Looking for a hand Weed wacker?

terrene(5b MA)August 18, 2008

Hi, I've never posted in this forum before, so I hope this is the right place.

I have some areas of the yard (1.25 acres) that are overgrown with Oriental bittersweet, Pokeweed, etc. The overgrowth is mixed with large branches from tree work and the ground is very uneven. No way I can mow this area with a mower.

So I have the idea to buy a wacking tool that is powered by my own hands, arms, and back. This is probably anathema on this forum, but I hate the smell and noise of motors. A sickle, machete, scythe?? I haven't a clue what to use or where to buy it.

Any suggestions? TIA.

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masiman(z7 VA)

Manual is ok (scythe, machete, etc.), but it will take you longer than using a gas powered trimmer/brushcutter. Electrics are okay if you only have grass to do, but I don't think they would work in your case, especially with the power cord runs you would need. I would not even consider a battery powered one.

One other option is to hire it out.

If you decide to purchase a trimmer/brushcutter, your best bets are with Stihl and Echo. They are the most widely available and supported. Husky is apparently making a good trimmer now too. There are a few other brands with good reps such as Shindaiwa and Maruyama but they are harder to find and get parts for if parts are needed.

With the variety of material you would like to cut, it sounds like you will need a trimmer that can handle a brush blade. Expect to pay $200-$350 depending on what you get.

    Bookmark   August 18, 2008 at 11:22AM
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Gee--way back when they sold hand-powered weed wackers! Oh, yes, i even think i still have the one i bought! Can't remember how long ago that was, but the wooden handle has dry-rotted away. it still works, if i keep it sharp. It looks like a golf club, with a flat double edged blade mounted at a 45 degree angle, so when you hold it out at a slant, the blade is flat on the ground
You swing it back and forth, mowing down the weeds. Worked great, until the invention of string trimmers!

    Bookmark   August 18, 2008 at 3:33PM
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I haven't seen any slingblades for sale lately (mainly because I haven't been looking for one). I wore quite a few blisters on my hands using one when I was younger. Thank God for technology!

Check your local hardware store or garden center. They may still have one.

    Bookmark   August 18, 2008 at 6:57PM
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dmullen(Southern CA)

You could probably find a scythe in an antique store but I would not pay much because after a short while of using it, that gas powered weed eater will be very appealing.

    Bookmark   August 18, 2008 at 10:58PM
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Hey terrene...I found a site where you will find what you are looking for I think. Go to....Toolfetch.com. Then click on Grounds Maintenance and then click on Weed Cutters. Those look like the things you are searching for....DT

    Bookmark   August 19, 2008 at 6:56PM
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terrene(5b MA)

Getting back to this thread a little late, thanks for all the replies! Popcornhill, those tools look interesting, thanks for the link.

It sounds like cutting weeds by hand is very labor-intensive compared to a power weed whacker. Part of the reason I'm interested in doing it by hand is to get the exercise. I enjoy raking leaves with a rake and shoveling snow with a shovel, which are great upper body exercise, although it's probably much easier and quicker to use a leaf-blower or snow-blower. On the other hand, I don't want to spend $50 on a tool that's too much trouble to use.

    Bookmark   August 24, 2008 at 2:36PM
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dmullen(Southern CA)

Maybe you can borrow one from someone. Once will probably be enough.

    Bookmark   August 24, 2008 at 10:29PM
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tomhoffman(NE Iowa)

Long ago and way back when. My brother and I would ride the train back to Iowa from Colorado, to spend the summer on our Grandpa's farm in western Iowa. One of the jobs he would give us to keep us out of trouble was to go out into the pasture and cut down weeks (wild marijuana) we use to use a corn knife. We would cut all morning and then use the the tall stems to build a lean too structure and play in the pasture all afternoon. The bare marijuana stems would make great spears after you discarded the branches.

No one we knew, knew anything about smoking the leaves. Just thought it was a very tall weed.

We finally graduated to a Sythe. There is a real art to using one of those. You would need lessons from someone who grew up using one, otherwise you would not last 5 minutes using one. Properly used they are very easy and a joy to use.

    Bookmark   August 25, 2008 at 7:00AM
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