How to choose consumables for trimmers and lawn mowers, selection tips and reviews
Consumables for trimmers and lawn mowers are represented by cutting equipment — knives and fishing lines.
fishing line (cord, string) — a nylon thread that does an excellent job of mowing small and fresh grass, while not damaging nearby trees. Not afraid of collision with hard obstacles (stones, stumps, branches). Mounted on low-power trimmers and lawn mowers,
Knife — cutting equipment, with which they process old, dense and tough vegetation, thick weeds, cut branches and thin tree trunks. Designed for powerful garden equipment.
Compared to a fishing line, the knife provides a higher performance garden tool and lasts longer. But in a collision with an obstacle, such a part is often damaged. In this case, the gearbox and motor of the trimmer or lawn mower may break.
Coil (spool, bobbin) — the main part of the mowing head, but these terms are often considered synonymous. Holds and feeds the cord. Some reels are equipped with a knife. Spools are made of steel, aluminum or impact-resistant plastic.
spider head — equipped with several holes for the entry of fishing line. These models withstand difficult operating conditions and are compatible with different models of trimmers and lawn mowers. But the feed line is carried out only manually.
The line is straight and twisted. The first unwinds better and lasts longer, the second makes less noise during mowing, which is important when working with the tool for a long time.
Section shape — affects the effectiveness of mowing and is selected depending on the type of vegetation on the site.
There are fishing lines of the following form:
- circle — cheap and durable line for mowing young grass with a low-power tool, but not suitable for processing plants with thick stems and dry grass;
- square — mows tall grass, young shoots of shrubs and thick stems, cuts more accurately and more efficiently than round line, makes less noise, but will cost more and is consumed faster;
- twisted square – has increased aerodynamic properties, which reduces fuel consumption by the trimmer;
- star (pentagon) — cuts shrubs and dry grass, such fishing line is characterized by the advantages and disadvantages of an analogue with a square section;
- triangle — used to process dense vegetation and lawn, helps to get rid of weeds;
- heptagon — used for mowing weeds in a large area;
- ellipse (oval) – suitable for clearing thickets, effective against burdock and hogweed;
- four-petal (clover) — A good choice for lawn care.
Diameter — determines the efficiency and service life of the cord. It is selected based on the manufacturer’s recommendations specified in the instructions. Too thin fishing line will disable the working unit of the trimmer, and very thick line will create an excessive load on the engine of the unit, which will lead to its breakdown. A thicker string wears out the mowing head faster.
Other guidelines when choosing the optimal diameter are the nature of the vegetation and the area of the cultivated area. The thicker and denser the grass, the more spacious the area, the larger the diameter of the cord.
There are fishing lines of the following diameters:
- 1.2-1.6 mm — used in low-power electric (network) and battery trimmers (0.5-0.7 kW), used for regular lawn mowing;
- 2 mm — works in tandem with more powerful electric trimmers (from 1 kW) and lawn mowers (up to 0.9 kW), perfectly cuts fresh and old grass;
- 2.4 mm — used in medium power lawn mowers (up to 1.5 kW);
- 2.7 mm — used in semi-professional equipment;
- 3 mm — designed for professional garden tools, perfectly cuts dead wood and weeds;
- 3.3-4 mm — used in very powerful professional electric and gasoline trimmers (up to 4 kW).
Length — depends on the frequency of use of the trimmer. If the unit is rarely used, a 15 m long fishing line is suitable — this is enough for the season. For more regular work, you will need a cord of 40-60 m. If we are talking about daily processing of vegetation with a professional tool, you should choose a fishing line 500 m long.
Nylon — strong, durable and lightweight material. To reduce the cost, polyethylene is added to some products.
reinforced (with core) — more reliable and more resistant to wear due to the presence of a steel, aluminum or graphite core inside. At the same time, mowing efficiency also increases. Such a fishing line will cost more than a regular one. It is installed on powerful lawn mowers and trimmers.
The fishing line is dyed by manufacturers in different colors based on the diameter, purpose or sectional shape. In practice, black line gets dirty less, and red or blue line is more visible in the grass.
For lawn mower / trimmer — made of metal or plastic. These knives are serrated and bladed.
For lawn mower — a double-sided blade that looks like a propeller. Made from high quality steel.
jagged — a disk with characteristic sharp protrusions (teeth). This knife quickly gains momentum, but due to the high moment of inertia, it accelerates the wear of the drive mechanism (reducer) and the trimmer motor. Used in powerful tools designed to work with bushes, thick stems, branches and thin tree trunks.
Number of teeth — determines the operational properties of the serrated knife. The higher this parameter, the smoother the cut and the lower the chance of the knife jamming. At the same time, such a knife grinds grass worse.
Approximate number of teeth for various tasks:
- 2 — for lawn, soft and low plants;
- 3 — for weeds, weeds and young grass;
- 4 — for herbaceous growth;
- 8 — for thick-stemmed weeds, tall grass, reeds, gardening and haymaking;
- 19 — for thickets and thin trees;
- 24 — for small shrubs;
- 26 — for shoots of old shrubs;
- 40 or 80 — for shrubs, dead wood, stiff shoots, young trees and reeds.
There are two types of serrated knives.
Solid — a disc without holes, which is installed on lawn mowers with a gasoline engine with a volume of at least 30-40 cm3. Perfectly mows rare and thick grass, cuts small bushes.
Perforated — weighs less due to holes in the structure, therefore, gains momentum faster. It is used for mowing shrubs, tall and lawn grass, cutting small trees. Mounted on low-power garden tools.
vane — equipped with sharp protruding blades. It is lighter than a serrated knife and is used in low-power trimmers. It is characterized by a minimum moment of inertia, which reduces wear on the drive mechanism. Suitable for mowing thick grass.
Number of blades – affects the performance of the bladed knife. The more blades, the more productive the work with the trimmer. A smaller number of blades gives a higher degree of grass chopping, but puts more stress on the gearbox.
Approximate number of blades for various tasks:
- 2 — for soft grass;
- 3 — for tall weeds;
- 4 or more — for making hay, cutting hard grass and overgrowth.
Blade diameter (for trimmers and lawn mowers) — determines the efficiency of work, as well as the compatibility of the unit with cutting equipment. The larger the blade diameter, the more grass the tool will cut in one pass.
For harvesting hay, mowing large areas and other large-scale work, a knife with a diameter of 300 mm or more is suitable. But cutting grass next to a flower bed or garden path requires a knife of a smaller diameter — otherwise you can cut off useful plants.
It is forbidden to install a knife larger than that specified by the manufacturer (for this purpose it is necessary to remove the protective cover, which will greatly increase the risk of injury).
Knife length (for lawn mowers) — as well as the diameter affects the performance of the device and the compatibility of the cutting element with it. A longer blade will cut more grass in one pass. It is selected according to the mowing width of the lawn mower. Exceeding this parameter will damage the drum and motor of the device. It is optimal if the gap between the ends of the knife and the drum is more than 1 cm.
The diameter of the landing (internal) hole is 20 mm and 25.4 mm. Separate knives are supplied with adapters, which makes it possible to use them in tandem with any models of lawn mowers.
Thickness — ranges from 0.8-2 mm. With an increase in this parameter, the service life of the knife increases. Thin cutting parts are suitable for low-power tools, but cutting equipment with a thickness of 1.6-2 mm is installed only on professional trimmers.
Plastic — light material, which is important if the knife is installed on a low-power trimmer. A plastic knife quickly gains momentum, copes well with burdock, dead wood, nettles, various small and dense grass.
It is worth knowing that plastic is brittle and breaks down when it hits hard obstacles. These knives are only bladed. They are used in tandem with electric models equipped with a curved rod.
Metal — Stronger and more durable than plastic, withstands collisions with hard objects, while this material allows you to achieve greater cutting ability. Therefore, a metal knife is suitable for cutting any vegetation, including tree shoots and shrubs. Metal knives are serrated and bladed. Suitable for gasoline garden tools with a straight shaft.
There are knives with victorious soldering, designed for high loads. Installed on professional units.
There are also double-sided knives, the blades of which are sharpened on both sides. If one side is dull, then to continue work it is enough to rearrange the other side.
Coil and spider head
Number of coil strings — in different models is 1-8. Most reels are designed for 2 strings, in spider heads this figure is usually 4-8.
Line feed — determines the operational properties of the coil. Presented in three options.
- Automatic — the most «advanced» method, eliminating the need to monitor the length and stock of fishing line. The fishing line is fed when the engine speed is lowered by the operator. Disadvantages: high cost, increased thread consumption, complex design, which reduces the reliability of the coil. Such models are rare.
- semi-automatic – balance of price, reliability and ease of use. The line feed is carried out by lightly tapping the bottom of the reel on the ground (there is a button on it). Spools with this line feed are most common.
- Mechanical (manual) — involves pulling the fishing line manually by the operator. In this case, trimmer overload is excluded and line consumption is minimized. Such coils are the cheapest and most reliable. Cons: you need to independently control the thread consumption, before lengthening the fishing line, the trimmer turns off. These shortcomings make mowing difficult.
Distinguish single-section and two-section spools. In the first case, the spool is equipped with one groove for laying the cord. Two-section models have two such grooves, which prolongs the life and makes the device easier to use. In two-section spools, the fishing line does not get tangled.
Some semi-automatic reels are equipped with a metal spout of the escape mechanism button. These models are more reliable than analogues with a plastic button, since the metal is less sensitive to impacts on the ground.
There are also semi-automatic spools with a bearing — such a part reduces wear and prolongs the life of the product.
The principle of charging the fishing line – affects the comfort when using the trimmer. According to this parameter, the coils are divided into two types.
- fast-charging (non-separable) — does not require disconnecting the coil from the trimmer, which facilitates the use of garden tools and saves time. To charge, just slide the end of the fishing line into the reel. A similar method is inherent in automatic and separate semi-automatic spools.
- collapsible — involves turning off the unit and removing the coil from the trimmer, after which the desired length of fishing line is wound. These coils are cheaper and belong to manual and semi-automatic models.
There are branded (original) and universal coils. The former are compatible only with specific models of one brand, the latter are suitable for most brands of trimmers and lawn mowers. Branded models are more reliable, but more expensive and less common.
Bore thread — determines the compatibility of the coil with a particular trimmer model. The following thread diameters are available: M8; M10; M12; M14. Some reels are supplied with a set of adapters for different diameters for compatibility with various tools.