String Trimmer Line Length String Trimmer Reviews & Edgers

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.

String Trimmer 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?

String Trimmer Line LengthThe 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.


Final Thoughts

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.



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Jared Freeman

15 years of trimming experience full time with commercial grade trimmers like the 130R, 2620, etc have tought me that this article just just doesn’t ring very true. Can you reduce RPMs by increasing your swath? Yes. But its so very audibly noticeable. And very easily avoidable. And in most cases commercial grade trimmers are more than capable of having their swath extended a couple inches without any effect on RPMs unless your cutting heavy weeds or tall Johnson grass or something. If you hear it bog. You stop and retract the line. Which is just one or two reverse… Read more »

Steve Goodman

I have spoke to engineers of these trimmers and in testing they have lost as much as 1000 rpms per inch of line longer than the cutter blade. So with 2” you would loss 2k and that is bad for a 2stroke as it will clog the exhaust port with carbon and fill the muffler with unburnt premix. Not to mention additional strain on clutch and gears. These are facts from the technical side. Btw I didn’t read the article. 21yrs in OPE