What to consider before buying a grass trimmer
It may be tempting to get the heaviest machine, under the assumption that this equates to more power, but that isn't always the case. Make sure you can lift your chosen trimmer for a long time without it feeling uncomfortable, before starting a job. Nobody wants to stop trimming their garden halfway through because of tired arms.
Don’t let cords hold you back; make sure you have the right sized cable before you get started or you may be unable to finish the project. Consider where you’ll plug it in and if it’ll reach the corners of the garden, as you may need to get an extension lead.
You can always go for a cordless option if you’d rather not deal with any type of cable. This is a good idea for those with large outdoor spaces, people with no nearby plug sockets, or someone who just doesn’t want the hassle of wires.
Those with large gardens or stubborn patches of weed and grass should opt for a trimmer with high power. The power of an electric trimmer is displayed in watts, whereas petrol trimmers are measured in CCs and battery in volts. The higher the number, the more powerful the machine is.
Having an adjustable handle is not only more comfortable to hold, but it also allows you to maintain grass in hard to reach spots and under furniture.
What types of grass trimmer can you choose from?
A rechargeable battery means you aren't limited by the length of a power cable and can take this trimmer anywhere – perfect if you need to work on areas of your garden that are further away from your house. Of course, you’ll need to make sure the battery is charged for a few hours before using it, so you’ll have to plan ahead. If you have a bigger garden, it’s worth buying a second battery so you can keep on using your trimmer while the other one charges.
Electric trimmers run off the mains electricity, so offer unlimited power and easy manoeuvrability, making them a convenient and practical choice for most people. You might need to use an extension lead depending on the size of your garden, just make sure you use an RCD power adapter in case you accidentally cut through the cord.
Petrol models are the most powerful sort of grass trimmers you can buy, making them perfect for heavy-duty jobs, large gardens and overgrown areas. However, they are heavier and not as easy to manoeuvre, so if you have a smaller garden you’ll probably find you’re better off choosing a battery or electric powered model.
Another type of hedge trimmer is a brush cutter. Ideal for use on tall grass and even small trees, brush cutters are typically more powerful than a regular hedge trimmer. Unlike some models of trimmer, brush cutters cut with a metal blade as well as a line. They’re a great option for those who have extremely stubborn patches of tall grass.
What type of grass trimmer should I get?
|Grass Trimmer Types Pros & Cons
Small gardens and hedges, little to no stubborn weeds.
|Lightweight, affordable, easy to use, good at maintaining small hedges.
||Needs to be near a mains port, may need extension lead and it’s possible to cut the cable.
Big gardens where you need to move around.
|Freedom to move around, usually lightweight, can choose the power of the battery.
||The battery may die during long jobs so make sure you have enough power before getting started.
Large, stubborn hedges, thick branches
|No cord holding you back, great at cutting stubborn overgrowth, fast.
||Heavy, loud, vibrations.
How do they work?
Most grass trimmers don’t actually use a blade, and instead feature a line of nylon cord that clips into the trimmer’s head and spins at high speed, cutting through grass and vegetation with ease. With some trimmers you’ll need to change the cord when it wears out or breaks. Others have an integral cord spool that feeds through automatically, meaning you only need to replace it when the spool runs out.
Other things to look out for include models with a dual line, which offer increased cutting power that makes them perfect for dealing with particularly overgrown areas of your garden, meanwhile a rotating head that turns 180° will do a great job of keeping the edges of your lawn trim.
Adjusting your trimmer
You’ll want to make sure you will be comfortable while using your grass trimmer, especially if you plan on using it for lengthy periods of time, so it’s worth making sure you buy a model that suits your height. Plenty of trimmers come with an extendable shaft that adjusts to suit your height, so you won’t have to stoop while you’re working.
Some trimmers also have pivoting heads, which make it easier when you enable easy edging and or cutting under hedges and obstacles like garden furniture. You might also find it useful to look at models that feature an auxiliary front handle, as this will help you keep the trimmer steady while in use and improve the comfort and accuracy of your work.
Keeping safe with your grass trimmer
As with all power tools, you’ll want to make sure you use your new grass trimmer safely. Follow these simple rules to avoid injury:
- Wear safety goggles to protect your eyes from flying debris.
- Wear heavy-duty footwear to protect your feet.
- If you’re using an electric trimmer make sure the power outlet has RCD protection.
- Don’t use an electric trimmer in wet weather.