60V stuff now too. 

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RDG
43 minutes ago, Brad Eden said:

A couple onservations on weed whacking. Never do it with shorts on and always wear sunglasses or safety glasses. I also wear ear protection these days. They throw a lot of stuff around, fast, painfully and head high. 

 

I always wear my Muck boots when weeksacking in shorts.   Yup.... shorts, t-shirt and Mucks.   My kids are gonna hate me when their teenagers. 

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