Which grass trimmer is best?

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Do I need a corded electric grass trimmer?


Corded electric grass trimmers are less expensive than their gas powered grass trimmer counterparts and they are also less weight. Further, electric grass trimmers are easier to start (plug and play), quieter, less costly to operate and create far less direct pollution.


In terms of the disadvantages, electric grass trimmers require an extension cord and need to be within reach of an outlet; the limit is up to 200 feet for a Stihl FSE 60 grass trimmer (not typically a constraint for average lots in Toronto).  The limit for electric grass trimmers other than the Stihl FSE 60 (i.e. electric grass trimmers bought at places other than alpinelawn.com) is typically 100 feet, which can be a constraint for typical lots in Toronto.


The curved-shaft corded electric Stihl FSE 60 grass trimmer is probably one of the only models of electric grass trimmer that can handle weeds and tall grass. This is the only corded electric grass trimmer Stihl makes, and it's lighter and less expensive than gas grass trimmers, but heavier (8.8 pounds) and more expensive than most other corded electric grass trimmers.


The Stihl FSE 60 grass trimmer uses a standard bump-feed system, which is extra convenient to refill the line (you feed it through two eyelets, then wind). Check out our alpinelawn.com youtube video on how to refill a trimmer head with string for grass trimmers.


The 5.5-amp motor is top-mounted, which makes for good balance and is easy to use. The Stihl FSE 60 electric grass trimmer can use a 200-foot extension cord (as long as it is a 12-gauge cord) and the rated noise level is 60 decibels, which is quite good for a grass trimmer.


Is it better to buy a gas grass trimmer?


Gas grass trimmers are better at trimming tough weeds and tall grass than electric grass trimmers, but they're also louder and cause more direct pollution than electric grass trimmers. Most are heavier and require a little more maintenance as well (i.e. running it out of gas at the end of each season, cleaning and/or replacing the air filter and changing the spark plug).


Aruguably, what may be the best of both worlds is the new Stihl FSA 85 Lithium-Ion Cordless Straight-Shaft Grass Trimmer. These Lithium-Ion cordless products from Stihl are the most exciting line of new products to be introduced at alpinelawn.com and more are coming (hint: Stihl Lithium-Ion Cordless Lawnmower).


Which is better a two-stroke gas grass trimmer or a four-stroke gas grass trimmer?


Gas-powered grass trimmers with four-stroke engines are quieter and pollute less than two-stroke grass trimmers. They also have the benefit of using straight gasoline instead of requiring a gas/oil mixture. On the downside, they're quite a bit heavier than two-stroke grass trimmers and require regular lubrication. While two-stroke grass trimmers pollute more, this has been improved recently by the development of premium synthetic 2-cycle oils and catalytic converters being added to the gas grass trimmer engines.


With the introduction of the STIHL 4-MIX® engine, STIHL unveils a design which includes the best of 2-stroke and 4-stroke technologies combined. The new STIHL 4-MIX® engine offers more horsepower, more torque and less vibration than its 2-stroke counterpart.  Built with the patented STIHL lubrication system, it runs on standard 50:1 fuel-mix, thus eliminating the need for a separate oil chamber.


The 28.4 cc Stihl FS 90 R 4-MIX® grass trimmer weighs only 11.7 pounds. Featuring proven low-emission engine and a loop handle, the FS 90 R grass trimmer is ideal for landscape professionals. Its solid, straight driveshaft works with a variety of cutting attachments—giving you more flexibility in grass trimming applications.


Also, there is the traditional 2-cycle 23.9 cc Shindaiwa T242 grass trimmer which weighs slightly more at 12.5 lbs. Although less displacement than the Stihl FS 90 R grass trimmer, it performs very well and is great value for the money as it also includes a solid steel drive shaft, but is less expensive.


If you are a commercial landscaper or a discerning homeowner, either the Stihl or Shindaiwa grass trimmers (as well as the comparable Echo SRM-266T grass trimmer) will serve you well.


Four-stroke grass trimmers take straight gas -- you don't have to mix gas and oil. They also cause less direct pollution, however they are heavier grass trimmers. The four-stroke 25 cc Honda HHT25SLTAT grass trimmer offers smooth, vibration-free performance. The engine can be tilted in any position without danger of damaging it due to lack of lubrication, as it operates with an oil mist system. The HHT25SLTAT straight-shaft grass trimmer is slightly heavier than its two-stroke grass trimmer counterpart at 13 pounds.


In conclusion, alpinelawn.com will try and help you decide which grass trimmer is right for you. Whatever the size of your yard, buying a grass trimmer that's large enough and has enough power to handle the job will make lawn trimming a job you look forward to. Check us out at alpinelawn.com or drop in and see us at our Toronto location @ 2921 Kennedy Road, Toronto for a no obligation, no hassle demonstration of all these grass trimmers to see them in action. Follow us on twitter, Find us on Facebook and keep checking back on our Blog for upcoming reviews and unboxings.



Last update: May 15, 2012


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