The domestic garden strimmer first appeared in the 1980s. They are great tools for edging, weed clearance and cutting neglected lawns that would foul up all but the most powerful lawnmower.

In a strimmer the cutting is done by a thin pastic wire. As this is itself cut when it encounters sharp objects, there is an ingeneous feed mechanism in the strimmer head to ensure the right ammount of blade is always available.

Electric stimmers versus petrol strimmers

The electric strimmers now come in cordless varieties so the advantage that the petrol strimmer once had because it could be used anywhere is gone. However, some rechargeables have small weak motors that will only last a few minutes on a full charge. Therefore if you need a strimmer for the allotment, think carefully about the size. Obviously from an environmental viewpoint, an electric strimmer is a better bet than a petrol driven device.

Petrol strimmers are a lot heavier with a petrol motor included in the machine. When you set yours up, be sure to balance the support point perfectly or your petrol strimmer can end up giving you back problems.

Strimmer problems

The most common strimmer problem is when the plastic blade wire seems to continually be dispensed and you end up with loads of blade wire all over the lawn and the wire runs out after about 30 seconds.

The problem usually lies in the wrong diameter line having been inserted into the machine. Try one size larger and see if that makes a difference, or consult the strimmer manufacturer's website.

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Strimmer brands

Black & Decker Strimmer - Very good
Bosch Strimmer - Excellent
Flymo Strimmer - Very good
Landxcape Strimmer - Good
McCulloch Trimmac Strimmer - Very good
Ryobi Strimmer - Good
Sovereign Strimmer - Very good
Spear & Jackson Strimmer - Excellent