How to Choose a Trimmer for Your Garden

Last Updated on August 27, 2020 by Daniel Cooper

How to choose a trimmer: The fashion for a mowed lawn came to us from Europe. Since then, everyone who wants his plot to look respectable must create a small branch of nature near the house in the form of a neat lawn or even a garden plot.

How to Choose a Trimmer

How to Choose a Trimmer

What? Let the grass and shrubs grow freely somewhere in your home, in the steppe or in the forest, but here you are the owner and the laws established by you apply. For a lawn, the law is simple – to be neatly trimmed, not to disgrace your owner. And in order to monitor compliance with the law, there is a special tool – a trimmer.

In this article, we’ll walk you through this device and how to choose the trimmer that best suits your needs. The word “trimmer,” like the lawn fashion, comes from England. Comes from the English “to trim” – trim, put in order, trim.

The purpose of the scythe and the trimmer is different: the scythe is intended for harvesting hay, a trimmer is a tool for cutting lawns and bushes. From this point of view, garden shears are much closer to the trimmer, although today, trimmers are often used for mowing when it comes to small areas.

Before deciding how to choose a petrol or electric trimmer, familiarize yourself with the varieties of this device offered on the market.

Types of Trimmer

First of all, trimmers are classified according to the energy source used to power this device.

1. Petrol trimmers

Petrol trim tabs are powered by a two-stroke (rarely four-stroke) combustion engine. This engine is similar to those found on mopeds and light motorcycles. For this reason, the petrol trimmer got its second name – “brushcutter” (in particular, for the sound it makes when working).

A gasoline trimmer is a serious tool that can cover very large areas. These devices use motors ranging from 20 to 60 cubes. Their power reaches four horsepower, so petrol cutters are actively used for professional activities. Utilities purchase them – to care for urban lawns, gardeners, and landscape designers – as a professional tool, owners of small private farms that keep animals. For hay, as well as those who have a large enough personal plot to electric trimmer with it failed, but not big enough to get a lawnmower.


  • Large power range: The Large power range, allowing you to work with the thickest, densest grass and even small branches. This makes gasoline trimmers suitable not only for mowing lawns but also for working with shrubs.
  • The possibility of using metal knives: As well as power, this makes petrol trimmer a more versatile tool.
  • Autonomy: The petrol trimmer is not tied to an outlet (unlike an electric trimmer).
  • The long period of non-stop work: The trimmer can work up to two hours at one gas station.


  • High noise level: The crackle of a motorcycle engine in the immediate vicinity is very tiring, so if you have to work for a long time with a gasoline trimmer, it will not hurt to get earplugs;
  • Traffic fumes: This is how the internal combustion engine works, and there is nothing you can do about it;
  • Maintenance: Actually, any device requires maintenance, but especially the internal combustion engine. You will have to regularly flush the tank, monitor the oil level (for trimmers with a four-stroke engine) and gasoline (yes, and gasoline too, it is better to keep the tank full, since when pumping out the remaining fuel, all the sediment that is at the bottom gets into the engine, which is not very useful for a piston system).
  • High price compared to electric trimmers.

2. Electric trimmers

The basic element of the electric trimmer, its “heart,” is the electric motor. Due to the fact that these engines have a rather high mass-to-power ratio, a portable electrical appliance cannot be too powerful. Therefore, electric trimmers have their own niche: their task is to treat relatively small areas with not very lush vegetation. According to the power supply method, electric trimmers are divided into:

  • Network
  • Rechargeable

AC trimmers are generally more powerful than cordless trimmers. You can cut quite dense grass, and they will cope even with small branches. Working with an electric trimmer in a large area is inconvenient, as it involves the use of a long wire.

Battery trimmers are generally not very powerful. This is easily explained because the electric motor in the trimmer does quite energy-intensive work. Cordless trimmers are usually not equipped with powerful motors in order to ensure the longest possible operation without recharging. And in this case, charging is rarely enough for more than half an hour of continuous operation.

The only advantage of cordless trimmers overpowers trimmers is their autonomy. Most often they are purchased in order to care for a small lawn near the house, or in addition to a powerful lawnmower for working in hard-to-reach places. But if the grass in your area is too thick, if there are often tough weeds or young tree shoots, it is better to get a mains electric trimmer or gasoline.


  • Environmental friendliness: This, however, also applies to cordless trimmers. Unlike gasoline trims, electric trimmers do not produce harmful emissions, and you don’t have to breathe them;
  • Noiselessness: Electric trimmers, unlike gasoline ones, are fairly quiet;
  • Readiness to work: This is especially the case for mains powered trimmers, which are always ready to go. They do not need to be refueled, and there is no need to prepare an oil-gasoline mixture. Plugged in and ready;
  • Simple engine start: just press the button.


  • The limited radius of movement of the operator: This applies to mains powered trimmers. To increase the distance, you have to resort to using extension cords;
  • The cord interferes with work: The need to drag the tail of the electric wire with you not only limits your mobility, but also interferes with the process of cutting the grass: you can accidentally trip over the cord, or interrupt it with the cutting mechanism.

3. Multitrimmers

This type of trimmer stands out somewhat. If you haven’t decided yet, buy an electric or gasoline trimmer, which is better – pay attention to this option. Multitrimmers are both electric and gasoline. This tool’s main distinguishing feature is its versatility: the device is equipped with a whole set of attachments that radically change its functionality.

The most common attachments are:

  • trimmer reel with line (spool);
  • metal knife;
  • brush cutter;
  • Chain Saw.

Trimmer Cutting Systems – Knives and Fishing Lines

As a working body in modern trimmers is used:

1. Spool with the Cutting line

Different models use different line diameters. Typically a line range of 1.2-2.5mm. The thicker the line, the denser grass it will take. During work, the line gradually becomes thinner and needs to be replaced. This procedure is done by unwinding the line from the spool.

There are two line feed options: semi-automatic and automatic. In the first case, to rewind the new line, you need to press the spool to the ground. Automatic feeding does not require any action from the operator. It’s just that every time the engine is turned on, a few millimeters of fishing line are fed instead of the used one.

2. Plastic knives

Like fishing lines are consumables, but they allow you to work on more difficult areas while maintaining the line’s inherent safety. The plastic knife easily cuts even dry, tough grass and, due to its flexibility, will not break on a random stone.

3. Metal knives

Perfectly cope with the densest thickets, including overgrown burdocks and burdocks, they even take a bush’s young shoots. But, of course, they require much more care when working. Such knives are often installed on gasoline trimmers, but some powerful electric scythes can also be equipped with them.

4. Circular knives

Outwardly similar to a circular saw blade, they are close to it by the principle of action. Due to their strength, they can cope with the densest grass and with rather dense branches of the bush.

Engine Trim position

A distinction is made between the bottom and top engine trimmers. Bottom engine placement is typical for low power trim tabs with the light engine. Often equipped with small wheels to compensate for the weight of the engine. Most often, these models are equipped with a line-based cutting system.

An overhead engine in trim tabs and brush cutters provides better balance as the center of gravity is closer to the grip point. This is better for maneuverability, but at the same time, you have to carry the bulk of the weight on yourself.

Which is not particularly pleasant, because the top engine trims are traditionally more powerful and, therefore, heavier. As a cutting system, both the fishing line and all types of knives are used.

Ergonomics of Trimmers

Trimmer ergonomics refers to a number of design features that make the operator’s job easier. These include various options for the support bar, the shape of the handle, etc.

1. Barbells

They are straight and curved. The straight bar is versatile and works equally well for mowing lawns and working with shrubs. Curved bar trimmers are more geared towards the classic work of mowing grass.

Still, the rods can be detachable and one-piece. The split bar is used to reduce the size of the trimmer during storage and transportation. There are also telescopic rods, the length of which can be changed by adjusting the trimmer to your height.

2. Handles

Sticks are attached to the boom approximately in the middle and serve for more comfortable maneuvering. Three types of handles are used:

  • The D-handle looks like a plastic loop. It is taken with a grip from above. Convenient in cases where you need to raise the trimmer higher for processing bushes.
  • The T-handle resembles a bicycle handlebar and is used the same way. Convenient since both hands can be used when maneuvering. Good for heavy models.
  • The J-handle is most reminiscent of a classic scythe handle and, accordingly, allows for movements similar to those of a mower.

3. Swivel mowing head

This option makes it easier to cut the lawn edge as the head and cutting system can be rotated 90 degrees. Convenient but worth the extra money.

4. Carrying strap

It is used not only and not so much for carrying as for unloading the operator’s hands directly in the process of work. There are two types: regular belt and backpack-type belt. The first is simply put on over the shoulder, and the second is put on the back like a backpack, evenly distributing the load on both shoulders (this is important if you need to work with a heavy trimmer for a long time).

5. Anti-vibration system

Partially removes vibration, which, firstly, is very tiring during work, and secondly, it causes significant harm to the body.

What to look for before choosing a trimmer

Which trimmer should you choose? There is no one-size-fits-all solution for all consumers in nature. When choosing, one should be guided by the following factors:

  • Land area;
  • Type of vegetation on the site;
  • The presence of obstacles – stones, bushes, etc.

If your area is teeming with rocks, a knife trimmer is clearly not for you. Choose a trimmer with a line-based cutting system or one that has several interchangeable attachments. Do not overpay for knives, as they can deform or break on stones, and working with an unbalanced cutting system can cause irreparable damage to the trimmer gear.

If you have trees in your area and do not cut them regularly enough to avoid developing shoots, take a trimmer with metal knives or a disc.

If you are using a hay trimmer, a brushcutter is the best option. For a small lawn under a window, a mains powered electric trimmer is suitable. If the lawn is small but located in the site’s depth, and you take care of it regularly, buy a cordless trimmer.


If you are the owner of the garden, and apart from the lawn, you have to deal with shrubs and tree pruning, the multi trimmer will become a reliable companion for you. We hope that we were able to answer the question “How to choose a trimmer.” Have a nice day and pleasant shopping!


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