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When engineers in Minnesota designed the Toro Straight-Shaft Gas Trimmer 51974, it's obvious they had the environment in mind. This weed eater keeps emissions low; it was one of few we reviewed that meets California’s strict air-quality standards. Beyond trimming tall grass and weeds, this power tool is capable of taking on landscape projects in almost any environment. Purchase extra attachments and use the machine to cut through brush, blow away dead leaves and debris, edge around sidewalks and trim hedges.

Before you write off this environmentally friendly product as wimpy, realize that it comes with a full crank, 25.4 cubic centimeter engine. That’s enough power to get at overgrown weeds along all your fences and berry bushes. The Toro gas trimmer also comes with first-rate maneuverability. With its 65-inch straight shaft, you can use it to clear areas under swings and decks or around obstacles such as trees and decorative shrubbery. Think of it as the Cadillac version of a hybrid car. You get to go green with your trimmer without sacrificing luxury, speed and torque. For these reasons, it is our TopTenREVIEWS Bronze Award winner.

The Toro gas trimmer has more raw power than most competing weed whackers do, but it is less well balanced than curved-shaft models. The Toro machine makes fast work of the dirty job of whacking weeds, but it weighs almost twice as much as some other models. Instead of a harness to distribute its 16-pound weight, you get anti-vibration technology. That means that most grown men will be able to operate the machine for long periods of time, but women and teenagers might need frequent breaks.

Features
Compare
9.3/10
Craftsman Weedwacker Gas Trimmer
Husqvarna 128DJx
Honda Trimmer HHT25SLTAT
Poulan PRO PP033 Curved Trimmer
Echo SRM-225
Hitachi Gas Line Trimmer
Bolens Gas String Trimmer
9.5
9.3
7.5
9
7.5
6.3
7.5

The Toro Gas Trimmer uses many of the popular features you’ve come to know and expect from a weed eater. You tap the head on the ground to release more spool, for example. The trimmer also has a black plastic debris shield to keep leaves, mud and grass clippings far away from your face and clothing. All this is improved by a trigger control to open the throttle and start the nylon string spinning.

Toro’s weed eater comes with a dual-line exit at the head, saving you both time and effort. You can also save time with the .095-inch line itself. You can buy generic brands of the tough string or invest in six- or eight-sided line for extra cutting power.

Like most of its competitors, this gas trimmer lacks head-rotation capability. Furthermore, you can’t change the shaft length or handle position to accommodate users of very small, or very large, stature.

Design
Compare
8/10
Craftsman Weedwacker Gas Trimmer
Husqvarna 128DJx
Honda Trimmer HHT25SLTAT
Poulan PRO PP033 Curved Trimmer
Echo SRM-225
Hitachi Gas Line Trimmer
Bolens Gas String Trimmer
9.5
8.8
8
7.5
5
5
5

In bold black and red, the Toro gas trimmer is easy to spot in a shed full of landscaping tools. The product has a lot more going for it than aesthetics. It starts with a 25.4-cc engine – the third biggest of all the weed eaters we reviewed. Next, its cutting girth is an impressive 16 inches – the second largest we found among residential weed trimmers. Length is also important, and the Toro shaft checks in at 65 inches. That’s as tall as most grown women.

Ease of Use
Compare
9/10
Craftsman Weedwacker Gas Trimmer
Husqvarna 128DJx
Honda Trimmer HHT25SLTAT
Poulan PRO PP033 Curved Trimmer
Echo SRM-225
Hitachi Gas Line Trimmer
Bolens Gas String Trimmer
9.3
7.5
8
8
2.5
9.3

Whether you are purchasing a weed eater for your summer landscaping business or buying yourself a new model to tackle your honey-do list, the Toro gas trimmer is a great choice. One of its best features is the ability to stop the head from spinning without cutting power to the engine. That way, you can easily reach down to untangle long weeds or grass on the end of the shaft without putting your hands in danger and without pulling the cord to restart.

Another standout feature of the Toro grass trimmer is its spring start technology. Most operators can start the engine spinning in one or two pulls of the cord, even if the machine has been gathering dust all winter.

The Toro weed eater loses usability points because it does require you to mix oil with gas for fuel. However, other types of maintenance are simple. You can replace spool without tools, for example, and adding attachments is a breeze.

Accessories
Compare
5/10
Craftsman Weedwacker Gas Trimmer
Husqvarna 128DJx
Honda Trimmer HHT25SLTAT
Poulan PRO PP033 Curved Trimmer
Echo SRM-225
Hitachi Gas Line Trimmer
Bolens Gas String Trimmer
10
9.5
9.3
7.5
7.5

With Toro, you can make your weed eater an all-in-one yard-care tool by purchasing attachments. You can decimate brush undergrowth by replacing the weed eater head with a saw, for example. You can also turn the machine into a powerful edger or hedge trimmer. For more serious gardeners with a green thumb, the Toro gas trimmer can become a cultivator for your garden or a blower to help keep your property nice and tidy.

The Toro gas trimmer doesn’t come with a harness, unlike many of its competitors. It also lacks the ability to become a pole saw or sweeper.

Help & Support
Compare
10/10
Craftsman Weedwacker Gas Trimmer
Husqvarna 128DJx
Honda Trimmer HHT25SLTAT
Poulan PRO PP033 Curved Trimmer
Echo SRM-225
Hitachi Gas Line Trimmer
Bolens Gas String Trimmer
9.5
7.5
7.5
7.5
8.8
7.5
9.8

Weed eaters, like most power equipment, have a tendency to break down from time to time. As the owner of a Toro gas trimmer, you can be confident in your ability to handle those inevitable problems by perusing the free product manual online. You can also call a service center for help, take your weed eater to a service center or email the company. When you buy the product from an eligible dealer, it comes standard with a three-year warranty.

Toro Straight-Shaft Gas Trimmer Summary:
8.1/10

The Toro Straight-Shaft Gas Trimmer 51974 is bigger and stronger than most of its competitors, but it comes without the nasty fuel emissions and high prices of competing models. Your machine will be easy to start and easy to use due to its anti-vibration technology. When all this is combined with optimal help and support options, you can be sure that your Toro trimmer will perform beautifully year in and year out.

 
Appliances » Other-Household » Weed Whacker Review » Toro Straight-Shaft Gas Trimmer

Toro Straight-Shaft Gas Trimmer 51974

Pros
The Toro gas trimmer has a clean-burning, full-crank engine and great attachment options.

Cons
Anti-vibration technology makes for easy operation, but no support harness is available.

The Verdict
: 8.13/10

The Toro gas trimmer packs all the power you need and frees you from foul emissions.