Why not put an electrical copper wire into the weed whacker?

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I have the type of weed whacker that takes about a foot long plastic "string".
I buy the weed whacker string in bulk, so it's cheap but it only lasts a few minutes in touch terrain.
I wonder. Would it work to just put an electrical wire, maybe 14 gauge or so, into the weed whacker?
I mean, why does it use plastic? Why not copper or steel wire (from a coat hanger perhaps)?
Is it that it would be too dangerous? (But plenty of things are dangerous.)
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Many men have lost their manhood that way. Do you want to lose yours?
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How often do people string trim their bodyparts? Not often, I'm guessing.
Though, I've met people who have had thier AC electrical line cut by folks with trimmers.
--
Christopher A. Young
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On Tue, 06 Jul 2010 02:48:06 -0500, snipped-for-privacy@nospam.com wrote:

Understood. But lawn mower blades aren't made of plastic. Jigsaw blades aren't made of plastic. Drill bits aren't made of plastic. Lawn cultivators and edger blades aren't made of plastic. etc.
Point is, LOTS of cutting things we use can hurt us. But, my plastic string trimmer lasts only about 5 minutes between refills.
My (steel) jigsaw blades last longer than 5 minutes. My (steel) drill bits last longer than 5 minutes. My (steel) cultivator & edger blades last longer than 5 minutes.
Something (dunno what yet) is DIFFERENT about string trimmers.
Does anyone know if there is a SPECIAL danger or reason why sturdier trimmer materials don't exist yet?
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On Tue, 6 Jul 2010 05:54:16 -0700, GHenry wrote:

Ah. I read the rest of the posts. Sturdier (i.e., metal) materials DO exist for string trimmers!
I like the ideas posited. Flailing chains and saw blades. I wonder if the head will fit my Craftsman string trimmer though. Plus there's that safety cover with the blade that cuts the string if I put one in that's too long.
Interesting that the flailing chains and saw blades were proven, but no metal wires.
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On Tue, 06 Jul 2010 06:15:36 -0700, GHenry wrote:

Wires and chains revolving hundreds of miles an hour become deadly missiles when they break off the trimmer. Nylon line, not so unless you catch a piece in the eye because you failed to use safety glasses or were standing close to someone using a trimmer. I use 120 line in my trimmers with a special hub that you just insert 2 six inch lengths of the line into. 120 will knock down just about anything and survive quite a long time on concrete for edging etc....
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On Tue, 6 Jul 2010 13:37:57 +0000 (UTC), Chief Two Eagles wrote:

I just checked my stock.
I have 150 feet of 0.130" "nylon" string which I cut into foot-long lengths to fit into the Craftsman string trimmer.
Mine only last a few minutes, five or ten at the most before they're cheweed up to an inch or three sticking out (which is probably about 8 inches long but more than half of that is unusable inside the center cap).
So, I'm pretty surprised you say 0.120 will "survive quite a long time" since I only get about five or ten minutes out of 0.130 nylon line.
PS: No, I'm not hitting chain-link fences; I'm just hitting weeds and brush at most about 1/4 inch thick. Very rocky soil though.
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On Tue, 06 Jul 2010 07:22:14 -0700, GHenry wrote:

Odd. I can edge a 60 foot walk both sides and use maybe 1/3 of the 8" (yes now 8 inches after re-thinking how much I use on the 36cc straight shaft trimmer.) If I didn't hit concrete it would last much longer. No fences here and I have a 60x100 foot lot with a lot of trees and other stuff to trim around being mostly a wooded lot in back of the house. If I don't edge I use 16" of 120 a week provided I'm mowing and trimming twice a week. I'd say that hell yes that's much longer than I get out of the smaller bent shaft 24cc motor trimmer with the standard tap and go head and 80 line. And it seems like that roll of 120, probably 150 feet has lasted forever. I think I bought it 5 years ago and it's still half there.
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Get a twin line bump and feed hub. That business of sticking little sections in is idiocy if you work up against concrete or brick. And if you are using it as an edger, stop, get an edger. A stick edger. You'll never go back. I edge my sidewalks, drive, and the curb in about 10 minutes. I have one of the ones with the swapable attachments. The little chain saw is also great for pruning trees.
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On Tue, 6 Jul 2010 07:40:32 -0700 (PDT), jamesgangnc wrote:

Hi James, I have (probably) the same weed whacker you have! Craftsman Model 358.791170 which takes multiple attachments.
Please tell me more about how well/poorly the attachments work because I only have the weed-wacker attachment.
I never bought the edger or pruner attachments (although I could sorely use both but I wondered how well/badly they worked).
BTW, be warned, my Craftsman trimmer has the "built with Sim-Pul for smooth easy starts" (which is a crock because twice I had to replace the entire starter assembly because the clutch didn't disengage so the weed trimmer melted the plastic starter assembly).
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No, I have a ryobi. It's also "easy pull" so I suspect your craftsman may be a ryobi. Sears doesn't actually make anything. It's worth keeping up with who is making stuff for them as sometimes you can get a deal on an item that would be pricier under it's original label. I still have a big mac chain saw I bought under their label 30 years back when mac was the name to get.
It ought to start in a couple pulls or maybe you are priming too much or too little. Usually it's hard starting the results in broken starters.
They standardized the attachment mounts among most of these. I have the little chain saw and the pruner but I think they are a different brand. One of them came with a 2 foot extension pole. I already had a dedicated stick edger but I'm sure the attachemnt one would be about the same. I have a number of high trimming and pruning chores that I have to do a couple times a year so these worked well for my needs because of the reach. So I'm not really using them enough to tell if they have wear issues. If I was doing it for a living I would get all dedicated stuff.but as a homeowner it's just too expensive.
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On Tue, 6 Jul 2010 08:28:48 -0700 (PDT), jamesgangnc wrote:

Yeah. Even these attachments are $150 dollars or so (just for the attachment).
I do need a good looooooong hedge trimmer as my 20 inch hedge trimmer is too short for the tops of a line of very tall bushes that I can't reach except on a ladder and even then I have to lean halfway over the ledge, which is dangerous so I don't do it. A longer hedge trimmer (about 40 inches would be nice) is what I really need - but money is always an object.
Likewise for the edger attachment. I have a few hundred yards of edging that has been neglected. Sure I have a MANUAL edger, but, I'm getting too old for that wheel and spring thingey. :(
If I KNEW the edger and/or hedge trimmer attachments were useful, I'd likely get them over time though.
Edger ................. 358.79240 Cultivator ............ 358.79241 Blower ................ 358.79242 Brushcutter ........... 358.79244 Pruner ................ 358.79245
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Not sure they're the same units, but I have the Troy-Bilt 4-cycle trimmer with a leaf blower and edger attachments. They work really well. The only issue I have with the system is that the nozzle on the blower is constantly blowing off. I could glue it on but then to get it off...
I doubt it would have enough power for the cultivator, though (so I didn't get one).
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On Tue, 6 Jul 2010 11:04:17 -0700 (PDT), keith wrote:

Mine is a two stroke so it's probably different. But, it's good to know that the edger actually works "very well". I might consider getting one.
As for leaf blowers, I ended up with the huge backpack two-stroke 180mph Echo, which does a decent enough job.
I've had a whole series of two-stroke lawn vacuum/blowers (the type that has that long nozzle and bag) but almost always: - The blower is anemic - The vacuum is pretty good - But the bag zipper always breaks making the vacuum also useless
Maybe I'll open a separate thread on how to get a better outdoor yard work vacuum for home. :)
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It does the job on my couple of hundred feet of edging each week, anyway.

Let me elaborate, a little. I don't use it to blow leaves; got none (left them behind in Vermont, with the taxes). I use it to blow the grass clippings off the street and driveway after I do the edging. It does a nice job of that, and the bark mulch, red sand, and Mica that inevitably washes out of our flower beds.

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On Tue, 6 Jul 2010 07:22:14 -0700, GHenry wrote:

I just measured the string size after I cut the 150 feet 0.130 nylon.
Each cut is an 18 inch length (based on a saved sample of an original 16" string); and of those 18 inches, only six inches protrudes out each hole (so 6 inches is always wasted inside the spool).
Of the protruding six inches, about 2 inches are left after five or ten minutes, so the "wear" is about 4 inches per side per ten minutes.
That's about 24 inches per hour per side.
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On Tue, 06 Jul 2010 07:43:23 -0700, GHenry wrote:

So how much total 130 do you have sticking out the hub when you start? And what size motor in your trimmer?
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On Tue, 6 Jul 2010 15:08:46 +0000 (UTC), Chief Two Eagles wrote:

Of the 18 inches of the 150 feet of 0.130" nylon strands I cut (the original strand was about 16 inches but I make mine longer ostensibly so they last longer), 6 inches stick out of each side of the hub.
The motor is on a Craftsman 358.791170 which if I look it up has a manual at http://www.managemylife.com/mmh/lis_pdf/OWNM/L0901278.pdf
The manual says it's a "33cc/2.0 cu.in. 2-cycle gasoline weedwacker" and that it meets California emissions regulations for small off-road engines.
It takes optional attachments (none of which I have): Edger ................. 358.79240 Cultivator ............ 358.79241 Blower ................ 358.79242 Brushcutter ........... 358.79244 Pruner ................ 358.79245
It says to use red line (#71-85908) for cutting grass and small weeds and black colored line (#71-85909) for cutting larger weeds and light brush.
The soil is (rather young) typical Franscisian sediments, only about 30 million years old, so there are no solid (as in granite) "rocks" per se, no quartz, no conglomerate, just soft shales and limestones and harder chert; but, the soil is almost wholly chips and flakes of deep ocean sediments so the weedwacker will almost always touch something hard.
BTW, the instructions say never wack from right to left, only from left to right (like you read a book), which is interesting in and of itself.
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GHenry wrote:

In my experience, longer strings wear much faster due to higher tip speeds. The line I use splits, which makes it less effective for cutting and quicker to disappear. For heavy cutting or chain-link fences I'll snip the lines to less than the nominal 17" diameter.

I wonder what the specs are for those lines. Perhaps the line you bought is unsuited to this trimmer.
I've used nylon trimmer blades whose manufacturer recommended soaking before use so they'd be less brittle. Maybe soaking would help your line.

It depends on which way the head rotates. Mine rotates clockwise. If I swing it to the right, the right side cuts, throwing debris toward me.
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On Tue, 06 Jul 2010 14:13:54 -0400, J Burns wrote:

If that's true, it's a trick on me that I added two inches to the 16-inch string (to make it 18 inches) for the purpose of having the string last longer ... only to find that it might make the string actually last shorter! :(
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