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#1
Old 07-13-2018, 03:15 PM
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I need an easy to work with weed whacker/trimmer

I HATE these things. The current one I am working with is propane powered and lightweight, but every damn time the strong comes in contact with an object (ie a rock, or I'm trying to trim weeds against a wood deck), the string breaks, I have to shut it off and pull the string out. Now, I'm out of string.

The string thing is what bamboozles me. Is there a weed whacker out there that's easy to work with when it comes to string? Is there a stringless option that works well? Is there another tool that does the same thing as a weed whacker?

The only caveat: I don't want a fuel powered unit. Also, I trim my yard maybe at most a handful of times a year, so I'm not looking for the $1000 Weed Whacker Turbo 5000 either.
#2
Old 07-13-2018, 03:26 PM
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Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: The Dueling Grounds
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I recently bought a Ryobi 40v string trimmer for $150. It advertises "Gas-like power!" and that has so far seemed true. Runs for about 30-40 minutes on a full charge, and the battery fully charges in about 90 minutes. Also has the ability to attach to other tools like an edger head, blower, pole saw, tiller, and others.

As for the string problem, there are those "blade" trimmer heads like this. I've never used one myself so I can't vouch for their effectiveness. I'm certain there must be other alternatives.
#3
Old 07-13-2018, 03:28 PM
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Location: Lincoln, IL
Posts: 25,198
Up until about a week ago, I would have recommended the Black+Decker battery-powered string trimmer that I have. In about a year and a half of light use, I've never had to do anything to the string. But the last time I used it, a few days ago, it mysteriously quit running.

Is it possible you've been using sub-par quality string?
#4
Old 07-13-2018, 03:38 PM
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Location: PDXLNT
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Nah, the string is all the same assuming you're using the right diameter for your trimmer--it's just supposed to be a wear item, that's how it works. I've had the blade replacements for previous trimmers and they tend to be fucking awesome, but a lot of the newer string trimmers are made so you can't just put blades on instead. Which sucks, because I'd change out the fucking string for a blade on my current model (Black & Decker corded) in a hot minute.
#5
Old 07-13-2018, 03:53 PM
Just Lovely and Delicious
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Location: Northeast Ohio
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Thudlow Boink View Post
Up until about a week ago, I would have recommended the Black+Decker battery-powered string trimmer that I have. In about a year and a half of light use, I've never had to do anything to the string. But the last time I used it, a few days ago, it mysteriously quit running.
My dad's been using a cordless Black & Decker for many years now. His hasn't conked out yet, knock on wood. He's quite happy with it. I don't think it has the same battery time as DCnDC's Ryobi, tho.
#6
Old 07-13-2018, 04:10 PM
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Location: Nashville, TN
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Quote:
Originally Posted by russian heel View Post
but every damn time the strong comes in contact with an object (ie a rock, or I'm trying to trim weeds against a wood deck), the string breaks, I have to shut it off and pull the string out. Now, I'm out of string.

The string thing is what bamboozles me. Is there a weed whacker out there that's easy to work with when it comes to string? Is there a stringless option that works well? Is there another tool that does the same thing as a weed whacker?
I admit it has been many years since I used a weed whacker, do they still come with the bump feed system where you put the whole spool of string on there and when the line breaks, you bump the bottom on the ground to feed more line out without stopping the unit?
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#7
Old 07-13-2018, 04:16 PM
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Location: Lincoln, IL
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Quote:
Originally Posted by xizor View Post
I admit it has been many years since I used a weed whacker, do they still come with the bump feed system where you put the whole spool of string on there and when the line breaks, you bump the bottom on the ground to feed more line out without stopping the unit?
Mine has automatic feed—no bumping required.
#8
Old 07-13-2018, 04:53 PM
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Join Date: Jun 1999
Location: Milwaukee, WI
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Thudlow Boink View Post
Mine has automatic feed—no bumping required.
How does it know when it needs more?
#9
Old 07-13-2018, 05:07 PM
Isaiah 1:15 Screw the NRA.
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Join Date: May 2003
Location: SoCal
Posts: 49,607
Get a Ryobi. I love mine. A 40V battery gives you long-time power, and the string is really easy to refill into the trimmer head.

Remember, string is a consumable. You will go through a length with time. Sounds like the OP needs to refill his.
#10
Old 07-13-2018, 05:19 PM
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Join Date: Jun 2018
Posts: 18
It has been decades since I used a trimmer, but I recall that the best way to avoid constantly having to untangle it was to take care when winding the spool. I seem to remember you could get prewound spools but I used to get it in bulk and just kept a couple of already wound ones lying around

The solid blades are f*ing dangerous so if you go this route be sure to get some safety glasses

Have fun, I *really* hate yard work ��
#11
Old 07-13-2018, 06:04 PM
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Location: Milwaukee, WI
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ohiomstr2 View Post
Have fun, I *really* hate yard work ��
I just kill the grass near fence lines and right next to the mailbox and any other spots the mower can't reach. Haven't even started the trimmer in nearly a decade.
#12
Old 07-13-2018, 07:24 PM
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Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: Up nort'
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Joey P View Post
How does it know when it needs more?
My battery one lets out a tiny amount of string every time it starts up. So if I keep the button pressed I eventually run out of string. 4-5 times of start / let it stop and the string is back to a usable length.
#13
Old 07-13-2018, 07:57 PM
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Location: St. Louis, MO 50mi. West
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I've got an Echo battery powered unit that works well. Bump feed for the line and two speeds.
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#14
Old 07-13-2018, 08:31 PM
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Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: PDXLNT
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Quote:
Originally Posted by xizor View Post
I admit it has been many years since I used a weed whacker, do they still come with the bump feed system where you put the whole spool of string on there and when the line breaks, you bump the bottom on the ground to feed more line out without stopping the unit?
I have an older B&D trimmer that I lent out to someone and got back broken because you just can't make some people understand that there were only SOME brands of trimmer that did the bump thing and the one I loaned out was NOT one of those--and now the head is cracked. Cost to fix was comparable to replacement so I did that instead. Jerk never did pay me back for fucking over my yard tools. This is why I don't usually loan things out--truly, no good deed goes unpunished.

And who doesn't wear eye protection when weed whacking? My BFF wanted to try it (she'd never used one before) and was a little head scratchy when I told her to change into long pants, closed toe shoes and eye wear before I'd let her learn how to run it. Fifteen minutes later she figured out I'm not an alarmist. I have stealth blackberry coming up all over, you do NOT want that in your eye! Or your leg either. Ow.

Last edited by SmartAleq; 07-13-2018 at 08:33 PM.
#15
Old 07-13-2018, 10:31 PM
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Join Date: Nov 2005
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DCnDC View Post
I recently bought a Ryobi 40v string trimmer for $150. It advertises "Gas-like power!" and that has so far seemed true. Runs for about 30-40 minutes on a full charge, and the battery fully charges in about 90 minutes. Also has the ability to attach to other tools like an edger head, blower, pole saw, tiller, and others.

As for the string problem, there are those "blade" trimmer heads like this. I've never used one myself so I can't vouch for their effectiveness. I'm certain there must be other alternatives.
I just switched to that Ryobi - its a most excellent trimmer. Easy to reload as well. I've fouond the Ryobi branded 'twisted' string to be surprisingly good.

To the OP - a few things to extend string life -

a) don't trim so close to the object - you should be hitting with the tips of the string, not close to the head of the unit.

b) you don't have to trim at 'full speed' all the time - sometimes trimming slower around some of these objects helps quite a bit.

c) buy good string.

(a) + (b) usually means your overheating and weaking the string closer to the head, which will lead to breakage - if the tips are cutting the grass, they don't heat up as much and they have nothing to 'flex' against to weaken.

If you're trimming around serious stuff (serious weeds, not just high grass at a fence line) - you may need blades instead - they make these - just watch your toes.
#16
Old 07-14-2018, 07:19 AM
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Join Date: Jun 2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DCnDC View Post
I recently bought a Ryobi 40v string trimmer for $150. It advertises "Gas-like power!" and that has so far seemed true. Runs for about 30-40 minutes on a full charge, and the battery fully charges in about 90 minutes. Also has the ability to attach to other tools like an edger head, blower, pole saw, tiller, and others.
This. I have this one too, and I LOVE it.

I also have the pole saw and the hedge trimmer for this system, as well.
#17
Old 07-14-2018, 08:26 AM
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Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Western Pennsylvania
Posts: 29,022
We love the 40 volt WORX trimmer. Light weight, quiet, self feeding line, easy to replace spools (which are "free", you just pay shipping).
#18
Old 07-14-2018, 09:18 AM
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Join Date: Jul 2001
Location: Colorado Rockies.
Posts: 12,524
Quote:
Originally Posted by SmartAleq View Post
...And who doesn't wear eye protection when weed whacking? My BFF wanted to try it (she'd never used one before) and was a little head scratchy when I told her to change into long pants, closed toe shoes and eye wear before I'd let her learn how to run it. Fifteen minutes later she figured out I'm not an alarmist. I have stealth blackberry coming up all over, you do NOT want that in your eye! Or your leg either. Ow.
x10

I've a commercial grade Husqvarna. And live in the Rocky Mountains. As my location suggests, we have lots and lots of rocks. That's pretty much all my 'yard' is.

We don't 'mow'. We do string trim the entire 'yard' about twice a year. Around the fire pit and such.

A rule at this elevation is to always wear good sunglasses. You just have to. So that's not a problem But if you don't wear full length pants when running the thing, you will get bloody.

I'm sorry to not have good advice for the OP other than in my experience, it's always worth the extra money to buy the best you can find when it comes to tools.
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#19
Old 07-14-2018, 11:43 AM
Isaiah 1:15 Screw the NRA.
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Location: SoCal
Posts: 49,607
Eyewear? I wear a full face shield when I weed whack. Flying pebbles and such can damage more than just your eyes.
#20
Old 07-15-2018, 08:33 PM
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Join Date: Jun 2013
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kayaker View Post
We love the 40 volt WORX trimmer. Light weight, quiet, self feeding line, easy to replace spools (which are "free", you just pay shipping).

Thank you for the replies everyone. I decided to give this model a try—-it’s on sale for $100 with free ground shipping plus for $8 they’ll throw in 2 replacement spools!

If I think of it I’ll report how I made out for anyone that cares.


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