If you are looking for a the best 4 cycle string trimmer that can stand up to heavy-duty use, where you are a lawn care professional or you have a large residential yard that requires a lot of trimming time, or if you just like a lot of power, you may just appreciate the features of the Makita EM2652LHN 4-Stroke String Trimmer.
We searched for the best string trimmer to fit this description and we think you’ll be surprised at what we found.
We’re going to tell you the good, the bad and the ugly about the Makita EM2652LHN. It’s a 4 stroke string trimmer, so it has the advantages and disadvantages associated that. For a more detailed discussion of that concept, please check out our article on 2 Stroke vs 4 Stroke Engines.
Here are some of the top reasons to choose a Makita EM2652LHN string trimmer:
The Engine is a Workhorse Yet Efficient
The 25.4 cc high torque 1.1 HP engine is designed to provide a high power-to-weight ratio to give commercial quality performance. The 4-stroke engine is relatively light and quiet compared to its 2-stroke counterparts.
The fuel efficiency of the engine is also a remarkable feature. The 20.3 oz fuel tank capacity and the “sipping” nature of the engine will allow you to run the trimmer longer than you might expect for a gas-powered trimmer. And the translucent tank will let you quickly do a visual assessment your fuel levels.
Starting is made easier with the specially engineered primer that helps with cold starting.
Functions Well in Any Orientation
The engine’s multi-position lubrication system allows it to be used no matter which way you turn it. This is often a concern with 4 stroke engines because the oil is not mixed with the fuel. You can tilt it on its side to operate as an edger if you need to. You can also raise it to trim a slope or hillside without the engine cutting out.
Since it has separate fuel and oil systems, the Makita EM2652LHN uses standard unleaded fuel and 10W-30 motor oil. These do not require any premixing or maintaining a separate fuel mixture like you would have to do with a 2 cycle trimmer.
Solid Steel Drive Shaft for Efficient Power Transfer and Lower Vibration
The Makita EM2652LHN string trimmer features a solid steel drive shaft. Many other trimmers have flexible drive shafts and indeed this is essential in a curved shaft trimmer. But a solid shaft is going to transfer the power to the trimmer head more efficiently than a flexible shaft. The manufacturer emphasizes that the solid shaft lowers the overall vibration of the trimmer which can contribute to user fatigue.
Lightweight and Compact for Less Back Strain
The trimmer is 69.5 inches long and features a loop handle that can be adjusted along the shaft to shift the balance depending on user height. It weighs only 11.5 lbs which is relatively light compared to comparable 4-stroke weed trimmers.
Easily Accessible and Tool-Free Maintenance
The Makita EM2652LHN has several stand-out features as far as maintenance goes. The dual-stage air filter is placed so that it is easy to access for replacement. It requires no tools to remove and reinstall the filter.
The oil filling port is conveniently placed for an easy visual check of the oil level in the viewing window. The drain plug is also easily accessible for replacing oil.
The Makita EM2652LHN is a powerful trimmer with plenty of upsides, but no machine is perfect. Here are some of the things that could be considered downsides.
Dedicated Trimmer with No Attachments
While some string trimmer are equipped with a split shaft that will accommodate optional attachments such as blowers, edgers and pole saws, the Makit EM2652LHN does not. This is not necessarily a downside if you are interested in owning a dedicated trimmer and/or you don’t have need of the attachments, which may be the case in many residential situations. It does allow the addition of an optional rigid metal brush cutter blades on the spindle. This accessory can be purchased separately and must be used with the extended protector shield.
If you want to have a trimmer with attachments, we have reviewed the best 4 stroke string trimmer that does have the split shaft to add optional attachments. Click on these titles to see our reviews of the Poulan Pro PP428S and the Troy Bilt TB575EC.
Or for a quality 2 stroke weed trimmer that has attachment capabilities: Husqvarna 128LD.
Bump Feed Head Can Be Quirky
Bump and Feed Head
The Makita 4 stroke string trimmer uses a high capacity Bump and Feed Trimmer Head that you tap on the ground as the head is spinning to release a fresh charge of string line. This is probably the quirkiest part of string trimmers in general and the Makita doesn’t excel in this area either. Some users report that it is difficult to get the line to feed properly.
If you really like the rest of the features of the Makita EM2652LHN, you can always replace the bump head with another model like the Echo Speed-Feed 450 High Capacity Trimmer Head. The users manual does not recommend using any non-Makita parts, however users have done so successfully.
The cutting swath for this trimmer is 17 inches which is a common size for this type of trimmer.
Does Not Include Harness
The trimmer is only 11.5 lbs, which is lighter than others in its category. However, holding any equipment out away from the body for an extended period of time can produce fatigue. An included harness would be a nice feature.
A selection of harnesses can be purchased here.
The Honda HHT25SLTA four-stroke trimmer is a little heavier but comes with a harness.
Should You Choose the Makita EM2652LHN String Trimmer?
If you are a lawn care pro that wants a great machine at an affordable price, or you are a residential user with a large property or areas of heavier weeds, or you just enjoy having a lot of power, you will appreciate the strong engine and heavy-duty quality of the Matkita EM2652LHN 17 inch 4 stroke string trimmer. It is designed to hold up under commercial-type use, even in a residential setting. Makita has made this model as quick and easy to maintain as possible, with no-tools-reqired filter removal and easy accessibility of oil and fuel ports.
Priced at the higher end of residential 4 stroke trimmer models, you will pay a little more, but the trade-off is a heavy-duty engine in a lighter weight string trimmer. If you are happy with a dedicated string trimmer that can accept a metal brush cutter blade, but no other attachments, this is a quality model of trimmer to add to your home-care toolbox.
If you are looking for a trimmer that can handle all the attachments, check out the Poulan Pro PP428S or the Troy-Bilt TB575EC.
What comes in the package?
Besides the trimmer, the package includes the Bump & Feed head, which you need to attach, and a 2.7oz bottle of 10W-30 motor oil.
What accessories can you get for the Makita EM2652LHN?
What size of line does this trimmer use?
The included Bump & Feed head uses .080 to .110 inch trimmer line. It is a high capacity head and will hold the following capacities of trimmer line:
- 20 feet of 0.80 inch
- 18 feet of .095 inch
- 16 feet .105 inch
- 13 feet of .110 inch
What kind of fuel and oil does this trimmer require?
The Makita EM2652LHN will operate on regular unleaded gasoline and 10W-30 motor oil.
The fuel tank holds 20.3 oz.
For longest life of your trimmer, we recommend using Ethanol-Free 4 Stroke Small Engine fuel.
What kind of maintenance will the trimmer require?
This string trimmer includes a maintenance schedule in the User’s Manual. Typically, maintenance consists of:
- Checking engine oil on a regular basis.
- Clean filter with soap and water often and recoat it with clean engine oil.
- Check and clean or change the spark plugs as needed, to remove any fouling.
- Adjust the idle as needed.
- Empty fuel from your trimmer when storing for an extended period of time.
- Other period maintenance as specified in the User’s manual.
Does it come with a warranty?
Yes. Makita offers a 1 year warranty on defects in parts and workmanship. Use of non-Makita parts or accessories may void the warranty.
Are spare parts available?
Yes. A majority of the parts can be replaced and are available from Makita dealers in your area. You can find the part numbers here.