A weed eater, also known as weed wacker and string trimmer, is a garden care tool used for cutting grass. Unlike a traditional lawn mower, it uses a flexible monofilament line instead of blades to perform its function. A string trimmer allows you to give your lawn a perfectly manicured look that you will be hard-pressed to match by using any other kind of grass cutting tool. Therefore, every person who wants to have a beautiful garden will benefit from having it. However, finding the best weed eater can be tricky. There are a great number of them available on the market and many of these machines are very good. Hopefully, this guide will help you choose the perfect weed wacker for you.
First of all, though, you need to understand why exactly you need a weed eater. The answer to this question is simple. This type of grass cutter allows you the maximum accuracy and is exceptionally easy to use. It is versatile and can get into the places that are impossible to reach with any other grass cutting machine. You can use it to not only keep your lawn well-manicured but also to trim your hedge.
Of course, like any other cutting tool, a weed eater has to be handled with care. Observing the safety protocols described in the instruction that comes with the device is a must. To protect yourself further, you should wear goggles to prevent any stray debris hitting your eyes. However, if you follow all the rules, a string trimmer will be very easy to handle. Even women can do this without any problem. You’ll just need to study the weed eater reviews when shopping for the right tool and see which of the machines on the market are light enough to be used by women.
Weed Eater Types
The first thing you will need to decide when you start looking for the best weed wacker is which type you should buy. There are three of them, and each has its pros and cons. You will need to consider your unique needs and choose a weed eater based on them. Otherwise, it will be a waste of money as the machine will not be able to deliver the results you need.
We will try to help you make the right decision by highlighting the strengths and weaknesses of every string trimmer type and offering the best machine in every category.
Type 1: Cordless Weed Eaters
A cordless weed eater operates on battery power. This allows for great flexibility of use as you can take and use it literally everywhere. You can even take it with you when on a camping trip or visiting your family out in the country.
Despite these advantages, this type of weed eaters is subject to the same weaknesses as any other cordless electric tool.
A cordless weed eater is a perfect choice for people who have small gardens and close neighbors. This machine works exceptionally well on small weeds and is relatively quiet.
The best cordless string trimmer out there is Black & Decker LST136W 40V Max Lithium String Trimmer from Black & Decker. This machine is equipped with the PowerDrive Transmission. Therefore, it combats one of the major cons of this trimmer type, which is the lack of power. If you use Black & Decker LST136W, you will be able to get all the grass in your backyard cut quickly and efficiently.
The 40V lithium battery runs a long time, so you won’t have to worry about not being able to finish trimming your garden in one go. In addition, lithium batteries are the best kind currently available on the market. If you care for it right, it won’t lose its efficiency for a very long time.
Black & Decker LST136W has the Automatic Feed Spool feature, which allows it to run continuously for extended periods of time with no bumping. It’s also very flexible as you will only need to turn the shaft to turn your trimmer into an edger. All cordless string trimmer reviews we’ve studied agree that this machine definitely meets all the requirements you would expect from the best weed wacker.
Black &Decker is a renowned manufacturer of outdoor equipment and a great variety of other tools. It invests in the innovation and progress, which allowed the company to become the leader of the marker. You can be sure of the quality of all Black & Decker equipment.
Type 2: Corded (Electric) Weed Eaters
As its name states, an electric weed eater runs on electricity. These machines are more powerful than cordless string trimmers, but not as much as the ones that run on gasoline. They are versatile and will allow you to keep your backyard well-trimmed with little effort. They are a bit cheaper than cordless weed eaters, so this is the most economical option available to you. They are also relatively silent, which makes these weed eaters good to use in residential areas.
The biggest con of an electric weed wacker is the power cord. It limits the range of movement greatly. Even if you put an extension on the cord, it will be rather troublesome to deal with. All in all, you can comfortably use this piece of equipment only if the territory you need to cover isn’t large and has plenty of outlets.
The best string trimmer of this type is GreenWorks 21142. This machine is equipped with a 10 Amp motor that will easily cut through any weed and will allow you to tend to your lawn quickly. It also offers 18“ cutting path, which adds another boost to the trimming speed.
One of its biggest advantages is the fact that the device is light so that a woman can easily handle it. GreenWorks 21142 is very easy to use, so you will have it mastered after trying out the machine for only a few minutes. It is also gas attachment capable and is compatible with the vast majority of attachments you can find on Amazon.
Among the string trimmer reviews we’ve studied, GreenWorks 21142 stands out due to its quality and efficiency. The vast majority of users only have positive things to say about this machine. GreenWorks is a company that has definitely earned its stellar reputation by the quality of both its products and customer service offered. Should there be any problems with the device, you can count on the manufacturer’s warranty to cover your expenses.
Type 3: Gas Weed Eaters
If you are looking to trim a large garden with big weeds, you should go for a gas weed eater. This type is the most powerful and can handle any challenge. The difference in the capabilities of this machine and an electric string trimmer is like something you would expect from a residential versus commercial power appliance.
However, all this power and efficiency comes with a price. Gas weed whackers are the most expensive kind. They also require gas to power them up, so you’ll have to invest in this fuel. As they are bigger and heavier, these machines aren’t as easy to handle as their electric counterparts. Also, they are rather loud, so your neighbors definitely won’t appreciate you using one on a regular basis if your houses are located near to each other.
Despite all the aforementioned “cons,” gas weed eaters are so efficient and durable that they make the best choice for anyone who needs to trim grass over a relatively large plot of land. You just need to buy a good model that doesn’t pollute the air with poisonous fumes.
The best weed eater that runs on gas is Hitachi CG22EASSLP 21.1cc. Investing in this machine will ensure that you won’t have to worry about it breaking down and needing to be replaced for a good few years. The manufacturer’s warranty covers 7 years of service, and with the right care, this piece of equipment will serve you well beyond that. Hitachi CG22EASSLP is a 2-stroke straight shaft trimmer that is equipped with a commercial-grade low-emission engine.
Hitachi CG22EASSLP is not only extremely powerful and efficient. It is also safe and easy to use. One of the biggest problems that gas trimmers have is trouble starting, and you definitely won’t get this problem here as according to all the gas weed wacker reviews we’ve found that featured 21.1cc, its S-Start system works without fail.
Hitachi is a company that has proven its reliability by producing thousands of high-quality machines that are trusted by people all over the world. CG22EASSLP is a tool that is sure to serve you well for years. Despite being a gas trimmer, it’s relatively small and easy to handle. The head design allows you easy access to tight spaces, and you can buy a blade conversion kit to make this machine even more versatile. Even cutting through bushy overgrowth will be no trouble with this particular weed eater.
Note that there are 2 and 4 stroke gas weed eaters available. Both types are efficient, and their only difference is in the number of RPM (rotations per minute). In general, 2 stroke trimmers rev and recover faster, while 4 stroke models are really hard to lug down, regardless of RPM.
Curved Vs. Straight Shaft Weed Eaters
Weed eaters differ not only based on the source of power they use. The shape of the tool’s shaft is another important factor you will need to consider when making your choice. There are straight and curved shaft string trimmers, and each kind has its distinct advantages.
Straight shaft models are the most popular kind as they are highly versatile and allow you to cut and trim at any angle with ease. These shafts are either made of steel or have a steel rod inside, so they are extremely durable and make it easier to keep control of the machine while cutting.
Curved units are better suited for working with edges and small areas with lots of corners. They are reliable, but on average, they aren’t as efficient and durable as the sturdier straight shaft models. Curved weed eaters are never as powerful as their straight counterparts.
Despite their weaknesses, both types of string trimmer shafts are good. You just need to take into account your needs and pick the one better suited to meet them.
The Best Weed Eater Buying Guide
Shopping for a weed wacker can be tricky, especially if you prefer buying online. This way, you won’t have the ability to test and compare how various machines “feel” in your hand. However, if you know exactly what factors to consider when shopping for this garden tool, you won’t need to physically hold the device to choose the right one for you.
The considerations you will have to keep in mind are:
- The size of the area and access to power outlets.
These factors will help you determine the type of the weed eater you need right away. If the area is large, you will need a gas trimmer. As these machines are more powerful, they are the only kind that can handle vast plots of land efficiently. If the area is relatively smaller, but its layout is such that you don’t have direct access to many outlets, a corded weed wacker is not an option. In case you have a small backyard and don’t want to bother with a power cord, a cordless trimmer is your best choice.
- The layout of the land.
Are there any structures surrounding the area where you are going to use the weed, eater? If there are plenty of “obstacles” you need to work around, you should go for a curved shaft trimmer as it allows more flexibility with angles. However, is there are any bushes or fences, and you need to trim underneath them, you will be better served by a straight shaft weed wacker.
- Types of weeds you need to cut.
This is an important consideration as cordless and electric string trimmers aren’t powerful enough to handle big weeds and bushes. Of course, these machines will work for a while, but they will break down rather fast. If there are lots of tough weeds in the area, you will do a much better job with a commercial-grade machine. Therefore, you will need to buy a gas weed eater with a powerful motor.
- The person to use the weed eater.
Consider who is going to use this tool more often as weed wacker models differ in size and weight. Electric trimmers are lighter and better suited for women and teens, while large gas weed eaters can be operated by men with a bit of practice.
- Your neighborhood.
Some neighbors may not be very understanding about the noise this tool produces. Take your time to find out whether this is going to be an issue in your area. If so, you should go for an electric trimmer (either corded or cordless) as this type is much quieter.
- Controls and additional features.
You should study quite weed eater reviews and the manufacturer’s product description carefully to understand what extra features various models have. Sometimes, it may be beneficial to buy a machine that is not the most powerful but is more efficient and flexible due to its in-built traits, like an ability to replace the string with blades, for example. A see-through gas tank is another helpful extra you should look out for when buying a trimmer that runs on gas.
- The price.
Money shouldn’t be the deciding factor, but there is no denying the fact that the price if the device matters quite a lot. However, you should consider other important features first. Otherwise, you may buy a cheaper model only to have it break down fast, so you will spend more money n replacements than buying a good one from the start would have cost you.
Weed Eater Maintenance Tips
Once you get the best weed wacker, you will need to take good care of it to make sure that it serves you for many years to come. Regular maintenance is a must for any mechanism. This is how you should service your string trimmer:
- Clean it thoroughly after every use.
Debris is the biggest enemy of all weed eaters. Therefore, you need to remove every piece of it from the mechanism to make sure there is nothing there to damage it the next time you start the machine. The product manual should have a detailed instruction on how to clean your particular string trimmer model properly. In the vast majority of cases, it’s safe to clean this type of tool with a piece of soft cloth and soapy water.
- Grease any parts of the mechanism that requires it.
If you have a weed eater model that allows the use of attachments, you will need to oil these parts of the mechanism on a regular basis. The manual should explain how to go about greasing, but you can also look up a few videos online to make sure you do everything right.
- Keep an eye on the oil-to-gasoline ratio.
If you have a gas weed wacker, you will need to care for its motor well. It’s based on the same principle as your car motor, so you will need to make the same considerations regarding oil and gasoline. Change the oil regularly and be sure to drain the fuel if you aren’t going to use the tool for a while.
- Clean and replace the filters.
String trimmers that are equipped with air and fuel filters require a bit more maintenance as these filters will need to be replaced eventually. Cleaning them after every use (or as often as advised in the product manual) will extend the filters’ lifespan. Bear in mind that some filters need to be coated with oil after cleaning.
If your weed eater doesn’t start, emits strange noises, or otherwise doesn’t behave the way it should, you will need to take it to a professional technician. Some minor string trimmer repairs can be handled even by non-professionals, so you can try to fix the machine on your own.
To do this, you will need to study the manual thoroughly and search for additional information online. Take the time to familiarize yourself both with the device and the procedure you will need to perform. If you need to replace any parts, be sure to buy high-quality compatible items from reputable suppliers. Don’t forget to study the warranty terms as you may break them by repairing the tool by yourself.
When you get down to business, prepare your workplace and make sure that all the tools you will need are there. Drain the fuel from a gas trimmer and remove any parts of the mechanism that can be removed.
Once you start to take the device apart, set aside every detail carefully and make sure to memorize where it goes exactly. Reassemble the mechanism in reverse order and double-check every bolt after you tighten it. Finally, test the machine while taking all the necessary precautions.
A weed eater is a must-have tool for everyone who has a lawn. They are easy to use and are more efficient than traditional lawn mowers. You won’t need to invest a lot of time and effort in caring for your backyard if you use this tool.
Be sure to consider your options carefully, though, as there are a lot of good tools on the market, and you will need to be sure that you buy the best string trimmer there is.
WEED EATERS REPAIR AND MAINTENANCE TIPS
Weed eaters are of different types, namely, electrically powered weed eaters which include cordless and corded weed eaters, and gas powered weed eaters. Given that these different types of weed eaters have different sources of powers, their mode of operation differs in many aspects even though certain similarities exist among them. Thus, different strategies and tips are applied in maintaining and repairing them. Weed eaters powered with gasoline require more maintenance than electrically powered weed eaters because of the mechanics involved in their manufacturing as well as the manner in which they operate. Here, we are going to provide more tips for the maintenance of gas weed eater since it requires more maintenance and repair than other types of weed eaters. However, few maintenance and repair tips for other types of weed eaters are also provided.
Normally, every weed eater comes with a user manual which stipulates the various maintenance strategies. There is always a chart in the user manual which categorizes the chores to be done for maintenance on the weed eater. There is some maintenance work that should be done on a routine basis and one that should be done just once a year or occasionally. Below are some of the routine maintenance to be carried on your weed eater.
Maintenance before use
Before using your weed eater, make sure that you check it properly. Check if there is any loose screws as well as loose parts. Check the deflector to see if it is broken. If your weed eater is powered by gas, check the gas tank very well to see if there is any leakage. If you notice any sign of leakage, you should consider emptying the gas tank. Check the weed eater’s head to see if there is an accumulation of debris on it. Normally, debris and particles of grasses accumulate on the shaft and around there after the previous job. Some people may forget to remove them from their work. So, always check to see if there is any such accumulation of debris on the weed eater.
Before you start trimming grasses with your weed eater, it is always important to test it for efficiency. First, start the machine and leave the engine to be running. In this way, the engine will be warmed and become ready for work. As the engine is warming up, press and release the trigger to see how the line is spinning. It should not be revolving at a fixed speed, and the engine should run continuously without stalling.
If you are using a gas powered weed eater, then you should check the carburetor to see if it is clogged up. Clean the carburetor filter so that it will be free of debris. If the carburetor has spoilt beyond repair, you can have it removed completely. Before you adjust the carburetor settings, you also have to clean the spark arrestor screens. Keep running the weed whacker at the normal operating speed to see if there are any abnormal vibrations.
The next parts to inspect is the controls as well as the grips to see if there is any loose part. Check the metal springs to see if any of them is broken or missing. You should also check the rubber bushes for anti-vibration. If the machine is vibrating during usage, it can make the user tired easily. So, you should also check the shock absorbing parts of the machine even though their performance does not affect the general performance of the engine. You will not like to experience any numbness in fingers as a result of vibration.
Maintenance tips after use
Now that you have worked with the machine, there is certain maintenance work to do before sending the machine to the store. Allow the engine to cool down. Once it is cooled, you can now clean it. As you are cleaning it, there are some parts that you should check to ensure that they are in the best condition. Take a look at the spark arrestor screen. If the weed eater model that you are using comes with the exhaust system, then the spark arrestor will be located on the muffler exhaust port. Rid the machine of any debris. If there is obstruction of the exhaust flow by debris, then you have to replace the muffler screen. If you are using a gas powered weed whacker, then you have to change the spark plugs after using them for about 100 hours. Always make use of the user manual to find out what you should do at each moment. You should also find out what the gap setting is from the user manual and then make sure that you utilize the feeler gauge with a gap tool if needed. Use the right additive to decarbonize the engine of the weed eater after almost 150 hours of usage if it is a two-cycle engine.
Lawnmower Upkeep Tips
There are a few pieces of lawn equipment that need the proper care to keep them running properly.
This is especially true for gas-operated equipment.An easy way to think about this is your car.
Wouldn’t you let it go 10,000 miles without an oil change or not take your vehicle for maintenance right?
Well, the same thing goes for your lawn equipment. I will show you some ways that you can properly take care of your mower here to ensure that they keep running for a long time to come.
Here is how to keep your mower running for years to come:
Firsts things first. There is an owner’s manual for you to use, and browse, which will show you the proper way to maintain your equipment. These brochures are made so you, the user, are provided with the information that you need to operate and maintain the equipment properly. With these brochures comes the satisfaction of the product as well.
The more satisfied with the product you are, the more likely you will buy another product from the supplier.
Now on to the maintenance part.
Keep Fresh Gas In Lawnmower
As the mowing season comes to an end, and you are putting away your lawnmower, it is a good idea to drain the gasoline out of the equipment.
You can do this by either running the equipment until it runs out of gas or draining the remaining fuel.
Yourself. I usually run my equipment until it is out of fuel. It is the safer option. Just like a car you
Do not want to run your equipment on bad fuel. This can cause some mechanical issues.
An example of this would be to use the remaining fuel at the end of the summertime.
When the springtime comes, and the grass starts to grow, it will be time to put that fresh fuel in your lawnmower.
Checking The Oil
Check the oil just like you would on your car. You want to monitor your oil level on your equipment like you would with your car. While checking the oil, you will want to check for any objects that may have contaminated the oil. If you see that the oil is sludgy, and is dark in color, it is time to change the oil.
To change the oil on your mower simply remove the drain plug that is usually located on the bottom side of your mower (see owner’s manual for location). If you do not see a drain plug for your oil, you can carefully tilt your mower on the side, and let the oil drain out of the fill hole.
Before draining the oil be sure to check your owner’s manual to check the proper way to drain the oil.
Cleaning Out The Undercarriage Of Your Lawnmower
For your safety, I recommend taking the blade off of the lawn mower before you begin cleaning.
This can be done simply with a wrench.
Clean out the bottom of the mower after every use. You know when the mower clogs up, and it just stops you?
This can be due to the undercarriage of the mower being clogged with debris and grass. Especially so when the grass has a lot of moisture it tends to build up rather quickly.
Doing so will unclog the discharge chute as well. To do this first unplug the spark plug (consult owner’s manual).
Then proceed to tilt the mower on its side carefully. You can use anything really that may be handy. I have used anything from a screwdriver to scrape off the caked on the debris to my bare hands. After you have successfully cleaned off most of the debris, you can simply grab a hose with a garden sprayer and rinse off the remaining debris.
Inspecting Air Filter
Inspect the air filter after every few uses of the mower. This will maximize the efficiency of the mower.
If the air filter is dirty or clogged, it can lead to added stress to the mower. This will lead to bad fuel efficiency just like your car.
More than likely you will have either a foam or paper air filter (see owner’s manual). These are easy and inexpensive to replace. I checked my mower’s air filter after every few uses. Most suppliers will tell you to replace at least once annually.
Changing The Spark Plug
Changing the spark plug is an important part of up-keeping your lawnmower as well. This will ensure the proper spark to the motor of your lawn mower. This will lead to a proper startup of your lawnmower as well.
You can find a spark plug for your mower for pretty cheap. See your local lawnmower supplier, or you can match a spark plug for the model of your lawn mower (see owner’s manual). Simply take the spark plug wire off of the old spark plug. Then by using a universal spark plug socket or a wrench that fits around the spark plug, unscrew the spark plug from the housing. When putting a new spark plug back in, be sure not to overtighten the spark plug, as this can cause the mower not to start or even breaking the spark plug.
It is recommended that you change the spark plug at least every year.
Sharpening The Blade
It is recommended that you also sharpen the blade of your lawn mower. As you know, there are a ton of debris that gets in your way as you mow your lawn.
This can be anything from rocks to the dogs toy that you didn’t see hidden in the grass. Any debris can eventually dull the blade of the lawn mower. This, in turn, will make your lawn mower just tear the grass up instead of having your lawn have a nice and level look.
Think about it this way. If you were to get a haircut with a dull pair of scissors or hair clippers, it doesn’t feel good, does it? That’s because it is pretty much ripping your hair instead of having a clean cut.
The same thing goes for your lawn mower. The sharper the blade, the cleaner the cut and better looking your lawn is.
Some people have the experience to do this themselves, but it is not recommended if you don’t know how or don’t have any experience with sharpening. Bringing your blade to a shop or major lawnmower supplier will ensure that your blade is sharpened safely and efficiently.
Now as the time goes by you will want to tune up your lawnmower. You can do this yourself, or you can take it to a shop or lawnmower supplier.
Again, just like your car. A tune up will ensure that your mower is in proper working condition for the upcoming season.
A tune up usually includes these repairs:
- Replacing the old fuel with new fuel
- Replacing the air filter
- Replacing the spark plug
In most cases, a blade sharpening is included in the tune-up of your lawnmower.
Before the season starts, it is a good idea to make sure that your mower is in proper working order, and in good condition. A tune up will ensure of this, especially if your lawnmower has some miles and age on it.
I have usually paid anywhere from $50 to $75. So it just really depends on where you take your mower to get it tuned.
Please refer to owner’s manual as location and different parts will differ between lawn mowers.
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