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Cub Cadet CC2125 String Trimmer

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Gasoline string trimmers are noisy, nasty and certain to bring upon their owners the wrath and approbation of every eco-weenie within a three-mile radius. This having been said, if you’re confronted with several acres of yard to attend to, something powered by batteries or a long extension cord will arguably prove about as effective as nail clippers.


Traditionally, gas-driven string trimmers have been powered by two-stroke engines, which have the advantage of being small, powerful and inexpensive, and the disadvantage of being inconvenient and everything that causes the emission of steam from the ears of eco-weenies, as discussed in the previous paragraph.

Should you have thus far contended with no gasoline-powered engines save the one in your car, a two-stroke engine has a piston that performs all the cycles of an internal combustion engine – intake, compression, combustion and exhaust – in two strokes. This allows every revolution of the engine to be a power stroke. A four-stroke engine – such as the one in a car – uses two revolutions of the engine to do the same thing. Two-stroke engines are more powerful than four-stroke engines of the same weight.

There are several drawbacks to simple two-stroke engines of the sort found at the heavy end of a string trimmer, the most notable one being that they don’t include oil pumps. Rather than having a dedicated lubrication system, as the engine in an automobile does, a two-stroke engine wants to see oil mixed with its fuel. As a result, these engines generate a lot of fairly unpleasant emissions, because while modern gasoline burns reasonably cleanly, motor oil most assuredly does not.

In addition, two-stroke engines are very loud – so much so that ear protection while using a two-stroke string trimmer is genuinely worth the trouble – and they’re fiddly and inconvenient. Mixing oil with their fuel is messy, and for many of them, the oil to gasoline ratio is quite exacting, lest they fail to start, or run like drunken hippopotami due to too much oil in their diets.

Thus it was that, upon the demise of our fifteen year old Homelite trimmer – survivor of innumerable weedy lots, unkempt stone borders and one running-over by a pickup truck – we went in search of a trimmer with more than two strokes to it. Remarkably, one actually exists, and more remarkably still, it’s neither preposterously expensive, unworkably funky or only suitable for operation after the ingestion of substantial quantities of anabolic steroids.

The Cub Cadet CC4125 four-cycle gas trimmer is everything a traditional gas trimmer isn’t. It runs on straight-from-the-pump unleaded regular gasoline – actually, you’ll probably want to fill it from a jerry can, but you won’t have to add anything else to its fuel. It’s hardly silent, but if a 747 lands on your lawn while you’re cutting it with one of these things, you’ll probably be able to hear the plane touch down. It’s remarkably green, and while your local eco-weenies will probably find something in its operation to complain about, they’ll have to work a lot harder to do so.

At about 175 dollars, the Cub Cadet CC4125 is more expensive than the extremely low-end two-stroke trimmers that last for most of summer, but it’s comparable with other mid-range gas trimmers. We ordered ours from Amazon.

The Cub Cadet CC4125 was one of the simplest gasoline-powered yard toys I’ve ever assembled and started up. It comes with a coherent manual – albeit with the bad line drawings and small print which are traditional for all such devices – and a largely foolproof setup. If you can tighten two bolts and correctly identify which end of the oil container to stick in its filler spout, you can get one of these things working.

MTD, the manufacture of the Cub Cadet CC4125, notes that it has printed the manual with somewhat eye-straining small print to use less paper and save trees.

Despite the inherently heavier nature of four-stroke engines – they have more stuff going around inside – the Cub Cadet CC4125 is remarkably light. It’s also really well-balanced, making what weight it has easy to deal with. It has two controls – a throttle and an “off” switch.

Our CC4125 started after several pulls of its rope, and after about a minute to warm up, was utterly ruthless. It ripped through grass, weeds, unwanted geraniums – they were certainly unwanted after that – and tomato plants, which are only slightly softer than carbon fiber when it comes time to cut them back in the fall.

One of the apparent drawbacks of the Cub Cadet CC4125 is that it lacks an automatic string feeder. Trimmers thus equipped maintain a spool of trim line in their working ends, which can be coerced into revealing itself by banging the spool on the ground when the trimmer is running. A brilliant innovation if it worked, these things would save having to stop the trimmer to change its line.

The catch with automatic line feeders is that they rarely work correctly, and on those occasions wherein they prove recalcitrant, they require disassembly, profanity and in most cases a new spool of line to get them spinning once more. The manual line clamp of the Cub Cadet CC4125 is simple, and anyone with reasonable eye-hand coordination will find it easy to change the trimmer’s line in under a minute.

You’re less likely to prevent global warming by buying a four-cycle string trimmer than you are by changing all the light bulbs in your house – actually, unless you’re disposed to believing bed-time stories by climatologists with mail-order degrees, your choice of string trimmers won’t make much of a difference to anything green. This having been said, the Cub Cadet CC4125 is really well made, much easier to operate than a conventional two-stroke trimmer, unlikely to beset you with permanent hearing loss and made of attractive yellow plastic.

Grass is going to happen – I can think of no better device to happen to grass.