Best Gas Trimmer Attachments 2020 - Interactive Buying Guide
One of the most valuable tools I had in my lawn care business was a gas powered multi-tool.
In my case,the Shindaiwa M242 Power Head.
Multi tools can save time and money by not having to pay for separate items and having the versatility to do a number of different jobs.
Multi tools can have numerous attachments and within my buying guide the Echo Pro Series has up to 12 attachments available.
Due to so many attachments available, and for comparison purposes, I focused on three common attachments; the trimmer (or weed eater), a hedge trimmer and a pole saw (or pruner).
These are the most used items used on a multi tool and also the three I have had the most experience with.
The buying guide comparison table (below) allows comparison of these three attachments across five brands, Echo, Ryobi, Shindaiwa, Honda and Poulan. I have also included a brand that makes attachments for a wide range of multi-tools that can save money called Trimmer Plus.
If you just want to find what the best overall is, then the Honda 4-Stroke Power Head wins due to its four cycle engine for low maintenance and ease of use. Honda small engine technology makes for easy starts and reliability, combined with a competitive price.
Big Gav's Best Overall
If there is one thing Honda is good at, that would have to be making excellent small engines. This is the selling point of the four cycle multi-tool or as Honda call it the "VersAttach system".
The Honda unit has a conservative six tools that fit the main head but for the majority of jobs the available attachments will be fine.
Being a four cycle engine means no fuel mixing and the engine from Honda has that easy starting system. Two other big pluses from Honda is the option to purchase the more powerful 35cc engine vs my review model the 25cc unit. Honda have also worked out how to keep the engine going on virtually any angle which is a big tick when working over head.
The Honda Power Head provides good value for money from a premium product and a solid brand.
Big Gav's Best Budget Option
The budget category of multi tools gets a little shabby when reviewing products in the sub $300 range. Sure there's some good packages out there from some unknown manufacturers but dig a little deeper and their reliability is not great.
The Poulan Pro PR28PS does a good job in the budget category of not being dirt cheap but also not being a total pile of rubbish either.
Considering the Poulan pro multi tool is under half the cost of the Honda, it definitely makes the grade for my budget category.
There are some trade-offs, but really for the price it is a good deal if your budgets tight and you don't have lots of one type of work to be done.
Big Gav's Value Option
There is some smart engineering with Ryobi's range of gas multi tools. The reason being, the attachments available can be used in both their two cycle and four cycle power heads and also in their cordless products. Click here for more information from Ryobi.
The flexibility, and price competitiveness is the reason I have given the Ryobi Power Head my best value option.
Another reason that also makes Ryobi a value option is the fact that universal attachments will also fit allowing you to shop the best value attachment when purchasing.
If you don't like the hassle of mixing fuel but like the performance and usability of a two cycle engine thenTruFuel 2-Cycle 50:1 Pre-blended Fuel could solve your problems. It comes premixed in ratios of 40:1 or 50:1 depending on the engine manufacturers recommendations.
|Echo Pas-225 Power Head||$219.00||5 Years||21.2 cc|
|Echo Weed Eater Attachment||$102.00||5 Years||N/A||N/A||3||17" Cut||34||Articulated|
|Echo Hedge Clipper Attachment||$213.00||5 Years||N/A||N/A||4.13||21" |
|Echo pole pruner attachment||$225.60||5 Years||N/A||N/A||4.8||10"||57||Bar extension|
|Ryobi Cycle 30cc Power Head||$247.95||3 Years||30cc|
|Ryobi String Trimmer Attachment||$63.99||3 Years||N/A||N/A||3.4||18" Cut||35||N/A|
|Ryobi Artic Hedge Trimmer Attachment||$215.13||3 Years||N/A||N/A||5||15"||N/A||N/A|
|Ryobi Expand-It Pole Saw Attachment||$136.50||3 Years||N/A||N/A||N/A||10" Cut||72||N/A|
|Shindawa M242 Head||Price not available||5 Years||23.9|
|SHINDAIWA Trimmer Attachment||Price not available||5 Years||N/A||N/A||3.2||N/A||34||N/A|
|SHINDAIWA POLE PRUNER ATTACH||Price not available||5 Years||N/A||N/A||4.3||10"||58||3 Foot|
|Shindaiwa hedge attachment||No products found.||5 Years||N/A||N/A||5.2||20"||28||N/A|
|Honda Multi Tool Power Head||$349.00||3 Years||25cc|
|Honda Trimmer Attachment||$119.99||3 Years||N/A||N/A||3.1||16.5"||28.5|
|Honda Hedge Trimmer Attachment||$199.00||3 Years||N/A||N/A||4.8||21"||5.3||N/A|
|Honda 12" Pole Pruner Attachment||Price not available||3 Years||N/A||N/A||3.5||12"||25||N/A|
|Poulan PR28PS Pole Saw + Trimmer||This power|
|Price not available||2 Years||28cc|
|Poulan Hedge Trimmer Attachment||Price not available||2 Years||N/A||N/A||8||15"||N/A||N/A|
|TrimmerPlus Weed Eater Attachment||$79.99||2 Years||N/A||N/A||4||N/A||34||N/A|
|Trimmer Plus Hedger Attachment||$124.03||2 Years||N/A||N/A||5.1||22"|
|TrimmerPlus pole saw attachment||$125.24||2 Years||N/A||N/A||3.4||8"|
|Reach up to 7 |
Best Overall Honda 25cc Gas Multi-Tool
The Honda power head Multi tool allows for up to six different attachment options including weed eater, pole saw, hedger, blower, edger and tiller.
I have spent a lot of time with Honda products and their big selling point is their ease of starting. Its no good having a product with lots of features if it's a pain to start every time you use it. This is where Honda excel and its why I used their products for my business.
The benefits of the four cycle engine are low maintenance for those folk that don't like the prospect of mixing fuel. The Honda engine also has the unique design feature of not stalling on different angles which can be an issue with two cycle engines.
One thing to keep in mind is the four cycle engine is one or two pounds heavier than the two cycle equivalents. This might not sound much but it can add up over time, particularly if you are doing high hedges that require lifting above your shoulders.
Whilst the cost of buying the individual attachments adds up once you purchase the power head, buying the equivalent quality products individually would generally still cost more.
Honda provide an excellent video (Below) on the operation of their VersAttach power head system.
Quality four cycle engine that is easy to start and maintain
The engine will not stall in different positions whilst using, unlike two cycle engines
Six available attachments cover the majority of work requirements
The heaviest power head unit of all models reviewed may be an issue for some folk to hold long term
Not the longest warranty (3years) for a product that carries a premium price
The six attachment options may not be enough for some people to manage all needs
Best Value Gas Multi-Tool Royobi 30cc Four Cycle
Flexiblity is the key feature of gas power heads and available attachments. This is where Ryobi has excelled with their Expand-it range of attachments and power heads.
All attachments not only fit their gas powered products but also their cordless options. This really opens up flexibility if you have a combination of gas and electric Ryobi products.
This flexibility is further expanded by allowing universal 3rd party attachments to also fit Ryobi's products. So once you have a Ryobi power head you can shop around for the best deal regarding attachments.
Please note I have included the 30cc Ryobi Power Head but you could save money by dropping back to the smaller four cycle power head or the two cycle versions.
Also note that I have included their articulated hedger in this guide but you could drop back in price by looking at the fixed hedger attachment. I would not encourage anyone to drop back to the fixed hedger because it will frustrate you immensely by not being able to rotate the cutting head when working at height. Articulation allows for trimming on the top of a hedge whilst standing on the ground. If you have the fixed product you will not be able to do this.
Excellent flexibility with attachments
Very good value for money
Good performance output from the power head
Warranty not class leading
Four cycle engines may lack responsiveness
Fixed hedger frustrating to use due to limited movement
Best Budget Gas Multi-Tool Poulan Pro PR28PS
For a tight budget there are a surprising amounts of affordable multi tool products out there. Unfortunately, when reviewing customer feed back you soon see that a lot of the cheaper products don't perform well. The Poulan Pro PR28PS comes in at a price just above the down and dirty cheap end and provides real value for money for what you get. For those folk that don't need to do a lot of work around their property and want to save on costs and space this could be worth a look.
The Poulan Pro has an excellent size two cycle engine at 28cc giving it plenty of power for its available attachments. There are seven additional attachments available that cover the normal items such as pole pruner, hedger, weed eater, tiller, blower, brush cutter and edger.
If you are looking at this model take note that the available power head comes with a power saw and weed eater as one package. The weed eater is a bent shaft option, if you want a straight shaft look at an alternative offer.
Good performance specs for the money
One of the cheaper gas models available
Cruise control trigger is useful
Feedback reported on engine reliablility
Warranty of two years is well below class leaders
Better value options for spending a little more cash
Best Commercial Rated Multi-Tool Shindaiwa M242
The Shindaiwa M242 is an expensive option as far as gas multi-tools go. I doubt whether it will even feature in any other reviews. I have chosen to put it in my best buys because I have had so much experience with it.
For someone looking at running their own commercial lawn care business the Shindaiwa is worth considering as a go to machine for a back up weed eater, a hedger for tall work and the pole saw for trimming tall branches.
For someone with the budget, the Shindaiwa could also be well utilized for a one tool gardening machine. Nine different attachment options ensures a tool for all yard requirements. I had the weed eater, pole saw and hedger attachments but also had the pole extension that became invaluable for trimming branches off trees. I can't stress enough how much safer it is to use a pole saw for trimming branches off trees rather than going up ladders.
The M242 is not super powerful and if you have lots of weed eater work I would consider upgrading to the more powerful MS262 or just get a dedicated weed eater. (See my article on the best gas powered weed eater).
The final point to make on this product is that it also has the equal highest warranty of five years which also supports its build quality.
A quality product that is built to last
Engine reliablity and performance
Class leading warranty of 5 years
Expensive for all attachments including the power head
Might be lacking power if doing lots of weed eater work
Attachment Only Products - Trimmer Plus Attachments
An alternative to brand specific attachments to dedicated power heads are universal attachments. There are a few companies doing this now and there can be good savings as their prices can be cheaper than the branded versions.
The Trimmer Plus line of attachments (from MTD) are one such example, and they provide a full range of attachments that can fit the MTD range of products including Troy-Bilt, Remington, Craftsman, Cub Cadet, yard machines, yard man, Snapper, Murray and Bolens. In addition to the MTD brands the attachments can also fit other brands with universal fit. Please check compatibility if you purchase for a non MTD branded product.
The TrimmerPlus weed eater attachment for example is a great price, particularly when you compare other brand prices or a single unit price. I'm not crazy about its fixed line head and would invest my savings into a bump feed. If you are only doing a small amount of weed eater work then the fixed head would be OK however.
I really like the TrimmerPlus 22-Inch Dual Hedger Attachment as it has a good size cutting length at 22 inches (0.56 m). There are good savings with this hedger as adjustment capable hedgers are generally a lot more to buy than what the Trimmer Plus line is.
I am a massive fan of pole saws as they make really dangerous work much safer like trimming branches off trees. The TrimmerPlus 8-Inch Pole Saw provides value by allowing two different height options which allow for up to 12 feet (3.66 meters) of height. Keep in mind the height of the person holding the unit also increases the reach.
Competitive pricing when you compare against the branded equivalent
A good range of attachments that cover most back yard jobs
Fits MTD branded products that are split shaft capable
May not fit all products. Doesnt fit the Echo PAS range
Build quality may not be as durable as some of the premium brands
Warranty is only two years domestic
Considerations When Purchasing A Mulit-Tool
Gas-powered two-cycle engines
Gas powered two-cycle engines are the most commonly used engines for multi-tools. They are ideal for large yards or commercial applications that require good power and performance.
Two-cycle engines are also higher in maintenance as they require a mixture of gas and oil to run. Fuel can go stale if not used regularly and this creates further issues.
For most applications a 21-25cc engine is plenty of power.
Gas-powered four-cycle engines
A limited number of mulit-tools have four cycle engines and the Honda VersAttach units are an example of this.
Four stroke engines are generally fuel efficient and can produce excellent power but come at a heavier weight than their two-cycle cousins.
Four stroke engines are easier on maintenance as you only need straight gas so no mixing required.
Question And Answers
Are attachments better than seperate products?
In general, a single purpose product will outperform an attachment. For example, a dedicated weed eater will outperform an attachment weed eater. Performance reduction is generally the trade off you get when having multiple products fitting one power head.
The upside to attachments are that they can save you money in not having lots of singular products to buy and the space savings they create.
My recommendation is that if you have lots of one type of work to do, then a single product would be better but if you have lots of smaller jobs then attachments could be the answer.
How much do gas multi-tools cost?
Gas multi-tools vary a lot in price.
At the budget end, expect prices to between $200 - $300 dollars for a power head and two- three attachments.
The sweet spot for value and performance lies between $450 - $750 for a well-built and reliable multi tool head and three attachments.
From $700+ gets you a commercial grade product that will last a lot longer and be more reliable than the cheaper products.
How many different attachments are there for multi-tools?
Attachment quantities vary from manufacturer to manufacturer. Six to nine different attachments is common but there are brands that do more.
The most common attachments would be the weed eater, pole saw and hedger.
Multi Tools Can Be Loud, Wear Ear Protection !!!!!
This information is really important. Too much exposure to engine noise can damage your ears. Some leaf blowers come in at over 100 decibels. This is 8 times as loud as 70 decibels. Eight hours of use at this level can result in permanent ear damage. There are plenty of good options for ear protection and Decibel Defense ear muffs are one such option that provide excellent protection at a reasonable price.
Please look at the following recommendations, most of which I have experienced the hard way.
- Always wear ear protection with gas powered lawn care equipment especially leaf blowers.
- Ensure you know who is around or use safety cones especially when working over head.
- Make sure your attachment is correctly engaged with its power head. Incorrectly engaged attachments wont work properly or potential damage drive shafts.
- Gas engines on blowers get very hot, so watch out when being near or touching the exhaust etc.
The Final Word On Gas Multi-Tools
Decide if a multi-tool might be a better option than purchasing seperate items.
Multi tools can do lots of different jobs but not necessarliy better than a singe unit. A single unit may be better if you have lots of one type of work to do.
If you buy third party attchments, make sure they fit your brand of power head.
Make sure you wear safety protection particularly when using the hedgers and pole saw attachments!
All the best in your purchase decision.