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Knowing your use is important before a string trimmer purchase

August 4, 2021 -  By
Before purchasing a trimmer, think about operator comfort and how and where the trimmer will be used. (Photo: Spencer’s Lawn Care)

Before purchasing a trimmer, think about operator comfort and how and where the trimmer will be used. (Photo: Spencer’s Lawn Care)

When it comes to purchasing a string trimmer, contractors say use should be the top factor to consider. Understanding specifically what tasks you intend to use the trimmer for will help inform your purchasing decision.

“Are you cutting small lots? Or are you cutting big condo associations?” says Michael Bedell, owner of Bedell Property Management in Milford, Mich. “Is that piece of equipment getting used minutes a day or hours a day?”

Bedell Property Management provides 40 percent maintenance, 35 percent design/build and 25 percent snow and ice management services to an 85 percent residential 15 percent commercial clientele.

Talking with your crew about features is another important step. Operator comfort should be a priority. Keep in mind features that will help make the job easier and more comfortable.

“For me, being a smaller woman doing trimming the majority of the day, I need something that isn’t going to be heavy and quickly wear me out,” says Savanaha Spencer, co-owner of Spencer’s Lawn Care in East Canton, Ohio.

Spencer’s Lawn Care provides lawn care, maintenance and snow and ice services for a 70 percent residential and 30 percent commercial clientele.

A great way to narrow down your choices is to talk with your local dealer or product representative. Bedell says the hunt for a new piece of equipment is a great way to start a conversation with your local dealer. You can discuss use and where you see your business going in the future.

“It also gives you the opportunity to try some other things as opportunities come along in the future with new equipment,” he says.

Contractors say testing equipment is the best way to decide if a piece of equipment is going to work for you, your team or your jobs.

Spencer points out, “If your dealer will allow you to demo some before you purchase, that is always a great way to get a feel for one.”

And, when purchasing a string trimmer, be sure to add gloves, eyewear, ear protection, long pants and boots.

 

Husqvarna

Jack Easterly

Jack Easterly

Jack Easterly
Professional brand manager for handheld equipment

The No. 1 thing to think about would be application. What is the client’s contract for? That’s going to tell them what tool they need. The power-to-weight number is really important to make sure you have appropriate power, but again, not too much. Another thing to keep in mind is operator comfort. You want to be able to be comfortable throughout the day. You’ll be more productive. You’ll be more focused and less prone to make errors. Reliability and durability are much more important because it could cost that company money. Do your research. Look at the technical specs. Start with your job site. Find a good demo program and try before you buy.

 

Echo

Mark Taylor

Mark Taylor

Mark Taylor
Product manager

Focusing on professional-level equipment will ensure that the end users purchase equipment that meets daily needs and delivers longevity of a unit. Key features that should be planned for include the comfort of holding the unit. Most professional models offer overmolded handles and triggers for extended comfort. Vibration reduction mounts also create a more comfortable experience. Overall cutting size, or swath, of a unit is very important. Standard swath ranges for professional models typically range from 17 inches to 20 inches. A larger cutting swath enables the user to cut material in less time. Some commercial-grade models also offer a high-torque version that provides greater torque at the cutting head, enabling faster cutting in heavy weeds. Finding models with tool-less access to air filters, spark plugs and fuel filters will save the user time and money.

 

Stihl

Andrew Johnson

Andrew Johnson

Andrew Johnson
Product manager

The main factors that drive product purchasing decisions are overall power, durability, performance and dependability. Some other factors users should consider are the planned use for the trimmer, ease of use, power source, mobility and weight. Contractors should also look at the total cost of ownership, which includes initial costs and ongoing costs, such as maintenance and fuel. Battery-powered products have come a long way and have benefits like low maintenance, low noise, no fuel and zero exhaust emissions. Visit your local dealer. They’re valuable resources for information, and users can also physically pick up the unit and see what the comfort features and usage are like. Dealers can provide great advice on product selection, proper equipment use and recommended protective equipment.

 

Ego Power Plus

Gerry Barnaby

Gerry Barnaby

Gerry Barnaby
Director of excitement

Pros usually reach for two-cycle gas trimmers, but they are loud, emit exhaust and impart vibration to the user. Battery-powered string trimmers now have the power of gas but with a fraction of the noise, no exhaust and very little vibration. So, which one is right for you? It depends on how much time you spend “on the stick.” If all you do all day is run a string trimmer, then gas may be your first choice, but the cost of converting to a battery-powered unit can pay for itself in a couple of years with much lower fuel costs, no maintenance and much happier employees.

Christina Herrick

About the Author:

Christina Herrick is the editor of Landscape Management magazine. Known for her immersive approach to travel from coast to coast in her previous stint as senior editor of American Fruit Grower Magazine, she uses social media (Twitter/Instagram @EditorHerrick) to share her experiences on the road with her audience. Herrick has a degree in journalism from Ohio Northern University and has been in B2B publishing for seven years. She can be reached at cherrick@northcoastmedia.net.

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