Pros: Easy dependable start, easy to maneuver, effective in thick weeds
Cons: Vibration, sometimes won't turn off
Last season our old MTD String Trimmer finally died a heroic death, after several seasons of hard work keeping at bay the brush, weeds, and overgrowth of our heavily wooded acreage. Our land is rural and rough, with rocks, trees, fences, inclines and declines, and requires an arsenal of lawn care equipment to deal with. One of the items in our arsenal must be some kind of heavy duty wheeled weed whacker, so we needed a replacement real quick like. The MTD had been great, and a similar MTD model would have been fine, but none were to be found. The Sears Craftsman 6 hp High Wheeled Weed Trimmer 77370 was virtually the only such wheeled trimmer we could find locally that seemed heavy duty enough for our acreage, so we crossed our fingers and hoped for the best. Here's some of the basic information about this model:
~ Product Description
This Craftsman model was quite easy to set up right out of the box, with just some minor assembly. Craftsman thoughtfully included the necessary oil for the engine, along with two sets of trimmer line. The trimmer line this model uses is the real thick, heavy duty 0.155 diameter line, and is 18.75 inches long. You REALLY need to be sure to use this size trimmer line when you replace it.
The gasoline capacity is 1.6 quarts (unleaded regular), the oil capacity is 20 oz. I noticed right off that the wheel base of this Craftsman is narrower than the MTD. I believe the cutting swath is the same though, because they both use the same length trimmer line. The Craftsman's narrower wheel base allows you to get into smaller spaces, and also makes it a little easier to maneuver.
This model allows you to adjust the trimming height with a relatively easy adjustment on the trimmer head.
~ Safety and Cautions
These trimmers can throw rocks! I know, because my MTD flung a small rock which hit me in the forehead and gave me a nice owie once. (Gravel from the driveway sometimes gets in the grass, especially after winter snow plowing.) Wear your safety glasses, please, when using this type of equipment. While Craftsman doesn't so specify, I would personally suggest you also wear long pants, but maybe that's just me 'cause I'm a wuss and I don't want to chance any debris hitting my legs. You decide.
~ My Experience
Starting up the Craftsman 6 hp Wheeled Trimmer is easy - just push the primer three times, move the throttle control lever to "Fast", hold the upper handle and pull the starter cord. You're off and running! I noticed another reviewer had some problems with the starter cord not retracting, however that has never happened in my experience. To start trimming, hold down the trimmer control bar to activate the trimmer line.
As I mentioned, the grass and weeds that I need to trim are thick and heavy, including some small sapling-like growths. I need to trim right up next to large boulders and around trees. The Craftsman really delivers in the cutting and trimming department! It cuts through everything I've thrown at it with ease. I even had to cut grass and weeds in areas that was nearly 2 feet high, and the Craftsman performed admirably. It was a dream to maneuver around trees and in smaller areas. It was somewhat difficult to push over rough terrain, but so was the MTD. These are not self-propelled, so there is some grunt work necessary for my land anyway, but I was expecting that. It's still way more better than a hand-held weed trimmer, especially when you have as much to cut as I do!
The Craftsman's heavy duty trimmer line seems to hang in there like a champ, even when cutting right next to concrete and boulders, hitting odd objects, and the like. Eventually though, you'll need to change out the line. It's pretty easy to put on new line - the harder part is removing the old line, however with a little practice it gets easier.
I did have an issue with vibration at first. My hands almost went numb with the vibration, until I discovered that grass had clogged up around the head and caused it to rotate a little off balance. After clearing that out, the vibration was better, but I dunno, still not quite as smooth as the MTD. Note that it has never clogged to the point of stopping, or stalling, even in damp, heavy weeds. But if you feel a really bad vibration, check the trimmer head and make sure there's no grass around it.
Another minor issue is that occasionally when you turn the throttle control to stop, it won't stop - it just idles slowly. Moving the throttle back on, and then off firmly has so far worked for me, but I hope this doesn't turn into a bigger issue.
~ Final Thoughts
The Sears Craftsman 6 hp High Wheeled Weed Trimmer 77370 is a real workhorse, and perfect for anyone with rougher kinds of acreage. Its narrow wheel base allows you to maneuver around rocks and trees and get into tighter spots. The Craftsman seems to be well made and heavy duty enough for our rigorous needs. It cuts and trims like a champ, even through very thick, heavy, even damp weeds, brush and grass without clogging. Vibration is a bit much for me though, and I have had an occasional problem with the trimmer not fully stopping. Otherwise, it's doing an excellent job.
You might want to check out the MTD, too:
MTD Yard Man 5 hp String Trimmer