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A good string trimmer will be one of the most important pieces of lawn equipment that you will own, so investing time to research will pay off after you begin using your trimmer.
The group of weed wackers that we are going to discuss first are gas powered. These are the most common types of weed eaters, being that most average sized property owners might have one, and probably all landscaping professionals will have a good gas powered one in their arsenal of equipment. Gas powered weed eaters, or string trimmers as they are also called, run on either a straight gas powered fuel engine, or a combination of gas and oil. Gas powered string trimmers are knows for their power and endurance so they are usually the best pick for homeowners with big lawns, as well as landscaping pro’s. Because of their strength gas powered string trimmers can handle some tough weeds and some heavy grassy areas where their electric counterparts, which we’ll get to in a few, might have some problems with. Another huge benefit of the gas powered family, is that they are more mobile, meaning that you can just throw a gas operated string trimmer in the back of your truck or car trunk, with a can of fuel in case you need it, and not worry about a cords length, like with the electric string trimmers, or constant battery charges like you would with a battery operated string trimmer. And lastly a gas powered string trimmer can be a versatile piece of equipment, can be used on all lawns both large and small.
Now within the gas powered weed wacker family you will see that they come in two different types. The 2-cycle weed eater and the 4-cycle weed eater. This is the difference in the type of engine, other known as a 2 stroke or a 4 stroke engine. The 2-cycle engine is the most common engine for weed eaters, and requires a mix of oil and gas for fuel. This can be a convenience or a hassle however you look at it. The 4-cycle weed eater, runs on straight gas like a lawnmower, but will need to have the oil changed instead of using a mix. 2-cycle weed eaters are generally lighter than 4-cycle ones, which can make a big difference if you are not use to doing extensive lawn care, or using heavy power equipment. Another key difference between the two is that a 4-cycle weed eater is friendlier to the environment letting out fewer emissions.
Okay – We have the gas powered weed wacker covered. We know the differences between a 2-cycle and 4-cycle. But we have only looked at half of what is out there. The second group of weed eaters that we are going to look at is electric weed eaters. Electric weed eaters can be either battery operated, or come with a cord attached. Let’s first talk about the ones with the cords. Electric weed eaters (with cords), are usually the cheapest of all weed eaters on the marker. For good reason though, because they are first only strong enough to handle simple weed whacking jobs, and are only good for close range weed whacking (from your house or electric power source). Yes some people might have electric outlets throughout their yard, but if your yard is that big, than I would shy away from electric weed whackers mainly do the lack of force needed to maintain a large yard. Than besides the price what else makes an electric weed whacker worth it? Well two main reasons.
1st the weight of an electric weed whacker is feather light so you can easily use it without worrying about arm sores, or back aches. 2nd it makes a lot less noise than a gas operated weed whacker so you can weed whack at night or early morning without bothering the neighbors.
Now we touched on electric weed whackers with cords, and we hit the gas powered string trimmers as well, now combine the mobility of a gas powered weed eater, with the price of an electric weed whacker and you have – “the battery operated weed wacker!” Ok, OK it’s not as impressive as I made it sound, but it really is a good solution for a combination between the two. It still is electric powered, so the battery operated weed wacker does not have the power and bruit force of a gas powered unit. But, it is a whole lot better than the electric with cords since you can go around your yard cordless. The battery operated weed wacker will usually come with a charger and average batteries run between a half hour to an hour, before you need to switch batteries and recharge. They are good for an average size yard, and share the benefit for being light weight and not noisy. Electric weed eaters are also more environmentally friendly not giving off as much pollution in the air.
So there you have it a synopsis of the 3 families of weed eaters, now its time to decide which one is right for you.