First Whipper Snipper - What to Buy?

Hello,

Looking for suggestions for models of good whipper snippers.
I've never owned one before, and have only used a lawnmower and left the places I couldn't reach as is.

Requirements:

  • Small front yard, just fence edges and around some concrete paving
  • Preferably <$250
  • Happy to buy new or take the risk and buy used

Did some initial research, but not really sure whether I require:

  • A straight or curved pole: I assume curved?
  • 2 or 4 stroke or battery : I assume a 2 stroke might me right for my purposes?

Pretty clueless and I know how this story plays out: I usually spend weeks researching, reading reviews and spinning my wheels and wasting a lot of time, so if anyone could guide me in the right direction with a good model to buy (doesn't matter if it's a bargain or just RRP) I would appreciate it.

Thank you.

Comments

  • +2 votes

    Do you own a petrol mower already? If so, then stick with petrol, as you'll have all the tools and consumables needed to maintain petrol engines. If not, go all electric.

    •  

      Yes I do. It's a mower we had for 10 or 15 years and all I really have for it is a Jerry can, some petrol and some oil.

      Great, thanks for the advice. Will do.

      • +5 votes

        I've been using one of these for years now… Never had a problem with it…

        https://www.stihl.com.au/STIHL-Products/Grass-Trimmers-Brush...

        They also not do an electric model, but the only concern there is how long the battery will last… Trimming grass uses up the battery really quickly…

        https://www.stihl.com.au/STIHL-Products/Grass-Trimmers-Brush...

        •  

          Thank you very much for the suggestions and accompanying links.

          Looks good and there appears to be some dealers near my house I can pick one up from.

          • +1 vote

            @fd9: If you only have a small area, I'd probably go with the electric, but ask your local dealer, they are very helpful.

            •  

              @jv: I see.
              Will do.
              Just wanted some opinions here first because I'm new to whipper snippers and would just believe whatever the salesman tells me I need.

              Didn't want to go into the store unarmed.

              • +1 vote

                @fd9:

                and would just believe whatever the salesman tells me

                At the Stihl dealer, they have lots of different types, both petrol and electric. It's in their interest to sell you the best one for your situation otherwise you wont be coming back…

                •  

                  @jv: That's a good point.

            • +1 vote

              @jv: Check the price of Stihl replacement batteries? Almost as bad as buying a new 2 stroke whipper snipper off them once every few years.

          •  

            @fd9: Have had the FS38 for 18 years and doesn’t miss a beat. If you have a swear jar, it could get full pretty quickly. For those in the know, please enlighten OP.

  • +4 votes

    small front yard, just fence edges and around some concrete paving

    I would personally go cordless electric, despite less powerful, as it is a small area you mentioned. I own 18v as there is not that much to cut, only around tree skirting areas to get a clean look.

    However I use a cordless electric edger for where the path and grass meet.

  • +1 vote

    I'm an Ozito fan, but their cheap whippersnippers that use the plastic blades are rubbish. I have a 36v Aldi one that works really well instead

    Decent nylon cord also really helps instead of snapping all the time, but you only find this out after trying a few brands/styles

    • +3 votes

      Decent nylon cord also really helps instead of snapping all the time

      Which ones?

      I've normally been using the Stihl ones which are pretty good. Recently I tried a 'premium' one from Bunnings thinking it might be better, but it's been crap.

      • +1 vote

        Let's just say that any Aldi-branded ones are lower still on the scale…

      • +1 vote

        Try Trail Blazer. You can get from a mower shop or there's a few listings on eBay.

    •  

      Interesting! Have been using Ozito with red blades and am amazed at what it can do. Whopping some 1 meter high grass now with it. Light, easy to use, battery lasts about half an hour.

  • +1 vote

    i used to have a two stroke for pretty light use (similar to what you describe), but have since moved onto electric (https://www.bunnings.com.au/makita-18v-1-x-3-0ah-line-trimme...) and it's much less of a hassle. bump feed is also really handy.

    •  

      Great. Thank you for the suggestion. I'll check it out.

  • +2 votes

    I use a Ryobi electric with a cord - the cords constantly break and I'm forever replacing the spools.

    That might just me and my inability to use a line trimmer properly though.

    • +3 votes

      with a cord - the cords constantly break

      The power cord breaks? or do you mean the 'line' ?

      If it's the line, get a better brand, and also look at the way you are using it. You should be cutting at the end of the line, don't cut too close…

      • +1 vote

        yeah the line - not the power cord. I'd be in real trouble if the power cord was breaking

        Any suggestions on better line? Is it easy enough to wrap the spool yourself?

        • +1 vote

          Any suggestions on better line?

          I've mainly used the Stihl Line Trimmer 2.0mm which has been pretty good. The Bunnings ones I've tried have been rubbish…

    •  

      I've got the Ryobi brushless 18v and the line that comes with it is pretty rubbish. Once it ran out and I switched to another I haven't had any problems.

  • +3 votes

    First whipper snapper

    Thought you were expecting your first child..

    • +3 votes

      Are you fishing for trouble?

  • +5 votes

    For me, i hated and was horrible at putting in new "wire" or "reel" for my whipper snipper. Then i found the reel easy thingy. It is the best $50 i have ever spent. Instead of 15mins of pure frustration, it takes about 2 minutes and is super easy. Not sure if other brands offer the same type of adapter thing.

    Bunnings Link

  • +2 votes

    If you have any cordless power tools, check out cordless whipper snipper offerings from the same brand which will share the same batteries. I have an 18v Ozito which has been fine for my purposes. 18v is fine if you're just trimming a bit of grass.

    • +2 votes

      agree. the $29 Ozito trimmer or skin only have done an admirable job on my yard.
      paired with the drill etc, it is a no brainer.

  • +1 vote

    Straight. Curved sucks. Also make sure it can handle thicker line (3mm, from memory). Then it lasts ages instead of constantly tapping it. One tap lasts me whole garden and edging the front nature strip.

  • +3 votes

    Brushless 18v Ryobi.
    Does my place and has plenty of power for normal household duties.
    Don't get the lower non brushless version though..it's a weak useless thing.

  • +4 votes

    Go electric, petrol isn't worth it anymore for small areas like what you have. I have the Ryobi 36v from bunnings and it does a great job. Try to keep all your tools the same brand/battery size if you can, makes life simpler.

    •  

      I have the Ryobi 36v as well and it's brilliant. The only whinge I have is the cost of the battery, and the fact that most of the other Ryobi tools don't use the same battery as the garden tools.

      If I had my time again I'd probably get the Ozito PXC range for the edger, because they have good home hobbyist tools that use the same battery.

  •  

    tiny yard, get battery
    big yard, get petrol

    do not get corded, they work fine but you will eventually hate the thing because of the cord getting in the way.

  • +1 vote

    OP here.
    Firstly, thanks everyone for the suggestions.

    Based on the advice suggested I now have to decide between:

    Listed in order of number of recommendations:

    Excluded:
    - 36V Aldi (can't seem to find a link to buy this)


    The Ryobi One+ Brushless Electric one seems like the one to buy, but at a price of $219 for the skin and $149 = $368 for a charger and battery it is creeping up a bit.

    •  

      Edit: Sam misread and goofed up.

    • +1 vote

      I second the vote for electric/battery. I use a 4 stroke petrol mower (as I have a large lawn area to cover) but the 18v trimmers are great (moved away from 2 stroke trimmers 2 years ago).

      Also consider the Dewalt 18v which is what I have (I swapped the spool to an ebay aluminum head). But I'm not sure if this deal can be obtained anymore. https://www.ozbargain.com.au/node/557288

      •  

        Thanks mate ill do some googling.

    • +1 vote

      Do you foresee wanting any other tools in the future? Might help narrow the choices. Also factor in warranty, Ryobi is 6 years on the tool, don't think any of the others even match that.

      •  

        Great point about the warranty. Thanks for that, makes the choice a bit easier.

        I don't think I will need any other tools in the future.
        - I have a $50 bunnings drill with a built in battery / non-removable that I bought last year.
        If that dies that's the only time I will need a new tool.

        I am renting, house could change in the future

    •  

      Buy this:
      https://www.bunnings.com.au/ryobi-one-18v-5-0ah-cordless-blo...

      It's the cheapest way to get a 5.0 AH battery with another skin.

      Then buy the whipper snipper skin.

      It's a good combo. I can whipper snipper my whole yard (probably 200m of edging, 30 mins) and do a good leaf blowing (10 mins) and still have charge left.

      •  

        Legend
        Would never have thought of that.

  •  

    The biggest problem is the line. Bump feeds are great while they work, but fiddly to reload. I have a 4 stroke Trimmer that just uses two pieces of line pushed into the boss. that works OK.
    Ozito with single red plastic cutter works OK on grass, but don't bring it near to masonry because it will disappear.
    Whichever line you use, make sure you buy Made in USA, when buying more.

    •  

      Are the pieces of line specifically manufactured to fit the trimmer? Or are you able to use pieces of spooled line?

      • +1 vote

        No, the Briggs 4-stroke uses two pieces, about 200mm each, cut from a spool. There is a very good 4-stroke trimmer made by Honda, expensive, but uses a bump-feed that works well, loads with line, but a double-track spool.

        •  

          There is a very good 4-stroke trimmer made by Honda

          I had a 4 stroke Honda that I sold when I decided to go full electric. While the Honda was good, I much prefer the Ryobi. It's cleaner, quieter, don't need to keep fuel around or service it and it just works.

  •  

    Had a 2 stroke for 30 years and recently replaced it with a self-feeding EGO battery trimmer. Best move ever and wont be going back to petrol gear anytime soon.

    • +1 vote

      I have the ego 54v too and it's great. Only used around half of the battery each time trimming around the house.

      •  

        which one you would recommend in EGO. They seem to have good reviews but a bit pricey.

  •  

    I got the 50$ ozito corded one from Bunnings a month ago, it works well but the cord is a pain as a have a corner stand so lots of pavement.

  •  

    I have a makita 2 stroke petrol and it’s been good for my 1000sqm yard. It starts easily, is tough and handles long grass well. I live on a steep undulating hill so I use this tool to mow all the grass instead of a lawn mower. After a few hours of use the vibrations can be a bit annoying so I have to take breaks. A 4 stroke might be better for a large yard. For anything less than 500sqm a 2 stroke is good.

  •  

    Small yard: cordless electric hands down.

    I can do around 200m of edges (yes, measured) with an 18v 4ah with enough left over for blowing the grass away. Upgraded to 36v and can do it comfortably with 2.5ah and the unit is more powerful.

    If you’ve only got around 50m of edges, I wouldn’t even bother with brushless. Save your coins and get the cheaper version. Mine wasn’t brushless and it did the job, just a bit slowly.

    I’ve regularly seen ryobi trimmer, blower and battery kits for around $250.

  •  

    Makita line trimmer kit. $199. Single line. 3.0ah battery.

    https://sydneytools.com.au/product/makita-dur181sf-18v-lxt-3...

    Or brushless kit $299,. Double line. 5.0ah battery.

    https://sydneytools.com.au/product/makita-dur192lst-18v-50ah...