How to Work a Weed Trimmer


Trimming grass and weeds with a weed trimmer results in attractive borders and edges around your home. If you're careful and skillful, you can create level heights around the house, fence and garden to match the height of your lawn. Many people rush the job, though, and wind up with a trim that is too short or too high. When you properly work a weed trimmer, you can create uniform edges like a professional. The key to working your weed trimmer is to trim when the grass is dry. Wet grass will bind up and wrap around the weed trimmer head. This can pull the trimmer into the vegetation you're trying to trim, gouging roots and possibly stalling the engine. Working with slow, deliberate motions is key to using your weed trimmer to keep your lawn looking sharp.

Step 1

Check the oil before starting the weed trimmer, if you have a gas-powered unit. Operating a weed trimmer with low oil can damage the engine. If you have an electrical model, ensure that the electrical cord is securely fastened to the plug on the weed trimmer.

Step 2

Wear gloves and eye protection at all times when operating a weed trimmer. The line can throw pebbles and other dangerous debris while you are trimming.

Step 3

Start the weed trimmer and allow the engine to warm up for two minutes, if you have a gas-powered unit. This will allow the oil to warm up inside the engine, offering maximum lubrication when operating the trimmer at full throttle.

Step 4

Hold the weed trimmer in your right hand, with the engine behind the arm. Your right hand will be on the throttle trigger. Place your left hand on the weed trimmer handle. Hold the trimmer at a comfortable angle so that the trimmer head is parallel to the ground.

Step 5

Tap the bump knob on the ground to advance trimmer line as necessary. The bump line is on the bottom of the trimmer head. Gently tap the bottom of the head against the ground to allow the head to release more line.

Step 6

Work in small, right-to-left sweeping motions. Keep the trimmer head parallel to the ground while sweeping it across the lawn.

Step 7

Trim with the tip of the trimmer line when trimming against walls or other objects. Move in slowly to the object as you are trimming until the tips of the line come into contact with the object. You will clearly see, and feel, when the line tips come into contact.

Step 8

Allow the trimmer to cut the grass--don't force it. Attempting to cut through high grass or weeds too fast will stall the engine or cause damage to the engine.

Tips and Warnings

  • Always wear eye and hand protection when operating your weed trimmer.

Things You'll Need

  • Weed trimmer
  • Gloves
  • Safety goggles


  • Echo USA: Trimmer Operators Manual
  • Manuals Online: Craftsman Trimmer Owner's Manual p8
  • Grass Tools: How to Use a Weed Eater
Keywords: use weed trimmer, weed trimmer operation, operate trimmer

About this Author

Kenneth Crawford is a freelance writer with more than 10 years of experience. His work has appeared in both print and online publications, including "The American Chronicle." Crawford holds an associate degree in business administration from Commonwealth College.