High Torque from a line trimmer, who needs it? Let’s answer this with another question: who doesn’t? We’ve all been there, as a professional landscaper or even homeowner, when Spring has sprung and the new growth exceeded expectations. Or, you get the call to clean up that Bank Repo home that has been sitting untouched for 6 months. Regardless of the exact circumstance, this is where you need the ECHO SRM-2620T line trimmer or something like it. A 2:1 gear reduction produces more torque to the cutting line, reducing the chance for bogging.
Editor’s Note: This article was originally published on May 15, 2018. We’ve updated the scores to reflect the Echo SRM-2620T’s performance in our Best Weedeater Shootout from June 22, 2018.
We put this ECHO SRM-2620T line trimmer in the hands of some of our lawn care professionals to see what they thought. After weeks in the field, we wrap up this review. In short, this high-torque trimmer is a big success, without much drawback. We dive into the features, build quality, and even ergonomics and value.
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From Pro Extreme to X-Series
In the past, the flagship and performance leaders under the ECHO brand were the 28cc units, such as the ECHO SRM-280T. In 2016, ECHO launched the Pro Extreme series as their professional line. Then, in 2017, the name was shortened and referred to as just the X-Series. ECHO says the X-Series 2-stroke line is made for the pro. Displacement for top units has dropped, from the 28cc to now the 26cc (25.4). ECHO ensures us they are able to pull more horsepower out of the newly-designed smaller powerplants, such as the ECHO SRM-2620T line trimmer.
ECHO SRM-2620T Line Trimmer Features
The”T” designation in the ECHO SRM-2620T line trimmer identifies this unit as a high-torque model. The 25.4cc X-Series engine produces up to 1.35 hp and is made from military-grade magnesium. Performance is not the only focus for the X-Series line, they have also worked on re-starts, especially in hotter climates. This unit has spent the last few weeks in the field – pun intended – so we can now attest to the claims. Starting has not been an issue, cold or hot. Typical starts when cold took 2 or 3 pulls under full choke before it fired. After warm, and even Hot, the 2620T seems to start on the first pull…when you don’t run it out of fuel.
The air filter on the high torque SRM-2620T can be removed and replaced without tools. Two plastic-covered thumb screws offer access to the pleated filter, hence filter replacements become quick and easy. Fuel efficiency is a little less compared to the ECHO SRM-2620 (sans “T”) line trimmer. This is expected due to the 2:1 gear ratio, compared to the normal 1.62:1. However, we’re only talking a couple of minutes per tank. This ECHO SRM-2620T line trimmer ran for 19min:42sec on 8oz of fuel. With the 20.6oz fuel tank, the runtime calculates to 50min:44sec for a full tank. We think the couple minutes lost is an easy tradeoff for the increased power, response, and torque.
Speeds and Feeds – Performance
It’s all about speeds and feeds! The ECHO SRM-2620T string trimmer delivers more torque through the use of a 2:1 gear reduction, reducing the potential for bogging or slowing the head down. The regular SRM-2620 (without “T” designation) has a gear reduction of just 1.62:1. With the higher torque coming down the line — shaft — then you have to lay that power down somehow. ECHO includes the Speed-Feed 400 cutting head that reloads without disassembly. Just line up the arrow to the eyelet, feed the line through and twist it up. The Speed Feed 400 head also comes preloaded with .095 ECHO Black Diamond twisted nylon line.
While still not a brush-cutter, the ECHO SRM-2620T will take care of any weeds and grass in its path. For weeks, the team put it to the test, from cutting knee-high overgrowth to edging driveways and sidewalks. The power from the 25.4cc engine is more than ample for the jobs at hand.
Sometimes build quality gets traded for ergonomics and weight loss. We feel that ECHO has done a good job as to not compromise on either, hence they provide a light tool while also delivering a well-built machine. Weighing in at only 12.6lbs, with 8oz of fuel onboard, the ECHO is on the lighter side of most line trimmers. Yet, even as a lighter trimmer, the aluminum shaft housing and head unit seem to have very little flex. Sure, you can get it to flex, but it’s not noticeable when running the trimmer normally.
The primary handle includes some rubber overmolding, providing for a more comfortable grip. In addition to comfort, the handle is also very stable. This is important, due to the fact that this handle encapsulates the throttle lockout, throttle trigger, and the on/off switch. A string trimmer is definitely a two-hand tool, so both handles should provide comfort and stability. The secondary handle on the ECHO is typical to string trimmers, and it attaches to the shaft. Rubber overmolding is present here as well, providing any comfort they can for the operator.
Build quality for the engine is great. We haven’t had any issues. Much of the engine is surrounded by plastic, and this plays an important role. The plastic not only offers colorful accent touches, but it also shields the engine from the elements. Furthermore, these plastic shields keep the users from burning themselves on hot engine parts. Some older trimmers included the snout – where it connects to the shaft tube – made from aluminum and not covered. This area would get quite hot and burn your arm if you’re not careful. Big thumbs-up for plastic covers.
Living in Central Florida, weeds and grass grow so quick, it’s hard to keep up with them, even on a schedule. Much less, you turn your head for one minute, and next thing you know, you’re wading waist-deep in a jungle. The need for a high-torque unit like the ECHO SRM-2620T line trimmer is almost a necessity. Our initial thoughts on the 2620T were all good, and, honestly, it remains the same even after weeks in the field.
One feature that we would like to see changed is the on/off power switch. ECHO uses this switch on many of their outdoor power equipment tools. It’s an actual switch that you move to the On position, or move to the Off position. We would rather have an auto-return style switch for turning the trimmer off, hence it automatically returns to the On position for starting the next time.
Finally, the value does suffer a bit, due to the fact that it’s $360. This is on the high end for string trimmers, although it’s not far from the median. The regular SRM-2620 is only $329. In the end, you’re paying a few 10-spots for features that you don’t normally find. For us, it’s a good investment and tradeoff for the horsepower, but it is worth noting. Everyone that used the ECHO SRM-2620T string trimmer would recommend this to any lawn care professional and landscaper.
To find out more, just click the ECHO High Torque SRM-2620T Line Trimmer .
ECHO SRM-2620T String Trimmer Specifications
- Carburetor (w/Purge Pump): Rotary
- Fuel Capacity: 20.6
- Shaft Length (in): 59
- Shaft Type: Straight
- Cutting Head: Speed-Feed 400
- Cutting Swath (in): 17
- Drive Shaft: 4-Layer Cable
- Nylon Line (in dia): .095 Black Diamond
- Weight (with 8oz fuel): 12.6 lbs.
- Consumer Warranty: 5 years
- Commercial Warranty: 2 years
- Price: MSRP $359.99