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How do grass trimmers work?

Trimmers don't use a blade. Instead, they spin a nylon line at an incredibly fast speed. This makes it strong enough to cut through grass and plants, but allows you to use it against driveways, fences, sheds and more without fear of damage.

 

What is the difference between grass trimmers and brushcutters?

Brushcutters use a blade and are more powerful. They can take on more heavy-duty tasks like cutting back thick, heavy plant vegetation rather than just general trimming around your lawn.

Shop all brushcutters

 

Electric, cordless or petrol?

Trimmers are usually powered by mains electric, cordless battery or petrol, with each type having slightly different benefits.

Electric grass trimmers

Electric trimmers are an affordable, lightweight choice for small to medium lawns. They're mains powered, so you'll need to ensure the cable is long enough to reach the closest plug socket. If not, you'll need an extension cord.

Cordless grass trimmers

Cordless models are battery-powered, so you don't need to have access to a power source. They're also lightweight, low maintenance and allow you to freely move around.

Petrol grass trimmers

A petrol trimmer gives you more power and endurance to deal with large areas and thicker grass. This is why most brushcutters are petrol powered. To keep them performing at their best, however, they should receive regular maintenance. They're also portable, offering unrestricted movement, but are heavier than other models.

 

 

Line feeds

Trimmers come with either a single or dual reel of line in the head. Two lines provide faster cutting, but single lines are fine for small, tidy lawns. The way each trimmer releases the line during use can vary.

Bump feed

When the line starts becoming short, a bump feed system allows you to simply tap the head on the ground to release more line.

Automatic feed

This mechanic means more line will be given out automatically when it starts to become too short, meaning you don't need to worry about triggering it.

 

The essential specs

Check out some other things you should consider before making your choice.

Power

Electric motor power is measured in watts, cordless battery power in volts and petrol motors in CCs. The more powerful the motor, the more trimming power. So if you have a larger lawn, with difficult areas, more power is best.

Running time & charging

Running time will vary on cordless models, but with easy charging, and some even having a 1-hour fast charger, you don't have to wait long to get back to work.

Weight

You could be carrying your trimmer for a long time if you have lots to do. Check your choice is light enough to carry comfortably for the duration. Some heavy models, and usually brushcutters, will come with a carry strap.

Cord length

For electric trimmers, you'll need to know how far the power cord reaches so you can determine whether an extension cord is required.

Cutting width

This decides the cutting range of the trimmer. Larger cutting widths will make cutting large areas quicker but may be restrictive for small, hard-to-reach areas.

Adjustable shaft (handle)

You'll need to be able to use your trimmer comfortably, without the need to bend constantly. Check the trimmer height and whether it has an adjustable shaft or telescopic handle.

 

Helpful features

These will help to make using your grass trimmer a little easier.

Flower guard

This will enable you to trim your grass right up to flowers, shrubs and trees without damaging them.

Adjustable head

The angle of the cutting head can be changed, giving you 3 in 1 functionality to edge, trim grass and get to hard-to-reach areas.

Angle adjustment foot pedal

Easily adjust the angle of the trimmer using the foot pedal. No need to bend down or get your hands dirty.

Edging facility

Some trimmers can convert into an edger with a wheel that makes it easier for you to manoeuvre the trimmer along your lawn and border edges.


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