Weed eaters, also known as weed whackers, are a must-have tool for lawn care. It’s an excellent alternative to lawn mowers when you are planning to trim a smaller patch of grass in your lawn. It helps when cutting grass in challenging terrains that are not accessible with a lawnmower, like slopes or rocky areas.
Mowing and Weed Eating, this is the best way to use your weed eater:
Mowing the lawn with a weed eater requires great control over the machine. The head of the weed eater should be positioned at an appropriate height from the ground, and the guard should be appropriately aligned. This not only protects you from debris and stones but helps you determine if the weed eater is level. Sweeping back and forth evenly and overlapping the previous path’s edges is the key to successful mowing while using a weed eater.
This article will provide information about weed eaters and how it works. It will also give you guidance on how to mow your lawn evenly with a weed eater, the pros and cons of using a weed eater on your lawn, and the cost-effectiveness of a weed eater over a lawnmower. If you plan to mow part of your lawn with the weed eater, it’s important to go through each section of this article to ensure you can mow the lawn with this tool without causing any damage.
What is a Weed Eater?
Weed eater, weed whacker, line trimmer, string trimmer, edge trimmer, and even weed whipper are all names for the same tool. Some names are used in different parts of the country, but essentially, they are all the same thing.
Weed eaters are used to cut weeds and grass. They are lightweight lawn care tools, much lighter than lawnmowers. There are different types of weed eaters. There are powerful weed eaters that operate on gas engines and there are weed eaters that use batteries.
Weed eaters don’t use a blade like a lawnmower. Instead, it consists of a string made up of nylon or microfilament. The string spins in a circular direction creating a centrifugal force that is used to trim the grass.
Usually, lawnmowers cannot trim narrow pathways, driveways, sidewalks, and fences due to their large size. This is where weed eater comes in handy. Due to their compact size, they can get to all those hard-to-reach areas. Weed eaters are also suitable for trimming areas like erroneous areas or areas where grass sprouts up from a crack or sidewalk.
Mowing grass with a weed eater
Using a weed eater to cut grass is slightly different from using it to remove weeds. While cutting grass, you aim to get an even cut, so you would hold the head even with the ground and trim by making short sweeping motions. Keep in mind the height of the grass while cutting. It would be best if you did not cut more than one-third of the grass blade. Start cutting the grass at high levels and work your way down to the desired height.
You should mow grass with a light-medium-duty weed eater rather than a heavy-duty one. Electric and battery-powered weed eaters are best suitable for mowing because they have the ideal amount of power. Make sure that your weed eater has a guard fitted on the side that faces you. The guard not only protects you from sticks, rocks, and stones, but it also helps you to determine when the machine is level.
Place one hand on the handle and the other on the shaft. Adjust the weed eater so that its head is level and low enough to cut the grass. If the grass is heat stressed or cannot tolerate a proper trim, adjust the weed eater to a higher level so it’s cutting less grass. Avoid leaning forward while cutting the grass to prevent back strain. Keep the guard horizontal while mowing and align the weed eater’s head at a suitable height from the ground. While mowing, keep the head vertical and sweep it back and forth evenly.
Before you start cutting the grass, remove any rocks, sticks, or debris in the area. These objects can be hazardous when a weed eater is operated over them. Ensure that children and pets are a safe distance away before mowing, and don’t forget to watch out for wildlife such as frogs and snakes.
Hold the weed eater so that its handle is snug against your hip. Observe the head’s position and make sure that it’s at a comfortable height to trim the grass. Start trimming the yard from one end and make passes using a short swinging motion. Take short steps while swinging the head of the weed eater gently from side to side and maintain the head’s height and level while mowing from beginning to end of each stroke.
Overlap the passes to cover all the grassy areas as you go along. When the path ends, turn and start mowing beside the first path, slightly overlapping its edges. Repeat this practice until the grass in the entire lawn is cut to a uniform length.
The excess grass along the sidewalks and plant beds can be trimmed by turning the weed eater to a 90-degree angle from the ground. Ensure that the protective shield or guard is properly adjusted and faces you so that all the debris and dust are deflected away. Ensure that the head of the weed eater is vertical when you cut the long grass along the sidewalk. Lower the weed eater’s head so that the string cuts into the ground and cuts a clean edge.
Weed eaters are cost-effective!
Weed eaters are more affordable than lawnmowers, and similar to lawnmowers, electric and battery-powered ones are even more durable and require less maintenance. However, their limitation is that weed eaters only cover as far as the cord and extension cord can reach, or the battery has enough juice.
Cordless models are a bit more expensive compared to corded models. While cordless models offer more convenience, they only work depending on how long their battery life is.
Gas weed eaters or trimmers are usually heavy and are a little harder to control. They are more potent than other trimmers; therefore, they are the most expensive option. Refueling is easy when the tank is empty. However, they emit fumes, and they are much louder than usual string weed eaters.
Pros and cons of using a weed eater to mow the lawn
If you have smaller grassy areas in your property, you might find weed eaters more convenient in many aspects like portability, affordability, and even storage. Choosing a weed eater to cut grass depends on the size of the area you are aiming to trim.
It is possible to mow your lawn with a weed eater. Weed eaters save you time, money, and energy, but there are some pros and cons of using this device that must be kept in mind before deciding which to use.
Lawnmowers cater to the operator’s needs as they are already designed to make grass trimming much more straightforward. They contain built-in levelers and adjustments. Weed eaters don’t have any adjustments. This is all done manually by the user. Sometimes, your lawn only needs to be trimmed an inch or so. In that case, the lawnmowers have these settings ready, while weed eaters don’t.
There is a general rule for mowing or cutting grass that you should never cut more than one-third of the grass blade. If the grass is cut more than that, it is very detrimental to the grass’s health. In this case, without limiters, weed eaters may cut down too much grass, which could be harmful to the grass’s overall growth and health.
Weed eaters usually cut down to the grassroots, which can cause shock to the roots, and if it is done regularly, it may cause permanent damage. This practice may also cause more weeds to grow in your yard as there are no more grassroots to stop the weed growth.
Lawnmowers use sharp blades to cut the grass precisely and evenly. Weed eaters don’t have such blades. The machine consists of a string spinning fast, creating a force that tears the grass instead of cutting it clean. This causes more damage to the grass than the lawnmower blade, and it takes a long time to heal.
It is important to make sure that there are no branches, sticks, pebbles, or other objects on the lawn’s surface before using a weed eater. Any such object can cause damage to the machine if it gets stuck in the fast-spinning string.
During the drier seasons of the year, dirt collects on the lawn surface, which dulls the mower’s blades, and dust may clog the filters in the lawnmower. Weed eaters are much easier and quicker to use during these seasons. Remember to wear safety glasses and protective clothing while operating a weed eater.
Does weed eater traumatize the grass?
Using a lawnmower puts the grass under stress as the blades cut and create a wound on the grass blades, which heals after some time. Mowing with a weed eater is more traumatic for the grass as it tears the grass with its fast-spinning string, unlike the clean and sharp cut of a lawnmower. This leaves a wound on the grass blade, which takes much longer to heal than the wound caused by a lawnmower.
A weed eater is more effective than a lawnmower when it comes to cleanly cut long grass or weeds, as it uproots the weeds and grass. So, if the grass is mowed regularly with a weed eater, it may stunt the root growth, causing overall health problems. Always keep the one-third rule in mind while mowing the lawn, either with a lawnmower or a weed eater, to keep your grass healthy.
Mowing the grass with a weed eater saves you time, energy, and money, but it requires practice to trim the grass precisely with this tool. If you have good control over the weed eater and you can keep it level, then there is nothing to fear. However, if you can’t handle it, your lawn may be subject to scalping. In this case, it is advisable to use a lawnmower as it is easier to control.
As long as you practice, you can cut the grass evenly with a weed eater. Underestimating the power in a weed eater and using it without practice is the worst thing you could do to your lawn. This tool uproots the grass if not used properly and may cause permanent damage. It would be best if you always positioned the weed eater’s head to a higher level and then work it down to the desired height to avoid scalping the lawn. Constantly adjust the guard horizontally facing you to prevent any damage caused by sticks, stones, and other debris. Try to mow by sweeping the weed eater over the grass in a smooth and even manner. With practice, you can achieve the same results as with a lawnmower.