Straight vs Curved Shaft Weed Trimmer

Grass trimmers are invaluable tools for every gardener. They help yard enthusiast with trimming and edging their landscapes while also keeping the weeds at bay. These handy power tools help homeowners with cutting grass from hard to reach areas like under the deck and around sharp corners. While there’re a huge variety of these devices in the market today, perhaps the most conspicuous difference in their overall design is the shaft.

Straight vs Curved Shaft String Trimmers Comparison

Average Weight (lbs)10 to 128
FeaturesLong reach due to longer shaftShort reach due to curved shaft
Average MRSP$ 160 +$ 90 -150
Trimming Line TypeNylon + Adaptors for AccessoriesNylon
Balance and Ease of Use Rating8 out of 1010 out of 10
ApplicationTrims weeds along borders, hard to reach places, under obstacles and Edges lawns/rockscapesTrims weeds along borders, and Edges lawns and rockscapes
Users PreferencesIdeal for many hours of workNot ideal for 3+ hours of work

Grass trimmers, whether gas, electric or battery powered come with either a straight or curved shaft. Depending on the needs of the user, the decision to buy a certain grass trimmer model is largely informed by the type of shaft.

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So, which between the straight and curved shaft is the best? Read on to find out.

How do the Shafts Differ?

Before diving into the details, it’s important to learn how the shafts differ. In both curved and straight trimmers, the engine connects to the head with the help of metallic tubing. Housed within the metallic tubing is a drive cable with the same length as the shaft. When spun by the engine on one end, the drive cable turns the cutting head at the other end.

As such, curve or no curve, the shape of the shaft influences the efficiency of the cable. In a curved shaft, for instance, the drive cable will need to be sufficiently flexible to accommodate the curving. This design carries a direct impact on the durability of the drive cable because it bends and spins when the trimmer is put to work. However, this shouldn’t be much of a concern for moderate users as the cable can withstand infrequent use.

On the other hand, a straight shaft accomplishes the same function, but it doesn’t need to be flexible, which means that it’s less vulnerable to breakage. Straight shaft trimmers can utilize either steel cables or simply use a solid steel drive shaft.

Curved Shaft Grass TrimmersTroy Bilt TB525 EC 29cc 4 Cycle 17 Inch Curved Shaft Trimmer

This tool is ideal for people whose yards are small yards; gardeners who are looking for an effective but affordable trimmer. Just like the name suggests, these trimmers come with a pronounced bend that’s often located ⅔ way towards the head. The entire length of the shaft is also shorter compared to that of the straight trimmers.

Curved shaft trimmers also tend to weigh less and thus making them simpler to use.


  • Quite Affordable

For trepidation buyers who are operating on a tight budget, the curved grass trimmers are highly recommended. While the price depends on the brand, the buyer is likely going to spend approximately 100 dollars.

  • Ideal for Small Yards

Curved shaft trimmers are the perfect choice for working on smaller lawns. The combination of short length and light weight makes these devices an excellent pick for maneuvering small yards.

  • Light and Easy to Handle

The short, lightweight feature also makes the curved shaft trimmers ideal for people who have a lot of grass to contend with. They also tend to feel well balanced, which makes them easy to operate in closed areas.

  • Ideal for Short People

The overall design of curved shaft grass trimmers is generally attractive to short people. This is because they’re easier and more comfortable to use, especially when the gardener is dealing with basic yard maintenance.


  • Not Capable of Handling a Blade

Unlike straight grass trimmers, curved shafts don’t support blades. This is a significant shortcoming as it limits the capacity of the entire device to the use of a string.

  • Shorter Reach

Since they are generally shorter, curved grass trimmers offer a shorter coverage when cutting the turf. This means that users will need to keep bending their back, which often causes a lot of fatigue even when trimming a smaller lawn. These devices also pose a challenge when trying to keep them level, which means that they can hardly get under the decks or short shrubs.


Who Should Go For A Curved Trimmer?

Grass trimmers with a curved shaft are ideal for people whose yards are somewhat compact. They are also suitable for gardeners whose lawns have easy-to-cut grass.

Also, people who are under five feet tall find these devices comfortable to use as they are lightweight and shorter. Curved trimmers are squarely designed for casual home use rather than a commercial application.

Straight Shaft Grass TrimmersCRAFTSMAN WS405 4 Cycle 17 Inch Attachment Capable Straight Shaft WEEDWACKER Gas Powered String Trimmer

Most lawns also include other plants such as shrub and trees as well as sculptures and ponds beside the grass. While these items come in handy in beautifying the lawn, they somehow make cutting the grass a little bit difficult.

This is where straight shaft grass trimmers come in handy; to reach around these obstacles efficiently and accomplish a clean cut. These power tools are long and sturdy, which enables them to reach under bushes and around corners. They are also justifiably ideal for reaching under the decks.


  • More Powerful

The straight weed trimmers are capable of delivering a higher torque than their curved counterparts. As such, they are ideal for trimming tougher grass, dense brush, or when dealing with larger lawns.

  • Versatility

A significant number of straight trimmers can accommodate a variety of heads. This feature allows them to accept different attachments like blades and heavier trimmer lines. As a result, they can undertake tougher jobs like trimming hedges.

  • Ideal for Taller Gardeners

Straight trimmers are generally longer. This means that users, especially those with taller statures, don’t have to bend when working with them.

  • More Durable

A straight shaft means that the drive chain is under less stress compared to those found in curved grass trimmers. This feature makes them last longer than their curved counterparts.


  • They are Cumbersome

While straight trimmers are powerful and versatile, they are quite difficult to handle and heavier to carry around for longer periods. Things get even worse for short people.

  • Relatively Expensive

The added power, versatility, and enhanced performance make these devices quite expensive. Generally, their price tag ranges around $200.


Who Is A Straight Trimmer Best Suited For?

Straight shaft trimmers are ideal for people who are looking for extra power and versatility for their lawn. They are suitable for homeowners whose lawns have thick undergrowth and weed as well as short shrubs and hard to reach areas like under the decks. They are also ideal for tall people as they won’t need to bend too low while trimming their lawn. The straight trimmer is also the absolute choice for commercial use.

Both curved and straight grass trimmers are excellent tools for trimming lawns. Besides the obvious difference in the shape of the shaft, gas, electric and cordless trimmers are pretty much the same. The shafts, however, make them differ in capabilities and applications. As such, the right gas trimmer for a homeowner will depend on their personal preference and the trimming requirements of their lawns.