If you put away your string trimmer this year in disgust, chances are it had something to do with misbehaving cutting line. It wouldn’t feed when you wanted it to or, worse, it jammed or even fused up inside the trimmer head. Whatever the problem, Oregon Products hopes you’ll consider its Gator SpeedLoad replacement head next spring.
The Gator SpeedLoad, shown at the recent Green Industry and Equipment Expo trade show in Louisville, has just two parts: the trimmer head and a tiny disk cartridge that resembles a very cool drink coaster. The line is wound flatly around to form the cartridge, in diameters ranging from 0.80 to 1.18 inch, and its tongue-and-groove shape helps keep the cartridge intact.
To load line, you unclip the head’s cover, plop a cartridge in and run each of the two lines out (see video below) between two pairs of guide posts before replacing the cover. One plus Oregon is touting is how quickly a user can replace a disk cartridge: 20 seconds or less.
The product sells for $30 or $46—the head comes in two sizes—and is compatible with several gas-trimmer brands. Replacement cartridges, sold in packs of three, cost about $6 (0.80-inch) or $8 (0.95-inch) for the small-diameter and $10 (0.95-inch) or $12 (1.18-inch) for the large-diameter. To check if your string trimmer can accommodate the Gator SpeedLoad, check out the company’s guide.
Among other announcements, Oregon will add a 6.0-amp-hour battery, for longer run time, to its line of 40-volt cordless tools.