Best Garden Strimmers
Gardens come in all shapes and sizes and have different challenges like slopes, vegetation, walls and borders - these are all situations that garden strimmers, or grass trimmers, can help.
Choosing from the best garden strimmers is a case of matching the trimmer for the task it needs to do. The good news is there is a wide range of strimmers to meet almost any need, but the wide range can sometimes make it confusing to choose the best one.
My suggested way of choosing the best garden strimmer for the task is as follows:
- Small gardens - Best Garden Strimmers (5 - 10 mins strimming at a time)
These are ideally suited to corded strimmers. Corded strimmers typically cost less than other types and offer the convenience of simply plugging them in for power. If you only need to strim small areas they are ideal, although you do have the inconvenience of the cord. If you would prefer to spend a little more to avoid this, or for safety reasons prefer not to have a cord, then you may want to upgrade to a cordless strimmer.
- Medium sized gardens - Best Garden Strimmers (up to 20 mins strimming at a time)
Sometimes it is impractical to have a power cord. For example long narrow gardens or other areas that are difficult to reach. This is where the convenience of cordless strimmers is useful. Battery technology is improving and the best cordless strimmers can deliver 20 minutes and more strimming time per charge. Strimmers cut quickly and this is often plenty of time. If you have other cordless power tools from the same manufacturer, you may be able to share batteries giving you even longer strimming times. Buying additonal batteries separately can be expensive.
- Large gardens - Best Garden Strimmers (over 20 mins strimming at a time)
Some gardens simply require a bigger machine for the task at hand. This can be because of the amount of vegetation to cut, but also because of the type of vegetation. If you are planning to tackle very thick, woody vegetation - for example brambles - than a professional grade petrol strimmer would be more appropriate. This power often comes at the expense of increased weight, higher maintenance and less cutting accuracy.
Features to consider on the best garden strimmers
Strimmers differ widely on a number of characteristics and if you intend to use the strimmer frequently it is worth checking a particular model carefully. The features described below can be used as a check list to help you choose from the best garden strimmers for your needs:
Compared to lawnmowers, strimmers are held in the air by the user. Electric strimmers are usually sufficiently light to be held with two hands. Powerful petrol strimmers sometimes have a shoulder strap to help support the weight. If you will be using a strimmer frequently it may be worth choosing lighter varieties - provided they are still able to cut what you need them to.
- Battery type
For cordless electric strimmers there are differences in battery run time and type of battery used. Lithium batteries often last longer and are more durable than NiCD batteries. The best garden strimmers typically use lithium batteries and this is reflected in their higher price, with NiCD powered strimmers often significantly cheaper.
- Cutting angles
Most strimmer heads can be rotated - which is a useful feature for edging lawns or cutting on a slope. What is worth looking at is the ease at which the head can be rotated - if can be frustrating to have to struggle with the machine to get the cutting head at the right angle.
At my allotment I frequently see people struggling with their petrol strimmers. Common problems are difficulties getting their strimmers to start, or struggling to change or untangle the cutting cord. Electric strimmers my be more straightforward, but this often comes at the expense of power and a more light or lower spec build quality.
- Extendable shaft
It's uncomfortable bending over to strim, so many strimmers have the ability to extend the shaft to the height of the user. Similar to cutting angles, the best garden strimmers have an easy to use mechanism to extend the shaft.
- Cutting line or cutting blades
Strimmers work by rotating very fast a line or cutting blade underneath the strimming head. The cutting line or cutting blades need frequent replacing as they wear out. My personal experience with my cordless strimmer is that each blade lasts between 1 to 2 uses. It is worth checking the price of replacing line or blades, and that you can conveniently get them. It may be worth buying in bulk at the same time you purchase your strimmer.
At time of writing this post, the following strimmers were available on Amazon UK. These strimmers are featured to illustrate the difference between different types.
Follow the link to see the full range of grass trimmers on Amazon UK.