Straight vs. Curved Shaft Trimmer: Pros/Cons
It takes a lot of patience, time and effort to grow grass on your lawn or yard and so it is only fair to make sure that you maintain it well. And for this, you need a string trimmer to cut and keep it looking neat and healthy.
But, as you shop for a gas string trimmer to give your lawn the attention that it requires, you will need to decide on whether to buy a straight or curved shaft trimmer.
While both are fast and efficient in cutting the grass each has pros and cons, and so you should not just settle for the first type you get.
Besides from the noticeable difference in the shape of the shaft these trimmers are pretty much the same in their applications. However, they will differ in their capabilities and applications. And so the right gas trimmer for you depends on personal preferences.
But, understanding what each can do and its advantages over the other type should make your decision easier.
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Straight Shaft Trimmer
Most yards and lawns will also include a few other plants like trees and shrubbery. While these other plants help to beautify the yard they can also make grass cutting hard.
It is the need to reach under the trees and shrubbery when trimming grass that makes the straight shaft trimmer popular. And this is because the shaft is long and sturdy enough to make it easy to reach under low hanging trees and bushes.
The straight shaft trimmers are also more potent than the curved shaft ones due to the length of the shaft. These trimmers will be the best when you have a large property or have to clear heavy brush.
Straight shaft trimmer will also run blades, accommodate bigger head and also use a heavier line as they are powerful enough. All this will be hard to achieve when using most curved shaft trimmers.
These trimmer models are also more likely to last longer than the curved shaft ones because their drive cable will not have to flex as much. Also, they tend to vibrate less as they are heavier than the curved ones. The extra smoothness or reduced vibrations also make the parts last longer.
- More powerful. Trimmers with a straight shaft will tend to provide more power than those with curved ones. And so they will be ideal for heavy-duty trimming chores or when dealing with a large yard and dense brush.
- Less vibration. Straight shaft trimmers will be heavier than the curved shafts ones, and this means that they will vibrate less and hence reducing user fatigue from extended periods of use. Also, less vibration will make the parts last longer, and so the straight shaft trimmers tend to be more durable than the curved shaft ones.
- Versatile applications. Most straight shaft trimmers will come with interchangeable heads that makes them, more versatile and suitable for a variety of jobs. Since they can also accommodate blades and heavy lines, there is almost no trimming job that is too much for these trimmers.
- Best for clearing hard to reach places. The straight shaft and its extra length make these trimmers ideal for trimming the hard to reach areas. Their design makes it easy to reach under overhanging tree branches, under low decking and also for clearing sharp corners.
- More cumbersome. The straight shaft trimmer might be more powerful and versatile than the curved shaft ones, but they are also more cumbersome. And so they will be quite heavy to carry around for extended use, and this is more so for smaller persons.
- Relatively expensive. When you compare the straight shaft trimmers to the curved ones, you will find that in most cases they tend to be pricier. Their versatility and more powerful performance mean that you have to pay more to own one. Many high-performing straight shaft trimmers will cost upwards of $200.
Curved Shaft Trimmer
With the ever decreasing real estate spaces many homeowners now have small lawn and yards. And if this is the case for you a lightweight and affordable trimmer is always the best option.
The curved shaft trimmers are as lightweight as it can get and are always the best option for those with small yards.
And as the name suggests, the curved shaft trimmers are the type that will come with an arched drive cable. These trimmers also feature a shorter shaft than what you get on the straight shaft models.
Besides from their lightweight, the curved shaft trimmers are also easier to use than the straight shaft ones, and they will be an excellent choice for light trimming on small properties.
The design and shorter reach of the curved shaft trimmers are very suitable for people with small statures, and they will be more comfortable and easy to use for regular yard maintenance. However, the short shafts can be a significant shortcoming for taller individuals as they will have to lean forward a lot.
- Relatively affordable. If cost is a significant concern for you, the curved shaft trimmer is a better option than the straight shaft ones. In most instances, they will be more affordable, and if you get a good model, it can perform almost everything that the expensive straight shaft ones can do. While the price will depend on the brand and model, on average, you will spend around $100 on these trimmers.
- Lightweight and maneuverable. The lightweight curved shaft trimmers are simple and comfortable to handle and are also highly maneuverable. With these trimmers, you can get in and out of small places easily.
- Best for small yards. Curved shaft trimmers are the best for working on small yards and lawns. Their style and weight make them perfect for your small property, and it will ensure that it is more efficient and easy to use.
- Not blade capable. Unlike the straight shaft trimmer, the curved shaft will not run blades, and this is a significant shortcoming because it limits the things that you can use it to trim.
- Tall users have to reach down. The short shaft on the curved shaft trimmers means that they might not be ideal for tall people because they will have to reach down a lot when using it. When trimming grass on large yards or using it for extended periods, this can cause excess fatigue.
The Bottom Line
The size of your yard and budget are always important factors to consider when choosing a gas string trimmer.
And if the two are the only factors that you consider the curved shaft will be ideal for those with a small yard and shopping on a tight budget. The straight shaft trimmers, on the other hand, are the best choice for large yards and lawns.
Another way to pick between the two trimmers is by considering your needs. If you just want something for light yard clearing and trimming pathways, you will not need all the power and capabilities of a straight shaft trimmer because a curved shaft trimmer is more than enough.
However, if your trimming needs involve clearing under low hanging trees and bushes, decking and many other hard to reach places then you should be ready to spend more on a straight shaft trimmer.
The overall performance, durability, and extended reach make the straight shaft trimmer ideal for most trimming application. And so if cost is not a concern it is always a much better option than the curved shaft trimmer.
Best Straight Shaft Trimmers
Husqvarna 128LD 17-Inch Straight Shaft Detachable String Trimmer
The Husqvarna 128LD is a lightweight and multipurpose straight shaft trimmer that will be suitable for all your lawn and yard trimming needs at home.
It uses a powerful 28 cc engine that ensures that you get enough power to handle even the most hardened brush and also for use in large yards and extended periods.
With this straight shaft trimmer, you will also not have to worry about starting or end up wasting time to get it to run as it uses a smart start recoil system for easy and quick starts.
It is also an attachment-capable trimmer which makes it more versatile and suitable for use for various applications. And when you buy it you will also get an easy loading semi-automatic T-25 trimmer head.
Remington RM2510 17-Inch Curved Shaft Gas Trimmer
For the homeowner shopping for a reliable and affordable straight shaft trimmer, the Remington RM3560 is one of the best models in the market. And besides, from the affordable price tag, it is also a high performing and efficient trimmer.
The straight shaft trimmer features a 25 cc 2-cycle engine that will provide more than enough power for all your trimming needs, and it makes this a very reliable trimmer. Also, it uses QuickStart technology to ensure you never waste any time trying to get it to run.
With this trimmer cutting grass under low hanging trees and other hard to reach places should be quick and effortless. And it is also a long lasting machine thanks to the durable components.
Other things that make this straight shaft trimmer stand out include the dual line pump head with its 0.95-inch line to provide greater control and the 16-inch swath that will ensure that you cut more extensive sections of tall grass within a short time.
Best Curved Shaft Trimmers
Troy-Bilt 4-Cycle 17-Inch Straight Shaft Trimmer
Troy-Bilt TB525 is one of the most reliable curved shaft trimmers that will cut your lawn and yard consistently for many years. And with its 29 cc 4-cycle engine it will provide more power than most other curved shaft trimmers out there.
This trimmer uses a jumpstart and spring assist capable engine that makes it easy and quick to start. It also has a SpeedSpool 2 bump head for fast and easy loading of up to 20 feet of line.
The 17-inch cutting swath on this trimmer provides high trimming efficiency and also speeds up the process. And with the attachment-capable design, you can use the engine on this trimmer to power up to 10 different attachments.
Black & Decker BDCI20C 20V MAX Lithium Impact Driver
If you prefer to use a curved shaft trimmer and do not mind spending a few extra bucks on it, the Husqvarna 128CD will be a perfect choice for you.
This lightweight and easy to use trimmer will come with an auto return stop switch that will reset it to the ON position automatically to make the machine easy and quick to start.
It also has an air purge which means that it will remove any air in both the carburetor and fuel system. Doing this also makes the engine easy to start.
And to make this an even more convenient machine to start it also features a Smart Start system. But there is still more to it than the easy and quick start as the shaft is detachable for simple and convenient storage and transportation.
This curved shaft trimmer is also compatible with several attachments that are available as accessories and hence making this a multi-purpose gas trimming machine.