A weed wacker is a tool that helps users perform a number of lawn/gardening related tasks which would not be possible to do manually. These trimmers use monofilament lines rather that blades to cut grass, hard weeds etc to beautify them and enhance the overall look of the lawn.
They usually consist of cutting heads present at the end of long shafts with handles or sometimes with shoulder straps to offer easy in controlling.
These trimmers, also named as weed eaters, string trimmers, weed cutters or weed whips, operate on a simple principle when their lines that can turn faster are held out of their housing (revolving reels) smoothly with the help of centrifugal force. Even round-sectioned nylon lines are capable to slight, woody plants and cut grass very well.
Some monofilament lines have been designed to offer more power to the cutter by giving them extruded shape just like stars. In this way, they will be able to efficiently help the lines to slash material and cut them in the desired manner. They are powerful enough to work on hard weeds and in difficult-to-reach places. Before using weed wackers however, it’s important to take these safety precautions first.
As you may know, there are three types of trimmers (gas, battery or electric powered), you should have to know which trimmer is ideal for you and can complement all of your needs.
If you are just looking for a new head to use, check out the TrimmerBoss. I got one of these this season and this thing is a beast.
Here are the top 4 weed whackers I tested this year (2021) and my thoughts on each one.
1. Toro PowerPlex Cordless String Trimmer
- Brushless DC motor for more power, more run time and longer life than...
- 0.08" thick dual line with bump feed- durable, productive line control
- Control speed with the variable speed trigger: Lower Speed = Longer...
- Long-lasting durability with the cast aluminum head
- T90 Battery (90 watt-hours) provides up to 40 minutes run time from a...
Toro lithium ion battery powered trimmer is perfect for house owners who are living in a home site of up to 1/3 acres as it has the ability to serve them for a long period of time with efficiency in hedge trimming, weed trimming and edging.It also helps to clean up all reached places. The charging and storage stations offer special utilities that make them ideal to be used in small spaces as well.
This new model of Toro trimmers is one of the most durable and powerful gardening equipments that offer high performance with sophisticated and elegance.
Its energetic engine offers more power to complete the job quickly with efficiency. It also features improved shafts that allow users to trim/edge hard-to-reach areas.
It is user friendly and therefore, simplifies and fastens the work. Its battery has manufacturer ratings of 22.2 Volts nominal and 24 Volts maximum. However, actual power varies with the load. Here are its more features:
- Lithium ion 24 volts battery that makes Toro a powerful trimmer
- Auto feed trimming line to offer uninterrupted job completions
- Longer, improved shafts to trim difficult to approach areas
- Convenient edger/trimmer combo
2. Black & Decker LST220 Cordless GrassHog Trimmer/Edger
- Converts from trimmer to wheeled edger; Amp hour: (2) 1.5 ampere hour
- Power drive transmission for increased torque
- 2 speed control for more power or extended runtime. Line diameter:...
- Easy feed allows you to advance your line with the push of a button...
- Part of the 20V Max system; 1 system endless tasks. Power for your...
Black & Decker allows you to forget the difficulties and mess in gardening. With the launched of lithium ion 20 volts edger/trimmer, the manufacturer welcomes you to simplify all types of gardening jobs whether it would be related to trimming or edging the driveways, sidewalks, gardens, lawns etc.
Since this trimmer is cordless, you can find it durable, reliable as well as portable which you can easily carry to work on your targeted place.
The best thing about this trimmer is its availability with 2 LBXR20 20-volts MAX batteries that can double the actual runtime offered by other weed eaters.
The trimmer is quiet to use and easy to operate as it weighs only 5.2 pounds. It can be adjusted as per your requirements. Its pivoting handles can also work at odd angles and facilitate their users to have convenience in trimming. More of its remarkable features are:
- Power-Drive transmission offers more energy from the engine
- 2 years limited warranty
- Automatic feeding spools to make sure constant operation without bumping
- Operated by 20 volts lithium ion battery that increased charge retention and lifespan as compared to NiCad batteries.
4. Black&Decker CCC3000 Cordless Electric Lawncare Center
- Automatic Feed Spool (AFS) feeds edger/ trimmer line as needed -...
- LBXR2520 battery provides cordless grass trimmer 66% more battery...
- 2-speed control lets you boost power or extend runtime of the lawn...
- PowerDrive Transmission increases torque for more cutting power at the...
- Easily converts from trimmer to wheeled edger.
Black & Decker has launched another trimming set that can work in the way you want as it has everything you need Best Weed Wacker of 2018 to finish the work with efficiency and effectiveness.
Basically, there are 3 rechargeable equipments that help users to prune hedges, clean hard surfaces as well as trim/edge tough areas in the yard.The provided charger maintains power in 2 batteries and their wall mount allows users to store everything out from the way.
The trimmer is famous mostly because:
- Its sleek design easily clears all the debris from surfaces such as walks, garages, patios, drives and decks.
- The 2 eighteen volts rechargeable batteries offer a large runtime to finish most of the cleaning jobs
- Contains low noise design
- Has weight of 5.5 pounds
- Consists of large switch to provide easy on/off facility
4. Tanaka TBC-255PF Gas-Powered Grass Trimmer
- 25 cc, 1.3 h.p.. PureFire low emission, commercial grade two-stroke...
- 5" semi-automatic trimmer head; 11.8 lbs. (5.3 kg) with cutting head
- Solid steel drive shaft
- Walbro carburetor with primer
- CARB compliant
Tanaka is another famous as well as trusted brand that has recently introduced the best tool in the form of TBC best weed wacker of 2017 gas-powered trimmer that is provided with similar drive shafts, cutting head and handle as installed in TBC-230 model.
However, this trimmer is operated with a 25 cc engine which gives it more cutting power and makes it ideal for heavy duty jobs.
The trimmer contains a lifetime driving shaft warranty. Its attachments, walbro carburetor having primer and blades also give it strength to start smoothly.
Tanaka is particularly know for its PureFire low emission ability which is not so commonly found in the gas trimmers. Even though it operates on gasoline, Tanaka 255 PF trimmer does not pollute air and therefore, proved to be an ideal piece of gardening for every environmentally friendly person.
It also has:
- Solid steel driving shaft
- CARM compliant
- 5 inches wide semi automatic trimming head, which weights 5.3 kilograms (11.8 lbs) with the cutting head
- Walbro carburetor having primer
- Commercially graded 2-stroke engine
How to Choose The Right Weed Wacker for You
String trimmers come in many different shapes and sizes. The most powerful versions have four-stroke gasoline engines. This means that they use a combination of oil and gas.
To start the engine you simply pull a ripcord. The flywheel has permanent magnets. Yanking the cord sends a current of electricity to the spark plug.
As the flywheel revolves, the engine fires up. Fuel in the combustion chamber is ignited and this drives the crankshaft. Electric and battery models work in a similar fashion to each other.
The flywheel is rotated by means of the electric current surging through. Unlike the string trimmers that run on gas, with these types they start as soon as they have power.
What are the main differences between gas and electric string trimmers?
Electrical weed eaters normally have the motor in the head. With the gas-powered variety the motor is usually at the other end of the shaft from the head. To generalize, the combustion-engine powered trimmers are more powerful than electrical ones.
As a rule, electrical engines feature a string limited to 2.55mm in diameter. This is because they can only pull somewhere in the region of 1200 watts of electricity.
The quietest string trimmers are electrical. They also need much less maintenance. Advances in electrical models mean that cords are not now necessary. They run on batteries instead.
This may be convenient but it’s bumped the price up. Also, you will only get around 20 minutes of running time before needing to recharge the batteries. This can be tiresome.
These cordless models are heavier than their corded brethren. They can only meaningfully be used for very light trimming. Compare this to the raw power of gasoline-fuelled weed eaters.
These can very easily cut a swathe through tall grass and stiff, woody brush. Finally, gas string trimmers can also be employed for edging purposes. While they do still kick out emissions, advances in technology are reducing them (although they are still not emission-free).
A good weed wacker/eater or string trimmer is a very useful piece of equipment that every homeowner and landscaper should own. They are very convenient, easy-to-use, and can get to those hard-to-reach places. There are, however, different variations of weed wackers.
These have slightly different features to one another, so it’s important to know exactly what you need before you go out and spend your money. Let’s quickly go through the different types of weed wackers.
Gas-Powered Weed Wackers
The first type of weed wacker that we are going to talk about is the gas-powered weed wacker. This is the most common and preferred type of weed wacker, used by landscaping professionals and large property owners alike. They are powered by a combustion engine that takes either straight gas, or a mixture of gas and oil.
The best part about gas-powered weed wackers is that they last for a very long time. As they are gas-powered, they are also much more powerful than electric or battery-powered weed wackers – able to cut through materials that other machines simply cannot get through. This makes them a prime choice for homeowners.
They are also great because they are very convenient to use on both big and small lawns. Better yet, as long as you have gas, you needn’t worry about running out of power: gas-powered weed wackers do not require extension cords or battery packs.
On a side note, there are different kinds of gas-powered weed eaters; 2 cycle/stroke or 4 cycle/stroke engines. The difference is that the 2 cycle weed eaters run on a mixture of fuel and oil, meaning you have to do some fuel mixing.
Alternatively, the 4-stroke engine runs on straight gas (however, you will need to change oil separately). The other differences are that a 2-stroke engine weed wacker will be lighter in weight; however, a 4-stroke engine produces far less toxic emissions and pollutants.
Electric Weed Wackers (Corded)
The weed eaters that are electric (powered by an electricity cord) tend to be the cheapest on the market. The reason for this is that they are, generally speaking, the worst weed eaters. They are only just powerful enough to cut through grass and they require a power outlet and a never-ending extension cord.
They are only good for small jobs around the house because they are quite lightweight and far quieter than gas-powered wackers. Another positive feature is that they produce no air pollution.
Battery Powered Weed Wackers
These are a great middle-ground between gas-powered and corded models because they have a little bit of everything. They don’t have quite as much power as the gas-powered ones, but they have slightly more power than the corded ones.
Also, they are lighter than gas-powered models but heavier than corded ones. The only downside to having a battery-powered model is that its batteries generally last about 30-60 minutes, meaning that spare batteries are always needed.
How Do String Trimmers Work?
A string trimmer is the generic name for a weed eater. In addition to Poulan’s famous Weed Eater, a large number of other manufacturers now sell these handy garden tools.
George Ballas, a Texan, conceived the idea of the string trimmer in the 1970s. He was inspired when he watched the revolving brushes in a car wash. He fashioned a prototype using heavy-grade fishing line attached to a can of popcorn which was in turn bolted to an edger.
The manner in which it chewed up the weed surrounding trees prompted him to label it the “Weed Eater.”
These hand-held gardening tools are used to cut weeds, grass and bush in places that a conventional lawnmower just can’t reach.
Weed eaters are very lightweight. Normally they weigh somewhere in the region of 15 to 20 pounds. (Commercial string trimmers are a different animal. Used for cutting roadside grass, these are much beefier and require two hands to operate.)
Trimmers take advantage of micro filament string which spins extremely quickly. It’s similar to fishing line. This cord becomes very stiff and capable of cutting through grass and weeds.
Parts of a Weed Wacker
- Trimmer Head
The trimmer head is attached by bolts to a spindle. This is connected to the drive shaft. The head is the part of the weed eater that holds the string. String is wound around a spool and then extends through holes in the cap surrounding it.
Some string trimmers have special mechanisms which push out more string automatically as it wears away. Other kinds advance the cord when you hit the cap’s top on the floor. These can tend to jam so its important to know how to fix trimmer head spinning issues.
You have two choices when it comes to getting fresh string. You can replace the entire cap or wind up the loose string on the spool yourself.
In a gasoline weed eater, there is a connection between the engine crankshaft and a centrifugal clutch. This assembly connects in turn to a drive shaft which goes fully through the shaft of the machine and ends up at the trimmer head.
Wings on the clutch stay retracted when the engine idles. These wings then splay out as the throttle is engaged by means of a trigger. This process engages the drive shaft and the trimmer head begins turning.
At full tilt, the string’s end can reach astonishing speeds of 28,000 feet a minute. This is more than enough pace to cut easily through thick grass and tough weeds.
Cutting Action of Weed Wackers
When the motor is fired up, the string on your trimmer revolves at high velocity. This speed is anywhere between 3000 rpm and 10,000 rpm. The line spins out from the cartrdidge due to centrifugal force.
In most aspects, string trimmers differ slightly. The cutting swath can be from 8 to 22 inches in diameter. Most models spin a diameter in the lower range.
How To Properly Use String Trimmers
It’s critical to first string the head of the device. Some of the newer kinds of trimmers require just a cartridge replacement when the cord has been used up. Also, in the event of the string snapping, these newer cartridges will automatically replenish the nylon.
Handy Operation Hints
Take care when using the choke or priming bulb. This is a feature which helps when starting your gasoline weed eater cold. As the function varies, it’s crucial to consult the manual. If you fail to follow the instructions you have a high chance of flooding the carburetor.
String diameters vary. They usually measure between 0.080 to 0.155 inches. Installing the wrong type of string will result in malfunction. Again, check the owner’s manual and buy the right kind of string.
Take advantage of the guard provided. This will stop rocks, stones or other debris from shooting up into your face. It’s a wise idea to wear safety glasses too.
Working in the Yard
Generally, the starting point is to use your lawn mower and deal with the task of cutting the grass. You can get the vast bulk of the job done but, as with anything in life, it’s the finishing touch which makes all the difference.
That’s where your weed eater emerges as a secret weapon. Prime it up and prepare to battle with all the hard-to-reach areas. While a mower is wonderful for quickly dealing with large areas of grass, when it comes to weeds and all those tricky corners, there’s simply no substitute for a weed eater.
But, before you do so…
What Should I Wear When Using My Weed Eater?
One of the most common queries we get is what to wear when you are using your weed eater. In this article, we will outline exactly what you should and shouldn’t do when trimming your garden. Some of these tips may be obvious, but it’s important to remember that they can, all too often, be overlooked.
One thing to bear firmly in mind is that string trimmers are powerful pieces of kit. Some are heavier than others, but even the most lightweight models can be highly dangerous if you don’t take the proper precautions. So, why take the chance?
This machinery can tear through thick grass and dense weeds like a knife through butter. Just think what it could do to human skin. Equally, weed whackers can cause debris to come flying up through the air, so safety concerns cannot be emphasized strongly enough. You don’t want to be dressed in shorts and sandals if rocks or pieces of wood come hurtling in your direction.
- Make sure that you wear long pants. You can buy protective pants if your budget stretches to it, but choose some nice, sturdy, regular pants if it does not. You’re operating close to the ground, so don’t risk wearing shorts, even if it’s a sunny day.
- Correct footwear is also important. Forget about sandals or anything with an open toe. Dedicated work boots are the perfect choice. If you do not have any boots, go for some strong leather shoes or sneakers. Think about soles with good traction, so you do not slip while cutting away. Make a sensible footwear choice: your feet will be in close proximity to the business end of the weed eater!
- Avoid excessively loose clothing. The last thing you want is to get your sleeves or pants legs caught in the string trimmer while in mid-flow.
- Think about how badly grass can stain clothing. Choose something old to wear or clothes that you don’t mind getting stained. Gardening is not the time for a fashion show.
- Wear some gloves. As well as providing comfort and protection to your hands, gloves will serve you well against the problems caused by vibration.
Protect Your Eyes
- Wear safety glasses. Bear in mind the above advice and think about what can fly towards you when you are edging your lawn. One-third of all injuries caused by weed eaters involve the eyes. Don’t cut corners when, for the sake of a few dollars, you can protect one of your most valuable assets: your eyesight.
Safeguard Your Ears
- Weed eaters can be extremely noisy, especially the electric models. Whatever variety you have, it’s well worth investing in some safety ear plugs. The tighter they are, the more protection you will have against ear-damage. These are not expensive, so don’t take any chances and buy yourself a set.
Note: If you are not able to hear well due to wearing ear plugs, exercise even more caution than usual. It’s said that when we lose one sense, the others become more acute to compensate. Take advantage of this and use your eyes like a hawk!
Look After Your Skin
- We tend to take care of gardening duties in warmer weather. Break out the sunblock and look after your skin. Use the SPF that is best suited to your complexion and consider how long you will be out in the sunlight.
- If your garden is insect-prone, slather on some insect repellent. Better safe than sorry. Some insects can carry diseases, so don’t take any chances.
General Safety Tips
Now that you have the correct clothing in place and have protected your eyes, ears and skin, read on to find out what else you need to do to avoid accidents:
- Remove any loose debris, like sticks and stones, before you get started. This will minimize the chance of anything zooming upwards as you work.
- When you start up the weed eater, do so on firm and flat ground.
- Warn people if they are too close to you. Let them know what a safe zone is – surprisingly, up to 60 feet – and remain vigilant. This is especially important if you have children. Keep pets well away from the action as well.
- Just as you should sidestep loose clothes, tie back your hair if it is long. Hair can easily become caught up in the moving parts, with potentially horrific consequences.
- Do not rush and overwork the weed eater. Accidents happen this way.
- They say that prevention is the best cure. This is particularly true with intricate machinery like weed eaters. Don’t let this tool fall into a state of disrepair. With proper maintenance, you can stop things like loose nuts and bolts from becoming potential dangers.
So, take note of the above tips and you should have no problems with your weed eater. As with any mechanical equipment, sensible precautions and vigilance is required at all times. This way, you will minimize the chances of anything going wrong.