Selecting the Proper Handheld Equipment

If you really examine most premium products offered today, they have a sleek design, good parts/service network, easy starting, acceptable idle and acceleration performance, and comparable power-to-weight ratios. When a person buys a piece of handheld equipment the consideration is usually based on the price, power to weight ratio, starting performance, appearance, and finally the after sale parts/service network.

In addition, most of us are creatures of habit and we gravitate to those special products we either look forward to using, or resort to brand/model loyalty when given a choice of products to choose. The question is, are you possibly missing out on something more user-friendly or more productive?

The next time you are purchasing equipment, here are some tips to consider when selecting the right product?

  • Handle position and diameter
    • Is the product comfortable for you?
    • Are the handles angled properly for comfortable wrist position?


  • Trigger/ throttle interlock positioning
    • Does the trigger and interlock fit your hands or do you have to stretch your hands to operate?
    • Is the trigger hard to squeeze?


  • Weight is very important, however a poorly balanced product can be more fatiguing than a unit that weighs less.


  • Vibration is possibly the biggest contributor to fatigue, as well as, creating a safety hazard.  Just because a unit has an AV or low vibration system it is still important to determine how effective it is.


  • Consider your run time on a tank of fuel.
    • Fuel consumption is a big topic with today’s fuel prices coupled with EPA compliant fuel efficient engines.  We have seen some outstanding units over the years that have focused on the area of performance only to be overshadowed by short run times per tank.
    • The results:
      • Operator reports of poor unit  performance.
      • Decreased productivity efficiency due to stopping to refuel--on average wasting 10-15   minutes per stop.


  • Exhaust Direction and Location
    • Examine the unit you are considering for muffler location and exhaust flow direction. It can mean the difference between a pleasurable operating experience and a dreaded task.
    • NOTE: the technology employed in exhaust flow, cooling air flow, and shrouding can vary between manufacturers.

It is important to do your research prior to purchasing or choosing the right piece of handheld equipment.  Even though something looks good, or the price is right, it may not be your best choice.  Be open and compare brands, and by implementing these few simple steps it could turn out to be very profitable, and not to mention safe.


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