While most people know and understand the lawn mower, many don’t have a full appreciation of the capacity for yard work that the string trimmer has. String trimmers can do more than just trim tall weeds and grasses next to the mailbox.
They can do much more and if one has a “weed wacker” that can accept attachments, there is so much more that can be accomplished. String trimmers can perform a variety of yard tasks and as such can make your yard the envy of the neighborhood.
The Right Trimmer
Perhaps the single most important aspect to using the string trimmer effectively is getting the right trimmer. For small yards that have few obstacles, a compact electric or cordless trimmer will do fine. However, for yards with plenty of hard to reach places or larger areas it is better to go with a string trimmer that can accept accessories.
These can either be cordless or gas powered but the best trimmers are those have the ability to change out for other purposes. The reason is simple. One tool that can do many jobs, makes things easier and faster.
Cordless or Gas
Basically, electric corded weed trimmers are best for small, compact yards that don’t have as much work required. While cordless can also be most useful in those settings, for the larger yards and those with more work, either gas or cordless are better for trimmers.
Both contain their power source on the tool, therefore there is no need to stay connected to the home. No cord to get in the way and none to wind up. However, there is a question as to which is better gas or cordless. Cordless trimmer have come a long way in terms of power and performance and for many yards they are more than capable of handling the jobs.
Even with accessories such as cultivators, cordless can deliver the power to aerate and cultivate gardens and flowerbeds with ease. That does not mean to suggest that gas has no place, it certainly does but it really boils down to personal preference as to which one is better for larger yards.
Using the Trimmer Effectively.
Typically, trimmers should be held approximately two inches from the ground. Now, this means two inches from the operating head. This can be difficult to see as the head is not only rotating but in many cases hidden by the guard.
The best way to judge the height of the cut is by looking at that which you have already cut. Importantly, the exact height is not supposed to be exact but only within a range. The reason why two inches is the start of the range is so that there is enough of the grass stalk left to take in the nutrients from the sunlight for the grass to continue to grow and be healthy. For heights above that, the grass will be healthy but it will need to be cut more often.
When it comes to edging, it is slightly different. You want to use approximately the first two inches of the string as judged from the unattached end of the string. Two inches gives enough depth without continually having to add or extend more line. Again, this is not a hard and fast rule as it would be near impossible to be exact with the trimmer but it can easily be eyeballed by looking at the cut previous to your current location.
About the String or Line
Making sure to get the right line for your trimmer is important as the wrong line will not work or work as well. However, when purchasing a trimmer consider that a thicker line tends to work better for edging than a thinner line.
Thinner lines are excellent for cutting grasses but will have to be extended more often during edging. Recently, manufacturers have been creating line that has shapes that are supposed to make the process faster and therefore require less line extensions. While it is true that for the most part they are effective but often it really doesn’t justify the expense when standard line will work just as well in more cases. So again, it boils down to personal preference.
Many trimmers have accessories such as chains or blade attachments and some can add cultivators and saw blades. Blades can be useful for edging instead of the line and cultivators and aerators are great for gardening. While these are also based on personal preferences and jobs, getting a trimmer that has attachments means they are available if desired in the future.
Importantly, a string trimmer can be dangerous is used improperly or in an unsafe manner. When purchasing a new tool always read the included manual.
Many manufacturer’s differ in tools and so even if you have used a string trimmer before there is still plenty to be gained by reading the operator’s manual. Also by following the instructions in the manual for the care of the trimmer, the trimmer will be able to offer years of service.
In many cases, tool failure is brought about by improper use or by not following the recommended guidelines for cleaning and storing the tool, when not in use.
Even reading the manual, it is important to always wear the appropriate safety gear. When using a trimmer, never wear shorts as debris can be flung back towards the operator. This also means it is vital to be aware of your surroundings so debris is not propelled towards bystanders.