Weight (Fueled): 10 pounds
Decibels (A-weighted): 108
Engine Size (CC): 21.7
"Light," "agile" and "fierce" are the three words that best describe the RedMax. It was the only trimmer to come from the factory with a stiff, noise-reducing trimmer line—you've seen this stuff; it looks like twisted red licorice. The line is more than enough for grass and took a fearsome bite out of the brush we cut through, even taking down small seedlings along the way.
Dislikes: We have three minor complaints with this otherwise fine machine. It has a clumsy upside-down purge bulb. Instead of a skidplate, it has two undersize bumpers below the gas tank, and the gap between the line head and the bevel gear permits weed winding.
Weight (Fueled): 13 pounds
Decibels (A-weighted): 109
Engine Size (CC): 27.2
From its three-position choke lever to its completely encased engine (as POULAN PRO WEED EATER ) to its Easy Start gentle-pull recoil start, the Stihl represents careful, fastidious engineering. Yet an iron fist lurks in that velvet glove. Its cut is vicious, rivaling the Echo's. We laced into a blackberry bramble with this trimmer and sent the thorny stalks flying.
Dislikes: Vibration. The Stihl began the test with a fair amount of it (not unusual in handheld outdoor power equipment before the parts wear in). Yet no reduction in vibration was noted by the end of the test; otherwise, this would have been a five-star machine.