With so many options on the market, finding a cost-effective line trimmer that gets the job done can be a difficult choice. That is why we have gone ahead and done the hard work of researching line trimmers in Australia for you!
In Australia line trimmers are commonly known as whipper snippers, with our recommendations it should be easy for you to jump in and purchase the whipper snipper that is best for your needs.
In the USA, those crazy americans call them weedeaters and of course they lots more models available, they have so many there is a site Weed Eater Hero that is dedicated purely to grass trimming machinery.
While less environmentally friendly than the other two types of line trimmers, petrol-powered line trimmers are ultimately the most powerful and that is the main reason Professional gardeners generally use line trimmers that are petrol powered, they are less polluting than petrol mowers of the past and are still the best option on the market for making quick work of very larger areas of grass, you certainly won't have to plug in again or recharge you batteries to also get around your nature strip. The modern models (especially the 4 stroke ones) run smoother than previous petrol-powered mowing appliances.
However Line trimmers can also be purchased in corded electric or cordless battery-powered model and we will cover some of all types. You should certainly consider electric or battery powered options for general domestic use. If the loud noise or pollution of petrol is an issue, battery-powered or corded line trimmers are a great option and of course non-petrol models do not require any kind of engine maintenance.
Bent or Straight Shaft: Which Is Better?
One distinguishing feature between types of line trimmers is whether the unit has a bent shaft or a straight shaft. This makes a difference in price and manoeuvrability, so it is an important factor to consider when purchasing a line trimmer.
For a further reach or for very tall users, straight-shaft models are the better option. In our research and experimentation with both types of grass trimmers, straight-shaft trimmers are beneficial in difficult to reach areas while curved shafts are better at edging.
The bent-shaft trimmer is a much more affordable option. For less intense lawn trimming needs, this is a cost-effective alternative to pricier options that will do the job most of the time.
If you are wondering why straight shaft trimmers cost more than curved shaft trimmers, here's a video explaining it:
Two-piece or one-piece shaft?
A two-piece or split shaft design enables the same engine to power other attachments such as a lawn edger, for a domestic user and normal usage this is a good idea to save money and shed space and a two-piece shaft would be a feature.
For a lawn care professional who would generally carry more than one similar tool in their trailer having a single piece shaft eliminates another area for wear and failure, so commercial-level trimmers have a one-piece shaft as standard.
There are three ways in which the cutting line is attached to the hub. Bump feed is the most common, as the line wears down, you bump the underside of the hub on the ground, releasing a regulated length of line
There is also the option of automatic feed. These are typically only found on electric models, they use a counterbalance on the line weight to detect when new line is necessary to be dispensed. On cheaper models they are not so reliable and end up more hassle than a bump feed.
Manual feed is the simplest option, users must attach a set amount of straight, reinforced line that will need to be replaced when it is worn out. This strong line will last longer and cut better than the same length of standard trimmer line, and is quick to replace, however if you have a thicker line, then your going to get cut much worse if you have an accident.
Curved Shaft Petrol-Powered Line Trimmers
The Petrol Line Trimmer for under $100
The Homelite 25cc Petrol Fixed Shaft Line Trimmer only comes with a 2mm trimming line, Homelite offer a one-year replacement warranty on this model for domestic use. To be honest this is NOT a model we would recommend, but you won't find anything else at this price so we had to include it as an option here, it will make reasonable work of small lawns and it is lightweight at under 4kg.
The Japanese Whipper Snipper for under $200
Well the saying goes you get what you pay for and the ER2600L Makita 25.7cc two Stroke Petrol Line Trimmer is certainly a step up from the Homelite 25cc. It incorporates a catalytic muffler to reduce the noise, because it is two-stroke it puts out a lot of power for it's capacity at 0.83kW, but beware that a two-stroke engine won't last as long as a four-stroke engine will, weighing in at 4.3kg this is still lightweight model and using a 2.4mm line it probably is worth twice the price of the homelite model in the long run. It's Japanese technology, however Makita products are made in China now.
The Bargain Petrol Line Trimmer for under $180
The Rover RS2600 Curved shaft line trimmer delivers high-powered results for difficult lawns while remaining lightweight at 5.2kg, it has a bump line release to release pre-measured line for continuous operation. Like the Makita above it comes with a spring assisted starter. While this unit is not something you would find many of our busy lawn mowing professionals using it certainly is high quality for the price and very suitable for use by homeowners, The two-piece shaft allows for a number of different attachments to run from the same powerhead.
It comes with a two year warranty for domestic use. You cannot buy this one from Bunnings, but that's really an advantage as it is a model you could get serviced by a large dealer network.
Coming in a little cheaper than the two stroke Makita, it's our pick of the two stroke petrol models, due to the swappable tools and serviceability.
Lightweight Four Stroke Line Trimmer for under $300
The Makita 24.5cc utilises a curved shaft. Being powered by a four stroke engine it actually produces less power than the Makita two stroke model above and is a tad heavier, but 0.77kW will certainly be enough for normal domestic use. The slight drop in power is more than made up for by how easier it to start, the reduced noise and the increased safety - the engine starts at an idling speed so that the cutting tool does not rotate on start. It also has a multi-position engine lubrication system, enabling the engine to be inclined to any angle during continuous operation.
Cordless Line Trimmers
Without having to fuel up or work with difficult extension cords, cordless-electric line trimmers make grass trimming easier all around. Because this type of line trimmer runs on batteries, it is friendly to the environment, these days as battery technology has progressed so much they have a fair whack of power and should run for more than thirty minutes before needing a recharge.
The Cordless Line Trimmer with sharable batteries.
The RYOBI One+ 18V 305mm Cut Cordless Line Trimmer is offered by one of the most highly trusted companies in the industry, and it comes with a fold out edger guide and three position rotating head. If you have already bought into the Ryobi One+ battery powered range and have the battery already, this is a decent option for home use.
The RYOBI One+ 18V 305mm Cut Cordless Line Trimmer is available at Bunnings
(N.B: Link above takes you to the 'skin only' that does not come with the battery and charger).
The Cordless Line Trimmer with included battery for under $200
The Makita 18V 1 x 3.0Ah Line Trimmer incorporates blinking lights to indicate low battery after forty-five minutes and has a simple charging system. The Makita 18V offers 45 minutes continuous runtime and also incorporates a five-position pivoting head, a telescopic shaft, and an adjustable loop handle.
The two speed Cordless Line Trimmer for under $260
The Black+Decker GLC3630 String Trimmer uses a straight shaft for better comfort and manoeuvrability. Straight-shaft models offer better reach and range. It allows you to choose maximum run-time (ECO mode) or power (TURBO mode) and it easily converts from trimming to edging.
Electric Line Trimmers (Corded)
By far the least expensive option is to go with a corded-electric line trimmer. These models function well for small lawns due to their lightweight and quiet functionality. With the limitations of a cord, they are recommended for smaller gardens.
The 'Cheapo' Electric Line Trimmer
The Ozito 500W 290mm Electric Line Trimmer is great for dealing with lawn edges thanks to it's rotating head. It comes with an automatic line feed, at $49 it's a true budget model and it's not something you could use effectively on a seriously overgrown lawn, but it's great value for a very small garden.
The RYOBI branded Whipper Snipper for under $100
If your looking for the trusted RYOBI brand, then their 500W 300mm Electric Line Trimmer is a decent corded line trimmer, this electric line trimmer uses an auto feed spool and pivoting head to make lawn trimming easier. The mould grip also reduces the vibration typical of line trimmers for enhanced comfort.
Other Types of Cutting Edge
The models we’ve recommended for you have all been line trimmers, but there is a second type of cutting edge that we haven’t mentioned yet. Brush cutters are similar to line trimmers in functionality, but vastly more powerful machines capable of heavy-duty lawn work, they can clear high grass, through to small trees.
While line trimmers typically utilise nylon cord to trim grass, brush cutters incorporate solid blades. This allows for more effective trimming through tough grasses and plants.
For more heavy-duty situations such as wooded areas or a highly unkempt lawn, any brush cutter will clear the area better than a line trimmer. The job will be completed faster and more efficiently.
In the video below RYOBI outlines some of their product details.
The video is also helpful if you have already bought a whipper snipper, as it offers tips on dealing with trimming line.
We hope you have found our research useful to find a great line trimmer, please share the article if you have.