Wear appropriate protective gear, such as safety glasses, heavy duty gloves, and muff type ear protectors. Wear a dust mask if working in an area where the trimmer will raise dust.
Carefully read the manufacturer’s instructions. If you borrow or rent a string trimmer, ask someone to go over its operation with you.
Before starting the job, check the area for hidden obstacles such as rocks, sticks, wires or cords, which could be picked up and thrown or entangled by the spinning nylon lines.
Be sure the cap and line spool are tightly installed before operating the trimmer. Check the tool for any cracked or damaged parts. A cracked cap or spool may fly apart the next time you use the trimmer.
Slowly move the trimmer in and out of the area being cut, keeping the cutting head at the desired cutting height. This can be either a forward-backward or side-to-side motion.
Allow the tip of the spinning line to do the work of cutting. Cutting with more than the tip reduces cutting efficiency and overloads the motor.
Do not walk backwards or sideways as you trim. This leads to tripping accidents and this awkward maneuver is exhausting, leading to more accidents.
Most models have a “bump feed” mechanism to refresh the cutting line. While the unit is still running, firmly tap the line spool on the ground. Centrifugal force will pay out more line, which is automatically cut to the proper length by a small blade mounted on the edge of the grass shield.
When you are finished, turn off the motor by releasing the throttle or “On” switch. Make sure electrical extension cords are unplugged. On gasoline powered models, disconnect the spark plug wire as well.
When Not To Use A String Trimmer - Never cut small, flexible branches, brush, or shrubbery with a string trimmer. This type of growth is very too thick for nylon line to cut. Instead, use an axe , a brush cutter, hand_pruners, hand_hedge clippers a hedge_trimmer, or loppers. Never use an electric powered string trimmer on wet grass or in wet weather conditions.
User Tips & Precautions - Be A “Spin Doctor:” Most string trimmers spin their lines counterclockwise, so the tool cuts through weed growth best it’s when moved from right to left. To do this, trim with a left-handed hold (with the throttle in the left hand). This allows you to walk forward as you work, instead of walking sideways or backwards, and cuts down the risk of tripping or falling over obstacles.
To make your trimming job more efficient and less tiring, figure out a “path” to follow on your property that takes in all the trimming tasks on one trip. Keep the area you want to trim always on your right as you go. Groundskeepers call this “following the edges.”
Is It Safe? Electric trimmers shut off immediately when you release the “On” switch or trigger. And most gasoline powered models have a clutch that disengages power to the head when you let go of the throttle. Be aware that some inexpensive gasoline powered trimmers lack the clutch. Their engines will slow to idle speed when you release the trigger, but the head will still be spinning fast enough to be a safety hazard.
Avoid Trimmer’s Itch: Be careful when trimming poison ivy, poison oak, and other toxic plants. The cuttings may blow back at you, exposing you to a possible rash.
Avoid problems by wearing safety glasses and heavy duty gloves while trimming and also when cleaning the tool afterward.
Handling Gas & Oil - Gasoline powered string trimmers benefit from the enormous mechanical energy released by the fuel. However, it is quite flammable and poisonous as well. To avoid problems from gasoline, follow these guidelines:
Make sure the trimmer motor has a good spark arrestor and muffler shield.
Remember to mix oil specifically designed for 2-cycle aircooled engines with the gasoline before fueling your engine. This is how these small engines are lubricated. Unless the manufacturer says otherwise, never run a small engine on straight gasoline.
Mixed fuel goes stale faster than straight gasoline. Don’t prepare more gas/oil mixture than you can use in a month. The best approach is to add a gasoline stabilizer to all gas you use in any gas powered landscape tool.
Always turn the trimmer off and let it cool down before you refuel it.
Do not spill gas or oil, and wipe the tool clean of spilled fuel.
Make sure the caps on the trimmer and fuel can are tightly closed before starting the trimmer again.
To avoid the risk of igniting gasoline fumes, take the trimmer to another area after refueling before attempting to restart it.
Keep leaves and other dry materials away from the hot trimmer motor, especially the exhaust muffler.
Never smoke while refueling a gasoline motor, and keep well away from other flame sources while refueling.