Posted: 31/07/2014 at 11:53
Neither brand is common in the UK (although they are available) so the information pool here is likely to be fairly small. Honda engines have a good reputation.
2 stroke engines in garden machinery are normally simple reliable designs but still need proper maintenance. Most problems are fuel related. If the AS engine uses a common brand of carburetor such as Zenith or Zama then spares will be easy to find.
AS also make a version of the 531 with a Briggs & Stratton 4 stroke engine which might make engine spares easier to find.