How To Use A Weed Eater (The Detailed Guide)

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Weed-eater is a powerful tool that helps us a lot with keeping the lawn neat and clean!

But have you mastered the techniques of string cutting yet? Or how to have the best protection while using this spinning trimmer?

In this detailed guide of how to use a weed eater, we will show you all the using tips from basic starting steps to the safety precautions.

Without further ado, let’s get started!


How To Choose The Best Trimmer?

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If you want to learn about proper weed eater techniques, then you’d better know which type of trimmer you need first.

That is because the trimmer type will decide how you should use it.

Invented in the 1970s in Texas, until now, the weed eater has been called by a lot of names: string trimmer, line trimmer, whipper snipper, weed whacker, weed whip, and so on. It either runs with gases, electric cord or cordless replaceable battery.

Generally, gas-powered trimmers are more powerful than other types of the same range run by a different power source. So if you want a powerful weed eater for the stubborn bush and shrub in the backyard, go for gas instead of electric models!

The shape of the trimmer handle also produces different results that you should consider before purchasing. Curved shafts give off the most robust and high-performance cuts, while straight ones are much simpler to control and have a wider area of reach.

To sum up, if you have a small yard, then you should look for a trimmer run by electric or battery. They are much more lightweight and simple to use.

Meanwhile, the gas trimmer is stronger, heavier, and also more versatile than the types above. This gas-powered model has fuel costs and needs more maintenance than electric types. Also, remember to look for a prestige brand when searching for your trimmer!

Techniques On Using A Weed Eater

Using a tool, particularly a trimmer, not only include the cutting techniques. There are also choosing parts, starting part, reading guidance and safety precaution, replacement note, and so on.

After getting yourself a suitable weed eater for the backyard, it is time for you to learn some daily using tips that you will need!

Starting Tips

#1. Starting Tips For Gas-powered Trimmer

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  • Check the Gas Tank and Surroundings: Check if you use the right mixture as fuel or not, then close the gas tank before starting the trimmer. Also, be sure to keep the spinning line clear of obstacles.
  • Turn on the Kill Switch: This switch is the power controller, but just on or off. Its position depends on the trimmer that you use, usually somewhere on the handle.
  • Turn on the Choke: If you cold-start the weed eater, which means start the engine at a smaller temperature than regular running temperature, the choke will help with easier starting.
  • Push the Primer Bulb Several Times: While it is called a primer bulb, this bulb is actually a piece of rubber. After a long time of storage, your weed eater might need a lot of push on this primer bulb to start.
    Push this valve to allow more gas to enter the carburetor until you can get your trimmer started.
  • Pull the Cord: Hold the throttle lock on the trimmer’s shaft and pull the rope so that the engine could start.
    Once you hear the motor operating, stop pulling. After a few seconds, the engine will die down, and now you do not need to pull the cord anymore.
  • Turn Off the Choke: There’s no need to turn on the choke once the engine already started. Switch it off while cutting to avoid unnecessary fuel waste.
  • Pull the Rope Again: By this time, you just need to continue pulling the cord until the trimmer starts running!
    If you warm start your weed eater, you only need to do this step and check the choke’s position.

#2. Starting Tips For Electric Trimmer

  • Plug Your Weed Eater: You’d better find a long extension cord that can reach every corner of your yard. In case your electric trimmer is powered by battery, remember to charge the weed eater before starting it.
  • Pull the Trigger: In a cordless weed eater, this is the only thing you need to do to get it started. Once plugged in, the line will start spinning, and your trimmer is ready to work!

Cutting Techniques

how to use a weed eater to cut weeds

The weed eater is a versatile yet simple gardening tool that provides basic cutting methods such as tapering or edging. To master this tool, you need to learn the trick and cutting techniques!

One simple trick for easy-cutting is to comprehend the spinning direction.

Does it sound difficult?

Actually, it is not hard at all. You only need to pay attention to the ejecting direction of the debris so as not to harm yourself!

If your trimmer twirls clockwise, then you’d better trim the lawn from the right side so that dirt would come out in the other. And conversely, for the counter-clockwise eater, it is cutting from the left side.

Back to the main point, here are some basic cutting techniques that you should know:

1. Tapering

This technique is used for cutting grass along the fence, wall, edges, and around the tree. You should hold the trimmer in a way that the angle between the strings and the grass is relatively small.

Keep in mind that you’d better not hold the weed eater parallel to the grass surface, or the spinning string will cut off the entire swath! Hence, tapering is the only method to have a lawn of the same length and create neat edges in your yard.

2. Edging

There are some areas of your backyard which probably need edging: along walkway or driveway, around the tree, and so on.

You could simply hold the string trimmer vertical to the cut path for the best result. If your lawn has not been cut for a while, then you should carefully remove rocks or any unexpected stuff that blocks in the way.

However, there could still be dirt pulled up with the grass. Try to trim the edges frequently so that the grass does not grow disorderly and pull up dirt each time you cut!

3. Scything

Scything technique is used to cut the lawn around the blockage.

All you need to do is using a U motion with the edging technique in and out alternatively to manage the obstacle. This technique will give you an even and smooth result in the lawn surface!

4. Screeding

This technique will deal with the weeds growing in the cracks of your path. Tip the trimmer to the sidewalk and move it to remove the weed base.

If the angle you made was too sharp, the string would not be able to reach the base. So remember to keep an appropriate angle so that you can cut the weed evenly!

Weed Eater Safety Tips

1. Remember to Wear Protective Gear

how to use a weed wacker electric

The first protection that you need to keep in mind is to wear personal protective equipment. Safety glasses, gloves, cap, work pants, and shoes are all essential protection!

A weed eater is a powerful tool that can cause damage in many ways! You must cover your eyes in some way, at least with a pair of sunglasses since small flying debris could probably hit your eyes.

Hard trousers, long sleeves, and work shoes will protect you from injury, yet you still feel the debris hitting you.

Gloves are must-have to keep the soreness away and also protect your hands from any potential harm.

2. Take Care of the Cables

If you are using an electric trimmer that needs plugging in, then you must be careful not to hit the cable while cutting.

Remember to keep the cable behind you so that you do not accidentally cut it!

3. Check the Surrounding

What we mean by the surrounding here is not only the obstacles on the ground but also the people around!

Before starting trimming, check the ground if there is any piece of wood, glass, metal, etc. that need to remove.

Also, keep all the kids away from the yard that you will be working on. Cover the window or car around (if there is any) so that no glass would be broke or scratched in the process!

4. Aware of Dangerous Fumes

A gas-powered weed eater will produce toxic fumes while running. Thus you should be extra careful to avoid breathing in too much carbon monoxide coming from burning fuel.

Our yard is regularly an open space with great ventilation. But you’d better avoid inhaling too much of those fumes!

Final Words

And that is everything about how to use a weed eater, from how to choose a suitable one the remarkable safety precaution!

We hope that from now, you will keep these tips in mind and trim your lawn with ease and safety.

Comment below to let us know if you have any trouble with the cutting. See you in our later posts!

1 thought on “How To Use A Weed Eater (The Detailed Guide)”

  1. Does not say how to use the guard. IMHO the guard should face any plants to protect them from damage. Even a big tree can be killed if it’s bark is ringed by a trimmer. The guard is not intended to protect the user, who should be aware of what he is doing.


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