What Is a String Trimmer and How to Use One?

Any garden and backyard require constant attention. There is a continuously growing lawn that needs to be looked after and weeds that should be destroyed. In both cases, you cannot do without modern tools. In this article, you will clarify the following questions: what is a string trimmer, what kinds of work you can do with it, and how to use it correctly. This device is actively used by both amateurs and professional gardeners instead of an outdated hand scythe or bulky lawnmower. The modern market offers lightweight and easy-to-use equipment for every taste and budget.

What Is a String Trimmer?
A string trimmer is an alternative to a traditional lawn mower. It uses a spinning cord to cut grass and weeds instead of a blade. String trimmers are lighter and easier to maneuver than lawn mowers, making them ideal for small yards or areas that are difficult to mow. Having a string trimmer alternative is always nice since not every job can be handled by a lawn mower.

String Trimmer Buyer’s Guide


In more detail, let me tell you what trimmers are and why they are indispensable helpers in any house.

What is a string trimmer?

Trimmers are garden tools for cutting green vegetation with soft stems and not thick dry plants. If you compare a grass trimmer vs a lawnmower, then the former is a small, more lightweight, and handheld instrument. Its low weight makes it easy to transport to a working area, and the compact head allows you to work even in hard-to-reach places. So, how does a weed whacker work? Such devices’ peculiarity is that they use a line or thin metal blades to cut the grass. With their help, you can mow your lawn without damaging bushes and trees. So, if you have a lot of vegetation in your backyard, it’s best to choose a trimmer rather than a big mower.

string trimmers

What does a trimmer do?

Such devices are used for cutting lawn grass and weeds. They have relatively low power, so it is better to buy them as auxiliary tools for large areas. You can use the trimmer to clean vegetation in tight spaces near trees, fences, and garden furniture. Some instruments have a swivel head, which turns the device into an edger, with which you can make perfectly even rims in the area of ​​paths and flower beds. Perhaps the tricky part is keeping the grass at the same height throughout your way. However, it comes with experience.

How to use a string trimmer?

To begin with, the trimmer, like any other power tool, should be inspected and pre-checked. Make sure that a gas tank is full, a battery is charged, or a power cord is plugged in, depending on the engine type. Hang the device over your shoulders or grasp its handles so that the cutting element is parallel to the ground. Remember that the line or blades rotate counterclockwise, so drag the instrument from right to left in front of you to cut the grass. I recommend dividing the entire area into several sectors and treating them one by one. Do not forget to clear any debris from the trimmer when the procedure is finished.

string trimmer at work

How to put a string in a weed whacker?

There are several ways to change the line depending on the type of working head, but they are all pretty similar. Take off the head by unscrewing a retaining nut and remove the grass clippings. Cut the required amount of line, insert one end into a starter hole, and roll the head in the direction as arrows show. Try to lay the string in even, tight rows, and when a tip remains 5-6 inches long, secure it in a slot. Place the spool back into the working head and put it in the trimmer.

String Trimmer FAQ

You will find even more helpful information about the trimmer use in these answers to some questions from my readers.

How to use a weed whacker?

Ease of use and straightforward maintenance are the main advantages of trimmers. Prepare the device for work, make sure the line is in good condition, grab the handles or put on the harness, and turn on an engine. Try to keep the weed eater as low as possible to the ground and move it smoothly, swinging the device from right to left. You should clean the trimmer after each use.

How to string a trimmer?

Putting in a new line is easy. Turn off the engine and remove the head. Cut a piece of the required length line, wind it on the spool in the direction indicated, and fasten the string trimmer tips in slots. Place the coil back into the head and secure it to the device.

How to hold a weed whacker?

The trimmer should be held with both hands by the front and rear handles. Some manufacturers produce models equipped with shoulder straps for greater user comfort. Try to keep the head about 1 inch from the ground. Approach the grass so that only the line tips touch it and do not make wide sweeping movements.

how to hold string trimmer

String Trimmer for Your Perfectly Tidy Yard

I find grass trimmers handy tools. Hopefully, after reading the article, when you know how they work, you are convinced of it too. As a final recommendation, I would like to remind you of the need to use protective equipment. At first glance, trimmers may seem like safe tools, but you should still be careful and wear long clothing, closed shoes, and goggles.

Please, share your opinion about string trimmers. Do you use them in your gardening routine? Or do you consider them an optional device?

Ronnie Collins

Ronnie Collins

I’m Ronnie Collins. I’ve been passionate about gardening and woodworking all my life and even earned an MS degree in Botany from the University of Maryland. I’ve been working at a gardening company for a while, so I know the ropes about a whole lot of dedicated equipment such as the table saw, track saw, lawnmowers, chainsaws, garden hoses, and much more.

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