How to Weed Eat Like a Pro
Weed eating doesn’t mean adding extra plant fiber to your diet; it means trimming grass and cutting weeds with a string trimmer — not necessarily one manufactured by the Weed Eater company. As for any garden tool, there’s a good way and a better way to use a string trimmer, and the better way is the one that produces professional results. Familiarity with your machine is as important as developing the proper cutting techniques.
Getting Ready to Weed-Eat
Trimmers come in a variety of sizes and power ratings, with straight or curved shafts and powered by gas, propane or electricity. A straight-shaft, gas-powered model is useful for a wide variety of purposes and is most likely to produce professional results. Before starting it, find the most comfortable orientation for the adjustable handle so that you won’t get overtired while using the machine. Note which way the head spins, and make sure you’re using the proper string so you can work efficiently without overworking your trimmer. Wear goggles, closed-toe shoes and heavy pants to protect yourself from flying rocks and other debris.
Keep the String Long
Whether you’re cutting weeds or trimming grass, you need the maximum cutting power your trimmer can supply, and you get this by keeping the string as long as possible. Most models come with a bump feed mechanism that advances the string when you tap the trimmer on the ground while it’s running. You should use this frequently. Most models have a blade attached to the deflector that automatically trims the string. Although it isn’t a recommended safety practice, you may consider removing this blade. The string is too long when it causes the trimmer to vibrate, but just before that point is the optimum cutting length for power and control.
Moving the Trimmer
When trimming along the edges of lawns and against fences and buildings, you want the debris to fly away from the area you’re trimming so it doesn’t accumulate. To ensure that happens, note which direction the head spins — most spin counterclockwise — and move the trimmer so that the leading edge of the string is in the same direction as the movement. For example, move the trimmer from right to left if the head spins counterclockwise. If you keep the trimmer head slightly ahead of your body, debris should fly safely past you.
Trimming and Edging
Holding the trimmer so that the cutting head is parallel to the ground isn’t the best practice — it usually results in grass that’s too short and cut unevenly. A better practice is to hold the trimmer so that the head is slightly angled down toward the area you’re trimming. This gives you more control so you can blend the area you’re trimming more evenly with the rest of the lawn. When cutting along the edge of a garden, turn the tool so that the head is perpendicular to the ground, then edge inside the garden to produce a clean, discrete border.
- Popular Mechanics: How to Use a String Trimmer Like a Pro
- This Old House: How to Use a String Trimmer
- Arning Lawns: How to Weedeat Like a Pro
Chris Deziel has a bachelor’s degree in physics and a master’s degree in humanities. Besides having an abiding interest in popular science, Deziel has been active in the building and home design trades since 1975. As a landscape builder, he helped establish two gardening companies.
How to Weed Eat Like a Pro. Weed eating doesn’t mean adding extra plant fiber to your diet; it means trimming grass and cutting weeds with a string trimmer — not necessarily one manufactured by the Weed Eater company. As for any garden tool, there’s a good way and a better way to use a string trimmer, and the …
9 Tips to Use Weed Eater Like a Pro
If you want to maintain your yard like a pro, you need to purchase the best weed eater for your needs. Additionally, learn how to use it properly.
That way, you will always get a result as every other expert in this field. I will give you a few tips which will help you to get a beautiful lawn and enjoy your work at the same time.
Table of Contents
Pick Out the Best Weed Eater for You
You can find a lot of different models of a weed eater on the market, including most popular such as cordless weed eater and gas weed eater. Which size and power rating you want to buy among a variety of models will depend on your preferences and the size of your yard.
In my opinion, there are two essential things you should consider. The first one is to define if you prefer the unit powered by gas, electricity, or propane. The second one is about choosing the right shafts. Many people I know like weed eaters with the curved shaft, but I find the straight one more practical and convenient.
Also, you need to find the orientation most comfortable for you before starting the engine to avoid getting overtired before finish the job. Always keep in mind how important the way the head of your unit spins and the proper string you use are. You don’t want to overwork your machine or to get a trimmer which works inefficiently.
It is wise to read the manual carefully before start using your tool. Nowadays, you can become familiar with any machine by checking the necessary things on the Net. There is a bunch of similar weed eaters on the market which operate differently. Therefore, knowing your device means that you will probably use it for years without constant frustrations.
1. Don’t work without protective gear
As you know, the trimming line of your unit spins very fast. Its speed can reach up to 3000 revolutions a minute! It is evident that you need to protect yourself, primarily your eyes, feet, and hands. Picking out the right helmet, tough gloves, and sturdy trousers is actually everything you need.
2. Be aware of the cables
One of the main concerns when having an electric trimmer is a cable for power supply. Since your unit has enough cutting power, it can damage the cable which will consequently lead to short circuit. Therefore, protect yourself from possible hazards.
3. Watch The Surrounding
Don’t let yourself to be careless while mowing the lawn. Any flying debris, including pebbles or rocks, can injure both you or people and pets staying nearby. Also, you should pay additional attention to the glass windows of your house and a car while working close to them.
4. Care for fuels and possible fumes
If you have a weed eater powered by gas, you should keep in mind that using highly flammable fuel implies production of the exhaust. Be ultimately caution to avoid intoxication by carbon monoxide.
5. Understand the direction of the spinning
Always remember that a weed eater is a simple tool, and there is no need to struggle with the direction of its spinning. It is enough if your unit ejects grass and debris from its path while cutting without harming you and people around.
If it spins counter-clockwise, you should cut grass from the right side, and eject remains from the left one. On the contrary, if string rotates clockwise, you can expect the unit cuts grass from the left side and ejects the debris on the right side.
Elementary Cutting Techniques
Your weed eater is a pretty versatile tool which features four essential cutting techniques, including tapering, edging, scything, and screening. The only way to get professional results is to master them. Which one you prefer will depend on the effect you want to get.
This technique is an excellent way to get the desirable lawn’s edges along with trees, fence, retaining walls, or other curbs. You will get the effect you want while holding the unit the way its string cuts the grass at a slighter angle.
The point is to avoid holding the string parallel to the surface of the lawn and cutting a full swath of grass. Only by tapering you will get the grass of the same length in every part of your yard.
Pitching the string toward the object will allow you to cut less grass, leave a tight edge, and make a great combination of the mowed grass and the existing sides. The result will be the adorable, clean look of your yard.
You should choose to edge when your yard is side by side the walkway or the driveway. Turn the unit the way to get the string in a vertical position and entirely parallel to the ground. Then set up the edger into the cut path. That is the only way to get material ejected from the part where you just cut the grass.
The bad thing is that you can expect a lot of rocks and dirt pulling up along with grass. Therefore, avoid using this technique to make a crisp edge all at once, especially if you haven’t edged your yard that way before.
Instead, try to cut grass piece by piece each week until getting a desirable result. Additionally, just maintain the edges regularly, and you will always have the perfectly cut lawn.
You should use this technique every time you face an obstruction. This way, you will cut the grass around obstacles placed throughout your yard.
It is not too hard. Just make a shallow U motion by bringing the edger into and out of work alternately. The result will be overlapping the scythes and consequently making the cuts equal.
This technique is useful when you want to get rid of weeds in your paths and driveways. Tip your unit the way its strings are placed off the pavement. Move them into the base of grass, and make a clean cut above the hard surface.
If you make a too sharp angle, the string won’t hit the plant base correctly, and you can’t get the evenly cut. On the other hand, if the angle of the tool too shallow, you will probably eat the string without getting a desirable cut.
That’s it. Go for the perfect lawn. Good luck!
9 Tips to Use Weed Eater Like a Pro If you want to maintain your yard like a pro, you need to purchase the best weed eater for your needs. Additionally, learn how to use it properly. That way,