Posted By RichC on May 26, 2007
Oh … I bought a new toy this week; and I came on it by accident. After stopping in at several hardware stores, and shops that handle John Deere equipment, in an attempt to find a new spool head for my 2-cycle John Deere string trimmer — vintage 1980s — I ended up purchasing a semi-new one from the clearance area at my local Lowe’s. Not only did the difficultly in finding the proper replacement spool bother me, but I’ve never really liked the 2-cycle noisemaker style trimmers anyway. I’ve been using my trimmer for the past couple of decades in hopes it would wear out, but never really contemplate what there was to replace it. (FYI … I live on some acreage with a long fence line to trim — its a two tank job) Its been a great trimmer and is obviously very well made, but my options was to wait around while the John Deere dealer ordered the overpriced part or replace the whole feeder mechanism for about 30 dollars or so? I was about to do the later, when I spotted a returned and never used Troy-Bilt 4-cycle model selling for half-price. (new one’s were at $164 and the un-used model was $84) I couldn’t resist.
Nevertheless, when I returned home, there were a couple glitches. First, the ‘kill switch’ was wrapped with a large stiff plastic protector which was split to slip over the wires and plastic tied in place. It was poorly designed so I removed it and retaped the wires and fitted them so as not to get snagged. Second, and more annoying, the string spins clockwise … my old one was counter clockwise. Grrr. Third … there is no clutch. The 4-cycle has enough torque to spin the line all the time. Something that takes a little getting use too. Other than those three things, the new trimmer is a no-mix gas sipper and can trim almost everything at an idle. It\’s quiet and has no smoke mixed oil-gas smoke or smell — nice. I\’m not sure I like the no bump cast aluminum string holder yet, but with tougher line and a quick load system, it seems like it might be an improvement over the old wind-up and bump feed that I use to have. On a scale of 1 to 10 I\’ll rate it a 6 if you pay full price but an 8 if you can find it under $100. (noting the plastic parts, I doubt it will out last my old John Deere trimmer … I might just fix it anyway?)
Here\’s the ‘business end’ of the Troy-Bilt 4-cycle String Trimmer