Most string trimmers are available with either a straight shaft or a curved shaft. The straight shaft style means that the shaft holding the trimmer head is perfectly straight. The curved shaft style means that there is a gentle curve in the shaft close to the trimmer head.
When deciding which shaft style to purchase, you need to take into consideration a variety of factors, such as whether you are using it for professional or personal lawn care. Additional considerations are cost, weight, durability, and your own physical comfort requirements.
Straight shaft string trimmers are generally preferred by landscape professionals. They are more expensive, but they are also more durable and more powerful than the curved shaft style. Straight shaft models provide better visibility and reach, allowing for easier access to hard to reach places, such as under bushes. The additional power also helps the trimmer cut through the thicker undergrowth. There is also less vibration, which reduces fatigue during all-day use. Many straight shaft models are also designed to accept other lawn care and landscaping attachments. Besides the expense, the other major drawback to the straight shaft models is the length. People of less than average height may have a difficult time managing the longer, heavier shaft.
Curved shaft string trimmers are generally inexpensive and light. They are great for most home owners who perform their own lawn maintenance. They are easy to keep level for a clean cut, reducing the chance of scalping the lawn. The curve in the shaft also makes it easy for people of less than average height to use and reduces back strain for most users. But these benefits are offset by the shorter shaft length, making it harder to get under bushes, and they are not as durable as the expensive straight shaft models.