If you take great pride in your garden you will know that it does take some effort and time to maintain! While a lawnmower can do the basic tasks of tackling overgrown grass, you may need a few more tools to get your garden looking perfect. A grass strimmer can trim tough-to-reach areas like under bushes or furniture. They can also neaten up edges of flower beds and tackle tough overgrowth.
These machines are simples to use even for a beginner but with so many options available, you may need a helping hand in buying one. We’ve compiled all of the most common questions into this one handy guide to grass trimmers/strimmers.
Grass Trimmer Or Grass Strimmer – What’s The Difference?
There is no difference between the two terms! A grass trimmer is a term used by professionals while grass strimmer is used in a residential context. There is no difference when it comes to their performance, design and purpose of use. Most manufacturers use the term“grass trimmer/strimmer” to avoid confusing people.
How Do They Work?
A grass trimmer is a tool that features a nylon line instead of a blade to cut grass. It has a propulsion system that spins the nylon wire at high enough speeds to be able to cut grass easily. The cut-up grass and debris is prevented from being thrown up by a shield that covers the head of the trimmer.
You may need to replace the nylon cord when it gets worn out manually in some older models. But you can also opt for a trimmer with an internal cord spool which adds the nylon cord out when the old one is worn out. They work by pressing on the cutting head called a bump feed or by being prompted by a button (manual feed).
You will need to replace the cord spool when the old one has been used up in manual and bump feed models. But they provide an easier method of doing so than opening up the cutting head by hand every time the old cord is used up.
Types of grass strimmers
Petrol grass strimmers
These are heavy-duty machines best suited to cut vast areas of long grass and stubborn weeds. All you need is a can of petrol to get this strimmer going. This makes it perfect for those who need to work for long periods, for example, to cut grass in a meadow. Because of their heavy-duty functionality, they are not suited for light tasks such as edging lawns. Usually, these devices can also function as brush cutters for cutting brambles. We recommend models with an adjustable handle and a visible gas tank so you are aware of when to replace the gas. Although expensive, a four-cycle engine uses ordinary gas and runs efficiently. While a two-cycle engine is cheaper, you will need to mix oil with gasoline.
Cordless grass strimmers
Cordless models are more expensive than other kinds as it provides the convenience of not being limited by a power source. They also have the advantage of being lighter than the other models as well. The batteries can take 3-5 hours to charge so you may not be able to use this for large garden jobs. We recommend that you go for a fast-charging lithium-ion battery instead of a cheaper NiMH battery.
Corded Grass Trimmers
While corded yard strimmers may seem old fashioned, they can still do the job while being more budget-friendly than the other types. If your garden is within 100 feet from a power outlet, corded grass trimmers can be a good option. Another bonus is that they start quickly and run indefinitely so you won’t have to worry about buying petrol or charging a battery.
Electric grass strimmers
The cheapest of the type of grass trimmers, these appliances are powered by electricity and need to be plugged in. Perfect for ordinary use in small to medium gardens, they can handle light tasks such as trimming around a fence and edging the lawn.
How Different Is A Strimmer From A Brushcutter
Brushcutters feature a blade and are more powerful than grass trimmers. They can handle heavy-duty activities like cutting thick vegetation rather than just general cutting of your lawn.
Grass trimmers are smaller and lighter than brush cutters and are good for trimming and tidying up small to medium-sized lawns. In comparison, brush cutters are suited to clear large bushes, trees and bush wood.
If you want the functionality of both appliances, you can go for a grass trimmer/brushcutter with an interchangeable cutting head. Such appliances will have a nylon cutting head and an attachable 3 or 4 tooth metal cutting blade.
Such a combination is good for those who need to work through thick weeds and shrubs while also maintaining the growth of the grass. A grass trimmer’s nylon cord will not be able to handle the shrubbery by itself. If you have thick vegetation and want to DIY the upkeep, you can opt for a multi-tool featuring a chainsaw, pole saw and hedge trimmer.
Best grass trimmer features to look for
If you are looking for a grass trimmer for easy tasks, such as tidying the edges of the lawn or cutting up bits of straggly grass, then a classic model should be alright. But if you’re enthusiastic about fixing your yard, look for the below features in your grass strimmer:
Loop handles – This feature allows you to change working positions which will be handy when you’re cutting around obstacles. It also supports the weight of the grass trimmer.
Shape Of The Shafts– You can also find Telescopic shaft that adjusts according to your height. You can also adjust the angle of the head. The shafts of a trimmer also called as shanks can be straight or curved. Straight shafts are safer as they increase the distance between you and the head and offer good weight balance. Curved shafts provide more control over the head and are great for trimming around flower beds and difficult to reach areas.
Adjustable head– This feature allows you to change the angle of the head so you can cut vertically also. This additional functionality can make it easier to trim grass and reach the difficult spots. Adjust it in a way that it does not block your view of the grass.
Carrier or shoulder strap – A strap around your shoulders will reduce the stress on your arms especially when the strimmer is heavy.
Secondary handles – An ergonomic handle at least ⅔ rd of the way up the shaft is ideal for extra control. This will also allow you to use the grass trimmer in a wide arc. Modern models have this feature installed as it also improves the safety of the appliance.
Cutting Width: This determines how much grass can be cut at a time. The wider the width, the more can be cut and the quicker you can finish the job. We would recommend a width of 330mm and more for large gardens and between 220mm-280mm for small to medium gardens.
Black + Decker: An American manufacturer, Black+Decker is one of the leading manufacturers of corded and cordless electric trimmers. They are available in curved and straight shafts. You can choose between Lithium-Ion battery models of 20V MAX, 40V MAX, and the ultra-efficient 60V MAX. They have also expanded their line to include electric products in recent times. They conduct a lot of research and development in all of their equipment and this garden tool uses their patented Automatic Spool Feed® and Easy-feed technology that feeds the nylon line easily.
Bosch: Bosch offers a range of corded and cordless grass trimmers in its garden tools section. Bosch has introduced lithium-ion batteries in their recent models thus making them powerful and lightweight. They offer a 3-year warranty for their grass strimmers which is among the highest in this category.
Husqvarna: Husqvarna offers a line of classic gas-powered string trimmers for home and commercial use. They are fitted with a Smart Start® function which allows the grass trimmer to start quickly. Complimented with an auto return stop switch, the machine will return to the start position. These trimmers are available in variants of two- and four-stroke engines and they usually feature split-shaft attachment designs.
They also offer a range of quiet battery-powered cordless strimmers. Featuring Lithium-ion batteries, the device is fully charged within 60 minutes. These strimmers are budget-friendly, lightweight and offer good ergonomics.