5 Helpful Tips for Using Your String Trimmer
A lawnmower can’t cut grass in every nook and cranny of your lawn. After mowing, you might notice uncut grass around your garden, fencing, tree trunks, and other obstacles. Perfect a clean cut across all corners of your lawn by following these tips for using your string trimmer.
Tip #1: Find the right string trimmer for you.
A few different string trimmers exist to meet the needs of you and your lawn:
- Electric string trimmers tend to use lithium-ion batteries at 40 to 80 volts and are clean, quiet, and light. The uncorded versions add mobility to your work; however, corded electric string trimmers don’t require recharge time and are lighter.
- Gas string trimmers use gas engines that provide more power than their electric counterparts. These trimmers are cordless and mobile, but you must regularly refuel for continued use. Some gas trimmers require a pull-start to crank, while other models come with an automatic crank.
- String trimmer mowers, or walk-behind trimmers, resemble traditional lawnmowers without the size or the spinning blade. String trimmer mowers offer an in-between range for those lawn sections too big or too small for conventional mowers and trimmers.
Tip #2: Take safety precautions when using your string trimmer.
Like lawnmowers, string trimmers use a spinning motion to cut grass and thin wooden plants. For example, trimmers cutting in a counter clockwise spin will eject cut debris in a leftward direction.
Acknowledge the direction of your string trimmer’s spin and position yourself appropriately to avoid harmful debris hitting your body, like rock, glass, plastic, or any other small objects that can go flying when hit by the trimmer’s filament line. Additionally, keep children and pets indoors, or otherwise keep them and others on the opposite side of the eject direction.
Tip #3: Take advantage of spin direction when using your string trimmer.
Though you must heed the spin direction of your string trimmer for safety, the spin direction also commands the best use of your string trimmer. Ensure that your string trimmer ejects material away from your cut path to avoid working over piles of cut material, which drastically reduces the efficiency of your tool and encourages an uneven lawn trimming.
Tip #4: Use a cutting technique that fits the circumstance of your yard.
You accomplish a well-trimmed lawn by handling your string trimmer with precision. String trimmers seem clunky at best, but you can use a few different techniques to get that even cut you want. Mark Clement from Popular Mechanics suggests these methods:
- Tapering: To cut along the boundaries of your lawn, angle the string trimmer so that the line cuts somewhat at an angle. You get your best cut toward the tip of the line, Clement explains, so tilting the trimmer slightly down helps cut smaller, more manageable portions while allowing the line to strike at its strongest point.
- Edging: This method is useful when you need to cut grass at the edge of a parallel surface, such as a driveway or sidewalk. Instead of tilting the trimmer down, hold the tool so that the line cuts vertically. Clement notes that edging may uproot rocks and dirt and suggests easing these portions of your lawn into the right cut over time if you haven’t edged before.
- Scything: Gently swing your string trimmer in a U-shaped pattern to navigate a difficult or obstructed area of the lawn. This method provides manageable trimming, and by overlapping the pattern, you’ll get the even cut you want.
- Screeding: Clement explains that this method of using your string trimmer helps cut grass and weeds growing out of sidewalks, driveways, and other paved areas. Angle your string trimmer so that the line tip is hitting the pavement but the rest is slicing close to the base of the weed or grass.
Tip #5: Take care of your string trimmer.
Not unlike other tools, maintaining your string trimmer will keep it operable for years to come. After every use, wipe off grass and dirt debris from the line or replace it when necessary. String replacement is common, especially if you are using your string trimmer frequently. For gas-powered string trimmers, replace the spark plug every three to four months. Finally, empty the gas tank of the trimmer before long-term storage.
If you buy the right string trimmer for your needs, keep it properly maintained, and remember cutting direction for safety and a good cut, you’ll be using your string trimmer like a pro in no time.
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