How to Use a String Trimmer No ratings yet.

String Trimmer

This useful tool goes by many names – weed whacker, string trimmer or even weed eater. This a precision instrument and means the difference between a mediocre lawn and a lawn that could grace the cover of House and Garden.

There is a little more technique that needs to go into using this versatile device, and we are going to show you how.

Using Your Trimmer

Many people assume that to properly use a trimmer, all you must do is let it hover and cut the grass. This is a mistaken view, however. If you do this, often, it will scald your lawn, and you do not want that. There are a few techniques that will help you to get the most out of your trimmer.

Tapering

This is a technique that should be used along curbs, retaining walls, trees or fences. If you just hold the tool over the grass, it will show. The grass will be slightly shorter than the mowed grass which will look unkempt.

To taper, all you do is hold the tool at an angle; in other words, slightly tilt the strings so that they are cutting toward the curb/tree/fence/retaining wall.

Scything

You should try this when cutting in longer grass. Pretend you are an old-timey peasant busy gathering the harvest. Swing the trimmer in a shallow U motion, back and forth. This will result in a more even overall cut.

Edging

Use this technique when a surface is parallel to the grass, for example, driveways or paths. Turn the strings so that they are vertical and walk along the edge, creating a nice clean edging cut.

Screeding

If you have ever felt annoyed by weeds or grass growing in cracks in the pavement, then this technique will work for you. Hold the tool so that the strings are flush with the hard surface and aim for the base of the plant. This will cut it off at the base and spare you a headache.

Additional Tips

Now that you aren’t scalping your poor lawn, you are going to find that using your weed whacker will be the highlight of your gardening schedule. Before we move on, there are a few tips that you need to keep in mind when using your trimmer.

If you have a "bump feed"-type string trimmer, and your string is beginning to wear down, simply hold the trimmer to the ground, running it at full speed. Allow the string to hit the ground, and it will extend the new string.

Be careful when cutting around trees. If the string slices through the bark, it could kill the tree. The bark of a tree is what protects the channels carrying water to various parts of the tree. Destroy the bark and you could destroy the tree.

How to Restring Your Trimmer

This is easier than it sounds. Switch off your trimmer and remove the spool from the head. Cut an 8-foot piece of string. Thread the string through the hole in the spool and pull the ends even. Wind the string in the direction of the arrow that is on the head of the spool.

Fasten the ends into the notches that should be at the edge of the spool.

Put the spool back on the head, cut make sure that you thread the ends through the holes on the spinning head. If you have a self-winding head, just feed the string through the spool then rotate the head to wind it up.

Keep in mind that there are different types of trimmers out there. Be sure to read the instruction manual in case there are any special requirements, since each brand is different.

Wrapping Up

Using a string trimmer is easy, all you have do is get the hang of it. Once you have mastered the various techniques, you will have the neatest yard around.

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