Go for the Stihl. Echo isn't what it used to be. And if you do buy an
Echo, read the fine print somewhere in the middle of the manual that tells
you to use 89 octane gas, never use any gas more than 90 days old, and
always use their oil - never any other kind.
My 1971 (appx.) Echo blower is still going strong. It's had up to
2-year-old regular gas with whatever oil I had to put in it. 2 carb
diaphragms, wore out a few of the nozzles that drag on the ground, and a
fuel tank grommet. That's it.
Bought an Echo blower/shredder/vac 2-1/2 years ago and it literally fell
apart the first time I tried it. The dealer only told me to use their oil -
nothing about the gas requirement. As soon as I'd Locktited the loosening
handle screws (that require lots of disassembly to get to) the plastic
blower housing split wide open. It had less than 1/2 an hour on it, sucking
up leaves in our flowerbeds. Got it back 6 months later after the dealer
insisted that I am a landscaper and had worn it out. In the next half hour
of use (the next fall) the engine seemed hot and finally spit fire out and
melted the plastic engine side of the housing. Another 8 months at the
dealer and I got it back with a new plastic housing half and no word about
any engine repair - still ran hot immediately. Called Echo, went to a huge
dealer, and learned of the fuel issue to which they attributed ALL my
problems (!!??) The cylinder was scored and so the engine was junk. After
many calls they agreed to install a short block for $100 parts, they took
care of labor. And the warrantee was up. Wanna buy it ??
> Just wanted to pass on the less than satisfying tale of my Ryobi BC30
> trimmer. It seemed like $150 well spent: it started well, cut through
> anything with either the string head or brushcutter blade, and felt pretty
> good for 25 months, until the motor appeared to release its hold on the
> output shaft. Too bad it had a 24 month warranty. Their response when I
> asked for some leeway on the 24 months? They sent me a list of authorized
> service centers that would take my money.
> Off to buy an Echo or Stihl.
> Mark Miller
> With weeds starting to take over
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