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Battery weed whacker

Post in 'DIY and General non-hearth advice' started by Backwoods Savage, May 25, 2013.

  1. jharkin

    jharkin Minister of Fire

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    The HF genny might be a better/cheaper option than a battery. Quick google search shows that the typical electric trimmer is 5 or 6 amps. You would probably want to use a 1000watt inverter for headroom and 120VAC/5amps pulling close to 60 amps from the 12v battery including inverter losses. A group 31 size deep cycle would only get you an hour run time on that load. Then you have to wait 8+ hours to recharge it.

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  2. DexterDay

    DexterDay Guest

    My dealer sells a universal kit for a shoulder strap. One clamp that goes around the trimmers shaft (try to find "Center"), it has a little D-ring attached to it, then just clip the strap on the Ring and adjust strap so that you are only providing a side to side motion. All of my trimmers have one. My old Poulon Pro came with one.

    I have a Cheap China 4-n-1 Trimmer (no name/looks like a Red Max or Shindawa rebadge) that should be at the house today. It was $200 shipped and has 4 attachments. A pole saw, hedge trimmer, brush cutter head, and standard trimmer line head. The hedge trimmer attachment for my Husqvarna is $279.99 by itself. Just the hedge attachment!! I bought this mainly for the hedge trimmer and the way I look at it, I got the Pole saw and other 2 attachments for Free!!

    I will start a thread iin the gear section on it this weekend after some run time and give it a proper review.
  3. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    A big difference I have noted from past weedeaters we've owned (Craftsman 2 strk., Ryobi 4 strk.) and the Stihl is vibration. After an hour my hands and forearms would start going numb with the old machines. The Stihl is much better balanced and low vibration. I see a lot of pros also using Echo's which have worked well for me too. Our leaf blower is an Echo and it always starts first or second pull no matter if the gas is a few months old from overwinter storage.
  4. Scols

    Scols Burning Hunk

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    I wasted my money on a black and decker cordless as well. I figured it would be easy for my wife to use but it just has no uumph and your house probably dosent have enough outlets to charge all the batteries you need to do an average size yard. I would either stick with gas power or get an electric and a long extension cord.
  5. Joful

    Joful Minister of Fire

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    Battery powered trimmers are relegated to small jobs, IMO. Electric corded models can do the job, but a guy with a bad back may not want to hoist a generator in and out of a utility trailer each week.

    What about just adding a 1000 watt inverter to the ATV, so you can just run around, plug in the electric trimmer, and do the job? I know the ATV charging system can't deliver, but does anyone make an add-on genny for ATV's? Would only take a little more than 1hp under full load.
  6. MasterMech

    MasterMech Guest

    I would say we should just fix the damned gas trimmer he has but it's not on my bench....... Dennis, what model is it?

    And yes, Stihl's 4-Mix engine is very easy to pull over, uses the same gas you run in the saws, and fires up with minimal effort. (2-3 yanks). The FS100RX is very light where it counts (out on the end of the shaft), I imagine with a simple shoulder strap it would be quite manageable. Not the cheap way out but a reliable machine for sure.
  7. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    Agreed, lugging around 100 ft of #12 extension cord is no fun either. Electric just won't cut it for us. Our blackberries laugh at .065 trim line. If you have a tough job you'll want to have at least .090 line. If you are doing it for more than 30 minutes I strongly recommend getting a unit that feeds and re-lines easily and reliably for years, has low vibration, easy starting and full shoulder harness option.
    PapaDave and DexterDay like this.
  8. PapaDave

    PapaDave Minister of Fire

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    I 2nd this. I've still got the one I bought about 10 years ago when we still lived downstate.
    Charged the battery last year and it worked fine, but the battery, as StihlHead said, doesn't last very long. I might pull it out this year for right around the house, but it'll probably die before I'm done doing just the house perimeter.
    I bought a gas powered 4 stroker about 3 years ago that does well, but doesn't have the guts of a 2 stroke trimmer.
  9. Backwoods Savage

    Backwoods Savage Minister of Fire

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    FS 45
  10. MasterMech

    MasterMech Guest

    There was a run of those engines where the carburetor was particularly troublesome. IIRC it's not an expensive carburetor to replace @ $30-$40 or so. If it fires on a bit of gas or carb cleaner, then I'd just replace the carb (pretty easy DIY job too) and give it a yank.

    In general, those units are pretty solid.
  11. lukem

    lukem Minister of Fire

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    I have a FS45. It starts on about 6 pulls, give or take. Same with the blower (BG45?). Not exactly easy, but they do start reliably.
  12. flyingcow

    flyingcow Minister of Fire

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    FWIW, I've got a propane fired unit. Uses the camp stove bottles. Works good. But it seems to be heavier than my little husky i had. Also, i can do all of my trimming in 30 minutes. Do on avg every 10 days or so. It does have a shoulder strap.
  13. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    I have the FS85. With fresh gas mix it starts up pretty easy. The trick for ours is to prime it enough.
  14. JBinKC

    JBinKC Feeling the Heat

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    Backwoods I recently bought a 40 volt lithium Ryobi for $149 and it isn't bad at all. Its powerful enough as it cuts through woody weeds and lasts about 40-45 minutes on a charge. The drawback is the unit is bulky and I would use thicker line when I run out of line. Was thinking of buying the chainsaw as a backup to my MS170 for limbing.
  15. Backwoods Savage

    Backwoods Savage Minister of Fire

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    Thanks JB. That is the unit I am considering but can't find it yet. HD says they might get some today.

    I'm wondering why you say it is bulky? In what way. And can you use heavier line? I was thinking on these you had to change the spool.

    Also, am I correct in that they advance the line every time you give it throttle from idle? If so, you could cut down on the amount it uses by not letting it idle very often.

    We got the 180 for limbing and were amazed at how good this little saw is. Love the super light weight and now I catch myself wanting to use that most of the time! I even cut some good sized red oak with it but not that much. That one was better suited for the bigger saw. And if one has to climb a tree to do some limbing, like after a storm, that little thing would really shine.
  16. wishlist

    wishlist Minister of Fire

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    Are you looking for one to fit Judy's hands? I hope not but for what ifs worth Mom has the 18 volt Ryobi lithium batteries. It does a great job for her. Its light, auto advance on the line and last plenty long enough. You can buy already spooled line but its expensive so she buys bulk and spools it herself.
  17. Backwoods Savage

    Backwoods Savage Minister of Fire

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    Needs to fit both of us. From what I've been able to determine there is a huge difference in the 40 volt vs the smaller ones. I hope so but they do have a 30 day return policy.

    Whoops. Judy just asked, "Why in ?ell doesn't he want me to use a big weed whacker? What the ?ell. His mother has to be older than I am." You might say she is not in a great mood today. lol

    btw, in your area, let me know if you see anyone who might sell strawberries this year. We need more than what we have so will have to buy some.
  18. wishlist

    wishlist Minister of Fire

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    So are you saying she's "ornery" ? Lol...

    Will do on the strawberries. My apple trees are loaded this year, hopefully you can try out that new cider press. ;)
  19. Backwoods Savage

    Backwoods Savage Minister of Fire

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    Same here. I was thinking today that I should take some pictures. Frost apparently had no effect the other night at least around here. How did you fare over there?
  20. wishlist

    wishlist Minister of Fire

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    No affect whatsoever. I did notice that frost we had a week or so ago burnt the dandelions pretty good.
  21. Backwoods Savage

    Backwoods Savage Minister of Fire

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    That probably didn't bother a whole lot of folks. ;lol
    MasterMech likes this.
  22. JBinKC

    JBinKC Feeling the Heat

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    The unit is much longer than my past weed trimmers. i.e. Poulan weed eater, Black and Decker electric. It is 69 inches long.

    I was advised that you can use .08 line but was discouraged to use .095.

    The line advance does get stuck on occasion (likely due to how the line was wound up in the spool) but compared to my electric unit which I had to take apart every time the line broke to advance the line it was really nothing.

    One thing that gravitated me to the Ryobi was the $20 reduction in price. The battery pack alone and charger sells for that amount I paid if bought separately for what I paid for the entire unit and for another 100 bucks you leave the option of getting the saw as a back up.

    Yes I also find the small limbing saw addicting due to its weight and my 170 has been the first product that uses a 2 cycle engine that has been practically trouble free for the 8 years I have owned it. The only only repair I had to do with it is replace a 2 foot pull cord. Easily done if you have a number 27 torx.
  23. Backwoods Savage

    Backwoods Savage Minister of Fire

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    Well, I got one today. Hopefully tomorrow I'll get to try it out. $149 for the unit. After I get to use it a few times I'll try to remember to give a review.

    Your saw sounds like our splitter. Over 20 years and not even replaced the pull cord yet. Only thing was the knot at the end came untied. Re-tie the knot and it was fixed. I like those easy fixes.
  24. wishlist

    wishlist Minister of Fire

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    So who is gonna give us the report, you or the lovely Judy?

    That splitter of yours will run another 20 years Dennis if you read the manual and split horizontal. :D
  25. maple1

    maple1 Minister of Fire

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    What did you end up with?

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