A weed eater, string trimmer, or a weed whacker is one of the most important garden tools for any avid gardener. The versatile hand-held device easily lets you cut grass and vegetation close to objects such as trees and pavements. Many times, you need to replace the worn out or frayed string from the weed eater.
However, a majority of DIY yard workers are not able to string their weed whacker and the thought of having to do that sounds quite intimidating to them. However, taking care of your weed eater need not be a tedious task. In this article, we will cover simple tutorials on the easiest way to string weed eater so you can also replace the string on your garden tool in a hassle-free manner.
With these tips to string a weed eater, you will be soon stringing your brand of weed eater be it a Ryobi or an Echo weed whacker. Before we move on to the procedure on how to wind weed eater string, let us briefly cover what a weed eater is and why there may arise a need to replace its string.
Table of Contents
- What is a Weed Eater?
- Why Do You Need to Rewind or Replace the Weed Eater String?
- Important Instructions to Know Before Replacing or Rewinding Weed Whacker String
- How to String a Weed Eater Like the Echo Weed Eater
- How to Change Weed Eater String on Machines With Threaded Shafts
- How to Replace a Poulan Weed Eater’s String
What is a Weed Eater?
A string-based weed eater is a hand-held power tool that uses a rotating plastic string to cut, edge, or trim unwanted plants, bushes, hedges, weeds, and grass. You can quickly use this tool to remove weeds and unwanted shrubs from your yard. Weed eaters for cutting, trimming, and chopping consist of a long shaft or bar with a trigger on the handle.
You can use this trigger button to change the speed of the cutting head which is attached to the base of the shaft. The cutting head also holds the trimming string which is usually made of nylon. This garden tool can be powered by gas fuel or could be cordless and run on a battery.
The cutting action is performed by the string which extends forward and becomes stiff as a result of centrifugal forces that arise when the cutting head rotates. The string inside the cutting head becomes taut and this tension enables it to cut and trim the grass or plants. Some modern weed whacker tools even come with other attachments for cutting thicker vegetation or tilling earth.
Why Do You Need to Rewind or Replace the Weed Eater String?
Older models of weed eaters required users to replace the used portion of string from time to time. In some cases, with regular use, the string could break or get frayed or damaged inside the spool. Naturally, you want to maintain the tool’s performance, and need to refresh the cutting edges of the string.
In automatic or semi-automatic weed whackers you can simply tap the bottom of the spool on the ground to temporarily free the spool from the driveshaft and allow some of the line to free up and unwind. There is a blade at the edge of the guard to cut the line to length. When you finally run out of line, it is time to rewind the spool.
Some models of weed whackers like Ryobi and Sears do not need to be disassembled to load the new string. Others like the Homelite Versa Tool have short lengths of string that need to be replaced when it is worn. Use the following tutorials on how to string weed eater.
Important Instructions to Know Before Replacing or Rewinding Weed Whacker String
Before you attempt to install or repair any kind of weed whacker tool, please follow the steps given below
Wear safety goggles and gloves because any string-based tools can throw sharp debris around which could cause serious injuries to bystanders or the operator. Work in a secure area, preferably without any humans or pets around.
Stop the engine, remove and ground the spark plug, and kill the ignition before doing any kind of repairs. If you have just used the weed eater and the engine is still hot, avoid touching it completely to prevent burns. You can postpone the string replacement for afterwards, when the engine is cooler.
Read the Instruction Manual Thoroughly
Weed whackers or weed eater tools differ in their construction. Therefore, their string replacement procedures also vary. Always follow the steps given in the instruction manual carefully before taking the tool apart.
Use Only Specified Parts
Look up the recommended type and diameter of the line in the manual before replacing the cutting line. The engine may overheat if too large a diameter is used. Worse, the usage of strings with improper specifications could lead to accidents which you definitely want to avoid.
How to String a Weed Eater Like the Echo Weed Eater
You will love this simple tutorial on how to wind weed eater string. These days, most models come with an easy-loading version of string spools. Manufacturers usually want users to have the utmost ease in string replacement. Therefore, they tend to keep this mechanism super simple.
- Follow the safety instructions given above and in your user manual.
- Next, push the short pieces of string line into the trimmer head. The locking system will catch the line and this process is completely automatic.
- You can now replace the line by simply pulling it through the cutter head and pushing in a new piece.
How to Change Weed Eater String on Machines With Threaded Shafts
Here are the steps how to load weed eater string on tools having threaded shafts:
Step 1: Remove the Trimmer Head
The simple action of pushing, twisting, and pulling out will help you remove the trimmer head. As stated before, please consult the user manual. Trimmer heads tend to differ and they will require different steps for their removal. Ratchet off the head and pull it off by removing the nut or bolt securing the head.
Step 2: Slide on the New Thread
Now it is time to add the new thread. Add in the washer first and then slip on the new thread over it. The trimmer head has a triangular recess which you need to align with the slot on the shaft.
Step 3: Secure the Head
Next, add the smaller washer piece over the triangle recess. Add the nut and tighten this well.
How to Replace a Poulan Weed Eater’s String
Stringing a gas-powered weed eater comes with a slightly complex procedure. Here are the steps on how to string a Poulan Weed Eater tool:
Step 1: Follow Basic Safety
Refer to the safety steps mentioned above. (Here is a quick summary: kill the engine, remove and ground the weed eater’s spark plug, and allow the engine to cool down. Wear protective goggles!)
Step 2: Unscrew the Bump Knob
Hold the outer spool with one hand, and turn the bump knob counter clockwise. Inspect the bump knob for wear and damage. Make sure it moves freely. If needed, replace the bump knob if you find problems.
Step 3: Remove the Inner Spool
Use a clean shop rag to clean the inner surface of the outer spool. Dirt and grass in this area could prevent the spool from advancing. Check the inner and outer spools for worn out or damaged indexing teeth. If there are minor burrs, sand these out.
If there is heavy damage, you must replace the part otherwise the spool will not advance. Now you can also change and add in a new inner spool. If you want to know how to wind weed eater string for a Poulan weed whacker, then check out this detailed tutorial here.
Step 4: Measure Out the New Line
Measure approximately 50 feet or 15 m of new trimming line. Loop the line into two equal lengths and insert each end of line into one of the two holes of the inner spool. Pull the line so that the loop formed is as small as possible. Wind the line on even, small and tight layers on the inner spool.
It is important to follow the correct direction for the winding. In most cases, there will be an arrow to show you the direction of winding on the inner spool. Avoid overlaying the two ends of the line on each other. Thread in the end of the lines into two slots provided.
Step 5: Reinstall or Rewind the New Spool
To reinstall the new or the wound reel, add in the end of the string through the slots of the external reel. Firmly hold and pull the string from the securing niches. With your finger on the interior reel, add and secure the bump knob by tightening it.
When the time comes for you to replace the weed eater string, make sure you read your instruction manual thoroughly. This will help you select the right specifications for your replacement string. Most top brands of weed eaters come with replacement auto-feed spools compatible with that brand and model of your weed eater.
Select a thread made with high-quality copolymer nylon resin to ensure better flexibility and durability. You must also ensure that the string you select is suitable for the task you intend to put your weed eater to. Avoid using size or diameter of string which isn’t compatible with your model of string trimmer. Doing so could lead to injuries and could even compromise the efficiency of your weed eater.