Reviewers say the gas-powered Hitachi CG22EASSLP string trimmer delivers top-notch power and comfort at an affordable price. Its 21.1 cc two-stroke gas-powered engine is fuel efficient and meets California Air Resources Board (CARB) standards, resulting in cleaner emissions and fewer fumes.
In addition, the Hitachi CG22EASSLP features an anti-vibration system to help reduce fatigue and an S-starting system that reduces pull force effort by 50 percent, according to Hitachi. A 60-inch straight shaft gives it a long reach, and at 11 pounds, owners say this trimmer is light enough to maneuver around the yard.
Owners, too, are pleased with how easily this trimmer starts and its smooth operation. That said, we saw multiple complaints about fuel hoses wearing out after a season of use. Replacing them isn't particularly difficult for a do-it-yourselfer, owners say, but getting Hitachi to make the simple repair under warranty can be a frustrating experience. If you're willing to spend more for a lighter and more powerful trimmer, the best-reviewed Husqvarna 223L (Est. $250) gets excellent feedback and few complaints from users. Note, however, that the Husqvarna trimmer is not CARB compliant.
We found the best review of the Hitachi CG22EASSLP at Popular Mechanics, which compares it to five other gas models. It's also recommended by users at Amazon.com and Sears.com, where reviews provide owner perspective.
Editors almost don't include the Hitachi CG22EASSLP in their test of six heavy-duty string trimmers, thinking it couldn't hold its own against more expensive models. Not only does the CG22EASSLP cut with the best, but it outperforms trimmers costing $100 more.
Review: The Best New String Trimmers: Comparison Test, Roy Berendsohn, Not dated
More than 275 owners review the CG22EASSLP here, giving it 4.1 stars out of 5. Most say it's a tough trimmer, easy to start and user-friendly. Numerous posts say the fuel line breaks, although this isn't always a major drawback, and a small percentage find customer service for warranty issues to be poor.
Review: Hitachi CG22EASSLP 21.1cc 2 Stroke Gas Powered Straight Shaft Grass Trimmer (CARB Compliant), Contributors to Amazon.com, As of July 2013
At the manufacturer's website, more than 40 owners give the CG22EASSLP an average rating of 4.7 out of 5 stars. It gets high praise for being lightweight, dependable and easy to use. With no ratings of less than 3 stars and a 100 percent recommendation rate, we're not sure if this site includes negative reviews.
Review: CG22EASSLP 21.1 cc Straight Shaft Grass Trimmer, Contributors to HitachiPowerTools.com, As of July 2013
As at other retail sites, plenty of owners here find the fuel line on the CG22EASSLP to be faulty. While some call this a minor inconvenience and replace the line themselves, others say it's a deal-breaker. Overall, this string trimmer gets 4.5 stars out of 5 and a 74 percent recommendation rate.
Review: Hitachi 21.1 cc Gas Line Trimmer, Contributors to Sears.com, As of July 2013
With a score of 9.5 out of 10, the Hitachi CG22EASSLP gets the highest rating here and the pick for best quality. Bannister says the trimmer is "efficient," able to "take on the toughest weeds and grass" and can "run for at least 90 minutes." However, he doesn't mention any hands-on testing.
Review: Best Weed Eater: Top 10 Rated Weed Eaters 2013, Jon Bannister, 2013