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String-trimmer mowers

In simpler times, a flock of sheep or herd of goats could keep the weeds and grass around the homestead trimmed just fine.
  • String trimmer mower

    However, livestock have pretty much stopped serving as lawn mowers at most country homes, and new ways of keeping empty lots and fencerows clean have emerged. One tool that's rapidly becoming popular is the string-trimmer mower.<br>String-trimmer mowers sprang from the limited capabilities of handheld string trimmers. Even the smallest walk-behind models have three times the power and triple the cord size of most handhelds. This means they can gnaw through tall grass and weeds without bogging down or breaking and wearing out the trimmer line.<br>

    Date Published: April 13, 2012
    Date Updated: April 23, 2012
  • Trim around your fence

    Ray Harry, homeowner from Olympia, Washington, is one of those users. "We use it to trim around fences, ditches, our pond, and around trees in our orchard. It handles grass, weeds, and vines up to 1/4 inch thick with the string. We use a Beaver Blade in place of the string head to cut trees up to 4 inches thick out of the fences," says Ray.<br>A host of other companies have also developed string-trimmer mowers, and a growing list of accessories is available. Models ranging from 3.5 hp. to 6.5 hp. are available from most makers in the $250 to $850 range. Engines are available with either manual or electric start (electric start costs $90 to $100 more). Briggs & Stratton or Tecumseh engines are typical, but some manufacturers make Honda and Kawasaki engines available for a premium.<br>One feature all trimmer mowers have in common is large wheels. This makes the 60- to 120-pound units easy to push through tough conditions. Wheel sizes range from 10 to 16 inches in diameter. Self-propelled models are available from some manufacturers.<br>All but the smallest string-trimmer mowers use .155-inch cord, the largest size available in the industry. Many models are built with the trimmer head set off-center, for ease in trimming along edges. Cutting height is adjustable, generally from 11/2 to 5 inches by raising the string head.<br>Most larger models adapt to a 12- or 14-inch Beaver Blade ($75) to cut heavier brush and trees. Some also accommodate a stump grinder, trash chopper (for heavy weeds), edger, or even a light-duty tillage attachment.<br>String-trimmer mowers can be used on a regular lawn, but that's not their best application, says Joe Sarlo of Sarlo Power Mowers, Fort Myers, Florida. "This is a machine to use where you can't take a mower with a blade, such as ditches, fence lines, or empty lots where bottles, rocks, wire, or stumps might be hidden," he says.<br>"They won't do everything," says Hutchinson, Kansas, homeowner Brian Boston. "But they're so handy, I can't seem to keep my neighbors from borrowing mine."<br>

    Date Published: April 13, 2012
    Date Updated: April 23, 2012
  • Ariens ST 622

    This 6-hp. model from Ariens Company of Brillion, Wisconsin, features a pivoting head that turns 15? either left or right to reach under bushes and fences. Mowing height is adjustable with four settings, ranging from 13/16 inches to 43/8 inches.<br>Ariens builds the deck out of 14-gauge steel, and the frame is 7 gauge. The ST 622 has a multiposition ergonomic handlebar, and it makes a 22-inch cutting diameter. List price: $339<br>For more information, phone 920/756-2141 or visit www.ariens.com on the Web.<br>

    Date Published: April 13, 2012
    Date Updated: April 23, 2012
  • DR Pro Model

    String-trimmer mower innovator DR offers this 6-hp. model with a Briggs & Stratton engine, and it comes as either manual- or electric-start. A cast-aluminum frame rolls on 16-inch wheels with semipneumatic tires on ball bearings. The mower weighs in at 70 to 77 pounds and makes a cut between 21 and 24 inches wide.<br>Trimming height is adjustable from 11/2 inches to 4 inches. The drivetrain is fully protected by a bottom shield enclosure. List price: $729<br>For more information, phone 800/687-6575 or visit DR on the Web at www.countryhomeproducts.com.<br>

    Date Published: April 13, 2012
    Date Updated: April 23, 2012
  • Edney Boss 971

    A heavy-duty, commercial-grade unit from Edney Distributing in Huron, South Dakota, this mower is equipped with a 6-hp. electric-start Briggs & Stratton engine. The Boss 971 weighs 120 pounds and will accommodate a stump grinder or trash chopper.<br>The adjustable-height handle folds for storage. Other features include a polycarbonate debris guard, solid aluminum ground contact shoe, and on-the-go head tilt adjustment. List price: $909<br>For more information, phone 605/352-8616 or visit Edney on the Web at www.estateyardcare.com.<br>

    Date Published: April 13, 2012
    Date Updated: April 23, 2012
  • Sarlo SST6SPI/C

    This 6-hp. unit comes with either a Briggs & Stratton engine or optional Honda engine. The self-propelled string-trimmer mower features a heavy-duty steel frame and bumper bar.<br>A bearing in the trimmer head reduces heat. Sarlo also uses an antitangle spindle design with a heavy-duty steel U-cutter to recut thick or fibrous weeds and prevent clogging. The 90-pound mower has 16-inch semipneumatic tires. List price: $829<br>For more information, phone 800/749-5296 or visit www.sarlomower.com on the Web.<br>

    Date Published: April 13, 2012
    Date Updated: April 23, 2012
  • Sears Craftsman 6-hp.

    Sears' high-wheel trimmer is built with a 6-hp. Briggs & Stratton engine and a free-floating guide ball. The guide ball prevents wear to the contact surface. This Craftsman mower rides on 14-inch-high wheels with ball bearings. It makes a 22-inch-wide cutting path, and the handle is adjustable. No tools are necessary for adjusting the cutting height, and installing replacement line is a toolless job, too. List price: $349.99<br>For more information, phone 800/697-3277 or visit www.sears.com on the Web.<br>

    Date Published: April 13, 2012
    Date Updated: April 23, 2012
  • Southland TRM-0050-T

    An economical unit from Southland Mower in Selma, Alabama, this machine is equipped with a 6-hp. Tecumseh engine, but the manufacturer also offers a Briggs & Stratton engine as an option. The TRM-0050-T has 14-inch poly spoke wheels with ball bearings, and it is built with a heavy-duty steel frame. The string-trimmer mower has a 24-inch cutting width and weighs 75 pounds. List price: $299 to $379 (includes free safety glasses)<br>For more information, phone 334/874-7405 or go to www.vulcaninc.com/plt5p03f.htm on the Web.<br>

    Date Published: April 13, 2012
    Date Updated: April 23, 2012
  • Troybilt 6-hp.Trimmer Mower

    This electric-start model has a 6-hp. Briggs & Stratton engine, weighs 84 pounds, and uses either .130- or .155-mil cord to make a 22-inch clearing path. Cutting height is adjustable from 11/2 to 5 inches. The mower's trimmer head extends the reach for trimming under shrubs or fences. No tools are required to adjust the head, and Troybilt includes a 10-piece string pack in the carton. Manufacturer's suggested retail price: $329<br>For more information, phone 800/828-5500 or go to www.troybilt.com on the Web.<br>

    Date Published: April 13, 2012
    Date Updated: April 23, 2012
  • Clean up your acreage

    Visit for even more product guides. These chain saws, compact tractors and wood chippers, along with the string-trimmer mowers featured here, will help keep your acreage neat and tidy.
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    http://www.livingthecountrylife.com/articles/07spring04/images/chainsaw3...
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    http://www.livingthecountrylife.com/articles/02summer02/images/02wood_ch...
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    Date Published: April 13, 2012
    Date Updated: April 23, 2012
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