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  1. #1
    Epic Contributor Soundguy's Avatar
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    Default walk behind string trimmer: craftsman or swisher

    right now craftsman has their high wheel string trimmer on sale from about 500 down to 340. TSC also has a swisher for 340. both are 6.75 hp and 22" swath cut. functionally they look the same to me.. engine, wheels, front cutter head. swisher has the head offset to the left a bit to get closer to an edge.. sears unit looks centered. swisher is a B&S engine.. can't tell on the sears unit.

    any opinions between them?

    I need something bigger than a string trimmer to cut some thick weeds that grow around the barn and metal buildings.. where I can't get a rider or tractor near. and I'm tired of using a swing fling!

    opinions between the 2?

    soundguy

  2. #2
    Elite Member smstonypoint's Avatar
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    Default Re: walk behind string trimmer: craftsman or swisher

    Soundguy,

    I don't have any knowledge of those units, but for that kind on money, or a little bit more, you could buy a brushcutter -- a weedeater on steroids-- that uses a metal blade.

    I have a Husqvarna 235FR that allows me to switch between a string trimmer head and the metal blade. It's not too unwieldy with "bicycle bar" handles and a harness. I use a metal blade most of the time because it doesn't sling grass, weeds, and most importantly, poison oak all over me. I switch to the string trimmer head when I'm around metal and stone objects.

    I've heard great things about the Stihl brushcutters, but I got a good deal on the Husqvarna.

    Just something to consider.

    Steve

  3. #3
    Epic Contributor Soundguy's Avatar
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    Default Re: walk behind string trimmer: craftsman or swisher

    I can already get a metal bladed head for my gas string trimmer.. but I wonder about the hp needed.. etc..

    soundguy

  4. #4
    Epic Contributor Bird's Avatar
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    Default Re: walk behind string trimmer: craftsman or swisher

    swisher has the head offset to the left a bit to get closer to an edge.. sears unit looks centered.
    Are both of those "fixed" positions? The DR trimmer/mower I had could be locked in either of those positions, and was quite easily switched back and forth between them.
    Bird

  5. #5
    Elite Member smstonypoint's Avatar
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    Default Re: walk behind string trimmer: craftsman or swisher

    Quote Originally Posted by Soundguy View Post
    I can already get a metal bladed head for my gas string trimmer.. but I wonder about the hp needed.. etc..

    soundguy
    The 235FR has a 40cc - 1.8HP engine. I also have a 225R that has a 25cc engine, I can't remember it's HP.

    I burned the piston in the 225R's engine and used that as an excuse to upgrade to the 235FR. The 225R sometimes struggled when I was using its brush cutting blade (the one that looks like a circular saw blade) to cut larger saplings, brush, etc. but had no problems when I was using its grass/weed blade for its intended purpose. I replaced the engine in the 225R and use it to cut grass, weeds, briars, etc. around my farmstead.

    Steve

  6. #6
    Epic Contributor Soundguy's Avatar
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    Default Re: walk behind string trimmer: craftsman or swisher

    Quote Originally Posted by Bird View Post
    Are both of those "fixed" positions? The DR trimmer/mower I had could be locked in either of those positions, and was quite easily switched back and forth between them.
    both fixed.

    tsc fixed left, craftsman fixed middle.

    the craftsman looks all the world like a re badged ariens

    soundguy

  7. #7
    Epic Contributor Soundguy's Avatar
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    Default Re: walk behind string trimmer: craftsman or swisher

    Quote Originally Posted by smstonypoint View Post
    The 235FR has a 40cc - 1.8HP engine. I also have a 225R that has a 25cc engine, I can't remember it's HP.

    I burned the piston in the 225R's engine and used that as an excuse to upgrade to the 235FR. The 225R sometimes struggled when I was using its brush cutting blade (the one that looks like a circular saw blade) to cut larger saplings, brush, etc. but had no problems when I was using its grass/weed blade for its intended purpose. I replaced the engine in the 225R and use it to cut grass, weeds, briars, etc. around my farmstead.

    Steve
    due to cattle and horses.. my pasture gets some pretty weird stemmy weeds along the edges. it eats the string right out of my string trimmer, and sometimes it's so thick I run out of hp ( 34cc ).. I thought about the metal bladed style.. but.. not sure if it's worth buying the replacement head if I don't have enough crankshaft to push it..

    soundguy

  8. #8
    Elite Member smstonypoint's Avatar
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    Default Re: walk behind string trimmer: craftsman or swisher

    Quote Originally Posted by Soundguy View Post
    due to cattle and horses.. my pasture gets some pretty weird stemmy weeds along the edges. it eats the string right out of my string trimmer, and sometimes it's so thick I run out of hp ( 34cc ).. I thought about the metal bladed style.. but.. not sure if it's worth buying the replacement head if I don't have enough crankshaft to push it..

    soundguy
    Do you have poke berry weeds in Florida? They are no problem for the 25cc 225R with a grass/weed blade.

    Steve

  9. #9
    Epic Contributor Soundguy's Avatar
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    Default Re: walk behind string trimmer: craftsman or swisher

    yes we have them.. and some other weeds that are real fibery..

    soundguy

  10. #10
    Bronze Member
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    Default Re: walk behind string trimmer: craftsman or swisher

    Quote Originally Posted by Soundguy View Post
    swisher has the head offset to the left a bit
    Quote Originally Posted by Bird View Post
    Are both of those "fixed" positions?
    I have the Swisher Trim-N-Mow, bought it at Lowes a few years ago, exact same model sold at TSC. The head is *not* fixed (at least, not on mine). Out of the box it was centered. It has bolt patterns for left, right or centered. I put mine to the left because it's easier to get under our fence line that way due to the pattern I walk around our property with it, which is clockwise more or less. To me it's much more useful in the offset position. I bought some heavy-duty line for it, which is square in cross-section, giving four cutting "edges" to each of the two lines.

    A word of caution on the Swisher: it really, really throws weed debris, small pebbles, brush, thorns, etc., all over the operator. It has one small plastic guard underneath and that's it. Some of these machines, possibly the Craftsman version, have better plastic guards which extend out to the sides a bit. It throws to the right, so maybe if I changed it to right offset, perhaps I wouldn't get hit so much as I do on the left offset. As it is now, I have to suit up to run this thing -- long pants of course, boots, long sleeve shirt, safety glasses, bandanna and hat -- because it just covers me in clippings and pelts me with pebbles.

    I bought it because I needed it and the local Lowes had it in stock. It has consistently been the best running and most reliable machine of all my powered outdoor gear. And it cuts very well. However you might want to look into the Husqvarna HU625HWT walk-behind trimmer, which has a 6.25hp B&S plus the better brush guards and at $300 is less expensive than the Swisher or Craftsman models:

    HU625HWT - Lawnmowers

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