Effective Ways to Use a String Trimmer

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String trimmers can be used for so many things when you’re landscaping your yard. The results that can be achieved with a string trimmer are incredible. Detailed edging, sculpting, and tapering are all made easier with the use of a string trimmer. Although string trimmers make difficult jobs easier, you have to know how to use it in order for it to do its job. There is a right and a wrong way to use a string trimmer effectively. There are also a lot of safety precautions that you must take when you use it. String trimmers are power tools and should be used carefully. Here are some effective ways to use a string trimmer.

A Little About String Trimmers

String trimmers are also called weed whackers or weed eaters. They have a hard plastic string that whips around so quickly that it cuts down whatever is in its path. It’s a lot like a machete hacking down jungle trees but if the machete was spinning around at thousands of rotations a minute. It’s very effective. There are several different kinds of string trimmers including electric and gas powered. Electric trimmers have a battery and need to be charged, while gas trimmers run on fuel. Each kind of string trimmer has its own set of pros and cons that you should take into consideration before buying. 

Ways to Use a String Trimmer

You’d be surprised at the number of ways you can use a string trimmer. It’s not just for edging or cutting down weeds. Owning a string trimmer will allow to you to do so many things with your landscape. Your yard will look clean, neat, and tidy.


Edging is a classic way to use weed whackers. All you need to do is turn the string so that it’s vertical instead of horizontal. This will make edging a breeze! It’s perfect for the space between sidewalk and lawn, or driveway and lawn. You won’t have to worry about overgrowth at all. There will be a perfect edge bordering your entire lawn. It’s best to wear safety glasses when you are edging because a lot of debris will fly up. Rocks and dirt can hit you in the eyes causing damage. It’s also a good idea to wear ear protection since most weed whackers are really loud. Again, make sure you exercise extreme caution when using your weed whacker. Make sure that no one’s fingers are around the string when you start it. Use the weed whacker properly and your job will be done in no time. 


Tapering is another way to edge that gives a slightly different result. Edging gives a distinct edge as the name suggests. Tapering is more blended and doesn’t have such a distinct line. Edging is great for the space between the driveway and your lawn but you probably don’t want such an edge around trees, along fence lines, or curbs. It might look silly to have a distinct ledge along your fence line. Instead try tapering to cut down the grass along a fence line or a tree where the mower cannot reach. Hold the string trimmer at a slight angle so that the blades of grass are being cut at an angle. This will blend the grass together with mowed grass instead of making a clear distinction between mowed and edged. Tapering helps make the entire lawn look even and well maintained. It also prevents scalping the lawn which is where the grass is cut too short and is cut down to the roots.

string trimmer

Image Source: Weed Eaters Direct


Scything is a technique that is best used for really long grass that would be too hard to mow initially. This means you go in and out of the grass in a “U” shape cutting as you go. This makes the cut even and does a good job at cutting the grass from the top down. Scything makes it easier to get rid of overgrown grass instead of trying to push a lawn mower through a forest of thick weeds. It’s a lot easier to mow or manicure shorter grass after scything. Mow the grass down to your desired length or fix it up to have long decorated grass. A weed whacker will be useful for whatever you desire.


Screeding is a quick and effective way to weed between cracks in your driveway or sidewalk. Angle the string trimmer so that the end of the string is barely touching the cement. Cut flush to the cement and the entire weed will pop right up. Be careful not to push your string too much into the cement because that will just damage or break the string. This method of weed eating will save you so much time. You won’t have to spend time pulling up weeds or spraying the weeds. Just use your string trimmer and your weeds will be gone in a matter of seconds. Quick and easy! 

A Word About String Direction

String direction does matter. The direction that your string spins can make or break your string trimmer. A string trimmer needs to eject all the grass clippings and debris away from its cut path. The direction that the string should spin depends on the project you’re doing. Edging is usually where people have trouble with string direction. The string should be going counter clockwise if the edge is on your right. The debris will be ejected to the left and the string will cut effectively on the right this way. Your string trimmer would get clogged with debris and bogged down if the string was going clockwise. All the debris would be forced towards the string. Switch directions so that the edge is on your left and clockwise would be the correct direction for the string. 

Summing Up

String trimmers are so incredibly useful. They make weeding a snap, edging a breeze, and tapering simple. It would be hard to have a beautifully manicured lawn without the use of a weed whacker. It’s a good idea to invest in a string trimmer if a well manicured lawn is important to you. It will make a world of difference. It’s possible to have a beautiful lawn without a weed whacker but you’ll probably spend a lot more time and energy into your lawn. String trimmers cut down the time and effort it takes to have a nice yard. You’re going to love the results you get with a string trimmer, and the amount of time it took you to get those results. Try one of these effective ways to use a string trimmer and your life will be changed.

Image Source: Weed Eater

Related Article: Best String Trimmer-The 10 Best Choices and our Top Pick

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