Whipper snipper cord thread

Mark

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Please post your gripes, solutions, questions, stories, products, about whipper snipper cord in this discussion thread so we can finally solve this annoying gardening issue that's been driving us crazy once and for all :cheers:

I've been down this frustrating path like most of us and I've done the bump heads, little joey, cut my own cord, precut cord, thick cord, supposedly best cord, etc but I'm still yet to find a solution or holy grail of cord with a good head that does the job.

On my old Honda whipper snipper I've changed the original head and cord many times and now have settled with a generic plastic head that takes 3 pieces of precut heavy duty cord.

It works ok but I probably go through 15 pieces of cord doing the full yard and these precut packs are pretty expensive!

Changing the cord is much easier than winding up a bump head and there's no jamming of cord in the head at least... I guess it's the best option I have tried so far but it could be better.
 

Director

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Totally.

I've been using 3mm cord for a while now, seems to last a long time. Must make sure your machine can take 3mm through the dispensing holes.
 

Steve

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Must make sure your machine can take 3mm through the dispensing holes
Exactly right, one of my disappointing purchases was when I just happen to be in Bunnings and i remembered i needed some cord. Couldn't remember the right size so I asked the guy there seeing i purchased by whipper snipper from there and I figured they should know. I pointed to the exact model i had and the guy with complete certainty says you need a 3mm cord and this is the best one! Needless to say it fitted (just) but would jam all the time.
What I did need was the next size down (2.4mm I think...)
The other thing with getting a cord too thick is that the weight can be too much for the engine to spin up and then you get a weak spin. Who knew?
 

Mark

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Good point, my honda brush cutter struggles with the bigger cord if I hit longer grass or cut down the back and that's another reason why I got my new machine (yet to use it) but hopefully the extra power will spin that baby without slowing down constantly in the thicker grass.
 

Ash

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I went the other way getting cord that was too thin (1.6mm) because it was famed to last longer than the usual thin cord (something about the star cross-section configuration it has). Needless to say I was bumping my whipper snipper probably every 10 secs on a Stihl electric whipper snipper. Before that I gave an Ozito one a go, but it didn't have the bump feature and I had to extend the cord manually just about as often. Probably the most frustrating motorised device to use...
 

Steve

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Yeah I got sold some cord that had a star cross-section config too. It has a few ribs that spiral the length of the cord and is supposed to be stronger. It was definitely stronger but the ribs used to catch in the bump head and i was forever stopping to un-jam it. P.I.T.A!
It's now sitting on the shelf in the shed with the other disasters.....:thumbsdown:
 

OskarDoLittle

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Hmmm, at the risk of everyone hating me, we don't seem to have any probs with our cord...we have a Honda 4 stroke (damn heavy when you want to pendulum it for edging) and we just use any old crappy cord. Wind up 2 metres, and just bump it to lengthen. Occasionally if using it for long periods, the cord seems to get hot enough to melt a little and stick to itself - if I give it a good old whack, it usually lengthens anyway. Just lucky I guess!
 

Mark

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Codger

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Old stock line becomes brittle and chops off. If the eyelets are worn this will increase the chopping off of the line.
If the machine is working hard in warm weather the cord will often weld inside the cutting head.
Stihl auto feed works reasonably well but for light work I would like to have more length of line out. I quite like the bump feed heads.
I would not use wire as even with safety glasses I value my eyes too much.
If you are using short precut sections of line you will throw away a lot of line as it rapidly becomes too short to be effective.
Steel blades are useful for heavier / woodier vegetation but are much less effective in general use.
The key to line trimming is to remember that it is only the very tip of the line that is doing the cutting work and it needs to be going fairly fast; if you feed the machine into the work faster than it can cut it will slow down and the line will just grip on the vegetation. Do not fight the machine but just slice the vegetation as if you are using a knife.
 
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Mark

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If you are using short precut sections of line you will throw away a lot of line as it rapidly becomes too short to be effective.
Yes true, that is a drawback about cut segments but I got sick of bumpers that didn't bump feed, line that got stuck, and remembering how to reload the damn thing the correct way. This was years ago, they might have improved or made bump heads better now... Have they?
 

Steve

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I have a bump feed and the idea is sound but on mine the bit you bump on the ground is the plastic end you screw on. This means it cops a beating every time it gets bumped. I know it's not getting hit hard but after a few thousand bumps it has worn out to the point where it is almost falling apart.
The other thing with bump heads that annoys me is the very force that spins the cord is the cause of it getting wound tighter in the head making it jam. The force holding the cord out straight has an opposite and equal force pulling on it from the head spool which just jams it up. There has to be a better way. I admit that my whipper snipper is a cheapo so it's probably got an inferior head set up. Still, I'd like it to work without frustrations just once in a while.....
 

Jeff Keys

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Get a scythe! www.manwithscythe.com (that's me) They work. Mow wet or dry, long or short and can cut solanum mauritainum up to 2 or 3 inches (beyond that and for harder woody weeds I use a hand made Michael Drinkwater brush hook. A damn fine tool) Scythes are resilient, sustainable and you can leave your mower/whipper snipper/brush cutter at the gym because you won't be needing either ever again.

I'm headed down the Kyneton Vic this week to demonstrate scythe mowing at the Lost Trades Fair, but once I'm back I'd be happy to get together with you guys for a demo/training session. I've been doing this for money for four years now and can show you how to mow, sharpen (peen with a hammer on an anvil), and hone a scythe. I can advise on scythe selection and setup. Also, if we can arrange a couple of cricket pitch size pieces of long grass I'd be happy to put some money down in a race between me and a brush cutter for who'd be fastest and do the better job.

Ain't the whipper snipper just the most stupid tool to have ever been built? Bits of nylon line, with a half-life similar to plutonium, littering your garden. You just get the head loaded and it cracks and won't work or the line fuses into a mass needing to be cut out. Two stroke! Yuk! I've had people scoff and refer to my blades as primitive. As if the bloody lawn mower is the leading edge of technical development. Sheeex!

If you're sold on the idea already and want to gear up I'd recommend Marshall and Tony of Bladerunners www.scythes.com.au I'm teaming up with Marshall at The Lost Trades Fair. There ain't much about scythes he's yet to know.
 

Jeff Keys

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Actually, let's make the race for a six pack and give some real incentive to win.
 

Mark

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you can leave your mower/whipper snipper/brush cutter at the gym because you won't be needing either ever again.
Nicely put :)

If I may, I'd like to start a new thread on Using a Scythe Vs Whipper Snipper because I think this topic deserves its own discussion thread. Please use this new thread (in the link above) to discuss Scythes - thank you.

Guys, please continue the discussion on whipper snipper cord or related content here and use the scythe thread for discussing that.