weed eaters

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  #1  
Old 10-07-02, 08:39 AM
fjclaus
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weed eaters

I see on TV advertisements for blades to go on gas powered weed eaters. This is supposed to replace the string that keeps braking off.

I have a weed eater that you must slide the string spool inside and then stick the string out the hole. Can you get a blade attachment for these types of weed eaters? Or something better than the string I use? When I am weeding next to my fense the string just brakes off on contact with the fense. I use up almost a whole spool just doing the fence.


Any tips?

Frederick
 
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  #2  
Old 10-07-02, 01:57 PM
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Hello Frederick

I'll let cheese and others give you the real goods and the nitty gritty of interchanging poly-blades and nylon line on line trimmers (that's the generic term for the machines - 'weed eater' is a registered trade name).

My experience with the poly heads is they replace the entire string head assembly and while effective on brush and heavier weeds, can tangle in finer grasses if your revolutions aren't kept up. The poly blades will do a lot more damage to wood or desired vegetation than the line and can kick up a lot heavier stuff like stones and glass, so extra caution should be taken when using them (Remember to use your Personal Protective Equipment - especially eye, foot and leg protection).

Good for what they were designed for (heavy thick weeds) as long as they are used properly. The blades do eventually wear out and have to be replaced also.

I've also found that if you store your trimming line in the open, it will dry out and become brittle, shortening it's lifespan. Might not apply in this case, but something else to think about.

Over to you, Cheese...

Howie
 

Last edited by howiek; 10-07-02 at 02:33 PM.
  #3  
Old 10-07-02, 07:46 PM
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Hello Fredrick, and Howie!

In my experience, the blades are much less versatile than the line. They tend to twist and wind up long grass stalks, chew the bark off of trees, damage house siding...especially stucco and vinyl, and if they hit something that doesn't give, then it tends to kick the weedeater to the side...possibly causing you to hit something you didn't intend to hit. I have converted many trimmers to blades...and back to line again. The customers think they want the blades, and a month later they want the old head reinstalled.

You might be able to put a heavier line in your trimmer to solve the problem. I have 600 feet of fence to trim with my trimmer. I use a heavy line, and I run the engine at maybe 1/4 throttle. The trimmer engines are designed to run at wide open throttle, but if I did that, i would spend as much or more time re-stringing my spool than actually using the machine. If you use the unit in other places where it can be run wide-open, then you'll be correcting the damage done by running it at low speed. Low speed operation causes carbon buildup in the ehaust, and can clog up the exhaust in time. If you run it wide open for awhile, the engine will burn out the carbon that has built up.

You may be satisfied with the blades, but I feel like you will wish you left the old system on it. If you do convert it, the package should come with everything needed to make the conversion.

Hope this helps....let us know what you decide to do!
 
  #4  
Old 10-08-02, 06:11 AM
fjclaus
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Thanks for the advise. My trimmer is actually electric. Can I get heavier line for that kind? Can you suggest a weight I should look for? I will take your advise though and stick with the line.

Thanks.
 
  #5  
Old 10-08-02, 06:27 AM
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Frederick

If you still have your owner's manual for the machine, it should give a variety of string diameters that you can use (if you can indeed change string size). There is also a ridged or square string that claims to cut down weeds better - I've tried it with gas powered machines and it does seem to work.

You might be able to do a search for what string you can use (if you've 'misplaced' your manual) on the internet by going to the Manufacturer's website and following links to your product - many mfg's now have the manuals on-line.

Good Luck

Howie
 
  #6  
Old 10-09-02, 11:46 PM
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LOL...well, I'm a small engine tech, so when I hear weedeater...I think of a 2stroke engine on a pole. I didn't even think of it being electric.

I agree with Howie. Use the largest diameter string allowed by the manual. On many electric trimmers, the diameters to be used are often stamped on the spool itself I believe. There are differences in line quality also. The cheap white line is usually the weakest and doesn't last long. You may find good quality line at a lawnmower repair shop....even though this is electric. The square or triangular line does seem to last longer also.
 
  #7  
Old 10-10-02, 05:57 AM
fjclaus
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Thanks Cheese, The string I use is a greenish yellow color, and it was made by "WeedEater" or so it says. I see some of you have replaced the string compartments with the blade attachements. Is it possible to take the string compartment off my electric trimmer, and replace it with the same thing but one that will take a larger string diamiter?
 
  #8  
Old 10-10-02, 06:42 AM
mikejmerritt
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I would never tell you not to attempt to modify a machine (some here would think I had lost it....LOL....) to better serve your needs because with a little tinkering, time and persistance anything is possible but would pass on some of my findings in this area. The smaller electric w/eaters seem to be made with parts that are in harmony with each other from the motor power right down to the string and all in between. I have drilled out the heads on a few to handle larger line and most often run into trouble in one form or another. Changing heads tends to have the same outcome. Ran one poor machine with 1/3 oversize line until it beat the line clipper off of the weed guard and another did well right up until the motor started smoking from having to much drag on it from over size line.
Some things to try would be a top quality line like Oregon Grass Chain which is star cut with five rather sharp edges. This is some tough stuff and use the largest one the machine will handle and maybe with a little luck one size larger but be cautious because a spinning head with line on it is nothing to fool around with. Square Cut also has a great line with four sharp edges.
I have had some luck pushing a Stihl electric FS 55 to outer limits in various ways but if you had one of these you probably wouldn't be in here with questions. Best of luck.....Mike
 
  #9  
Old 10-10-02, 09:57 PM
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I'll fall in with Mike's advice. You MAY be able to successfully convery the head to one that will allow larger line. The possible effects are as Mike described. You may overheat the motor by making it turn a heavier spool and line than it was designed for. The thickness of the line actually makes a big difference in the load on the motor when it is spinning in the air. The thicker the line - the more drag it creates. You can experiment a bit, but I wouldn't go much larger than what the manufacturer reccomends.
 
  #10  
Old 10-11-02, 06:25 AM
fjclaus
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Thanks all. That is a big help, and yes I do still have the owners manual. This weekend I have to get out there a do some trimming so maybe I will take a trip to the hardware store and pick up some thicker line.

Thanks,
Frederick
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  #11  
Old 10-11-02, 08:00 PM
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Glad we could help! Happy trimming!
 
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