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Lawnmower Clinic - Hints and Tricks

How to select the correct line trimmer

In all gardens you find places difficult to access with a lawn mower, whether in corners, along edges and walls, or under benches. Here, grass trimmers and brushcutters come into their own and cut this growth to the desired length. In this way gardens receive that finishing touch.

There is a distinct difference in application between trimmers and brushcutters. Trimmers are mainly used for trimming as the name indicates. Three types of trimmers are available, the bottom-mount and top-mount electric trimmers, petrol trimmers and push type.

Bottom mount trimmers

Bottom mount trimmer

Fitted with an electric motor with a tap’n’go nylon head fitted, these trimmers are light and easy to operate. Adjustable loop handles often rotates to change between horizontal and vertical cutting, and small guide wheels are fitted to some models.The cutting head is driven directly from the motor, which is fitted at the bottom of the trimmer. Popular trimmers: Tandem Tantrim 650watt, Tandem Tantrim 750 watt with 12m cable, Tandem Tantrim 900W

Top-mount electric trimmers

Topmount Trimmer

The motor is fitted on the opposite(top) side of the shaft, similar to petrol trimmers. This distributes the weight better, and this type of trimmer provides longer lasting performance. The motor is situated away from dust, and drives the nylon cutting head via a flexible cable through the shaft. Popular models: Tantrim 600 Topmount, Stigl FSE60, Stihl FSE71, Stihl FSE81

Petrol Trimmers

Petrol Trimmer

The advantages of petrol trimmers are mobility and power. One is not restricted by the length of the power cable. They have a flexible drive shaft with a tap’n’go nylon head. Popular models: Stihl FS38, Stihl FS45, Tandem Tantrim

Push Type trimmers

Push type Trimmer

Walk behind push trimmers are available with petrol or electric motors. These trimmers are mounted on wheels which adds more stability, and fitted with a blade. It is easier to operate for long pathways or edges. Popular models: Professional Universal Edge Trimmer



Edgers are petrol unit with a vertical cutting blade. It is popular for use along long driveways, around greens and bunkers on a golf course, and any application where you need a clear edging cut. Popular models: Stihl FC85


Brush cutter

Brushcutters are ideal for mowing long grass and can even cut thin tree trunks, depending on the power and size of the machine. Brushcutters are used for maintenance of large areas, thinning bushes along rivers and streams, embankments, landscaping, and road maintenance crews. They can also be used for bush clearing.

Brushcutters are available in various sizes. These heavy duty machines differ from line trimmers as they have a straight shaft. A wide range of nylon heads as well as blades are available for brushcutters, it is all dependent on the application. Popular models: Stihl FS160, Stihl FS280, Stihl FS85, Tandem Kawasaki TH43, Tandem Kawasaki TH48

Trimmers and brushcutters use a monofilament line, varying in thickness. It is crucial not to use line thicker than prescribed by the manufacturer of the product. The length of line is extremely important, and is kept to the correct length by a small cutter situated on the stone guard. “Nylon” line is available in different shapes. The traditional line is round, but a quieter twist line is also available. The more flexible the line, the better. To keep the line flexible and supple place it in water overnight.

Ask your Grassnyer Kliniek/Lawnmower Clinic Pretoria sales representative on advice for the right trimmer for your application.