What kind of line trimmer should I purchase?

Line trimmers come in many sizes and shapes but which type is right for you and your lawn care business? That is what one entrepreneur wanted to know when he wrote on the Gopher Lawn Care Business Forum about starting up his landscaping business and his need to get the right equipment. We got a great response to his question that I feel will help many understand line trimmers better.

He wrote “I am planning on purchasing a line trimmer for my lawn care business. Before I do this though, I would like to get some advice on equipment that performs well and I can get the most for my money with.

Currently I have a few lawn care customers that I am servicing part time but I would like to scale that up and scale up with the proper lawn care equipment while I grow. Any advice you could recommend?”

A second lawn care business owner said “I would recommend a line trimmer that is in the 18-20 cc size. Make sure to get a straight shaft trimmer vs a curve shaft trimmer.

The curve shaft line trimmer is typically less expensive to manufacture and thus is cheaper to buy. For example, typically the straight shaft line trimmer option of the exact same trimmer is about $40-$50 higher than the curve shaft model. The curve shaft tends to be slightly shorter from end to end but otherwise is bigger (requires less length but more height to store).

The reason I recommend a straight shaft trimmer vs the curve shaft model:

  1. Curve shaft trimmers have a flexible shaft that can become unraveled, or out of balance, from heavy commercial usage.
  2. Curve shaft trimmers tend to have a lighter duty bearing at the trimmer head end.
  3. By design, the curve shafts tend to wear out the liner and bushings that hold the shaft in place.
  4. Many straight shaft trimmers have a solid machined steel shaft.
  5. Straight shaft trimmers tend to have a lifetime warranty on their shaft (check with manufacturer).

Another advantage to straight shaft trimmers is that they can reach underneath decks and other structures/obstructions much better than curve shaft trimmers.

The bottom line is, a straight shaft trimmer is much more durable. They also tend to have less vibration, especially once the curve shaft trimmer gets some age and wear on it. Simply put, curve shaft trimmers are designed cheaper and lighter than a straight shaft trimmer. Curve shaft trimmers are always considered consumer grade or at best pro-sumer. Straight shaft trimmers are typically considered professional grade.

When buying a line trimmer, you also have to look at what you will do with the trimmer and then decide what size you need. Armed with this information, you would then be able to go and narrow your selection down further. As an example, if you are only trimming grass, then there is no need for a 27cc trimmer. But if you are trimming larger weeds and using it as an occasional brushcutter then you probably don’t want a 18-23 cc and need to look at the 27cc or bigger.

It is so worth your time and money to buy the best quality machine the first time. I could go into great depth on the benefits of buying the right machine the first time but I am sure we can all get the idea. One reason that comes to mind is that you get to spend that money only once so you better make sure you spend it the best way you possibly can!

With that in mind, go to the dealer and look at the models available and talk to them about them. They may have other suggestions as well. Sure, they are there to sell you a machine, but they are also there to sell you a machine that works best for you.”

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