- Power requires a fuel source and trimmers offer two basic options: electric or gas. The latter offers two and four-cycle power heads, which deliver a wide range of power for different jobs. The thicker and tougher the weeds you need trimmed, the more power you're likely to need. Most trimmers under 30 ccs will suffice for most homeowners and professional needs. Four-cycle engines offer two cylinders and burn a non-mixed fuel, which is cleaner. Two-cycle engines offer one cylinder and require a mixed fuel that combines the engine oil with the gas. Each has its pluses and negatives.
Electric trimmers also offer two basic options: corded or battery powered. These trimmers offer less power and are better suited to light around-the-home trimming. The battery powered options usually give you about one to two hours of trimming on average. The corded electric is restricted to the length of your extension cord. The size of your lawn and the weeds on your lawn should determine which engine type you should buy.
- The basic options for shafts are curved or straight. Straight shafts allow you to keep the head farther out and front and see the trimming just ahead. Curved shafts allow you to keep the head in close and maneuver better around rocks, fence posts and other tight areas. The choice is largely of personal preference, as each can trim straight and tight areas. Walk around with a few different shafts in the store before you purchase one to see which one feels more comfortable.
Cutting Head Types
- A myriad cutting heads can trim just about anything. The basic choice here is what type of line feeding system you prefer. Some models use a tap system, which you stop and tap the head to get line. Others offer a self-feeding system that uses centrifugal force from the spinning head to determine when to automatically feed line out. Each has a unique style to it and again it boils down to personal preference. For the self-feeding you may not get the line just when you need it and the tap system may slow down when you stop to get more line out.
Cutting Line Types
- The cutting head contains a spool, which the line is spooled on. This cutting line also comes in a wide variety of sizes and shapes. The basic line is round and about .08 inches in diameter. The larger the line, the less it will break but you'll need more power to spin the head. The smaller the line, the more it will break and it may not cut the weeds as quick as the larger line. Lines also come in square, diamond and a few other shapes, which really again boil down to trying them out to see which suits your needs the best.