A weed wacker is a helpful tool for keeping your lawn clean and tidy as well as clearing overgrown weeds – when it is working, that is. Wear and tear will eventually break down the string on your weed eater, as you hit hardscaping or rocky ground.
Depending on the trimmer model you own there is some variation in the process to restring them or extend the existing string. Fortunately, most weed eaters use the same universal design that can be fixed using the steps that I have set out below. So let’s get into how to restring a weed wacker, and get you back into action.
How to Restring A Weed Wacker in 6 Simple Steps
It’s worthwhile learning how to restring a weed wacker. It is easy, cheap, and will extend the life of the machine without getting it professionally repaired.
All you need is some trimmer line, scissors, and measuring tape to get started. Then, follow these 6 simple steps:
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1. Check The Manufacturer’s Manual
Always refer back to your user manual when in doubt.
Don’t know what a certain part is? User manual.
“Hey, where does this little thing go?” User manual.
“This does not look right.” User manual.
Whether you’re familiar with the parts of your weed wacker or not, ensure the power source is turned off and make sure you’re putting safety first. If you have a battery-powered trimmer, remove the battery before starting. One study found that from 2000 to 2009, an estimated 81,907 injuries occurred from weed eaters. You don’t want that to be you. Be safe as you get to work replacing the string.
The manual that came with your weed wacker is chock full of information about the machine. Inside, you will find a diagram of all the removable parts. There are also usually a few troubleshooting tips that will help identify the problem and how to fix it. If your weed eater is running as usual, but not trimming weeds as well as it used to, then it’s time to restring.
Let’s be honest – not all of us hang onto user manuals for years. Maybe you ended up throwing yours away when you first got the machine. While that’s not ideal, you don’t have to worry! Let’s cover the basics of re-stringing so you can do it properly the first time.
2. Unclip Head Cover
You’ll want to begin by removing the guard that protects keeps grass and weeds from flying at you when you’re trimming. The headcover is the crescent-shaped component that covers the wire. Push down on the sides where the headcover connects to the unit and pull. If you’re not sure how to push the sides, most models will have arrows showing you exactly what to do. You shouldn’t have to squeeze or pull too hard for the cover to come off. This will give you access to the spool.
3. Remove the Remaining String
Press down on the spool cap latches and pull the cap off. From there, you can remove the spool itself from the housing. There should be some leftover string spun around the spool housing. Unfortunately, that’s not usable, and should be thrown out.
This is also a good time to clean the spool as well as the underside of the trimmer. Maybe it’s the first time you’re using it this season, or maybe you’ve been using it for a few weeks already and there’s a buildup of dried grass and mud. Giving everything a thorough cleaning before replacing the string will help to ensure it runs as efficiently and effectively as possible.
4. How To Put Weed Eater String On
Weed eaters vary on one or two lines of string. To identify how many lines your weed eater needs, just look at the spool and see how many holes there are.
The type and size of the trimmer line will largely depend on your weed eater. Battery-powered weed eaters can use a trimmer line around 0.50 inches-0.80 inches (1.65-2.03 mm). This is if you are doing light to average gardening work with softer grass. Go with a line above 0.80 inches (2.03mm) if you are dealing with thick brush and tough weeds or using a gas-powered weed eater.
Stringing the weed wacker is all the same regardless of the size and type of trimmer line. Take your time winding the string to do it right to prevent grief in the future.
How to String a Weed Eater With One Hole
A weed eater with one hole will require a cut longer than its two-holed counterpart. To make sure the string fits your trimmer properly, cut a length of the line equal to 20ft (6m). Insert the end of the freshly cut trimmer line into the hole at a distance of ¼ inches (6.4mm).
How to String a Weed Eater With Two Holes
A weed eater with two holes will take roughly half of a one-hole weed eater. Look to cut about 10ft (3m) of line, but check your user’s manual if you have it on hand. Cut two pieces of the line. It is easier to feed and wind the line one at a time.
Which type of weed eater is better? Choosing a trimmer with one hole or two is a matter of personal preference. It should also be based on your needs.
Single-hole trimmers are easier for winding lines, so if you’re just getting started, that might be the way to go. However, if you have a lot of ground to cover and bigger jobs to take care of, dual-line trimmers will get things done faster – even if they take a bit longer to string properly.
5. Wind The Weed Eater
Winding the line is the same process whether you have a one-hole or a two-hole weed eater. Locate the arrow on the spool and start winding in that direction. The direction is commonly clockwise, but check the direction of the arrow.
Start by hugging the far side of the spool and begin wrapping to the other end. Wind the line evenly and do not wrap it too tightly. Stop when you have roughly 6 inches (15.24 cm) of excess string and hook it on the edge of the spool to prevent it from unraveling.
Two-hole weed eaters are trickier to wind up. It is possible to wind up both strings simultaneously, but that requires more focus and skill. If it’s your first time, you should focus on winding one line properly and repeating it. Repeat the same process for your second trimmer line.
From here, insert the newly wound spool back into the housing system. Grab the excess line that is hooked on the spool and feed it through the holes located on the spool housing. It will be a round opening similar to the one you fed the line in on your spool.
Grab the spool cap and line it up back onto the spool housing. You’ll hear a “click” and that is how you know your system is secure.
The excess string from the spool is your new leading weed-whacking tool. If you ever need to advance this weed-trimming line, press down on the release button on the spool housing system and pull the line.
6. Replace Cover
Grab the cover that you removed at the very beginning. Align the headcover and push it back into place. You are now protected from potential flying weeds and rocks, and you’ve successfully restrung your weed wacker.
It’s very important to make sure the cover clicks into place properly. The last thing you want is to be using your trimmer, only to have the cover fly off because it wasn’t secure.
FAQ: How To String A Weed Wacker
Restringing a weed eater is simple once you know what to do. But, if you’ve never done it before or you’re still not getting it “right” after a few tries, it’s understandable to have more questions!