Trimmer Head Performance Showdown
It’s a head-to-head battle to see who can make the cut
If you can describe your yard using words like “jungle,” “wilderness,” or “overgrown” then we have the article for you. We put different styles of trimmer heads to the test against increasingly stronger materials, to find out which will get through even the wildest of weeds. Please note that these tests were performed by a professional service technician, in a controlled environment. While attaching a saw blade to a trimmer makes for an excellent comparison video, if you’ve reached that point in lawn care you should probably just buy yourself a chainsaw. As always, safety first! Please be sure to wear the proper PPE when using outdoor power equipment like trimmers and saws.
For consistent testing purposes, we are using the same cordless trimmer for each round. We’ll be swapping out the different heads, which include the classic string trimmer, a plastic swing blade, a metal swing blade, and a saw blade. These different cutting heads will go up against cardboard straws, small wooden dowels, small bamboo, and larger pieces of bamboo. Let’s go!
Round One: String Trimmer VS Cardboard Straws
The string trimmer (AKA line trimmer, weed whacker, whipper snipper) is going to be the standard option for your everyday weed whacking and trimming edges. The line had no problem getting through the bundle of cardboard straws, and those straws are much tougher than your average dandelion. The straws have now been eliminated, and the line trimmer moves on to the next round!
Winner: String Trimmer
Round Two: String Trimmer VS Wooden Dowels
The string trimmer made little to no impact on the small wooden dowels and has sadly been eliminated from the competition. If you have plants to cut that are on the hardier side, you’re going to want a more powerful cutting head.
Winner: Wooden Dowels
Round Three: Plastic Swing Blade VS Wooden Dowels
The plastic swing blades are a more rigid and durable option compared to line, but can they defeat the small dowels? Once again, the answer is no. While these blades did take a bite out of the dowels (and left some scorch marks) the effort actually caused the blades to overheat and melt. The plastic blades have now been eliminated.
Winner: Wooden Dowels
Round Four: Metal Swing Blade VS Wooden Dowels
We're bringing in a serious competitor here, introducing metal swing blades. This type of blade is not intended for use on a line trimmer, but we made adjustments to attach this to the head. The metal swing blades were able to successfully slice through the bundle of small dowels, which now eliminates that product from our tests.
Winner: Metal Swing Blade
Round Five: Metal Swing Blade VS Small Bamboo
We're now going to up the ante and put the metal swing blades up against a small bundle of bamboo. The bamboo has the same hardness rating as oak, so the competition is now fierce. The blade was able to cut through, but the bamboo fought back. We had to cut this round short as the blades started to wobble and became a safety concern. On closer inspection, the bamboo actually caused the blade tips to bend, which put them out of balance. We are going to call this one a draw. Both made a valiant effort but will be eliminated from our comparison challenge.
Winner: It’s a Tie!
Round Six: Saw Blade VS Large Bamboo
Our two biggest competitors are now being put to the test. A saw blade has been attached to our trimmer head and will attempt to defeat a large bundle of bamboo. We know this bamboo is tough as oak, but the saw blade cut right through it.
Winner: Saw Blade
This is the point where the safety risk may outweigh the cutting performance. If the blade slips, or you swing wide and someone is in your radius, you will do serious damage. To provide you with a graphic representation, we present to you the bonus round!
Bonus Round: Saw Blade VS Bologna
As previously mentioned, if you’ve gotten to the point where you need to attach a saw blade to the end of your lawn trimmer, it may be time to invest in a chainsaw. To demonstrate the dangers of wielding such a tool, we have sacrificed a bologna to the cause. As one could expect, the saw caused mass destruction along with a huge mess to clean up. Always put safety first when using outdoor equipment, especially if other living creatures are in the vicinity.
Winner: Saw Blade
There you have it, folks, the saw blade is the clear winner, taking out anything from solid plant matter to questionable lunch meat. Your standard line trimmer will be able to tackle your typical edging and weed whacking purposes, while the swing blades can take on the hardier weeds. If you need to cut down some real stubborn invasive species, you may want to call in the chainsaw.
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