Stihl vs Echo???

Messages
528
Location
Kansas
What's your flavor? I've been using Echos for a couple of years now, but my main string trimmer is on it's last leg. I'm looking at either heading back to an Echo or branching over to Stihl. Price isn't really an issue, but I need something that will take a beating. I do 5-7 large properties per week.
 
Messages
4,622
Location
Western Washington
Typically, Stihl has a much better dealer network than Echo does. Many Echos are sold in hardware stores like HD, by temporary workers who don't know much of anything about 2 cycle equipment( or anything else for that matter ). Next time you go there, check to see how many chain saw chains have been installed backwards on the display saws!! :) That's a favorite pastime of mine lol I suggest the Stihl FS 90 or the FS 130. Each is available in a loop handle version or a bike handle version, not sure which you want. If you want to multi task, take a look at Stihl's KM system of tools.
 

JHZR2

Staff member
Messages
44,817
Location
New Jersey
I guess my biggest question is if the echo stuff in lower grades, eg the stuff you might find at home depot is of long-lasting quality the way that echo's typical stuff was. I may be wrong, but it seems that Stihl offers a consistent, high quality product. Echo doestoo, unless something like hd saleshurts the product. We bought ours at the local shop, but our leaf blower/vac is the same as sold at HD. It has been great, no issues and a fairly high amount of use...
 

zulu

Thread starter
Messages
528
Location
Kansas
 Originally Posted By: hate2work
Typically, Stihl has a much better dealer network than Echo does. Many Echos are sold in hardware stores like HD, by temporary workers who don't know much of anything about 2 cycle equipment( or anything else for that matter ). Next time you go there, check to see how many chain saw chains have been installed backwards on the display saws!! :) That's a favorite pastime of mine lol I suggest the Stihl FS 90 or the FS 130. Each is available in a loop handle version or a bike handle version, not sure which you want. If you want to multi task, take a look at Stihl's KM system of tools.
I'm leaning towards the Stihls. The Echos are good units, but when every lawn service truck I see has Stihl or Shindiawa units on their racks, that says alot about the brand. I do have some reservations towards the Stihl 4-mix engines though. I like the concept of of the KM tools, but I've been doing lawns since I was 16 and can't get used to a stick edger, so the versatility isn't an asset for me. I have always used a string trimmer for trimming and edging. Do you think the FS80/90s have enough "umph" or do I need to look at the 110/130s?
 
Messages
2,695
Location
Easton, PA
FWIW, when I worked at HD a few yrs back, the deal was they only sold 3 models of echo, and a local echo independent came in to set them up. if you need service later, you just need to go to an independent (which begs the question, why not just go to the independent to begin with). but, when it came time to buy one myself, I got a stihl (forget which model; the lowest price straight shaft). can't beat the local service. all the units are setup and test run, they filled it with gas, the dude spent a good 15 minutes w/ me on how to use it properly, and filled out and sent in the warranty card for me.
 
Messages
4,622
Location
Western Washington
 Originally Posted By: mpvue
FWIW, when I worked at HD a few yrs back, the deal was they only sold 3 models of echo, and a local echo independent came in to set them up. if you need service later, you just need to go to an independent (which begs the question, why not just go to the independent to begin with). but, when it came time to buy one myself, I got a stihl (forget which model; the lowest price straight shaft). can't beat the local service. all the units are setup and test run, they filled it with gas, the dude spent a good 15 minutes w/ me on how to use it properly, and filled out and sent in the warranty card for me.
I just finished selling a FS 55 ( the entry level straight shaft )this morning to a fellow and his 15 yo son. The boy is going to start doing some lawn work this summer, and his dad wanted him to start out with a good trimmer. I spent 20 minutes explaining all aspects of using and maintaining the unit to them both, and they left with a good working knowledge of how it all works. Warranty registrations are all done online now. Johnny is right, an FS 90 would be plenty for what you want to do. One thing about these "new" 4 mix technology units Stihl puts out is that you really should be running the white bottle full syn Stihl oil. The other oils were leaving carbon/calcium deposits on the exhaust valve, whereas the full syn oil does not.
 
Messages
570
Location
MS
I have have an Echo SRM 2100 trimmer and PB2100 blower that are both ten years old and still run very well. My primer bulb rotted out on the SRM2100 so I used that as an excuse to get a SRM230, yes, from Home Depot. It seems to be a better unit than the 2100, and I expect it will last me another 10 years easily. The engines on the 2100s are identical, so I plan to use parts off of the trimmer now for the blower if I need too.
 
Messages
2,560
Location
wv
I did almost this same question over at lawnsite.com These guys mow for a living day in and day out. I ended up with a Husqvarna 323L which is on sale now ($254) at Lowes. It is under 10lbs and has a commercial engine. The guys that do it for a living all pointed to the Husqvarna, due to the Echo (not made like they used to be). The Stihl FS80 was out of my budget at over $300 and I wasnt intersted in the FS90.
 
Messages
570
Location
MS
 Originally Posted By: krismoriah72
under 10lbs and has a commercial engine. The guys that do it for a living all pointed to the Husqvarna, due to the Echo (not made like they used to be).
I flat out DON'T beleive that Echo's are lesser quality than they used to be....If anything, they seem as good or better, based on my experience. One thing that's pretty nifty on my new SRM230 is the catalytic converter of sorts that lowers emissions... Now weed eater, that's a different story.
 
Messages
4,622
Location
Western Washington
Cat mufflers have been around for many years now. They were one of the things the manufacturers tried to keep up with the C.A.R.B. regulations. But the 4-mix motors put out even less hydrocarbons than they do. One thing I've noticed is that there seems to be "pockets" of areas in the US where one of the lesser brands gets a stronghold and does well. One of the biggest things is that there must be dealer support for any brand, or it won't do well. So when you have trouble with your Husky trimmer, hopefully there will be someone around who knows how to repair things and give advice to you. We know that you're not going to get support at Lowes, right? So there must be a local place to get support, that's critical for any brand to survive. BTW, have you guys tried the new trimmer line that came out last summer? It's from the Oregon company and it's called Gator line. It's a co-polymer line that has a core made of aramid fiber that's tougher than wang leather. If you get a chance, pick some up, you'll definitely like it :)
 
Messages
2,695
Location
Easton, PA
 Originally Posted By: hate2work
 Originally Posted By: mpvue
FWIW, when I worked at HD a few yrs back, the deal was they only sold 3 models of echo, and a local echo independent came in to set them up. if you need service later, you just need to go to an independent (which begs the question, why not just go to the independent to begin with). but, when it came time to buy one myself, I got a stihl (forget which model; the lowest price straight shaft). can't beat the local service. all the units are setup and test run, they filled it with gas, the dude spent a good 15 minutes w/ me on how to use it properly, and filled out and sent in the warranty card for me.
I just finished selling a FS 55 ( the entry level straight shaft )this morning to a fellow and his 15 yo son. The boy is going to start doing some lawn work this summer, and his dad wanted him to start out with a good trimmer. I spent 20 minutes explaining all aspects of using and maintaining the unit to them both, and they left with a good working knowledge of how it all works. Warranty registrations are all done online now. Johnny is right, an FS 90 would be plenty for what you want to do. One thing about these "new" 4 mix technology units Stihl puts out is that you really should be running the white bottle full syn Stihl oil. The other oils were leaving carbon/calcium deposits on the exhaust valve, whereas the full syn oil does not.
that's what I bought last season, the FS55. I love that trimmer. my yard is small; I didn't buy it for the workload, but I wanted a reliable unit that wouldn't be overworked. very good machine.
 
Messages
246
Location
39466, USA.
Lont time Echo user, always great service but recently bought a Redmax (owned by husqvarnia too) trimmer, it purrs like a kitten (w/teeth), all the name brands are good just dont buy a weedater brand at walmart \:\(
 
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Messages
438
Location
Ohio
Poulan/weedeater(craftsman) is owned by Husqvarna . Some of the entry level Husky saws are rebadged/upgraded Poulans. I do not know if the yard equipment shares parts like saws do. Many worry they will bring Husky quality down, but I am hopeful Husky is bringing the entry level stuff up! What you pay is part of the equation. How much grief for how fewer dollars. Remember you pay 1/2 the price for the dreaded Weed Eater. I have a WE trimmer somebody gave me off the scrap heap and it is sitting next to Echo 210 and a Stihl 90. I put a 2$ ring and 2$ lines on it ,as it was set too lean, so I trashed the EPA limiters and re set the carb, and it is in it's 4th year. What do those things retail for 80$? I would not buy one for fence rows, but it trims around my house. Original poster, IMO Stihl is the best, but Echo has value for a homeower. One other point, Every experience I have had with my Stihl and Husky dealers has been positive. There is value to that.
 
Messages
2,759
Location
CarMax
For several years I used a Stihl FS80R to do my lawn and others every week. Since the Stihl was sort of a long term loaner, when it went back to its owner I bought an Echo SRM230 used. I did my research and found the Echo was highly regarded, if not as heavy duty, as the Stihl FS80R. What I like about the Echo 230 is its a bit lighter weight than the Stihl and I much prefer its paddle-style throttle control as opposed to Stihl's squeeze handle throttle. I use my trimmer for edging and having the paddle makes it easier for me to control the head speed. Go check them out and carry them around for a few minutes before deciding. When I did that I found I liked the Echo a lot, it has a nice balance and feel to it. For my needs I'm happier with the Echo than the Stihl, nice unit as it is.
 
Messages
5
Location
northern michigan
Echo is the only manufacturer with a 5 year warranty for homeowner use on all it's models including the base models that HD sells(1 year commercial use)! All are rated at 300 hours of use and still can meet EPA guidelines. Engines are rated either 50, 100 or 300 hr use. All brands of two stroke engines are tagged with this rating system. Guess where weedeater would fall. Stihl & husky have some good stuff available, but they (among others) offer homeowner, farmer/rancher, & pro quality goods. Don't buy just the name, do a little reading , ask questions, & find a dealer you can depend on. And yes, I'm an echo dealer------------ Bob
 
Devil's advocate stepping in.... If cost is not an issue, why not consider a Honda weedwacker? I have a 4 stroke model that is most excellent! It has great throttle control and is beginning it's third year doing all the edging and weedwacking at my home. The driveway is long and I edge several large flower beds which results in him catching almost an hour a week, most of it on his side being used as an edger. He might take a half cup of oil when I change it and he uses very little gas. He has been stone cold reliable. I went to the 4 stroke Honda after the wife burned up a perfectly good Echo weedwacker when she put straight gas in it. The Honda is a little pricey but then again you get what you pay for. Cheers !
 
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