How to Choose the Most Suitable Trimmer For Home And Cottage
Owners of private housebuilding or summer cottages are often faced with the need to level the lawn, or to mow the grass and weeds that have risen. Using an ordinary hand braid for this purpose is a tedious task. To clean up the garden, a modern mechanized tool called a trimmer will help. Using a compact and maneuverable mechanical scythe, you can quickly and without extra energy to arrange a beautiful lawn in front of the house, or get rid of dense thickets of wild grass. Using this tool, you can gently trim the grass in the most inaccessible places. Under the wall of the house, near trees or between the beds in the garden.
Grass trimmer, its device and principle of operation
The grass trimmer is a tool that works on the principle of a normal braid, but is equipped with a motor for rotating the cutting element. Depending on the type of this engine, there are two types of trimmers:
Lawn mowers powered by a gasoline engine, the distinctive element of their design is the presence of a fuel tank;
A distinctive feature of trimmers on a gasoline engine is the presence of a tank for fuel. In this model, lawn mowers are located under the engine.
Mechanized spit with electric motor has a lighter design
Electric braids, in turn, come with a power cable for connecting to the mains and battery.
Battery operated trimmer. In this model, the electric motor is located at the bottom, and the battery at the top
Each of these types of trimmers has its own design features that affect the energy block. Otherwise, their device is very similar. Grass trimmers consist of the following elements:
The scheme of the lawn mowing device. An electric trimmer has an electric trimmer instead of a gasoline engine and no fuel tank
- An engine, which is located above or below, in the area of the mowing head;
- A conical gearbox, which is installed only in models with a direct rod, with a curved rod, the main bearing, consisting of two bushings, acts as a connecting element between the cable (flexible shaft) and the trimmer head;
- An intermediate shaft located inside the rod of the mechanized scythe (the shaft is available only in trimmers with a straight rod, in braids with a curved rod instead, rotation from the engine to the mowing head transfers a flexible cable);
- The bar itself, often of the telescopic type (which is convenient for fitting the tool to the operator’s height) with a handle fixed to it;
- Mowing head with cutting element;
- Control panels;
- Head guard
In mechanized braids, a sharp fishing line (cord) is used as a cutting part, with any cross-sectional shape, most often round or spiral. It is wound on a reel that is inserted into the bobbin, leaving the two ends of the fishing line free. It is with these ends that the grass is cut off during the fast rotation of the bobbin.
The reel with fishing line is inserted into the bobbin located on the mowing head of the tool
Instead of fishing line, other cutting elements can be used. Plastic and steel knives and discs. The tool can be adapted to use a cutting part of one or more types. This is convenient when you need to work with grass of different stiffness.
The use of a steel disk for the trimmer allows you to cut not only hard stems of weeds, but also the vine, and small shoots of trees
The principle of operation of grass trimmers is quite simple. Rotation from the motor shaft is transmitted to the countershaft or cable connected to it on the splines. The other end of the shaft enters the bevel gear, changing the direction of the axis of rotation, and causing the output shaft to rotate at high speed, on which the cutting element of the braid is mounted.
The section of the trimmer cone gearbox clearly shows how the direction of the axis of rotation changes and torque is transmitted from the intermediate shaft to the output shaft of the gearbox
In trimmers with a curved rod, the rotation from the engine to the cutting part is transmitted by a cable through a connecting part consisting of two bushings.
The main criteria for choosing a grass trimmer
Today, rural residents and owners of their own houses or summer cottages have a large selection of tools for combating high grass on the site or mowing the lawn. The most popular and especially demanded of them is the trimmer. Its advantage over other types of lawn mowers is its high maneuverability, which makes it possible to cut grass where other devices are very difficult to get.
Photo Gallery: Using a trimmer to trim grass in hard to reach places
The range of grass trimmers themselves, presented on the modern market, is also quite wide. To choose the perfect version of this tool, you need to adhere to certain rules. And the very first thing that needs to be done is to decide on what kind of work to do and in what volume you need a trimmer. For areas of a larger area, a more powerful scythe will be required, as well as for combating thickets of tall grass and weeds. Low-power devices are suitable for leveling and cutting the lawn. The solution to this issue will allow you to choose one or another type of braid. Gasoline, electric or battery. Each of them has its own advantages and disadvantages, which must be taken into account when choosing a trimmer.
The main advantages of a trimmer running on a gasoline engine (lawn mowers) are the highest power, the ability to work for a long time without interruption and absolute freedom of movement. With this device, you can mow the grass anywhere, without pulling the carrying there, and without being tied to the points of connection of the household power supply. Lawn mowing is usually treated in large areas, including those remote from home.
The trimmer with a gasoline engine can be used to clear large areas of the home from thickets of grass
But, in addition to the advantages, gas trimmers have significant disadvantages:
- Too high engine noise during operation;
- The presence of exhaust gases that have a negative impact on the environment, and hamper the work of the operator;
- The need for regular refueling with gasoline and oil;
- Higher cost of all varieties of trimmers;
- Heavy weight, the bulk of which falls on the gas tank. 6.5–8 kg for medium power devices.
An electric motor trimmer, unlike lawn mowers, has:
- Low noise level;
- High environmental friendliness;
- Less weight, which is from 1.1 to 6 kg (for braids of high power), a woman, a teenager, and elderly people can work with such a device;
The electric trimmer has less weight and can be easily controlled by a woman, teenager or elderly people
The electric braid has its own drawbacks, the main of which is the need to bind to the points of connection of electricity. This often requires a rather long extension cord, which creates certain inconveniences. In addition, trimmers with an electric motor have less power than their gasoline counterparts, and are not always suitable for dealing with dense thickets of weed. Most often, trimmers with an electric motor are used only in the courtyards of the estate with an area of up to 6 acres.
To increase the autonomy of the electric braid, allow battery models. The charge of their lithium-ion batteries lasts for 35-40 minutes, but their full charge lasts quite a long time, sometimes up to 24 hours. In such models, a low-power engine from 200 W is usually installed, which makes it possible to trim the mowed lawn on the lawn.
The electric trimmer with battery has small dimensions and power. Its battery lasts for 35 to 40 minutes
When choosing the most suitable for working on a personal plot or giving a trimmer, the following parameters and characteristics should be taken into account:
- Engine power;
- Tool weight, its ergonomics;
- Engine location;
- Bar type. Straight or curved;
- Variety of cutting element;
- View of the handle.
The power of the trimmer depends on the power of the engine, and can range from 200 W to 1.8 kW. The most thin braids are suitable only for trimming the lawn with delicate grass stems. For a house and a summer house, a trimmer with an engine of 1 kW will be enough if there is no need to cut too thick stems. The larger the amount of upcoming work and the area of the cultivated area, the greater the power and the trimmer will be required..
The weight of a mechanized braid affects the ease of working with it. But, it should be borne in mind that lighter trimmers have less power. Their ergonomics is more influenced by the balance of the design so that the braid fits comfortably on the belt, allowing the operator to easily operate the tool.
The location of the motor may be top or bottom. Trimmers with a lower engine have greater maneuverability and lower cost, but they should not be mowed with wet grass, because water can get into the engine and disable it.
If the engine is located lower, there is a danger of water getting into it when the grass is wet after rain or dew, which can lead to damage
Trimmers with an engine located at the top have some advantage over a tool with a lower motor placement, although they cost more. Among their advantages can be noted:
- High power;
- Longer operating hours before a technological break;
- Better ergonomics due to a more balanced design.
Top engine devices have more power and a better balanced design
An important characteristic of the trimmer, which must be considered when choosing a tool, is the type of its rod. For braids with a straight rod, a shaft is used to transmit torque from the engine, and a cable is used with a curved one. Braids with a shaft, which have a higher power, have greater reliability and can use knives instead of fishing lines, although ergonomics are higher for braids with a curved bar.
Greater reliability has a straight-bar trimmer, in which rotation is transmitted through the shaft
It affects the ergonomics and type of handle. It can be D-shaped or in the form of the letter “T”. The T-shaped handle is better suited for working in the open space, when performing large volumes of mowing grass on a large area.
T-handle trimmers are ideal for mowing grass in unrestricted spaces
When choosing a mechanized braid, you need to consider what type of cutting element is installed on it. It is better to buy a trimmer in which you can use both fishing line and knife, setting the most suitable tool, depending on the stiffness of the grass and the thickness of its stem.
Trimmer with interchangeable cutting elements of different types (fishing line and knife). It is more versatile, and can use both tools, depending on the stiffness and thickness of the stems
Do not forget when choosing about the quality of the trimmer itself. Models from different manufacturers are presented on the modern market, and it is best to choose the tool that has already proven itself. Among the most popular models of mechanized braids are the following.
Bosch Art 26 Combitrim is an electric trimmer for low grass and small workloads. An ideal tool for trimming lawn and mowing in hard to reach places. Tool power 450 W, weight 3 kg, mowing diameter 26 cm. Thanks to the lower placement of the motor, this trimmer has high performance.
Bosch Art 26 Combitrim. The most convenient tool for mowing short grass in hard-to-reach spots and lawn trimming
A good trimmer, I have it for the fourth season. It is very necessary to work in those areas where you can not climb with a lawn mower. Sophisticated adjustments make it easy to operate.
Gasoline trimmer Patriot 4355. This is a fairly powerful lawn mower (1.8 kW) with an engine speed of 8000. The tool supports working with fishing line and steel knife. It has a comfortable T-handle with controls and a comfortable ergonomic suspension. The trimmer is well balanced, and even with large mowing volumes, the operator does not get tired of the weight of the tool itself, which is 7 kg. The mowing width with such a trimmer is 46 cm.
Gasoline-powered Patriot 4355 trimmer is an ideal tool for mowing complex thickets of grass, vine and weed
Very good and convenient gas trimmer, no need to fiddle for a long time to get to work. I chose for a long time that the quality corresponded to the price, and now I found a good thing! At the cottage, a plot of 25 acres, the grass in the summer grows very quickly. Once it so happened that I did not appear in the country for a month, and the grass grew waist-high. I thought how I would mow, because I had never mowed such tall grass. To my surprise, the trimmer handled this. I began to mow the tops of the grass, then lower and lower, and so I mowed all 25 acres.
The 1 kW Makita UR3502 electric trimmer is an ideal tool for cutting lawns and mowing grass without stiff stems. The cutting element is a fishing line with a diameter of 2 mm. The weight of the braid is 4.9 kg, but the presence of a shoulder strap makes working with it convenient and comfortable. The mowing width with this tool is 35 cm.
Trimmer with electric motor Makita UR3502. Tool power 1 kW, weight 4.9 kg, grass width 35 cm
Thanks to the upper center of gravity, the control of the bar and the cutting head is very convenient and inertia-free. The cooling is done well, and after a 40-minute mowing of grass in hot weather, the engine does not heat up at all. I safely recommend this trimmer. Suitable for mowing a tender young lawn, and without any problems copes with chicory in the vestibule. He mowed even small shoots of elm 20 centimeters long. Of course, it would be possible to try the disk, but, unfortunately, it is not equipped with it.
In addition to these brands, good quality and inexpensive trimmers are produced under the well-known brands Husqvarna and Stihl, Alpina and Oleo-MAC, Efco and GardenLux. When buying products from unfamiliar manufacturers, you need to pay attention to the quality of the materials from which they are made and to the assembly.
How to use and care for the trimmer
Using any trimmer begins with starting its engine. In electric braids, you just need to connect the power cord to the network (or install a lithium-ion battery in battery-type devices), and press the engine start button. The situation with the launch of a gasoline engine is much more complicated.
Before starting use, the lawn mower must be filled with gasoline and oil. In modern trimmers, two types of gasoline engines are used. 2-stroke and 4-stroke. Two-stroke engines, and most lawn mowers are equipped with them, should be refilled by pouring directly into the tank a mixture of AI92 gasoline and engine oil in the ratio indicated by the tool manufacturer in the instructions for use. This may be the ratio of oil to fuel 1:20, 1:25, 1:40 or 1:50. Over, some manufacturers recommend their own branded oil.
With a two-stroke engine, a mixture of oil and gasoline is poured directly into the fuel tank
If a four-stroke engine is installed on your trimmer, then only gasoline is charged into the tank, and oil is separately poured into the engine crankcase. When refueling, the following safety rules must be observed:
- Do not smoke during refueling;
- It is necessary to unscrew the fuel tank cap slowly in order to relieve pressure in it, and to avoid splash of residual fuel through the neck;
- Fill the fuel mixture or gasoline and oil only with the engine turned off and cooled;
- To refuel at a distance of at least 3 meters from the place where the engine will start.
To start the gasoline engine, you must:
Lawn mowing engine elements involved in starting it
- Turn on the ignition.
- The primer, which is a hand pump with a silicone button, pump up fuel. This will require 8 to 10 clicks on this button (usually the exact number is indicated in the instructions for the tool).
- Shut off the choke.
- Lock the gas lever with the stopper at high speeds.
- Pull the starter handle two or three times.
If the engine starts up and stalls right away, you need to half open the air damper and repeat the start in the indicated sequence. After starting the engine, vent gas and open the air damper. The tool is completely ready, you can get to work.
When working with a trimmer, you must adhere to certain rules:
- It is imperative to observe the operating mode specified in the instruction manual. Alternating a continuous cycle and a technological break (usually after 15.20 minutes of operation, a stop should be made for 3-5 minutes);
- A mixture of oil with gasoline needs to be finalized or drained from the tank during a long break in order not to clog the carburetor jets with an oil film when gasoline dries, because it, unlike oil, quickly disappears;
- Mowing grass is necessary only at full speed;
- If the design provides for a shoulder strap, it should be used to ensure maximum balance of the tool during operation;
- It is forbidden to use other materials (for example, a cable) instead of fishing line. This can lead to premature wear of the trimmer, and create a danger to the operator and others;
- Before starting work, you need to carefully inspect the site and clean it of foreign objects;
- In the process of mowing, they are carried out in front of them from right to left with a trimmer so that the cut grass falls on the already mowed area;
- At the end of work, it is necessary to turn off the engine, clean the cutting element from grass residues and fold the tool bar, if it has a telescopic design.
In the process of using a mechanized scythe using a fishing line as a cutting element, it may be necessary to increase the length of the cord. The free ends of the fishing line, which cut the grass. The trimmer head can have three options for feeding the fishing line, providing different ways to increase its length:
When manually feeding, stop the engine and pull out the cord with your hands;
Mechanical head with manual feed of fishing line. To increase the length of the cord, you need to pull the fishing line to the desired distance with the engine turned off
In trimmers with a mowing head that has a semi-automatic supply of fishing line, you can increase the cord without stopping the engine. You just need to press the button to the ground
If an automatic head is installed on the trimmer, the line is fed directly during operation. To do this, simply reset and immediately add speed
The basic safety rules for working with the trimmer include the following requirements:
Grass can be mowed only in closed clothes and shoes, with gloves and goggles (when working with a lawn mowing, you should use noise-protective headphones or ear plugs);
Rules for safe work with the trimmer require the operator to have closed clothing and shoes, as well as gloves, eye protection and noise-attenuating headphones when working with the lawn mowing
To ensure long-term operation of the trimmer, it needs constant care, which consists not only in cleaning the cutting elements from the remains of grass, dust and dirt, but also in the timely lubrication of the gearbox or main bearing. To do this, unscrew the bolt that covers the lubrication hole and check for lubrication in it. If not enough, add about 5 g of grease.
Typical malfunctions of trimmers, how to fix them yourself
Like any technically sophisticated device operating in extreme conditions, trimmers can fail. The most common causes of breakdowns are violations established by the manufacturer of the rules for operating a mechanized spit. For example, non-observance of the modes of alternating work and technological breaks, or irregular lubrication of the gearbox and other parts, which leads to overheating of parts and mechanisms.
Typical malfunctions of trimmers, most often manifested in various types of this device, are:
- Failure of the working head of the tool, which is usually manifested in a violation of the supply of fishing line due to tangling or sticking, as well as mechanical damage to the bottom of the coil;
- Malfunctioning carburetor lawn mowers;
- A break in the intermediate shaft of the tool, the cause of this malfunction may be cutting off the splines with which it connects to the motor shaft;
- Damage to the connecting sleeves of the main bearing mounted between the cable and the trimmer head.
- Clogged fuel and air filters.
Adhesion and tangling of the fishing line usually occurs when its quality is poor and the operating modes are violated, which leads to overheating of the trimmer head and fishing line. To fix this problem:
- Remove the cover from the trimmer head, for which press fingers on the latches, and carefully unfasten the cover.
- Remove the reel of fishing line from the head. It must be removed carefully so that it does not jump out and fly away into the grass installed under it, a spring.
- Dissolve tangled or sticky fishing line, and charge it again. Fold the fishing line in half, and fix the middle in a special groove on the middle disk of the reel, which divides the reel into two compartments.
To wind the fishing line on the trimmer coil, first of all, you need to fold it in half, and fix the middle into the corresponding groove
After winding the fishing line on the coil of the trimmer head, its free ends must be fixed in the grooves on the reel
For a trimmer, it is better to use a fishing line of the diameter recommended for use by the tool manufacturer. When buying, you should purchase a cord of more well-known brands, and not take the first available fishing line of lower cost and an unfamiliar brand.
If the petrol trimmer does not start or its engine stalls after starting, the cause may be a carburetor malfunction or a clogged fuel filter. Malfunctions in the operation of the carburetor can occur when it is clogged, and sticking to the oil film of the valves of this device. This can happen if you do not fully develop the fuel-oil mixture and leave it in the tank for a long time.
To clean the carburetor, it is necessary to remove it from the engine and disassemble, alternately disconnecting the primer (manual pump for pumping fuel), all gaskets and the needle. Each part should be washed separately with a carburetor cleaner, blowing liquid from a cylinder into all its openings. After washing, when the parts have dried, you need to assemble the carburetor and put it in place.
The gasoline engine may stall when the fuel filter is clogged with residual grass and dust. It, like the air filter, must be removed from the lawn mowers and rinsed with gasoline. After drying, the filters must be replaced.
Often in trimmers with a curved bar, the mower head shaft overheats or stops spinning. This occurs when the main bearing is not properly lubricated or damaged. It consists of two bushings located one in the other. This part must be lubricated or replaced with a new one if the bushings are broken and the shaft is jammed. To do this, you must:
Remove trimmer head.
To replace the main bearing, the trimmer head must be removed
To replace or lubricate the main bearing of the trimmer with a flexible shaft (cable), the mowing head and protective cover must be removed
To remove the main bearing from the rod hole, first unscrew the retainer screw
To eliminate other malfunctions of the trimmer, including a broken shaft or engine failure, you will need the help of a qualified technician, who can provide a specialized repair service.
How to make a do-it-yourself trimmer
The simplest electric braid can be built from plastic pipes, a small electric motor and a battery from a conventional screwdriver. To do this, you will need:
- A plastic pipe with a diameter of 40 mm of sufficient length so that it is convenient to mow the grass;
- A corner from a plastic profile at 45 degrees;
- A cap on a plastic pipe with a diameter of 40 mm;
- Adapter 40/50 mm.
- Connecting wires.
To make the simplest battery trimmer with a lower engine arrangement out of these materials:
- Drill holes in the plug for installing an electric motor;
- Fasten the engine to the plug, and solder the wires to it. Install the assembled structure in a corner;
- Drill a hole for the switch in a convenient place on the pipe. Pass the wires coming from the engine through the pipe and attach the corner with the motor to its lower part.
- Install the switch button and terminals for connecting the wires in series to the battery outputs.
- Secure the battery through the adapter on the pipe. It fits perfectly in a hole with a diameter of 50 mm.
- From the blades of a clerical knife, a metal plate with holes and a bolt with a diameter equal to the diameter of the motor shaft, construct the cutting element of our trimmer. Attach this structure to the shaft using the wire terminal.
- Cut a protective casing from a plastic bucket and stick it to the corner with a hot glue gun.
The trimmer, quite capable of mowing the grass, even with a stiff and thick stem, is ready. For ease of use, they can come up with the simplest handle.
The trimmer is an indispensable tool for people who have their own plot of land, and who want to keep it in order, not allowing grass and weeds to overgrow. The main thing is to be able to choose the perfect version of this device that is ideal for home or garden, learn how to use a trimmer and take care of it. The tips and recommendations outlined above will help you make a choice and learn how to fix some malfunctions of mechanized braids with your own hands.