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Discussion Starter #1
I own a commercial mowing service, so granted I use this equipment all day everyday. But the last few years I have to say ALL of the blowers and trimmers etc just absolutely suck.

In the mid 1990's I bought a few Shindaiwa T-27s and 25s, they were absolutely incredible. Even then the 27s cost 425 bucks, but were unbeilievably reliable and tons of power, very very smooth.

I got many years use out of those units.

Fast forward to about 2003 and later. Shindaiwa went to **** in a handbasket, so i used some of the new 4 mix Stihl equipment. Blew up one blower and 2 trimmers, thankfully they were under warranty but I had had enough.

Early on with my business I did try Echo trimmers and blowers. Had lots of problems with them....bolts coming out, clutches, etc....then a friend introduced me to Shindaiwa. But that was then.

The past 3 years I have used Red Max, and I like their string trimmers, but the ones i bought this spring are really starting to give me problems. Today the gear box broke in one, it is less than a month old, and the other 2 new ones won't run at all.

All fo this new stuff is garbage imo.
 

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Echo specifically, I used to rent out to people at Home Depot rentals for 5.5-8years and only once, had any problems with any of it that I'd attribute specifically to the machine/manufacture itself, I couldn't keep a piston in this particular chainsaw. Every piston you put in, it would destroy it.

Now, in rental terms, just too many people that don't know what they're doing, using the equipment. Running chainsaws with the brake on, destroying clutch springs. Slamming brush-cutter blades against trees and rocks. Just basically treating things like they stole it. etc. Anything else with this equipment comes down to regular maintenance. 20 seconds with a philips screwdriver at day per piece of equipment is enough to keep them from falling apart. Ain't ot 20 seconds to spare? Use locktite.

I can't speak for the other brands you mentioned, but most of this stuff, the only thing I can imagine going bad on a regular basis due to poor materials would be spark plugs and diapram pumps in carbuetors. verything else, if lubricated and proper fuel mix used, should run **** near for ever.

Sure, i'm not a profesional grounds-keeping, etc person, so maybe I don't understand.

A screw is a screw, so if there's a piece of equipment that has screws, etc loosen, it's prolly because it vibrates a little too much. Use loctite. Take it service and have them balance it under waranty.
 

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There is a lot of junk out there but my municipality DPW we run all Stihl equipment and have for decades. You get what you pay for I guess. The low priced homeowner Stihls aren't made as tough as their commercial stuff. I actually think that Stihl quality and design has gotten much better over the years. And much of the older stuff has succombed to the crappy ethanol gas that came out years ago. But I can remember many peices of Stihl equipment that ended up in the parts basket or the dumpster. We use Redmax and Stihl backpack blowers.
 

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All the local council and utility companies here use Tanaka for brushcutters and handheld blowers. Better built than the new Stihls, more powerful, and lighter. (provided you get the same models we do of course). We sell and maintain most brands and have very little trouble with Tanaka equipment.:hide:

For backpack blowers the Shibaura or the Tanaka are both excellent and considerably more powerful than the stihl in our highly scientific "how far can I blow that up the road" test
 

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My experience has always been that not only do you get what you pay for, but also you get back what you put into it in terms of care and maintenance. My two Poulan chainsaws and Poulan weedwacker were all purchased at Wally and cost very little. I have used (not abused) them alot. I am meticulous about cleaning/replacing filters and only using fresh fuel mixed at the proper ratio. I run all the fuel out of them at the end of each season. All of them start on the third pull consistently and work just as well as when new. They are all 9-14 years old.
 

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My small engine guy won't talk to me anymore.
I brought my Echo weedwacker to him to get a replacement gas cap. The unit was 15 years old, never been into his shop, never failed to start (even with old gas.....(using 2 year old mixed right now), never needed other parts, until now.
Same with the Echo chain saw. Same vintage. Needed bar adjustment screw thinghie.
The Toro brush cutter needed a gas cap, too. They don't make that size anymore, he said. Not available.
The newer stuff is all plastic and won't stand up to use, even by a homeowner. Older stuff is beefier, and will run with proper maintenance, as long as you have a parts supplier. Haven't run into problems with the 'new' gas, yet.
We have a couple Huskvarna (spelling?) chain saws over at the local state park. Junk! The handle broke on one when the supervisor pulled the starting rope. Have to replace the entire 'plastic' shell. It's unsafe to operate as it is. The other, won't run consistantly. We're trying to get new replacements.
I've seen the Tanaka name before in the shop, but abit out of my price range.
 

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I think your small engine guy wants you to buy new equipment. Try K&T Parts House in Somerset, KY. They're on the web at mymowerparts.com and can get anything you need. They ship fast and their prices are as low as anyone else's. I bought a new gas cap for my 20 year old McCulloch leaf blower from them, the package says it also fits Echo (allegedly McCulloch and Echo were in cahoots for a time).
 
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