What is a String Trimmer?

Stuart Wellbert
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String Trimmer Pros and Cons

A string trimmer is a tool designed for cutting lawn edges, or trimming grass in hard to reach areas that can’t be reached by a lawn mower, such as along fences or in trees.

A string trimmer uses a stringed head. Many times this string is made of metal, but nylon is used on some models, too. The line rotates at a high speed, and this action slices and trims grass and other weeds.

You move the trimmer over the area you want to trim and when you release the trigger, the line stops moving.

You can decide whether you want the line to move continuously, or in a loop. The string loops back onto a spool that is attached to the handle.

There are many different models of string trimmers, but they all perform similar functions.

The string trimmer cuts in a straight line, and you can decide where it will cut. It’s used to trim grass in front of a stone wall or along the side of a fence. For tall grass, a string trimmer can be used to control brush growth. You can effectively control overgrowth on a vacant lot.

Grass Trimmers vs Lawn Mowers

A string trimmer is basically a power-driven line edger, and if you practice proper operator safety, you can make your lawn neat and tidy using only this little machine. However, if you want to mow grass, you need to pair your string trimmer with a lawn mower.

Actually, the line trimming function is just one of many uses for string trimmers. You probably know that you can also use them to cut small brush and weeds, but did you know that they can also be used to cut almost any type of soft plant material? You can use them to edge sidewalks, as well as driveways. You can also use them to cut back the dead, dry grass along fences, trees, shrubs, and flowers beds.

If you choose the right accessory, your string trimmer can even be used for cutting bushes completely down. Paired with the right tool, your string trimmer can cut brush up to a height of five feet. You can also use your string trimmer to clear tall grass from your fence lines, as well as your property’s perimeter.

A handheld string trimmer is also the perfect tool for frequently cutting back perennial gardens. You don’t have to use it to cut every single plant you’re trying to maintain, just those that have started to grow long enough that they droop.

How to Use a Line Trimmer for Edging?

You can use a trimmer to edge your lawn and it’s very easy to do! Edging is the process of cutting along your property lines so those lines are crisp and sharp. This makes them look very neat, organized, and tidy.

There are two ways to edge your lawn using a trimmer. The first, is using the spinning line, which cuts through thick grass and weeds. If you’re using a trimmer with a line of to cut your grass, then keep your grass slightly long so when you’re edging, you’ll be cutting through the longer grass than its short roots.

If you’re using string without a cutting blade, then keep your lawn a little shorter so the string can cut into the grass.

The second way to edge your lawn, is to use the edger attachment. There are a few different styles of edgers, some being more advanced than others. There are electric edgers, which you plug into an outlet. There are also gas-powered models, which you fuel by putting gas in the tank. Your choice of edger depends on you and your yard.