How to Change the String on a Lawn Trimmer

Three Methods:Changing the Line on a Single-Line TrimmerChanging the Line on a Double-Line TrimmerChanging the Line on a Speed-Feed Trimmer

Even the best lawn trimmers will eventually need new string. Doing this kind of maintenance can be intimidating for some people, but replacing the string on a trimmer is not difficult. With a little help, it won’t be long before you’re out trimming your lawn once more.

Method 1
Changing the Line on a Single-Line Trimmer

  1. Image titled Change the String on a Lawn Trimmer Step 1
    1
    Prepare the line. The length and width of line you need varies based on your trimmer.[1][2] If you purchase the wrong width of line, the trimmer will not work correctly, so don’t waste your money by simply guessing at the hardware store. If you are not sure what size line your trimmer uses, check online—the manufacturer’s website often has instructions, and if not the customer service department should be able to help you.The length to which the line should be cut also varies, from around 10’ to 25’.[3][4] If you are not sure, err on the side of too long; you can always cut it shorter later.
  2. Image titled Change the String on a Lawn Trimmer Step 2
    2
    Make sure your trimmer’s engine is turned off. If it has a gearbox, make sure it is cooled down. This will help prevent accidents.
  3. Image titled Change the String on a Lawn Trimmer Step 3
    3
    Remove the retaining cap from the trimmer head. This will probably involve either unscrewing it, pressing one or multiple tabs, or a combination of the two.[5] Some models use different mechanisms for removing the spool. These should be designed to be relatively intuitive, but contact your trimmer’s manufacturer if you are having trouble figuring it out.
  4. Image titled Change the String on a Lawn Trimmer Step 4
    4
    Locate the starter hole in the spool. Insert the tip of the trimmer line, and wind in the direction of the arrows.[6] Wrap the line in neat, straight rows, to prevent jams later on. When there are about 5” or 6” of line remaining, snap it into the retainer on the spool to hold it in place.[7][8]
  5. Image titled Change the String on a Lawn Trimmer Step 5
    5
    Line up the retainer with the slot on the outside of the head. Replace the spool into the trimmer head. Remove the line from the retainer, and pull it through the slot to make sure it is feeding smoothly.[9][10] Reattach the retaining cap.

Method 2
Changing the Line on a Double-Line Trimmer

  1. Image titled Change the String on a Lawn Trimmer Step 6
    1
    Prepare the line. The length and width of line you need varies based on your trimmer.[11][12] If you purchase the wrong width of line, the trimmer will not work correctly, so don’t waste your money by simply guessing at the hardware store. If you are not sure what size line your trimmer uses, check online—the manufacturer’s website often has instructions, and if not the customer service department should be able to help you.The length to which the line should be cut also varies, from around 10’ to 25’.[13][14] If you are not sure, err on the side of too long; you can always cut it shorter later.
  2. Image titled Change the String on a Lawn Trimmer Step 7
    2
    Make sure your trimmer’s engine is turned off. If it has a gearbox, make sure it is cooled down. This will help prevent accidents.
  3. Image titled Change the String on a Lawn Trimmer Step 8
    3
    Remove the retaining cap from the trimmer head. This will probably involve either unscrewing it, pressing one or multiple tabs, or a combination of the two.[15] Some models use different mechanisms for removing the spool. These should be designed to be relatively intuitive, but contact your trimmer’s manufacturer if you are having trouble figuring it out.
  4. Image titled Change the String on a Lawn Trimmer Step 9
    4
    Locate the starter holes in the spool. Insert the tip of the first length of trimmer line into one starter hole, and wind in the direction of the arrows.[16] Wrap the line in neat, straight rows, to prevent jams later on. When there are about 5” or 6” of line remaining, snap it into the retainer on the spool to hold it in place.[17][18] Repeat this process with the second line. At this point, the line ends should be at opposite sides of the spool, to match the eyelets on the outside of the trimmer head.[19]
  5. Image titled Change the String on a Lawn Trimmer Step 10
    5
    Remove the lines from the retainers. Thread them through the eyelets on the outside of the trimmer head. Replace the spool into the trimmer head, and pull the lines through the slot to make sure they are feeding smoothly.[20][21] Reattach the retaining cap.

Method 3
Changing the Line on a Speed-Feed Trimmer

  1. Image titled Change the String on a Lawn Trimmer Step 11
    1
    Prepare the line. The length and width of line you need varies based on your trimmer.[22][23] If you purchase the wrong width of line, the trimmer will not work correctly, so don’t waste your money by simply guessing at the hardware store. If you are not sure what size line your trimmer uses, check online—the manufacturer’s website often has instructions, and if not the customer service department should be able to help you.The length to which the lines should be cut also varies, from around 10’ to 25’.[24][25] If you are not sure, err on the side of too long; you can always cut it shorter later. Both lines should be cut to the same length.
  2. Image titled Change the String on a Lawn Trimmer Step 12
    2
    Make sure your trimmer’s engine is turned off. If it has a gearbox, make sure it is cooled down. This will help prevent accidents.
  3. Image titled Change the String on a Lawn Trimmer Step 13
    3
    Rotate the cap so the arrows align with the eyelets. You should be able to see light through the head when you look through the eyelets.[26]
  4. Image titled Change the String on a Lawn Trimmer Step 14
    4
    Thread the end of the trimmer line through one eyelet. It should come through the eyelet on the other side of the trimmer head. Hold the ends together and pull to make both sides even. Twist the head clockwise until 5” or 6” of line are exposed.

Tips

  • Don’t force anything. If the spool doesn’t slide easily back into the head, for example, don’t try to jam it in. You will probably just break it. Take a step back, re-read the instructions, and review what you have done to try to troubleshoot what is not working.
  • If you have a single- or double-line trimmer, disassembling the head is a good opportunity to clean it out. Wipe it clean with a soft rag.[27]
  • This may also be a good time to apply lube to relevant parts. This will vary depending on your trimmer, but the spool or bearing may need to be lubricated.[28]
  • If you are having difficulty threading the cutting line into the starter hole in the spool, try cutting the tips at an angle.

Sources and Citations

  1. http://www.lowes.com/projects/lawn-and-garden/string-trimmer-maintenance/project
  2. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OQauZqaEBUI&feature=youtu.be
  3. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pOO6yIRtukU
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Article Info

Categories: Landscaping Equipment