You'll remember a while back I went along to Woodfest which is sponsored by STIHL and saw some of their new compact cordless range. Oh and there were some lumberjacks there too, ah yes, you remember now. Well since then I've been able to give the cordless trimmer a closer look, and I'm still impressed with it.
Sometimes, I find things that manufacturers say are intuitive, far from intuitive but I'm pleased to say this isn't the case with the STIHL trimmer. The removable and rechargeable battery (the black box in the pictures below) was easy to fit, remove and replace. Phew.
The other thing that appeals to me is that you don't have to have - or buy - a battery with each of the tools. Clearly you need it with the first one you buy, otherwise you wouldn't get very far, but after that you can opt not to buy the battery and use the one you already have. And then if you need a new battery, you can just buy the battery. How sensible, and useful, is that?
When I picked up the trimmer shortly before Christmas the man in the shop offered to assemble it for me. He said it was easy to do and after looking at me curiously deemed it would be something I could do myself. And never one to duck out of a challenge, and because I thought I should find out if it was easy or not, I said I'd take it unassembled.
And so, I thought I'd film it.
Like you do.
With the camera attached to the fence, no expense spared here - I mean just look at that backdrop, I set about unboxing and assembling my new STIHL compact trimmer.
MOH couldn't help himself, could he. Usually the grass is his domain and I'm not sure he was overly keen on me muscling in on his territory. I think by taking it to the end of the garden he was just making sure I wasn't going to ruin any of his grass near the house!
But I did get to have a go, and it was easy to use. I wouldn't call it lightweight, but I wouldn't call it heavy either. At the demo at Woodfest they showed how it was designed to be perfectly balanced so that it could be held with one finger, so I was keen to try that.
And it's true. I could. For some reason I don't have a picture of that, blame the cameraman! But I do have some shots of me in the rather cool tinted safety glasses, which were clearly just the thing to wear in December.
Dispensed of camera duties, MOH retreated to the patio and finished cleaning his bike (that's what he was up to when he was wandering in and out of shot in the video, in case you wondered). Meanwhile I looked for some more grass to trim, which is no mean feat in December I can tell you.
I remembered the other thing that had impressed me with the trimmer was the twine, or cord, or whatever other technical term you want to use for it. There's none of this twiddling it around a spool malarky, it comes as a sealed unit which means it'll be easy to replace, and we won't have spools of the cord hanging around the conservatory, because MOH is going to rethread it at some point in the next twenty or so years.
I've not cut enough grass yet to encounter any issues with the cord, but I know that a simple bang on the ground while it's trimming will reset it and deliver the right amount of cord to continue trimming without needing to stop. Sadly I'm quite looking forward to trying that out.
I'm also looking forward to our grass growing! As I've got big plans, involving challenging MOH to a strim-off. Knowing that he'll not be too keen to let me loose on "his" grass I've a cunning plan.
And yes, it's as cunning as a fox that's just been made Professor of Cunning at Oxford University.
I've deemed that our strim-off will take place on our allotment. Cunning hey?
If you've not spotted how cunning my plan is, then I'll explain. Clearly I'll want to win this strim-off, and I think even as a novice strimmer I will. Having the STIHL trimmer will give me an edge, because obviously that's the one I'll be using, but I'll bide my time, as we've got a lot of grass still on the allotment. So just as it's almost all strimmed, I'll declare myself the winner - it's my challenge, so I can set the rules, MOH will graciously accept defeat and I'll let him finish the plot with the winning tool.
And so the real win will be an almost tamed allotment. I told you. Cunning.
Obviously I won't be sharing the tinted safety glasses, I was rather taken with those, but I will let him use the clear ones as I've no idea what we'll be strimming over there, or what might be thrown up when we're least expecting it.
So once the grass is growing, I'll let you know when our strim-off is planned for. I'll most probably have some more STIHL-related news for you before that though, as I'm off to visit the VIKING factory in Kufstein, Austria on Thursday, after flying into Munich. I'm looking forward to finding out more about the friendly, family-run company who made such an impression when I met them last October.
It's pretty chilly there though, when I looked earlier in the week the "high" was a minus number and there were snow showers. The current forecast for Kufstein is a high of -2 and a low of -16, and similar for Friday in Munich. I don't think I've ever been anywhere with weather forecast to be so cold. Layers, it is then. I'll let you know how I get on.
In the meantime, just admire the scabiosa which was already trying to flower.
I'm pretty sure it's not supposed to, I'm sure it's meant to be a summer and early-autumn flower-er, but I'm not complaining. Do you have anything flowering unseasonably?
PS. It'd be great if you could follow me on YouTube, it's an elite crowd over there, well if you can call four a crowd...
* This is a collaborative post, but all views are my own.