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Troy-Bilt TB20CS Gas Weed Eater Review

Troy-Bilt TB20CS 17-Inch 31cc 2-Cycle Gas-Powered Curved Shaft String Trimmer with Detachable Shaft

Troy-Bilt TB20CS 17-Inch 31cc 2-Cycle Gas-Powered Curved Shaft String Trimmer with Detachable Shaft Rating:
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Product Description

If you are in the market for a grass trimmer that has the capability of doing more than just trimming, then the Troy-Bilt TB20CS weed eater maybe just what you are looking for. This trimmer has the unique capability of using different attachments in order to transform it into different types of lawn tools. It comes equipped with the weed eater attachment and you can purchase others separately.

There is a pole saw attachment so you can reach high limbs that need to be pruned. Also, there's a hedge trimmer unit to handle tall bushes and shrubs. There's even a cultivator for tilling garden areas and more.

 Product Features:

  • 31cc, 2-cycle engine
  • 12.3 pounds
  • 17 inch cutting swath
  • Performance tuned ignition
  • Adjustable "D" handle
  • SpringAssist starting
  • J-shaft
  • 2 year limited warranty
  •


My Review

Since the Troy-Bilt TB20CS is primarily a weed eater and I review weed eaters, I will focus on its performance as such. While it is capable of handling additional attachments, the majority of the people who purchase it are planning to use it for trimming grass.

Out of the box, the trimmer comes with 2 heads (bumped and fixed line), oil, and an instruction manual. The assembly is quick and simple and the instruction manual is clear and  precise. Pay close attention to the instructions in the manual for starting the trimmer. Similar to the Homelite, you must follow the instructions exactly as they are presented or risk having difficulty starting the unit. There are several complaints online from people regarding trouble starting the weed eater. I imagine some of these might be justified, while others were a result of people not following instructions.

Another thing worth noting about the Troy-Bilt TB20CS is that it comes equipped with SpringAssist starting system. This is intended to make starting the trimmer easier. This works by pulling on the cord slow and steady, which is supposed reduce pull effort. I'm not a big fan of these types of gimmicks and think that the money and research could be spend elsewhere. If you have own a quality weed eater that you maintain, starting it should never be much of an effort to begin with.

The folks at Troy-Bilt claim this weed eater "powers through tall grass, bushy weeds, and twigs". Overall, I can't argue with that claim. It has as much power or more than any other weed eater that I have used in the $80 - $120 price range. That being said, it does not have the power of more expensive units like the Hitachi CG22EASSLP grass trimmer.

Some people prefer J-shaft trimmers, while others, like myself, prefer straight shaft. The TB20CS is a J-shaft, so keep that in mind before you decide to purchase. The "D" handle is large and comfortable and is designed to cater to both left and right handers. The trimmer is heavier than other comparable models, weighing in at over 12 pounds. If you physically can't handle that, then I suggest you purchase a different trimmer.

While I did not experience any problems in my short time using the trimmer, the negative reviews online cannot go unignored. Of the 44 reviews on Amazon at the time of this writing, 21 of them were 1 star. The average rating was just 2.5 stars. While some of these probably were due to user error, there are simply too many negatives. In addition to the complaints about the starting, there are a wide variety of other claims. Several mentioned the poor customer service that they received from Troy-Bilt. Another popular complaint was trouble with the line feed.

Bottom Line

Until Troy-Bilt improves the negative issues on this trimmer, I would look to purchase another weed eater before this one. For about the same price you can get the Homelite weed eater, which has as much power, it's lighter, and I didn't experience any problems starting it.

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{ 2 comments… add one }

  • Parker Davis April 21, 2012, 1:35 am

    25cc Troy Built

    Please do not buy this weed eater!!
    Comparing this 25cc Troy built to 21cc Echo (20 years old)

    Troy-built is:
    1) less powerful by far
    2) harder to start
    3) burns more gas
    4) vibrates terrible
    5) does not run smoothly at all

    Completely disappointed in this weed eater. Would not recommend to anyone…..ever!

    • alan caldwell June 10, 2013, 3:06 pm

      Have had less than 2 years and it is in the shop. put new carberator on and still will not run more than 10 seconds.
      Repair man says compression is low

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