A Review Of A Honda 4 Stroke Brushcutter
This review covers the Honda UMK425U 4 Stroke 25 cc Brushcutter.
The standard head is a bump feed which holds about 4 meters of 2.4 mm nylon. The machine also comes standard with a harness, blade and 2nd guard for the blade.
I purchased this machine only a few months ago so the long term reliability and repair costs associated with it are unknown from my own point of view. In my own opinion, brushcutters, whipper snippers, and most other machines require at least a year of commercial use before they can be evaluated fairly and properly. And the Honda UMK425U will be used as a commercial brushcutter by this author.
The Honda brushcutter is proving smooth to operate with low vibration and medium noise levels.
Power levels on the other hand are more than adequate for everyday use on regular mowing work. On heavy duty slashing work of long grass, this machine is NOT the one to choose or use. The lack of power in these situations will in fact slow you down by perhaps 20-50%. So it will cost you time in slower productivity.
So while the Honda UMK425U is proving a great machine for regular everyday mowing work, if we are needing a brushcutter with more power for more heavy duty work, then we must also look at other options past this single machine.
So this leaves the assessment process with several possibilities:
- Accept the machine for what it is and use it for everyday use with excellent reliability and performance, and accept that we will be slowed down on the rare slashing jobs,
- Buy a 2 stroke which will have the extra power available when you need it, on those few slashing jobs now and then,
- Buy the 35 cc model for when you need the extra power. Though I wouldn't recommend this option because the extra fatigue caused by using a heavier machine throughout the day CAN and eventually WILL cause health problems (tendons, joints RSI etc - possibly shortening a career).
So I can honestly say at this point in it's life cycle, I am very happy with the purchase. The Honda UMK425U is not suitable for every type of work, and that’s just fine, what machine can be expected to perform perfectly in every situation and for every work load? None can, and neither can this one.
However, for the work it is intended, it is proving an excellent asset and a happy investment. It does its job very well, runs incredibly reliably, and is a pleasure to use, starting with ease every single time the cord is pulled.
The Honda is a little heavier than 2 stroke brushcutters, however I haven’t found this to be an issue for me personally.
An Update - 7 years Later
This is an update on the performance of the Honda UMK425U 7 years after it was purchased and the original review was written.
Note: I am now onto my second Honda UMK425U in this same time, used commercially. The first brushcutter eventually became heavily weather and water damaged, due to my own use of the machine and keeping it uncovered on a trailer through winter and summer. Which is was my own doing. But the good news was that this gave me an excuse to buy another shiny new Honda. However, nowadays - it is always kept protected from weather.
I am very happy with this machine, it has proven to be my most reliable brushcutter of the 4 I have used in the past 7 years which have all been used commercially. Today, it still runs smoothly, does the job without any complaint, and starts without effort.
Common problems I have faced with brushcutters in the past have been worn out clutches, engine gaskets blowing, unreliable performance and starting, and carbys breaking. All these problems surfaced within the first 18 months of owning these machines, yet I have seen none of these problems with the Honda, it continues to run like the day I bought it.
I have had no problem with engine performance whatsoever whenever using it on an angle to trim garden edges, which is frequently, so if the mower shop tells you something like this, it's fluff. I have never experienced any type of oil flow problem, engine cut out, or oil leakage or anything of the sort whatsoever - which were some of the common misconceptions I had heard in the past about the Honda UMK425U.
As I stated previously it is underpowered for heavier slashing work, but for normal everyday purposes, it's top notch!
I can state without hesitation that this is one of the best machinery purchases I've ever made for my business, and I recommend it to anyone looking to purchase a new brushcutter. I have been honest in this assessment, so contractors looking to purchase this machine should evaluate both its pros and cons, it’s a great machine - but not perfect for every situation. So keep these things in mind when considering switching to any 4 stroke small engine machine. But for myself and my own work, the Honda has been a brilliant machine, and I continue to use it today.