What you need to know about Grass Trimmers
Grass Trimmers (also known as Strimmers) are used for trimming lawn edges or path borders, & can also be used to cut long, tough grass or weeds. As they are hand-held, they can be operated on uneven or sloped ground that would be inaccessible to a mower. If you are considering buying a Grass Trimmer, you have the choice between Petrol Powered Grass Trimmers
, Electric Corded Grass Trimmers
& Electric Cordless Grass Trimmers – which can contain either Lithium cells
or Nicd or Nimh cells
. Petrol Powered Grass Trimmers
are suitable for big projects or extensive use, & are the most expensive kind of Grass Trimmer. They are powerful, & running on fuel means that they are more portable than Corded Grass Trimmers & have a longer run time than Cordless Grass Trimmers. However, they are heavier, & some users experience difficulty with vibration from the motor. This can make them difficult to guide precisely & can contribute to muscle fatigue. If accurate control is a concern for you, choose a model with an ergonomic handle, a double shoulder harness or a hip support pad to improve comfort during operation. Strimmers with rotating heads are useful for cutting at an angle without having to move the shaft.Corded Electric Grass Trimmers
are lighter, quieter & steadier to use. Corded models are suitable for use at home, & though you will need a nearby power source if using one, the cable length provided is usually around 40ft, so accessibility will not be an issue unless you have a very long garden (in which case, extension Cable Reels
If your garden contains obstructions that would make using a cable problematic, or if you intend to work away from power sources, you may want to consider investing in a Cordless Grass Trimmer
. Issues with runtime can be overcome by providing yourself with a good supply of long lasting batteries. High amp-hour batteries will last longer, much like having a larger fuel tank, whereas high voltage batteries will provide you with more power, equivalent to a larger engine.
Safety when using your Grass Trimmer
Grass Trimmers should not be used in environments containing a lot of gravel or small pebbles. Small objects can be forcefully propelled by contact with the rotating line, posing a risk to yourself or others. Do not attempt to clean in or around the cutting head unless you are sure the device is powered down & disconnected from a power source. Wearing the correct safety gear is recommended, including a Safety Visor
(preferably one which includes ear defenders), & Non-Slip Gloves
. A good pair of Work Boots
will help you retain your balance & avoid injury, particularly if working on uneven ground. Long trousers & sleeves are also advisable. If using a corded model, plug it into an RCD adaptor
to safeguard yourself against electrocution. RCD adaptors will cut off power from the mains in the event of an earth current fault.
Purchasing a Grass Trimmer Starter Kit
will provide you with many of the items you will need to operate your Grass Trimmer safely.
Maintaining your Grass Trimmer
Clear engine air filters of dust & trimmings on a daily basis to prevent overheating. Also regularly clean around the outside of the spark plug. Moving parts in your Grass Trimmer may require lubrication or greasing to keep them in good condition. Refer to the instruction manual provided with your trimmer for more details. To avoid feed-line problems, ensure that there is plenty of line available in the trimmer head. Excess line will be automatically shorn to the right length, so if in doubt, keep it long. On some trimmers line release is automatic, others are 'bump fed' or manually fed. If storing for more than a few days, empty the fuel tank first, & keep your tool in dry conditions. Petrol Grass Trimmers run on Two-Stroke Oil
. Two stroke oil will power your Strimmer & also contains lubricant to keep the engine in good working condition.