View Full Version : Line trimmer shields

01-30-2001, 08:46 AM
What is everyones opinion on using a line trimmer without the grass shield for areas away from Res. such as fenses trees shrubs etc.?

I have tried it of course with safty glasses and found it was a lot easier to trim around things with but didn,t like the limitations as to what you could do with it (small area edging etc.).


Green Finger
01-30-2001, 09:11 AM
We use shields on all of our trimmers. Commercial and Residential.

It protects us, civilians, windows, doors, etc. Best to be safe than sorry.

I also heard the shields cuts the line to an equal length to give the edge of trimmer the right balance. Thus putting lest strain on the motor.

01-30-2001, 10:16 AM
I see a bunch of guys here in our area without shields on their whip. We do not allow employees to take the shields off. Manufacturers place them there for a reason. In fact we have a couple of jobs that we do every couple of weeks that we make it manditory to wear long pants to protect our employees from the debris.

01-30-2001, 11:38 AM
I would keep the shield on. Remember safty first.

01-30-2001, 12:11 PM
The last time I checked a trimmer couldn't throw a brick! Y'all act like you're gonna kill somebody with it off! We keep ours off, and it helps time greatly. Also, we try to keep everyone away while we're mowing, etc. Here's a past thread on it http://www.lawnsite.com/showthread.php?threadid=5196
Here are some of my favorite quotes:

If your worried about getting hit in the leg with a rock or getting a little dirty then i would hate to say it but u went into the wrong business. The second i get a new whip the first thing i do is take the gaurds off. I di not see how people can whip with them on. First off the cuting width is tiny, u mindsa as well break out a pair of scissors. Second off they are way to powerfull with that little string, u get to close to a small bush or anything you will hack the crap out of it. third it is way off balance and goofy.....i can whip a yard 5 times faster without the gaurds.

GUARDS OFF! The increase in productivity is HUGE! I don't worry about getting dirt on me, (as powerreel said, "That's funny!") I NEVER wear shorts while mowing or Weed Eating. I wear a pair of safety glasses all the time (well, almost) while I'm trimming(and have only got my lip busted once-by a piece of fence wire). The only downside to having the guard off is that in high grass you occaisionally get slug guts on ya!

I use shindaiwa t270's. I run them without the guard. I can put out about a foot of line and walk as fast as I can and still trim everything. Guards just add weight and get in the way. I use the universal bump heads, so I can switch spools with all the trimmers. I wear Oakley Eye Jackets to protect my eyes(Its a write off ) I have taken a few good shots over the years, but you get use to it. Slug guts are nasty, but the worst is the doggie do do that you didn't see!!

To be, or not to be... I drop our gaurds for productivity. With practice, small poles and trees can be trimmed without having to go around them. Different conditions require different blade lengths. i.e. regular grass trimming can take longer length, allowing wider, smooter swaths to be taken while something like a heavy foliaged ditch may require shorter string/more engine power to move through more productively. The onlything is, is that with no guards with cutoff, we carry a pair of sidecutters or pruners with us to cut the string to length. Not that much of a hassle.

My longest post EVER!

SJR Lawncare
01-30-2001, 12:24 PM
The 1st thing I do when I get a new trimmer is remove the guard. For me, I cannot trim with that thing there. Maybe it is not as safe, but for me it is more productive.


01-30-2001, 12:39 PM
The first thing I noticed when removing my trimmer's guard was I stopped being hit by objects! That's right, I say a trimmer is SAFER without the shield. I could not believe the difference it made for me. Your mileage may vary.

01-30-2001, 02:59 PM
I'm with SMB, it must be something here in Southwest Va. I run T-270's and 260's and the shields came off the first day I bought them. It makes it so much easier to see what you are doing. Also you can make up alot of time by stretching that string out there. You might think it is hard on the motor but I never have to run it full throttle and still cuts through grass and weeds like butter(esp. the 270). I also use bump heads. If you accidently tap it, I either use a gerber multiplier or just find something hard to burn it off. They will sometimes throw debris back on you but that is just part of the game. You just have to grin and bear it. Hey SMB, where do you buy your Shindaiwa's.

01-30-2001, 04:06 PM
I dont think they offer any protection.
Just a way to say we are making them safe
to satisfy safety regulation OSHA ETC.
I might let any hired help remove it themselves
tho to avoid lawsuits .

01-30-2001, 04:31 PM
What the heck, I might as well add my 2 cents. I used to trim with the guard on until I got on lawnsite. I saw people talking about trimming w/o the guard and thought they were crazy, until I tried it myself. Now I wouldn't put it back on for anything. I have not been hit by any more debris w/o it, and can trim faster and in tighter spots. I guess you can teach an old dog new tricks. Thanks.

01-30-2001, 05:21 PM
gf is right the shield cuts the line to reduce motor heating line should be no longer from hole than a fist length..I use the shield for more than that..keeps rocks out of my shins off clients autos paintjobs and keeps my pantsand shins from turning completely green it does,however, cut production time (w efficiency count wear and tear on equipment and operator plus extra gas and line), because the cutting swath is smaller....I believe it wears heavily on the trimmer head too

01-30-2001, 06:31 PM
Guys a the shops all tell me that taking the shield off will cause the machine to over heat and the longer string will slow rpm down making the trimmer work harder. I have been running trimmers for 7 years with the shield off with out one problem.

01-30-2001, 07:57 PM
Also the first thing we do is take the guard off trimmer the miniute we get it back from the dealer. I have not been able to use a trimmer with a guard for almost 10 years once I tried it without one I would never go back to having one on it. A few of our trimmers have guards on them for the employees that like to have them on, but for me no way. In 10 years we never had a problem with flying debris hitting anything other than my legs. Just My two cents

01-30-2001, 09:03 PM
I always left mine on, but I also got here to lawnsite and read about the productivity increases w/o the shield. I tried it. Man, was I impressed by the increase. I do get hit more when edging with the wacker if I'm not careful. Just trimming doesn't make any difference.

Mueller Landscape Inc
01-30-2001, 09:09 PM
My dealer told me this past year about a company who was fined $5000 by OSHA for running their trimmers without the shield.


01-30-2001, 09:50 PM
Like I said, I would never trim without the guard on. LOL

01-30-2001, 10:06 PM
This brings up a question. I have heard of people removing the guard on their stick edgers. To me, this sounds dangerous.Any thoughts on this?

Groundcover Solutions
01-30-2001, 10:18 PM
Take the gard off of stick edgers!!! That is crazy i would never take of that gard. think of the damage form a chunk of the sidewalk hiting you or the house OUCH!!! We also run our trimmers with the sheilds on, it is better for the trimmer and for the person running it.

01-30-2001, 10:22 PM
I use Echo's WITH the guard on! I do flip the knife to get 1/2" more (1" Total) line length.

The cutoff knife is your friend and it is attached to the guard.

One missedplaced bump and without a guard, you have a 24" cut that you have to stop and manually cut.

The guard does not stop things from hitting you. It may reduce this by a small percentage, but it does not stop it.

A frayed line does not cut well, it frays the grass.

A sharply cut line cuts well and looks like a mower cut it.

When you set it down while running, the guard takes the weight, not the trimmer head. Plus it doesn't spin away!

Why carry side cutters in your pockets when you dont have to.

If you remove it... is it more dangerous?...Probably not.
If you remove it... is it quicker?...Probably not when you consider all the stops to snip line in equal lengths.

Whatever floats your boat. I don't loose sleep on it.

Results may vary. Its better for me on Echo's.

01-30-2001, 10:26 PM
you meant to say keep the guard off to slap the string against the fence tree etc...this will do untold damage keep those areas chemically trimmed

01-30-2001, 10:45 PM
On the Shindaiwa T270's that I use, I slide the guard up the shaft a few inches so the line isn't cut off by the cutter on the guard. This allows me to advance as much line as I like, while still keeping the guard on.

01-30-2001, 11:02 PM
dhenegar, that was just a quote about the T270's from another post. I'm planning on buying a T270 from Cockerham's in Galax, but Fowlkes Machine Co. also sells them in Wytheville. As for wearing your motor out, the engines on lots of trimmers are for brushcutters also, think of the strain of a brushcutter compaired to a couple more inches of string. As for the too-long line, just find a hard object (tombstone, rock, vinyl siding ;) , etc.) and just rev it up against it.

01-31-2001, 02:40 PM
That's what I like about Lawnsite

You ask for it. You get it.

Thanks for everyones input.

01-31-2001, 10:48 PM
Personally I can do twice as much with guard off.
Thats just a fact.

visions landscape
01-31-2001, 10:59 PM
We take the gaurd off a few sots of dirt never hurt anyone
I find I can do a better job without the gaurd also

02-01-2001, 12:44 AM
We take the guards off , they do protect the user up to a point . It just looks safe because everyone has tunnel vision , safty. What about the 80% of the arc that is not shielded!!!

02-01-2001, 01:39 AM
My guards are taken off as soon as I buy a new trimmer..When I use one with a guard it's like using a little weedeater brand trimmer..It just doesn't perform as well with the guard on..I can trim a much larger area and do it very fast..As for safety, I've not had a problem ,in my 6 years of business , with guardless trimmers....Derrick

02-01-2001, 10:47 AM
I do agree that without the guard, 360 degree trimming is permitted, this has to save some time. My biggest issue with this is whenever it gets dull and frayed (often for me) you would have to switch engine off, set the engine side down, get the pair of dikes out of your pocket, measure or guestimate the amount of line on each side, and cut it, put the dikes back in your pocket, grab the handle, switch on ignition, pull starter, and then resume trimming only to have 30 seconds later accidentally bumped the head and let out 6" (total) more line and have to stop and do the dike thing all over again. Not to mention hurting your butt when you get back and sit down OUCH and forgetting to take them out of your pocket! MEANWHILE, IM already done trimming and on the Lazer mowing!

Maybe, sharpness or amount of string let out dont bother many people, but to me, I guess its a pet peeve.

02-01-2001, 10:57 AM
We use manual feed heads on our string trimmers, and we DO remove the guards as well.

If you have a bump feed head I would not do this as it WILL burn up the shafts.

Just my .02

02-01-2001, 11:27 AM
When I sharpen my string, I cut it to about 5 or 6 inches or so. Then, when I start the trimmer back up, I bump the head one time, and this seems to let out an almost perfect amount. If something happens while trimming and too much string is let out or if I come to some real thick stuff like a ditch or something, I simply push the bump spool in, give it a half a turn (clockwise from bottom), and it winds right back in. I do this often right before I clip the string as well. It just becomes a quick habit. All this only takes about 10 seconds. When I cut it to length, I just hold the string straight and look for a mark on the cutters like a speck or scratch or something. Helpful hint: Always cut your shortest string first.