Shindaiwa T262 String Trimmer Review
The Shindaiwa T262 showed us some solid power and performance, as well as the largest cutting swath we tested at 20". It didn't "wow" us in any one category, but it was an all-around solid performer.
This past June, we had the chance to test out ten string trimmers from the industry’s leading OPE manufacturers in our Best Gas-Powered String Trimmer Shootout. We ran all of the trimmers through a series of tests to see which of these OPE staples presented the best performance, ergonomics, fuel economy, feature sets, and value. For more information about how we ran our testing, I’d suggest clicking that earlier link.
Today, we’re looking the Shindaiwa T262. This model, coming from one of Echo’s daughter brands, offers pro-level performance and a solid feature set. Plus, at 20″, the Shindaiwa offers the biggest cutting swath out of every model we tested. Even though this trimmer is a solid all-around performer, the 2-stroke T262 finished in the middle of the pack, in an overall 5th place. Let’s take a look at why.
Weight always plays a big part in our ergonomics ratings. The Shindaiwa T262 weighed in at 12 lbs, 12 oz, which isn’t necessarily super lightweight, but it also isn’t terribly heavy either. On a long enough work day, a lighter tool will definitely make for a more comfortable tool, and the T262 does enough in the weight department to not make you hate your life too much.
While most Pros will throw on some precautionary hearing protection anyway, and rightly so, we do like to take a tool’s volume into consideration. When measured at the ear, the Shindaiwa T262 registers a cool 97 dB(A). At 50 ft away, we measured the T262 at 73 dB(A). All this is to say that, while this trimmer isn’t whisper-quiet, it’s also not quite as ear-shatteringly loud as a Molly Hatchet concert.
We also test tools out by how they feel in the hands. Admittedly, this category is pretty subjective, but we generally find a consensus among all of us doing the testing. Most of us felt that the Shindaiwa T262 avoided any glaring ergonomic issues. After all, it has a robust, padded auxiliary handle, as well as a cushioned handle at the throttle.
Again, the Shindaiwa T262 finished the shootout in the middle of the pack for overall fuel efficiency. However, the differences between the top finishers were mostly negligible. Even still, here’s the breakdown.
On 8 oz of fuel, the T262 ran for 21:06, which was pretty average. However, because this trimmer comes with a 20.6 oz tank, it’s able to run for quite a while. As a matter of fact, the Shindaiwa finished 3rd in overall runtime, taking 54 minutes and 20 seconds before the trimmer ran out of gas and puttered out.
To keep everything fair in testing, every trimmer used TruFuel’s Premix or 4-Cycle Fuel. As the Shindaiwa T262 comes with a 25.4cc 2-stroke engine, we used the TruFuel premix fuel.
This is usually the category where we really see a difference between what we consider Pro models and consumer models. The Pro models generally have a lot more features that help with serviceability, startup, and just general ease of use.
The Shidaiwa T262 string trimmer does a lot of things right in this department. It has the serviceable head that we like to see, a 2-stage air filter, and a one-piece straight shaft. It also has the biggest cutting swath we tested at 20″. We’ll come back to this point, as it presents a bit of a tradeoff in performance, but for the typical trimming applications, 20″ of cutting swath means that more trimming can get done more quickly.
Refilling the line into the trimmer is a pretty simple process with the SpeedFeed 400 head. Once the head is free from the old line, you just line the holes up on the head and pass the trimmer line through. Once the line is about halfway through, hold the base and turn the head to reel in the new line. This makes line fills super simple. We would like to see a better auto choke system, and an auto-on feature would be useful as opposed to the on/off switch.
- 25.4 cc professional-grade, 2-stroke engine
- Standard Shindaiwa front & rear handles
- 1.62:1 gearcase ratio
- Small profile shield
- Speed-Feed 400 head with .095″ Silentwist
- 20″ cutting swath
- 2-year commercial warranty, 5-year consumer warranty
We tested each of our trimmers in 5 x 5 squares of both typical grass and overgrown Bahia. As some of the trimmers claim to have increased torque, we thought it was important to try and bog them down in the thick stuff.
Remember that 20″ cutting swath we talked about? It works to pretty great effect in the more typical grass. More cutting area should mean getting through any particular job more quickly, right? Well, it finished with the 3rd fastest cut time average at 8.4 seconds.
It did tend to get a little bogged down in the thicker Bahia, however. This might have something to do with that larger swath. As the tip of a trimmer line gets further away from the trimmer head, the slacker line will lose some cutting power. It all has to do with physics. The point here is that, in the overgrown Bahia grass, the Shindaiwa T262 loses a little bit of performance. Its average cut time, in a 5 x 5 square of thicker grass, was 12.9 seconds. This amounts to a 4th place overall finish.
Value & Pricing
The Shindaiwa T262 retails for $329.99. This price falls right in line with other professional models and actually comes in a little less than most. Shindaiwa includes a 5-year consumer warranty or a 2-year commercial warranty for this string trimmer. Ultimately, we see this as a pretty solid value considering the T262’s power and feature set.
The Bottom Line
The bottom line here is that the Shindaiwa T262 makes for a solid, well-built string trimmer with a really wide cut swath. Undoubtedly, this helps to tame overgrown patches of typical grass, though the 20″ cutting swath might struggle a bit with getting through the really thick stuff quickly. However, even when we did overload it, the T262 recovered quickly. This is a great trimmer option for anyone cutting around wet ditches, ponds, or retention areas. The large cutting swath matches that of a push mower, so you can get a lot done.
Shindaiwa T262 String Trimmer Specs
- Displacement: 25.4cc
- Overall Length: 70.4″
- Cutting Swath: 20″
- Dry Weight: 12.4 lbs
- Fuel Capacity: 20.6 fl. oz
- MSRP: $329.99
To learn more about the Shindaiwa T262 string trimmer, like how to find a retailer, check out Shindaiwa’s product page here.