Strimmers - blade or line?

9 Oct 2014
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United Kingdom
Needing to buy a new strimmer. I find that I can't get along with the ones where you have to bump-feed a line and am thinking of trying a plastic blade instead. I'd like a corded one - not battery or petrol. Does any one have any recommendations for a corded strimmer that users either a blade, or a RELIABLE automatically fed line that's easy to change? The strimmer will be used for tidying lawn edges, and also clearing weeds and long grass in 'wilder' areas - probably nothing too jungle-like though.
"Which" recommends the Ryobi RLT6030 (now replaced by the RLT503OS I believe) but I have read some very bad reviews about the lines on those. Any comments?
Oh and my budget is £100 max...
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Check out the electric range by Stihl, Clare......stretch if you can to the FSE81/82 but if not, there's a cheaper FSE 52.
Line strimmers are better, and the bump head shouldn't be an issue. The secret is to power off just as you bump the head down onto a soft surface.....the line should feed out fine.
John :)
Thanks John. With my old strimmer (a rather cheap Bosch) I always did the bumping while the power was running, so maybe that was the trouble? And more often than not the line just disappeared and was a right pain to get out again. I have just started out as a self-employed mower/strimmer so need a decent one, but can't afford anything too pricey - at least not yet. Thought I'd go for under £100 just to get started and then if things take off I could buy a better one. A false economy maybe... But my first job is the day after tomorrow and I need a strimmer for that!
Just read this review of the Stihl FSE52 on the Which? website:
"The bump feed worked well, but if the line broke off completely we found it very difficult to feed out more line. The cover over the line is tricky to get off, and line is encased in a solid plastic reel. We had to break this open to release more line, something that not every user would be able to do."
Anyone else had this experience?
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All I can say Clare is that the Stihl dealer will happily show you how to bump and change the line.....they are very good at that.
If you are going into this in a professional way, you'll need to consider a petrol machine....a Honda one preferably for easy starting. It comes with a brush cutter blade as well as a strimming head.
John :)
Yes, if this whole idea takes off, will def. consider getting a more professional machine. Now need to find a Stihl dealer in my area - tomorrow!
You can always hire, if it means losing the job......however, if Santa appears early, ask him for a Honda UMK 425 or equivalent - it comes with it's own harness, and if you shout at it, it'll start.
Good luck with work!
John :)
Oooh yes I like the look of that, it comes with a harness and everything! :D
This is the machine I send out on loan, as it's so easy to start.
Cow horn handlebars are a must too, for use all day.
Worth a thought is that the professional manufacturers do machines with one engine and several attachments, so your strimmer becomes a hedge cutter......but a D handle is needed for that - and so on.
John :)
I went for the stihl combi system , the KM 90 , and have both a line strummer head and the brush cutter. To be honest I found the line feed was a bit hit and miss. Often the line would tighten inside the head and wouldn't come out. I got quite adept at whipping the head apart to clear it. The brush cutter works well too and is less bulky. The blade does wear away though and of course it doesn't like stones .
If you are edging then the edging attachment is worth a thought. I did think it was a gimmick when I first saw it in the brocher but took the plunge and have found it very useful although again one has to watch the blade wearing. I also brought the tiller , second hand this time from eBay , and was again surprised. Not quite as useful as I hoped as I was thinking it may work as a powered hoe but it is a bit too vigorous for that but does have its uses.
Then just to top the system off I have a hedge trimmer.
Searching YouTube shows people using the powered brushes for snow clearing should you require additional work in the winter.

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