If you take pride in the appearance of your lawn and garden, you understand how important trimming is in making sure your yard looks its best.
Nothing says ‘well-kept garden’ like a well-mown lawn with sharp edges.
Cutting the grass with a lawnmower only accomplishes half the job, which is why you need to find the best string trimmer to complete the fine-tuning.
A string trimmer will also help you quickly cut back areas of weeds and soft stemmed plants that have become overgrown, so you can begin to regain some control on places where it looks like you’re losing out to nature.
You could certainly accomplish these things with hand-operated tools, but if you want to save time and effort, you should invest in an electric or gas-powered string trimmer.
Like many outdoor power tools, these things go under different names. So, you may also see them called strimmers, brush cutters, weed wackers or grass trimmers.
The essential string trimmer buyers’ questions (the EBQs)
When you purchase a string trimmer, you need to ensure that the unit you buy really will be suitable for the tasks required to trim your lawn effectively and keep your weds in check.
The first step in deciding which model will suit you best is to determine your specific needs. The following questions can help you to narrow down your possible choices so you can bring home the best string trimmer for your property.
- How much area do you need to trim? If you have a short driveway and minimal sidewalk space to trim with just a few trees, you probably do not need the biggest and most powerful trimmer available. However, if your property includes a long driveway, orchards of trees and large garden areas around which you must trim, then you probably require a larger, gas-powered model.
- What types of vegetation require trimming? In most cases, trimmers are used to cut down grasses or common lawn weeds. In other scenarios, people like to use their trimmers to cut down tougher types of vegetation throughout their property. If you are in the latter category, then you want to make sure you purchase a trimmer powerful enough to handle your trimming tasks. If you have a very large yard with some tough vegetation, you might want to consider a walk-behind trimmer for the best results.
- Who will be the trimmer’s primary user? This is important to consider because string trimmers can be cumbersome and heavy to some users. Electric string trimmers are the lightest and easiest to operate, but gas trimmers are more powerful, though they are generally much heavier and difficult for some users to handle for longer periods of time. Walk-behind trimmers are easy to operate since they do not require lifting, but they are expensive and unable to get into tight spaces.
- Curved or straight? Some string trimmer shafts are curved, while others are straight. Trimmers with curved shafts feature a less sophisticated drive system than their straight-shafted counterparts, which makes them less expensive, though they are more than adequate for many users. Straight-shafted string trimmers usually have a more reliable drive system, plus they are easier to use when you need pinpoint accuracy from the string trimmer head. This can be especially useful if you need to get under shrubs or fences.
- Do you also need an edger? Some string trimmers are set up with a feature that allows users to rotate the head 180 degrees so the machine can be used as an edger. This is very useful for users with long driveways or sidewalks which they like to keep impeccably manicured. Though for some people, a separate lawn edging tool will be a better option.
- How environmentally friendly are you? Gas-powered string trimmers are powerful and relatively easy to operate, but they are also loud and damaging to the environment. Electric trimmers, especially cordless models, run quietly, plus they are much more eco-friendly. The drawback is that electric machines are not as powerful or versatile.
- What is your budget? Electric string trimmers can be purchased for less than $50, but they may not offer you the power and features you need. The most expensive walk-behind string trimmers, on the other hand, are powerful and easy to use, but they can cost over $500. Prices for other types of consumer-level trimmers can fall anywhere within this range, so it is important for you to determine how your money will be best spent.
Types of string trimmers
There are four basic types of string trimmers available. Electric string trimmer models come in two categories – corded and cordless.
Corded models must be operated within 100 feet of an electrical outlet (or portable generator), but cordless models can be taken anywhere.
The drawback with cordless electric models is that they can only operate for as long as their batteries can hold a charge. Because of this, you should seek a model that comes with a Lithium Ion battery.
Gas-powered trimmermodels are available in two styles, as well.
The most common gas string trimmers are the hand-held models with a long shaft separating the trimmer’s head from its engine. Walk-behind string trimmers with gasoline engines are also available.
The walk-behinds resemble something of a hybrid between trimmers and mowers and many users operate them as such. Gas-powered models are much more powerful than electric units, but they are louder, generally more expensive, and less environmentally friendly.
With such a wide range of choices available in the world of string trimmers, buying the best string trimmer for your purposes can be difficult.
However, your choice is made much easier when you take the time to decide which features are important, and which ones you can live without.
As always, when you ask yourself the EBQs and take the time to do some research, you will be able to make an intelligent choice which should serve you well for many years.
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