Straight vs Curved Trimmer: What’s the Difference?

When you are looking to buy a new trimmer, you will notice there are a plethora of options to choose from. To narrow down the options, you are likely to consider factors such as double string, brand single, power source and so forth.

Another thing you may be considering is whether you should use a curved or straight trimmer. You need to consider the differences between the two for you to determine the best option for your needs. We have researched the differences between the two to make your decision easy.

The Basic Trimmer Differences

It will not matter the type of power your trimmer uses. There are three main differences between a curved and straight trimmer. The first is the angled head. Secondly, weight and size are to be considered. Lastly, you have to consider the inner workings of the tool.

Let’s have a look at all these general points:

Curved Head

The curve in a curved trimmer makes it easier to manage. At the same time, it is generally more comfortable to hold when you are working.

Despite these benefits, these trimmers are more difficult to keep level. A straight version has a better advantage when it comes to reaching under or around obstacles such as garden furniture.

Drive Chain

A drive chain is a tool that is responsible for causing the strings to spin. Usually, it connects the head to the motor for this function to be possible.

In a curved model, the drive chain will have to be bent. The result is an adverse effect on its durability. This means straight models last longer than their curved counterparts.

Weight and Size

Generally, straight trimmers are the heavier and larger model of the two. The first thing to consider is they will offer you a longer reach.

On the downside, they weigh more meaning they are more of a pain to carry around. Curved trimmers tend to be lighter and smaller making them easier to carry around.

Disadvantages and Advantages of Each Trimmer

Let us take a look at the advantages and disadvantages of each:

What’s Good About Curved Trimmers

Curved trimmers are easier to wield, better balanced and lighter. They are the best option for general yard maintenance. They are also suited for lighter work where precision is more important than power.

With this in mind, a curved trimmer is the best option for jobs where you need to work for long periods. The unit does not weigh as much as a straight trimmer and it will not give you a stiff back or sore arms.

Their size makes them easier to transport and store. This means they are a better choice if you need to use it in different locations or when you have limited storage space. Additionally, they are the cheaper option allowing you to save a few dollars during purchase.


• It is user-friendly
• Best for precision work
• Generally cost less than straight trimmers
• Can be stored and transported easily
• Easier to use due to their lightness
• Better balanced

What’s Bad About Curved Trimmers

These trimmers generally are not as durable as straight trimmers. This is because of their curved head that requires the drive chain to bend.

The same feature makes them have less torque meaning they deliver less power to the cutting strings. As such they are not recommended for heavy-duty jobs.

They are simple to use, but most are not compatible with accessories. For instance, you cannot attach an edger or pole saw. The majority of straight trimmer models have the option of attaching such accessories.

Another disadvantage of the curved head is that it is quite a challenge to cut around obstacles. For example, trimming underneath garden furniture is awkward when you use a curved trimmer instead of a straight trimmer.

Generally, curved trimmers are shorter than the straight ones. This means they are more difficult to keep level and they offer you less reach. Taller people may find using this kind of trimmer to be tiresome since they will have to bend more.


• Awkward when dealing with obstacles
• Shorter reach
• Is not as powerful as other models
• Does not last long

What’s Good about Straight Trimmers

The majority of straight trimmers are longer than their curved counterparts. This means you will get better reach when you are working. Additionally, as a tall gardener, you will not have to bend a lot.

Drive chains in straight trimmers are straight. As a result, they will always provide you with higher torque that gives you more power. These trimmers are recommended for heavy-duty, tougher jobs.

Versatility is another advantage of straight trimmers. They are capable of accepting different accessories.

The drive chain in a straight trimmer experiences less stress than one on a curved trimmer since it does not have to bend. Less stress on the drive chain means it lasts longer.


• It will not bend a lot and has a longer reach
• Lasts long
• Best suited for heavy-duty jobs
• Versatile due to acceptance of various accessories
• Powerful

What’s Not Good About Straight Trimmers

Just like any other tool, straight trimmers have their drawbacks. For starters, they are generally heavier and are more difficult to control. This means they are not recommended for smaller gardeners who cannot wield a large tool.

Curved trimmers are more balanced than straight trimmers. Usually, the cost of a straight trimmer is higher than a curved one. If you are working on a budget, this may be something you may need to consider.

The angle of a straight trimmer makes it likely to kick up debris and cuttings more than a curved trimmer. If you plan on using one, you will need to ensure you have the right protective equipment and clothing.


• Is more expensive
• Kicks up debris
• Less well balanced
• Heavier

How to Use a String Trimmer Like a Pro

Buying the best trimmer is one thing. Using it the right way is another issue. A straight or curved trimmer will deliver the professional result and performance only when it is used the right way.

So how do you use it like a professional? Do you need to take some safety precautions? The following is detailed information on how to use a trimmer effectively.

Know Your Trimmer

The first step to using a weed eater is to understand your tool. Take time to find information on the trimmers available in the market.

A straight and curved trimmer uses the same mechanism. However, each operates differently from the other.

Safety Precautions for Using A Trimmer

The cutting potential of any trimmer is great. You can only understand this if you have used it or seen someone using it. The following are valuable tips that ensure you stay safe when using the tool:

Protective Gear

Lines used in trimmers are known to average a speed of 3,000 revolutions per minute. What happens if the line is faulty and it decides to snap? Make sure you have protective gear on your feet, hands, and eyes.

Use the right helmet to protect your face. A pair of tough gloves and sturdy trousers are recommended. Wear an earplug if your trimmer is noisy.

Mind the Cables of the Trimmer

Power supply connections are essential for any trimmer. Even though an electric curved and straight trimmer does not have the same power as gas-operated trimmers, they have enough cutting power to damage cable insulation.

Damaged cables reduce the efficacy of the cables and will lead to a short circuit. Be careful about slipping and tripping hazards.

Watch Your Surroundings

Take note of your surroundings before you use a trimmer. Flying debris such as pebbles may hit and injure pets or bystanders. Furthermore, buildings with doors and windows made using glass are at risk. You need to make sure you are not working near such premises or animals.

Care for Liquid Fumes

The most powerful trimmer uses gas. Such tools, whether it is a curved or straight trimmer, uses highly flammable fuel. At the same time, it produces exhaust emissions.

This means you need to be cautious of carbon monoxide. Carbon monoxide is a very poisonous and invisible gas. With this in mind, you need to use your gas-powered trimmer outdoors or in a properly ventilated environment.

Getting Professional Results from a Trimmer

Once you have understood your trimmer and you have taken the necessary precautions, it is time to apply what you have learned. Below is a detailed video showing how you can use a curved or straight weed trimmer.

Cutting Direction

Any machine that cuts grass or vegetation ejects the debris in a specific direction. All trimmers displace or eject debris and grass from the line and spool. The spinning direction of the spool determines the direction of displacement.

For instance, if the spool rotates clockwise, the debris will be ejected on the right side. The same case applies when the spool operates anti-clockwise.

Cutting Power of a Trimmer

The cutting power of a curved or straight trimmer is developed by centrifugal force. When a trimmer has a faster cutting speed, it means the line will be stiffer. The result is the trimmer will have a greater cutting potential.

The majority of people believe a trimmer can cut effectively by hovering it over grass. Unfortunately, this is not true.

The cutting power of any trimmer is usually focused on the ends of the trimming line. You must know the cutting point of any trimmer if you are to use it properly.

Trimmer Techniques

A curved or straight trimmer is a very versatile tool. They all have four basic cutting techniques. When you master these techniques, you will have the best chance of getting the best results from your trimmer.

Trimming techniques are tapering, scything, screening and edging. Each of these determines whether to use a curved or straight trimmer.

They have unique aesthetics depending on the results you desire. The following is a breakdown of each of these techniques:


Screening is effective and fast for cutting weeds and grass on paths, sideways and sidewalk cracks. The trimmer will be tipped in a way that it strings off the pavement. Once you are done, move it to the best of the cut and weed.

Be careful when you are screening. When a trimmer is angled too shallowly, it will eat into the string instead of cutting. On the other hand, sharply angling the tool will make the string incapable of hitting the weed base effectively.


The simple meaning of scythe is obstruction. Scything is the technique you use on longer weeds and grass. It is only possible when you are using gas-powered models.

This particular technique is used when you want to cut around obstacles that are awkwardly placed. The best trimmer for such a situation is a straight trimmer.

To achieve the best results, you need to use a long stance. Follow by bringing the trimmer in and out of the cutting area using a “U” shallow shape.


This is usually similar to edging in several ways. Tapering can be best used to cut along curbs, trees, fence lines, and walls. Tapering requires you to hold the trimmer in such a way that it strikes the grass at slight angles.


Use this technique where there is flush on low surfaces. You will see a clean and sharp cut finish. For example, edging is necessary for the area between your drive and lawn, as well as around your flower beds.

To achieve this, you need to keep your trimmer parallel and flat to the ground. The most crucial thing to do is to choose your desired cut height and making sure you are in a comfortable position.

Walk into your cut path. Since the tool can easily eject debris and stones, be careful.


It is hard to say that one trimmer is better than another. What we advise is using one is better for a specific situation.

When you are deciding between the two, consider the jobs you will be doing with the tool. Also, consider your physical capabilities. Things such as your height and strength are considered. This way you will get the right trimmer to best suit your needs.