I picked one up from a scrap yard a few months back and fixed it up, my mate now uses it in his garden. it just needed a good service as there is not much to break.
I fitted plastic blades which are very versatile, good tip is to keep them submerged in a fine oil before you use them. stops them shattering.
I use a 2 stroke strimmer now and then for our garden as it's quite big
I'd only ever use one for the bits you can't get with a regular lawnmower. Doing the whole garden with one would look horrible as it'd be all uneven.
Because of the clothes line and fence i just use the ones without blades. The older ones tend to be a lot more durable (or try and get an ex council one) but the newer ones are usually a lot lighter.
Being boring - but whatever type you use make sure you've got decent leg and eye protection. Those things are lethal. For weeds I prefer the thick line rather than blades - but once you're into brambles etc then blades are essential.
And ear defenders - otherwise your hearing will be ringing for a while.
For my JCB strimmer i use cable from bnq, it looks like speaker cable, for my use i dont need blades, but the thick bnq wire lasts very long,
as has been said, depends what you want to cut, i can get away with cutting small branches half an inch or so without the wire breaking or it getting tangled etc..
dunno about buying an ex-council one as when we used them they were ragged to buggery and often not serviced, may be different in your area.
if you do decide to go with cable id deffo recommend the black/yellow cable from bnq, it is very heavy duty, ive still got a big reel left and ive been using it all last spring/summer and this spring/summer
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