Trimming Tools for the Homestead

Keep your property in tiptop shape with these maintenance tools for rural acreage.

| May/June 2018

When we purchased our 80 acres, it was pretty raw land. The truck and tractor trails back to a few small fields were overgrown with brush and weeds, and the fence line that separated our property from others was barely visible through the tall grass. Trees lined the road into the property, but left unattended, they had started to grow over the road, and limbs needed to be trimmed and cut back.

I was excited to start clearing and trimming, but I quickly found out that I would need a new set of tools much different than the kind I had hanging in my garage in town. Trying to clear the tall grass and weeds with my light-duty string trimmer soon turned into frustration with the weeds clogging the trimmer due to lack of power. I had a light manual pole trimmer, but it would be no match for some of the limbs I would need to cut back over the road. Here are a few maintenance tools that I've found helpful, if not necessary, to have in the shed when it comes to trimming and rural acreage maintenance.

Grass trimmers

Clearing grass around buildings, trees, fence posts and fence lines can be a time-consuming task. You can greatly reduce the length of time you spend trimming with a quality string trimmer.

Most people are familiar with the basic makeup of a string trimmer: It consists of a two- or four-cycle gas engine attached to either a curved or straight shaft that ends with a trimmer head that holds spools of heavy nylon "string" or cord. The type of string trimmer typically used by homeowners tends to be more of a light-duty trimmer with a smaller engine and a curved shaft.

These light-duty trimmers are quite adequate when used for basic trimming like around sidewalks, trees, and flowerbeds, but they lack the power to handle overgrown grassy areas that may contain taller, thicker weeds such as Canadian thistle or milkweed, which will end up wrapped around the trimmer's head instead of being cut off.

Heavy-duty professional-type string trimmers are a good choice around the farmstead or rural acreage. These trimmers have a more powerful engine that is usually attached to a straight shaft. The professional-type trimmers may also be equipped with a loop or bike handle configuration to aid in control of the added weight and to help ease arm strain with prolonged use. An added feature of these trimmers is that many allow for the interchanging of various attachments by replacing the head of the unit. Switching out the trimmer head for a grass edger, mini garden cultivator, or even a hedge or pole pruner is easy and saves the cost of purchasing individual tools.

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