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How to Use a String Trimmer

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how to use a string trimmer

Don’t you think that you need to present a very useful tool to your lawn that can enrich its beauty?

If you think so, then why not get a string trimmer? It has all the qualities that can perfect your lawn. And if you have no idea what is it, then do go through this write, it will enlighten you about what is and how to use a string trimmer.


A string trimmer is a powered handheld garden tool that is used to cut grass, groundcover, and other plants with a rotating monofilament line in place of the blade.

It comes equipped with a spinning spindle from which the string juts while being positioned at the end of a long shaft. The shaft comes with one or more than one handles and it sometimes includes a shoulder strap.

The tool is typically used for trimming low foliage around the obstacles, irregular terrain or on steep.

Different names:

It is also known as “weed-whip”, “weed-whacker”,”whipper-snipper”,”weed eater”, “edge-trimmer” “strimmer” in the Ireland andUnited Kingdom, and “line trimmer” in NewZealand and Australia.


Before the invention of string trimmer in the early 1970s, people having gardens and lawns used to use a variety of tools. From handheld clipper and manual mower to cutlass, people looked for several solutions to trim the grass in the yard.

Later in 1972, George Ballas came up with an amazing invention that helped ease the job for the individuals from his generation to future generations.

inventing the tool in Houston, Texas, he helped eliminate several issues that people faced using hedge trimmers or manual lawnmowers. Such tools were not only difficult, painful and time-consuming to use but also were dangerous.

Ballas noticed that it was simply not a safe and decent way to trim greens. Hence, he came up with a concept when he watched a revolving action of the cleaning brushes in an auto car wash.

His first-ever trimmer was designed with attaching fishing line pieces to a popcorn can bolting to an edger. He advanced this tool into the ‘weed eater’ as it used to chew up the grass and other vegetation.


There are 2 main types of string trimmers in terms of power source: Electric and gas.



Such trimmer comes in both corded and cordless styles. The trimmers don’t need much maintenance and they are very quiet when in use. They also make a healthy alternative for both the users and the environment. Besides, they are lightweight that makes them easy to carry and maneuver. They also offer easy start since they run on electricity.

While the corded ones require a socket nearby to activate them, the cordless requires batteries.


Gas models can come with 2-stroke engines that require a mix of oil and gasoline. Some models also come with 4-stroke engines that run more smoothly allowing for easy start. Operating on straight gas, the models are basically cordless. They are not only powerful but also portable.

Why to use a string trimmer:

  • Available in a variety of versions for different lawn size.
  • Able to cut through 4-inch thick tree trucks easily with a gas-powered model.
  • Able to cover hard to reach areas with a full rotation feature.
  • Can clean bigger yards with a gas-powered model.
  • Lightweight.
  • Simple to use.

how to use a string trimmer

Have you just bought a string trimmer but you have no clue how to operate it? Then don’t worry we are here to help you out.

Cutting all the vegetation and even the level out can give you a sense of gratification. And to give you such pleasure, we will guide you on how to use string trimmer step by step.

Step 1: Starting the string trimmer:

Pull out a 6-inch wire to turn on the string trimmer. In the majority of the cases, it is the average length of wire that is used for production most cutting power.

For gas-powered model, activate the starter cord, and for an electric model, just tap the ‘On’ button.

Master the use of lawn tiller with the tips available here.

Tip: You might need to prepare a gas-powered model to start it. Make sure you check the manual instruction so you can get to know the way of using the tool.

Also, you need to ensure holding the “kill switch” throttle down to start the tool.

Step 2: Holding the string trimmer

Hold the tool on the trigger with one and on the handle with the other hand. It will not only be comfortable but also safe for you to use the string trimmer while holding it. It is a must that you always keep the trigger end at waist level.

Tip: Be wary of any strain in your back or wrist when you use the machine. If you think you are having pain, then stop right away. Take rest for some time prior to starting again.

If your string trimmer has shoulder straps, then put them over your arms while attaching the unit to the bottom of the straps. It will help take some weights off the arms.

Step 3: Positioning the head

Lower the head up to around an inch above the ground. Make sure to avoid cutting plants all the way down to the ground, or else you may scatter dirt and waste the cord.

If the grass requires to be evened out after you’re done with trimming, use a mower for the job.

Tip: Try using the machine in line with the grass level while lowering it to the ground. Or else, the trimming will appear uneven.

Step 4: Moving it in directions

Move the string trimmer around 1-foot side to side at a time. Then move it forward towards which the wire turns. Let’s say, if the wire turns in clockwise directions, then move the tool forward to right from left. As you gradually walk forward, cut through the grass with the string trimmer using a steady side to side motion.

Don’t try to swing it. Move it gently. It will provide you with safer as well as better trimming results.

Tip: If you think that the plants are not being trimmed after walking over them, then switch the machine off. After that, pull out more wire to use it properly. While some trimmers come with a button so you can press and access the cutting wire roll, some of them require you pull out manually.

Step 5: Trimming with the nylon wire tip

Make sure to trim with the nylon wire tip since this is where the power produced by the tool will be strongest. This way, you will be able to get the vegetation trimmed most efficiently. 

Learn the art and science of Hedge Trimmer Safety Tips

Avoid cutting larger swaths of plants using the whole wire. It might trigger the engine to get overloaded. It is essential specifically when you are trimming thick, tall and densely clumped together vegetation as they are quite tough to trim. 

Step 6: Tilting the string trimmer

Have the tool tilted on its side so you can edge along hard surfaces. Turn it at 90 degree angle and hold the tool very tight so you don’t drop it.

After that, move the spinning wire along the side of the surface. It will help in creating a gap between the vegetation and the surface.

Learn how to use a hedge trimmer.

Different cutting techniques:


For tapering, you will just need to hold the trimmer and tilt the strings slightly so they trim towards the kerbs, fences, trees or retaining walls. The weeds will be a bit shorter than the mowed weeds.


Scything is ideal while you cut through longer weeds. You will just need to swing the tool in a slightly U motion, back and forth. This way, you will get an even cut overall.


Edging comes handy when the surface is parallel to the weeds such as path or driveway. Have the strings turned so they are vertical. And then, walk along the edges to create a clean-edged cut.


If you hate the grass growing around cracks in the pavement, then screeding will be a great technique. You will just need to hold the trimmer to make strings even out with the hard surfaces.

Try aiming for the base of the vegetation since it will help in cutting off at the base.


String trimmers are very effective tools for lawn grass shaping. If you know how to use a string trimmer, your lawn shaping will be easy and comfortable.