Strimmer Mad

One of those days, strimmer started, head flew off, strimmer head, not mine! Indicates it’s worn down.
Hot weather, I got the head back on. Strimmer won’t start now, garden is crying for a strim.
Engine turns but won’t fire. Horrible machines. Each pull tugs on the injuries in my spine and shoulder and makes me hot and cross, I will be in pain later or tomorrow.
Please sympathize excessively.

Where Strimmers are concerned, no sympathies could ever be excessive.

Strimmers could exhaust the world-wide resource of sympathy, compassion, empathy, zen, loving-kindness, patience, tolérance of misfortune, forbearance and ingenuity and still want some more.

If you are tempted to buy another strimmer to replace the loose-headed one, phone Débroussailleurs Anonymes for support. :hugs:

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Years ago, my first reaction would have been to throw the strimmer as far & as hard as possible…however, after having to replace many otherwise useful items, due to this habit, I now find it easier to remain calm (& a little less poor.)

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It’s true that Strimmers are neurotic and likely to get agitated if one pressures them to start. It’s worth letting their tiny juice gland dry out for half an hour, then - with soothing words and a gentle smile - take them firmly in hand and give a sharp (not TOO sharp) tug on the heart-string, and they will burst into life, perhaps with a little outburst of vexed smoke and small regret for thwarting you.

After many years of strimmer hell, we bought a battery operated one. It is quite big and heavy, a proper thing not just for a couple of extra blades of grass in a suburban garden. It starts by pressing a button…and the complete joy is that the battery only lasts around 30 minutes. :grinning:. Then you have to recharge it for a couple of hours. We toyed with the idea of buying extra batteries and then decided that slow strimming would be our thing.

Morning equivalent of tai chi at present is 20 minutes in the hay field. Relaxing, quiet, no fumes, no shoulder wrenching. (Just a slight wrench to the bank balance…)

(Oh yes, and you have sympathy for your strimmer hell)


The sympathy, empathy and support have given me strength. I avoided throwing or kicking, as I too know how expensive this can be. I let it recover, and went and had another go. I have got a large chunk of strimming done, and am now resting to give my injuries and the heat a chance to calm down. Phew!

Peter’s advice is good. When the motor is stopped, the residual heat tends to cause the fuel to vaporise so that not enough is able to get into the cylinder. Let it cool, re-pump the bulb and try again.
A 2-temps motor only needs two things to run, fuel and a spark. Worth checking the condition of the fuel feed pipe. If it is damaged, it can allow air bubbles to enter the carb, resulting in a weak mixture.
If you spray a “cold-start” aerosol into the air intake and still can’t get it to run for a few seconds, it is probably the plug.
You do have all my sympathy! It has often crossed my mind that the time I spend starting reluctant machines could have been more usefully spent doing the job by hand with a scythe. But there is a trick to that too, even though it looks easy when you see an expert doing it!

Hi Mike,

Thank you for your advice.
Yes, the fuel feed pipe does need replacing, I thought my mate managed to put it back in place but no, it is leaking a little.
I’ve been a gardener for a large chunk of my career, just awaiting doctor’s advice on returning to it, and I have come to the conclusion that the way strimmers are designed just makes them troublemakers. Over the years, if something is going to break down or break a window, it will be the strimmer (not me). My various workmates have done some glorious window breaking, me, just greenhouse panes.
My head gardener when I was young, banned the use of easy start/cold start spray and as a result I never dare to use it! He used to rage about the lord of the manor who used it for all the machines, the Lord of the manor had pink trousers and liked his ride-on mower.
I was trained in scything but until I am in better shape I will not be carrying out such operations - however, that is probably a great relief to anyone who knows me! Hehe, stand back!
Most of the ground is edges, not easy to scythe.

There is certainly a fortune awaiting for the person who can make a better strimmer. Too difficult for Mr. Dyson, despite his talent for making simple devices more complicated!
But the newest batteries are very good and I have wondered if that is the way to go. I am very pleased with my new Black and Decker drill. But 2-stroke fumes are addictive and it is hard to break the habit. . . . .
My badly translated Chinese instruction book refers to the “Button Bum Feet!” Totally irrelevant, but it made me smile.

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I like the Chinese translations.
I think a robot strimmer would be good, plus it would terrify the cats. When I got a robot hoover a few decades ago, it would chase the cats out of the house and then attack the wall for several hours, so maybe a robot strimmer would be risky.
I have just achieved the next lot of strimming, I am looking forward to cold shower, shorts and BBQ when it’s all done.

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There are trimmers and there are strimmers! A semi-professional husqvarna or stihl machine should give years of trouble free strimming. Don’t forget decent eye, ear and leg protection.


Absolutely. I used to have a monster strimmer when I first worked on estates, I needed a backpack harness thing for it. It’s a bit different when the estate pays for the machinery, I don’t have much of a budget, however, the strimmer is working now, so all is well.

I highly recommend one of these:

I get around 30-40 minutes in tortoise (slow) mode, by then its time for a cup of tea.
It uses the same batteries as my DIY cordless tools which is a bonus.


Looks good, they have some good lightweight tools, something to think about if I go back into gardening business.

Nigel, do you use it instead of a rotary mower to cut your grass and, if so, how many metres square can you cut at tortoise pace in 30 minutes?

I tend to go at my grass at chameleon pace, using a quite heavy petrol driven mower that I push manually, and my grass being largely to orchard it’s heavy to manoeuvre round trunks and under branches, so a strimmer might make things easier, I think.

Our garden plot is 55m x 18m = 990m2 of which 750m2 is grassed over with 12 trees, the rest is potager or chicken run etc.

“Three horses to turn the blades and one donkey to push it!” sounds like a clear case for an autoportée.

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I don’t know the makita, so it could be different, but when we were looking we found the coupe-herbe were a bit flimsier and less effective than similar priced débroussaille. We went for an oregon, which has brush cutter and hedge trimmer attachments too. I guess it depends how manicured your garden is, but ours would eat a coupe-herbe for breakfast.

I got the bigger brother brushcutter version (and also the smaller version) - both are excellent and none of the petrol engine issues. I bought both of mine from Amazon UK at very good prices

It is a cracking but of kit, very powerful and much quieter than petrol version. With the blade attached it cuts through just about anything.

What gauge line does it use Mat? - my Husqvarna 343 uses 3mm and can get through the thickest brambles, but I like Makita stuff and need an excuse for a couple of new batteries! BTW, have you seen the new 40v stuff?

2.4mm line or 2 different blades.

I had an email about the 40v kit but was pleased to see they are continuing with LXT as I have a lot of their gear (lawnmower, chainsaw, 2x strimmer, drills, sds, planer, Jigsaw, impact drivers, sanders, router - and the list continues for quite a while!) A twin charger is well worthwhile.

Buying the tools without charger or batteries makes them not particularly expensive.