A strimmer, string trimmer or line trimmer is a machine which utilizes a flexible monofilament line to cut grass and small plants. A cutting tip is attached at the end of the shaft. Strimmer line is moved faster by rotating wheel making it stiff enough to cut through. Some lines make a star shape which allows the strimmer to cut woody plants. The line is wound on a reel which is turned by the motor.
A trigger placed on the handle is used to control the speed of the spinning hub. The head contains a rotating hub and a safety shield. Regarding power, we have electric, petrol and battery strimmers. Petrol strimmers have a combustion engine on the other side of the shaft.
There are heavy duty line trimmers for clearing large areas with an overgrowth. Electric strimmers have a motor attached to the cutting head. They are lighter, easy to handle and maintain. Battery strimmers don’t have a cord and offer more freedom of movement. String trimmers are also provided in single-line and double line technologies. The latter are large and cut through grass with much ease. Using the right strimmer helps in keeping your surroundings neat.
Line trimmers are used to clear paths, edge gardens, cut long grass and weeds, free garden walls and create textures. The user controls the cutting height as the line rotates. The reel is knocked on the ground when the line breaks off for semi-automatic models. New models have an auto-feed feature which regulates the line length. This allows the release mechanism to extend some line into the reel. Vertical cutting is done by tilting the strimmer or adjusting the head to a given angle. However, horizontal cutting in sidewalks and pavements leaves open grooves. Electric models are suitable for cutting average grass and vegetation. You also need to use safety precautions while handling this powerful machine. Avoid making contact with the cutting cord or power cable. Always wear protective items like boots, goggles, gloves and the right clothing. Read the manual carefully and use the machine when you are fresh. It is recommended to buy trimmers which suit your need. This discussion provides information on the type of strimmers, best features, some top models, and accessories.
Types of Strimmers
Types of line trimmers range from heavy duty to light ones, electrical to petrol. Electrical or corded strimmers are the cheapest models. They are perfect for small gardens, edging lawns and removing weeds from patios. They have a power cable which is plugged into the mains. Electric line trimmers are quieter, cleaner and simple to use. But they lack the power of carrying out powerful work. Otherwise, it is easy to maintain and handle. Corded models are the most common types. You only need to plug into a wall to clean your small garden.
Cordless string trimmers eliminate the need of adding an extension when cleaning medium sized gardens. Electrical, heavy duty strimmers are equipped with a rechargeable battery. They are lighter compared to other types which make them more portable. This type allows you to clean your garden from all corners. But you should choose one with the right battery power. Recharging the battery at all times might be an inconvenience. Quality models use lithium batteries which offer better machine performance.
Cordless line trimmers offer more freedom of movement while working in large gardens. They eliminate the hassle of running a petrol engine and plugging to the wall. However, they are more expensive than corded models.
Petrol line trimmers are suitable for cleaning large areas and can be used to cut a variety of grass and vegetation. They have enough power to cut overgrown grass and woody plants.
However, they are noisy and create fumes which make them less comfortable. They also require more servicing. They are usually fitted with 2-stroke and 4-stroke engines ranging from 25cc to 50cc. Petrol trimmers vary in size, price, and power. Light weight models are great for spot cleaning in large gardens.
Commercial strimmers use engines rated more than 50cc. They are used for a serious cutting exercise. Multi-tool strimmers have two cords which cut the grass faster than a single line. They are suitable for cutting longer and thicker grass which will take longer if cut using one cord. Blade line trimmers handle challenging work by tearing away tough vegetation. Some models use both nylon and blade heads which can be switched according to the job at hand.
Edge strimmers use a line with a diamond edge cutting profile which offers the best performance. They are suitable for thick grass and stubborn weeds. Wheeled grass trimmers or walk-behind strimmers have a rugged trimmer head attached to the walk-behind frame. This type joins two large wheels which offer maneuverability in different terrains. It covers a wider area than hand-held string trimmer. This strimmer clears thick fields of weed without a hassle. The type of strimmer you choose determines how much you will spend.
Essential Grass Strimmer Features
The cutting head comes in two options. A fixed head is the most basic and makes the cheapest grass trimmer. The other option is a tilted head which allows you to make a nice cut. It other models, it’s placed to lie flat thus allowing the user to cut underneath trampolines and bushes. Cutting width determines the amount of grass you will cut at a time. A large cutting width allows you to do the job quicker. However, a smaller cutting width is more practical in gardens with a lot of flowers. It also helps you avoid damaging small plants.
Line strimmers are also provided in single and dual line cords. Dual line cutters have two cords while the former has one. Having more than two lines allows you to cut the grass much quicker. It is the better option for cutting long and thick grass.
The line diameter is a function of line thickness. Thick grass requires a large line diameter. Thinner lines are less effective when cutting over grown grass. They are only practical where the grass is cut more regularly.
Spool feed is a chamber where the cutting line is stored and retrieved. The feeding mechanism can be manual or automatic. With manual line trimmers, you will need to pull more line by yourself. The manual line is cheaper and allows you to control the amount of line in use. However, releasing the line takes a lot more effort. Automated feeding mechanism gives more line when it’s needed. You can trim with less interruption, but it does not allow you to control the exact amount of line. They are expensive and harder to repair. A bump feed mechanism allows you to feed more line by tapping the cutting head on the ground.
Strimmers with more power, measured in watts in electric models, battery power in cordless models and CCs in petrol motors allow you to cut more grass and vegetation with ease. Smaller lawns need only 250 to 400 watts or 14 volts. For petrol line strimmers, a full cycle motor requires a mix of oil and petrol while a four cycle motor requires only petrol. String strimmers also differ with the type of cutting tool attached to the machine. It determines what type of vegetation you can cut. There are
nylon trimmer heads and metal blades. Nylon strimmers cut long grass and light vegetation. Nowadays, they are complimented by features like quick loading. Blades help in cutting woody vegetation and overgrown grass.
A cord length allows you to know how far the power cord reaches. It helps you if you need an extension chord. Running time and charging is an important aspect of cordless models. Longer batter life allows you to do more work without disruptions.
Comfort is also an important feature just like with any machine. Grass trimmers with a telescopic or adjustable shaft allow you to adjust the height. This eliminates the need to bend over while cutting grass. Weight is also important since it determines how long you can carry the strimmer before experiencing fatigue.
Quality models come with a plant guard which protects trees and flowers. An anti-vibration system reduces the amount of strain while cutting grass and vegetation. Some models can convert into an edger which gives a perfect cut across the lawn edge. Models with a shrub mode allow you to trim at low angles for clearing under chairs, benches and other furniture in the garden. Quality petrol models come with a fast start mechanism which uses a simple switch.
Best Grass Trimmer
Black Decker ST5530-GB Corded Grass Strimmer Review
Power and Technology: Black Decker ST5530-GB is a corded electric strimmer rated at 550 watts. The auto-select technology feed helps in optimizing performance. The motor speed adjusts according to string trimming and edging modes.
Ergonomics: It is designed with a telescopic shaft which allows you to make necessary adjustments for comfort. A secondary handle balances the weight of the strimmer thus improving manoeuvrability. Over-moulded, textured rubber handle provides more grip. It weighs only 2.5 kg which makes it light to lift and manoeuvre.
Edging Guide Wheel: This helps in precise edging. You can trim excess grass growing over a wall, pathway, flower bed and fence. This feature gives borders of your lawn a tidy and neat finish.
E-Drive Technology: It helps in powering the strimmer through overgrown grass without clogging.
Automatic Feed: ST5530-GB is designed with an automatic single line system which saves times and trimming effort. An Auto Spool helps in trimming grass much quicker.
Compatibility: It is compatible with the CM100 mower deck.
Auto-select technology gives maximum control and precision. It comes with a two-year guarantee from the manufacturer. It provides a precise and straight finish. Auto spool saves time when cutting grass. The combination of an adjustable shaft and lightweight helps in improving manoeuvrability.
The guard can be a little hard to insert, but the assembly process is simple. A single strand cable does not cut long grass more effectively. But its ideal for short and regularly cut grass.
Best Cheap Grass Strimmer
Bosch ART 23 SL Electric Grass Trimmer Review
Power: Bosch ART 23 SL is powered by a 280W motor which makes it great for small gardens.
Strong Line: An extra strong line combined with a pro-tap spool allows you to cut through long grass and patches on undergrowth much easier.
Cutting Width: It has a cutting width measuring 23 cm. This ensures the trimmer delivers an all round cutting performance.
Ergonomics: The design enables easy and comfortable grass trimming. It weighs only 1.7 kg which helps in reducing muscles strain. A telescopic handle helps in adjusting height thus increasing comfort. It can cut grass up to a height of 15 cm.
Grip and Start: The grip is effortless and clicks components get you running in minutes. It’s perfect for adding finishing touches to your lawn.
It is capable of accessing hard to reach areas. This model cuts down edges with precision. It saves times and strength given its high power rating. It is easy to start and handle. Semi-automation guarantees continuous trimming. Quick click components make it easy to assemble. It is well balanced and comfortable.
The cord is a bit shorter, but a height adjustment reduces bending instances. Its line breaks constantly, but replacements are easy. This model produces fumes, but it’s the price for an affordable petrol model.
Grass Strimmer Accessories
Strimmer lines are components whose fast movement and stiffness help in cutting through grass and vegetation. They come in different profiles, diameters and pack sizes. Edged lines deal with tall and overgrown grass. There are those meant for normal grass and weed cutting. Triangularly shaped lines enhance the cutting performance. General purpose spiral shaped lines are quieter and have reduced vibration levels.
A harness allows you to support the strimmer with your shoulder while in use. They are designed with a shoulder strap and a quick release buckle. Quality models are simple to adjust and have a protector thigh plate with wide padded straps. The best one suits nearly all electric and petrol trimmers. They remain firmly attached once the strap is attached to the line trimmer.