You have a small-to-large garden and lawn, and you cringe at the thought of someone else doing all of the landscaping on your behalf. Maybe you like the do-it-yourself approach, and it saves you money, too.
One of the first tools to purchase is a weed eater.
Weed eaters are ideal for gardens and yards in general, and you can perform even serious landscape management with the right weed eater. But you’re not an expert in the field and you have no idea where to begin.
The good news is that we know a thing or two about landscaping, and choosing the right weed eater, too. No one should have to purchase a weed eater without knowing what they need to be looking for first.
We’re going to provide you with seven tips or key factors when choosing a weed eater.
7 Tips to Choose the Right Weed Eater
- Garden or Lawn Size
The size of your garden or lawn matters a lot. The best weed eater really depends on your space, and since there are corded and gas models, you need to pick one that is best suited for your needs.
Corded models benefit from not running out of fuel and are ideal for smaller yards where an electrical outlet is in reach or an extension cord is long enough.
Gas-powered models are the right choice for larger yards. These models do require gas, which is an expense, but they also provide freedom in terms of movement. As long as you have enough gas on-hand, you’ll be able to work even dozens of acres.
Features don’t matter as much with a weed eater. These are rather basic tools, and you’ll only find small features, such as:
- Easy-start systems
- Top-mounted handles
- Power-saving features
- Spool type
Easy-start systems are nice, but the rest aren’t make-or-break features.
If you have a larger yard to work in, efficiency really matters – seriously. You may be big and strong and able to bench press a truck, but holding a 15 pound weed wacker for hours on end will leave your muscles sore and your body tired.
Lightweight models are ideal for larger spaces, and if a weed eater is heavy, a shoulder harness can help you support it better.
Gas efficiency is also a concern. Check and see how long the weed eater will be able to run on a single tank of gas. If most users are only getting 30 minutes out of their unit and need to stop mid-job to refill, this really isn’t the ideal situation.
The design is important, too. A few of the design “features” or aspects that can help immensely when weed whacking are:
- Handle Adjustments: Every person is different, and one handle height doesn’t fit all. Handle adjustments allow small and tall users alike to be able to comfortably trim their weeds without breaking their back in the process.
- Shoulder Strap: When a unit is particularly heavy or you need to work in a large space, a shoulder strap will be a lot of help.
- Attachments: I was tempted to put this as a feature, but it really is more of a design concept than anything else. Attachments are offered that can turn weed eaters into edgers and brush cutters. If you want a one-size-fits-all type of gardening tool, these attachments may be the ideal fit for you.
Obviously, every design is different, and the most important thing is to pick a design that is best suited for you. Many of these design extras will add a premium on to the price of the unit, which is something to mull over, too.
I’m going to be perfectly honest: there are a lot of cheap brands with companies that don’t care what happens after they have their money. Sometimes, a deal that is too good to be true really is too good to be true.
There are two key things you want to consider at this point: warranty and support.
If a part breaks or you have a question about the operation of the unit, will someone that is knowledgeable about the product be there to answer your questions? This is very important. Download the model’s instruction manual online (most manufacturers offer this) and give them a call to see if their support is available.
In the event that no one picks up the phone, you’re put directly to an answering machine (during business hours), or the number is disconnected, you may think twice about your purchase.
Even the best products in the world can have a defect. You may be the lucky person to purchase a product that has a 0.001% of a defect, and without a warranty, your investment disappears into thin air.
It goes without saying that you want to find a weed eater with a warranty.
The warranty period should be at least 6 – 12 months in length, if not longer. There’s nothing worse than going to try and kill some weeds in your yard only to find that your weed whacker isn’t working anymore.
Read through the warranty terms and find a model that has a satisfactory warranty.
- Read Reviews
One thing the Internet has done is allowed consumers to make smart purchasing decisions. Online reviews are an invaluable tool that can be used by a smart consumer to assess a product, in this case a weed eater, without having to plunk down money on a purchase.
And a word of caution: be careful of those “sponsored reviews.”
Many companies are providing discounts or free products for “honest” reviews. To me, this just doesn’t seem like something that promotes true honesty.
But in any case, you want to read reviews and look for the good and bad points of a product. There will always be a story of a broken here or something that went wrong with the shipment. Read through these reviews to see how the company remedied the problem and to get a better insight into the product you’re about to purchase.