“ Brand: Ryobi / Power: 1000w / Type: Top Mount Split Shaft Trimmer „
With a garden that has fairly large areas which are not suitable for a lawnmower the powerful 1000w is good for clearing them and using the thicker strimmer wire does cut away the stubborn thicker stemmed weeds.
Easy to assemble out of the box, ony the strimmer head cover that comes in 2 parts might have you thinking about anything.
It is not that heavy; the motor at the top balancing the unit well so with the body strap and hand hold it is easy to manoeuvre around.
In the past I have used smaller strimmers with the motor at the strimmer head end which felt heavier despite infact being lighter and were much more tiring to use than this one.
There is a rubber wide cutting head cover so when you start strimming you can clear large areas quickly. Even the thicker strimmer wires though begin to get bits breaking off them quicker than you would expect so which means your cutting circle diminishes until you feed more wire out.
Cutting very long grass (some of the grass varieties we have can get to 3 feet tall) can easily bind up round the strimmer head.
The strimmer head cover also clogs with cuttings (particularly when cutting wet grass) and needs scraping out frequently.
It is fairly straightforward replacing the strimmer wire, this part can be dismantled by hand with no need for any tools, but watch out you don't lose the eyelets on the hole the wire comes through or the spring.
There is a long electric cable (on the Uk sold units at least, in France the cable seems to be no longer than about 2 foot).
Generally speaking it satisfactorily does what we bought it for.
There have been some negative points though.
Within days the blue light on the switch unit indicating the strimmer is plugged in stopped working, not much of a problem though especially as the light is hard to see anyway in bright sunlight.
After a few months the small rubber nipple which locates and holds the strimmer head in the right place broke.
This was simple to rectify by using a screw where it should go instead, although I would have expected the original arrangement to have been a little more robust considering what people would be doing with a heavy duty strimmer.
I have been slightly unsure about the variable speed you can achieve by holding the switch in to a varying degree, this is not easy to keep constant.
Also I have noticed that sometimes the variable speed has become stuck at the slower speed only kicking into maximum revolutions after the head almost sticks on an awkward clump of grass.
The main problem I have had is when the strimmer stopped working until I held it upwards at an angle of 45 degrees or more (not too useful unless you are doing the top of a high slope or trimming tree ends!!).
This happened after about 14 months but With the 2 years warranty though I was able to take it to one of the ryobi repair dealers (ryobi will arrange to collect it and get it back to you by post if you don't have a local dealer) to get it fixed.
It is definitely not a strimmer for a small garden or for just edging the lawn, I would say it works best clearing large areas that are not completely flat.
If you have a small garden you would more than likely prefer ones with the special trimming wheel to rest on and the maximum power you'd probably need is about 650w.
Generally speaking I have been pleased with the strimmer and the no quibble warranty.
Although the fact it needed repairing as well as the couple of minor things mentioned do leave some doubts.
Prices for the strimmer vary where you look to buy it from but they seem to have come down recently for this model at more retailers.
It seems competitively priced to other manufacturers and I think as well built as the alternatives I examined before I bought this one.