When Buying a String Trimmer there are a few things to consider before you make the purchase. Do you have a limited budget? Do you want the best quality and longer equipment life? Do you have a preference between a curved shaft and a straight shaft trimmer? What about gas or electric when it comes to power your string trimmer?
Ok. Here we go. You are a home owner with a small residential property. The end of your yard is less than 50’ from your nearest GFI (ground fault interrupt) outdoor electrical receptacle that will protect you from shock if you are using electrical equipment when water or dampness is around. You don’t enjoy or can’t lift 15 20lbs lbs off the ground for any length of time. The answer for you may very well be an electrical or rechargeable string trimmer.
Why, well electrical or rechargeable string trimmers are lighter in weight to handle around the yard. Make sure you purchase a more powerful 2 string trimmer not one, single string heads trend to lack cutting power when trimming thicker areas which can tax the electrical motor and may cause premature wear. The more length added to the cord the harder the electrical equipment has to work and it has to travel farther to provide the power needed.
As with all string trimmers ensure that when you are buying a string trimmer with a tap and go string head that advances the string a small amount each time it is tapped firmly on the ground. This feature reduces the number of times you have to stop and manually pull the string out of the head yourself saving you time and frustration. For those that want top be eco-friendly this type of trimmer may be the more practical way to go.
If you have a larger yard, have many obstacles or cut lawns for a living using a cord will be annoying and time consuming move up to a gas powered string trimmer it is a more suitable option while searching to buy a string trimmer.
Gas powered string trimmers have much more power and versatility than their electrical brothers. There are no limits as to how far your go when trimming you are only bound by how long the tank of gas will run the engine or how much string has been loaded into the string trimmer head before you have to stop to reload the trimmer head.
Gas powered trimmers come in more styles such as curved shaft and straight shaft models. People here have their own preference as to what they like I personally like the curved shaft version with the “D” shaped handle made by Stihl. I find that I am able to do an excellent job much faster than using a straight shaft model. I also am not forced to trim in one position all the time due to the angle of the shaft and it’s relation to the ground.
If your have an extremely large property and field work that must be trimmed or where you are knocking down very tall grass then the straight shaft would be the better choice as finesse is not required. It is much easier to turn a curved shaft upside down to edge a section of lawn than it is with a straight shaft making the curved shaft a more useful option as well while considering buying a string trimmer.
To own a gas powered string trimmer you must be willing to do some minor occasional maintenance in order to have a trimmer that will last you for years.
Some Maintenance tips for your string trimmer are: always use the proper thickness of string that the manufacturer suggests (if you are unsure always start with .080), grease the removable shaft, always use fresh gas and mix the gas and oil to the correct ratio.
Recently it is even more important that you only use premium fuel as lower grades of gas now may have ethanol at different %'s which is very harmful to two stokes engine parts. Most manufacturers will not warranty their products if the lower grade fuel has been used. Always consult your manufacturers manual.
If you mix the fuel and oil to lean (little oil) then the motor will be starve of lubrication and it will seize up and the trimmer will be useless. If you mix the gas and oil too rich then you will be clogging the muffler and exhaust throwing off the fuel to air ratio and causing the trimmer to run rough. Make sure the air filter is clean.
When using a string trimmer always make sure that you keep the string out to its’ maximum length at all times in order to properly load the engine. String trimmers are designed to turn at a certain RPM (Revolutions Per Minute) by not having the string all the way out to the end of the guard then you are causing unneeded stress on the motor as it is revving at a higher rate and causing it to break down at a much more quickly.
As in anything you get what you pay for. Don’t expect much if you are only spending $100.00 when Buying a string trimmer that is gas powered, you will need to spend at least $150.00 to get anything of value. If you are willing to spend $250.00 -$350.00 then you should have trimmer that will last you a lifetime with a little maintenance.
If you are using the string trimmer commercially then you may pay a much higher price for your string trimmer. Again this is for the straight shaft; most commercial manufacturers offer more powerful and much heavier string trimmers that come with a “y” shaped yoke handle which I find awkward to use. This type of trimmer also comes with a heavy duty string head that requires a very heavy gauge of string. This thicker string is not good for delicate trimming along wooden fences. This string is not forgiving it will leave marks on everything it touches. (anything thicker than .095) These commercial trimmers run in the $350 and up range depending on engine size and attachments.
That same $100.00 will get you a great electrical or rechargeable trimmer; remember to look for 2 string head and tap and go string advancement options. As for electrical or rechargeable string trimmers I trust Black and Decker for reliability and toughness during your buying a string trimmer experience.
When it comes to brand names for gas trimmers I recommend Stihl products. I have put hundreds of hours on my Stihl FS75’s ( top picture which Stihl discontinued a few years back ) and now I have used the Stihl FS50 the last couple of years with success.
Make sure when you are Buying a String trimmer you purchase your trimmer at a reputable place where they service what they sell. If you do this then you will have somewhere to turn if you have any problems or questions.