Wondering how to use a string hammer? You also probably want to know how not to break the line. If you are planning on getting a string trimmer or edger, then these are just some of the basic things that you need to learn beforehand.
Although it might look like a pretty straightforward piece of machine, using a string trimmer can be quite confusing at times. For some people, they just choose to give up immediately and purchase a gas-powered lawn edger or trimmer instead.
While using other kinds of edgers aside from the stringed one is easier, a string trimmer is the best way to go if you wish to show your love and concern for the environment. Not only does it leave less carbon footprint, but it is also much more peaceful and quieter to use. The only catch, though, is that you really have to know how to use it to your advantage.
Lucky for you, you have us to provide you with a solution to that very problem. In this quick read, you will not only know how to go about it in the easiest way but also learn safety tips so as not to let your fingers fly off your hands!
Let us start by getting to know some basic yet essential information about your string trimmer.
Factors to Consider Before You Start
Before we talk about working with the string spool, you first have to familiarize yourself with the basics. These include the length of the string, the replacement of the spool, and the cutting knife. Not sure what we are talking about? Let us discuss each one briefly, then.
- Length of the String
You need not compute anything with this. More often than not, the required length is shown in the box. However, in such a case that it is not listed, you can base the length of the string on the power of your lawn edger.
The rule of thumb is that the lower the power, the shorter the length of the string. The general measurement for low-powered trimmers is 0.06 inches. For other stronger trimmers, though, it can be 0.16 inches.
For some who have been using string trimmers for a long time, they customize the length based on the surface mass and area that they are going to cut. However, if you are just starting out, then it would be better if you just stick to the default measurements first.
- Replacement of the Spool
This is where it gets tricky. For you not to get all confused, though, remember that all you have to look for is where the thread hole is. This is important because this is your starting point. In fact, this is where you are going to feed the start of your string.
Other than that, you also have to know how to remove the spool from the machine properly. This process varies from one lawn trimmer to another. So, once you find the thread hole, all you have to do is to wind up the spool and put it back.
- Cutting Knife
We are not talking about a separate knife here. In fact, we are referring to the built-in knife in your trimmer. This knife is there to prevent any hitting beyond the blade guard. Some models have it; some do not.
If you have it in your trimmer, you have to make it a point to sharpen it, or else, you might end up with a coiled string.
How to Use a String Trimmer
There is still a lot to learn when it comes to customizing your string spool, but with those three concepts we have discussed above, we are confident that you are already equipped to use a string trimmer. Here is the easiest way to do it:
- Feed the string into the spool based on the factors we talked about earlier
- Put the spool back into the trimmer and make sure the thread hole is connected to where the line will be fed
- Tug on the string to release it from the notch
- You are good to go!
Here is the part where the technique will matter. Again, you have to make the string work to your advantage, so you really have to hold your trimmer in a certain way.
- For Edging
This calls for a precise and blunt cut. Vertically holding your trimmer makes for a straight impact against the strings, which, in turn, will deliver a swift and clear cut.
- For Trimming
Just do what you want to do. The default position of the spool is perfect for regular cutting.
- For Tapering
You have to hold the trimmer with the flow of the grass that you are tapering. The key here is to make long and fluid strokes. Also, remember that you have to go back and forth until you get the desired look.
- For Scything
Taking a hint from the word itself, a scythe has somehow a half-moon shape. Therefore, to get that effect, you have to swing the trimmer in a “U” motion.
- For Screeding
For this, you have to assess the roots. After doing so, and based on your findings, that is how deep you should press against the grass.
Safety Tricks and Tips When Using String Trimmers
As harmless as string sounds, a string trimmer or edger is a totally different story. Because the string rotates at dangerously fast speeds, it can easily cut off your toes and fingers if you do not exercise caution. Do not forget these safeguards:
- Clear any obstructions. This includes hard debris, rocks, and even pots.
- String trimmers should not be used against tree trunks.
- If it stops working, do not force it to run again. Instead, turn it off and check the spool line.
- Always secure both ends of the string.
- Focus on what you are currently trimming.
- Use the right length of the string.
- Always use it on a full charge or full gas.
- Hold the trimmer at the right angles and do not stay on one spot for too long.
Now you know how to use a string trimmer in the easiest way possible. Do not forget the most important thing, and that is to learn how to feed the string into the proper thread hole. If you master that, then you will not lose your way.
On another note, do follow the safety tips we gave you, especially the first one. It is important to do so because when the trimmer hits something hard, that thing can fly off. Consider yourself lucky if it does not backfire on you, but then again, why leave it to chance?
Lastly, just like what we mentioned before, mastering a string trimmer is not an easy feat—it takes practice. Just keep on doing the right angles, and you will be fine.