‘Tis the season to be trimming

Summer is the height of the growing season; the weather is warm, the days are longer and there’s lots of rain. This, of course, causes grass, trees, shrubs and weeds to grow quicker – and as a result, regular trimming and maintenance is required. Having a tool like a brushcutter makes the job at hand easier and allows you to get more done in less time.

A man trimming his garden with a face mask and white overall.

Not to be confused with a trimmer, which is only useful for trimming your grass and the occasional weed, a brushcutter is an incredibly powerful and versatile machine.

Mark Odell, product manager at Husqvarna South Africa, says a brushcutter is the one tool that should be in every gardener, farmer and landowner’s shed. “You are not only able to trim lawn edges, cut back overgrown foliage, and cut the grass, but you can also tackle small bushes and clear thick vegetation.”

He offers these tips on how you can maximise your investment and get the best out of your lean, mean, trimming machine:

1. Use the supporting harness: By using a supporting harness, you effectively distribute the weight of the brushcutter and add great balance, making the machine feel lighter as well as more manoeuvrable. Also, in case of emergency, the harness offers a quick-release feature that lets you drop the brushcutter instantly. Make sure you know how this works before you get started.

2. Adjust the brushcutter to suit you: Just like you adjust the driver’s seat when you get into the car, you also need to adjust your brushcutter to suit you. To do this, start by letting go of the handle and allow the cutting blade to balance gently on the ground. If it doesn’t, adjust the suspension loop on the shaft until you get the right balance. (For the best result, do it while the tank is half full.) Then, move onto the handlebar; adjust it so that it’s positioned right in front of your arms and set the handles so that the angle of your elbow is at about 120 degrees when the brushcutter is hanging freely.

3. Don’t skip on maintenance: A well-sharpened blade makes your work session much more effective. Therefore, file the blade fairly often, preferably after every refuelling. Regular maintenance also extends the life of your machine.

Mark adds these helpful tips for trimming grass and edges:

1. Regardless of the blade you’re using, always hold your brushcutter with the cutting blade parallel to the ground while it’s in use, holding the trimmer head just above the ground.

2. The cord length should always be close to the maximum length, and use the high rotational speed on the trimmer head for efficient cutting.

3. Cut grass from right to left; the sweep makes the grass fall into lines, which makes it easier for collection and disposal.

4. Avoid spraying grass on paths by using the high directional speed of the trimmer head.

In the market for a new brushcutter? Visit the Husqvarna website to find your favourite.

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