If you have a lawn or grassy garden area, then you’ll be interested in buying the right tools to help you keep it in good condition.
The largest factor in keeping a grassy area healthy is regular cutting and trimming. This helps get rid of weeds and other pests that like to live in the lawn and make the place look grotty. Regular cutting also keeps it looking thick and fresh.
There are two main tools for cutting and trimming lawns: a lawnmower and a strimmer (trimmer). Generally, these are used for different tasks, so neither one is inherently better, it will depend on what jobs you want to do. Lawnmowers are ideal for large areas of grass and can do much of the heavy lifting when it comes to cutting. Strimmers are better for precision cutting and edges and borders.
Here we’ll look at the pros and cons of both tools and decide what they’re best at, so that you’ll be able to make a decision about which one you might need to best suit your gardening desires!
Lawn Mowers: Pros & Cons
Lawnmowers are generally the bread and butter of garden maintenance and there are a whole bunch of different mowers available, ranging through electric and petrol-powered models.
Lawnmowers allow you to cut large areas of grass relatively easily.
As well as covering lots of ground, you can adjust the height of a mower and set it at a constant. This means that once you’ve finished the grass will definitely be the same length all over (unless it’s wet), which helps it look nice and uniform.
Mowers are also quite low maintenance, since many of the inner workings are built to last a long time. The only really regular thing you need to do is clean the blades after use, which isn’t particularly labour intensive.
There are a lot of variations in brand and model, allowing you to pick something that really suits your needs.
You could go the electric route or the petrol powered route, both with their own advantages and disadvantages. Electric powered mowers will be quieter and won’t exhaust fumes, but you will need to have them connected to a power source which means trailing a cord with you.
Electric mowers, then, will be better suited to slightly smaller grass areas, to accommodate for the power socket requirement.
If you want to go for the fully environmentally friendly route, though, you can even get a hand-pushed model, which is perfect for small lawns (and lets you get a workout in at the same time).
Mowers tend to have compartments that grass clippings are deposited into which you can empty yourself periodically. This means that clippings are not left on your newly trimmed lawn, avoiding the need to rake them up!
Mowers are great for the main body of grass, but once you get to tidying up borders and edges (such as the edge of a flower bed say), you’ll really struggle to get a good neat cut.
Sometimes they can be quite heavy and cumbersome to push around and this will only be exacerbated if you have a lot of slopes in your garden.
If you’re using an electric model, then you’ll be restricted in terms of distance as you need to keep it connected to a power supply.
This also means that a cable will be present, which presents a trip hazard while you’re focused on cutting the grass.
Worse still, that cable could very easily get caught in the blades and get severed, ruining your mower.
So there you can see that mowers are best suited to lawns and getting large patches of grass cut to the same length. More delicate grass cutting is not really possible with them, which is where strimmers can come in.
Strimmers are much smaller than mowers and are completely handheld, allowing you to point to what you want to cut.
Strimmers are very light compared to mowers and are incredibly portable.
You can even get harness attachments which let you carry them with complete ease (and more safety).
Strimmers really come into their own if you have edges or borders to take care of.
Because of their portability, you can trim edges with great ease and even start blending the height of your grass to give you polished, more professional effects to your grass.
Like mowers, they come in both electric and petrol varieties.
Strimmers are also great for spot weed control, especially when the weeds or vines are really tough.
You can also use these on non-grassy areas, such as hedges and bushes if you want to give them a quick trim, which you obviously can’t do with a lawnmower.
Due to how much smaller the cut area is, a strimmer just won’t be able to cut an entire lawn. (I mean, physically it CAN do it, but it would take forever).
Using a strimmer for extended periods of time can sometimes leave you quite fatigued because of the vibration. This can be mitigated a bit by buying a pair of protective gloves.
They can usually be quite noisy, which can cause ear fatigue as well, which is not fun. Ear protection helps against this too.
It is much harder to keep the cut height level with a strimmer, since you’ll be doing it yourself simply by how high off the ground you hold the tool.
Strimmers have the cutting part a lot more exposed than a mower, meaning there is a higher safety risk when using one.
As with mowers, if you’re using an electric strimmer, then the cord is liable to be cut as well.
So Which is Better?
As you’ve probably guessed by now, there is no right answer to this question. Neither a mower nor strimmer is actually better than the other, they’re just used for different jobs.
The best scenario is actually to have both in your gardening arsenal, as they complement each other very well.
You can use a lawnmower for the bulk of the grass cutting, by trimming the main body of your lawn.
Once that’s done, you can then do the detailing with your strimmer, tidying up edges and borders that the mower couldn’t get into, or cutting through tough weeds that the mower couldn’t manage.
Together, these tools will help you keep your lawn and borders to a professional standard and your grass will always look fresh and healthy!
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