Why do weed whackers/weed eaters often use plastic string and not metal wire?

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Why do weed whackers/weed eaters often use plastic string and not metal wire?

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19 Answers

Anonymous 0 Comments

The plastic is intended to break against stuff that you don’t want to cut. It’s just strong enough to cut grass and weeds, not strong enough to cut much else, by design.

Anonymous 0 Comments

Ever hit yourself with the string?

It hurts, but it doesn’t do any real damage.

Now imagine what would happen if you inadvertently hit yourself in the ankle with a metal wire spinning at that speed?

I see the commercial for the string trimmer attachment that looks like it’s made of barbed wire and I can’t nope away quick enough.

Anonymous 0 Comments

Because the string breaks off in use (even metal wire would do this) and having bits of plastic in your lawn is considered less hazardous than short slivers of metal that would stab into you when you step on them or when they go flying as they break off.

Anonymous 0 Comments

To add on to what others have said, you absolutely *do* get grass trimmers with metal blades. But the whole point of the plastic wire ones is to be softer and to do less damage. If you wanted one that was more sturdy, you’d be better off with a blade than with a wire.

Anonymous 0 Comments

As a quick aside, a lot of strimmers actually have changeable heads on them and you can swap out the plastic string head to one with a metal blade which is really good for more heavy duty stuff rather than grass.

Anonymous 0 Comments

Well for one reason if you cut an electric cord with plastic you don’t create a circuit. You also don’t want to be debarking your trees, and cutting rocks in half. The metal would also still break, and then you have sharp metal bits flying around. Instead of little plastic bits.

I’m sure there are uses for a metal wire, but sounds more “professional” use.

Anonymous 0 Comments

Think of all the things you are hitting with it: decks, fence, downspouts, siding, trees. These things can resist the plastic string but would get absolutely destroyed by a metal wire on a weedeater.

That being said, if you are just trying to take down some thick vegetation with small tree saplings and no structures to be destroyed, you can get metal blades to help get the job done.

Anonymous 0 Comments

It’s safer. A plastic string like that slapping your leg is going to hurt a bit but And at worst maybe leave a little bruise, but a metal string slapping your leg like that can easily chop into it and cause some real damage

Not to mention that naturally parts of the string break off during use and you don’t really want little sharp metal slivers randomly scattered throughout your lawn

Anonymous 0 Comments

Everything you could possibly need to know and more.

Anonymous 0 Comments

On topic:
Everyone who worked with these machines knows, that you have replace the wire regularly – it’s a consumable.
But this in turn means that you basically spread small unrecoverable shreds of plastic all over nature, which seems kind of bad.

Are there solutions to this? Long term compostable string?