How To Use A String Trimmer

Known by many other names, a string trimmer is quite famous for its usefulness in the garden. It does a better job of trimming and edging than the hedge shears itself. This tool, like many other garden tools, come in different models including rechargeable battery cordless version, corded electric and gas models.

However, it is vital to know how to use a string trimmer. Maximizing the equipment requires a few tricks and some level of expertise. Your aim is to avoid and prevent any scalping, scarring or shredding as you use the machine on your lawn. Here is an opportunity to learn how to make the best of a string trimmer. Enjoy!

How to Use a String Trimmer Safely

Like is the case with learning to use other garden tools, safety precautions come first when using a string trimmer. Ensure the surrounding you’ll be trimming is free of debris or anyone who could get hurt.

Here is a list of other safety precautions:

  • Ensure the machine, as well as its cord, are in the perfect state before using them. Avoid using the trimmer if you notice any damage to it.
  • Go through and follow all of the manufacturer’s instructions.
  • Wear safety glasses, dust mask, gloves, and ear protection before using the trimmer.
  • Prevent kids from operating or going near the tool.
  • Always turn the trimmer off and unplug it after use and before cleaning.

Types of String Trimmer

The three major types of string trimmers are corded electric, gasoline, and cordless electric trimmers. The major differences between these types are in their motors. The corded electric is powered by electricity through a cord that is connected to a power source. Gasoline trimmers work on gas while cordless electric models need a battery to function.

What Type Of Line Do I Use?

For a string trimmer to work, it needs monofilament nylon lines. However, there are different lines, and the one you’ll use is dependent on the kind of string trimmer you own. These lines can easily be purchased in hardware stores.

Long-Lasting Trimmer Line

Heavy use and long-lasting lines are best suited for high powered gas string trimmers. The thickness of these lines begin from 0.085″ to 0.105″ and are therefore capable of cutting through overgrown grass without breaking or tangling.

Lighter Gage Line

If you own an electric or cheap gas trimmer, then a light gage line is what you should go for. The lines are no thicker than 0.065″. While they can trim the edges of a flower bed, they can’t do any heavy-duty trimming.

Spin Direction

To understand spin direction, let’s consider how a circular saw works. You would notice that the saw cuts the wood in a single direction and discharges sawdust. Your trimmer’s works in the same manner; it cuts and ejects the dirt.

First, you need to know the direction in which your trimmer spins and then cut with the machine using this knowledge. Make sure that you handle the tool such that debris does not fall on an area you will be cutting.

Cutting Techniques

  1. Tapering

Tapering entails you holding the machine so that the string hits the grass at a slight angle. You can use this technique on trees, fences, and curbs.

  1. Scything

Usually used when cutting longer grass, scything involves Swinging the trimmer back and forth in a shallow U motion. This is done to get a more even cut

  1. Edging

When edging, turn the strings to be in a vertical position and then walk the trimmer along the edge into a cut path to create a clean edging cut.

  1. Screeding

This technique works best for sidewalk cracks, and grass and weeds growing in driveways. Ensure that you hold the tool so that the string tips are just flush with the hard surface of the pavement, then move into the weed’s base and cut.

How to Restring Your Trimmer

  • Turn your trimmer off and remove the spool from the head.
  • Cut out an 8-foot piece of line.
  • Thread the line through the spool’s hole and make the ends equal.
  • Wind the string following the direction of the arrow on the head of the spool.
  • Secure the ends into the notches that are at the edge of the spool.
  • Put the spool back on the head and cut while making sure that the ends are thread through the holes on the spinning head.


Remember that your safety comes first when using this tool. Also, be very cautious if you’re using a corded electric trimmer so that you don’t hit the cable. You’ll also want to clear out the area before commencing your cutting. If you’re able to adhere to all these instructions, your yard will thank you for it.

You can see the best cordless string trimmer reviews.