Advice on buying a strimmer

Hi all
Looks like I will need to buy a strimmer in order to clear a large neglected area of a garden that I tend as a favour for absent friends.
The area in question has been left to the wild for a few years now. It has many trees, planted 15-20 years ago. The land tends to bogginess -- especially since the trees grew sufficiently to prevent the elements penetrating enough. As a result, what grass there is is very coarse, and has grown unkempt for at least 5 seasons. However the dominant plant life in this ?quarter-acre? is nettles: 4 to 6 feet high (hence: with woody stems).
My mission is to reduce the trees' over-growth to an extent where sun and wind can penetrate, and to cut down all the undergrowth to a couple of inches, hopefully encouraging the grass to grow strongly again.
I can manage the trees with ladders, bow saws, and the occasional chainsaw.
But I need a petrol strimmer to tackle not only the unkempt grass, but the ubiquitous, tough, not to say cocky, nettles, which have acquired a stranglehold. (I'm told that if you strim nettles often enough, they'll die. Not very convinced about that.)
What's the recommendation for a strimmer to tackle this job? I'm thinking it needs to be convertible to being a "brush cutter", doesn't it?
Cheers John
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On 06/09/2012 15:51, Another John wrote:

Yes.
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Another John wrote:

Ah. That be a bugger.. ...

Yes. That will happen. BTDTGTTS

Yup
Its true. mow nettle bi-annulally and they die. Leaving hufely fertile soil behind usually.

No, but nettles are deep shit for strimmers. they have fibres that resemble sisal string up their stems, And this gets wound round the rotating head and inside the bearings. I've spent a lot of time clearing it.
TBH the BEST thing for clearing really high nettles is a hand scythe or a hedge trimmer.
Or failing that a ride on mower with lots of power.
Or one of those things I haven't seen for years that is essentially a hedge trimmer and a motor on a pair of wheels

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_DDw0udcOP8&feature=related

Once cleared, the ride on twice a year or a strimmer keeps things OK and stops saplings being established
If you MUST tackle nettles with a strimmer do it in stages and take of the top 6 inches first. Then go lower and so on. That's how we do it here when we have to tackle a raw patch and the ride on cant get in...
But the good news with nettles is that do it once and next year they are half as big and the year after they don't come back.
Oh. Look. They still exist and can be hired
http://www.hss.com/g/62146/Power-Scythe.html
So start off with that in year one for a couple of days and then consider what maintenance will require.
My point being that the tools to get it under control are not the same tools needed to efficiently keep it that way.
Hire the former, buy the latter.
My Ryobi strimmer is pretty good. I buy heavy duty line from the local agricultural/garden suppliers http://www.ernestdoe.com /
Stihl make a good one too. Had one but diddies nicked it.

--
Ineptocracy

(in-ep-toc’-ra-cy) – a system of government where the least capable to
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On Thu, 06 Sep 2012 16:29:39 +0100, The Natural Philosopher wrote:

Arr, be so.

Arr, be so.

Arr, be so.

Yep at this time of year when they are old they certainly give my twin line Ryobi strimmer something to think about but it doesn't very often clog completly. Just moving the head into the clear and letting it spin back up, normaly throws the "string" off the head. Just pay attention to how hard it is having to work and cut accordingly.

Arr, be so.
Not tried it but I'd expect an ordinary, sharp, hedge trimmer should deal with nettles without too much fuss. Maybe get one on a pole so you don't have to crawl to use it. The semi motorised power sythes seem a bit OTT for just 1/4 of an acre (1000 sq m).
--
Cheers
Dave.




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On 06/09/2012 16:29, The Natural Philosopher wrote:

<snip>
BTDTGT... stings actually. Make sure you're properly dressed, as the nettles tend to fall towards you as you cut the stems.
The Allen Scythe I was using many years ago was possibly pre-war vintage, and not nearly as slick as the one in the HSS brochure, but they do a damn good job.
Andy
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OP here: *Many* thanks to all the usual small-holding-inhabiting suspects, who I thought might reply, and who have come up trumps.
Believe me, I am a *very* experienced computing hand, but I have to be honest and say I need to know what TNP means when he uses ....

[echoed later by Andy Champ]
Seen it before in Usenet, but ICBA to work it out!
And on the strimming: very many thanks for the very useful, and encouraging, replies.
John
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On Thu, 06 Sep 2012 21:47:24 +0100, Another John wrote:

Been The, Done That, Got The T Shirt.
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Though if you do have a brush cutter with a metal blade, that happens less. (My father-in-law bought a house with a lot of land similar to that the OP describes. He had a powerful ride on mower, and a hand scythe, but the brush cutter was useful for the original clearance.)

My father had one of those, which I think was my grandfather's before that. Hadn't been used in years when he sold it though.
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Hi all

One of these if you can run to it.
Hi all

These are good at that job if you can afford it.
(Amazon.com product link shortened)P5ROKL5A1OLE&tag=googlecouk06-21&linkCode=asn&creative"206&creativeASIN03JY7YCG
Mike
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On Thursday, 6 September 2012 15:51:34 UTC+1, Another John wrote:

I've got a similar problem. I'm using hand secateurs and a shredder (Bosch Rapid 2000). The shredder needs to be near the cut, as distant carrying is a pain. Unlike brambles, nettles aren't hard to cut but dark nettle stems are stringy to strim. If you do brushcutter them, you're left with an awful mess to pick up afterwards. It's easier to do the overall cleanup with a hand grab, _not_ mangling the stems, then instant shred into a big bag.
If this was a field, and I could leave them lying, I might scythe them and leave them there. As it's a garden(sic), I need to pick them up too.
BTW - tried a friend's aluminium handled racing scythe over the Summer.Not easy to use correctly, but pretty speedy once you get into it.
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