I maybe strong and tough but I want a strong

05/21/2009 - 06:52

I maybe strong and tough but I want a strong and tough brushcutter to clear the grass/weeds amongst the 80+ olive trees on my 1 hectare plot that is not flat!

Narrowed it down to either a Stihl or Honda and the dealer reckons a 25cc model will be good enough but I am leaning towards a 35cc one. 

Anyone got any recommendations/experiences??





over the last fifteen years i've used several different ones including a four stroke petrol honda (this last one i was definitely not satisfied with) i 've used blitz,stihl, and currently have an echo and the best i've ever had which is a 45-shindaiwa it's a bit like driving a big audi after a panda but it is so well balanced as to be at the end less heavy than my 35-echo.25 is to my mind too small ,whilst it will work all right it just won't last very long if it has to be used regularly on bigger jobs.

What ever you get plump for the highest rated power output. In my experience any 2 stroke machine, be it Brush Cutters, Chain Saws, Strimmers the higher power you get the easier your job will be.And it gives a better sound.......Boys Toys.......

Have just been looking at strimmers ourselves as our old one has just given up the ghost and in Comunanza they recommended the shindaiwa. Even though we had never heard of them, they stock all the parts and if anything does go wrong, they can be fixed straight away. The problem with our our JCB is no one stocks the parts and we have tried several places (same goes for our McCuloch chain saw - no spare parts!).

 We managed to lose one of the little brass ring things that you pass the nylon cable through.  No one can replace it!!  We contacted the agri centre from where we had bought it - too new a machine, didn't have any.  We e-mailed manufacturer quoted on instruction book, referred us to local supplier.  Local supplier spent days trying to source it but had to admit defeat.  We have resorted to using similar sized rings - fell out after a couple of hours use.  We then bought a whole new head - machine works but not as efficient.  Shame because it used to get the job done.  We haven't given up yet but would recommend anyone considering spending nearly €400 on this particular machine that they first check with the retailer if they stock spare thingys that you thread the nylon cutting reel through - if you find any let us know :)

stihl... very light... echo good too  my theory on all these machines...things like muculloch... etc etc is that you can spend money on honda or stihl ... and what you get is a machine that will last basically no longer but pay a lot more...i wouldn't even try to strim a hectare... soul destroying..anyway the things to look out for in my opinion is the size of cord they say you can fit.. the thicker the better...or if it has a chain attachment even better...balance this with what you think you can do... two days strimming will leave your hands with a permanent shake for at least the next 2 days...so wine has to be drunk straight from the bottle to avoid spillage...four stroke over two reduces this effect which is cumulative,... its going to damage you permanently...the more you pay the more balanced the machine.. however the safety ware will cost more... proper shoes which you will not cut your toes off in..  and a screen... wire mesh not plastic... doesnt steam up  ear protection ... finally good gloves.. after all that the other thing with two stroke is the fumes...four stroke beats itthe other thing with more expensive versions is that on the stihl i can fir the hedge-cutter and the small branch lopper... so one engine does all saying all that and we have a smaller area than yours ... on quite a slope.. we have a kawasaki motor mower thing... cuts down anything  with hydraulic drive...which means it doesnt run away on the hills and diff lock for climbing... you sit in that thing and cut a hectare an hour.... afterwards strim the steep bits and around the trees... the other machine is pedestrian ... and is a strimmer with power driven wheels... anything to keep a big machine off shoulders and from shaking you to bits is my philosophyso there are my mix of thoughts.. no doubt if you bother reading it all you ll be no wiser... but there are more options on an amount of land that size than strimmers...        

Some great advice, thank you.  Good job I drink straight from the bottle - what sort of cowboy would I be if I used a glass! I agree there are better ways to cut a hectare of grass/weeds but we do not live out there permanently yet, so this is a once a year ritual and more importantly we are only half way through our restoration and at the moment we have nowhere secure to leave any larger machinery.  A nice ride on machine would soon ride off in the Puglian sunset (must stop using this cowboy terminology!). So as I see it, the Honda being fourstroke will be less vibrations but the Stihl will be lighter and more versatile with the attachments which may well prove useful with pruning.  There is however about a £200 price difference with the Stihl being more expensive.  So price v practicality, when  in 18 months I end up going out and buying a small ride on - Not sure will have to sleep on it! MBK   

In reply to by Milky Bar Kid

Milky Bar Kid - Only the best is good enough! Can you let me know what you choose and what you think as we have to make the same purchase.....not for a hectare though! 

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

another point which i thought of whilst having strimming nightmares is the fact that if both or either of you are going to be picking olives is the other good thing about a small pulling unit...ie you put the boxes of olives in a trailor to get them back up to the barn or whatever...due to age ... i have also become lazy and on a hot day load all the hand held stuff, petrol cans etc...etc... ice box with beer and other sustenance and head off down hill...further point is the trimming and wood carrying... olive twigs are good for starting barbeques... and barnches excellent for log fires... both weigh a ton...understand problems with places if you are not there all the time.. but if that is the case i would choose a cheapo strimmer from castorama or some such place... and manage with it for a while...  getting a decent sized one will only cost a couple of hundred euro i aslo used to have various machines from husquana in the UK...  they make good chain saws... and strimmers and chose one of those from a local shop for the ride on...  here ... because had had them in the UK... however did not take account of the fact that the hills here are just as steep as they feel when walking and the damn machine took off as soon as i headed down the slope and was lucky to walk away... well limp from the ensuing tangle... not a scratch on the machine which went back to the shop the next day and we ended up with as i mentioned before a quite serious peice of safe equipment... with a full hydraulic system that you just set the speed on and it brakes by itself with the wheels locked together... good luck with it all

Thanks again for the input.  I think I will go for the cheap option and buy a Honda in the UK, which I can pick up for about £250.  I have a dislike of Castorama and cheap electronics - last time we were over funds were tight and we fell for the marketing ploy of reduced by 50% and bought a Polti vacuum cleaner - named it after our teenage son as it makes loads of noise but does bugger all!

Just a word that if you don't reside there why no get a neighbour with some goats to roam through evry now and then and they are probably teh best way to keep things in hand, or get a small flock yourself as I understand there are EU incentives for keeping livestock.... Just a thought.

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

If money was no object then I would buy a Stihl, superb reputation good representation in Italy and they hold their resale value - just look on ebay.  However at the moment budget is an issue for me and as I will only use it a couple of times over the next two years before I buy a mini tractor then I have gone for the buget Ryobi 52cc Professional brushcutter.  I have managed to get this for £119 (the Stihl would be £500+) which even with budget constraints will allow me to invest in a scythe which will be my backup if the Ryobi turns out to be a pile of ****.  Having said that this Ryobi has had some excellent reviews ( I have not found a negative one) and appears to be a far cry from their normal DIY standard.  Anyway I will be using it at the end of June and will report back for those interested.

In reply to by Milky Bar Kid

As promised here is the feedback on my brushcutter saga.  Quick recap, took the Ryobi due to budget constraints. First hour just tried the strimmer - OK but not wonderful. Second hour tried the blade - much better Third hour - Machine seized - yes seized, basically due to poor assembly Fourth Hour - Went to local Fermanta and bought a Husqvarna Hours 5 to 9 - sheer bliss - didn't need to use the blade, just strimmed - far superior to the Ryobi with a blade - much better balanced machine, lighter although only 2cc smaller, really fast and a real pleasure to use. Cleared a hectare of grass really quickly. The only positive about the Ryobi is that it came with a really good double harness.Once repaired look out for a cheap secondhand Ryobi on Ebay!!  

In reply to by flyingveepixie

Yes I looked at the thread that covered the use of an Austrian scythe and initialy I was attracted to it - good exercise, no noise & no fuel.  However I was concerned that it would take me some time to learn the correct technique and I would end up spending a whole week just cutting and getting blisters, bad back etc.  If I had say 2,000 sqm I would have a go but 10k is possibly a bit too much for an untarained, unfit novice?  OR have I got it wrong and I will clear  it in a day?

I SEE YOU'RE STILL ALL HERE.story 1. I stupidly bought a McCollough from a local hardware store.it turned out to be rather heavy 45,definitely not well made etc.not content with it i even more stupidly got a three prong blade for it.the first time using the blade one of the points  sheared off in the form of an arrow head flew just past my neck could esily have killed me.the strimmer then broke down.no one in the area was able to fix this brand,a rep took it back to ancona to send to wherever it came back three months later by which time i'd procured another.after repair it lasted a week broke again  i gave it away.story 2. the second one was definitely very good all be it rather small 27.called BLITZ assembled if not made in reggio emilia.it was used until it eventually was literally worn out (3 years) but we have to do unfortunately a lot of strimming here no alternative.story3.the next one was the honda 4 stroke it's plus was that it was decidedly quieter,used petrol rather than miscela,and worked well on low revs needed when you were going round say an olive or near to rocks.HOWEVER it was definitely under standard when working fast it just didn't have the revs/speed of the miscela 2 stroke.so i put it in against the price of a new ECHO which i still have and is still going well.story 4. this year i decided to get another really good one so our worker could use the echo while i used the new one.thats were the shindaiwa came on the scene.all but cheap euro 600. amazingly balanced to the extent that it seems as a 45 to weigh less than the echo which is a 35.it's definitely and by far the best i've ever used.blades i'll never use again just too dangerous as we have a lot of rocks in the ground here.but i found a new cord which has a cord within a cord without being too fat and rarely breaks.   

I have just purchased a Ryobi 50cc brush and line cutter. Buying directly from the factory saves about £50 and it comes complete with all fittings. I bought extra line and a head whilst I was at it and had it posted to our boys house. I collected when over in the UK about a month ago and it has been a great piece of kit at £150ish. I took the engine off for ease of transport and it went into the car nicely. I also bought one of their cordless strimmers which is an equally versatile tool and very handy for light work away from the house. I get about 45-60 minutes work from one charge after which its time for a gin anyway.I do a lot of woodworking and Ryobi are achieving quite a good reputation amongst fellow woodturners. Their website is atwww.ryobipower.co.uk