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Are you planning to buy a walk-behind string trimmer? If yes, then you couldn’t have made a better choice. A walk-behind string trimmer, also known as a push weed eater, is a powerful landscaping tool that’ll make cutting through thick and tough shrubbery seamless.
It’s also a pretty versatile tool because, besides cutting through stubborn undergrowth, you can also use it to edge your yard and trim around obstacles. However, the countless walk behind wheel trimmers flocking the market today can make choosing one pretty overwhelming. That is why we prepared tips on how to pick the perfect walk behind string trimmer below.
What You Need to Consider
Walk-behind string trimmers are like a mix between a typical lawnmower and an ordinary weed eater. With that said, here are some essential factors you ought to consider when shopping for one.
The engine is an essential part of any power tool, let alone a walk behind weed eater. With that said, you generally have two options: a 2-stroke engine or a 4-stroke engine. Both engines have definite advantages, but also bring with them a few disadvantages.
The primary difference between these two engines is that a 2-stroke engine often completes its combustion and exhaust cycles in 2 piston strokes while the 4-stroke one does the same in 4 piston strokes. Thanks to this, a 2-cycle engine usually runs on a mix of gas and oil—the latter runs on standard gasoline.
In that light, a 4-cycle engine is more fuel-efficient. Since it uses 2 more strokes to lubricate the moving parts, it tends to wear out less. Also, it’s more environmentally friendly as there’s nearly no fuel wasted during the intake cycle. A 4-cycle engine, while more efficient than its counterpart, weighs more, and it’s a bit pricy. A 2-cycle engine, on the other hand, has less moving parts, hence requires minimal maintenance, is easy to fix, and is much more affordable.
In a nutshell, both types of engines will get the job done. As such, it all comes down to your needs and your budget. That is, if you have a big lawn with a lot of rough terrain, it would be much wiser to opt for a walk-behind wheel trimmer with a 4-cycle engine as it’s significantly powerful. But if you have a small yard that’s not so small to use a handheld trimmer, then a 2-cycle engine push weed eater is an excellent choice.
The Cutting Swath
Besides the engine, you also need to consider the cutting swath of the push weed eater you plan on buying. After all, this is the most significant difference between a walk behind weed eater and the handheld one. With most handheld models, you’ll often get a cutting swath of 17-inches tops. But with a push weed eater, you have a far larger cutting diameter as some units will have cutting swaths of up to 22 inches! This makes a walk-behind trimmer the perfect addition to your arsenal, especially if you have a large lawn or a highly rugged one.
A walk-behind trimmer is supposed to make lawn care far much easier. In that light, you’ll also want to consider the size of the wheels. You want one with bigger wheels because the bigger they are, the easier it becomes to push the weed eater on rough terrain. Wheels are especially a crucial factor considering that push weed eaters only have the rear and not the front wheels. On average, most models have wheels that fall between 12″ and 16″ in diameter.
If you have an incredibly rough terrain that you want to keep well-manicured without much hard work on your part, then opt for a model whose wheels have at least a 16 inches diameter. This will make it easy for you to maneuver on the rough surfaces. But if your yard is just big but not as rugged, you don’t need big wheels on your push weed eater.
Comfort and Ergonomics
If you are going to upgrade to a walk-behind weed trimmer, then it should be as comfortable as possible. While shopping, go for one with an ergonomic handlebar. An ideal option would be one whose handlebar is angled against the shaft so you don’t strain your back. It should also sport anti-vibration features, so you don’t end up feeling numb after you finish. Also, be sure to consider how it starts. Most push weed eaters often feature a recoil starter, but it’s also possible to find one that has an instant start button.
A walk-behind trimmer makes lawn care, especially in a big yard or a rugged one, a walk in the park. However, it’s pretty easy to end up with one that’s not up to par with your expectations. With the guide above, you can be confident in your choice. You know you’ll make an informed decision!