This is a garden rant, with a solution! After three years of regularly using my favorite garden power tool (my Husqvarna brush cutter) to clear nearly four acres of land I hit a problem; the nylon line kept breaking, unravelling, and generally slowing down my land clearing progress. Every time I hit a rock or even small stone (and there are many stones on the land here), the nylon line would shoot out of the trimmer head leaving cut portions of orange line all over the place. To be honest the mess didn’t really bother me, but having to re-spool all that line did. It slowed down the job ridiculously.
So, being rather frugal I headed for the internet, and found myself a “one size fits all” generic no-name new trimmer header. It was less than $25 and I thought I had really snagged myself a bargain. Sadly, on arrival it turned out I had actually bought a “cheap, flimsy and totally impractical” new trimmer head. Well, since it was here and I had lots of weed cutting to do I asked the man of the house to fit it, and bravely made my way to the big outdoors to get rid of the weeds.
5 minutes later I had a completely shattered bit of metal, lots of nylon line flapping uselessly, and no desire to ever get the brush-cutter out again!
Sometimes it pays to actually research a little and get the right attachment for your tools.
Later in the week I hit the store where we bought the brush cutter in the first place (or heavy duty strimmer as I call her) and found, to my surprise, a whole bucket of high quality sturdy trimmer attachments that were actually cheaper than my supposed “bargain” bought on-line. It seems that lots of folks in these parts have issues with the trimmer heads that let you spool yards and yards of line into. So, the store has a huge selection of fixed line heads instead.
You simply cut the line (or buy pre-cut lengths that are better since I’m quite lazy, and they are much thicker so last longer) and thread them into the stainless steel trimmer head. A bolt holds the line tight and it never flies out anymore.
As much as I love the actual Husqvarna trimmer itself, I have to say this heavy duty generic trimmer head is lots better. It’s strong steel with no plastic bits and bobs to get damaged by knocking against stones, trees or simply all that vibrating.
But I imagine the reason the steel fixed trimmer head is so good for us is primarily due tot the fact there are lots and lots of stones and rocks to hit! Perhaps the original trimmer head would have lasted longer somewhere with less stones. Frankly though, the upgrade (which cost less than $20) has made the weed cutter work better than ever.
As it turns out, the blades which stop the line flying out of trimmer heads will wear out eventually wherever you are. So every few years (depending on usage of course) you will need to replace that blade or invest in a new trimmer head.
If I had a traditional garden with flat edges and no stones I would go for the bump feed trimmer heads. These used to be pretty awful, but it seems that if you go for a high quality brand such as Stihl or Husqvarna they do actually work as they are intended nowadays. Sadly, I would be accidentally bump feeding the line continually with so many stones to hit! What has surprised me even more is that the Husqvarna originals can be found on-line for what I paid for the original “rock bottom” priced piece of trash that only lasted 5 minutes!