A new garden means plenty of grass, plenty of grass means lots of cutting and trimming.
I’ve had an assortment strimmers, used some high power ones that weigh a fair amount and even used a petrol one when the going was tough in a previous jungle garden.
All but one had the same thing in common, the cutting head was always nylon line. I want a bladed strimmer!
This is fine when its new and its the first time you use it, but the usual things happen, the automatic feeder never works, so every few minutes you are stopping and manually feeding the line until it breaks again – you can spend more time feeding than actually strimming!
I didn’t want another line based strimmer so I went searching for an alternative, and the choice is limited – a basic strimmer will cost under £30, it’ll do the job but is line fed. A half decent version of the above will double the price, make it cordless and it’s about three times the price, and virtually all at this price range are again line fed, except for a couple of Bosch options and the Gtech.
I was going to go for the Bosch option but thought I’d check on replacement blades and how available they are, turns out they aren’t that easy to come by – B&Q sell a small selection but very expensive for the current model if you could find a branch that stocked them, Amazon was vague, eBay had them but they were also expensive.
So I looked at the Gtech version, it comes with 20 blades and replacement blades are free…….yes, that says free, all you pay is £2.95 postage, which is still cheaper than the Bosch blades!
Apart from the Gtech site and the likes of Which, there were virtually no real-life reviews of the ST20, so did I take the £99 gamble?
No, instead I looked for a discount code so I could save some money should it turn out to be nothing more than a lump of plastic……..so I managed to find a code which gave me the Gtech ST20 for £84 including next day delivery.
It arrived in plain, fully recyclable packaging, and did require some assembly (like most strimmers).
- Strimmer body
- Strimmer guard
- Strimmer cutting head
- Pack of 20 blades
- Removable battery
- Battery charger
- Instruction manual
Clip the guard to the cutting head, connect to the body, slide on a blade, and plug the battery into the charger…….that simple.
The battery took a few hours to fully charge and then it was the first test, a couple of minutes of setting the handle and the cutting head to the right angles for me and we were off.
The strimmer is light, which makes it easy to throw around the garden and also means you won’t tire when using it. Safety button to start it so you don’t accidentally trim your foot!
It quickly cuts through those annoying straggly bits of grass and leaves a neat job, but come up against a thicker, deeper patch and it will struggle if you dive in, instead just trim using a couple of passes and it’s fine.
My first charge allowed 3 cuts, this was down to the grass growing very quickly and some awkward patches which were difficult to cut, the second charge so far has done 4 cuts and is still showing as 50% charged via the 4 green charge segments in the battery, mind you I have been cutting the grass more often so less time trimming is needed.
So 7 cuts in and I’m on my second blade, this was my fault and somehow I managed to damage the first blade on cut number 3, I think it was me arguing with a fence post. But nowhere near any of the problems with a line fed strimmer.
Edging – You can flip the cutting head over and it becomes an edging tool, haven’t had to use this yet as we’ve had the patio extended and still waiting for the grass to re-establish itself at the edge of this, but if not this grass cutting season, it’ll be in use next.
Lightweight, easy to use and copes with normal light use very well and medium use if you take your time.
The blades so far seem to last (my fence post mishap aside), not needed to order any yet but hopefully that’ll be hassle free.
The downside is battery charging time, 4 hours although not long means you may need to plan your grass cutting and check the battery the night before – a 20 minute single use quick charge would be great, that way you could charge it whilst cutting the grass with your mower.
Gtech ST20 Strimmer – Gtech Strimmer