How to Choose a String Trimmer


String trimmers are used to chop tall grass and weeds in the backyard. While the string trimmer is a lot easier than using shears, there are still some pains that come with using a string trimmer. The type of string trimmer that's most appropriate depends on the budget and on the size of the yard that's being trimmed. Also, while more expensive, there are some string trimmers that are simply easier to use than others.

Step 1

Compare the price to your budget. While very low-priced string trimmers are economical, they also are more likely to break down. Broken-down string trimmers have to be replaced. Also, really cheap string trimmers often will require more work because they will not hold a charge very long and will be difficult to start up.

Step 2

Decide which engine is appropriate for you. Four-cycle engines, while generally more expensive, are much easier to start than 2-cycle engines. Take this into consideration because the time wasted trying to get the string trimmer started is time that could have been spent doing something better.

Step 3

Use a string trimmer that has premeasured spools of string so that the string trimmer can be changed much more quickly. Avoid string trimmers that require that the spool be taken apart unless you do not mind the hassle.

Step 4

Save money by purchasing a string trimmer that also converts into a blower. Though more expensive than other string trimmers, you will not have to purchase a blower and trimming will be much faster than if you purchased a string trimmer and a blower, since you would then have to head back to the garage to grab the blower after you are done trimming.

Step 5

Get a straight-shaft trimmer if you have a lot of low branches or shrubs. Otherwise, get a curved shaft trimmer, since those trimmers are more maneuverable and much lighter to carry.

Step 6

Take into consideration the sound of the string trimmer. Loud string trimmers might irritate the neighbors and negatively affect your relationship with them. However, if you are living in a semi-isolated area, this is not a problem.

Step 7

Go gas if you have a large yard and electric if you have a small yard. Electric string trimmers do not last long enough for a large yard, but they're cheaper. Electric string trimmers sometimes come with a cord, however, the cord might get in the way and can be tripped over.

Tips and Warnings

  • Avoid cutting the cord or tripping over the cord when using a corded string trimmer.

Things You'll Need

  • Money


  • DIY Click: How to Choose a String Trimmer
  • This Old House: Choosing and Using String Trimmers
  • Lawn Mowers and Garden Tractors: How to Chose String Trimmers
Keywords: electric string trimmer, gas string trimmer, low branches, string trimmer

About this Author

Charles Pearson has written as a freelancer for two years. He has a B.S. in Literature from Purdue University Calumet and is currently working on his M.A. He has written three ebooks so far: Karate You Can Teach Your Kids, Macadamia Growing Handout and The Raw Food Diet.