Pros: Rapid loading 2-Line Head, Light weight, Easy starts, Commercial quality and durability
Cons: Designed for a person under 6' tall-Buy an Echo Straight-shaft trimmer if you are taller
After reading several epinions on grass trimmers, I was interested in the Echo GT-200R. My lawn is about 1/4 acres and I have a lot of areas that require trimming. I had been looking for a product that met the following criteria:
1. Retail Price less than $150.00
2. Gas powered-I can't stand tripping over cords
3. Durable and engineered well
4. Lightweight-to reduce fatigue
I compared several brands of trimmers and decided I would compare the Stihl and the Echo Curved Shaft Trimmers. Several people I spoke with were very loyal to these brands. I started to notice, though, that just about every professional landscaper I saw was using Echo products. I figured that if those guys don't break them, Echo products are a safe bet.
The Echo GT 200R Grass Trimmer is the model that met my requirements. I bought mine at Home Depot, fully assembled for $149. The trimmer is packaged with the following:
-Echo Power Blend 2-Stroke oil(bottle for one gallon of gas)
If you are purchasing your first gas trimmer, I suggest you pick up gloves and a gas can for your 2-cycle fuel.
Note: This trimmer requires 89 Octane Fuel
Operation of the trimmer is very easy. You flip on the ignition switch, prime it and use the choke setting.
The i-30 starting technology reduces the effort required to pull start dramatically. It started on the second pull.
The Rapid Loader 2-Line Head is designed so you don't need to load wrapped string into the trimmer head.
I am the guy that chucked my fishing pole the fifteenth time the line turned into a tangled mess in the reel. The Rapid Loader 2-Line Head allows you to simply poke two 8" lengths of line into slots and you are back in business! When you wear them out, pull a couple more out of your back pocket and you are trimming in ten seconds.By the way, if you like a regular spooled line Echo dealers carry them for this trimmer
Trimming is a little tricky if you are a novice, but within ten minutes I was comfortable. The trimmer weighs 9.04lbs(which is lightweight-a harness is not required) The 55 in.
length is comfortable for someone under six foot tall. A taller person should consider a straight shaft trimmer.
The Engine is a 21.2cc Air cooled, two-stroke engine which is controlled by a single throttle lever on the handle. At idle, the trimming head doesn't move and as you increase the rpm a centrifugal clutch engages and spins the head. Like all gas trimmers, it makes noise so you might want to pick up some earplugs and trim after the neighbors finish their coffee.
I completed my yard in about 20 minutes. The light weight really is a bonus and the trimmer had no significant vibration, which can be bothersome with other brands. The Echo GT-200R Grass Trimmer will easily trim grass and moderate brush.
Overall, I am very happy with the Echo GT-200R Grass Trimmer. I strongly recommend this product.
The two-cycle engine design from Echo is used on Mantis Tillers and should be very reliable in any Echo products you might consider for your outdoor power equipment.
******December 2011*****Echo Trimmer still running--winterizing it today for next Spring
******April 2011***-Echo trimmer started up fine-all set for Spring
******December 2010 -Echo Trimmer still running fine! Did annual tuneup and drained for Winter*****
*******August 2009 - Echo trimmer still running fine. I have not been easy on this piece of equipment but it is very tough.
*****December 2008-Still fires up quickly and has had absolutely no problems. I replace the plug, clean the exhaust screen and lubricate the flexible drive shaft with lithium grease in addition to emptying out the fuel. It is a good idea to replace the plastic fuel lines and buy a tune-up kit at Home Depot.
****June 9, 2006-I am well into a third season with absolutely no problems. Make sure you change spark plugs each year.(All 2 cycles start fouling if you don't)
****November 15, 2005-I just finished a second season with the trimmer with no problems and easy starts-I emptied the fuel tank and "winterized" the trimmer. I still highly recommend the Echo GT200R Grass Trimmer-***
****June 24th, 2005 Maintenance update-I purchased the Echo tune-up kit at Home Depot.(fuel & air filter,plug) I was beginning to experience rough starts. When I pulled the plug it was black and fouled. After replacing the items the trimmer runs like new. This is recommended maintenance.
****March 12th, 2005 Update after a full summer of use and storage over the winter season-starts right up!***