How Does a Weed Eater Work?

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A weed eater or string trimmer is a popular garden care tool. This hand-held tool can be used to clear weeds from the garden, especially along sidewalks and hedges. You can also use it to trim a light hedge. A trimmer helps you to achieve a well-manicured garden. The tool has a long shaft with a handle. A nylon string or plastic cord is housed in the trimmer head. This string whips swiftly to cut unwanted grass and weeds. An action trigger is located on the handle. The length of the shaft may range from 6 to 10 feet. A support grip is found in the middle of the shaft. Trimmers may be powered by electricity or gas. It is an easy tool to use. Below is a guide on how it works.

Step 1 - Mark Areas to be Trimmed

Use some chalk dust to identify the areas you need to trim. This will enable you to work in an organized way.

Step 2 - Position the Weed Eater

Hold the trimmer with a firm grip. The directional arrow on the trimmer is meant to guide you as you work. Turn on the switch.

Step 3 - Trim Weeds

Move the trimmer from side to side as you cut the weeds. Maintain the tool head about 3 inches off the ground surface. If you hold the trimmer too close to the ground, it will strip off too much material. Observe the directional arrow as you cut. This ensures that the trimmer does not throw weeds back at you. It helps if you tilt the trimmer slightly to the left as you work. This yields better results. Trim grass on the lawn edges to be of the same height as the rest of the lawn. Heavy weed growth may require to be worked on twice.

Step 4 - How it Works

You can regulate the speed of the trimmer with the speed control on the handle end. Once the trimmer is powered, the string head spins independently in its housing. This action causes the nylon string attached to the string head to also spin. This motion enables the weed cutter to trim weeds. With time, the string gets worn out. It may snap as you cut. You can purchase new string from a garden store to replace the old string.

Step 5 - Storage

Once you complete the work, turn off the trimmer. If yours is a gas-powered model, empty the fuel tank before storage. This prevents an accidental flame-up.


Do not use the trimmer on gravel or other hard surfaces. The nylon string may snap. It is best to wear safety goggles when at work. Stones, grass, or debris may fly into your face as the trimmer cuts. Wear leather gloves to prevent blisters on the hands. You should also wear a dust mask to prevent the inhalation of dust, dirt, or grass.

Wear long pants and a long-sleeved shirt. These will protect your skin from scratches and bruises. Do not start your weed eater while it is still on the ground. It will cause bald areas on the lawn.