Knowing the kind of jobs you'll be doing and the available features will help you find the right string trimmer.
2-cycle engines run on a mixture of gasoline and oil.
4-cycle engines eliminate the need for mixing gasoline and oil.
Start-assist features make pull-start gas trimmers easier to crank.
Curved shaft trimmers are good for trimming in tight areas and can be easier to control.
Straight shaft models can reach under decks, shrubs, benches, etc. They can also be more comfortable for a taller user.
An adjustable shaft allows you to change the working height of the trimmer depending on your own height.
Edger-capable trimmers convert quickly from trimmer to edger while keeping the handles and controls oriented comfortably. Some models have guides or wheels to make getting a clean edge easier.
Attachment-capable trimmers accept attachments to handle multiple tasks. You can purchase accessories for these models that quickly convert the unit to an edger, brush cutter, cultivator, blower, hedge trimmer or pole saw.
Single-line heads, more common on electric trimmers, can make winding new line simpler.
Dual-line heads put more cutting line to the weeds, helping you tackle bigger jobs.
Bump heads feed trimming line from the spool with a tap of the cutting head.
Automatic-feed heads use centrifugal force to release new line as needed.
Fixed-line heads allow for quick loading of precut pieces of line without the need for winding.
Fast-loading spools let you insert new line and wind it without removing or taking apart the spool.
Variable speed controls provide different levels of power for different cutting conditions. Cordless models with different speeds allow you to vary the power for either cutting thicker weeds or extending battery life.
In addition to features, consider weight. More powerful string trimmers can handle larger areas and tougher weeds, but they also tend to be heavier than lighter-duty equipment. Find the best balance of power and weight for the lawn care jobs that you'll be tackling.
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