String Trimmers have become common place for home owners, largely due to the fact that string trimmers are flexible in their uses, not only handling trimming and edging chores, but can also tame tall grass and weeds in areas around your property that your lawn mower or riding mower just can’t reach effectively. When you are shopping for a string trimmer, things like product features and price are always important points that all consumers consider. However, there are also other key points to address when choosing the right string trimmer to fit your needs as well as your budget.
1Gas Vs. Electric
Electric string trimmers are gaining more and more popularity with consumers, especially those consumers who are concerned with the environmental impact of using a gas powered trimmer. The savvy consumer should be aware of the key differences between Electric and gas powered trimmers.
Today’s gas powered trimmer engines have been redesigned to produce less pollutants and most premium brand manufacturers now certify their gas powered engines meet the stringent federal and California Air Resource Board (C.A.R.B.) regulations and will do so for up to 300 hours of use, as opposed to the normal 50 hours. This results in longer use with less environmental impact and longer engine life.
Electric trimmers address just about every concern of those consumers who are environmentally conscious. An electric motor produces zero emissions, but there are some drawbacks to choosing an electric string trimmer. While the top corded and cordless electric trimmers can handle the normal trimming and edging duties along with handling grass and weeds, These trimmers are not ideal for handling very tall and/or thick grass and weeds. This is simply because the current selection of electric trimmers on the market today do not produce the same amount of torque and power that gas powered trimmers offer.
2How does it Feel?
Operator comfort is an important consideration, especially if you plan to use your trimmer for extended periods of time. A string trimmer that feels balanced and comfortable in your hands translates to less fatigue and increased safety of the operator. It is recommended that when shopping for a new string trimmer, you should visit your local outdoor power equipment dealer so you can hold the trimmer in your hands. This will give you a good idea of the feel and balance of the trimmer.
Hold the trimmer in cutting position with both hands. The trimmer should be balanced and its weight should be evenly distributed from the trimming head to the engine, and in some cases, the trimmer should feel slightly heavier at the engine. Also ensure the controls are easy to reach and operate smoothly for you in cutting position. Additionally, operator comfort also includes the noise level produced by the equipment. Most string trimmers operate at around 75-90 decibels, and many experts recommend using ear protection at these sound pressure levels.Electric trimmers produce slightly lower sound levels, therefore it is a good idea to take note of a trimmer’s specifications when comparing models, especially when comparing the features and ‘specs’ of a gas powered trimmer with that of an electric one.
3Consider Your Needs, and Not Just The Price
It is usually important to consider the price when shopping for a new string trimmer, as you’ll most likely have a budget. It is just as important to consider your needs as well. Will you use the trimmer for edging? You’ll want to select a trimmer that is designed to run in any position. Some trimmers allow the user to pivot the debris guard to protect the operator while using the trimmer in the edging position.
Do you need to tackle tall, thick grass and weeds? Make sure you choose a model that is designed to handle the tougher trimming jobs. The trimmer’s torque and power produced play a big part in how well the trimmer handles tougher jobs. If you will need brush cutting capability, then you will want to choose a trimmer that is designed to be easily modified to accept a brush blade. It is a good idea to remember that even with the recent advances in electric power equipment, gas powered trimmers typically produce more torque and power than their electric counterparts. Ideally, you will want to find a good balance between purchase price, features and having the power to fit your needs as well as your budget.
Finally, Safety should always be your primary concern when shopping for a string trimmer. These products kick up dirt, dust, grass clipping and debris which can go airborne and become projectiles that could potentially cause injury to the operator, other people, pets and even property such as windows, vehicles, etc. To avoid injury, ensure that all safety devices such as the debris shield are intact and functional. Wear long pants, safety glasses and closed-toe shoes or work boots. Never wear sandals, flip flops or the like. Your feet are always closest to the trimming head and this is the area where injuries can happen easily. Open toe shoes do not provide the proper protection to protect your feet from injury.