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How a Weed Eater Works

How a Weed Eater Works

How a Weed Eater Work

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The Weed eater is commonly known locally as a string trimmer from the fact that it uses a string to operate. Different models are available, sold by different vendors. Mostly, the engines comprise of three types, these are:

  1. Battery powered engines
  2. Gasoline
  3. Electric engines

These machines are not heavy and they make work done through high-speed spinning filament-like strings which are tight enough to trim excessive vegetation around the garden or compound. Normally serves like a hand lawnmower.

Be it flowers, grasses or a fine fence of lovely grown vegetation. The strings are replaceable upon aging instead of hard task of sharpening metal blade as it would be with the pruning sheers

As gasoline based weed eater would be a bit environmental unfriendly, those that use direct and alternative currents are best to be used in residential homes and gardens. They are more efficient in term of cleanliness and sound pollution.

Various parts of a weed eater

We are going to consider the following parts: the engine, clutch drive shaft and the trimmer and a little of tips on how to operate the machine.

The Engine

Strongest and high power weed eater will have two engines that are powered by gasoline which consists a blend of gas and oil that during combustion, propels them.

There is a cord connected to the starter such that when pulled with a regulated effort, it starts off the engine. This happens when the magnets on the flywheel trigger an ignition coil that in return will communicate an electrified current to the plug.

The plug then produces sparks in every circumnavigation of the flywheel, as this happens, the fuel in the combustion chamber is burnt producing energy that propels the crankshaft.

For the battery and electric powered engines, it is the electric current generated that turns the flywheel to drive the crankshaft. It is easier to turn on these models by just switching on the power button.

The only limitation that accompanies the electric powered engine is that in the case of a blackout, there is nothing much that can be done rather than to stop the work until the power is back.

Clutch and Drive Shaft

The clutch at the center is conjoined with the engine crankshaft and a drive shaft that is prolonged via the machine’s shaft all the way to the head of the trimmer.

The wins on the clutch bulge towards the drive shaft when the engine is started, and start rotating the trimmer head at a very high speed. And this movement at an accelerated top speed is what gives the edges of the strings momentum to cut the weeds and grass.

Trimmer Head

In the drive shaft is a spindle that has a trimmer head which is that part of the machine that holds the springs that are responsible cutting the weeds. There is a spool which the springs go round it and a cup-shaped part that has holes through which the strings protrudes.

These springs can always be replaced with new ones though some machines are designed in a manner that they would replace the old one by themselves by just hitting the cap against the ground. Otherwise, manually one will have to remove the spool and the cap and as well replace the whole head.

It is important to note that for the first time users, the operation may look a bit complicated but machines are always accompanied by a user manual written in a language that is easy to understand. And very straight forward instructions. There is also additional information on the trimmer head that tells the size of the string needed for the particular model.

Tips on how to operate the weed eater

As earlier noted this string trimmer is a popular garden tool that is hand used to clear weeds from the garden, hedges, and sidewalks. There is a long shaft with a handle that ranges in size and a support grip in the middle.

Whether powered by current or gasoline, they are both easier to use as highlighted with steps by steps below:

Identify the area to be trimmed

Just like any other work or chores first identify the scope or area need to be trimmed, as work planned is already half done.

Hold the Weed Eater into a position

There are arrows on the trimmer’s shaft that shows how it is supposed to be handled. Hold it with a firm grip and then turn on the switch. Otherwise, for the gasoline one, you will be required to pull the cord to start it.

Start Working

It works by moving it horizontally from side to side parallel to your body making an imaginary right angle between the body and the trimmer. This is for safety reasons though it can be moved back and forth with one exercising extra care.

The head is maintained at a distance of three inches above the ground to avoid stripping too much material, taking note of the direction of the arrows.

Otherwise, it will end up throwing weeds towards you. Bending it a little to the left would be of great help. In the case of heavy growth of grass or weed, it is advisable to work on that particular area repeatedly instead of overfeeding the trimmer.

Speed Regulation

As it is to all machines, the speed can be regulated by using the speed control that is on the handle after you have powered the machine on. Always have a stock of strings from the store just in case one will be required to replace.

Storage, Precaution, Inspection, and Maintenance

Storage of the Trimmer

When the work is satisfactorily completed, always turn off the weed eater in case it is a direct or alternative current user. For the gasoline one, it is advisable to empty the fuel tank for safety measures.


Do a thorough inspection of the area you are working for stones and objects that could cause injuries when got into conduct with the trimmer. This might also result into sparks that could cause fire

Turn the machine off when someone is approaching and while working as a team, maintain a distance of 50 feet away from your partner or colleagues

Inspection and Maintenance

Carry out a routine inspection of all safety features, clean, adjust and replace the parts according to the instructions given. If any repair is needed, drain the fuel and disconnect both the trimmer and spark plug

Extra tips

Avoid rocky and hard surfaces as they may destroy the string. Always wear protective gears while working with trimmers.

It is important for a training to be offered by a knowledgeable user, preferably from the company or vendor.

Always remember to have a weed whacker’s field kit that will have; first aid kit, tool kit and probably a communication device if working alone or far from home.

When hand carrying, keep the hot muffler away from your body and turn the trimmer off if the distance is long. While traversing short distances use the shoulder strap to balance


There are various models of weed eaters available in the market and despite the make or origin, they all work in a similar manner.  And with them are manuals that contain all the information that is necessary to operate and use. But with the tips and guides, we have provided, it will be easier for a first time user.

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