Product Selection Guide

String Trimmer / Lawn Edger Buying Guide

String Trimmer / Lawn Edger
  • Getting Started

  • Shaggy edges can ruin any yard, especially when it is combined with stray brush grass and weeds. A string trimmer (also known as lawn edge) is a tool that helps homeowners deal with this problem. A string trimmer can edge the grass and remove weeds and other nuances to deliver manicured lawn. This guide will tell you more about string trimmers and how to choose the one that suits your needs.

  • What to Consider

  • The hand-held string trimmer is so popular that many people still think it is the only option they have. However, there are many models on the market. The string trimmer mower, for example, can offer more horsepower than traditional models. They are very stable, and do not require any other equipment.

    Some models have tilting portion, which is handy when you need to access tight spaces. These machines can deal with small branches and clear yard debris without any problem. Another thing that differs one trimmer from another is the type of fuel. Moreover, there are many variations on traditional models. This can be additional features, the shape of the body and other attachments.

  • Types of String Trimmers

  • Three Main String Models

    If you have never bought a trimmer before, shopping for it can be quite confusing. If you are going to cut tall grass, you should search for a powerful engine. However, even though you should prioritize your current project, you should also consider your future plans.

    If the string trimmer has a powerful engine, but you need it for many hours in future, you may prefer an electric trimmer that can provide the right balance between weight and power. Almost every benefit has an accompanying drawback, and homeowners should know their needs before buying a trimmer.

    Light electric models do not pollute as badly as gas engines. There are also battery-operated trimmers that do not need cords, but batteries add weight. Propane string trimmers have powerful engines, but you should always dispose empty containers. When it comes to trimmers, you cannot choose one model to fit all projects, so it is important to know benefits and drawbacks of different models.

    Gas String Trimmers
    These trimmers pollute the air and run on oil or gas, which can cause regulatory problems.

    The main advantage of gas string trimmers is the engine power. However, many states prohibit using it for longer than several hours due to pollutants these trimmers release. They are heavier than other trimmers, and the amount of vibration can bother many homeowners.

    Propane String Trimmers
    These machines are expensive and you will have to buy new canisters with fuel.

    These are the latest trimmers that are as powerful as gas string trimmers; however, they use 16.4-ounce canisters with fuel that you will have to replace. Each canister can last for two hours, and then you will have to buy a new one.

    Electric String Trimmers
    These are very light, but do not have much power and cannot deal with branches and tall grass.

    Electric string trimmers attract customers who care for the air. These models do not pollute the atmosphere. They are also lighter, but the engine is much weaker. However, the newest and more expensive options are equipped with powerful engines. Anyway, gas engines are still better.

  • How String Trimmers Work

  • Traditional string trimmers have the same design: they all have a monofilament line attached to a cylinder. The cylinder spins because of the engine. There are different engines available. The most frequent complain about trimmers people have is that the line can jam sometimes.

    Some trimmer models are equipped with primer pumps, just like old trimmers had. Regardless of specific features, you should consult the manufacturer to solve technical problems.

  • Features String Trimmers Should Have

  • Weight
    You are going to bear the weight of a trimmer, so it is important to choose light weight tool that you can carry and maneuver around. Some models also have shoulder straps to help you remove weight from your arms.

    Safety guards
    The bottom of the trimmer should have a special shield that protects you from debris. Although this shield can block many things, you should also wear goggles and pants to protect against rocks and grass.

    A trigger lock
    A trigger lock helps prevent running the trim when it is not in use. This switch should be in a convenient place and easy to reach.

    Noise levels
    Electric trimmers are often more quiet than gas trimmers, but noise levels can vary. In many cases, ear protection is necessary.

    Trimming capabilities
    If you need to get rid of tall grass, look for trimmers with dual nylon lines. Lines that are thicker than 0.8 inch can cut through tough vegetation.

    Clean finish
    Some models have a swivel head that can be rotated to stay in a perfect position. There are also models which you have to turn to reach the right position. Whether you prefer, the trimmer should be balanced, and give you a complete visibility of what you are trimming. It should also leave a crisp finish.

    Gas trimmers are known to vibrate a lot, which can leave your hands numb and create difficulties. There are now string trimmers with anti-vibration equipment that are comfortable to hold and use for several hours.

    Choose a trimmer that can easily stay at an angle no matter what; this is often achieved with a top-mount motor. The latest models also have shafts that can change length. Others have moveable loop handles that let you adjust the trimmer to match the height.

    Reload features
    There are bump-feed and automatic-feed systems. Both of them can perform great, so the choice depends on your preferences. More expensive trimmers have a spool that you can quickly load with new lines.

    Durable construction
    New quality trimmers combine quality materials with ergonomic design to create switches, pull-cords, engines and spools that can serve you for many years. But even the most expensive models can have plastic details to reduce weight.

    Choosing between straight shaft string trimmer and curved shaft string trimmer
    Straight trimmers are known to be more reliable than their curved counterparts, because the drive cable in curved trimmers is curvy, which often results in breakage and other problems. Straight trimmers can reach spots (like under bushes) easily. However, curved trimmers are better balanced and can be more comfortable for a homeowner.

  • Safety Rules & Tips

  • When using your trimmer, make sure you follow the safety rules. Trimmers move fast enough to toss debris. So be sure to wear sturdy shoes to protect your feet and legs, and protective glasses to keep eyes safe. It may feel uncomfortable during summer, but you need to protect yourself from debris. You should also wear gloves and ear protection, as trimmers can get very loud.

    It is recommended to wear either ear muffs or ear plugs for the best protection.

    The main safety tips:

    •  Wear hearing protection. The one that emit your nose is the best

    •  Wear goggles, sturdy shoes and long pants

    •  Ensure small animals and small stones are not on your way

    •  Before you use your trimmer for the first time, make sure it is not damaged

    •  Do not use it in rain

    •  Avoid cutting damp grass

    •  Cut away from yourself

  • Things to Know Before Buying

  • Below, there are three important questions to consider before you buy a trimmer.

    What are the obstacles in your yard?
    These can be furniture, gardens and trees that need to be trimmed. A corded trimmer is harder to move around and large obstacles can tangle the cord.

    Do you have a big yard?
    The bigger your yard, the more time you have to spend to trim it. Thus, it is better to choose a trimmer that has the runtime to deal with all the trimming and edging you are going to perform. Cordless trimmers are least helpful here; some homeowners buy additional batteries to exceed the runtime, but these batteries are expensive.

    You should also consider lightweight models that feel comfortable on your shoulder.

    Straight or curved trimmer?
    According to experts, there is no performance difference between these two trimmers. According to surveys, many homeowners prefer curved shafts because they are more comfortable, but with straight shaft trimmers you can reach even under shaggy areas, and it allows for greater distance between you and the debris that is around the cut area.

  • Cost Considerations

  • The purchasing price of a trimmer can be quite low, but the cost of owning it is often much higher. Even the most expensive models need maintenance and new trim lines. Besides, gas-powered trimmer requires engine servicing (every year or more often), and the cost of gas should be taken into consideration, too. Cordless models need new batteries, and these batteries can cost even more than the purchasing price. Although corded models are the cheapest to maintain, the extension cord will cost you over $50.