About String Trimmers, Edgers, and Hedge Trimmers
To have the perfect front and back yard that is the envy of your neighborhood, it's really all about the details. Lawn mowers and manual hedge clippers can do the bulk of the work but for a professional look you'll need to invest in a string trimmer, edger, and hedge trimmer for your lawn and garden needs. Finding the right trimmer and edger for your yard depends on how large it is and how often you need to maintain it. Keep reading below to learn more about each tool and which type is best for your needs
String trimmers go by many names such as weedeaters, weed wackers, line trimmers, and grass trimmers. Whatever the name, they are used to clean-up difficult-to-reach areas your lawn mower missed such as around fences, shrubs, paths, and more. In addition, string trimmers can also be used to chop down weeds and small brush. Choosing a string trimmer that suits your lawn depends on the size, terrain, and your portability needs. First you need to determine if you need a straight or curved shaft than choose your power source: gas, electric, or battery powered.
Straight shaft string trimmers are often used by landscaping professionals. Although more expensive, they are often built-to-last, more powerful, and are designed to accept other lawn care attachments. In addition, straight shaft trimmers offer better visibility and reach for hard-to-access areas such as under bushes. For shorter people, a straight shaft trimmer might not be the best choice because it can create fatigue and prove more difficult to operate.
Curved shaft trimmers are more moderately priced than straight trimmers making them more popular for homeowners. In addition to being inexpensive, they are also lightweight and easier to operate because they keep a clean level eliminating the risk of lawn scalping. Operators benefit from curved trimmers because they reduce back strain making them especially helpful for shorter people. One disadvantage to consider is because of a shorter shaft length, it's more difficult to get to hard-to-reach places like under bushes.
Power: Gas, Electric, or Battery Operated Cordless String Trimmers
Once you've decided whether a straight or curved string trimmer is best for you, the next step is to determine which power option fits your needs. Below are some advantages and disadvantages to each power option.
Gas powered string trimmers are the choice for most professional gardeners and landscapers. The average homeowner might not consider purchasing a gas string trimmer but there are several advantages associated with this power option. Gas trimmers are more powerful than an electric or battery operated trimmer. They can cut through the thickest weeds and small brush with little struggle. Another selling point is they are highly portable and last much longer than a battery powered trimmer. When shopping for a gas trimmer, pay attention to the engine cc (cubic centimeter) displacement. For example, a trimmer with a 30cc engine will offer more power than a 21.1cc engine. If you own a large yard, then a gas trimmer might be a good choice. We offer gas trimmers from brands like Hitachi, Makita, and Tanaka.
There are some drawbacks to consider when shopping for gas trimmers. First, they tend to be heavy and more pricey than electric or battery operated trimmers. Because gas trimmers burn an oil/gas mixture, they do emit harmful pollutants and they are also noisy. Maintenance is an important factor as well because they require fresh gas and more frequent maintenance.
For homeowners with smaller yards, an electric trimmer can be the perfect choice. Electric trimmers are lightweight, inexpensive, easy-to-handle, and quiet. Look for the amount of amps (amperage) when shopping for an electric trimmer. Usually, the higher the amps, the more powerful the machine. Another feature to look for is auto-feed trim line which automatically adjusts the length of the trimmer string with the push of a button. CPO Outdoor offers brands such as Black & Decker, Worx, and Greenworks.
Electric string trimmers can prove to be troublesome for homeowners with larger yards because they require an accessible outlet and an extension cord. The maximum recommended extension cord length is 100 feet. If you need to reach areas further than this, you should probably look into purchasing a gas or battery operated trimmer.
Battery powered cordless trimmers offer the portability convenience of a gas trimmer without having to deal with gas, oil, and regular maintenance. In addition, because they are powered by a battery, they are also quiet. Battery powered trimmers are best for small to medium yards. Power is measured in volts (V), therefore, the higher the listed volts, the more powerful the trimmer. Another specification to look for is ah (amp-hour) which specifies how long the trimmer can be used before needing to be charged again. For example, a trimmer with a 2.6ah will run 35-40 minutes while a trimmer rated 6.0ah can run for 55-60 minutes. We offer battery operated trimmers from premium brands like Worx, Greenworks, and Weed Eater.
Battery powered trimmers are not for every homeowner. Larger yards might require longer running time than the typical 45-60 minutes a battery operated trimmer offers. If you own a large yard and insist on a battery powered trimmer, we recommend you purchase an additional battery to maximize your time. In addition, battery powered trimmers are often heavier than electric trimmers and do not offer the same power as a gas trimmer.
An edger really gives your lawn a professional look because it produces a clean trim line between the lawn and a walkway or driveway. Edgers come in two styles: straight shaft and walk-behind.
Straight Shaft Edgers
Many straight shaft edgers are 2-in-1 tools that can edge your walkways and also act as a string trimmer. They come in gas, electric, or battery powered. Gas is recommended for the largest of yards while electric and battery operated models are best for medium to small yards. It's important to note that straight shaft edgers require extra care to ensure an even trim line because it requires a steady hand. We offer straight edgers from brands like Greenworks, Black & Decker, and Ryobi.
Walk-behind edgers offer the cleanest trim line by far. Although they are more expensive and less versatile than a straight shaft edger, you'll get much more professional results. Walk-behind edgers come in both gas and electric power options. Gas walk-behind edgers are best for larger yards and electric are more suited for medium to small yards.
Hedge trimmers save more time and provide more professional results verses manual shears. Hedge trimmers come in different types and power options, so it's important to choose the right one for your needs.
Single and Dual Action Hedge Trimmers
Hedge trimmers come in either a single or dual action option. This is used to describe the type of cutting blade that is used (the cutting blades sit on the cutting bar). With a single-action trimmer, only one blade moves on a cutting bar while a dual-action trimmer uses two cutting blades. Single-action blades can only cut on one side while a dual-blade can cut on both sides. Some people prefer single-action because they think it offers more accuracy. Dual-action blades tend to get the job done faster.
Power: Gas, Electric, or Battery Operated Hedge Trimmers
Once you choose either single or dual action, the next step is to choose your power option. Gas hedge trimmers offer the most power by far in addition to their portability. Professionals or homeowners with large yards often choose gas hedge trimmers but it's important to keep in mind they require gas, oil, and more maintenance. Electric hedge trimmers are second in-line when it comes to power but they are corded and often have to be used with the aid of an extension cord. Electric hedge trimmers are perfect for medium to small yards. Battery operated hedge trimmers are portable but offer the least power. They are more suited for small yard but with the purchase of an additional battery, you'll be able to use them for medium size yards without having to recharge the battery. We offer hedge trimmers from brands like Worx, Ryobi, Greenworks, and Black & Decker.