A petrol strimmer is also known as a strimmer, string trimmer, line strimmer, weedeater,
weed whipper, garden strimmer or grass trimmer. Basically a petrol strimmer is a
powered device that is held in the hand and uses a flexible monofilament line to
cut your grass or weeds or other plants. It uses this monofilament line instead of
a blade. The whole unit consists of the cutting head which is at the end of a long
shaft which has one or two handles and usually a shoulder strap attached to it. The
petrol versions of the strimmer are powered from an internal combustion engine and
this engine is located at the opposite end to the cutting head on the shaft. The
electrical version tends to have the electric motor in the cutting head. It was George
Ballas from Houston, Texas who first introduced the string trimmer to the world in
the early 1970's. It was when he was sitting in his car whilst taking it through
an automatic car wash that he was inspired by the revolving action of the cleaning
brushes in this particular car wash.
The Design Of The Petrol Strimmer
The petrol strimmer usually has a 21 cc displacement motor as minimum but can range
to much bigger engines. The size is very important for the job in hand. The 21 cc
engine is capable of turning a 2 mm line with no problems and some of them have nylon
blades as accessories to the line reel. When you move up the power range with for
example a 32 cc motor then you can easily use a 2.75 mm line and this has often metal
blade accessories. The head at the bottom of the shaft has a safety shield on the
side of the user for obvious reasons and a rotating hub.
These two parts can be called the head or spool. The petrol version is heavier than
it’s counterpart the electrical version. It uses a petrol mix and when in use it
can vibrate quite significantly. But on the plus side these units are so much more
mobile and are definitely not limited in the power they can output. So if it is a
tough job you are facing then the petrol version should be your first choice. In
the case of a very large and powerful petrol strimmer you can strap them to your
body and suspend them with a harness.
This helps the line slash materials being cut and because of it’s effectiveness it
can easily be used in tougher locations such as woods and forests to cut down large
woody plants and small shrubs. At the least if it can’t cut them down it will at
least ring bark them very effectively. These lines give you the options of not having
to use disks with those tough jobs you encounter.
Choosing A Petrol Strimmer
So if you are in the market for buying a petrol strimmer you can either sit in the
comfort of your own home and browse the internet until you find what you are looking
for or else you can go down to your nearest tool supplier. By going to a store you
have the advantage of actually seeing the machine for real and any reputable store
will also have a display. This means that you can actually hold the unit in your
own hands to see how it feels.
Going “live” is a much better option we feel, though on the internet you will probably
have access to many more examples. Anyway there are many models of the petrol strimmer
on the market today with examples available in every budget range. They are not all
manufactured to the same way and range in capabilities and performance levels greatly,
so before shopping it is advisable to think about what you actually require. This
will help you make a decision and save you a lot of time wasting where you could
be looking at every model available. The criteria you should be concentrating upon
in deciding which particular model you need are:
Petrol Strimmer 2010 Site
Once he got home he found himself some heavy duty fishing line and attached it to
an empty popcorn can which he then bolted to an edger. He tried it out to some success
and from this basic example he developed his string trimmer which he called the weed
eater because of it’s effectiveness of chewing up grass and all the weeds in the
vicinity. The petrol strimmer works on the basis that the line in the head of the
unit is turned fast enough for it to be held out from the rotating wheel stiffly
by the force known as centripetal force. The faster this line is made to spin the
stiffer it becomes and hence more efficient as a cutter. Even round section nylon
can be used iwith the machine to cut grass and other plants provided that it is powered
strongly enough to make it stiff whilst rotating. On some of the more powered units
the line itself could well have an extruded shape such as like a star.
Petrol Or Electric ?
The strimmer comes in both petrol and electric versions. The petrol versions are
far superior to their electrical counterparts and we shall highlight how. For some
reason many home gardeners when they go out to purchase tools seem to opt for electric
versions. This has to be a price element thing because it cannot be a performance
related decision. Just take for example any professional landscaper or garden contractor
and you will hardly ever see one of them using an electric piece of equipment. The
first choice for them is petrol. To which you must ask yourself why?
If you go over the whole spectrum of power tools for the garden from lawnmowers to
hedge trimmers, quality petrol tools always completely outperform their electrical
equivalents. On the lifespan of the tools, the petrol versions always outlive their
electrical counterparts. And in using the tools, the petrol version is so much more
convenient and versatile. There are no electrical cables to get in the way or cause
any dangerous situations like tripping up or getting tangled up whilst in precarious
Maybe it is fear of being lumbered with a huge maintenance bill when a petrol tool
goes wrong and needs repairing. But this is not so. As long as you maintain your
tool correctly and have it serviced once a year with an oil change, spark plug change
and filter cleaning then the machine will remain fully operational for years to come.
The only reason for buying an electrical trimmer is if the area you need to work
on is tiny and you will only be doing he job once or twice a year. Then and only
then can you justify buying the electrical version. So if you are going to acquire
a trimming then you really should buy yourself the petrol strimmer.
Not a Hedge Trimmer
When people maintain their gardens not only must they trim the lawn, straighten all
grass edges and cut down any overgrowth. There also are usually hedges that need
straightening or cutting back. Well the petrol strimmer is a powerful device and
in most cases would be able to cut through hedge foliage and what not. However they
are not designed to cut hedges and for this you really should get yourself a proper
hedge trimmer. To cut a hedge properly you need to move and cut in a horizontal fashion,
not just vertical. The strimmer is designed to be used vertically. So its really
not a good idea to plan on using one on hedges.
The features of the petrol strimmer are usually the deciding factors in your choice
of trimmer. As said earlier, models differ greatly and there is a huge range to select
from. The shaft of the trimmer can either be straight or curved. If you are planning
on using the device for a long period of time then the curved shaft is probably the
one you should opt for. Such has been the development of gardening tools, the trimmer
has been greatly improved over the last couple of decades. Many models now have great
safety features such as automatic shut off. Now you can never have enough safety
so check these safety features on the particular models you are looking at and decide
which suits you best. And back to the engine. Look at the engine type and the power
output of the unit. Power is crucial as is the fuel consumption.
When buying a petrol strimmer it is always wise to invest in quality. Look for brand
names such as Ryobi, McCulloch and Stihl. Companies such as these have reputations
to uphold and most of their business success comes purely from reputation. In order
to uphold their reputations they must manufacture the best machines they can and
offer great warranties. This can only benefit the likes of the consumer such as us.
You may have to pay a little more, but in return you will receive a great machine
that if it does unexpectedly fail to work or break, you have the warranty to fall
back on. Buying cheap non quality goods is not cost effective in the long run. More
petrol strimmer advice.
It is no good having a petrol trimmer that simply cannot cope with the work load
you have planned for it. You must select a trimmer that gives you enough power. The
larger the engine on the unit though, the more expensive it will probably be. If
for example you have dense material and overgrowth to get through then you will definitely
need one of the bigger engine varieties as opposed to a small engine version that
is only really suitable for just trimming light grass borders. Also how often and
for how long at a time will you be using the trimmer? If the answer is frequently
and for long periods of time at one go then again you need to be looking at more
powerful machines to ensure you get through the job without failing.
The cutting radius on the petrol strimmer is all important. If you have large areas
to cover on a regular basis then you must look at trimmers with a large cutting radius.
The larger the radius the quicker you will get through the job and also complete
it more efficiently using less swings and even conserving on your fuel usage. And
don’t worry if you have selected a unit with a large cutting radius and need to use
it on small jobs. Providing that the machine is lightweight and easy to move around
you will have no problems with the small jobs. They can be a very versatile tool
when needs require.
More On This Site
When using the petrol strimmer, safety and commonsense should always be applied.
Read more.. Petrol Strimmer Safety
To take care of your petrol strimmer and ensure that it has a long working life,
regulkar maintenance should be performed. Read more... Petrol Strimmer Maintenance
The petrol strimmer is just one gardenening tool that you will require to perfect
the perfect lawn. Read more..Lawn Care
Strimmers come in several varieties and what differentiates these varieties are the
method of power, shaft design and the line feed design. Each particular model can
be designed using one or all of these features to provide a garden tool that can
do a variety of trimming jobs. When looking to buy a petrol strimmer you will soon
become aware of the many different options available to you. As well as design, each
particular model will have it’s own pros and cons.
The strimmer is available in 3 different power options. These options are petrol,
electric or propane. The method of power that a trimmer uses will determine it’s
overall workload capacity and usability.
Electric versions are not expensive to buy and generally are very easy to use and
lightweight. Starting them up is a doddle when compared to some of their petrol counterparts.
They are ideal for the average homeowner who does not have such a large work load
to contend with. Basically all one does with one of these versions is to plug it
in and off you go. They are cheap to buy and operate. However you can be limited
by power and portability as they can only be used where the cable allows them to
Petrol strimmers are more expensive to buy yet have a more significant power capability.
They are heavier and require constant maintenance. But for all of this you have a
unit that is capable of a greater workload. The petrol strimmer will be powered by
either a 2 stroke or 4 stroke engine.
The third option you can select from is the propane powered one. These are an eco-friendly
option. Propane is a cleaner fuel than petrol and a propane machine can easily match
any petrol strimmer for power and workloads. Unfortunately though, propane has to
be purchased in canisters and these canisters are not refillable. This can prove
to be rather expensive over the long run.
Design Of The Line Feed
It doesn’t matter which type or size of trimmer line you use with your strimmer,
it will wear down and break. This is an accepted inconvenience of a trimmer but changing
or advancing a trimmer line can be awkward and time consuming. This is why many manufacturers
have spent time and money in an attempt to provide a better design of line advancement
and replacement. The 3 main designs for trimmer line advancement are bump feed, fixed
head and automatic feed. When you are shopping for a trimmer you will become aware
that many models don a bump feed system for their lines. The reason for this is that
the system does prove to be extremely reliable and efficient. However this does not
mean that you should dismiss the automatic feed and fixed head systems as an option.
With the bump feed system the line is wound around the spool of the trimmer until
it is required. How the line is advanced is by bumping the bottom of the trimmer
on the ground as you are working. When bumped, the spring system will depress and
release a small length of line through the line outlet. This system is simple to
employ and very dependable.
A fixed head system is where individual lines are loaded in to the trimmer when and
if required. With this system you do not have to spool line in to it. However every
time the line needs to be replaced you have to stop working with the trimmer. In
general the fixed head system is more popular with the larger type of machine that
uses thicker and tougher lines. By using a tougher and thicker line, the line will
not wear and break at the same rate as a thinner line and hence require changing
Automatic feed systems use line spooling in the same way as bump systems. The difference
being that the line is automatically passed through rather than being activated by
bumping the head. Some automatic feed systems are very good but many do pose problems.
With poor design or bad line spooloing the automatic system can fail to operate properly.
Having worked with all types with each feed system we are inclined to recommend the
bump feed system as the most user friendly and efficient.
Design Of The Strimmer Shaft
Every petrol strimmer has a shaft. There are 3 major shaft designs to choose from
and each design will affect how a particular model can be used. The 3 designs of
shaft are curved, straight and split shaft.
The curved shaft gives the most comfort in use. This is especially so when you are
working at ground level. A curved shaft will allow the used to adopt a comfortable
standing position when using a trimmer. However when it comes to strimming under
bushes and other obstacles the curved shaft is not so efficient and comfortable.
Also a curved shaft can have an affect on the power on your machine.
The straight shaft offers a longer reach than a curved shaft. This makes it the ideal
choice if you need to strim under bushes and such. You will also find that the most
powerful units tend to have a straight shaft. Not as comfortable to work with as
the curved shaft, they do offer better working advantages. Most brush cutters will
have a straight shaft.
A split shaft design will allow the end of the trimmer shaft to be separated from
the rest. With this system attachments can then be fitted on to the trimmer. This
makes your trimmer a multi tool.The only advantage a split shaft has is that attachments
can be used. So if you only want the machine for strimming a split shaft is not a
consideration for you.
Any strimmer that you look at will be rated for a specific size of trimmer line.
All trimmer lines are measured by their diameters in inches. The measurement ranges
go from 0.065 to 0.170. The type of line you will require is determined by your particular
model and brand and the type of work you are carrying out.
0.065 - 0.085 Light/Medium work
0.085 - 0.110 Medium/Heavy work
0.110 + Heavy work
The majority of trimmer lines are made out of nylon or some sort of monofilament
material. But there are varieties out there made from tougher materials such as metal
to make them tougher and more durable.
Shapes also vary on trimmer lines. There are rounded, twisted, square and even 5
sided lines to choose from. Depending upon the shape, these lines can have added
cutting power and reduce any possible snagging problems. These days a lot of time
and research has gone in to the cutting line.
Strimmer Cutting Paths
Every strimmer is rated on it’s cutting path. The cutting path is the actual diameter
of area that a cutting line will cover. In most cases this measurement will be in
inches. So when it comes to matching a machine for a particular job, this measurement
is very informative.
These large versions are ideal for such jobs as roadside grass cutters or large over
grown areas that need clearing.
The trimmers that use nylon or metal blades tend to have straight drive shafts as
they need higher torque to turn the disk as well as having to deal with the shock
loads that are transferred back from the blade to the drive shaft and gearbox. The
smaller versions of the trimmers can have and usually do have curved drive shafts.
This design is perfect for assisting in holding the cutting head at ground level
and giving less stress to the person who is operating the unit.We cannot leave this
section without giving you a little info on the alternative to the petrol version
which is the electric trimmer. These trimmers are very light to hold and easy to
They are quite basic and hence user friendly when it comes to operating them. But
the weakness of the electric trimmer is that the length of power cord limits them
in use and they are as well a lot less powerful. The maximum diameter of nylon you
can use with these units is 2.5 mm because of their maximum output levels.
There are also battery operated units out there which are better because you have
no power cord to mess around with but batteries run out and need recharging and again
the power level of these units are so inferior to that of the power output of the