The string trimmer is one of the most common garden tool nowadays, how to use grass trimmer efficiently and safely?
Before you start, refresh yourself on some trimmer safety tips to prevent major injury from happening when using your weed wacker.
#1 Before Starting
Check the weather, if it is raining or the grass is wet, consider doing your trimming another day. Operating your grass trimmer in wet weather is a bad idea for a few reasons. The first being you could slip, slide and fall on the wet grass causing injury to you or damaging your trimmer. Also, wet grass allows the trimmer to not operate at full capacity which can eventually lead to permanent damage and having to replace your trimmer.
Make sure you clear your working area of any wire, metal objects, fence posts or other objects that could be thrown by the line trimmer. Weed trimmers can throw objects up to 50 feet. Keep yourself safe by doing a sweep for any objects that could be thrown before starting your job.
#2 Trimmer Safety Gear?
Protective clothing gives you that extra layer of protection against the flying dirt and debris. Long sleeve pant and shirts protect your arms from flying dirt and debris. Safety glasses, goggles and face masks protect your face from any objects that could ricochet and fly into your face. Another good idea is to wear ear protection to tone down the loud noise of the trimmer.
#3 Adjust to Your Height
Some line trimmers come with shoulder harnesses to help you support the trimmer’s weight while keeping it a safe distance from your body. Others trimmers have adjustable handles. With either design, refer to the owner’s manual to ensure sure you make the proper adjustments for your height.
#4 Choose the Right Trimming Speed
Set your trimmer’s throttle just high enough to cut the plants you’re trimming. If you run your trimmer faster, the line won’t last as long and you have to cope with more noise and vibration without gaining any benefit. For most trimming jobs, you don’t need full throttle; you might need to the full-throttle setting for cleaning brush.
#5 Tap on the Grass
If your model line trimmer plays out more line when you tap the trimming head lightly on the ground, always tap it on the grass, because concrete and asphalt can wear down the trimmer head.
One tap gives you about 2 inches of new line, and that’s usually enough. If you tap the trimmer head multiple times and release too much line, a blade in the cutting shield removes the excess.
#6 Use the Right Trimmer Line
Refill the trimmer head only with the type of cutting line specified in the owner’s manual. Line that’s too thick or too thin doesn’t feed correctly through the ports in the trimmer head. Also, never substitute string, rope or wire for nylon trimmer line. Other materials don’t work properly and break more easily, raising your risk for injury from flying debris.
Experiment with different styles of line to get the best results. Common round line lasts longest and is easiest to load in a trimmer spool. Square (four-sided) and star (five-sided) lines can do a better job slicing through tall and thick grass and weeds, but are also more likely to break.
Trimmers are each made to use certain types and sizes of line. Using a line weight that is not recommended by the operator’s manual can cause stress to the engine allowing it to not operate properly, which can lead to long-term damage. If you don’t have the operator’s manual anymore, take the line off and bring it along when you purchase a new line.
You can refer our post How to buy the best trimmer line
#7 Work in the Right Direction
Because the heads of most line trimmers spin counterclockwise, you get the best results when you sweep the trimmer head from right to left. Check the owner’s manual for your machine or watch the trimmer line at low speed to see which direction the trimmer head turns.
#8 Trim High Grass from Top to Bottom
When cutting grass or weeds that are more than about 8 inches tall, use short strokes to cut the tops of the plants first and then work your way down to the base, instead of trying to cut the whole plant in one pass.
#9 Use a Blade for Heavy Trimming
Switch out the trimmer line with a metal weed blade attachment when cutting thick grass, heavier weeds and woody brush up to 1/2 inch in diameter. To get the best results with a trimmer blade, keep it sharp and use full throttle. Keep your feet firmly and a comfortable distance apart so you won’t lose your balance if the cutting blade strikes an object and bounces.
#10 Take a Break
Gas-powered line trimmers produce a lot of vibration that can cause nerve and circulatory damage in your fingers, hands and arms if you use the machine for prolonged periods, especially in cold weather. To prevent injury, take frequent breaks when you’re using a gas trimmer. Wearing gloves may help, too. If you start feeling pain, tingling, numbness, weakness and unexplained chills, stop trimming.
#11 Clean Up & Storage
After you are finished using your string trimmer you must take the proper procedures to keep your weed eater in healthy condition. Follow these steps to ensure that your weed wacker stays in top condition.
Rinse off your weed trimmer and use a brush to get the debris and grass clippings off.
2-cycle string trimmers can be stored horizontally or vertically for convenience as long as fuel does not leak.
Always make sure the engine is off and the spark plug is disconnected before performing any quick repairs.
Trimming can put the final touches on a great mowing job. However the flying dirt and debris that a string trimmer can produce can turn this simple job into a dangerous one. All you need to do is follow easy safety procedures and your lawn will be looking great in no time.