Why Your String Trimmer Line Length Is Important
We know some of you remove the pesky deflector from your string trimmer. It’s a pretty common DIY mod that a lot of folks will make that not only extends the cutting swath of the trimmer, but it also improves your visibility for edging applications. However, at the risk of telling you something you already know, manufacturers attach deflector guards to their string trimmers for very good reasons. For one thing, they keep rocks and other yard debris from getting chucked back at your shins and face. This, undoubtedly, is an important function, but not the one we’re focusing on today. The benefit we’re concerned about in this article revolves around the deflector’s role in keeping string trimmer line length consistent. Why is that important? Well, let’s look at what happens when you over-extend your string trimmer line length.
How The Deflector Guard Protects Your Investment
Aside from the guard on your string trimmer ensuring some measure of safety in lawn maintenance applications, it also features a discreetly-placed razor blade along its edge. As you bump the string trimmer head into the ground to feed the line out, the edge of the guard will trim any excessive line, keeping your string trimmer line at the optimal length. When you remove the guard, you also remove the string trimmer’s ability to maintain a consistent line length.
Obviously, anyone who has removed their deflector guard will attest that this was the desired effect. After all, why limit yourself to 17″ of cutting swath when 22″ or beyond is possible?
The problem you get with over-extending your trimmer line revolves around how hard you’re now asking the engine to work. A longer string trimmer line length results in a lower rpm. This ought to make sense as the engine now has to spin more weight.
This, in turn, causes the engine to pull less air through the cooling system, which means that your engine is now running hotter. Also, because string trimmers have been optimized to run smoothly at a particular trimmer line length, removing the deflector guard and running more line will increase the vibration.
So, while over-extending your string trimmer line length will increase your cutting swath, you’ve ultimately reduced the efficiency and performance of the tool. Additionally, because of the strain you’ve put on the motor and clutch, you’ve now also reduced the lifespan of your string trimmer.
So, if you enjoy replacing your string trimmer as often as possible, remove the deflector guard and run as much line out as you can. Alternatively, if regularly having to replace this essential part of your OPE arsenal sounds like a financial burden, you might keep the deflector guard in place and your line at an appropriate length.