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What are lawn trimmers?

What are lawn trimmers?
(Image credit: Getty Images)

What are lawn trimmers? If you’ve been wondering how to define these brilliant pieces of garden equipment – listen up. The best lawn trimmers (opens in new tab) can transform your garden into a work of art.

Yes, the best gas lawn mowers (opens in new tab) will cut your grass and keep it looking neat and tidy. But the top-rated lawn trimmers go one step further, helping to cut weeds, create a perfectly manicured patch of grass and go places no lawn mower could. Plus, according to these spring lawn care tips (opens in new tab), now could be just the time to start prepping your yard for the new season.

To find out everything you need to know about lawn trimmers, we spoke to Jason Dengler, Group Product Manager of Outdoor Product at BLACK + DECKER (opens in new tab). Along with answering ‘what are lawn trimmers’, Jason will explain just why they are worth adding to your outdoor garden tools arsenal and when you should use one.

What are lawn trimmers?

Also known as weed wackers or string trimmers, lawn trimmers are a brilliant and versatile piece of outdoor garden equipment that can be used to cut small areas of your lawn, especially in hard to reach places. They can be referred to as weed wackers because they cut weeds. And they get the name string trimmers, because they use a nylon line to clip the grass. 

As Jason explains: “String trimmers, also known as lawn trimmers, are handheld tools that are designed to spin filament line very fast for cutting grass along property lines, homes, fences, trees and more. String trimmers are precise, getting into tighter spaces opposed to lawn mowers.”

Lawn trimmers can be powered in one of two ways – either by electric or gas. You can buy a corded lawn trimmer which is plugged into a socket, you could invest in a cordless lawn trimmer which is powered by a rechargeable battery or you could splurge and buy a gas lawn trimmer.

In the professional gardening world, gardeners will most likely use the latter. That’s due to the high run time and the sheer amount of power gas lawn trimmers come with. However, that’s not to say the best electric lawn trimmers (opens in new tab) aren’t worth a look in. 

Electric lawn trimmers have come a long way since they were first introduced in the early 1970s and they can be more suited to residential home-use. We say this because electric lawn trimmers are quieter, have zero emissions and don’t require the constant top-up – or expense – of gas.

How do lawn trimmers differ to weed wackers?

According to Jason, lawn trimmers and weed wackers are one in the same. He says: “BLACK+DECKER trademarked the term ‘weedwacker’ similarly to ‘dustbuster’.”

We’ve also seen lawn trimmers referred to as:

·  Weed eaters

·  Weed whackers

·  Line trimmer

·  Strimmer

·  Weed whip

·  Brush Cutter

But in all cases, this is the name given to garden tools that are used for cutting grass and small weeds in a horizontal manner. 

What are lawn trimmers

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Are lawn trimmers the same thing as lawn edgers? 

As we’ve just seen, lawn trimmers can be referred to in a range of ways. However, that’s where the similarities stop. Lawn trimmers and lawn edgers are different. 

As Jason explains: “String trimmers are designed to cut horizontally, cutting grass length down, and edgers are designed to cut vertically, to clean edges along driveways and sidewalks.”

Lawn trimmers therefore do exactly what their name suggests – they trim the lawn in places you want your grass shorter or in areas where your lawn mower can’t reach. 

“But that said, BLACK+DECKER string trimmers include a feature which rotates the head to complete both applications, trimming and edging,” Jason adds. 

So it’s easy to see why lawn trimmers and lawn edgers get confused with being the same thing.

What are the benefits of using a lawn trimmer?

The benefits of using a lawn trimmer are wide and varied. For one, as Jason tells us: “Lawn trimmers cut grass where mowers cannot reach, including applications such as: along home foundations, fences, trees and gardens and more “

But lawn trimmers are also lightweight – especially in comparison to a lawn mower, which requires some weight behind it to power through the cutting of the lawn.

Lawn trimmers also require less maintenance, they are quieter than their heavier counterparts and, if you choose a cordless option, they are much more environmentally friendly as they release zero emissions. 

Plus, lawn trimmers are easy to use. You simply power them on and get to cutting. You can also enjoy a much shorter amount of hands-on time when it comes to trimming your lawn as you would usually only use a lawn trimmer for a short patch of grass. 

Should you use your lawn trimmer before or after cutting your grass?

According to Jason, string trimmers should be used after cutting the grass. But why is this? 

“The area in need of trimming is much more apparent after mowing,” Jason says. “If you trim first, you may find out there’s more work to be done after mowing – ultimately increasing your yard-work time.”

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Becks is a freelance lifestyle writer who has worked extensively for Top Ten Reviews during the past year. She started her career in print journalism at a local newspaper and has since then worked across digital and social media for food titles and home interior magazines. When she’s not writing, she’s reading and when she’s not reading, she’s writing.