The Echo trimmer is a tool Fran has used for more than eight years. It always starts and always works. Fran named it Bruno "because it's a beast!". You can see in the videos she loves the power she commands with a flick of her finger. Every so often you become genuinely fond of a machine, and that makes it easy to recommend the Echo SRM-225 trimmer.
It has what Echo calls the i-30™ starting system. It means it is much easier to pull the starter rope to turn the engine over. Fran has no problem starting Bruno in the videos. The biggest trick is remembering to make sure the on/off switch is set to on!
It has a 59 inch shaft…almost 5 feet. That means you can trim up a hill without climbing or easily reach over into a weedy patch.
I just counted and gosh, I have 9 detailed videos staring Bruno (the Echo SRM-225). Look on the right for links.
Maintenance? Fran has cleaned it every so often. I sharpened the line cutter once (video here). A few times some brush wrapped around the head and I cleared that out (video here). We cleaned the air filter. Added more line as needed. But nothing ever broke or anything!
I switched our 3-year-old Echo to a Speed Feed Head for faster loading (see how to video here). Lucky you, this newer model already has the Speed-Feed trimmer head!
And there are 6 different models of Echo trimmers! I like the SRM-225, it’s powerful but not too heavy…but you may want a bigger one or whatever.
See a list of all eight our Echo videos listed elsewhere on this page.
A Universal String Trimmer Strap very quickly became essential. Having a shoulder strap makes the trimmer much lighter. The trimmer only weighs 12 pounds, but even 12 pounds is much easier to carry when you use a shoulder strap. For a few bucks more, you can get a padded shoulder strap.
Then I even tried the Grass Gator Head (2 videos, here and here), which has three solid blades for tougher jobs. I watched it cut down bushes with finger-sized trunks. I decided not to try it on any actual fingers (Fran is such a party pooper sometimes). I have videos of the Grass Gator in action here.
The Echo SRM-225 trimmer is powerful and it can throw stuff around at a high velocity. If the line happens to hit a rock or chops up thick stems they can fly out and whack you. Kind of like if someone was shooting rubber bands around. This isn't like a wimpy electric trimmer…it's the difference between Bruce Banner and the Hulk. There are bigger ones, but this one seems like the perfect balance of power and weight.
Wear some reasonable protective clothing. Protect your hearing with some sort of ear plugs, too. Fran usually wears gloves and a long sleeved shirt, too.
Face shield - a full face shield is ideal, that's what Fran wears, but at least wear goggles. When ordering from Amazon, take note of what has a reasonably short shipping time.
Ear protectors - You probably have some that'll do already. If not, here is the kind Fran uses. She likes how they can slip under her hair comfortably. They're lightweight, and cut the noise down to a hum. Plus they're inexpensive!
Protective pants - Carhartt makes great, durable bib overalls. Order them at least a size too large and you can just step into them. No need to change pants! And "floppy" pants actually stop flying debris better than tight pants…and they breath better, too. Make sure you buy un-lined pants…much cooler in summer! Fran shows how to make bibs sexy in this video.
Shoes, not flip flops! Seriously, this trimmer is powerful and stuff goes flying, including small stones if you hit one. I find any sort of tennis shoes are good enough.
Trimmer line - In a couple months you'll need more trimmer line. Some other trimmers come with a line that has circle shape in cross section. Bruno comes with a line that has 4 raised squared sides that create 8 sharp edges which cuts way better. Viewed from the end it looks like a plus sign (+). It's called "Cross-Fire 0.095 in. Premium Nylon Trimmer Line". Each time you re-load you'll use around 20 feet of line, so a package will last a long time.You can find it at Home Depot when you need more. Amazon has it for around here, if you don't want to get out of your chair.
The Echo SRM-225 trimmer even comes with a special 2-stroke oil you mix with the gas. The neat thing is it comes in 2.6 ounces bottles that you add to one gallon of gas which results in a perfect 50:1 proportion of gas to oil. Of course you can use regular, cheaper 2-stroke oil and measure it out.
Be sure to add oil to the gas!!! That's how the engine is lubricated.
I strongly recommend that you use premium gas without ethanol because the ethanol will ruin your motor…ethanol forms a varnish on internal small engine parts and gums them up. Look on the pumps at your local stations or call around to find ethanol-free gas, but it will be worth the quest in the long run. The engine will last longer. Sometimes there's a label saying it's for "Classic cars". Premium gas costs more, but this trimmer sips gas. It probably costs about 25 cents an hour in gas or less.
The Outdoor Power Equipment Institute says make sure the gas contains 10% or less ethanol. Click here for more information.
We made a bunch of YouTube videos to show why we like our Echo…and how to maintain, repair or add accessories.
Fran shows how easy it is to start, what safety gear to wear and tests it by mowing through some really thick weeds.
See how easily it starts!
How to adjust the choke, prime the engine, start 'er up and shut 'er down. The basics cuz nobody is born knowing this stuff.
Full disclosure: I have personally bought and used almost everything I mention on my web site. I search for good deals on good products for myself and tell you where to find them. If you buy from Amazon I do get a small commission, but you get the same price you would anyway. Most of the other stores I mention pay me nothing, but if they are convenient or have a good deal, I tell you.
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