A string trimmer goes by many names, you may have heard it be called a weed whacker or a weed eater. Whatever you want to call it, the fact remains that it needs to be maintained in order to work well. String trimmers are great for hard to reach places that a lawn mower just can’t reach. Lawn mowers are often bulky and cannot reach a lot of places like along a fence line or around trees. Use a string trimmer so you can easily reach those hard to reach places and help your lawn continue to look well maintained and manicured. Remember, you can only use your string trimmer if it’s in a good working condition. Here are some string trimmer maintenance tips for you to follow.
How Does a String Trimmer Work?
In order to see why it’s so important to take care of your string trimmer, let’s take a look at how a string trimmer works. There is no blade with a string trimmer, instead it uses string just as the name suggests. Not just any string, but a specific kind of string that is made for string trimmers. It may vary depending on which kind of string trimmer you have. The string is whipped around at such a high speed that it will cut through weeds and grasses. This is why string trimmer maintenance is so important. The string will wear out quickly if you use the trimmer frequently because oftentimes there are rocks and other debris that get in the way of the string. Your string trimmer will not work effectively with a damaged string or motor.
Gas vs. Electric Trimmers
Some string trimmer maintenance depends on whether or not you have a gas or an electric trimmer. There is less maintenance that is needed with an electric trimmer, all you need to do is change the string and keep the trimmer clean. However, electric trimmers either need to be plugged in to receive power or they have a battery but it typically needs to be recharged before you’re done with a job. There are pros and cons to each type of trimmer. Gasoline string trimmers require a lot more maintenance to keep it running efficiently.
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Tips for String Trimmer Maintenance
Replacing the String
You will need to replace the string no matter what kind of string trimmer you have, they all need to be replaced eventually. You’ll need to have access to the user’s manual to make sure that you are using the right kind of string and that you are replacing the string properly. There are many different kinds of ways to replace the string on your string trimmer. There are single or dual string trimmers that may need pre-cut string or allow you to cut the string yourself. Some string trimmers come with a pre-wound spool or you may need you to wind the spool yourself. Replacing the string is an easy fix and won’t take long before your trimmer is as good as new, cutting efficiently again.
Clean the Cutting Shield
The cutting shield is a piece of plastic that goes around the string that resembles an umbrella covering it. This is to protect you from debris that may be flying up towards you. The shield often gets covered in grass and weeds that cling to it. Periodically clean the shield and get all of the debris off of it so that your trimmer won’t get clogged. It’s also a good idea to clean around the trimmer head where the string is located. This helps the string to be able to spin around better because it doesn’t have anything obstructing it.
Fuel a Gas Trimmer
Make sure you’re filling your string trimmer with the proper type and amount of gasoline. You should also make sure that the gasoline is still good. This means it has been stored in an airtight container where it can be kept safe and free from any debris or water. Putting bad gas in your string trimmer will cause it to run very poorly.
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Add Oil for a Gas Trimmer (4-Cycle Engines)
A 4-cycle engine does not use combined fuel and oil. This means that the fuel and the oil are kept separate and not mixed. Oil is required for these kinds of gasoline trimmers. Check your oil level before every use of your string trimmer. This is very important for string trimmer maintenance. A trimmer that runs out of oil and is still running, could get ruined. Add oil to your trimmer if it’s necessary. Never run your trimmer without checking the oil level first.
Change Oil for a Gas Trimmer (4-Cycle Engines)
Since 4-cycle trimmers use oil separately, you’ll need to change the oil periodically. This will make sure that there are as little impurities inside the oil as possible. Old oil that has a lot of impurities will cause your string trimmer to run ragged. This is important for string trimmer maintenance.
Clean or Change the Spark Plug for Gas Trimmers
Gas trimmers use spark plugs that can get plugged up or need replacing. String trimmers that are becoming harder and harder to start may have a problem with their spark plugs. Check them out and see if they need to be cleaned. That may fix your problem. Look for damage to the spark plugs because that may mean that they need to be replaced.
Replace the Air Filter for a Gas Trimmer
An air filter that is in bad shape will cause your string trimmer to run poorly. Check the condition of your air filter and see if it needs to be replaced if you notice that your trimmer isn’t running very well. A damaged or really dirty air filter may cause a lot of wear on your engine.
String trimmer maintenance is very important if you want a trimmer that runs efficiently. Poorly maintained trimmers run ragged and have a shorter life, which wastes money. You want your lawn tools to last as long as possible when you buy them. Be sure to pay close attention whenever you use your trimmer to see if it needs some maintenance. Maybe it’s not cutting very well and it needs a new string. Or maybe you can’t get the trimmer started and it needs a new spark plugs. It could be that your string trimmer just needs some new gas that hasn’t been sitting in a bucket. Take care of your string trimmer. You’ll notice how well your sting trimmer is working when you do. You’ll be able to use your string trimmer to cut down weeds, trim grass in hard to reach places, and edge your lawn for years to come.
Image Source: The Wire Cutter
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