Efco DS2800S and Echo DS2600 4S

Efco DS2800S brushcutter - image: HW
Efco DS2800S brushcutter - image: HW
Brushcutters and line trimmers are essential tools for grounds care workers. Their usefulness is bolstered by a diversity of models offering different configurations, power ratings and attachments.

Choose between straight or bent shafts; two-stroke, four-stroke or hybrid engines; displacements from 18cc to 52cc; backpack models and blades or nylon-line trimming heads.

Here we focus on loop-handled machines. Having smallto medium-sized engines, they tend to be light and can out-manoeuvre their bike-handled counterparts on banks. Having a shoulder strap rather than a full harness, loop-handled units also make ideal grab-and-trim machines to follow mowing operations.

Bike-handled brushcutters for use in clearance operations will be covered in a future Buyers' Guide and Kit Tests.


Tested This Week
Echo SRM-265TESL
Shindaiwa T310XS
Sanli GTS26
Efco DS2800S and DS2600 4S
Stihl FS70RC-E
Stihl FS240C-E
Stihl FSA85 Cordless Grass Trimmer
Pellenc
Bosch ART 26 LI

The Review Panel

Andre Gardner, grounds manager, Bridgwater College, Cannington Campus

Jane Alcock, head gardener, Walled Garden, Cannington Campus

Ian Phipps, grounds mechanic, Bridgwater College, Cannington Campus

Loop-handled grass trimmers and brushcutters are indispensable when it comes to trimming up after mowing operations. Whizzing round obstacles and along fence lines, they quickly get the job done. Being lightweight and easily manoeuvred, they are suitable for operations on uneven and sloping ground.

We asked the grounds team at the Cannington Campus of Bridgwater College, to put some new machines through their paces. The kit included three battery-powered units as well as an assortment of two-stroke, four-stroke and hybrid-engined units. The trimmers were used to tidy fence lines, cut grass between trees on the golf course and trim around chipping nets. Conditions on the day were dry, sunny and warm.

Efco DS2800S and DS2600 4S

These two similar-sized trimmers from Italian manufacturer Efco could not be more different.

The DS2800 is from the Universal range. It boasts aluminium housing, a 7mm internal drive shaft, a digital coil with electronic control, high torque and low fuel consumption. It starts easily. It cuts grass. We appreciate the snap cover on the generously proportioned paper filter. But we do not like the vibrations, which were recorded by Efco at 3.5m/s2 (DX) and 3.9m/s2 (SX).

"There's a lot of vibration there," notes Gardner. Alcock confirms that she is disappointed by this, too.

Gardner tries the four-stroke machine for comparison. The DS3600 4S is powered by a bigger Honda engine, so it weighs a bit more. But Gardner is happy with it.

"Completely different beast," he smiles. "It's a good machine. It's easy to start, so easy I almost yanked my arm out of its socket. There's not quite as much power as the two-stroke,but in other respects it is much better."

The manufacturer-recorded vibration levels for this machine are higher than the DS2800S but, oddly, they feel less.

The reduction in unburned hydrocarbons and nitrogen oxide, plus the easy starter and greater comfort in use, mean the four-stroke model gets the thumbs-up.

Specifications
Model: DS2800S/DS3600 4S
Engine: 27cc two-stroke/Honda 25cc four-stroke
Power output: 1kW/0.8kW
Weight: 5.5kg/5.6kg
Fuel tank: 0.58litres/0.6litres
Vibration: 3.5m/s2 and 3.9m/s2/ 4.5m/s2 and 6m/s2
Cutting head: Two-string head and three-tooth blade
List price: £272.34/£331.91 + VAT
Contact: Emak - 01543 687660


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