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Pros / At a generous 18 inches, the cutting radius of this Toro gas trimmer is the best of any of the models we tested.

Cons / This is the heaviest weed whacker we tested at 12.5 pounds.

 Verdict / The Toro 51978 is a reliable machine with a lengthy drive shaft, easy handling and less vibration than any competitor. If the extra weight isn’t a problem, this is one of the more comfortable trimmers.

The Toro 51978 is an effective and powerful weed whacker that gets rid of weeds and stubborn grass quickly with an expansive cutting radius of 18 inches. It has a lengthy shaft that helps you access hard-to-reach areas. It performed well in our tests and produced less vibration than any other machine, making it a good ergonomic choice.

 

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Performance

In our tests this string trimmer effectively whipped through pesky weeds and grass in short order, and we didn’t have to go over the same areas multiple times, unlike less efficient machines. The long drive shaft eliminated the need for excessive bending down.

The Toro 51978 was also the second-quietest string trimmer among the machines we tested. However, it is always wise to use hearing protection when using string trimmers, particularly gas-powered ones.

Design

The design of the Toro 51978 lends itself to easy handling, especially with features that combat engine vibration and stubborn starting. Its 25.4cc two-cycle engine operates energetically, and we experienced no problems with stalling or stopping.

At 12.5 pounds, this gas trimmer is the heaviest we tested, which might present problems for those who cannot lift much weight. However, the Toro 51978's design makes it easy to maneuver. If you are in the market for a lighter trimmer with similar functionality, the Hitachi CG23ECPSL is a good choice.

Since this grass trimmer uses a two-cycle engine, you need to use an oil-and-gas mixture for fuel. This grass trimmer uses spring-start technology for easy starting; you can usually start the engine in one or two pulls of the cord, even if the machine has been gathering dust all winter.

Your weed eater can be an all-in-one yard care tool if you purchase universal attachments. Toro does not make trimmer attachments, but it designs this unit so you can use attachments from most other weed trimmer brands. You can whack through undergrowth by replacing the weed eater head with a brush cutter or even connect a cultivator for your garden. Another benefit: Using attachments does not void your warranty. The Toro gas trimmer doesn't come with a harness or the ability to become a power sweeper.

Regarding anti-vibration technology, this is the best weed whacker in our product comparison as far as anti-vibration technology goes. It had the lowest vibration of any product we tested. This reduces the amount of painful muscle stress and fatigue you experience.

The Toro yard trimmer has many common features. You firmly tap the head on the ground to release more string. The trimmer also has a black plastic debris shield to keep leaves, mud and grass clippings from flying around and getting onto your face, body and clothing.

String Features

The string feed has a capacity of 25 feet, which is the most of the gas trimmers we tested. The string itself is nearly 0.1 inches thick, which adds to the strength of the weed whacker’s cutting ability.

Warranty & Support

When you buy the product from an eligible dealer, it comes with a three-year warranty for parts and labor and another three-year warranty that covers the drive shaft. Since most weed eaters come with two-year warranties, this is quite a reasonable deal.

Summary

The Toro 51978 straight-shaft gas trimmer is easy to assemble and use. It does not have a shoulder strap, but this weed whacker performs nicely on its own and becomes quite versatile if you opt to invest in some extra attachments. It has a long shaft and it performed better than any other trimmer in our vibration tests, making it one of the better ergonomic options out there.

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Specifications and Benchmarks

Performance

Weight
80%
Balance
95%
Vibration
100%
Cutting
100%
Sound
99%

Design

Weight (pounds)
12.5
Shaft Length (inches)
44
Cutting Path (inches)
18
Sound Level (dB)
97
Fuel Capacity (ounces)
18
Engine Displacement
25.4cc
Anti-Vibration
Attachment Capable
Shoulder Strap Included
-

Warranty & Support

Warranty
3 Years
Drive Shaft Warranty
3 Years
Service Centers
Online Manual
Phone
Email

String Features

Line Feed Type
Bump
Line Feed Capacity (feet)
25
Line Diameter (inches)
0.095
Dual-Line Exit