I read the entire thread "Who's in love with their string trimmer?"
and there was minimal mention of the head itself.
Of the various trimmers we've had over the years, both electric and
gas, the trimmer head always seems to be the biggest PITA.
The "Bump and Feed" style never semed to work efficiently and were a
pain to reload. The pre-cut snap-in cords were also a bit of a pain.
We currently buy the spools and cut our own for the replacement head
on our gas trimmer, but loading them doesn't seem as easy as it should
The reason I ask is that my 16 YO daughter is taking over her
brother's lawn mowing clients and will need to use the trimmer on a
regular basis. My son always hated fighting with the trimmer head and
I know my daughter will too.
Since I won't always be around to help her, I'd like to get her a
trimmer head (preferably Bump and Feed) that actually works.
I have had several string trimmers over the years since they were
first introduced and must admit they held the biggest promise and
worst delivery of any power tool I have ever seen. I have yet to find
one that would feed the string properly or didn't break off the string
inside the head every 5 minutes. There can't possibly be a more
annoying tool on the market. I can't make a recommendation because I
have yet to find one that works with any dependability.
What I have considered and using instead of the nylon string is
replacing the string with a short length of stranded metal cable. I
have seen some plastic replacements for the string advertised but
don't feel they would endure any sustained use. Stranded cable would
not break and could easily be replaced. A small crimped clamp could
be placed over the end inside the head to retain it in place.
Replacement would take a lot less time than trying to get the ends of
the string untangled when it breaks inside the head and you wouldn't
have to replace more than a couple of times per season.
I like the bump heads on the stihl. They actually use a seperator between
the two lines as opposed to having them intertwined with one another.
Having any of the heads work properly is as simple as proper loading. Take
the time to do it in an orderly fashion, and they'll feed properly until
Forgot to mention. I have worked at a lawn and landscape company for 13
years and we've always used one size bigger string than what the trimmer
called for. The Stihl's we use come with .095 and we always use the .105
string in them. As for breaking off inside the head, well that's from
improper loading and/or getting the string caught on something. Chain link
fences are hell on string, keep that in mind. Our guys will use a string
trimmer perhaps 4 to 5 hours a day and only go through about three quarters
to one full load of string in the spool. Each stihl spool holds about 12
feet of string on each side of the divider. We also use the 5 sided twisty
line when we can get it.
I have had the best luck with the bump head units but the problem of
break off inside the head has been constant frustration. I have tried
loading as carefully as possible with no overlapping but still have
the break off problem. Not using around any wire fence but do use for
edging which is where it most frequently breaks. The only reason I
can think of is getting wedged between concrete and dirt during use.
I will try the larger string option and see if it helps. (Sure as heck
I can't say I love it. I have not even noticed it since I got it. I
guess that is the best kind.
A few years ago I bought a set of B&W battery powered garden tools.
That string trimmer is still going strong and it still has the original
load. It is some sort of auto feed, so I don't need to do anything. From
time to time I notice that is seems to be a little short and just as I am
thinking that I hear it change as new line come out.
I second S.Barker's recommendation of the Stihl head and the larger
than recommended line. Preferably the line with ridges molded in.
Also with the Stihl, you don't have to unscrew anything to get it
apart. There are tabs that press in and it pops apart. Reload the
cartridge, feed the loose ends into the holes, and press it
With my old Ryobi, I had to load all the line, hold one end with one
hand, hold the other end with my second hand, hold the trimmer with my
third hand, hold the cartridge in place with my fourth hand, and screw
on the retainer (reverse thread, of course) with my fifth hand.
greenthumb518 had written this in response to
I am actually in love with my string trimmer head. I can't say too much
about the HomeLite trimmer it started on which was almost impossible to
start. I bought it at Home Depot. Works wonderfully. My bump feed was a
"PITB" and I hated attempting to use it. I have since switched from the
HomeLite to a Husqvarna and this head works even better on a more powerful
trimmer. The hubby and I never argue about whose turn it is to weed
whack. It was called a PivoTrim. Very easy for me to reload with string.
I usually reload it with fresh strings when I start, but I can trim the
weeds, and edge and still have spare line. I recommend it to you and your
daughter. Good luck.
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