An indispensable tool for that awkward corner of the lawn, uneven grassed area or flower border,the ‘Weed Whacker’ or grass trimmer or ‘Strimmer’ . In the modern trend to go portable, weed whackers now employ computer style compact batteries Li ion (Lithium Ion) technology , which weighs less than previous Ni Cad ( Nickel Cadmium) types , last longer and don’t have the problems like charge leaking away when the tool isn’t used and charge ‘memory’ which prevented the devices fully recharging.
As with any hand held tool, the weight is all important and can be very tiring after a long while, especially in a hot summer. The slightly heavier battery tool, has to be compared with the inconvenience of a corded tool. Cables on lawn mowers can be easily damaged and may be a shock hazard. With mowers and clippers you can accidentally cut or damage the cable with the tools cutters, although this is unlikely with a grass trimmer as the blades are usually plastic or nylon string, it can however still be damaged accidentally, eg.cables laid through the house entrance, can be caught by doors closing and trapping the cable underneath or in the jamb.
Always make a point of Inspecting your cables regularly and do not use them until you are sure they are safe. Remember, other family members might try to use your tools, so never leave them in a dangerous condition.
The best weed whacker or trimmers all have good handles, positioned well, to balance the weight, so the trimmer is easy to maneuver. This is very important since its main purpose is to trim around difficult areas, rockeries, path edges, without damaging flowers, tree bark etc. Some may have a guard to space the tool from hazards or to give you a guide ( the ‘blade’ won’t be visible at high speed ). It is no good if the unit is so uncomfortable to use that it becomes difficult to use. I remember well my own father, using our electric trimmer, leaning a little too far over and pulling a muscle trying to balance! Ouch!
Gas Powered is best for Max Power, Electric is second
Power may be important, if you have large grounds or are a frequent user of the trimmer. The cable type electric and the gas driven trimmers have the advantage there. The battery units are still relatively weak and may run out of charge, if you try to cut too much, so keep trimming and mowing regularly, to keep the amount of work in any one period to a minimum. If the grounds are very large, an electric cable may be totally impractical and the gas powered trimmer, may be the only option.
Please consider your hearing! Using any noisy machinery regularly will present a hearing hazard, you don’t ever get it back folks so take care! Gas mowers and trimmers are the main problem here, electric and battery tend to be a lot quieter. Its easier on the neighbors too!
With previous types of battery, the lifetime of the units was shortened dramatically by not recharging properly. Few chargers actually recharged them properly by fully discharging it and then cycling thru to fully charge. Computers have been using these latest types of battery, the li ion type, for some time. Although a big improvement over Ni Cad batteries, I’m afraid it will probably still be the achilles heel of the cordless trimmer, I have to say its unlikely to last as well as gas or cable type trimmers, this is one task that needs a consistent power level year after year and at the prices of the new cordless wonders, you really don’t want an underpowered tool. So if you are committed to buying one, buy the best quality you can.
Review of the Best Currently Available Strimmers
We examine some of the most popular selling grass trimmers and count up the plusses and minusses for each one to give an overall winner in each category – Battery , Cable and Gas Power. I have noticed in the feedback from customers buying the cordless types of mower and strimmer that there are already comments to back up my battery life fears above – like ” in the second season of using my mower there was a noticeable drop in power” In practice if you follow the manufacturers advice about not leaving batteries in extremes of heat or cold and leave the battery in the charger in the winter time, most customers will find their products last really well.