Review - Lehr Propane-powered weed wacker

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mkepke

New User
Mark
I needed a new string trimmer and opted for the Lehr ST025DC. This is a novel trimmer since its combustion engine is powered by PROPANE. It uses the little 16 oz camping canisters available everywhere.



Lehr makes four models, all identical except they come with either a curved shaft or straight shaft and either take attachments or don't, so four models in total. Note that Sears sells these models under the Craftsman name also. The attachment-capable models take 3rd party attachments, e.g. Ryobi, Poulan. I bought the "..DC" for "Detachable Curved" - takes attachments; has a curved shaft.

I bought my trimmer mail-order (innernet) and it arrived in the factory cardboard box. The box design is good and the trimmer arrived in immaculate condition.

Some trivial assembly was required - attach the string-guard, attach the handle, attach the sling, fill oil - but the manuf. included clear instructions and tools (and oil for the crankcase - somewhat ironic given the eco-friendly advertising plastered all over the box).

For start-up, the propane cylinder is simply latched into a carrier and fuel-line is screwed on. Then just start the motor with the rip-cord. No priming; no choke. Motor needs to warm up for a couple seconds before you can open the throttle up wide or the engine dies. Downside of this design is the manuf. wants the cannister removed at the end of the work-day (to protect the seals, I understand).

Cutting power seems good, although I don't have much for comparison. My last trimmer was an old corded Toro.

The trimmer is somewhat heavy, but the balance is pretty good. I guess "heavy" is to be expected for a 4-stroke motor. Very manageable with the sling, although that makes you hotter on 90 degree days. I did find I was having a bit of a problem with the trimmer 'digging in' occassionally but this might be a case of too heavy a hand on the throttle (read: operator error).

Build quality seems good but obviously can't speak to long-term reliability. Warranty is two years and 3 years on the carb. I bought mine from Meijer (midwest hw store) on closeout for $95 delivered including NC tax. *Some* local HDs have these trimmers on closeout for $99, but check the model #s - I think HD only carries/carried the type that *won't* take attachments.

The big reason I bought this trimmer versus a gas trimmer was the lesser maintenance requirements: the trimmer does not need to be winterized, obviously no need to manage a stock of pre-mix fuel and fouling should be minimal compared to a gas engine. Also, very mild exhaust fumes. Parts/repair support is a bit of a risk, but I figure with Sears private-branding them, there's my parts supply - also, it was only $95.

-Mark
 

Vetteman9956

New User
Brad
I wrote on a previous string trimmer thread that I had purchased one of these and returned it. I think this is a neat idea but my experience was that not only was it heavier but the balance is so rear heavy. It wore my arm out after just a few mins of use and I previously did power lifting. I hope they find a way to reduce the weight and fix the balance issue. If they did, I would be back to buy one in a min. In talking to the local retailers of Lehr, My experience seem to be common and they have a very high return rate so there are plenty of brown box specials out there for factory returns.
 

mkepke

New User
Mark
Brad - I haven't found the balance to be that troublesome, but I'm 6'4", so maybe that helps.

Tony - the manuf. claims avg 2 hr running time off a full 16 oz canister.

I'm planning to refill my canisters off a 20# cylinder.

-Mark
 
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