A Guide To Strimmer Heads And Best Applications
With spring in full force, lawns, vegetation, weeds, shrubs, small trees and more, are all enjoying the perfect growing conditions. Leaving us with the difficult task of managing them to keep our outdoor spaces looking tip-top for the summer months heading our way. One of the most effective solutions for managing all types of vegetation is by using a Strimmer. Strimmers offer a solution to tackling all types of ground care, assisted by their interchangeable heads. In this article, we will take you through a guide to strimmer heads and all their different applications. Using the correct strimmer head will hugely impact the result and finish of your efforts. Let’s have a closer look…
Types Of Strimmer Head
There are multiple types of strimmer heads available on the market. This could either be to purchase or hire along with your equipment. Selecting the correct strimmer head for your application is crucial to completing any task in a timely manner.
Strimmer tasks include:
- Trimming back weeds and grass
- Edging a lawn
- Path clearing
- Paddock maintenance
- Cutting brambles/nettles
- Unwanted plants
Every task that you wish to conduct with a strimmer may require you to change heads to achieve a particular desired finish.
For example, the desired finish on a lawn would be different to that of a paddock.
Strimmers are often used when the grass is too tall to use a mower.
You’ll typically find two types of heads for a strimmer. Some designs may vary, but ultimately, they will come up in these categories.
Grass Cutting Heads (Corded Heads)
A grass-cutting or corded head is the most common on a strimmer. This component houses a nylon string line that is dispensed to aid with cutting. Cutting takes place when the machine spins the nylon string around at high speed.
The nylon string comes out of two holes on the strimmer head. Operators can adjust the length of the cord by bumping the bottom of the head onto a hard surface while operating.
These types of strimmer heads are also known as bump strimmer heads.
Operators have the choice of which nylon cutting cord they wish to load into the strimmer head depending on the task at hand. Some cords are better suited for different applications, which we will look closer at later in this article.
Brush cutting heads are completely different to grass cutting/ corded heads. These strimmer attachments are usually found on more heavy-duty equipment to tackle heavy vegetation. Brush cutting heads are also known as ‘blades’ and come in an almost infinite amount of shapes and sizes. Ranging from triangles, round with teeth and most commonly, the star shape.
This style of strimmer head is manufactured from thin sheets of steel and is highly durable. When the engine of the strimmer is fired, the blades rotate at high-speed providing a highly efficient cutting force.
There is no adjusting the cutting diameter on the brush cutting head unlike with a corded head. If an operator wishes to change the cutting blade, the strimmer must be turned off. Depending on the task at hand may determine the specific bladed head you may wish to choose. It is important to note that it is only the very top of the blade that is designed to do the cutting and not the complete length of the blade.
It is important to note that, unlike a corded head, as the attachment is made of metal, there is zero flexibility. Meaning if you hit any unwanted heavy debris, you could damage and bend the head.
Strimmer Head Cord Diameters/Profiles For Best Application
A strimmer cord or line is an essential part of any grass or corded head. Without it, the machine will not be able to cut grass, weeds and vegetation correctly. One of the most common issues people come across when choosing a cord for a strimmer is the overall diameter of the line.
Choosing a line that is too thick or too thin can in the end harbour or hinder your performance. To ensure best practice you should always assess the growth that you are planning to tackle.
Strimmer Head For Light Work
For light work such as edging and maintaining short pile lawns, a cord ranging from 1.2-1.4mm will be sufficient. This allows you to have a fast and highly accurate finish. Cord of this size will last a reasonable amount of time provided you stick to these applications.
Note, using cord of this diameter on a concrete surface or up against a brick wall will cause the line to wear down quicker. Resulting in more frequent reloading of line, adding additional cost and time to your project.
Strimmer Head For Medium Duty Work
For medium-duty work, operators should look to choose a strimmer cord ranging from 1.5mm to 2mm in thickness. A medium-duty cord is more suitable for thicker and overgrown lawn areas. The additional thickness provides extra strength and cutting abilities, resulting in the cord wearing down a lot slower.
This type of cord is more suitable for using up against concrete surfaces and brickwork. Even though the cord will inevitably be worn when operating against a hard surface, the additional thickness provides additional durability compared to light work cords.
Strimmer Head For Heavy Duty Work
For heavy-duty work that involves tackling nettles, brambles, thistles and more. A cord with a thickness of 2.4mm upwards is ideal for these types of applications. This thick, resilient nylon cord is available in different profiles to aid in its cutting ability. Often professional operators will opt for a square-edge profile strimmer cord when choosing a thicker cord.
Square edge profiled cord has the ability to tackle thick and woody grass, as well as heavy vegetation. As the cord has four edges, it provides a more aggressive cut, making it an ideal choice for heavy-duty applications.
Strimmer head cord selection round up
As we have already discussed, choosing the diameter and profile of your strimmer cord will have a massive impact on the efficiency of your work. One factor you must be aware of is the capacity of your strimmer cord head. If you are looking to hire or purchase a strimmer for heavy-duty work, you need to be sure the head can dispense the diameter cord you require. This is a common mistake that is easily made. One which can be costly and very time-consuming. It is always best to consult an expert and discuss your project beforehand if you are not entirely certain.
All strimmer heads will have a max diameter capacity which will be suitable for the machine they are operated on. It is common to find thinner strimmer cords on electric-powered strimmers, compared to professional petrol-powered machines.
Brush cutting blade styles and best applications
Brush cutting blades are an additional attachment that you can swap your corded head for on a strimmer. However, this is only available on petrol-powered strimmers that have the power capacity to handle the blade. If you are looking to tackle medium to heavy-duty overgrown vegetation, then a brush-cutting blade is something you might want to consider.
These blades are not suitable for working close to hard surfaces like concrete and brickwork. They provide a fast and aggressive cut that is not suitable for well-maintained lawns. Let’s have a closers look at the applications of the different types of brush cutting blades on the market and how they can benefit your project.
Knife blades are by far the most common brush cutting blade you will see if you are looking to hire or purchase a brush cutter. These come in a large range of designs and sizes all to assist with cutting down heavy wet vegetation. These types of blades offer a very efficient way of mulching vegetation when moved vertically. It is important to note that these blades are fixed and have no flexibility, therefore be cautious to avoid any hard rocks or concrete that could damage the blade.
Chisel blades use their sharpened teeth to help cut through all different types of heavy vegetation and even wood. Effectively they are very similar to a circular saw blade, with only the outer teeth doing any of the cutting. There are multiple different designs of chisel blades which can suit different types of heavy-duty applications. Nevertheless, these blades are expensive as they require far more machining to be manufactured. These types of blades should not be used for mulching as they are far less efficient than others. In addition, these blades can kick back if cutting through debris too thick at a time. When operating a chisel blade you should always only use the very outer cutting blade.
Unlike chisel and knife blades a smasher blade works completely differently. These brush cutting attachments have sharp edges and rely on their weight to tear through vegetation. Acting almost like a flail, made up of linked chains or metal blades. These types of blades are a great choice for watery and thin, soft grasses. However, are extremely expensive and require a professional petrol-powered strimmer to operate from. In deep vegetation, smasher blades can cause a huge amount of drag that can strain the machine you are operating them from.
Mulching blades for a brush cutter are designed specifically for mulching debris that may have already been cut or fallen. They are ideal for use on leaves and thin twigs. Unlike other blades, these are designed with a curve to generate more airflow when in operation. These types of blades require a huge amount of power to operate due to their weight and size. Therefore, will require a professional machine to operate from.
Factors to consider when choosing your strimmer head.
Choosing your strimmer head or blade is effectively the most essential decision you make. To optimize efficiency you should always consider using different options to assist in your project.
Nevertheless, when choosing your strimmer head or attachment, you should bear in mind the following factors.
- What are you cutting?
- What is the scale of the project?
- What hazards are there that could affect the selection?: E.g. concrete, brickwork, small tree etc.
- What time scale do you wish to complete?
If you consider all of these factors along with the information in this guide, you are sure to make the best choice for your project. If you are ever unsure about which equipment or strimmer hea to use, always seek further advise.
Where to get help with a strimmer and brush cutters
WHC Hire Services is an independent ground care, plant and tool hire company found in the heart of the UK. For over 25 years we have specialized in providing both businesses and avid DIYers with leading grounds care equipment across the country. With a range of both professional petrol strimmers and bush cutters, we can assist you in getting the right tool for your project. Take a look at our range of equipment here that can help you get the job done. Alternatively, call 01684377977 today to speak to one of our friendly expert team who can help you find the right tool to tackle the task at hand.