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Straight vs Curved Shaft Weed Eaters: Which One To Choose?

straight vs curved shaft weed eater

Even the most inexperienced gardeners and home tool users have heard of the weed eater. Also related to the string trimmer, a weed eater is pretty much a staple and easily recognizable tool for removing weeds and other debris.

Despite its popularity, there are many types of weed eaters, and most people do not know the difference between them. One of the most standard differences between weed eaters is the design of the shaft. They can either be straight or curved.

Surprisingly, this slight design change actually makes a huge difference in performance, durability, and user-friendliness.

If you need help choosing between these two weed eaters, read on. This article provides an extensive overview of both straight and curved shaft weed eaters, and we even recommend the best models for each. Let’s get started!

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Overview of Straight Shaft Weed Eaters

If you are not that familiar with different types of weed eaters, the kind you probably picture in your head is the straight shaft weed eater. This type of weed eater has a straight design and a long shaft and is powerful and unruly to use. Still, it is the better choice between the two if you know how to maneuver it properly.

Husqvarna 128LD

Design

Straight shaft weed eaters, as you probably figured, have a straight shaft. Because of this design, these weed eaters are often much longer and bulkier than their curved counterparts.

Still, this design is beneficial because it means that the weed eater head can reach just about any place, including underbrush. Additionally, the drive cable is less vulnerable to breaking since there is no curve in the shaft. The shaft string inside can also come in a lot of driving mechanisms due to its straight design.

Related to the design is durability. Normally, many more powerful products are more durable as well, and the same goes for straight shaft weed eaters. Because of the straight design, the unit is more stable and less prone to compromise.

Power

In terms of power alone, the straight shaft weed eater is easily the most impressive. It offers much more power than the curved option since it is more stable. Because of the more stable design, this weed eater can eat denser and more difficult terrains.

Ease of Use

Because of the straight shaft weed eater’s sheer power, this model is much more difficult to use. Its higher power makes the weed eater much more unruly and needs an experienced hand to use properly.

The longer shaft length also makes the model less easy to use. Those with a shorter reach will especially find straight shaft weed eaters challenging to use since their shafts are so long and unaccommodating for the shorter user.

Once you know how to use the straight shaft weed eater, it will be the better of the two options. Until then, the difficulty of using this type of weed eater might encourage beginners to opt for the curved shaft weed eater instead.

Best For

Straight shaft weed eaters are best for those who need a high power tool and who already know how to use it. Professionals and experienced weed eaters should opt for the straight shaft design. In contrast, beginners or those with light weed-eating needs might want to opt for the curved design instead.

Pros
  • Weed eats denser materials
  • More powerful
  • Highly durable
Cons
  • Difficult to use
  • Heavy
  • Long shaft

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Overview of Curved Shaft Weed Eaters

While straight shaft weed eaters have a straight shaft, weed eaters of the curved shaft variety have a curve at the end of their shaft. This curve will occur closer to the head and cause the weed eater to be less powerful or durable. The curved shaft weed eaters are great for beginners and those with lighter weed-eating needs because of these facts.

Remington RM25C Curved Shaft Gas String Trimmer

Design

The most notable design difference between these two weed eaters is that the curved shaft weed eater has a curved shaft. This design makes the curved shaft weed eater more compact, lightweight, and short.

Although the curved design is excellent in terms of weight and size, it does make curved weed eaters less durable. Because of the curved shaft, the drive cable must bend and spin. Hence, the internal parts can break with professional or heavy use.

Additionally, this curved design means that it can be more challenging to get to tight spots. For example, it can be difficult to reach underbrush because of the curved design. Still, those with lighter needs probably won’t run into this issue as often.

Power

The curved shaft weed eater provides less torque than the straight options. As a result, they are less powerful. These options will not be suitable for heavy weed-eating needs, and they tend to spit a lot of debris around.

Ease of Use

The lower power with the curved shaft weed eater means that these models are much easier to use. They are less unruly and don’t pull around as much as the straight option. The curved design makes the weed eater feel more stable since it is more balanced in your hand.

This ease of use is further enhanced by the model’s lightweight and compact design. No matter how short you are, you will handle this model since the shaft is lighter and shorter in length.

Best For

The curved shaft weed eater is best for people who are inexperienced with this tool. Its lighter and less powerful design makes it easier to handle and use when you are still learning the tool. It is also great for lighter work since it is not as challenging to lug around the lawn.

However, professionals and more experienced users might want to go with the straight shaft weed eater instead. The curved shaft weed eater is less likely to deliver the power most professionals need for their weed-eating ventures.

Pros
  • Easy to use
  • Shorter shaft
Cons
  • Cannot handle as dense of materials
  • Less powerful
  • Less durable

Which Should I Choose?

Weed Eating Scenarios Which Weed Eater to Pick
Professional/heavy-duty use Straight shaft
Personal/light use Curved shaft
Experienced with weed eaters Straight shaft
No experience with weed eaters Curved shaft
Tall/longer reach Straight shaft
Short/shorter reach Curved shaft
Weed eating under objects/more difficult cutting areas Straight shaft
Straightforward weed eating Curved shaft

After you have learned about these two weed eaters, you might be wondering which one you should choose. To put it bluntly, you might want to select the curved shaft weed eater simply for the fact that you are reading this article.

If you did not already know which one to pick, you might not be experienced enough to use the straight shaft weed eater properly and effectively.

When to Pick the Straight Shaft Weed Eater

However, if you need a weed eater for professional use, you need to opt for the straight shaft weed eater instead. The curved shaft weed eater will simply not provide enough power for commercial uses. Similarly, you might want to upgrade to a straight shaft weed eater if you’ve gotten the hang of a curved option.

When to Pick the Curved Shaft Weed Eater

Besides inexperience, you should select the curved shaft weed eater if you are only doing light weed eating. For example, weed eating around a small yard or driveway will be perfectly fine with the curved shaft weed eater. You really don’t need as bulky or as powerful as a model for these lighter uses.

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Factors to Consider

Still lost on what weed eater you should pick. Or are you simply trying to narrow down model options? Here are factors to consider to help you find the absolute best model for your needs.

What You’ll Be Weed Eating

You want your weed eater to be strong enough to weed eat through whatever materials in your way, but you don’t want to carry around unnecessary weight, either.

If you only expect to weed eat around driveways and relatively thin weed areas, then you can select a less powerful model like the curved shaft weed eater. In contrast, if you will be weed-eating around denser materials and debris, select a high power option like a straight shaft weed eater.

Beyond the type of weed eater, look at the exact power of the model. Even though straight shaft weed eaters are generally more powerful than curved shaft ones, not all straight weed eaters are created equal. Make sure yours is strong enough for your needs.

How Often You’ll Be Weed Eating

How often you’ll be weed-eating will help you determine the durability and power behind your model. You want to determine how often you will be weed eating in terms of each session’s length and how many years you want your weed eater to last.

For infrequent and short weed-eating sessions, a curved shaft or less durable option is perfectly fine. The shorter weed-eating sessions mean that your model does not need to be as durable to perform efficiently.

Commercial use and other extended use for the weed eater will need an incredibly durable option. Straight shaft weed eaters are best in terms of durability.

Power Source

Power source refers to how exactly your weed eater is powered. You will have three options: gas, electric, and corded.

Gas (cordless)

a gas weed eaterGas weed eaters are more powerful, but they require you to buy gas. The higher power also makes them more unruly. Those with less experience may not want to opt for a gas model, but professionals almost always select it.

Battery (cordless)

person using CRAFTSMAN CMCST900D1 WEEDWACKERThese cordless options are incredibly lightweight and portable, but they aren’t very powerful. You would want to select an electric option if you don’t want to be inhibited by a cord, but you want a lightweight option.

Electric (corded)

electric weed eaterFinally, the corded weed eater will plug into a power outlet. This option is incredibly powerful, but the cord’s length will limit how far you can go with the tool. You also run the risk of accidentally weed eating the cord, which can be dangerous.

Your Experience Level

Your experience level will help determine the weed eater type you select. Those with absolutely no experience with weed eaters should opt for the curved shaft, while professionals and more experienced users might want to select the straight shaft option instead.

You can also look for other features based on your skill level. For example, beginners might want to choose an option with more user-friendly features. Experts, on the other hand, should look for more specific and tailored features for professional jobs.

 

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Conclusion

Both straight shaft weed eaters and curved shaft weed eaters are great options, but you need to select a weed eater based on your needs. Professional and more experienced users should select a straight shaft, but lighter needs and inexperienced users will benefit the most from a curved shaft.

If you consider things like your experience, what you will be weed eating, and how long you intend to use your tool, you are sure to find a great weed eater for your needs – regardless of the straight or curved shaft. Good luck finding the best model and happy weed-eating!

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