The two things are not really related, except, of course, that Troy Bilt is one of the sponsors of this year's annual awesome get together of fellow garden bloggers, set to kick off tomorrow in San Francisco. Oh, it will be BIG! This, my friends, this is the way conferences should be run: garden tours and networking with fellow writers. Hard to say which is more valuable and instructive.
As for the Troy Bilt string trimmer (shown below), the company sent me one to try for a review (which I get to keep, though I've already given it away--more on that in a moment). And for an extra special bonus, they want me to give away one for some lucky reader as well. So if you are interested in a free Troy Bilt gas-powered, four cycle trimmer, leave your email in the comment box (or contact me via message on the Bike Garden's Facebook page), and if you are the lucky winner, I'll pass your info along to the Troy Bilt rep and you all can work out the details on how to get it from Point A to Point B. Leave the comment by 6 PM, Monday, July 1, and I'll have a neighbor draw names out of a hat to determine who wins.
Now here's my review of the Troy Bilt 4-cycle gas string trimmer:
First, let me say that I have a real love-hate relationship with string trimmers. I've use several in the past, some electric (which mean that you are always dragging around extension cords and searching for outlets), and other battery (which means that you are always running out of juice halfway through weed-whacking the purple nightshade in the alley). With every trimmer I've used, there also have been multiple frustrations with the string feed (sometimes it is no feed at all, sometimes it is too much feed, sometimes it breaks loose and flies directly at your legs like a swarm of angry hornets, and always, always, it is running out).
And yet, I really need a trimmer. I've reduced my lawn to such a size that I gave away my gas-powered mower and now use only a push reel--which doesn't work on the aforementioned alley-growing purple nightshade. I'd be OK with that, except that the city seems to take exception to a forest of nightshade growing next to their lovely dumpster.
Anyway, when Troy Bilt contacted me about trying out a gas powered trimmer, I was excited to give it a spin. At a minimum, I figured it might eliminate the fussiness of always running out of juice. I had some worries about have to start a gas engine by pulling a cord (one of the many, many things I hated about the gas lawn mower), but they also sent this little item the Troy Bilt Jump Start, which is supposed to eliminate all that pulling:
Everything arrived, was put together without any trouble at all, and in short order I took it all out to the yard to do some trimming. Here is my assessment:
First, the Jump Starter works like a charm. I never once had to pull the string. My neighbor Jeremy, a professional landscaper who is now the owner of the both the trimmer and the Jump Starter, is old school, and has only used the string to start the engine. He reports that the trimmer starts up each and every time without any trouble at all.
The trimmer itself is a beast. I didn't use the string head long enough to know how often it needs to be changed, but it seemed to work well and seamlessly (no swarming hornets). The trimmer is also very powerful (it is, after all, a 4-cycle engine--sort of like attaching string to a Volkswagon Beetle). It has attachment capabilities, meaning that with appropriate accessories, it can also be an edger, a brushcutter, or a cultivator. It is certainly powerful enough to do any of these tasks with ease. My overall assessment is that this is a well-built, heavy-duty trimmer.
But lordy, it is heavy, and the fact of the matter is that it is too heavy for me to use. So I walked over to Jeremy's house and offered it to him. Jeremy is a big guy, but he thinks it is a little heavy, too. Even so, he's a good pick to get the trimmer, since I'm thinking that this thing is really more for a pro or someone who has some serious brush cutting/farming/yard work to do.
I'm going to have Jeremy cut down some unwanted trees in our neighborhood garden plot in trade, so I figure I got a good deal out of this. After talking to Jereny and getting his positive feedback about the trimmer, I think he feels like he got a good deal, too.
And now you can also get in on the goodness! Just let me know you want one in the comment box below by 6 PM on Monday. Be sure to leave your email address so I can get you in touch with Troy Bilt.
And now I'm off to the Fling for a few days! Gardens and writer friends await!