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Author Topic: Strimming docks- better line, or go for a blade?  (Read 2395 times)

Creagan

  • Joined Jun 2013
Strimming docks- better line, or go for a blade?
« on: June 19, 2017, 04:06:40 pm »
I've got a patch of seriously mature docks to cut back. I had a go with the strimmer but got fed up of having to stop to feed out more line every two minutes.
I've heard that the star or square section line cuts better and lasts longer- any experience of that? Or I could look into getting a blade for the strimmer.
It's a 50cc Kawasaki.

Womble

  • Joined Mar 2009
  • Stirlingshire, Central Scotland
Re: Strimming docks- better line, or go for a blade?
« Reply #1 on: June 19, 2017, 04:40:28 pm »
Hi Creagan, What diameter line will your strimmer take?  I switched to 3mm Oregon yellow round line, and have found it to be far superior to the 'super heavy duty' stuff I was buying from Screwfix etc. In my book, the less strimmer chord we leave lying around to puzzle future archaeologists, the better.

I just googled it and saw that they've now brought out a red version which is supposedly even tougher. There are also lots of fancy lines listed that have serrated bits, etc etc which "can be used in place of a steel blade for heavy-duty applications". That might be worth a try first, before you fork out £££ on a blade and fitting kit?
« Last Edit: June 19, 2017, 04:42:02 pm by Womble »
"All fungi are edible. Some fungi are only edible once." -Terry Pratchett

pgkevet

  • Joined Jul 2011
Re: Strimming docks- better line, or go for a blade?
« Reply #2 on: June 19, 2017, 05:14:32 pm »
I find that my big harness husky strimmer will break line quickly if run at full throttle and hit anything particularly tough whereas running it half speed and the cord survives.
I've never tried it but a gardener friend told me he uses wire guitar string for 'indestructable' strimming... I'd have thought it'd fray.

Possum

  • Joined Feb 2012
  • Somerset
Re: Strimming docks- better line, or go for a blade?
« Reply #3 on: June 19, 2017, 06:34:52 pm »
We also have changed to Oregon line. Ours is black and has an aluminium coating. It goes through docks, nettles and brambles without breaking. Far superior to all the lines that say they are heavy duty.


The trouble with a blade is that it has a small diameter compared to strimming line so it takes ages to clear all the weeds.

Black Sheep

  • Joined Sep 2015
  • Briercliffe
    • Monk Hall Farm
Re: Strimming docks- better line, or go for a blade?
« Reply #4 on: June 19, 2017, 06:49:11 pm »
Did a day with a brushcutter on a paddock infested with soft rush recently and used the individual plastic blades. The appropriate head takes three and they are about four inches long each. These worked really well and cut through the dense bases of very established thick clumps without issue. We did go through the whole bag of 12 in a day but a fair bit of this could be due to getting too close to the stock netting and fence posts.

Still playing with tractors

  • Joined Jul 2012
  • Cumbernauld
  • You can never have enough HP
Re: Strimming docks- better line, or go for a blade?
« Reply #5 on: June 21, 2017, 12:48:39 pm »
Plastic blades all the way!

arobwk

  • Joined Nov 2015
  • Kernow. Some say it's in England !
Re: Strimming docks- better line, or go for a blade?
« Reply #6 on: June 23, 2017, 09:13:31 pm »
I have to tackle a lot of very tough stuff, but do not like steel blades - they are unforgiving of mistakes and, I find, do not clear the cuttings as one moves along.  I tried out an Oregon 2-line Jet-fit head with their (serrated) flexiblade and then bought a 4-line Jet-fit head as well for my larger strimmer! 
Pros: The flexiblade line cuts everything.  I seem to think comes in size range from 2.5mm to (more recently) 7.0mm.  I've never had a line snap off, just wear away.  The head takes any other type of line, but I seem to think 2.5mm is the minimum.
Cons:  Flexiblade is not cheap p/metre and the way it is held by the Jet-fit head is very wasteful - about half of each cut length of line inserted into the head has to be thrown away - making it doubly expensive.  If it does snatch, the line can sometimes pull back into the head, meaning no little stub-end to put your pliers around to pull out the "eroded" line:  it won't always push through instead, which sometimes requires loosening of hex screws to free things up a bit so that the eroded line can be pushed through (rather than pulled).  Also, don't risk using it "carefully" around shrubs/trees - if you must strim around these, use a much less aggressive type of line (and go easy on on the revs)!!
As I said, I have to tackle a lot of very tough stuff (e.g. thumb-thick brambles) - the Oregon head/flexiblade combo does the job (with just the occasional bit of faff if I really press my luck too far).  There is even a 7mm line, but I've not tried it yet cos it only comes pre-cut and is, therefore, even more expensive.  (There is a youtube vid' demonstrating the use of 7mm line.) 

Tip:  Whatever type of strimmer head and line you use, keep the line water-moistened in storage to avoid brittleness and reduce snap-offs.   

Question:  As I sometimes think a reliable auto-feed head would suit me for light duty strimming (can't be doing with bump-heads), any recommends please?


 

Creagan

  • Joined Jun 2013
Re: Strimming docks- better line, or go for a blade?
« Reply #7 on: June 24, 2017, 08:27:38 pm »
Thanks for the replies. There's a much wider range of options than I'd realised! I hadn't heard of plastic blades.

I'd prefer to just try a different line in the existing head, for now at least. I don't want to have to stop and swap heads as I move from grass to rough areas. I think the head I've got can take up to 3mm so I'll give the Oregon stuff a go and see how I get on.

macgro7

  • Joined Feb 2016
Re: Strimming docks- better line, or go for a blade?
« Reply #8 on: June 25, 2017, 11:51:07 pm »
I find that my big harness husky strimmer will break line quickly if run at full throttle and hit anything particularly tough whereas running it half speed and the cord survives.
I've never tried it but a gardener friend told me he uses wire guitar string for 'indestructable' strimming... I'd have thought it'd fray.
Tried the guitar string. Apparently normal strimmer string lasted longer.
Nowadays I cut nettles and docks at home with a scythe. Cost me around £30 on eBay. No need to change string, no petrol, no flying debris in your eyes, quiet. Much SAFER and really easy to use. More or less as quick as the strimmer to be honest.
« Last Edit: June 25, 2017, 11:53:38 pm by macgro7 »
Growing loads of fruits and vegetables! Raising dairy goats, chickens, ducks, geese rabbits and a little boy on 1/2 acre in the middle of the city of Leicester, using permaculture methods.

Charlie1234

  • Joined Feb 2017
  • Powys
Re: Strimming docks- better line, or go for a blade?
« Reply #9 on: June 26, 2017, 12:21:37 am »
My paddock is on the side of the Cambrian Mountains.Mid-Wales and is always very wet,so we have loads of reeds to contend with. tried strimmers,brushcutters,shears etc but then after a visit from a mate who is a landscape gardener I was given some Stihl 4mm strimmer line to try out.Say goodbye to brambles,ferns,docks + big thistles,seems to be pretty tough as i run a 58cc machine at full throttle while cutting + rarely have it breaking.

Seen it on ebay £8 think there are a few cheaper versions but I`ve not tried them due to still having the pack my mate gave me.
5 Dogs,5 cats,40 chickens,2badger faced sheep + a full freezer

 

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