The 21.2 cc Echo SRM-225 two-stroke gas trimmer gets good reviews from owners and experts. Echo claims this model is the most fuel-efficient straight-shaft trimmer on the market, although unlike the Hitachi CG22EASSLP (*Est. $185) , it doesn't meet California's stricter emissions standards.
It weighs 12 pounds, with a cutting swath of 17 inches. It has a bump-feed spool head, and its starting system reduces starting effort by 30 percent, according to the Echo website. Users agree that this trimmer is powerful and easy to start, but some find it a bit heavy, and others say reloading the line is tricky.
Although the Echo SRM-225 is backed by a five-year warranty, some owners say getting warranty service is difficult. If you'll mainly be trimming a regularly maintained lawn rather than whacking tall weeds in the back-eighty, the less expensive Hitachi may be a better option. Alternatively, if you're prepared to spend more for a lighter and more powerful trimmer with almost no reliability complaints, consider the best-reviewed Husqvarna 223L (*Est. $250) gas trimmer.
We found the best comparative reviews of the Echo SRM-225 gas string trimmer at Popular Mechanics and at ConsumerReports.org, where it's compared with 21 other gas models, as well as some electric and cordless models. A review at ProToolReviews.com is based on hands-on testing, and owner reviews at HomeDepot.com provide first-person perspective from people who routinely use this trimmer.
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Editors include the Echo SRM-225 among the 30 gas-powered string trimmers they subject to detailed testing. Each trimmer is rated on its performance at trimming, edging and taking down tall weeds, as well as overall handling and ease of use.
Review: String Trimmers, Editors of ConsumerReports.org, Updated May 2012
More than 140 owners give the Echo SRM-225 an overall rating of 4.5 out of 5 stars, citing its power, durability and ease of starting. However, we also saw some complaints about the difficulty of reloading and of getting this trimmer serviced under warranty.
Review: ECHO 2-Cycle 21.2 cc Straight Shaft Gas Trimmer, Contributors to HomeDepot.com
This single-product review evaluates the Echo SRM-225i, a cousin to the SRM-225 that has a more advanced starter. Most of the pros and cons editors cite for this more expensive trimmer -- such as "Effective U-turn bump head" and "2-cycle reliability" -- can also be applied to the basic Echo SRM-225. Overall, the trimmer scores 8 out of 10 on performance and 7 out of 10 on value for the money.
Review: Echo SRM-225i Trimmer Review, Everett Snyder, July 23, 2010
Editors at Popular Mechanics compare the Echo SRM-225i to five other gas trimmers and give it top billing for its "nearly explosive power and torque." Despite its exceptional performance and "robust skidplate," editors do quibble with the trimmer' sliding lever rather than an automatic stop switch.
Review: The Best New String Trimmers: Comparison Test, Roy Berendsohn