Both Echo and Stihl offer more than 5 models in their line of commercial trimmers, each of which have little if nothing in common ranking one above the other. Each brand offers commercial 2 year warranties. A residential (5 year) warranty is offered by Echo and a residential 4 year warranty on the Stihl (with Stihl oil purchased).
Echo SRM-225 Trimmer Review
The trimmer is legendary and to say there’s a trimmer from Echo that’s more popular is highly doubtful, and it could be argued that it’s the one trimmer most popularly sold in today’s US market. The price is usually around $240 retail, but come springtime they’re on sale closer to $200. (Here’s Amazon’s price on the SRM-225.)
The one aspect of the trimmer that really sells it is the head. If you’ve used it even once you’ll probably never trim again with a bump-to-advance standard head.
It takes about half a minute for the spool to be refilled without tools and there’s not much involved for training.
The trimmer head that comes stock is one of the better, if not the best of heads out there- Echo calls it the “Speed-Feed”, which roughly weighs 12 pounds taking the guard into account.
You won’t find a more efficient-on-fuel trimmer among the straight shafts, on earth. The engine that comes with it is not very large (21 cc), but speed is what it’s geared for. If it wasn’t set with a proper line (say, the Echo Crossfire), it’d be incapable of easefully tearing through the thickest brush.
The engine is stupidly reliable, and this year’s models (2015) have the “molded” upgraded style for the handle that allows for almost all vibration to be reduced. Really, few other trimmers are more comfortable to operate.
Shindaiwa and Echo- There’s a Difference?
One other thing not to forget is Shindaiwa closes out the winter with a sale they call “fleet week”, and you can get the T-235 priced just the same as the SRM-225. If you’re yet aware, Echo owns Shindaiwa and there’s no difference of machine, essentially… with some improvements (albeit, minor). Shindaiwa improved their model by making it a bit less heavy compared to the Echo and now there’s rubber for the handle, unlike the plastic in the Echo. To cut it short, it may be the best (great, at the very least) trimmer currently out there.
The engine line Stihl uses in this trimmer is the longest running and most produced of any. The 27cc (legendary) engine- its power and durability almost not believable.
It’s priced near $240 retail and that $240 will get you a healthy dose of trimmer. It roughly weighs 10 ½ pounds and is also highly efficient with fuel. It’s not easy wrapping your head around Stihl’s employee genius who knew how to give this trimmer the power it has despite its light weight.
Like previously noted with Echo, it’s the starting point for the line of commercial trimmers, but the moment your hands grab this one, it’s like the feel of trimming with a $500 piece of hardware.
Stihl includes the bump-to-advance traditional Auto-cut head with the trimmer. Some hate it, others love it. Yet most of today’s bump heads on sale aren’t going to outlast it.
4 Important Points Regarding Stihl Heads
1.) The bump head is a traditional one, with the spool housing the head’s bump (built into it). The bump is typically separate and seems to excessively wear, but compared to the Stihls that have these, others don’t seem to last as long.
2.) As far as trimmer guards are concerned, everything that’s out there is inferior to Stihls as well (the visibility their guards offer is more than the majority of trimmer brands but anything that’s trimmed seems to be blocked from retreating back to you (the clippings included). I’d personally have all the guards removed, but very few actually like to (and those who don’t can very much appreciate this thought out well design.
3.) As well, the round traditional line can exclusively be used with the FS70r model because of the machine’s power behind it. This Stihl doesn’t have a problem with vibration either, as the handle is molded of rubber and designed well. Also featured is an auto-off switch, which goes back to the position of ‘On’ after it’s shut off (a big plus on those days you’d wish were 20 degrees cooler after you’ve worked the field 8 hours +).
4.) One other thing about this Stihl that’s great is what the engine’s surrounded by – the design. It’s solid and doesn’t have anything that would get it snagged on something, yet the parts are easily accessed. The entire area is covered by the spark plug, so the plug is free from water getting down to it. Someone I’ve come across put theirs underwater… out they pulled the plug… yep, dry completely!
Overall, I place the most value on the trimmer’s efficiency, ease of use, longevity, and price. Most of these are where you’re real interest is in, too- my decision is just a bit more analysis based.