Pros: Easy to start, Powerful beyond belief
Cons: Expensive but worth every penny
As a homeowner with 1.55 acres to keep up, working rotating shifts at my job leaves precious little time to attend to my yard duties during summer where the sun shines up until 9.00 p.m. at night giving grass and weeds ample time to grow. As usual my grass and weed trimmer quit. I needed to get serious about finding a trimmer that wouldn't lay down on me when I needed it most like my Ryobi had just done. Having bought what ever trimmer was on sale for years I had become tired of throwing good money after bad and had come to a decision which would require me to bite the bullet and shell out some serious green for a trimmer that wouldn't need replacing next year and that wouldn't cause me constant pain and suffering due to mechanical malfunction just when I needed said equipment to perform.
After researching features offered by trimmers meant solely for consumption by homeowners I began researching equipment used by professionals. Asking questions of local landscapers and yard care experts I found most stuck to the usual brand names, Husqvarna, Stihl, Echo and Shindaiwa. Most though swore by Shindaiwa and after confirming that fact with a local power tool dealer I felt confident in purchasing the Shindaiwa T261.
The features I like about the Shindaiwa are:
1. First, and most important, it starts first time every time. This is no joke, I don't even prime it or use the choke. Never have had to. At most a couple of pulls is all it takes to have it growling like a hungry wolf and ready to go to work.
2. I thought I had a good idea of what a powerful trimmer was. WRONG! This sucker is a no b.s. weed slinging grass eating monster. I could have bought the model just under this one, the T231, for less and been just as well off, as far as what my needs were concerned, but I bought the extra power so I could use larger diameter cutting line and am well pleased.
3. Very little vibration gets through to your hands. I trim a very long fence line between myself and a large pasture and after finishing, which takes about an hour, I don't feel any residual effects from it. The handles, including a loop style handle which gives great control, are generously padded and very comfortable, an allen head wrench is needed to adjust the handle backward or forward.
4. The debris guard is large and deflects rocks and other flying objects very well. Please wear protective equipment, especially long pants and safety glasses, because when rocks and other debris do get by the guard they are going very fast and could cause a lot of pain and suffering.
5. Shindaiwa products are sold only through certified dealers and they must service what they sell. An excellent warranty accompanies each and every product they sell. I purchased mine from a certified dealer just down the road from me. Now I have the comfort of knowing that if my trimmer does get sick help is just down the road.
There are many more excellent features included in the T261 but these are the features that are the most striking about the product to me. This quality tool is not mass produced to simply satisfy a market for a cheap throw away product. First class components and quality control throughout the assembly process has produced an obviously superior product that sets the bar high for other companies to aspire to.