Experts say the propane-fueled Lehr Eco Trimmer has all the power of a gas trimmer without the inconvenience of buying and storing gasoline, and mixing it with oil for a two-stroke engine. A propane-powered engine is also less polluting and easier to start. However, you do have the ongoing cost of 1-pound propane canisters, which cost between $3 and $5 each. The canisters aren't sold everywhere, give you only two hours of run time each and can't be refilled, but they can be recycled, assuming you can find a place to take them..
At 15 pounds (including the canister), this trimmer is relatively heavy, and users complain that it's unbalanced and difficult to maneuver. We also saw some complaints about this trimmer's durability. Nonetheless, for those who want the benefits of propane, it's pretty much the only option. The ST025DC has a detachable curved shaft; the Lehr Eco Trimmer ST025DS (*Est. $180) is a straight-shaft version. Those who want power but less weight may want to consider the corded electric Stihl FSE 60 (*Est. $120) , another eco-friendly choice.
We found the best review of the Eco Trimmer at ConsumerReports.org, where editors rate and rank it in comparison with string trimmers of all types, based on objective testing. About.com features a single-product review and one that compares the Lehr trimmer to a Black & Decker Grass Hog, while Popular Mechanics compares the Lehr Eco-Trimmer to the cordless Worx WG150 and a Troy-Bilt gas trimmer. Professional landscaper Allyn Paul provides a video review on LifeAndLawns.com, and GearPatrol.com contributing editor Dusty Overby reviews the Eco Trimmer as well. We found about 50 reviews for this string trimmer at Amazon.com.
The Lehr Eco Trimmer ST025DC is the only propane-powered string trimmer among the 60 trimmers subjected to detailed testing by the editors of ConsumerReports.org. 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
David Beaulieu, About.com's guide to landscaping, says the Lehr Eco Trimmer ST025DC is a great choice for landscaping professionals. Because propane doesn't gum up the carburetor, the trimmer will have fewer engine problems, and it does not give up "power and price in the name of being 'eco-friendly.'" However, for homeowners, he says this trimmer may have too many drawbacks, such as weight, "potential idling problems" and the difficulty of buying and disposing of propane tanks. (Note: ConsumerSearch is owned by About.com, but the two don't share an editorial affiliation.)
Review: Lehr Eco-Friendly Weedeater, David Beaulieu
Doug Mahoney tests three string trimmers, each with a different fuel type. The Lehr Eco Trimmer ST025DC isn't a standout in any area; it's not as powerful as the gas-powered trimmer, and it's not as easy to use and ergonomic as the electric trimmer. However, the Lehr trimmer does get a good score for long run time, and it's less polluting than the gas trimmer.
Review: Which Kind of Fuel Is Best for Lawn String Trimmers?, Doug Mahoney, Oct. 7, 2009
Beaulieu compares two eco-friendly string trimmers: the Lehr Eco Trimmer ST025DC and Black & Decker's cordless NST2018. He recommends Lehr's Eco Trimmer "for pros and for homeowners with challenging trimming needs." (Note: ConsumerSearch is owned by About.com, but the two don't share an editorial affiliation.)
Review: Eco-Friendly Weedeater Comparison: Lehr vs. Grass Hog, David Beaulieu, June 2, 2009
This video review shows the Lehr Eco Trimmer ST025DS (the straight-shaft version of the ST025DC) in use on the author's own lawn. Allyn Paul says the Eco Trimmer costs no more than models with the same power that are more polluting, and its quality is just as high.
Review: Lehr Eco Trimmer Review, Allyn Paul, May 21, 2009
Dusty Overby doesn't specify which Lehr Eco Trimmer model he's reviewing, but the accompanying photo shows the curved-shaft ST025DC. Overby says the Eco Trimmer is just as powerful as his gas trimmer, and it's much easier to fuel up and start.
Review: Lehr Eco Trimmer, Dusty Overby, April 22, 2009
Reviews for the Lehr Eco Trimmer ST025DC at Amazon.com are mixed. Although users say the trimmer is easy to assemble and start, many find it heavy, unbalanced and hard to maneuver. We also saw some durability complaints. Overall, the trimmer gets a rating of 3 stars out of 5.
Review: Lehr ST025DC 25 cc Propane Powered 4-Stroke Detachable Curved-Shaft Eco Trimmer, Contributors to Amazon.com