String Trimmers Or Weed-Whackers, They All Take Care Of The Same Job
Whether you call them string trimmers or weed eaters or weed whackers, they are all the same machines – edging and lawn trimmers. And, like anything else, buying them requires more than running into the store and plunking down the magic card.
Weed-Eater Buying Moments
String trimmer buying moments have a definite purpose. The purpose is the make sure you get the right one for the proper use.
What might the uses be? Of course, the applications are necessary yard cleanup and maintenance. However, there is also the occasional time when you have to go in and clean up massive clutter and wood. You do need a weed-eater for this.
If you only have a small patch of grass in your yard that requires cleanup, then other string trimmers will suit your purposes. And though it seems unlikely, there are more options for smaller yards than there are for big woody lots.
String Trimmers Explained
When you walk into the local garden center or home goods store, the first thing you are bound to notice is the variety of strimmers available. Let’s face it; there are so many sitting there that it can be very confusing. There are electric strimmers, gas-powered string trimmers, and string trimmer that combine other features such as a cutting blade.
Strimmers fall into three categories, based on price. They are:
- $50 – This is the price range which features basic weed whackers. This is price range includes small, battery-powered and corded units. There might also be some gasoline-powered units available. However, you are more likely to find them in the next category. These string trimmers are for small lots and yards. Typically, these are places that also don’t require heavy-duty weed-eating capabilities. In their usage range, they are very effective.
- $100-200 – This is the price range in which you will find your most extensive variety of strimmers.
This range includes standard-sized units. You will see that not only are the string trimmers upgraded this range but so also are the power sources. You will notice that battery-powered versions use LI-on (Lithium-ion) batteries for the best.
- $200 – This is the price range in which you will find heavy-duty string trimmers.
By and large, you will see that these weed-whackers are gasoline-powered. Uses for these string trimmers include heavily overgrown and tree-covered lots. Since they are primarily gasoline-powered, you will find two- and four-stroke versions available.
- Other – On the higher-end of the price range you will find specialized weed-whackers. They include the tricycle-style, heavy-duty brush cutter that are best suited for heavy brush and woody lots.
Pricing Is One, But There Are Other Considerations
Now that you have the styles of weed-eater and their pricing, there are other things to consider. For instance, let’s say you try to keep your costs down by purchasing the latest battery-powered lightweight. Is this the right matchup? The answer is probably not because you’ll find that it is too light for the job and in the relatively short-term you will probably find it ready for retirement. This is frustrating because if you had read our list of price points and tips, you would not have been replacing the string trimmer that soon.
Instead, our list shows that you should have bought a weed-eater in the second level because this is the one that will handle it.
Will it handle it in comfort? You do have to check this feature while you are still at the retailer because once you own it, well, you do own it. You should find that it is well balanced and that using it feels normal. Granted, you cannot start it up in the store, but, take it to a safe area and swing it the way you would in your yard. If it feels natural, like an extension of your arms, then it is right for you. Be sure, by the way; there’s a harness available that you can snap on that takes much of the weight off your arms. It’s an excellent addition.
Also, you should be sure that the weed-eater has an adjustable handle. You would be surprised how such a small convenience as an adjustable handle. Typically, the handles on higher-end string trimmers are adjustable. They slide up and down the shaft after being released. When you
have found a good fit for your left or right hand, you merely turn the close and latch the handle into place, and you are ready to begin working.
Some Feature Suggestions
While you are checking the trimmer, make sure that it has an adjustable head. If the head is adjustable from horizontal to vertical, then you have a double-edged tool, a strimmer and an edger all in one. One caution with flexible whip heads is that they must be secure – which they usually are – but it never hurts to check.
Here are some other buying tips:
- Battery-powered trimmers should have lithium-ion power. These batteries last the longest and charge more quickly. Generally, you will find that they have about an hour’s worth of trimming time in them. This short-term power makes this type of trimmer ideal for small lots.
- Gas-powered strimmers should have a start-assist feature. This feature is a spring-controlled. It takes the place of the rope that you need to start or restart the gas-trimmer. Another feature to think of is a choke-assist. This is usually a small bulb of gasoline that shoots the right load of fuel into the carburetor when you are starting.
- One other nice feature on a gas-powered stream trimmer is an auto-stop button that shuts down the trimmer as soon as you hit it. It is a great safety feature.
Here’s where we suggest what you should buy, and we do have our recommendation. If you have a small lot, electric is the best way to go. A motor-driven unit doesn’t have the stamina of a functional battery unit. As to your purchase for a bigger yard, lot covered with trees and branches, the best buy is a gas-powered weed-eater.
Except for convenience, the type of power – two-stroke or four-stroke – is your preference (it’s the gas-oil mixing point). Be sure the head is adjustable, so you have an edger and weed-whacker. And, lastly, be sure the string feed is convenient. There is one type of trimmer that feeds out the trim string with a bounce on the ground; another has an automatic feed. Watch out for a trimmer that requires manual trim string replacement. Because it wears so quickly, you will find that you have to stop frequently to replace it.
Hi! I’m Eric Parker, Author of Tools Freak, a craft handyman with the passion for DIY projects. I share the DIY experience I have and the best tools you need. I am tools freak and enjoy hand and power tool hacks.