The strimmer is much more maneuverable than a lawnmower, easy to operate and mows near the house and under the fences with ease.
But how do you choose the best trimmer for requirements? That’s what this post is all about…
Here’s what we’ll cover…
- Why a grass strimmer is the best choice
- Which one to choose based on the type of power supply
- The difference engine location makes
- Which cutting attachments will work for you
- What else to pay attention to when choosing a trimmer
If you don’t mow the lawn periodically, cut shrubs and remove weeds, the garden will look untidy despite all your efforts and beautiful flowerbeds.
The lawn has to be cared for, otherwise, weeds will eventually show over the whole area and outgrow the grass.
Why a grass strimmer is the best choice
If you don’t have a flat lawn in every respect, and you need to fight against dense thickets, a wheeled lawnmower like the GTech 2.0 mower is not the right choice for you.
If you have a vegetable garden, the surface of the area is usually far from smooth. The trimmer is then the most ideal lawn mowing solution. Here are some top reasons why:
- It is very convenient for working in narrow areas between flowerbeds and along the paths
- Perfect for mowing out growth along fences and narrow gaps
- Agile and handy to operate
- Easy to move
Update: Having been doing some more research lately, I came across a cool website which I found very helpful and wanted to share. It shows a comparison of some of the best cordless string trimmers around at the moment.
If you’re on the market for one, check that out after fully reading this post first. Even better, let me know if you find any other really good review sites or posts that will help other consumers in their purchasing decision.
Of course, if you need to mow large areas or don’t want to waste time, you can also buy a robotic lawnmower which will independently maintain your lawn. But such a device, though quite convenient, cannot cope with bumpy surfaces.
The string trimmer is ideal for hard-to-reach places where the mower cannot go. Besides, using the device with a cord, you can mow directly along a fence or a building, as the there is no blade to break, so the string will only get used up a little faster when colliding with solid objects.
But which trimmer is best for the lawn…petrol or electric?
In order to enjoy mowing the lawn without turning it into hard work, it is advisable to choose the perfect option for your needs.
The best way to start is to choose the type of power it will use.
Trimmers can first by grouped by the type of power supply into three main types:
- Corded electric
Note: grass strimmers are also called “brushcutters”
Each of them is good in its own way. Pay attention to the peculiarities to choose the one that is best for you.
The biggest decisions between choosing an electric strimmer or petrol depends on how large the area is and how far you need to take the strimmer.
Check out this helpful video of a petrol vs cordless trimmer:
If you agree to buy a long enough extension cord, then the electric variant will be more economical (among other things), though less convenient. You will not have to buy fuel, though paying close attention to the cord is necessary so as not to hit it.
The main advantages of electric trimmers include…
- There is no need for refueling and purchasing expensive fuel
- Less weight than petrol trimmers
- A wide range of models
- A variety of cutting attachment accessories
If you choose a cheap model, its power is usually very low. Therefore, such a device will quickly overheat and will need to be turned off every 10-15 minutes which is very annoying.
Remember, if you buy cheap often you have to buy twice...Cheapest is not always the cheapest in the end!
Therefore, do not buy the cheapest one to save money. But if you only have a small area to cover, you might get away with a cheap one
It is very important to consider that trimmers with a low power output engine cannot cope with undercutting bushes and young growth, even if it is declared by the manufacturer. There may also be problems with thick stems of weeds and wild grass. The engine will overheat quickly and may burn out.
Also note that an electric trimmer should not be used in high humidity or light rain, as the water may cause a short circuit. Oleo-Mac is an excellent choice among electric models.
Battery-powered models are not often found among the trimmers. This can be explained by the fact that powerful batteries are very expensive and have a lot of weight.
However, as technology improves and lithium-ion batteries are able to produce much more power from smaller units, this changes things a lot.
Of course, such devices are quite interesting. They bribe with their self-sufficiency and fuel independence. However, you will have to spend time recharging it.
In addition, such devices are not the most powerful, so they will not be able to cut bushes or brushwood.
Petrol trimmer (brushcutter)
This is probably the most popular kind of trimmer among summer house and garden owners. It is also a favourite tool of urban service workers that you can meet on the streets of your city.
The petrol trimmer has its advantages:
- Excellent mobility and maneuverability
- Good output
However, they have some disadvantages compared to the previous two types:
- Expensive fuel
- Loud noise
- Exhaust gases
- Considerable weight
Petrol trimmers can be both standard and professional. Standard household models are characterized by low power and low price. They come with the minimum set of attachments and weigh less.
Professional trimmers are equipped with a more auxiliary engine and everything necessary for cutting plants up to 1.5 cm in diameter.
Brush cutters are best suited for large scale work and processing of vast areas. So if you’re going to cut a lot of land, choose a petrol model.
When choosing a model, it is better to stick to a four-stroke engine, such as with models like the Makita Ex2650. This eliminates the need to prepare a special blend to tank up a brush cutter. It is prepared in a strict proportion of oil and 92 petrol. And if the ratio is not right, it can cause it to cease up.
How to choose a grass trimmer by engine location
The engine can be located at the top or bottom.
Inexpensive models with low output usually have their engine at the bottom. The convenience of this approach is that if it starts to rain, moisture will not penetrate the engine.
The trimmers with an upper-mounted engine are more practical and powerful because they’re well cooled. They are also easier to handle, as the engine weight is distributed much better.
They’re designed for long use, but not for using in all weathers…
How to choose a cutting attachment?
Low-power and cheap devices can only work with a string. More expensive models are designed not only for grass – they are equipped with a steel blade bar and a special cutter.
One exception to this rule is the GTech range of strimmers, the latest one being the GTech ST20 which has been reviewed previously. This one uses plastic blades which are easy to replace.
Let’s take a look at the most common types and how good they are.
It comes in different diameters: from 1.2 to 4 mm. Use only the one that is designed for your tool – this should be specified in the instructions. If you take a string that is thicker or thinner, the wear on the bushings will be increased and it is quite a challenge to replace them.
Many people consider the string section to be a common pattern but it is not. An asterisk or polygon pattern is more of a memorable designation for its purpose. So, the following types of strings by section are common:
- Circle – Universal, suitable for both grass and dry stems of burdock
- Square – Better for thick stems and aged plants
- Sprocket – The softest and most suitable for a lawn to regenerate fast
A variety of string types will help you choose the one that is suitable for your lawn.
You’ve probably noticed that some trimmers are sold without any nozzle attachments at all. Such trimmers are designed for infrequent work, e.g. when you occasionally mow the area.
In this case, a string is not suitable because it will get stuck in high grass. For this purpose, the best solution is a steel, well-sharpened blade. In order to cut dry branches or stubby weeds, it is best to use a plastic blade nozzle.
But blades are not a reason to give up a string, as they are not suitable for hilly terrain or fence areas where glass or stone can be found. Though trimmers are equipped with a protective cover, a solid object can still shoot out from under it if it comes into contact with metal.
The number of blades depends on whether a trimmer can handle thick stems and grass. However, this is a fine way of chopping grass, so it is not suitable for haymaking.
What else to pay attention to when choosing a trimmer?
The most important thing in using such a manual tool is convenience. When you don’t feel the tension while using a trimmer, mowing the lawn, even over a large area, you will want to use it more often.
The key points to consider regarding this are:
- If there is a curved or straight shaft on the device
- The material, shape and location of the handles
The metal shaft is the connecting element between the engine and the cutting unit with a crankshaft that revolves inside of it.
When the shaft is straight, it is more reliable and durable, but less convenient and maneuverable than a curved one. If it is necessary to work on a flat area or lawn, a straight one is better, and for bumpy terrain – a curved one. It is preferable to take a trimmer with a demount-able shaft, as it is easier to store.
The set of accessories that comes with a trimmer is very important. Basically, most models are equipped with one of the following options for using it:
- A belt is the easiest option for a shoulder. Not very suitable for mowing in large areas
- Double belt – two shoulders at once. Slightly softens the load, but not recommended when using powerful trimmers
- A backpack suspension with a belt is an excellent accessory. Weight and load are distributed to the whole body, the back doesn’t hurt or get tired at all, the level of hand vibration is reduced.
Choose wisely because your satisfaction from work depends on it.
Now you are fully prepared for the season and ready to buy, as you know how to choose the right trimmer for yourself. Choose the device that suits you best and enjoy the cutting process!