Whether you call it a trimmer, an edger or a shear, these tools all do essentially the same job: they get rid of those blades of grass along the edges of borders that the lawn mower misses. Here's a roundup of the different types.
The basic, no-fuss model that uses muscle power is generally called border or grass shears. No instruction manual is needed. These shears have 23-centimetre-long tempered steel blades and 84-centimetre-long steel handles, and weigh about two kilograms.
Then there are the power versions: gas, battery or electrical, usually called trimmers. Basically, a plastic line rotates at the bottom of the tool, slicing off the top of the grass.
Electrical versions are generally lighter than either the gas or battery ones, but you have to make sure you don't run over the cord, just as you would with an electrical mower.
Now's the perfect time to get out and find your ideal trimmer; the mowing season will be upon us before you know it.
Here are a few safety tips to keep in mind:
- Trim when grass is dry.
- Don't wear loose-fitting clothing as it can get caught in machinery. Long pants and sleeves will protect your limbs. Keep jewellery and long hair out of harm's way.
- Make sure trimmer's protective guard is tightly installed.
- Keep bystanders and pets a safe distance away.
- Wear safety goggles, as trimmers can throw up small stones and other debris.
- Maintain control of the machine at all times by not overreaching and keeping both feet on the ground.
- Ensure ventilation areas on the machine are kept clear of debris.