Small, lightweight and manoeuvrable, grass trimmers and brush cutters are the must-have gardening tool for any landscape gardener, farmer, or anyone that owns a property with areas that are inaccessible with a lawn mower.

The difference between a grass trimmer and a brush cutter is fairly simple. The bent shaft of a grass trimmer gives the tool a more accurate cut when clearing grass from around obstacles such as flower beds and rocks, or pretty much any terrain too difficult to reach by hand. While a brush cutter is characterised by a straight shaft and a gearbox on the end, which makes them more suitable for taller gardeners.

There are three options when buying a grass trimmer and brush cutter: battery, electric or petrol.

Petrol powered trimmers and brush cutters offer the most versatility, powered by either a two or four stroke engine with a wide variety of engine sizes to choose from, depending on the job at hand.

Two of the products we at Sunshine Coast Mowers often recommend to customers are the two stroke STIHL FS 38 and the four stroke Honda UMS425. There are significant differences between these two trimmers, power output being the number one, however they both serve different purposes for both domestic and business use. The 2-stroke STIHL FS 38 come with a practical easy-grip loop handle and a light-weight flexible drive shaft, which makes it the ideal tool for domestic users. This timer gives a more accurate cut when clearing grass from around obstacles such as plant containers, flower beds and ornaments, and is easy to use for beginners gardeners to the experienced.

The STIHL FS38 comes with a single cylinder two-stroke engine, weighs a light 4.1kg without fuel, and puts out 0.65 kW or 0.9 HP at 7,000 rpm. Its Electronic Ignition Module ensures a reliable start, with an encapsulated ignition system to stop water or dirt penetrating and deteriorating the engine. This model is considered the lightest trimmer in the STIHL range, thus being perfect for lawn borders, grass edges and putting the finishing touches on the garden bed. On the other end of the spectrum, if you are after a greater power trimmer, the 4-stroke Honda UMS425 might just be the cutter for you. This model uses unleaded fuel, so you'll never have to mix oil and fuel again, unlike its two-stroke competitors.

The Honda UMS425 is also known for producing less noise and smoke, and its top-of-the-line engineering means it has a lower fuel consumption. The bent shaft and light-weight design of the Honda gives it excellent manoeuvrability while reaching those difficult areas around the garden, including garden beds. You can also use this tool with ease when stripping back over-grown areas or grass, such as farmland.

Although both these machines are powered by petrol, you can also buy battery powered trimmers and electronic trimmers, which both have their pros and cons. The battery powered trimmer is environmentally friendly, with no fuel and virtually no service requirements and are ideally suited for smaller areas . However, the disadvantages of battery trimmers includes limited run times, relatively low power and the added weight of the battery. Electric trimmers either have their drive motors located at the bottom of the trimmer or at the top of the trimmer, and are typically more expensive but are said to last longer as the motor is subject to less dust. Electric trimmers are ideal for smaller areas and less frequent use and require virtually no maintenance, however the disadvantages include the need for extension leads.

For more information contact the team at Sunshine Coast Mowers, we can guide you in the right direction when choosing either one of these products suitable for your garden.