Buying a Trimmer or a Brushcutter

Friday, 14 April 2017 | Local Dealer Expert
Posted in Garden Trader Blog, Brushcutter, Trimmer, Buying guide

Buying a Trimmer or a Brushcutter

Wondering how many types of Trimmers you can find?
There are mains electric, cordless battery and petrol trimmers plus brushcutters to choose from.
Mains Electric Trimmer
Trimmers sometimes known as Strimmers are suited to very small gardens with walls, fences or paths that have overgrown grass and weeds coming from a bordering lawn. They are very lightweight and easy to use.
Mains Electric trimmers can be very cheap and caution should be taken to make sure a suitably powered and rated model is selected for the job in hand.
Cordless Battery Trimmer
Cordless battery models are very convenient to use and although reasonably priced they are normally more expensive than mains electric models. Cordless trimmers have no electric cable to worry about and therefore they are more versatile and manoeuvrable. Most important the absence of the cable means they are much safer to use.
Cordless Battery Brushcutters
Many professional users are going down the cordless battery brushcutter route. Why? Convenience mainly. No fuel cans to lug around or store; cordless costs much less to run and most are just as powerful as their petrol counterpart and importantly they are a lot quieter in use which is important if being worked in enclosed or built up areas where people can be disturbed by the noise of high revving petrol engines.
Physically, cordless machines are equal to petrol with power to weight ratio being equal, they have the same mechanical attributes at the working end and the drive shafts are basically the same (see petrol brushcutters). Most come with a nylon cord head, metal blade and shoulder harness as standard. Cordless brushcutters are ideal for domestic use and prices are similar to that of their petrol cousins.
Petrol Trimmer
Petrol trimmers, in the main, are powered by 2 stroke engines which require a petrol mixed with oil mixture; this sometimes inconvenience has recently been overcome by the availability of ready mixed fuel which most garden machinery dealers keep in stock.
The engine is matched up with a drive shaft which normally has a curve at the cutter head end and the drive is a flexible cable inside the shaft housing. These types of drive are not suitable for using metal blades and are designed purely for operating with a nylon cord cutter head working on level ground or slight slopes where grass or weeds have overgrown and can't be reached by the lawnmower.
Ideal for light domestic trimming work around medium sized gardens petrol trimmers are very reasonably priced and dealers will always offer the better quality brands with more technical credibility, durability and longivity.
Petrol Brushcutters
Named brush cutter due to their capability for cutting jungle like conditions using metal cutter blades or using a nylon cord head for trimming small or large areas of all types of grass and weeds where hidden obstacles that could be dangerous or cause damage to the machine may be encountered.
A steel drive shaft is inserted into the shaft housing where a series of bearings help to cut out vibration, a bevel gear box is fixed at the working end of the housing where the metal blade or nylon head is fixed. At the other end is a centrifugal clutch which engages when the engine revs speed up to the maximum working rate of around 7000 revolutions per minute. Different engine torques will determine the staying power under load which determines the suitability of each machine available to the job in hand.
Normally powered by 2 stroke engines with power choices from 22.5cc, 25cc, 30cc, 33cc, 37cc, 40cc, 45cc and 50cc plus, some manufacturers produce 4 stroke 25cc and 35cc models that run on normal lead free petrol.
It is important to select the correct machine. However, for most domestic jobs 22.5cc up to 33cc power units are the likely suitable candidates.
Smaller engined models are usually fitted with loop type front handles on the shaft for easier manoeuverability; a single strap harness normally comes as standard. Whereas the bigger more powerful machines are fitted with double front handles shaped like cow horns; this gives the operator extra control of the machine when using in a scythe motion; a double shoulder harness with quick release clip is a prerequisite for user safety and comfort.
Using a trimmer or brushcutter
It is always recommended that safety goggles are used when operating any type of trimmer or brushcutter and even better is to wear a safety helmet with fitted ear muffs, eye and face protection visor, gloves plus protective trousers and jacket. These items can be purchased in kit form at very reasonable prices for domestic users; “what price safety and peace of mind!?”

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