Buy it—Great Performance and an outstanding Interchangeable Tool System I was hesitant to purchase this after reading some of the negative reviews here on Sears. After reading these other reviews, I figured I'd have to spend more money on a Husqvarna or Stihl to get a quality, durable WeedWacker with interchangeable attachments. My 16 year old Craftsman line trimmer developed carburetor problems. I spent $20 trying to fix this old WeedWacker under the assumption that old stuff is built better than new stuff. In this case I was wrong. And the negative reviews were wrong too. This Craftsman 2-Cycle Straight Shaft WeedWacker with full crank is an amazing performer! I love it. I spent about $160 and I feel like I got a great deal and an even better tool. Let me tell you what I like about it. I purchased the drill based version of the "Speed Start." It works great. The WeedWacker fires up in 1 second using this. Amazing! I was blown away! I broke in the new engine for a few minutes alternating between low, mid and full throttle — this is a good way to break a new small engine in. Then I put the tool to use. Before I tell you how it performed, let me tell you that I shut it off a few times and then used the manual pull-start to fire it back up. From reading some of these reviews here on Sears I thought the unit would be hard starting via the pull start: again, wrong! This top performer fired right up in one or two pulls. Again, I was as happy as I could be. On to performance. This unit has plenty of power. I was very pleased. I cut weeds that were 18 inches tall no problem. I hooked up the optional edger attachment — The engine had all the power I needed to cut an edge through an inch of dirt. The engine performs fine. Here's why I think some people have problems with these WeedWackers - it's two things really: 1) they don't let the engine warm up before using it and 2) they don't pay attention when squeezing the throttle. It's important to let a small 2-cycle engine warm up both for proper performance for the life of the engine: a lot of professional landscapers and arborists actually use a pyrometer to make sure line trimmer and chain saw engines are warm enough before subjecting them to load. Google this topic and see for yourself. The second point deals with learning how this particular engine responds when you squeeze the throttle: there is a quarter second lag when you gas it from idle. All one has to do is squeeze a bit slowly at first to gently move the engine beyond this lag, then it really takes off and runs powerfully and steadily. The 'hassle free head' will take some getting used to. My 16 year old Craftsman WeedWacker had a bump head. It was nice because I could advance more line when I needed it. This is nice because when I am edging around concrete and curbs I go through a lot of line. With the hassle free head I have to stop and add line, but this only takes 10 seconds and the hassle free head is much more durable. I will use the hassle free head when I am in the weeds and not near concrete. I want a bump head too but I am not going to buy the curved shaft with bump head add on. Instead, and because I am so impressed with this unit, I am going to buy another Craftsman 2-cycle with a straight shaft bump head. This will give me an extra engine and an bump head for about $60 more than the cost of the bump head curve shaft add-on. So to sum up, this is a very high-quality, easy-starting, impressive Craftsman tool — I like it so much that I have ordered the optional blower, tiller, pole saw and hedge trimmer. It's a keeper and I want all the add-ons for it. I will be using this system for a long time. Because it's from Sears I will always be able to order replacement and repair parts. Buy this WeedWacker — learn how to start it, warm it up, maintain it. Then practice learning throttle response and how to ease it into tall weeds. If you follow these steps you add operator expertise to what I think is fine lawn tool. I love this WeedWacker. Five Stars! Thank you Sears.
Don't waste your time. Been using craftsman weed trimmers since 1980. Each design gets cheaper. I purchased this unit got it home put together and liked the look and feel. Put the 3.2 oz of oil to 1gallon of fuel and unit would idle and run high speed but no mid range. Ran it hour or so and no change. Took it back to Sears store and exchanged it for another of the same model and bought the pre mixed fuel. Got this unit home assembled it put the pre mixed fuel in it and had the same results as the first unit, needless to say I ran it full throttle thinking it would correct it self. It ran hot and blew up. Took back to Sears and got a refund. Did have a positive experience with the sales associate he was very professional, Thanks Freddy. I now own my first Husqvarna and problem solved. Just hate that Craftsman is headed downward.
I have an older version of this trimmer, I think the model year is 2014. Either way, when it actually works it's ok at best. I hate the head on it as the line breaks often and I have to stop to reload it a lot. This adds a lot of time to my task and is quite inconvenient. That being said, the actual reliability of this unit really sucks. There were two years in a row that it wouldn't even run, I had to use round up. I had someone work on it last year and it worked so so after that. They said the carburetor was clogged. I switched to non ethanol gas, so far this year I've been able to use it three times. Now it won't run again. Piece of garbage and I will never buy another Craftsman product again.
I used to mow grass for a living in my younger days and the Echo weedeater was the king of the trade. Now there is Shindaiwa and Stihl as well. I currently have a Stihl weedeater that stopped starting that I have not bothered to fix yet. Anyway I have used many commercial grade weedeaters in my time. I absolutely love the weight and balance of this Carftsmen weedeater as well as the length of it. When I first got mine it wanted to stall out when I turned it upside down and I knew it was not running at it's full potential just because if you have been around enough 2 cycle small engines you know how they should sound and run. That is why I set out and found this carburetor adjustment kit.
Once I adjusted the carburetor for maximum performance my weedeater sounds and runs great. They set it to meet California exhaust emission specifications from the factory. This weedeater really does sound mean. It has a nice low 2 stroke growl to it. The adjustable handle makes it very convenient to get it perfectly comfortable for anyones different weedeating style.
There is one thing that I can not stand about this weedeater that I am currently working to resolve and that is the hassle free head. It waste line and I have to put new pieces of line on to often. Which means I have to stop and take the old one out then put in the new line instead of just bumping the head on the ground and staying moving. Once I find a replacement head which they do not have on the sears website. I ordered an Arnold one and it is for smaller weedeaters not this one. I will find one though and I am also about to buy the pole saw attachment so I can trim my trees. I will probably get some other attachments also like the hedge trimmer and edger attachments.
I have a matching sears mower and handheld blower also that I am about to go use now. I love this stuff it is all black very sharp looking equipment ! Just bought the new extended straight shaft attachment with a bump head. Really loving this thing now the new extended shaft with the bump head is very sturdy and even changed the rotation back to clockwise !
Easy to start, durable, and the line is easy to replace. Craftsmen quality as I'd expect!
Started, Idled, tested, failed, and returned
This was a great purchase. And an even greater value.